A Taste of Burning Man at Apogea 2012
As I prepare to leave this weekend to take a journey to Burning Man, I decided to share some of my pictures from Colorado’s own local Burning Man regional event, Apogea. Apogea is a festival held every June in Colorado that like Burning Man, celebrates art, music, love, freedom, and creative expression.
When I’m on vacation I’m careful to choose my photography subjects carefully, as its quite refreshing to sometimes just be an active participant, and not always the photographer. However, when I heard there was going to be an aerial wedding at Apogea I couldn’t resist turning back into wedding photography mode…afterall how often do you get the change to photograph a bride on stilts and a wedding full of amazing aerial performances?! The only other time I really took my camera out the whole weekend was to capture sunset portraits and fire spinners in front of the effigy – the lit up wooden sculpture seen above created by the amazing Boulder artist, Somer.
For this burning man style wedding everything was unique from the felt flowers to the pink tutu flower children, the rainbow cupcakes, elaborate costumes, and musical performances. The bride’s father performed the intimate and funny ceremony which even included juggling. And their friends performed aerial performances for all the wedding guests. To end the ceremony it only seemed fitting that the bride & groom, whom are both aerial artists, nixed the traditional 1st dance and instead did their first aerial performance together as husband & wife.
At Apogea anything is possible, and I am thrilled to be returning this year to the event that led to its formation- Burning Man in the Nevada desert. If you have never heard of Burning Man before, open your mind, embrace true creative freedom and check it out. Its a week long non-commercial arts festival in Black Rock City, a temporary city erected by volunteers and 60,000 participants to enjoy for one week. It an experience that you really can’t begin to understand until you’ve been their yourself. For me it works out perfectly being in the middle of the wedding season. Right when I’m about to explode with print orders, album designs, and lots and lots of editing, I get to take a week long break for some much need revitalization. I personally come back every year with a new excitement for life that leaves me spiritually uplifted & mentally renewed. And allows me to finish off the wedding season with more energy and zest.
Burning Man is not your typical festival by any means. I admit the first few years I went I was afraid to tell my clients and many of my acquaintances where I was going for fear they would label me a “crazy hippie”….but Burning Man has gotten so big over the last few years that everyone seems to want to go now. The idea and culture has gotten so big that its led to the formation of many smaller local Burning Man events, not just across the U.S., but even as far as Africa & Australia! And its become so popular that tickets to Burning Man and the local regional events sell out within hours. I guess I also got over my fear of what others would think when I started to realize a good percentage of my clients were “burners” themselves! And I’ve pretty much been labeled a “freak” or “hippie” since middle school, so figured its time I just accept it and come out the closet- so Yes, I’m a “burner!” Haha, was going to link that word to a definition, but I’m happy to see that as big as Burning Man has become the term “burner” still has not entered the urban dictionary. So for my definition of a “burner,” it means I attend Burning Man festivals, wear colorful costumes, participate in random acts of kindness, dance freely in the desert, and allow my inner freak to be released amongst some of the smartest, most creative, and non-judgmental human beings I’ve ever met.
If it sounds like too much for you to handle then you’re right, stay home…I’ll have a better chance of getting a ticket again next year. =)
Above you can see the Effigy with one of the amazing fire dancers! To see more shots of this truly unique wedding and of the Apogea festival in Colorado, play the slideshow below: