Cancer Kids. This week I volunteered for Flashes of Hope photographing Cancer Kids at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Another photographer who was scheduled for the sessions was ill. Even a runny nose prevents photographers from photographing these kids, many of whom can’t leave their hospital rooms. We must wear clean gloves, masks and gowns into each different room, after carefully scrubbing our hands. Then while in a patient’s room, we must be careful to not touch anything.
Flashes of Hope is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating powerful portraits of children fighting cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
One of the hardest parts of photographing Cancer Kids for Flashes of Hope is that there is no follow up with these families. I turn in my files and prints are sent to the families. The kids and their families each with their own set of circumstances, welcomes me in to see a tiny glimpse of their world. These sessions often take me in directions that I don’t expect.
This morning a story came across my Facebook news feed about a photojournalist, Leslye Davis, who covered the story of a Cancer Kid, Andrew Holland for three years. It’s a powerful story that explains how hard it is to document stories that pull on your heart strings over and over.
Special thanks to Jenna Blongiewicz who assisted me with this session at Children’s Hospital. Jenna hired me to photograph her wedding eight years ago and we’ve been good friends ever since. Now she has two children and is learning to be both a portrait and documentary family photographer.
Devin and Pat had a Colorado Mountain Ranch Wedding in Gold Hill, Colorado, on September 2, 2017.
It was the ultimate Do It Yourself wedding and reception, and in a great way. Devin and Pat chose to incorporate personal details and items that had played a part in their lives leading up to their wedding day.
Starting with Colorado Mountain Ranch, where Devin has worked summers as a camp instructor leading horseback trail rides for several years.
The feathers in Devin’s bouquet and at the reception are wild turkey feathers from her childhood home in Vermont.
The feather in Pat’s boutonniere is from a Great Horned Owl found at the couple’s previous home in Lafayette, Colorado.
Flower confetti tossed on the couple during their ceremony recessional, was made by Devin’s mother from the family gardens as well as friend’s gardens in New England.
Pickles and pickled eggs for cocktail hour were made by Pat. Pat’s father made pickled eggs for their hunting trips in Vermont.
The horseshoe table numbers were constructed by Devin’s father.
Pat and Devin’s custom western brand as well as the guest book art were designed and created by Pat’s mother.
Devin’s Haiku art was on display at the reception, and are illustrations from the couples journal of Haiku poetry written during their many adventures.
Desserts were baked by Sundee Pietsch, Devin’s mentor and friend.
“Everett’s IPA” was brewed by groomsman Brad Johnson.
Long’s Peak, the 14,000 foot peak visible in the distance at the ceremony site, is one of the mountains etched on Pat’s wedding band.
Jasper arrowhead and fool’s gold favors were a tribute to the Native American Indian legacy and mining history of Gold Hill.
Another interesting detail was the Navajo rug used for Bella, the couple’s dog to sit on during their wedding ceremony. Each of the bridesmaids picked a color from the rug to be the color of her dress.
Devin and Pat’s Colorado Mountain Ranch wedding included their dog Bella as a bridesmaid, a ranch cat, and the couple’s favorite horses. Plus, a local fox made an appearance during the reception.
The band Woodshed Red played during the wedding ceremony, during the cocktail hour, and for the dance party that lasted until the midnight exit that found family and friends blowing bubbles.
Special thanks to Devin and Pat for choosing me to document their DIY wedding day.
And thanks to Lance Murphey for covering my back as a guest photographer.
Cheers to a happy life, Kent
Christian and Andrea held their Denver Botanic Gardens Wedding in the Romantic Garden on September 1, 2017.
Their wedding came to me as a referral from a journalist friend, Michelle Fulcher. Michelle started her journalism career in Denver working at the Denver Business World along with Andrea’s father, Chuck. Michelle and I worked together at The Denver Post where she was a reporter and later became a news editor. Currently, she is working as a reporter for Colorado Public Radio in Denver.
Christian and Andrea’s Friday afternoon wedding in late summer, was on a perfect, blue sky Colorado day. The ceremony was followed by a beautiful evening with warm light streaming into the gardens. Christian and Andrea took a long walk before their wedding reception in Mitchell Hall.
Thank you to Michelle, Chuck, Christian and Andrea for trusting me to photograph this wedding.
Chandler Barone, Senior Event Manager, with Ansley Event Design, was their wedding coordinator.
Ceremony music was performed by Cheza String Quartet.
Footers Catering & Events provided dinner.
A Music Plus DJ provided music at the reception.
Petals Floral designed the bouquets.
Denver Post staff photographer Helen Richardson referred Alison and her father, Denver Post Sports Editor, Scott Monserud, to me because Alison really values photo journalistic storytelling. Both Helen and Scott are cancer survivors.
Scott was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer, two years ago. He’s in remission and has been hiking, camping and running, including running the BolderBoulder 10K Memorial Day Classic with Alison this past May.
The wedding day just so happened to be on Father’s Day and Scott rocked it.
Another twist to their Spruce Mountain Ranch Wedding was that Bryce is deaf, reads lips and uses American Sign Language to communicate. His best friend, Albert, who is also deaf, surprised Bryce by arriving while he was getting ready. He didn’t think Albert was going to make it for the wedding. Not only was he the Best Man but he and another friend were sign language translators during the ceremony.
Bryce is from India and had a group of relatives who traveled halfway around the world to attend the wedding. It was more of a traditional American wedding, except for the Indian buffet.
Congratulations to Alison and Bryce, thank you both for trusting me to document your wedding.
Floral designs by Sarah Rovner of Calla Blue Florals.
Biscuits and Berries catered the event, including the Indian buffet and a taco bar.
Anna’s Custom Pews provided seating for the ceremony.
Videography by Henry and Lisa Mares, Mares Video Productions.
DJ Rob Gillen, Function Pro DJ & Event Services.
The Original Shutter Bus Vintage Photo Booth.