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Denver wedding photographers | Wedding of Natalie and Craig

When Gino Siller asked me to assist him on a recent wedding he photographed for Natalie and Craig earlier this month, I jumped at the chance. I always really enjoy seeing how other photographers work through a wedding day, and Gino proved to be equal parts easy to work with and motivational.

I spent a good part of the day with Natalie and her bridesmaids who were all very gracious and welcoming to me. (And absolute troopers though the day threatened mightily with rain and wind! Luckily the worst of it held off until after the ceremony.)

Here are a few of the moments I captured of their lovely wedding — held at St. Elizabeth of Hungary on the Auraria Campus — and their reception — held at the Glenmoor Country Club.

Thanks to Gino for the opportunity — and thanks to all of you for taking a look!  –anya

Natalie after her wedding on Saturday, April 14, 2012. (Anya Semenoff, A&D Photography)Natalie and her bridal party before the wedding on Saturday, April 14, 2012. (Anya Semenoff, A&D Photography)Natalie before her wedding on Saturday, April 14, 2012. (Anya Semenoff, A&D Photography) Continue reading

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Denver Lifestyle Photographer | Baptism of Elizabeth Mary

She is beautiful and tiny and calm, the perfect little girl.

Her parents are kind and genuine and compassionate, very dear friends.

And on St. Patrick’s Day, we had the honor of photographing Elizabeth Mary’s baptism at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Boulder, Colo.

It’s really humbling to photograph key moments in a child’s life. When we photograph engagements and weddings, our main subjects are forming their own memories of the day. Our photos serve as support to those memories, and hopefully encapsulate them in a special way.

But when children are the main subjects, especially children as young as little Elizabeth, the memories won’t be their own, but those shared with them from their parents, godparents and extended family. And they will see those memories represented through these photos.

That’s such an awesome position to be in as a photographer. And I hope the memories we captured at her baptism will be cherished by her and her family.

To Elizabeth, Sarah and Brian: Dan and I want to thank you for letting us be a small part of these memories. You are such a remarkable family. With much love and gratitude, anya.

The baptism of Elizabeth Mary McAdam on Saturday, March 17, 2012.  The baptism of Elizabeth Mary McAdam on Saturday, March 17, 2012.   Continue reading

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Friday Night Yoga Club for the Denver Post

Being a freelance photographer means you never quite know what you’re going to get. Then again, being a person, doing anything, anywhere means about the same thing. But you know what I’m saying!

With editorial freelancing, you accept an assignment, you discuss with the assigning editor what the story is and what to generally look for, and then you’re set loose.

When I took on an assignment for the Denver Post last week, here’s what we knew:

  • What: Friday Night Yoga Club, an event that offers the yoga community a chance to gather for practice, for music and for fun.
  • When: Friday night (see, it’s all coming together)
  • Where: A yoga studio in Greenwood Village called Yama Yoga Village.
  • What to look for: A yoga session, deejayed music, dancing, social hour.

Here’s what I found:

  • Warm, enthusiastic yogis, ready to welcome me into the crowd.
  • Very dim lighting.
  • A packed house – seriously, they were setting people up with their yoga mats out in the entry way and halls.
  • Forty-something sets of legs leaving the ground to attempt inverted poses – a.k.a. head stands. It was seriously impressive.

After a little acclimating to the setting and the ambiance, and a little navigating around the maze that was the crowded yoga studio, I dove in and came away with something a little unlike what I expected, but which (I hope!) showed a bit what Friday Night Yoga Club is all about.

Thanks for taking a look! –anya

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Denver Wedding Photographer | Engagement of John and Erin

As a Denver wedding photographer, shooting engagement sessions is also something I (with Anya) frequently do. And this time, it was my good friend John’s engagement — literally just minutes after he had proposed to his now-fiance Erin at St. Catherine of Siena Parish just off Federal Boulevard in Denver.

John moved two years ago from Denver to Boston to begin a mission trip with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology just months after joining the Catholic Church. I met him while he was studying and discerning in preparation for his first communion and Catholic confirmation.

It was in Boston that Erin and John met at a Bible study — she doing social work and he working with the university’s Catholic students to create a community on campus. They returned to Denver for a friend’s wedding the weekend of Feb. 9 and went to St. Catherine of Siena for an hour of adoration prayer.

And that’s where our mutual friend Brian came in. Brian — knowing in advance John’s intentions to propose — called me to see if I could take pictures of them both that day. We arranged to be there at 5 p.m., just after the end of the prayer hour. Brian provided champagne and worked ahead of time to ensure John and Erin had the chapel alone for prayer — and, eventually, the proposal.

She, of course, said yes. Our time was unfortunately short and the cold winter meant the light faded fast. But after a quick session in front of the church and inside the chapel, we caught up in the church’s cafeteria. Both John and Erin were a delight to work with, so natural and relaxed in showing their love for one another.

Anya and I wish them the best of luck as they begin their lives together.

– Dan

Denver Engagement Photographer Daniel Petty: Engagement of John and Erin at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Denver, Colorado.

Denver Engagement Photographer Daniel Petty: Engagement of John and Erin at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Denver, Colorado.

Denver Engagement Photographer Daniel Petty: Engagement of John and Erin at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Denver, Colorado.

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Missy Franklin for The New York Times

Hello, all!

I’m sorry we have been neglecting you here on the A&D Photography blog lately. We have been booking weddings for the summer season and working on some exciting things here in the first two months of 2012. I hope you all have been experiencing an equally good start to the new year!

At the beginning of February I had a great opportunity to photograph an assignment for The New York Times.

