Mardi Gras in New Orleans

It’s always hard missing a Mardi Gras back home in New Orleans, and especially more so now as I constantly get Facebook notifications pop up of friends and family dressed up in costumes, parading through the city, and celebrating all week long.  So as I sit in my Denver office, over 1000 miles away from New Orleans, I realize I must embrace the carnival spirit and at least share my pictures of my last trip to Mardi Gras this past year in 2015.

There are so many different ways to celebrate Mardi Gras.  Certainly the parades and festivities I remember as a kid are quite different then my experiences as an adult.  As a child my family stayed around certain parts of Metairie or Uptown to watch the parades, where the crowds were lighter and more tame, and every party was kid-friendly.  But if you’re not afraid of the crowds and the chaos, then the French Quarter, where costumes are extravagant and parties run wild, may be more your style.  And while some people prefer to sit back and watch the parades roll by, others, like myself, prefer to get up and dance along with them whenever possible.  For last year’s Mardi Gras I certainly experienced a mix of mild and wild.  My daughter accompanied us for her first Mardi Gras parade, which we made sure to keep as simple and easy as possible for a one year old.  But thankfully for Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras day, we had the grandparents take over so we could have a carefree day of celebration and debauchery in the French Quarter.  However, holding a camera and a one year old at the same time is nearly impossible, so 95% of my pictures below are from Mardi Gras day.   If you have yet to experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans, or prefer to sit on your couch and take it in from afar, then I hope my pictures can give you glimpse into just some of the celebrations that go on during carnival.

Click here to see more pictures and purchase my fine art prints of New Orleans and past Mardi Gras.

costumed revelers on Frenchmen St. on Mardi Gras day

smiles all around on Frenchmen St. on Mardi Gras day

a selfie with my husband in the Faubourg Marigny

a selfie with my husband in the Faubourg Marigny

Mardi Gras costumes on Bourbon St.

Mardi Gras costumes on Bourbon St.

 impromptu Mardi Gras parades through the French Quarte

one of many impromptu Mardi Gras parades through the French Quarter

Mardi Gras day people in the crowds

connections in the chaos

giving birth Mardi Gras costume

giving birth Mardi Gras costume

catching throws at night from the Endymion parade Uptown

catching throws from the Endymion parade Uptown

a stunning float of a goddess

a stunning float of a goddess

French Quarter Mardi Gras flags hang over balconies

French Quarter Mardi Gras flags

painted face in Jackson Square in the French Quarter

painted face in Jackson Square

walking by Jackson Square on Mardi Gras day

passing by Jackson Square on Mardi Gras day

music and parading through Jackson Square Mardi Gras day

music and parading through Jackson Square Mardi Gras day

blue dog costume and black and white angels in the French Quarter

blue dog costume and black and white angels in the French Quarter

black and white angelf ace

black and white angel up close and personal

 

people create a huge peace sign along the Mississippi River on Mardi Gras day

creating a huge peace sign along the Mississippi River on Mardi Gras day

peace along the Mississippi River on Mardi Gras day

peace along the Mississippi River on Mardi Gras day

St.Ann parade ends with ashes of loved ones tossed into the Mississippi River on Mardi Gras day

St.Ann parade ends with ashes of loved ones tossed into the Mississippi River on Mardi Gras day

always music to join in on in the French Quarter

always music to join in on in the French Quarter

Frenchmen St. crowds on Mardi Gras day

Frenchmen St. crowds on Mardi Gras day

a huge whale art car travels past Frenchmen St. on Mardi Gras day

a huge whale art car travels past Frenchmen St.

singing and dancing on Frenchmen St. on Mardi Gras day

singing and dancing on Frenchmen St. on Mardi Gras day

costumes in the French Quarter of red king and crawfish

costumes in the French Quarter

French Quarter decorated street light with Mardi Gras beads and bras

why not decorate your street light with Mardi Gras beads and bras?

Mardi Gras after dark in the Marigny

Mardi Gras after dark in the Marigny

lights, costumes, and chaos in the Marigny on Mardi Gras night

lights, costumes, and chaos in the Marigny on Mardi Gras night

Click here to see more pictures and purchase my fine art prints of New Orleans and past Mardi Gras.

