A Colorado Springs Wedding with Majeck Photography

couple on their wedding day at the garden of the gods resort in with their reflection in the pool

              Garden of the Gods Resort – An Intimate Colorado Springs Wedding

Planning a Destination Wedding…

The Garden of the Gods Resort makes planning a beautiful wedding day and keeping everything in one place a breeze. With the backdrop of Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods – you can’t find a prettier overlook to say “I do”. What makes this spot even better is the spa on site for getting ready. I suggest using the amazing Kim Clay Artistry as your makeup artist. She works with the spa to help Bride’s look their very best.

Garden of the Gods Resort

Michael and Nicole met in high school through a mutual friend.  It was love at first sight for the Groom, and he said, “Every time we looked at each other it was electric”. However, their love story started years later when they found each other again, and the rest was history.  They reached out to us via The Knot interested in a highlight video and a few hours of photography for their wedding day.

The Bride and Groom

My normal three hour package includes 1 photographer and 1 videographer, but with how large this venue is I suggest that couples add on a second photographer. Michael and Nicole did and we got to our prep work for their March wedding.

Engagement Session for a Destination Wedding?

I love photographing weddings because they are such a big part of love stories. At my heart, I’m a story teller and I want to capture authentic images of moments that tell a story. As a wedding photographer, I am someone who looks for the moments within the wedding that make it unique… special. Every wedding has the main story – the couple – and dozens of little stories that twenty years from now that couple will cherish.

The best way for me to get to know a couple before “I Do” is to work with them! We often set up engagement pictures the week of their arrival to laugh and so that I can watch how they walk… There is something so intimate about how you take your love’s hand and a million other things. While my process includes questionnaires, Zoom calls and texting before your big day – nothing replaces this engagement session. Michael and Nicole’s package included a mini and so we spent 20 minutes together two days before the big day.

This is how we capture a love story in a way that is authentic! So, even if you are planning a destination Colorado Springs wedding – we should still hang out for a bit!

The Big Day

When preparing for a wedding, I want know all about the bride, the groom, their visions, their family and everything else they are putting into their day. Three hours goes by so quickly especially with family being involved. A little lower, I’ll share a sample three hour timeline.

When I arrived we met with both the bride and groom and I hung back with Nicole. We captured her wedding day details (which my MAJECK Wedding Guide helps you prepare for ease) while she sipped champagne with her loved ones in the Bridal room. The groom, Michael got ready and headed out for some portraits with “The Guy” while Nicole’s girl squad helped her into her gown and jewelry. I encouraged them to soak these moments in – they are so special.

Guys getting ready wedding day
Girls Getting ready wedding photos

The couple made it very clear that family was the most important thing to them. Their wedding party was very small and intimate. It consisted of the Bride, the Groom, the Flower Girl (her daughter), and the Ring Bearer (her son). The bride requested that Bridal pictures include her daughter, mother, mother-in-law, step sister and her friend. The Groom requested that his photos include, their son, father, father-in-law and his friend. We had to play a bit of hide and seek to avoid the Bride being spotted before her portraits.

Full Family portraits

 

Then, Nicole chose to have a first look with her father. It was so sweet to watch hold back tears as his daughter prepared for her happily ever after. As a bit of a “Daddy’s Girl” myself, I love these moments.

First Look with Dad
First look with Dad, and I say he was blown away.

 

The Bride’s Aunt was going to officiate and since her sister had passed away they took a moment to remember her during the ceremony.

Wedding Ceremony

You could feel the emotion of the moment.

After the ceremony Hors d’oeuvres were passed out by staff at the resort as we began to get ready for family portraits. Family from out of town was even included via Facetime on their iphone! Often, we use the same space as the ceremony site for the extended family portraits. When it was time for the Bend’s to get their first official family portrait we headed off to get better views of the park behind us.

Towards the end of the family portraits the kids got to scamper back and play with their loved ones while the newlyweds walked a bit further away.  The reflection pool is always a fun spot to capture, but really – our focus is the dynamic between a couple on their wedding day.

When photography isn’t enough – we offer video. Our team has a theater trained videographer working to create a highlight video for you to love for years to come! Nicole specifically wanted a film vibe and a focus on the romance for their wedding video.

About the Garden of the Gods Resort

The Bend’s wedding took place at the Garden of the Gods Resort & Club in beautiful Colorado Springs. It has a spa, hotel rooms, event space and beautiful outdoor area with views Garden of the Gods National Landmark, Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains. Food at the Resort is always delicious and enjoyable and they offer a fully stocked bar. It is the perfect place for a small group to celebrate a love story while being pampered.

