Chatfield State Park | Couple Portrait

Another session to inspire you on how to dress ethically, and fashionably for your engagement/anniversary/couple portrait session. These two, Anna and Peter are some wonderful humans. Anna is a rad photographer herself, you can see her work here. They were so generous to model for me, and represent these wonderful companies that they are both wearing. We got eaten alive by mosquitoes, but it was all worth it!!! Chatfield State Park, is a dreamy place. 

First outfit! Anna's white top and kimono shirt are from Judith and Joe. Her necklace is from the Bluma Project, but you can shop this particular piece at the Honeycomb & Co store in Denver. Honeycomb also provided the beautiful bouquet. The brass cuff ring that Anna is wearing is from Purpose Jewelry. 

Peter's button down is from United by Blue.  Anna's dress is from one of my favorite ethical dress shops, The Simple Kind. Let me brag on this company a bit. The owner and founder is Molly, and she has a tremendous heart for fighting justice and for God. And, she's a dear friend of mine and I love her to pieces!! The Simple Kind dresses are made by Molly, and by women in Latvia who have been rescued from sex trafficking. Check her out, please. The Simple Kind is also a Denver online shop!

Anna's choker and gold earrings are from Purpose Jewelry as well. 

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Anna's green dress is another Judith and Joe beauty, and can be found here.  Peter's shirt is from Patagonia!! If you didn't know already, all of Patagonia's clothing and gear is made fair trade. Shop them in the Patagonia store or at REI. 

Anna's Polka Dot shirt is from United by Blue. I was so in love with this shirt that I bought it, and you might just see me in it for the rest of the summer. I'm not ashamed about it!

SHOP these brands, or at least check them out, give them a follow and consider them as future gifts or birthday wishes. 

How to use your wedding day to GIVE BACK!

A guide to planning a wedding while giving back...

As a wedding photographer and a part time prevention director with an anti-trafficking non-profit in Denver, giving back is a deep passion of mine. Raising awareness for fair paying wages in factories, and in countries around the world, is another deep passion of mine. I'm so thankful that being immersed in the wedding industry gives me the opportunity to education brides and grooms on how to creatively use your wedding day for something SO MUCH BIGGER.

I wanted to create a list of some realistic and inexpensive ways to do so from companies that I know and love --

We'll start with accessories and such for the BRIDE!!                                                  

PURPOSE JEWELRY                                                                                                                                                    

100% of the proceeds for Purpose go towards women being rescued from sex trafficking. They sell beautiful jewelry that's so reasonably  priced you should never have to shop at Charming Charlie's again! *Purpose is a great option for bridesmaids gifts.  

UNCVRD JEWELRY

UNCVRD fights sex trafficking in California with the jewelry they sell. UNCVRD is a little higher on the price range, but they give 40% of their  sales to their partner non-profit organization. *UNCVRD would be a great option for a brides jewels!                                                                    

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THE SPARROW STUDIO

For you Denver brides, the Sparrow Studio is based in Denver and two lovely ladies with a passion for fair trade started it. They have  beautiful, and very ethnic looking jewels. Depending on what kind of theme you have going on for your wedding, these pieces could be  perfect. *Denver based, supporting a local company that's supporting artisans overseas!                                                                    

DEAR SURVIVOR                                                                                                                                                         

Another jewelry company that fights sex trafficking in California. Their companies proceeds give back to a non-profit called Generatehope,  and soon they will be able to let survivors be part of the creative process. *Higher priced jewelry, but all made with good materials!

SUDARA

A company that is mostly known for their Punjammies, which are beautiful Indian pajamas. Sudara's clothes are made in India by  women who are either at a high risk to be trafficked or are survivors. Every purchase goes towards job-training and empowerment of these  women to build a new life for themselves and their children. *Higher priced, but would be a great gift for yourself as something to lounge in  on your honeymoon, OR a generous gift to all your bridesmaids for pre-wedding activities. 

