Okay, so, fair warning - this post is HUGE, due mostly to the fact that Cat and I had a completely, COMPLETELY epic shoot.  Yay!  After Cat's wedding to Jesse in May, she contacted me about doing a Trash the Dress shoot.  These shoots are so much fun, but I feel like I should say a few words about the Trash the Dress phenomenon to clarify some misconceptions I keep running into.This is not an inherently destructive pursuit.  It is a creative one.  When the Trash the Dress topic comes up, so many people say, "But, I LIKE my dress!"  Exactly!  Trash the Dress shoots are meant to celebrate your love and enjoyment of this amazing dress that you've found - be it a wedding dress or a prom dress.  The goal is to go have fun, go to some out-of-the-way locations, and get some amazingly creative shots without worrying about getting your dress dirty.  During these shoots, we go places and do things that you probably couldn't do on your wedding day, but the end point is not to utterly destroy your dress.  I mean, don't get me wrong, if you really, really want to get into a spraypaint fight or have your groom cut your dress into paper snowflakes with a pair of hedge trimmers, be my guest.  That would be fun, too.  But if you want to save your dress and preserve it, donate it to charity, whatever, that doesn't have to stop you from doing a TTD shoot!  Most of the ideas I have will result in your dress getting a little bit dusty, and maybe wet, but nothing that can't be fixed by simply having your dress cleaned (which you're going to need to do *anyway* after the wedding).  Will I do a Trash the Dress session with you, even if you had another wedding photographer?  Absolutely!

So, with that out of the way... a little bit about my epic afternoon with Cat.  We started out at the skate park, where we found some awesome skater boys who were willing to give Cat some skating tips and be in a few shots with her.  We also got asked if we were doing senior pictures, which made us both crack up as soon as we got back into the car.  (Yes, a nearly 6 foot tall woman in her mid- 20's in a wedding dress at the skate park. :)  I love this series!  How bad-ass does Cat look? Thanks, random skater kids for being so cool and helping us out!

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From there, we headed to the LLAMA FARM!  I was super excited about this part of the shoot, but I have to admit - I had a few specific shots in my head that I wasn't able to get.  I was under the impression that llamas were ride-able and would behave like horses.  Apparently, they're not - the wonderfully kind Sharon at Pheasant Hill Farms described them as being more like cats - they'll tolerate you and maybe be a little bit curious, but I guess they can be very shy and skittish around humans.  So, despite the fact that we didn't get the shots I was envisioning, we got some cool shots anyway.  Cat in this huge herd of llamas in a meadow in front of Mt. Shavano... the whole situation was so surreal.  I loved watching the llamas check her out from across the meadow.  A few shots down, there's one of her with a couple of white llamas, and every time I look at that one, they remind me of unicorns :)  Thanks SO much Sharon and Pheasant Hill Farms for being so welcoming, patient, and educational!

cat2From there, we headed up to Hancock Lake and played around in some of the old mines along the way, and found some of the most delicious light EVER!  Also, I guess my Land Cruiser had been having some problems with the engine flooding (especially at high altitude - we were almost at treeline)  but I didn't know this until it randomly stopped running.  Sweet.  So, Cat being the bad-ass that she is, hiked the remaining 1.5 / 2 miles with me to the lake.  We got some AMAZING clouds - I swear I didn't touch them in Photoshop!  That ridge really did look that dramatic.  Getting out of the water, she joked that her dress was probably cleaner than it was the day after the wedding.  Despite the threatening weather, we never got rained on, but Cat did have to hike back down to the truck in her dripping wet wedding dress- we were joking about having to walk all the way back to town (15-20 miles or so) and how funny it would look if we tried to hitch a ride.  Thankfully, I got the truck started again and we made it back down safely, just in time to catch a totally epic sunset off to the side of the road in front of Mt. Princeton.  I loved the way the sunset was shining through her dress.  Cat - thank you, thank you, thank you for the most epic shoot ever! (Wow, I used the word "epic" a lot - can you tell how I feel about this shoot?)

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