Timeline

  • 3:30pm Arrive – capture Details/Getting Ready
  • 4pm – Bride Getting Dressed
  • 4pm Groom Portraits – with group (photographer 2)
  • 4:35pm First Look with Dad
  • 4:45pm Bride Portraits – bride with the girls
  • 5:30pm Ceremony
  • 5:50pm License Signing
  • 5:53pm – Family Portraits
  • 6:05pm – Romantics
  • 6:30pm – Photography Ends

 

No matter how many hours you book for your wedding, each photo and memory is precious. Our team loved working with the Bends and celebrating their day with them.

If you are looking for a photographer or videographer – please reach out to MAJECK and we will provide a quote for your Colorado Springs Wedding.

So let’s #createMAJECK and discuss any questions you may have by contacting me Here.

 

Mary Elizabeth and James Fabian are the owners of MAJECK Photography and Elope Colorado Springs. Best friends since high school and storytellers with a bit of wanderlust – they spend their free time exploring with their three kids and two dogs or hanging out in the backyard with their family and chickens.

 

 

The Best Time to Schedule Your Maternity Pictures

mom in pink chicaboo maternity dress for maternity photoshoot

So, When is the Best Time to Schedule a Maternity Portrait Session?

Maternity picture scheduled at sunset with mountains in the background with mom in a blue gown

Well, Let’s Talk About It!

First off, Congratulations on your Pregnancy! This is such an exciting time for moms and families. Now you may be wondering when do you schedule maternity pictures! There are several answers but I help moms schedule their maternity picture session at the perfect time for them! Keep reading for some considerations to help you book your portraits at the perfect time!

Maternity portraits are such an amazing moment to have captured. Some women start dreaming about them the day they find out they are expecting, others wait until they are about to pop to even consider them. I once had a mom leave her maternity session and go the hospital to delivery baby! Sometimes maternity photos can seem like one more thing to add to your plate, but they are a beautiful reminder of what your body can do and how amazing it all is.  You’ll be able to look back and share you pregnancy journey with your beautiful baby and family.

I want to make things simple for you, so that your experience is as magical as you imagine. So I put together a small list to consider when booking your Maternity Portrait Session in Colorado Springs.

How far along should you be when you schedule your session?

Around 20-24 weeks is when you will want to find a photographer to schedule your session with. Weekends book quickly, especially that coveted sunset time slot. I like scheduling sessions this way because it allows us time to really think about locations and the feeling you want for your maternity portraits.

When you go to choose your date, you’ll want to choose something between a 29-34 week time frame.  I like to shoot about 28-35 weeks (around the third trimester). This also allows you to reschedule due to weather or not feeling well while still having pictures done during the best time. However; if you are carrying multiples or have other complications, I would suggest planning a bit earlier and not scheduling after 32 weeks.

This timeframe means that mom is usually still pretty mobile, and baby is still baking comfy. Your belly will have that cute round shape and this will allow us to get the perfect shots. I often tell moms we don’t want to get too close to baby time (36+ weeks) because your little one will likely arrive on their own schedule. We will also watch the weather and will work around any unforeseen changes.

detail bump photos of colorado springs maternity portraits
Gorgeous bumps at all different weeks of pregnancy, see how all bumps are uniquely shaped and beautiful?
39 week surprise maternity session
This momma was like an Earth Goddess. She originally wasn’t going to have them done, but her husband really wanted her to and she said yes at 39 weeks!

Also remember that every pregnancy is different, every woman and their bodies are all different. Make sure to keep in contact with me about any changes that might come up. While the time frames I suggest work for most maternity portraits, the changes in your body and your growing bump shape could be different and that is okay. We can work around those unforeseen changes and get your bump captured at the best time.

Can I have my family in my scheduled maternity pictures? Yes of course, I encourage it!

I love to get shots of the entire family too! I encourage the people who are most important to you to be involved in at least some of your portraits. Capturing the anticipation of siblings and the connection between parents is incredibly special for these sessions! It also gives big siblings a chance to get to know me ahead of a newborn session.

I suggest taking into consideration nap times and when siblings are most likely going to be happy and ready to interact for your portrait session.

Couples maternity pictures scheduled in Colorado Springs with mountain views
I love when spouses join in on sessions. These couples are so beautiful and the connections are breath taking.
Schedule maternity pictures when siblings are happy bump pictures with siblings
Siblings get to join in on the fun too! Letting them be involved really helps to prepare them for their new baby!

Special Requests? Absolutely, the more unique the better!