MATA TRADERS                                                                                                                                                      

This company sells both dresses and jewelry, but for a wedding I would check out their dresses as there could be some unique options for  bridesmaid dresses. Mata Traders is an ethical clothing company, and if you are in Colorado, Fair Trade Winds (basically the same store) has a  location in Boulder on 1625 Pearl St. *Fair trade and reasonably priced, made with beautiful fabric and great for bridesmaid dresses 

NAJA                                                                                                                                                                                    

Naja is an ethical lingerie shop that seeks to empower women. The women who make Naja's lingerie are mostly single moms, and Naja pays them above market wages and gives them healthcare benefits. Through the sale of their underwear Naja employs women in the slums of Columbia as well as supporting the garment workers children, who receive all schooling paid for (books, school supplies, uniforms and meals). *Ethically made lingerie, helping women, and their prices are comparable to Victoria Secret, but their lingerie is WAY cuter. 

 

Moving on to GROOM accessories, and gifts.

 

UNITED BY BLUE

United by Blue, is currently one of my favorites brands. All of their apparel is made ethically, and with each product sold they remove a pound of trash from the ocean. I bought a ton of their products for my family for Christmas. *A pricey option, but great durable apparel. Their socks would be perfect for groomsmen gifts.

NISOLO

Nisolo sells beautiful, handmade ethical shoes. Their women's shoe options are incredible as well, and I think they will be my summer shoe this year. *Great option for a groom's shoe choice. Higher priced, but shoe's on your wedding day are a good thing to invest in. You want your groom to be comfortable.

KATHRINE ZEREN  

Sustainably made tie's, made in Texas!! Awesome hipster tie's with a mission. Apart from ties and bowties, they sell all things needed for a means suit accessories - lapels, pins, handkerchiefs, pocket squares. Check them out!

AMES & OATES

This company is a great guide for small gift options for groomsmen and for bridesmaids, some fun and unique options. 10% of every order goes to support Pencils of Promise, which builds schools and funds education overseas in Ghana, Guatemala and Laos. *Great gift options for bridal party, and reasonably priced!

 

Now moving on to VENDORS for your wedding day, the people who make your vision come to life. This section is mostly dedicated to Colorado brides, but I will make a list of vendors who I know that specifically give back. *If you are a wedding vendor reading this blog, please send me an email to learn more about ways to let your wedding packages give back.

 

PROJECT FLORAL

I know the owner of this floral business personally, and she's incredible and has a heart of gold. Tristin, believes in giving back, specifically to the community in Denver. With every wedding, she donates two fresh floral arrangements to men and women in the community. She partners with many organizations in the Denver area, and they deliver flowers to single-mothers, safe-home, refugee families, elderly and people facing severe illness. "We think that it is appropriate that every wedding we design flowers for fuels the same message of love to our community."    -Tristin

 

PURE LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

As you may know, I donate 5% from my wedding packages to a non-profit in Nepal that is fighting sex trafficking. You can check out more about my give back here. 

 

SWEET JUSTICE PHOTOGRAPHY

Emily is a wedding photographer in Fort Collins and has a huge passion for fighting sex trafficking and helping non-profits share their stories. She's a visual journalist for all things justice related. Check out her story here.

 

 

Details of San Fran

A day in San Francisco with my best friend. *San Fran is actually a rather cold city, at least it was when I was there in September. It's a beautiful place though, filled with vibrant colors and beautiful streets corners. Here are only a few shots of the adventures she took me on.

BEST of 2016

2016 was an incredible year. I learned more than I could have ever hoped or was prepared to learn. I discovered by true passions, I've made incredible friends, I am grateful for the traveling experiences I was given, and I learned to create my own photography style. As a photographer I truly believe that I can't take full credit for the pictures I produce, because there is a lot involved that is sometimes out of my control. God is my inspiration and creativity, and before each photoshoot I ask that God would be present and that his creativity would overwhelm the shoot. Models are a huge part of my photoshoots, so thank you to every wonderful friend of mine who has let me use their face for modeling :) One of the biggest aspects of photography that is out of my control is the lighting/sunset and the weather conditions. Let's just say sometimes I get blessed, Colorado is a beautiful state, and every now and then I get to take advantage of the heavenly views and sunsets, with people.

"One of the curses of living in such a fast-paced society is that we tend to take things for granted. We overlook everyday blessings, oblivious to the fact that life itself is a gift. And if we're not careful, we can find ourselves rushing through each day, less grateful, which is no way to live." -Jeff Goins

I find that photography helps me appreciate life's details. I live in a creative world, made by a creative God. There is so much yet to be discovered and so much beauty still left to find, these pictures below help me to remember that. 