 

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2015 Year in Review

2015 was another amazing year for me!  It was full of fun loving free-spirited clients, romantic and often rebellious photo shoots, and of course thousands of pictures.  I realized that I still have a lot of photo shoots, including weddings and boudoir sessions that have so many great pictures they deserve their own blog feature, so adding that to my to do list for the slow winter season.

And on the personal side I have a ton of pictures of my toddler and our travel adventures, yet I have only looked at and edited about half of them, not good!  What can I say, its hard keeping up with processing your own pictures when you have a toddler at home and a ton of client photo shoots to work on.   But I’m determined to not be that mom with a hard drive full of baby pictures that never get printed, much less looked at.  So adding that to my 2016 to do list too!

Below are a just a handful of a few of my favorite personal and professional pictures from the year.  Of course there are a lot of wedding and engagement pictures but I also had a few different photo shoots this past year with musicians, live bands, and some unique head shots.  I had so many great pictures it was really hard to narrow it down, so I also created a slideshow at the end with more pictures for those photo-lovers out there.

a fine art wedding picture from a Denver wedding

a fine art wedding picture from a Denver wedding

downtown urban engagement pictures by Denver wedding photographer

downtown urban engagement pictures by Denver wedding photographer

creative same sex engagement portraits

creative same sex engagement portraits at Red Rocks

documenting a wedding kiss between the bride and groom on the dance floor

wedding kiss between the bride and groom on the dance floor at the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver

best urban wedding portraits from 2015 at Grant Humphreys Mansion and Dener Athletic Club in Denver

a couple of my favorite urban wedding portraits from 2015

documenting the band AOA at Herb

documenting the band AOA at Herb’s Hideaway in downtown Denver

engagement ring and playing with fire

engagement ring and playing with fire

best wedding pictures of 2015

a romantic end of the night embrace- best wedding pictures of 2015

daughter turned one in March

Jazlyn turned one in March

daughter is a natural at the drums, at a camping trip at Arapaho Valley Ranch

daughter is a natural at the drums, at a camping trip at Arapaho Valley Ranch

 

romantic fall engagement pictures around Denver

romantic fall engagement pictures around Denver

first sight at a same sex wedding at Denver Botanical Gardens

first sight at a same sex wedding at Denver Botanical Gardens

dramatic sunset on the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

dramatic sunset on the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

 

relaxing kayak trip in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

relaxing kayak trip in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

documenting a surprise moment at the end of the wedding ceremony at Grant Humphreys Mansion in Denver

documenting a surprise moment at the end of the wedding ceremony at Grant Humphreys Mansion in Denver

unique and romantic Denver portraits

unique and romantic Denver portraits

a same sex marriage proposal at the Denver Clocktower

a same sex marriage proposal at the Denver Clocktower

Mardi Gras selfie in the New Orleans French Quarter

Mardi Gras selfie in the New Orleans French Quarter

documenting the fun colorful costumes of Mardi Gras. Blue Dog in Jackson Square

documenting the fun colorful costumes of Mardi Gras. Blue Dog in Jackson Square

romantic engagement pictures around Sloan

romantic engagement pictures around Sloan’s Lake at sunset

wedding moment of groom dancing with his grandmother

a priceless wedding moment of the groom dancing with his grandmother

Unique-Denver-Headshots

fun unique headshots

unique urban engagement pictures

unique urban engagement pictures around downtown Denver

majestic relaxing fall hike in Mt.Princeton, Colorado

majestic relaxing fall hike in Mt.Princeton, Colorado

Denver band photography around downtown

Denver band photography around downtown

fun colorful urban engagement pictures by Denver wedding photographer Nicole Nichols Photography

fun colorful urban engagement pictures by Denver wedding photographer Nicole Nichols Photography