Anything you may want to incorporate in your session please feel free to bring it! Ultrasound photos, letter boards, those tiny baby shoes, and any other details you may feel is important to add is totally okay with me.  Please remember to put any specific request you have in the Maternity questionnaire so that I can honor your wishes and plan our time frame accordingly. This questionnaire is sent out to clients after they schedule maternity pictures with me.

close up maternity picture with children and tatoo of angel baby with mountains in the background schedule maternity pictures at 27 weeks
This momma wanted all siblings included and we made sure to get a picture of her tattoo that represents her angel baby.
cute baby announcement with mom and dad wearing matching shirts scheduled maternity session at 12 weeks
Mom and Dad did a fun announcement with an adorable onesie, cute t-shirts and their ultrasound photos!

Location Selection

You’ll want to choose an area where you will be most comfortable or perhaps a place that has happy memories for you. Things to think about when choosing your portrait location depend on how you are feeling. Some moms have limitations so we consider those as well when we schedule maternity pictures.

Pay attention to the walk to get to the view you want… Is it rocky? Are there hills? Is it steep? These are just safety measures to be aware of, and only you know what your body can do.

If you are bringing kids along for the session, consider your comfort level with them running around. Do you want your little one to be only on flat surfaces? Are you comfortable with closeness to water?

I go over everything with each mom-to-be so that we can choose a spot that is beautiful and will help create the beautiful art she will cherish for years to come. If you aren’t sure of the area I will be glad to help you choose the perfect spot based on what you want to capture.

studio maternity portrait in couture maternity gownThere is also an option to choose to schedule maternity pictures in my downtown Colorado Springs Photography studio if that better fits your needs or if you want a fine art feeling.

I would love to have the opportunity to chat about your maternity session vision! Here is a link for you to look at my Investment Page and a link to view my client closet Client Closet.

 

 

 

Summer Family Photos in Colorado Springs

Colorado Family Lifestyle Photo - family looking at butterfly

Summer Family Photo Sessions
(With a cake smash)
Family and cake, what’s not to love?

Family photo sessions are all about capturing moments, making memories, and bringing out the beautiful personalities of the ones you love. My job is literally MAJECK-AL, and behind the lens I get to see it all. Even when you are unsure of  how everything may turn out – trust the process of my summer family photo sessions. Maybe you are chasing after kids, nervous, or a mini meltdown unfolds. I am here to let you know that it is okay, all of those things can be turned into beautiful moments, we never knew could exist. And those big personalities? They are what make your family wonderfully unique. We want those in your family photos session.

A Summer Afternoon

The Dean Family was so much fun to work with.  Dad, a Veteran and someone who says “I Don’t Like Posed Photos”,  was extremely social and absolutely loves the outdoors. Honestly, he kept me on my toes with how much exploring he did. The kids and I were just along for the ride.

Summer Family photo of dad with children
Dad and babies pose by the creek. They were busy looking at the stream and I called over to them and snapped this sweet “posed” but not “forced” image.

At one point, Dad caught a butterfly and let the kids all examine it. Then, when the kids were ready he let it just fly away. It’s easy to get great photos of your little ones, just let them explore nature. When they forget that I’m there, the scene is set for memorable moments and great summer family photos.

 

Dad catches a butterfly for his kids to explore during family photo session in Colorado
The most perfect unplanned moment, created the perfect summer photo. Dad shows the kids the butterfly he caught and they explored it together.

Mom, opened up very quickly and we were able to capture beautiful moments with her babies just snuggling in. They have three sweet kiddos,  A is spontaneous , N is the sweetheart, and L is just a sweet smiley baby. All of their personalities were able to shine on this beautiful summer day near Colorado Springs.  The session was, “move, move, move”, and the kids loved it. I start sessions like this with families just snuggling for a more traditional portrait and then we just let go. We didn’t stress on posing and instead, just took the hour of portraits as it came. This is what lifestyle photography is all about. Unposed, unscripted – uniquely your family.

Mom, Dad, baby and two daughters pose by the creek for summer portraits.
Here, Mom is glowing with her gorgeous smile. You can see all those sweet personalities of these gorgeous babies.
Daughter snuggles mom and smiles big during summer family picture session
Snuggled up in mommy’s arm is the perfect place to be.

Cake Smash Time

As we got towards the end of the session that’s when the real fun began. Colorado has a long winter but when summer comes it’s perfect to get summer family photos and cake is always a welcome addition!

Colorado cake smash, first birthday, family session
This sweet boy was so gentle with his cake, it was as if he knew his mama made it will love and didn’t want to damage it.

