Sunday, February 26, 2006

One-Hour Wedding

Today I photographed my first one-hour wedding. It's not something I advertise, and it came up last minute, so I decided I'd go ahead and shoot it. The wedding was walking distance from Jenny's loft here in Denver, so why not. I'll post more, but the bride was very photogenic. Here's one for now. Hope everyone had a great weekend! promised, here are more! This couple in particular wanted mostly posed photography, which is FAR from my preferred style, but like I said, why not. It made for a fun change of pace. ;)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Yesterday we had our Rookie Party here with the Ski Patrol. Basically, it's tradition that every year the rookie patrollers must host a party, and it better be good... like I have said, being a rookie patroller can be compared remarkably to pledging a fraternity! "Yes Sir, may I have another?!?!".

The party was a good time though. I didn't... but lots of people dressed up. There seemed to be some confusion of the theme. Some thought it was a rock star party, others thought it was a bowling fashion party. I'm not sure what theme Mark Winchester was going for, but it worked!

Jenny, my girlfriend and business competitor ;) , bowled a 122. Check out that perfect form.

I bowled a 172, and I only had one frame that game that wasn't a strike or spare. I think I got 8 spares, 2 strikes and a "9". I even got a "split". The pins were a part from each other and I deftly maneuvered the ball to tip one over to intentionally slide across to knock down the other. OK, it was luck, but I still celebated with shots of Jaagermeister. ;)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Patroller of the Week: "The Colonel"

...aka "El Tigre", aka "Jon". This week I'm featuring Jon, a retired Army soldier turned Ski Patroller. Jon was the rookie trainer. For the first part of my season at Ski Patrol, I'd report to "The Colonel". He's a crotchety old grouch of a man, but that's just the way of the Colonel! The patrollers actually made up a song about him called "El Tigre" and it's pretty funny. Anyway here he is, sporting the military-issue spectacles.

Friday, February 10, 2006

what my clients think of me...

One of my brides for 2006 had a funny dream about me. Actually a very scary dream, accoding to her. This is too funny for me not to post. Direct from her email (I'll be nice and keep her name private!):

"Also, about that
dream that i had, i am scared to tell you this for fear you might think i am
crazy, but you strike me as the type of person with a good sense of humor, so i
wanted to tell you. In my dream you actually were taking pictures of everyone
else, but i just missed the boat. Anyway, the funny part was that you actually
had three legs, but one of them had a horse foot with a horse shoe and
everything. and as James later pointed out, this would probably be a good thing
for you, because you could be your own personal tri-pod. I thought that was
funny. But then later in the dream you transformed into this old hippie guy
with long dreadlocks that just kept smoking pot the whole time instead of taking
pictures, and then you had three arms, and then i woke up. Sorry if this freaks
you out, but i just thought it was funny. I have weird dreams a lot though, so
who knows."

Any dream experts that can translate this one?

Also a groom of mine who was supposed to get married last May couldn't because he was involved in a tragic snowboarding accident at my very own Keystone. The crazy thing is that after thinking about it, I am 99% sure that I was skiing the same run as him on the day of his accident... I was about a minute in front of him and didn't even realize it. I remember the day in April well because I was attending the new hire clinic at Keystone, when a snowboarder was flown out Flight for Life. I didn't realize it was a groom of mine until a few weeks later when his fiance emailed me to tell me that he was in a coma.

Then Thanksgiving weekend I got a great email from Scott. No longer in a coma! Scott is now hiking and man, if you check out his blog, you can tell that Scott is now living each day for what it's worth. I respect Scott so much for his passion for photography, the Colorado outdoors and cooking! Scott, I want to try your famous pizza. And if you look deep into his blog, you'll see I am even featured in a photograph. I'm honored, but it's kind of a funny shot! Check out his blog! Scott, I'm glad to have you back!

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Stickers are really popular among the patrollers... and in Summit County in general. Most popular destinations for stickers include nalgene bottles, windows, cars, lunch boxes, and you name it. Here are some shots of water bottles inside the patrol headquarters and a sign full of stickers near Loveland Pass. Also a nice sunset shot I got while driving to Denver yesterday after work. I don't know what the "bucket 'o' gout' is all about, but I do think the curly heart shaped straw compliments it well.


As some of my peeps know, I have been working Ski Patrol over the winter while wedding season pretty much slows down. I decided to take it on for the experience... figured it would be neat to kind of get into a "team" environment. It's been a huge step outside of my comfort zone, and the experience I've had so far this winter is a lot of what I expected and hoped for. I feel like it's keeping me in good shape. I can eat pizza every day if I want, and as much as I want. More than anything, it's been totally humbling. I have learned a lot about myself through this job and it's teaching me endless lessons in regard to Situational Awareness. I'm not used to being told what to do. Now I am being told what to do all day long. That aspect has been challenging, and I'm learning to respect my authority.

I've made some real rookie mistakes. I got a snowmobile stuck a few weeks ago on my way back from dropping some guys off at the back bowls. It was white out conditions and I was worried about driving it off a cornice. Then the next week I was sweeping one of the bowls, and I dropped into the bowls early and the wrong bowl no less. I got a pretty good earful for that one. This job is making me more sharp, which is what I really need for personal reasons and even for the benefit of my professional business of being one of the best wedding photographers that I can be.

The people I work with are absolutely amazing. The patrollers I work with are a ton of fun, but man, when it's time to work, they are 100% committed to their duties. They're awesome skiers and athletes. It's a pretty big group, lead by a Director of Ski Patrol, Assistant Director, and like 6 supervisors. We all have "familys" that we belong to, each family per supervisor. My supervisor is Rick, a tall guy who is known for his attention to detail. The other day he and I opened a few runs and he's constantly stopping to tighten up ropes, straighten bamboo markers, and adjust snowmobile lanes. I'll try to get a shot of Rick in here soon. I'm just starting to bring my camera to work. Being a rookie, I've been on a probationary period and have felt a little reluctant to bring it along, but I brought it the other day and no one seemed to care. So nothing too cool yet, but I plan on bringing it every day from here on out, so keep checking the blog for some tight action shots!

SO.... the photos. The first is of Lee, one of the directors. I'm pretty sure I'm on his good list. His finger is caught in his zipper. The other is of Jeff, our "head coach" and director of ski patrol. Jeff is a hilarous guy, but he's also a true leader. Best boss I've ever had, besides myself of course! The next shot is of a snow cat. Cool story about the head snow cat guy, he's this old guy who smokes cigarettes, wears aviator glasses and listens to... the Cranberrys while he drives the cats.... but he's so good that he has been recruited by the winter olympics as one of their groomers. I think thats really cool. The last one is of a couple patrollers, Mark and Pat. They are in what's called the "out" chairs. The "first out" is the guy who's next on deck for any accidents that are called in. Sometimes they get to "go for a ski", which is always nice. So far, I have been first on scene of a total of 18 accidents, or "1050's". I'll try to get more skiing action shots soon!