Kate L Photography | Boston Family Photographer »

Hint: if you’re viewing the video on an iPhone, turn your phone sideways to view the pictures big and pretty!

I thought about telling Brittany and Dylan’s story throughout the video, but it’s the kind of story that needs to be told all at once for full impact. SO, I will start from the very beginning ;)

I’ve known Brittany and Dylan for what seems like FOREVER. The three of us went to the Eastman School of Music together from 2008-2010, and they’ve both been in front of my camera before (once for Dylan’s headshots, once for Brittany’s headshots, and twice for Brittany’s bassoon quartet). We’ve shared a lot of fun memories…for example, the time that Dylan locked his keys in his car during his first photo session and we hung out at a park on our lunch break. ;) I’ve always admired them as a supercouple, and so I was ecstatic to find out that the three of us would all be together again for the summer as students at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado.

One day in the first week of the festival, I ran into the two of them at a coffee shop downtown. Brittany left to go to the restroom, and Dylan told me he might have a “secret photo job” for me. In my stupidity, it took me until Dylan started walking out the door for me to realize what he was talking about. PROPOSAL PICTURES!! He hadn’t set a date yet, but I was so excited I could hardly stand it. I was SUCH a good secret keeper, guys. I even had a one-on-one talk with Brittany about the possibility of Dylan popping the question…but she told me she thought they would wait awhile before getting engaged. She honestly had no idea, and I kept a great poker face.

Shortly after, Dylan contacted me again to tell me that the ring had arrived ahead of schedule and he was ready to go. The three of us happened to be free on the same day, and the weather forecast showed a 0% chance of rain (both of those things are super rare occurrences in Aspen). So, Dylan and I met and started to hatch a plan for how he would propose.

When we brainstormed photogenic locations, Maroon Bells was one of the first places to come to mind. Since neither of them had been to Aspen before, they hadn’t yet visited. In my last summer here, visiting Maroon Bells was one of my favorite activities (it’s basically heaven on earth). Getting there is a little complicated, but Dylan’s friend happened to have a car pass that he could use.

Dylan and I decided to take a first visit on our own to plan. So, while Dylan was “at rehearsal,” he took the bus with me all the way out, and we figured out how the proposal would work. There’s no cell service in Maroon Bells, so all the plans had to be solidified before Brittany arrived. Dylan decided that he would tell Brittany they were going to a nice restaurant for dinner so that she would dress up. Then they would “check out” the Bells (a valid excuse because she had never been before, and it’s a popular tourist destination). I knew that the second Brittany saw me there, she would realize what was happening, so I came prepared in a hoodie and hiking pants to blend in with the other people at the park.

I was facing away from the entrance so that I wouldn’t give myself away, but that meant I couldn’t see when they arrived. Because of that, we set a time that Dylan would arrive with Brittany. Well, I was so nervous/excited for them that I couldn’t do anything but sit there. At first they didn’t show and I figured they were just running late…but 45 minutes later, still nothing. I started to worry that something had gone wrong and I couldn’t communicate with them.

Finally, Dylan came down the path yelling my name. I was so confused as to why he was there without Brittany! As it turned out, nothing was wrong– Brittany was just cold and Dylan couldn’t give her his jacket because the ring was in the pocket! It had gotten pretty chilly when the sun started going down, and she didn’t want to be the only visitor wearing fancy clothes when everyone else was there to hike. Dylan didn’t know what to do, so he had come down to ask me what our Plan B was.

“There is no Plan B,” I told him. ;) “Use your manpower!” So he told her that he had something really special to show her down by the lake, and in a few minutes Brittany was finally there, and Dylan dropped to one knee.

When he proposed, Brittany was SO surprised!! Her reaction was so funny and special all at the same time. I kept clicking the shutter in between my own laughter and tears…everything worked out so perfectly in the end! A group of nearby hikers cheered when Brittany said yes, and they even came over to share some wine they had brought.

After the proposal, we drove down-valley to catch some of the great sunshine at the end of the evening. Brittany loved hearing the whole story of how many secrets Dylan had kept, and how many people had helped him in his proposal. She was so cute– she kept saying, “Are you SURE you want to marry me?!”

They ended the night at a cozy restaurant in Aspen, complete with two glasses of champagne. I’ve never seen either of them more happy (or relieved, in Dylan’s case!) I so enjoyed being a part of their special day, and I cannot WAIT for their wedding next year!