The session ended with the family pulling out a little blue cake that was made by mom to celebrate L’s birthday. It had a cute little fishing pole attached to add the perfect little touch. I laid down some a beautiful white blankets and started shooting. Little man, at first wasn’t into it, so Dad decided to help get him more messy by diving in the cake himself face first!  The family continued to just celebrate baby, eat cake and play with butterflies. At the end they washed off in the creek, and used towels I suggested they bring for an easy cleanup.

Colorado cake smash outdoor during summer pictures with dad helping
However, Dad didn’t think Baby L was getting messy enough, so he decided to get Baby L and Himself in the cake…Literally.

Summer Photos during a family session at the Creek in Colorado

I aim to tell the story of your family, so I capture every special moment when I can. A child’s first birthday is special for EVERYONE. Capturing family photos in these sessions is very important to me as well. The incorporation of nature, love, exploration and ease with the Dean family told such a fun story and let’s them preserve this for a long time to come.

Summer Family Photo Outfits

This was the perfect summer afternoon and Fountain Creek Nature Center is a gorgeous spot to enjoy the sun and beauty. Summer Family Photos in Colorado Springs are relaxed and beautiful when you book with MAJECK. Many times moms ask “what do we wear?”. The time of day and type of weather play a role in this decision, but I’m here to help!

Well, I love making your job easy and before every session I send a guide with support.  From helping you pick outfits from your closet (or mine) to suggesting places where you can purchase the dress or outfits of your dreams. I want to make this experience pleasurable and memorable. This way, you get to relax and enjoy your portrait session!

You can learn more about my Capture Magic pricing by clicking here.

 

Family Portrait Sessions – Magic in the Moment

father kissing daughter

Family Portrait Sessions

I believe that there is magic in every moment.

When I opened MAJECK, I knew that I didn’t want to just make a ton of money but to really learn about and celebrate the people I work with. Pictures are my most treasured possession – mostly because of my childhood. I wanted that magic to be captured in family portraits.

Pictures are Important

My oldest sister died when I was ten. It was sudden. It was tragic in that there was no warning at all. She contracted a parasite volunteering in a Turkish children’s hospital and died of a massive heart attack at just 26. She was 16 when I was born and then college and marriage kept her from being a daily presence in my life. As such, I have one distinctive, clear visual memory of her. I also have just one photo of her – my grandmother’s copy of her graduation portrait. Things like this shape your outlook of the world, or at least it shaped mine.

I’ve made sure my whole adult life to get into pictures at least once a year and to print them and display them. Sure, it is a digital age and selfies are Queen (slay, okay?) but those prints – they are tangible. I have also made sure to do giveaways ever since I opened to capture family portraits even for those who might not otherwise be able to afford the luxury. It is becoming a bit of a tradition to do this at the beginning of the year for me.

Last Year’s Family Portraits – the Winners

Last year’s giveaway winner was the D Family. It was amazing to get to have their session be my first for 2020 because it put everything in perspective! Their beautiful little girl with her red hair was the focal point of the family. Watching how Mom, Dad and sisters all worked to support this cutie, to keep her comfortable and happy during their family portraits was incredibly touching. A year later I can still hear the way they spoke to her and how each family member took on a role. Protector, comforter, Friend, Hair Stylist…

It was magical. And they now have family portraits on their property to remember these moments and their girls at these stages.

I am so excited to do it again!

This Year – Family Portrait – the Giveaway

As 2021 begins it is time to give away another Family Portrait session. As I travel between San Antonio, Deland (FL) and Colorado quite often the giveaway is open to people in any of these locations!

First Place – A Capture Magic Family Portrait session with a gallery of 30 images and 15 downloads.
Second Place – 25% off of a Capture Magic Session!

Plus! One entry who chooses to book a session by 1/31 will be selected to win a 16×12 canvas from their session.

Step One – Entry

To enter, fill out the entry form with a story about your family that may be posted to Social Media along with a picture. Tell me how long it has been since you had portraits, about how you met or anything that you feel like sharing.

Due Date – January 10th

Step Two – On January 11th I will post all entries in an album on my Facebook Page and voting will start. Be sure to like/follow the page so that you can participate in voting!

Step Three – Share your entry and vote!

Step Four – The Entry with the most reactions will win – Giveaway ends on January 18th and the winner will be announced at 8pm MST.

*All sessions must be used by 12/31/21 and are subject to scheduling with MAJECK.

Mary Elizabeth is a photographer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado who travels wherever the story takes her. In 2020, her work was featured in Brides of Houston and multiple digital magazines.

2020 Review – Weddings, Elopements and More!

On January 1st hindsight will indeed be 2020… Let’s Review!