Missy Franklin, a 16-year-old swimmer, is as talented as they come. She is expected to not only make the Olympic team for the 2012 Summer Games, but also to compete remarkably well. But rather than focusing solely on those aspirations, as many of her other hopeful-Olympian peers might, Missy has opted to continue her involvement with her high school swim team. It’s no small task to juggle high school classes, homework, team swim practice, her individual training, time with friends and the international attention her athletic achievements have gained her. But if anyone can do just that, it’s Missy.

In the brief time I spent with her and her teammates at a traditional pre-meet pasta party for this assignment, Missy really impressed me with how centered, assured, and humble she was. She was very much just one of the girls, a part of the team, a friend, a sister, a teenager.

Take a look at Karen Crouse’s article, “Before the Olympic Trials, There’s This Big High School Meet,” and the accompanying photo gallery that a good friend of mine, Justin Edmonds, also contributed to for the story. He is a talented photographer, and the fellow who recommended me for this assignment.

Dan and I will be back with more soon!

– anya

Missy Franklin, Olympic hopeful, with teammates for a pre-meet pasta party at a teammates' house in Lone Tree, Colo., on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012.

Missy Franklin, Olympic hopeful, with teammates for a pre-meet pasta party at a teammates' house in Lone Tree, Colo., on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012.

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Engagement: Aaron and Monica

Aaron and Monica have the sort of love story that is unexpected. Unexpected because it’s the type of happy chance you’d think you would see take life only on the big screen.

You see, they met in a bar, at no friend’s insistence or gentle prodding. They were both just in the same place, at the same time, there only for their love of football and sports.

Since then, they have decided to stay in the same place, for the rest of time, together.

They’ll be eloping on a beach in Maui next May, but before that happens, we decided to get together with them (and the ever-energetic Monongahela) for a little engagement photo fun up on Mount Falcon.

Aaron and Monica: We love you guys! We’re so happy for you two. Thanks for sharing this time with us.

Denver engagement photographer: Aaron Wamlsey and Monica Witzig pose during an engagement session at Mount Falcoln in Indian Hills, Colo., on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011.

Denver engagement photographer: Aaron Wamlsey and Monica Witzig pose during an engagement session at Mount Falcoln in Indian Hills, Colo., on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011.

Denver engagement photographer: Aaron Wamlsey and Monica Witzig pose during an engagement session at Mount Falcoln in Indian Hills, Colo., on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011.

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Denver Wedding Photographers | Mike and Anita

So much love.

Those words didn’t leave my mind as we photographed Mike and Anita’s wedding. Between the moments the two of them shared with each other throughout the day, to the laughter between them and their families during the reception toasts, to the absolute joy that illuminated little Gabriella’s face every time she saw her parents even after only the briefest of separations. The day was awash with love, support, and happiness.

It’s the kind of wedding you can’t help but feel blessed to be a part of, and we most certainly count ourselves as such. –anya

A bridesmaid bouquet at the wedding of Michael Eck and Anita Marie Gartner in Denver, Colorado, on Friday, September 16, 2011.

Mike Eck prepares in his hotel suite for his wedding ceremony with Anita Gartner on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011.

Gabriella receives a gift from her mother, Anita, prior to the wedding of Michael Eck and Anita Marie Gartner in Denver, Colorado, on Friday, September 16, 201

Gabriella shows of her bracelet prior to the wedding of Michael Eck and Anita Marie Gartner in Denver, Colorado, on Friday, September 16, 2011.

Anita's mother and sister help her get ready prior to the wedding ceremony of Michael Eck and Anita Marie Gartner in Denver, Colorado, on Friday, September 16, 2011.

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Denver Wedding Preview: Mike and Anita

Dan and I had the absolute pleasure of photographing Mike and Anita’s wedding ceremony and reception last Friday, Sept. 16, here in Denver. (Remember Mike and Anita — and adorable Gabriella — from their Washington Park engagement shoot?)

We are working through our final edit of their wedding, but wanted to give you a little sneak peek in the meantime.

Stay tuned for more! — anya

Bouquet at the wedding of Michael Eck and Anita Marie Gartner in Denver, Colorado, on Friday, September 16, 2011, at South Lake Park.

Anita Gartner gets ready for her wedding to Michael Eck at St. Vincent de Paul's Catholic Church in Denver, Colorado, on Friday, September 16, 2011.

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Washington Park Engagement: Mike and Anita

Anita and Mike, and their little girl, Gabriella, these three couldn’t be more perfect together. Quick to laugh, play, and love, I was extremely touched with how they interacted with each other when we photographed their engagement session. There’s so much happiness among them, and what could be better than spending an evening capturing that?

We will be photographing their wedding in a few weeks, and are very much looking forward to sharing the next part of their story.

Until then, here are a few frames from the park. -anya

Mike Eck and Anita Gartner walk hand-in-hand in Washington Park in Denver on Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. (Daniel Petty, A&D Photography)

Mike Eck and Anita Gartner walk hand-in-hand in Denver's Washington Park.

Mike Eck and Anita Gartner pose in Washington Park in Denver during an engagement photoshoot on Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. (Anya Semenoff, A&D Photography)

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Archbishop Charles Chaput’s Final Mass in Denver Cathedral

It’s hard to describe in words what happens to a community when it’s leader steps aside after so much time.

For Denver’s Catholic community, that moment came in mid-July, when Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, the diocese’s leader for the last 14 years, was named to take over the much-troubled Philadelphia Archdiocese in September. Chaput’s final Mass celebration at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver was Sunday evening.

Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput celebrates his final public Mass in Denver on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Chaput is moving to take over the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in September. (Daniel Petty, The Denver Post)

Archbishop Chaput delivers his homily to the congregation during his final Mass. (© Daniel Petty, The Denver Post)

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