I’ve realized that I don’t often post my family and newborn photography as much as the other types. Which just isn’t right because I love these types of baby, maternity and family photo sessions! I’m hoping to shoot much more in the near future. Especially since we will have a great little natural light photo studio in the back of our new home – a true dream for a Colorado portrait photographer.

Newborn Photos Colorado Portrait Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
At Home Newborn Photos Natural Light Film Photographer Denver © Bonnie Sen Photography
Family Photos with Newborn Black and White Photography Denver Colorado © Bonnie Sen Photography
Mom and Daughter in White Newborn Photos Colorado Portrait Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
At Home Family Portraits Fine Art Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Newborn Baby Girl Photos in Bow Colorado Portrait Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
All White Newborn Photos Film Family Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
At Home Family Portraits Denver Family Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Black and White Family Photos Newborn Colorado Family Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography

This newborn session is especially dear to me in so many ways. This session is the reason why the beautiful mom, Naomi, and I initially connected, and we have since become good friends. I can’t imagine the last few years without knowing her. Of all the people in DC, she is high on my list of people I am missing since we moved. I hope she reads this and know how much she means to me 🙂

As a film photographer I love natural light and as a Colorado portrait photographer I love shooting outdoors. Charlotte’s newborn photos, however, are proof that those two things are not mutually exclusive. We captured sweet little Charlotte in her parent’s bedroom with the most beautiful natural light steaming in. The family’s neutral outfits perfectly complimented each other and we have to Charlotte’s super sweet bow.

Meg and Zandy live in New York, but are getting married in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. To add another destination to their story, they decided to do their engagement session in Traverse City, Michigan! The couple has close personal ties to all these locations so they wanted to celebrate each of them in their wedding story. We were happy to hop on a plane and head up north to Michigan for their destination engagement session.

Urban Engagement Shoot Colorado Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Destination Engagement Shoot in a Bar Denver Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Casual and Candid Engagement Photos Black and White Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Traverse City Engagement Shoot on the Board Walk Destination Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Black and White Engagement Shoot Dress Denver Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Michigan Engagement Photos Fine Art Film Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Long Yellow Dress for Engagement Photos Destination Film Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Lake Michigan Engagement Photos in Bright Yellow Dress © Bonnie Sen Photography
Long Yellow Dress for Engagement Photos Destination Engagement Shoot © Bonnie Sen Photography
Lake Michigan Engagement Photos Destination Engagement Shoot © Bonnie Sen Photography
Lake Michigan Engagement Photos Fine Art Film Photographer Destination Weddings © Bonnie Sen Photography

We started the shoot the same way we always like to start an engagement shoot, with a cocktail. With lots of industrial and beautiful buildings in downtown Traverse City, we had plenty of spots to choose from for a quick sip.

Following the drink and a walk down the local boardwalk, we headed to the main attraction – the beach of the great Lake Michigan. The shoot ended with a summer storm. But we were lucky enough to capture a variety of shots before the rain hit!

The bride wore a black and white dress with a classic silhouette for the photos downtown and we can’t forget her stunning strappy black heels. For the photos by the lake, Meg changed in to a beautiful long yellow dress and sandals. The contrast of the yellow against the gloomy skies before the rain hit are breathtaking.

As you know, destination engagement shoots always hold a special place in our hearts and we love that they allow us to explore new locations. Can’t wait to see where we go next!

How to make your wedding album

Many of you may have access the digital files from your wedding photographer, hooray! You really wanted those right? And now you have SO many! But it can be overwhelming to narrow them down for your wedding album, prints or even to share online! In this post I will share my workflow on how I design a wedding album and maybe that will help you get them done!

Leather and Linen Wedding Albums stacked multiple colors Colorado

Why Make an album?

First of all we have to address this question, why even bother making an album? You have the files, they are on facebook/instagram/social media account of the current moment. Plus, albums are soooo expensive!

They Are Your Family’s First True Heirlooms

As an immigrant some of the only things I have from my (wonderful) childhood are a handful of photos. As the years go by I also seem to forget more and more details, which is why photos are SO important. Whenever I see a photo from ye olden days I know that it’s something rare and precious.

If your files only live online, what are you going to grab to show your friends, family, relatives, future kids, nieces & nephews when you want to share the highlights from your wedding day? Looking at photos online doesn’t have the same effect as piling up on a couch to look at photos.