This year has presented challenges for individuals, families, couples and businesses. Nobody has gone unaffected, and yet as I review it, I can’t help but be thankful for the experiences it has left me with. I have realized just how resilient I am and how blessed I have been to work with some of the most amazing people in Colorado, Texas and Florida!

So, I thought I’d share the highlight reel of MAJECK’s 2020. I hope you look over these images and stories and smile. Maybe, they will help you count those blessings when you review 2020 through your lens!

January

Ah yes… I think of January 2020 much the same way I think of turning 14 – my life was fresh and beautiful and full of possibilities. My first session of the year just sealed this moment. I had the honor of working with a family who had won my end of year giveaway for a Free Photoshoot. I’m doing it a bit different this year, but I’m doing it again because it was LIFE GIVING for me.

Anyways, I met the D Family and their beautiful little girl Teagan. She is a warrior dealing with a rare disease – MLD. Watching the tenderness and love of her sisters warmed my heart – even with the snow on the ground. Her parents are all brave faces and love for their beautiful red headed baby girl. It was the perfect start to 2020.

Family Collage
A collage I made just for the family!

February

Wedding season officially began for MAJECK in October and took us around Colorado and to Jamaica! I had always dreamed of traveling internationally with MAJECK and Jamaica made that dream come true! We headed to Montego Bay and the Royalton Blue Waters Resort for a beachside wedding of the coolest couple. It was non stop laughter until the moment they said I do!


This was also MAJECK’s first videography gig for 2020… We ended up doing 4 across the year.

March

We started March in Estes Park with a maternity session and an image from that session garnered me a spot in the top 10% of Shoot and Share’s annual photo contest… I placed 2442 out of 27748 spots. (All of my Maternity entries placed in the top 65%).woman standing in the mountains pregnant in chicaboo gown

 

 

 

 

father and son sitting in the mountains together
I was really glad I had not worn my Birkenstocks to this Colorado session!

Then, I was surprised with a Father and Son duo who at the start of the session decided to RUN UP a mountain to get some awesome shots! They chose to have pictures done to celebrate the son’s birthday every year which I thought is a great tradition!

April

Little Girl with Father's hands holding chick April came along with a slew of wedding cancellations and reschedules. A few couples also decided to reimagine their perfect day. Everyone was staying at home Little Girl with baby chickin Colorado and I’m not one to sit still. So, I signed up for classes to expand my craft. We also bought chickens. The results were magical.

Even better than the results of the classes was the time I spent with my family. Everything was put on hold during 2020’s Stay At Home and as a result I got mid morning snuggles, afternoon walks and so many baking sessions with my kids. Life was hard and filled with concerns, but so so good.

May

In May the country started opening back up, but with rules in Colorado. This led to some interesting options for wedding clients and family sessions. I started wearing a mask to every session. More importantly, family portraits had creative starts. For instance, this was a half dozen images put to one picture as no more than ten people could be together and photographed at the same time at Roxborough State Park.

June

Weddings and Family sessions started to ramp up starting in June of 2020. It felt so good to be really back at work again, capturing love stories. COVID created a larger group of couples who decided to elope and while May had begun the elopement onslaught – June cemented it.

Garden of the Gods June Elopement

Garden of the Gods is such a great spot for elopements – you can read more about one here! But, my favorite session of the month was feeding baby calves after a surprise proposal! It was epic and so much fun!

July

Nothing can be more 2020 for a photographer than having a wedding rescheduled three times and then happen during a Hurricane! That is exactly what we did in July in Texas. I got to follow an incredible couple from “Will you Marry Me” to “I Do” and it was so beautiful. I kept reminding the bride that the hurricane would pass and we would get the most beautiful sunset. That is exactly what happened!

It was only AFTER we got the sunset picture that I found out they were standing in a fire ant pile!

Bride and Groom at sunset in texas wedding venue Hidden Oaks

August

Another dream that came true in 2020 was the opening of MAJECK Photography’s studio! This gave me a dedicated space to go and work (away

studio lifestyle portrait session in Colorado Springs
Just hanging out in the lifestyle room’s crib!

from #momlife) and both studio lighting and lifestyle portrait space. Prior to August all of my studio work was done with me carrying props and outfits back and forth. Lifestyle portraits inside were tough because most studios aren’t set up for them. Creating this space that is welcoming to couples, families, professionals and kiddos (yes there is a toy bin) really encompasses all of the things I love about working with each of my clients.

September

I tell families starting in July – schedule those Christmas pictures! WHY? Because beginning in September I have a whirlwind of new and returning clients trying to capture the best weather and sunsets for their upcoming holiday cards. There are only 52 weekends in a year and the least likely time for it to snow or rain in Colorado is September. This family scheduled their session early in the summer and I have loved watching their little girl grow!

