10 Years

January 2018 is officially my 10 year anniversary here at Becky Young Photography! TEN years. Ten!

People always ask me what running a photography business is like. It’s a complex world and I’m always trying to find the right analogy for my life as a photographer. I think I’ve found it.

Self-employment is like sailing across the ocean by yourself.

I look around and see beautiful things – whales, dolphins jumping, crystal clear water, islands, sunshine and blue sky. Life is good. Most days are spent with the wind in my hair and a smile on my face as I look out at the vast ocean before me; I am sure of my course and confident in my navigation stills. Occasionally I see other boats and I throw up a friendly wave, acknowledging their ambitious journey next to me on the great blue sea. Self-employment is a beautiful thing; I get to set my own hours, travel to beautiful places, choose how much I work each week, I get to know other self-employed business owners and I have immense flexibility in my schedule. I also have the privilege of working with amazing couples who are eloping in mountain locations all across Colorado. To say that I am fortunate would be a grave understatement – my business is one of the biggest blessings in my life!

But every now and then, reality hits. I look at my little sailboat bobbing along and exclaim, “Ohhhhmygoodness. I’m in the middle of the ocean! How did I get here? Will I ever see dry land again? No one even taught me how to sail, what am I doing out here!? What if my sailboat springs a leak? Is that a shark?”  This is a life of unpredictability. My income fluctuates, my hours fluctuate and sometimes my sanity fluctuates (usually when I make poor life-decisions and shoot 7 weddings in one week hahaha!). Anxiety, self-doubt, fear and creative burnout constantly threaten to sink my sailboat and I have to remain on guard against them at all times.

For me, the benefits of being self-employed far outweigh any drawbacks. I love this little sailboat of mine and I’m blissfully happy to continue navigating by the stars and anticipating the many adventures lay ahead of me.

Photographing elopements and intimate weddings has brought me more joy and freedom than I could have ever imagined. I get to stand on mountaintops and document love at 12,000 feet. I get to work with people who aren’t afraid to do things their way, unwilling to submit to the wedding industry’s expectations. I get to listen to bluegrass music while driving on twisting mountain roads on my way to a wedding, with the sunroof open and the smell of fresh pine wafting through my car. I get to soak in the natural beauty of Colorado on a consistent basis. I get to spend weekends camping near the locations that I’m working in (the best!). And I get to be astounded by the immensity of love every time I photograph a teeny tiny wedding in the majestic mountains of Colorado.

I get to live a dream.

I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of our current and past clients for allowing me to even get this far. Without you, this business of mine doesn’t exist. I am fully aware of the level of trust it takes to put your wedding day images in my hands. It’s a privilege, it’s an honor – it’s something I don’t take lightly.

 

photographer, Becky Young is taking photos in Telluride during the fall color of late September

I thought it might be fun to include 10 random facts in honor of my 10th year of being a photographer. Ready?!

  1. I never intended to be a photographer. I was getting my Master’s degree in counseling when photography fell out of the clear blue sky and into my lap. I finished my degree, but I’ve never pursued counseling after grad school.
  2. My team and I have photographed 312 weddings and elopements as of today. Woooo!
  3. I love to photograph in familiar places (I’m looking at you Maroon Bells and RMNP!), but I love discovering and photographing new places even more.
  4. I have been loyal to Canon from the very beginning. You couldn’t pay me to switch!
  5. I have photographed 2 celebrity weddings but I signed my life away in Nondisclosure Agreements, copyright releases and confidentiality papers. Crazy Hollywood lawyers were determined to prevent me from ever sharing the images or even saying who it was 😉
  6. My least favorite aspect about running a business is… self-promotion. Bleh. I don’t care how big my Instagram following is, I don’t care how many website hits I get each day and I certainly don’t care about being featured in magazines and wedding blogs. Sooo many photographers build their business on fabricated self-promotion and I just can’t get on that crazy train.
  7. I secretly love doing business taxes and bookkeeping!
  8. I met Andrea in grad school. She too was studying to be a counselor and decided to throw that to the wind and join me instead. I’m so grateful she did!
  9. I used to photograph “big” weddings when I first started out in photography. After a few years of that, I got overwhelmed by the stress of it all and I jumped ship in favor of elopements (I sound like my clients!). The speed limit of my heart is slow and elopements have been a perfect fit for me!
  10. I got frostbite once photographing in RMNP. It was 8 below zero that day and I forgot my gloves at home so I did our entire session with bare hands. Last time I ever made that mistake!