Steph & Zach | Winter Wonderland Engagement Session

It's truly an honor when you get to be close friends with your subjects. Steph and I have known each other for about 3 1/2 years, but it seems like it should be longer than that. Steph was the first person I met at a summer camp, Camp Timberline, I worked at in Estes Park and we've been friends ever since. Steph is the quintessential outdoors girl, and she is AWESOME. She loves, LOVES rock climbing, and she knows everything there is to know about how to properly backpack because she's a pro at it. She graduated from Baylor with her masters. She's literally just the coolest, I am always inspired by her love for the outdoors, and she has an incredible heart for people and God. For example she started a program in Waco Texas for youth at risk to have the opportunity to experience the outdoors. Come on...how awesome is that!?? This man beside in her is her fiance Zach, and there is no one better than him to fit this title. He loves Steph so well and it was a joy getting to spend a whole day with them and witnessing their love for each other. I'm honored to be able to stand in her wedding this summer in Estes Park, one of Steph's favorite places. They both live in Texas, but we've given them a dual residency for both states :) Since they both love the outdoors so much they were the perfect couple to be up for this SNOWY day adventure we had!! 

Ethical Christmas Shopping | Brands I like!

As a photographer I strive to use my career and creativity to serve others and use my photography to introduce things to people they may not know about. The ethical world and the issue of sex trafficking are the things I'm passionate about and strive to make others aware of. When I first started becoming passionate about fighting sex trafficking, it became apparent to me that I couldn't fight one issue without being inevitably tied to stand for the other - the ethical world of fashion and products. Purchasing things ethically decreases the chance of a woman being caught in the sex trade because ethically made goods are produced in well maintained factories by people who are receiving fair wages. The more opportunities for fair wage jobs and healthy work environments, instead of sweatshops secures jobs for women who would otherwise have been trafficked. 

So, I've become that person who checks all the oxfam policies for each clothing company that I love, and I've had to sever some relationships with my favorite clothing brands. But to me, it's completely worth it. In the long run being more conscious of where I buy my clothes has saved me so much money, and I'm so thankful for it. Now, clothing shopping or gift shopping becomes more of a challenge, but I consider it a fun challenge. There still aren't that many ethical companies out there for every style of clothing, footwear, pj's and basics, but I'm a firm believer that the more people jump on this bandwagon, the more ethical brands will pop up with diversity. 

This Christmas I took on the challenge to only buy my gifts ethically, and I'm excited to share these incredible brands with you. 

http://themodcabin.com/ My husband is always in need of beard oil (he grows an impressive beard) and I've been buying his beard oil from Mod Cabin for years. Their beard oil is handmade in Boulder, Colorado. Sometimes shopping ethically is as easy as purchasing goods made in your own state, or in US! *Etsy is a huge help in that area.

www.purposejewelry.org INCREDIBLE Jewelry that has been made by women rescued from sex trafficking. Purpose has timeless pieces that are affordable.

https://unitedbyblue.com/ United By Blue is a clothing company that removes a pound of trash from the ocean with every product sold. They have really unique and mountainous apparel. I recently bought a flannel from them, and it honestly changed my life, hands down the best most sturdiest flannel I've ever owned. Let's talk about how cute those socks are --- am I right??? 

http://www.legacycandleco.com/ Legacy Candle, sells candles to fight sex trafficking. *Honey & Fig is my favorite scent that they carry, but I can only imagine that Winter is great as well!

http://www.mulxiply.com/ Mulxiply (pronounced multiply) is based our of Portland Maine, but they work with women directly in Nepal who make all their products. This Mulxiply clutch has such a unique pattern, and you can use it for a night out, for your makeup or for organizing. I'm excited to hand this off to a relative this Christmas! 

 

That's my wrap for this Christmas. Follow these incredible blogs below to find more ethical brands, and to read educational articles about these issues. ALSO, please check out Love Gives Way if you are recently engaged please considering hiring wedding vendors for your wedding who are giving back! Contact me for more details or head to our website www.lovegivesway.com

www.thegoodtrade.com | www.selflesslystyled.com | www.consciousmagazine.co

Sunrise Portrait Session

Getting up to meet the sun for an impromptu photoshoot, is dedication. I'm not a morning person, but for sunrise's I can be because its 100% worth it to capture that golden light. Thanks Lili for being a great friend, adventuring the cold and being creative with me. Lili is a wedding photographer new to Denver, you can find her work here -- http://liliboxer.com/