She’s the type that takes a bit of warming up and then you get the sweetest smiles!

October

Wedding Portraits at Boulder Wedding VenueDo you want to know the most popular month for a wedding or elopement in Colorado? October. I’m not making it up – October typically has the option of snow without too cold of temperatures and all of the beautiful fall leaves! In 25 days we did a total of SEVEN weddings and elopements with beautiful moments and details captured.

I, like Anne of Green Gables, am “so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

November

After months of things feeling almost normal (except for that mask I’ve been sporting since May) our state started to shut down again. I may not look like it Portrait of grandfather and little girl in Floridabut I’m actually a pretty anxious person. At the end of September there was so much going on with our family back in Florida that we decided we would go home for the Thanksgiving holidays. As we drove to the airport, I actually was having a panic attack trying to decide if it was the right thing to do. Is this safe? Should I visit my inlaws and parents (all senior citizens)? My father-in-law is in his late eighties. I don’t know how many more hugs we have waiting for us from him and so we got on the plane. I took my youngest and insisted on capturing pictures of them together. He’s too old to give her pony rides, like he did for my two older kids, but he still adores her. We will cherish these pictures for a long time.

December

My birthday month! If there is a month I like better than October – it is December! I’m like Elf’s slightly less neurotic sister – I’m already planning 2021 Christmas minis – and this is my time. For the first time since opening MAJECK I took a chunk of time off. Capturing other’s moments brings me so much joy but 2020 taught me that I need to step back and hold on to my moments as well. And so for my birthday and Christmas, I did just that. I went out and captured the beauty of Colorado without any expectations. The best part was bringing my family along for the ride.

Colorado ELopement location

As I review this year, considering all of the ups and downs I can’t feel anything but thankful. I’m thankful for each of the unique experiences, for being welcomed into so many joy filled moments and for waking up each day feeling fulfilled by this business and the people I serve. As I type this, I can’t help but think of my favorite Christmas movie – White Christmas – there is a song that Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney sing… Counting my blessings – that’s exactly what I’m doing tonight. Thank you for being one of them.

~ Mary Elizabeth and the MAJECK Team

Mary Elizabeth is a traveling photographer specializing in capturing the stories that make up your life with a vibrant, true-to-life color and emphasis on joy! To inquire about upcoming availability reach out via email!

Colorado Elopement Planning

Eloping in Colorao with the sunset

When I was a girl, I fell in love with Braveheart… Not the movie but the secret, middle of the night elopement. The simplicity and beauty of vowing to love one another without the fan fare spoke to my heart. Maybe someday I will be able to capture a beautiful elopement in the Highlands of Scotland. I am blessed that as a Colorado Springs local I can capture couples who choose Colorado elopement every day.

It doesn’t matter if you have always dreamed of a quiet wedding with just your love or if COVID-19 caused you to consider it now. With beautiful scenery, easy to access spots, no residency requirement and the option not to have a minister – a Colorado elopement should definitely be on your radar! If you want a beautiful moment with little to no stress read my suggestions for a perfect Colorado Elopement.

Find a Photographer/Videographer

Why do I start with this for a Colorado Elopement? Hiring the right local professional photographer (and videographer if you want one) is a huge stress relief because we know our community. I help my couples by planning the perfect elopement day. Flowers, dessert, a picnic, a hike? I’ve got you on these points and more!

But finding the right photographer for your Colorado elopement is also about finding someone you are comfortable with. With self-solemnizing a choice in Colorado, I am often the only other person witness to your vows. It is important to me that we are a good fit because of this.

Pick a Location

Your Photographer will be able to help you with this. Couples start by telling me what views are important to them and from there they decide how far we want to go, how busy they want the spot to be and what area of the state we want to be in. For instance, there are red rocks all over Colorado – although Garden of the Gods is definitely the most popular spot. It also can often be the busiest. From your backyard to the great outdoors… I’m here to help create your perfect Colorado elopement. This link will take you to a few fun spots for engagements that eloping is also allowed!

red rocks behind bride and groom
Saying your vows along the trails at Roxborough State Park may be perfect for your Colorado Elopement.

Details

Choosing to Elope does not mean that you are choosing to ignore all of the details that couples love to add into their wedding day. Those details often show off a couple’s personality and are the pieces that brides leave their wedding loving the most. For me, the details of my wedding were the most exciting part to plan. Some details that couples have previously added are:

  • vow books
  • colorful rugs to stand on
  • floral pieces
  • rings
  • fun shoes
  • gifts to exchange
  • something old (this could be it’s own blog post it is so extensive)
orange and white flowers with brides shoes and vow book
Details of your wedding day deserved to be captured!