my daughter

my daughter’s first time seeing the ocean

sunset at Puerto Vallarta

sunset through the palm trees at Puerto Vallarta

candid romantic winter engagement pictures around Denver

candid romantic winter engagement pictures around Denver

two brides wedding dresses at Denver Botanical Gardens

two brides wedding dresses at Denver Botanical Gardens

night bridal portraits at Dickens Opera House

night bridal portraits at Dickens Opera House

best 2016 wedding pictures by Denver photographer

best 2016 wedding pictures by Denver photographer

candid fun engagement pictures around Denver

candid fun engagement pictures around Denver

a wedding kiss watched by the ringboys

a wedding kiss watched by the ringboys

Halloween wedding with red dress at Villa Parker

Halloween wedding with red dress at Villa Parker

creative same sex engagement portraits in the rain

creative same sex engagement portraits in the rain

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Denver Engagement Photographer: Downtown & Sloan’s Lake

Amanda & Vince’s Engagement Pictures around Downtown Denver

fun urban engagement pictures in downtown Denver

fun urban engagement pictures in downtown Denver

Amanda & Vince had one of those rare first sight encounters.  It was the Colorado Rockies’ opening day and they were both hanging out at Jackson’s Sports Bar in downtown Denver.  Amanda remembers exactly where she was standing when she saw her future husband walk through the door.  Of course she didn’t know then that she would eventually be engaged to him, but she knew she was instantly attracted to him and had to find out who he was.  So she struck up a conversation with him, sparks started flying, and before you know it a few years down the road they are back at Jackson’s, this time taking engagement pictures together!

couple has a beer back where they first met in downtown Denver

a beer back where they first met

couple having fun playing shuffleboard

having fun playing shuffleboard at bar where they first met

fun urban engagement pictures in downtown Denver

fun urban engagement pictures in downtown Denver

After a drink and some games at Jackson’s we took a walk around the block to find some unique spots for pictures around downtown.  Even though my couples may think I’m crazy at first, I do love taking them into the alleys for some fun unique engagement pictures.  Yea it may be a little dirty and stinky, but I always find the most interesting colors and textures in the alleys around Denver.  Vince in particular wasn’t thrilled with the idea at first to do pictures in the back alley, but when they came in to view their pictures, the ones in the alley were his favorite, yea!

fun engagement pictures in downtown Denver

fun engagement pictures in downtown Denver

fun engagement pictures in downtown Denver

fun engagement pictures in downtown Denver

engagement pictures in an alley in downtown Denver

engagement pictures in an alley in downtown Denver

fun engagement pictures in downtown Denver

fun engagement pictures in downtown Denver

After taking some urban pictures around downtown we went to Sloan’s Lake to mix it up a bit and capture some more outdoorsy nature pictures.  And man was it cold!  Amanda did an amazing job looking warm in her super cute dress, but Vince certainly helped keep her warm with lots of snuggles and kisses.  I was so glad to find not only a little bit of fall color on this tree below, but also find a spot with snow on the ground, score!

picture of copule and fall romance

having some fun at Sloan’s Lake

winter romance

winter romance

engagement ring in snow

engagement ring in snow

Vince works in the electrical field so he requested I get a picture with the electrical lines behind them.   I thought he was joking at first because I will often Photoshop out electrical lines, but apparently a lot of the guys he works with have had engagement pictures even climbing up poles.  He didn’t have his climbing gear with him to go that far, but I was able to get a few shots with electrical lines for him, like this one below:

Denver-Engagement-Photographer-17

engaged couple keeping each other warm

keeping each other warm

fun romantic engagement pictures in downtown Denver

romantic engagement pictures around Sloan’s Lake

engagement pictures at Sloan

fun romantic engagement pictures at Sloan’s Lake

fine art engagement pictures at Sloan

fine art engagement pictures at Sloan’s Lake

Isn’t this couple so cute!?  I can’t wait to photograph their wedding day next year.   Thanks Amanda & Vince for trusting me to capture some amazing engagement pictures of you two!