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Leadville Colorado Elopement {Kelsey + Dalon}

Kelsey and Dalon’s elopement near Leadville was my final wedding to close out our 2017 wedding season – what a beautiful way to end out the year! Leadville is near and dear to their hearts, they frequently come here in the summer to go camping! They thought it would be the perfect place to get married during their self-solemnized elopement ceremony. I couldn’t agree more, it was the perfect spot for a quiet wedding in the woods.

We started out taking advantage of the beautiful winter sunshine sitting low in the sky as we explored a frozen lakeshore. We were blessed with gorgeous lighting and cursed by a strong western wind that came flying off the mountain tops. I was layered up in Patagonia down jackets and I was still freezing, Kelsey was such a trooper in her dress! After exploring the lake area, we headed to their ceremony spot up the road. We were all thankful for a little time back in our warm cars and away from the wind.

As is true in Colorado, things tend to look a little different in the winter when everything is under a few feet of snow! We couldn’t access their exact camping spot, but we came pretty close! We found a long winding road through the forest that lead us to a beautiful snowy riverside. We thought it would be the perfect backdrop to their winter elopement! I kind of love it when I find spontaneous locations that I wasn’t even planning on! Kelsey and Dalon were thrilled with finding such a peaceful location in the forest, it was exactly what they wanted. We finished up just as the sun was setting and just before our hands all froze in the 18 degree temperatures outside haha!

 

a-couple-elopes-near-leadville-colorado-in-the-wintera-bride-and-groom-elope-in-colorado-in-december-with-golden-winter-lightingtwin-lakes-colorado-weddingself-solemnized-winter-elopement-near-leadville-colorado-in-decembera-couple-elopes-near-twin-lakes-leadville-colorado-in-the-wintera bride and groom elope along a snowy river winding through the forest in ColoradoA bride and groom elope in a peaceful forest outside of Leadville Colorado in DecemberA couple self-solemnizes their wedding vows during a winter elopement in ColoradoA Leadville Colorado elopementA winter elopement near Leadville ColoradoA bride and groom in the forest near Leadville after they eloped in the snowA bride and groom elope near a snowy river in Leadville Colorado

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Canadian Rockies

I’m taking a break from wedding photos to share a few personal pictures from a trip that David and I took to the Canadian Rockies! We loaded up our 4Runner with our packs, tent, camping supplies and we hit the road for a 2 week trip through Wyoming, Montana, Alberta and British Columbia.

We spent most of our time backpacking, hiking, camping, fishing and soaking in the views. I saw some of the most beautiful land that I’ve ever laid eyes on, which is saying something considering where I live! We didn’t have much of an agenda for this trip other than to avoid crowds and embrace the wild terrain at every possible opportunity. We’ve learned it’s best to hold plans loosely so we rarely travel with strict itineraries, we tend to just go wherever the roads lead.

Flexibility allows you to have margin for exploring new things, taking detours, spending an extra day here or there and it also helps ease disappointment if things don’t go quite as planned. Take for instance, the wildfires in Canada (and the entire mountain west) this year. Those fires impeded on our plans multiple times, closing roads and shutting down entire parks that we were hoping to visit. But we held our plans with open hands and our flexibility paid off!