Wedding Albums stacked multiple colors Colorado

My Wedding Album Workflow

For my own wedding clients I have the privilege to design their albums, and I use my own artistic memory of the day. I spend time narrowing down photos to the best of the best, fine tuning them and working closely with my album manufacturers to make sure the album is perfect. If it’s not perfect I don’t waste a minute to have it fixed until it’s perfect.

  • Pick your favorites Set aside about 30-45 minutes at least to go through your photos in GREAT detail and try to narrow them down as much as possible. You can be ruthless during this phase, it will save a lot of time later. I suggest picking 50-100 photos!
  • Copy the favorites to a new folder. This will save you lots of time if you need to redo the album or upload them to a website. If you’re using my PASS gallery system then you can Mark your favorites using your email address as long.
  • Send them to me if you’re making the album through me. I’ll fill in any gaps or make suggestions of how to cut it shorter.
  • If you’re self-publishing, then you can upload it to the manufacturer’s website to start laying it out.
  • Make sure you’re telling a full story of the day. I like to break it down to these phases:
    1. Setting the scene with a photo of the invitation or landscape, outdoor photo
    2. A spread of the bride & bridesmaids getting ready
    3. A few pages of the groom & groomsmen putting on the finishing touches
    4. First look (if there was one) photos
    5. Family photos
    6. Bridal party photos
    7. Ceremony setup & processional
    8. Ceremony finish and exit
    9. Cocktail hour setup & guests
    10. Additional Family photos
    11. Reception details like flowers, room photos
    12. Introductions, speeches, dances and events
    13. Crazy dancing photos
    14. Ending (special exits)

Wedding Albums stacked multiple colors

Where and how to get them made?

This is a bit tricky, since most consumer grade printers are not consistent and there’s no way to control the quality of their printing, warranty, craftsmanship. So for those reasons I can recommend the following manufacturers:

  1. Have it made by your photographer – As I mentioned, most of us have a strong relationship with the manufacturers so if there are any issues you have a warranty. Having a working relationship with them means that we know the quality of colors, paper and printing and it shows the photos in the best light and most archival quality. For full transparency, I use KISS books and LOVE them.
  2. Artifact Uprising – A great, local Colorado company started by some friends of friends of ours. I love their matte paper and they make it very easy to lay out photos.
  3. Blurb – The only other place I will recommend because most online printers are pretty terrible. We’ve used Blurb many times, and it’s not bad for an affordable option.

With the current state of the world, we are expecting to see a big uptick in couples turning to an elopement vs. a larger wedding in the coming months and year. While our hearts are breaking for all of those impacted by this pandemic we are choosing to find a silver lining. We absolutely love small, intimate weddings and are looking forward to being a part of more.

This Washington DC elopement from last summer feels so timely as couples are changing their plans and expectations and looking for inspiration for sweet small celebrations.

Small Intimate Elopement Ceremony Colorado Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Casual Elopement Photography Denver Colorado Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photographer
Light and Airy Wedding Photography Colorado Film Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Washington DC Wedding Photos US Capitol © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bride and Groom Photos with Dogs Colorado Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Washington DC Elopement US Capitol Short Wedding Dress © Bonnie Sen Photography
Intimate Elopement Ceremony Denver Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Fine Art Film Wedding Photographer from Denver Colorado © Bonnie Sen Photography
Exchange of Rings Denver Colorado Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Small and Intimate Elopement Ceremony © Bonnie Sen Photography
Intimate and Personal Elopement Bride Crying © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bride and Groom Photos Colorado Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bride and Groom Photos in City Setting Colorado Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Casual Bride and Groom Photos in Urban Setting Denver Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography

We met Anne and Mark early on a beautiful Saturday morning. We started at their home getting a few photos with their dogs. Then, we walked around DC to a few spots that were special to their relationship like the Capitol Building, La Colombe and Cafe St. Ex. Cafe St. Ex turned out to be closed but we still got a few shots on the front stoop and they are some of my favorite from the day.

One of the true benefits of an elopement is the flexibility of time when taking your photos. You are not on the clock to rush back to a reception or make it to the church on time. You can really savor the time together and capture important spots to you and your relationship.

After the morning photos, the couple met two friends in Meridian Hill Park where their close friend (who introduced them) performed the official marriage ceremony. The whole day was a sweet, personal and emotional elopement just for Anne and Mark. The two did celebrate with a party a few weeks later getting the best of both worlds.