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Stephanie Sugaski - What a sweet couple! Love that last photo!December 17, 2015 – 10:35 pm

Kristina | Kristina Lynn Photography & Design - What a fun session. I love all the different looks you got. Not often can you even get two seasons in one session ;) Nice work!December 17, 2015 – 10:06 pm

julia morgan - these are beautiful nicole! i love the variation in the settings…sweet story :) December 17, 2015 – 5:36 pm

Brianna - What a variety of shots! My favorite is the one with the two pine trees. They will treasure these engagement photos for years!December 17, 2015 – 2:32 pm

Deziree Dufresne - I adore a good meet cute story and I love that you took them back to the place where they met for photos! Great session!December 17, 2015 – 12:54 pm

Meredith - Cute! Love when a couple chooses a meaningful location for their engagement session. The Sloan’s Lake photos are awesome.December 17, 2015 – 12:51 pm

Mackenzie - I LOVE this, my husband’s and I story is almost exactly the same! Love all the variations of the outfits and places!December 17, 2015 – 12:36 pm

Colorado Engagement Photographer: Fall Aspen & Downtown Morrison

Karra & Tyler’s Engagement Picture Preview

fall aspens in Colorado engagement photography

fall romance

Weather and fall foliage is so unpredictable in Colorado.  Karra and I searched high and low for Aspen trees that still had gold leaves, and finally found this hidden spot out in Conifer.   It was definitely worth the drive as the area was gorgeous and perfect for engagement pictures.  Karra & Tyler both work a lot so it was a fun experience for them to have this time together to go on an “engagement photo date.”  Karra & Tyler are anxiously planning their wedding for summer 2016 and were excited to do their engagement pictures to start spreading the news about their wedding day!

fine art Colorado fall engagement pictures

unique engagement pictures

Black and white engagement documentary photography

Black and white engagement documentary photography

by Denver engagement photography

Colorado fall engagement pictures

Colorado fall engagement pictures, kiss on a street

Colorado fall engagement pictures

fall aspens in Colorado engagement photography

fall romance

It was raining all throughout the day and I thought we may have to postpone our photo shoot, but I’m so glad we didn’t!  Not only did the rain stop by the time we started, but we had a really cool fog hanging over the sky (see pictures below) and it stayed pretty warm for an October Colorado day.

a foggy evening in Colorado

a foggy evening in Colorado

a foggy evening in Colorado by Denver engagement

Black and white engagement documentary pictures

On our way back to Denver we stopped in downtown Morrison, one of my favorite areas for pictures.  Since Karra & Tyler are both from Colorado they loved using the licence plate wall below for pictures. There is also a river, bridge, and some unexpected unique spots for pictures through the allies.

pictures around downtown Morrison by Denver engagement photographer

pictures around downtown Morrison by Denver engagement photographer Nicole Nichols Photography

engagement ring bling

engagement ring bling

alleys are one of my favorite places to find unique photo backgrounds

alleys are one of my favorite places to find unique photo backgrounds

a romantic kiss in an alley in downtown Morrison

a romantic kiss in an alley in downtown Morrison

fall foliage with a kiss

fall foliage with a kiss

I can’t wait to photograph their wedding next summer at one of my favorite wedding venues, the historic Highlands Ranch  Mansion.

 

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Denver Wedding Photographer: Adventure, Romance, and Fun

 Audrey & Andrew’s Wedding Picture Preview

romantic first dance at night wedding

romantic first dance

Before photographing their wedding Audrey described herself and Andrew as ”Silly, Fun, & Active”  and their wedding as ”Rustic & Romantic.”   And she certainly hit the nail on the head, as their wedding day turned out to be exactly all of those things!

Audrey & Andrew got dressed and ready at the Westin Hotel in Westminster.   My second photographer and I split up to cover the wedding party getting ready and below are pictures of the bride and groom’s simple, stylish, and classy accessories.  The groom is a big fan of the Kansas City Chiefs so he wore socks with their logo on them.

bride and groom wedding details

bride and groom wedding details

groomsmen getting ready at The Westin Hotel

groomsmen getting ready at The Westin Hotel

bride gets into her wedding dress at the Westin Hotel

bride gets into her wedding dress at the Westin Hotel

Audrey and Andrew decided to do a first sight so they could get more pictures done before the wedding.  So we arranged a romantic meeting for them by this water fountain outside the Westin so they could see each other all dressed up for the first time and have a moment alone before joining their wedding party.