Pick a Date

If you have some flexibility in choosing dates, I suggest a non holiday mid-week. Why? Colorado is beautiful and your elopement day will potentially have witnesses hike in or out. This is less likely on a weekday. It is also less likely for a sunrise hike. While you really need to be a morning person – sunrise is a chance to typically have space completely to yourselves.

Sunrise and Sunset are both beautiful in Colorado with colorful skies and cooler temperatures than the heat of the day. The light is also better for portraits. Again, consult with your photographer because summer and fall both bring park closures for special events. Locals to the area are most likely to know about these and guide you to a date that is meaningful and works with your location!

While on the topic of seasons… Colorado looks very different from March to July to October. We go from brown and dead, to beautiful and green and then to oranges, reds and golds across our landscape. Eloping in any of these seasons is beautiful, but your time of day and location may vary. Our high country is often closed from October to May for trailheads. Not to mention, unless you are experienced – hiking in winter conditions in the mountains is not the safest idea (especially in a wedding gown). September and October both are gorgeous, with cooler temperatures and tons of color. If you are hoping for summer, I suggest early to mid June, but be prepared for the rain storms that often move through!

Enjoy a sweet treat with your love as part of your elopement day!

Final Thoughts

There is still a belief that eloping is running off and getting married. In reality a Colorado elopement is a great way to have a honeymoon along with an intimate vow exchange in an epic location at a fraction of the cost of a full wedding in your hometown. Brides are still able to have their full day of getting ready, preparing for the vows and even walking towards their love. There can still be cake and a first dance, too. Most importantly, you at the end of a Colorado Elopement you will still be married to the one that you love.

Marriage Licenses for those coming from out of state are harder to get right now. Currently the Chaffee County Clerk & Recorder will allow out of state licenses. Another option is to order the license ahead of time and have it mailed to your photographer (or officiant). You can also reach out via this link and set up your appointment to pick up your license in El Paso County!

If you want help planning your Colorado elopement – Contact me today!

Celebrate Motherhood with Portrait Sessions

This Mother’s Day a Mommy and Me Portrait Session is the perfect way to celebrate Motherhood.

Even before I took portraits professionally, I took a lot of pictures of my children. I also insisted on having portrait sessions at least once a year. I put the images into albums and frames as well as storing them digitally so that they can be something that my children look back on long after I’m gone. But mostly, I do it for me and encourage moms everywhere to do the same. Read on for some reasons why a Motherhood Session is the perfect way to celebrate motherhood this year.

Each stage of motherhood is unique and worth memorializing.

Motherhood sessions aren’t just for mommy’s with cute squishy babies. Every stage of motherhood presents a unique sets of gifts and challenges. When I ask my mother which stage she has loved the most she hasn’t been able to tell me. Maybe she is just sparing my feelings or maybe she really can’t decide. Either way, the gifts she has appreciated the most are the moments where I have surprised her with portraits so that she can have new images of us. And it is a gift for me too, because I want to remember my mom with grandkids as a person who guided me through difficult parenting moments. After all, this will pass.

adult mother and daughter portrait
Thanks to the beautiful Suzanne Marie for capturing this portrait of my mother and I.

MAJECK Motherhood Sessions present an opportunity to slow down.

When I do a Mommy & Me session, it is done with the intention of truly understanding what is special and unique about your personal journey as a mother. No two sessions are alike because each of us are different. Every session comes with the encouragement to slow down and enjoy the time with your children. These are designed so that you can read the story, count their toes and take a deep breath. Allowing mom to cherish this moment in her journey of motherhood.

mother and children reading a story

Motherhood Sessions take the Stress Out of Portrait Sessions

We have all had the session where our little ones won’t hold still or we stained our shirt in the process of chugging coffee on our way. My custom designed motherhood sessions remove those stresses as the gowns are provided and I encourage kids to play and interact with their mommy. These are not posed portraits, but emotive ones. The goal is to capture the moments and details that you will one day miss. You can view a session here.

a mother holding her son during a motherhood portrait session

Motherhood Sessions make the Perfect Gift

Most moms are the person behind the camera. I have dozens of pictures each year of my children and their father, but very few that include me. Moms are so busy mothering and trying to capture and remember these moments that we often forget to jump in. So, as you consider what gift you can provide to the special moms in your life, consider a Motherhood Session.

But don’t take my word for it… This was shared by a recent Mommy & Me Session…

“The boys had so much fun and when they saw their pictures they asked to go back and do more! This was a great experience and a memorable experience I will get to keep forever.”