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  • Adrienne Harrington Wheatley - Kate,

    I’ve seen many of your photos while Brittany (my daughter) and Dylan were at Eastman and have always been very impressed by your creativity and how you are able to capture the passion in your photos.

    When I saw your photos of Britt and Dylan, I cried like a baby at the beauty of them, the scenery, their emotions, the whole scene.

    As I write this, I still have tears of happiness going and can’t thank you enough for capturing one of the most beautiful scenes I ever witnessed. Brittany’s birth was the most beautiful one for me.

    I hope you do their wedding photos because you have such a great eye for the natural and the beautiful.

    Thank you Ms. Kate for sharing the beauty of this moment.

    Best,

    Adrienne

  • Adrienne Harrington Wheatley - Kate,

    I’ve seen many of your photos while Brittany (my daughter) and Dylan were at Eastman and have always been very impressed by your creativity and how you are able to capture the passion in your photos.

    When I saw your photos of Britt and Dylan, I cried like a baby at the beauty of them, the scenery, their emotions, the whole scene.

    As I write this, I still have tears of happiness going and can’t thank you enough for capturing one of the most beautiful scenes I ever witnessed. Brittany’s birth was the most beautiful one for me.

    I hope you do their wedding photos because you have such a great eye for the natural and the beautiful.

    Thank you Ms. Kate for sharing the beauty of this moment.

    Best,

    Adrienne

  • Joe Mslan - Lovely song, but I’d like to add “Isn’t It Romantic?” by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers. The melody to the words is captivating.

    The first verse is

    I’ve never met you, yet never doubt, dear;
    I can’t forget you, I’ve thought you out, dear.
    I know your profile and I know the way you kiss,
    Just the things I miss on a night like this.
    If dreams are made of imagination
    I’m not afraid of my own creation,
    With all my heart, my heart is here for you to take,
    Why should I quake? I’m not awake.

    Isn’t it romantic?
    Music in the night, a dream that can be heard.
    Isn’t it romantic?

    To Brittany and Dylan, the best of life.

This supermom never fails to show up to a session without at least a few tricks up her sleeve. In true fashion, she came armed with a bunch of hand-picked balloons, an ornate purple frame, bubbles, and two adorable girls dressed in very girly outfits. These three are the DEFINITION of sugar and spice, and they prove it every time…see here and here if you need more proof! ;)

This session was particularly special because we started off at the Southwest School of Art & Craft, the place where Cindy and her husband were married. Although we missed him for this session (one of these days I’m going to convince dad to hop in the photos!), I loved the idea of using the wedding location for family photos!

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Today is a day to appreciate the dads who bring us hugs, laughter, screams, tickle fights, tackles, Band-Aids, and strength in SO many different ways. Thanks to ALL of the awesome dads I’ve been lucky to meet…they are not always my most willing portrait subjects (wink wink), but in the end they are so often the glue that holds each session together.

Here’s a collection of just a few of the dads that have stepped (or maybe run is a better word) in front of my camera. My own amazing dad is pictured at the end of this post in one of my favorite childhood images. We didn’t have digital cameras or “lifestyle photography” yet, but my favorite captured moments with him are the candid ones where we’re just being silly and hanging out around the house. I’m so glad that I get to capture those moments for my clients now, so that 20 years down the road, the kids in these photos will have a way to see what a wonderful influence their dad had on their childhood.

Happy Father’s Day, everyone!

 

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If I remember correctly, Mike and Alli are getting married at this exact moment! I thought it would be fun to share their engagement photos as part of the celebration!

These two have the kind of love that I wish for every couple. I’ve known Mike for awhile now (we’ve been classmates for a long time), and I already knew how much he adored Alli because of how he talks about her when she’s not around. But this was my first time to really get to hang out with BOTH of them as a couple, and I can see why they click so well.

We accomplished some crazy multi-tasking in this session and managed to pull off headshots for both of them as well as some of my favorite engagement photos of all time. New secret to getting beautiful headshots: bring along the love of your life and ask them to make faces behind the photographer ;)

Congratulations and best of luck to both of you, Mike and Alli…I am so excited for both of you as you make it official today!

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  • Emily Knaapen - Congratulations to Mike and Alli (I think everyone at ESM knew they were meant to be from the start)! These photos are so beautiful!!!