romantic first sight

romantic first sight

The bride and groom are big golf fans so on the way to the wedding we stopped for a little adventure at a golf course and did lots of “silly, fun, and active” pictures.  Its a little hard to get  a good golf swing in a wedding dress and veil, but they certainly had fun playing around.

fun wedding party photo on golf course

fun wedding party photo on golf course

fun wedding party photo by Denver wedding photographer Nicole Nichols Photography

fun wedding party photo by Denver wedding photographer Nicole Nichols Photography

groomsmen being silly and having fun

groomsmen being silly and having fun

Their wedding was held in the backyard of a private residence in Broomfield.  One of Audrey’s bridesmaids was kind enough to make a wall of hanging paper flowers, which added a nice romantic touch to the ceremony.

wedding by Denver wedding photographer Nicole Nichols Photography

by Denver wedding photographer Nicole Nichols Photography

Their officiant Brian Davis, did an amazing job creating a unique, sentimental, and funny ceremony for them.  I always love it when the bride and groom write their own vows, and its even better when they can get a few laughs and tears from each other and all their guests.

silly and fun wedding vows

silly and fun wedding vows

bridesmaids share flower petals

bridesmaids share flower petals

I love the reaction of the ringboys to the bride and groom’s kiss in this picture below!

picture of wedding first kiss as husband and wife

first kiss as husband and wife

A fun Colorado wedding celebration held outside

A fun Colorado wedding celebration

bride and groom kiss after wedding ceremony

one more kiss for good luck

bride and her grandmother

bride and her grandmother

romantic bride and groom portraits

romantic bride and groom portraits

unique bride and groom wedding pictures

unique bride and groom wedding pictures

 

romantic bride and groom portraits

romantic bride and groom portraits

fun bridesmaid pictures at sunset

fun bridesmaid pictures

You can’t get more rustic wedding then this!  The bride and groom’s head table was set-up in front of the fence that separated off the horses from the party.  Another unique element of their wedding day is they had a candy bar instead of the traditional wedding cake.  If you prefer candy over cutting cake, then hey why not?  It’s your party, you can do what you want to!

bride and groom laughing during toasts

enjoying a few laughs

 

bride and groom first dance

bride and groom first dance

romantic first dance

romantic first dance

wedding rings

wedding rings

Colorado outdoor night wedding

Colorado outdoor night wedding

end of the night portraits by Denver wedding photographer Nicole Nichols Photography

end of the night portraits

end of the night portraits by Denver wedding photographer Nicole Nichols Photography

romantic night pictures

One great thing about having a laid-back backyard wedding is that for the most part you can party as late as you want!  I didn’t stay till the very end but I’m so glad I captured these romantic night portraits before I left.  These turned out to be my favorite shots of the bride and groom.   It was such a fun wedding and a beautiful night that they will never forget.  Thanks again Audrey & Andrew for allowing me to document such an important day of your lives.

 

 

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Meredith - Love the golf course photos! Looks like everyone had a great time!November 19, 2015 – 11:11 pm

Ashley Kidder - They look like such a fun group! Lovely photos!November 19, 2015 – 9:41 pm

Julie - I adore the golf shots! They are so, so fun!November 19, 2015 – 9:17 pm

Erica - Such a beautiful wedding! Well done!November 19, 2015 – 9:16 pm

Jacquelyn Potter - great candid of the flower girls!November 19, 2015 – 5:54 pm

Sunshine Lump - Love this wedding! Beautifully captured!November 19, 2015 – 2:51 pm

Jennie - that golfing shot is really fun!November 19, 2015 – 2:46 pm

Michelle - Beautiful wedding! Love the colors and style.November 19, 2015 – 2:12 pm

Shayla - Beautiful! Love how bright and colorful the images are! Gorgeous wedding day!November 19, 2015 – 11:59 am

Nicole Nichols Photography - YEA, LOVE to hear that!! =)November 15, 2015 – 7:56 pm

Audrey - Could not be happier with our photos!November 15, 2015 – 12:11 pm