Contact Me Today to Schedule your Mommy & Me session  or to purchase one as a gift! What better way to celebrate motherhood!

mother holding infant daughter

Documenting Moments in the times of Corona

documenting our family baking girls in the kitchen

March has been a long month and it looks like April may get longer. I’m sitting here in lounge pants (because who needs to be fancy when you can’t leave your house except for a random walk) and missing documenting all of the moments in my client’s love stories during these strange times. I first fell in love with photography as I would pour over old images my parents had saved from my grandparents and great grandparents. These images documented moments in time. They brought me back to a time in history and made it real. I wanted to do that for people.

Photographers are Non-Essential but Pictures are…

Right now, photographers and so many other businesses are not operating because we are considered “non-essential”. While I understand the social responsibility portion of this… I’m thinking about my grandchildren and yours too. Someday, there will be questions… “Did you live through that?” “What was it like to stay home for a full month?” I want to be able to grab a photo book that documents these moments thanks to Corona and share it with them. Much like pictures from the dust bowl tell a story to you and I today.

Taking pictures brings a reality to a situation, a gravity to it. During these times, I can’t be going out capturing your families on your porches or documenting birthdays. That doesn’t mean you can’t capture these strange times. You are absolutely capable of documenting moments within your family and I want you to! Why? Because these may be important some day.

documenting moments as we look at our plants

Documenting Moments

But Mary Elizabeth… I have a cell phone camera not a real camera. How am I supposed to get any beautiful images with that? You would be surprised at how many gorgeous images have been captured and moments documented with just a cell phone camera. For an easy guide to do this you can go here!

What I’m really concerned with is you making sure that at the end of this time in our lives we have documented what this looks like for our families and ourselves. Afterall, we are spending a lot of time at home… We might as well be creative!

little girl climbs on dome
My sweet girl learned how to climb on our dome in the backyard during this time.

Where to Start

Perhaps you are like me and you crave routine. So even in these days of Stay-at-Home orders, you need to get up and do things in an orderly way. I feel you. You could also be like my husband who sees this as an excellent reason to sleep in even later. His introvert self might be enjoying this all a little too much. No matter what your style is… You start with what matters most.

For me, that means I’m taking a lot of pictures of my family. I take my camera with me on our daily walk – that thirty minutes of fresh air as we walk around our neighborhood is my favorite time of day right now. What shocked me is that my husband will most of the time join us, along with our dogs. This time has become something special and a moment where we get to bond.

I’m also capturing the growth of my garden. We have gardened every year, albeit a little half-assed. This year it seems more important and the whole family is getting in on the care of our seedlings. Watching them sprout up is definitely fulfilling. I also see this as a year where my children could really become more aware of what it takes to create food. I want to document these moments for my family because this is a time of change.

Documenting Growth

It really doesn’t matter what you start with – from board games to cooking to cleaning up the yard – this is your story. You get to choose how to tell it.

Tips to Get you Going

A few things you should pay attention to as you grow and create more images…

– Light – You need light from some source to create a balanced photo. In a dark room, you could capture your child or dog looking out of the window. By coming to the side you can view their features, from behind you create a silhouette. In broad day light you may blow out your picture, most newer camera phones will allow you to adjust your aperture – pop it up higher and you will be able to adjust how much light is in your image.

– Composition – Photographers are taught to pay attention to the rule of thirds. Your eyes will begin at the left of the image and naturally move to the right. When you compose your image, have the big piece the “pop” be towards the right side.

– Frames – Pay attention to what is in your frame. Things that are unimportant can also be potentially distracting. Try to stand in such a way that the only things in your images are the things that you want to see when you look at it later.

– Tell a story – Throughout my career and when I am capturing my family I want my images to tell a story. What were we doing? How did we feel? I already know that when I look back on these weeks (I’m praying it’s not going to be months) that I will smile fondly at the walks. It only took a global pandemic for our family to walk together – something I’ve been asking for us to do for YEARS.

documenting a father and daughter walking together with dogs

Mary Elizabeth Fabian is a photographer and storyteller based in Colorado who travels the world capturing moments. She is also a featured sponsor of Global Learn Day – through which she mentors teens to improve their photography skills. She believes that every moment carries a bit of magic with it and loves to capture that for others.

Right now, she is quarantined in her home, watching countless cooking shows, drinking gallons of coffee and capturing the simple joys of family life. If you are interested in a photography mentorship, feel free to email! You can follow her 366 in 2020 posts on her family instagram account @3.times.blessed and see how she captures daily life.