The area that sparked our idea to take this trip was Mount Assiniboine, Lake Magog and the Assiniboine Provincial Park. It is wild, remote and rugged – we had to go! This area was our only “must do” on the entire trip. There are no roads leading into this wilderness area, the only way to access it is via hiking or helicopter. If you choose to hike, it is 20 long miles before you reach your destination.

Wildfires had closed the entire park for 6 long weeks and it wasn’t looking good for us getting in. Luckily, while we were in Banff we got word that the winds had shifted and the park would soon reopen. 12 hours later, we were on the trail. Turns out, the fires had scared most people away or forced them to change their travel plans. So after backpacking in, we discovered that the entire area was empty. We had the entire place to ourselves.

We snagged a backcountry hut and settled in to this breathtaking area for a few days of hiking and exploring before taking a helicopter ride (!!!) out. The helicopter ride was the highlight of the trip for me, we got to fly over the entire region that we had just hiked and we got up close and personal views of the beautiful jagged peaks in and around Banff. Seeing an arial view of this backcountry was absolutely amazing!

We also spent a lot of time exploring Glacier National Park, Banff, Jasper, Waterton, Yoho and Revelstoke, all of which were stunning.  I wish we could have spent an entire month in each location!

The Canadian Rockies are so different than the Rockies that we have here in Colorado, sometimes I wonder how they are all a part of the same range. The glacial activity in Canada is much more pronounced which produces the dramatic U-shaped valleys and blue/turquoise glacial lakes and rivers. We have similar valleys and lakes in Colorado but they are fewer and further between than in Canada.  Through the years I’ve learned that mountains aren’t just mountains. Each region and range is unique with its own features. This area was remarkably distinct from Colorado. It was fun for me to notice all the differences and similarities between the Rockies in Colorado and the Rockies in our friendly neighbor to the north.

Altogether we hiked almost 85 miles, drove 4,500 miles and hit 7 National Parks. It was the trip of a lifetime! But then again, most of our trips are 😉

I brought my DSLR on this trip but I really didn’t want to carry around the extra weight on my back for 85 miles of hiking so more often than not my camera stayed tucked away in the car. The vast majority of these photos are iPhone photos. Enjoy!

Mount Assiniboince at sunsetA canoe sits on Spirit Island in Jasper National ParkSunrise hits glaciers perched above Lake LouiseMoraine LakeBacking route from Mount Shark to Assiniboine Provincial Park via Assiniboine Passan abstract from Peyto LakeA man fises in Jasper National Park

 

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Estes Park Elopement {Matt + Elizabeth}

Elizabeth and Matt had a beautiful (albeit windy, snowy and COLD!) elopement at a private home in Estes Park this fall. Estes Park is interesting in that it sits right outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, but the town itself doesn’t have a lot of public land or National Forest land suitable for weddings. Consequently, if you want to get married in Estes, you need to either find a venue or a private cabin/home with land that you can use. There are parks in Estes but they’re not particularly scenic and they’re pretty crowded so it’s hard to find privacy. Elizabeth and Matt went with the private home/cabin route and I think it was an outstanding decision!

They had a very unique location with a path leading to a gorgeous rock outcropping that lead to beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. Matt and Elizabeth invited those closest to them to share in their day. I’m so proud of how everyone braved the frigid temps and blowing snow! There is truly never a dull moment in Colorado’s weather haha! Since this was private property, they had the location all to themselves without any tourists wandering by which is such a treat! Andrea had a wonderful time working with them and documenting their special day!

A few favorites…

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Becky@beckyyoungphotography.com

Becky Young Photography is based in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. I specialize in elopements and intimate weddings for couples who love the great outdoors as much as they love each other.
My style is simple, clean and always reflects the natural beauty of Colorado. I travel all over the state of Colorado photographing elopements and intimate weddings. Most of the elopements that I photograph take place in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Some of the locations I travel to include: Crested Butte, Breckenridge, Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Aspen, Snowmass, Telluride, Keystone, Ouray and Vail. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about eloping in Colorado or planning an intimate wedding, I would be happy to answer any questions you have!