wedding dresses and the county fair || yourhub photojournalism

Summer in Colorado takes us outside quite a bit. You can’t ignore 300(-plus!) days of sunshine and not fully embrace it in the super-sunny summer. Also, summer is the season for county fairs. And as YourHub is the community/county department at the Denver Post, we can’t very well not go visit with some county-fair-bound animals and their handlers.

Because cows trying to be escape artists. And little baby goats getting their first baths. What more can you want in the summer?

It’s been a little (OK, long) while since I’ve pulled together a good sampling of what I’ve been shooting on the editorial side, so this crew of photos is pulled from the past month or so of assignments.

August is already threatening to wind down, school is kicking back into gear, we’re dreaming more and more of our autumn days and the cooler temperatures that accompany them. But it’s been a good season. Perhaps too much work and not enough play in our summer, but we’re heading to San Francisco — for a whole blessed week of vacation — next week. And that will be pretty darn divine.

Peyton Huss prepares for the Jefferson County Fair at Church Ranch on July 22 in Westminster, Colorado.

The Evergreen Parks and Recreation District offers junior mountain biking lessons for kids age 8-13 at Alderfer/Three Sisters Open Space Park in Evergreen, Colorado.

Austin Anguilm and Preston Anguilm, 15 and 10 respectively, started Fly Guy Brand in January 2012.

The Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory hosts a series of summer camps fro kids to learn about ecology in Brighton, Colorado.

Kyle Walpole -- whose service dog, Matilda, assists him with his hearing impairment -- is attempting to educate the public about the rise in fake and non-certified service animals.

The Park People is leading a community-based effort to restore the Cranmer Park sundial and surrounding plaza, in Denver, Colorado.

Taylor Rae, 13, rehearses at Creekside Bible Church on July 30, for her performance at the Douglas County Fair, which will take place on Friday, August, 8.

The Wedding Seamstress, bridal alterations and wedding shop, located in Arvada, Colorado.

Alley Cat Beads in Northglenn, Colorado.

Children enjoy Art in the Park activities, an event which kicks off the 10-day Arts Alive festival, hosted in part by the Center for the Arts Evergreen.

Jabo's Bar-Be-Q in Greenwood Village, Colorado

Marjorie Anderson is an artist based in Lakewood, Colorado, who is part of the Metro State University Denver "Adopt an ARTrepreneur" program.

Maddie and Lakayla Vincent will participate in the Arapahoe County Fair, which starts on July 24.

High fives to the lot of you!  –a.e.

Andrea & Dave || engagement photography

It is possible to tumble head over heels for a photo shoot. Let me tell you. We met up with Andrea and Dave last month for an engagement session in preparation for their November wedding. We hit up the theater district in Denver (yes, Denver is totally hip enough to have a theater district) and then wandered around the LoDo area (“lower downtown” for those in the know) for the second half of their session. Let me tell you, guys, Andrea and Dave were an absolute dream to work with. Genuine, relaxed, full of laughter, excitement, and willingness to wander down the “least scary alleyway in Denver” with us. (Or so Dan dubbed it.) (I’m all about the parentheticals today.) (That’s not even a word.) We couldn’t have asked for a better couple to hang out with.

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 Can’t wait to celebrate your wedding, Andrea and Dave!

10 on 10 || august

Here’s my routine for writing a blog post on a lazy Saturday morning.

[one] Make a Chemex pot of coffee. [two] Drink three-quarters of a travel mug worth of coffee. [three] Refill your cup and throw it into the microwave for a proper reheating. [four] Briefly wonder if the plastic cup holder around the procelain travel mug is microwave-safe. [five] Don’t bother to check, just fire up the microwave and hope for the best! You live on the edge and do what you want! [six] Be relieved when the microwave hasn’t caught on fire/melted into a plastic heap that you have to dispose of by calling the EPA, NASA, or whoever else might handle such a situation. [seven] Grab a handful of vegan white cheddar popcorn as you exit the kitchen with your non-melted second cup of coffee. [eight] Explain to your blog audience that you aren’t actually vegan. The popcorn purchase in question was a hurried addition to your cart as you rushed about the neighborhood mini-mart (OK, it was a Whole Foods, there is no mini-mart in this neighborhood, this isn’t Brooklyn) on your way to “Shakespeare in the Park” last night. It was only after you’d settled onto the blankets in the park and ripped open the bag that you realized it was vegan white cheddar. It is still unclear what combo of additives and seasonings make that non-dairy, white cheddar taste. [nine] Finally arrive to the point.