It is no secret that Meridian House is one of my personal favorite venues of all time. The history, the linden trees, the garden, the classic architecture, the library, I love it all! Catherine and Erik’s Meridian House wedding incorporated all of these elements and more to create a stunning, elegant, French inspired, day.

The Hay-Adams Hotel Washington DC © Bonnie Sen Photography
Classic Bridal Shoes with Bow Colorado Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Pale Blue and White Wedding Invitations by Steph B. and Co with Vellum and Wax Seal © Bonnie Sen Photography
Getting Ready Photos Black and White Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Classic and Elegant Wedding Denver Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Hay-Adams Hotel Wedding Bride and Groom with Bikes © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bridal Party Photos Light Blue Bridesmaids Dresses © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bride and Groom on Bicycle Colorado Film Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Light Blue Bridesmaid Dresses Peony Wedding Bouquet © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bride and Groom Portraits in Garden Colorado Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Sweet Root Village Bridal Bouquet with Peonies © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bride and Groom Photos Denver Colorado Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bride and Groom Portraits Sitting Down Fine Art Film Destination Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Meridian House Wedding in the Garden Spring Wedding Flowers © Bonnie Sen Photography
Meridian House Wedding in the Spring © Bonnie Sen Photography
Classic Bride and Groom Portraits Colorado Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Meridian House Wedding Ceremony Springtime Washington DC Wedding © Bonnie Sen Photography
Wedding Ceremony in the Meridian House Garden Washington DC Wedding © Bonnie Sen Photography
Light Blue Long Bridesmaids Dresses © Bonnie Sen Photography
Groomsmen in Black Tuxes Outdoor Wedding Ceremony © Bonnie Sen Photography
Just Married First Kiss Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Colorado Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Meridian House Wedding Ceremony in the Garden © Bonnie Sen Photography
Meridian House Wedding Ceremony with Sweet Root Village © Bonnie Sen Photography
Meridian House Wedding Ceremony with Cheers Darling Events © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bride and Groom Walking Up the Aisle Cheers Darling Events Wedding in Washington DC © Bonnie Sen Photography
Meridian House Wedding Cocktail Hour in the Linden Grove © Bonnie Sen Photography
Ceremony Program by Steph B and Co with Venue Illustration © Bonnie Sen Photography
Ceremony Program by Steph B and Co with Venue Illustration © Bonnie Sen Photography
Meridian House Wedding Dinner in the Library © Bonnie Sen Photography
Classic Place Setting with Menu and Place Card Scroll Denver Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Blush and White Wedding by Sweet Root Village with Green Accents Gold Flatware © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bride and Groom Black and White Wedding Photography Colorado © Bonnie Sen Photography
Wedding Guests Toasting Black and White Fine Art Film Wedding Photographer Denver © Bonnie Sen Photography
Meridian House Wedding Dancing © Bonnie Sen Photography
Sparkler Send Off Black and White Photography Denver Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Meridian House Wedding Sparkler Send Off © Bonnie Sen Photography

The wedding day started with getting ready at The Hay-Adams. I knew we were off to a great start as soon as I saw Catherine’s shoes. The adorable heels were donned with the most perfect sweet bows. After a first look, some adorable photos on the Hay’s bikes and with gorgeous bridal party we headed up 16th Street to the Meridian House.

The wedding ceremony took place in the Meridian House gardens followed by cocktails in Linden Grove. A BD3 Design bar and amazing hors d’oeuvres by Well Dunn Catering kicked off the evening of celebration. Cocktail hour wrapped up with the groom sabering a bottle of bubbly in front of all of his friends and family (no pressure, as it was Erik’s first attempt at sabering!). Guests then moved inside to dinner in the house’s Drawing Room and Library. The dinner tables were flawlessly designed by Cheers Darling Events and Sweet Root Village. The evening ended with dancing, cake and a sparkler send off in the Meridian House driveway.

See more of Catherine and Erik’s wedding featured on United with Love

Meridian House Wedding Vendors

Event Planning: Cheers Darling Events

Florist: Sweet Root Village

Rentals: Party Rental LTD

Decor & Lighting: BD3 Design

Stationery: Steph B. and Co

Catering: Well Dunn Catering

Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop

Hair and Make Up: Georgetown Bride

Ceremony Music: Capriccio String Quartet

Band: Free Spirit

Transportation: Limos Inc.

Officiant: Julia Jarvis

Bridal Suite: The Hay-Adams