The point which is this: August 10-on-10 vol. 2! We’re chugging along like the little engine that could in our second year of 10-on-10. For all those readers who arrive here but once a month via the blog posts of my 10-on-10 compatriots (as listed below) — Welcome! And I’m sorry. And bless you. The coffee this morning is stronger than I thought.

This month I’m bringing you ten photos from a recent trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens. From June through November, the gardens are playing host to a Chihuly installation. What’s a Chihuly you may ask? Chihuly — Dale Chihuly — is a person, and creator of fine, massive, magical glass sculptures. They can be found all about the botanic gardens, which is a divine place to visit in and of itself. As we walked around last month, I found myself wishing I could spend every afternoon in a different corner of the garden, book in one hand, coffee in another. Peaceful and wonderful, that’s the Denver Botanic Gardens. Go visit. There are great adventures to be had.

And also, visit the blogs listed here:

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Until next time, folks!

Muriel and Jesse || photojournalism

Muriel Wright, 93, and her husband, Jesse, 94, pose for a portrait in their Littleton home on Feb. 12. Married on Aug. 2, 1940, the Wrights were recently recognized by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter organization as being the longest-married couple livinMuriel and Jesse Wright, 93 and 94 respectively at the time I shot this photo, pose for a portrait in their home in Littleton on February 12, 2014. Not long before taking this photo, the Wrights had been recognized by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter organization as being the longest-married couple living in Colorado. They were married on Aug. 2, 1940.

Their grandson, Jeff, nominated them for the “longest-married couple” award, and helped arrange a time for myself and Joe Vaccarelli, one of the YourHub reporters, to come interview and photograph them and learn about their lives together. They were lovely. When they first started dating, Jesse had one of Muriel’s friends run recon, and make sure she was interested in him. When she agreed to go on a date, he picked her up in his brother’s borrowed car and off they went to a basketball game. Said Muriel about the longevity of their relationship, “I don’t think there’s any secret…. We get along pretty good. We have our ups and downs, nothing is perfect, but we’ve never really had any problems that we couldn’t sit down and talk about.”

Nine days before their 74th anniversary — that is, this past Thursday, July 24 — Jesse passed away peacefully in his sleep.

This portrait isn’t the best photo ever to be made, but as I read an email from Jeff, who notified Joe (who forwarded the message on to me) of his grandfather’s passing, it reminded me of the great privilege we have as journalists. We are invited into the homes and lives of so many people. We are entrusted with their stories to share with the wider community. They give us their faith to be true to that story.

Sometimes I can take it for granted that each of the photos I make mean something to someone. Maybe they aren’t the grand stories of international import that flood our senses, but they are meaningful to the people involved. And I think the same can be said of all the small interactions each of us encounters every single day. From making a really fantastic cappuccino for a customer, to painting a mural on the side of a building, to singing an operatic tune that always makes my heart alightto writing a fine essay or organizing library books on a shelf so a child can find just the right tale to inspire their adventures. Each of these gestures are vital to another person, they impact someone else. They can make all the difference.

It was an honor to meet the Wrights. It’s an honor to do what I do. I hope you each feel the same about the service you bring to your own communities.

Rest in peace, Jesse.

Hardrock 100 || San Juan Mountains

There are people in this world who hear of a 100-mile endurance race (ahem, 100.5-miles — it’s that last half mile that will really get you), and decide that they are the kind of person who can conquer that 100-mile, up-mountains-down-mountains-through-freezing-creeks-and-bug-clouds-on-gravel-and-dirt-and-roadways, endurance race, and come out the other side triumphant.

I am not one of those people. But we met several of them two weekends ago in the San Juan Mountains while Dan covered the Hardrock 100. I tagged along for the ride. But though I wasn’t on the clock, I did have a few different cameras at hand. I took some photos. These aren’t just running photos. In fact, most of them aren’t running photos. We were in the beautiful San Juan Mountains, a part of Colorado I hadn’t spent much time in previously. Little mountain towns, nature abounding all over the place. These are those photos. Those are these photos. Those are both awkward sentences.

So…to the photos!

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Yeah, we brought the white turtle all over the mountains, not to mention the most killer, two-foot tall speed bumps I’ve ever seen. And she survived! Like a warrior, our little Prius. No really.

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Them bugs were diabolical.

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I wanted to steal adopt, this fellow. Mountain dogs are the best dogs.

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