Dream Lake Elopement | Dana and Jeff | Estes Park Elopement Photographer

Dana and Jeff | Dream Lake Elopement


Savannah Chandler Photography | Estes Park Elopement Photographer





Dana and Jeff have had quite the adventure to get to where they are in life… over 20 years and 2 kids of history.  When they made the decision to recommit themselves to one another, they headed out to Colorado to elope in Estes Park.  We stopped on the side of the road to say their vows (as you’re not allowed to say vows in Rocky Mountain National Park outside of their designated sites: which can be found here).  Once they said their vows are were once again Man and Wife – we headed up to the Dream Lake trailhead to hike and take couple’s portraits.

Dream Lake is an amazing hike for those coming into Colorado from out of state, or for couples wanting to hike the full length in their wedding attire – as it’s 2.1 miles round trip with just under 500 feet in elevation gain.  Dana decided to hike in her amazing blue-toned gown – which gave us TONS of great opportunities to stop for portraits!  As we turned the corner on the approach to Dream Lake, there was an Elk just hanging out right along the trail.  I always love (safely) encountering animals on elopements – it’s such a fun, thrilling experience.

Once the light dropped behind Hallett Peak, we headed back down the mountain and drove up Trail Ridge Road to catch the sunset up on the Ute Trail.  Along this hiking trail that goes on for what seems like forever, you can see Longs Peak alongside the Never Summer range – it’s one of my favorite alpine areas to photograph at.  We made it to the trail JUST as the sun was kissing Longs with alpenglow, and stayed until all the light disappeared.  To cap off the night, my second shooter (the amazing Amanda) and I were out on the trail, and heard some bugling.  We looked up to see a herd of Elk RUNNING right at us.  Needless to say, we boogied to the car and watched them barrel across the road.  It was the perfect ending to an amazing elopement.


Thank you, Dana and Jeff for adventuring to Dream Lake for your elopement.  It was truly a fantastic afternoon.







Savannah Chandler Photography | Based in Denver, Colorado | Available for Travel Worldwide
Colorado Wedding Photographer | Estes Park Elopement Photographer

Servicing the Rocky Mountains and Beyond
Keystone | Durango | Telluride | Dillon | Steamboat | Ouray | Breckenridge | Granby | Estes Park | Vail | Larkspur | Vail | Buena Vista

Keystone Wedding Photographer | Maddie and Braton | Alpenglow Stube Wedding

Maddie and Braton | Alpenglow Stube Wedding

Savannah Chandler Photography | Keystone Wedding Photographer

Colorado be crazy.

This year has been especially interesting for weather – as the summer had quite a cold start.  The temperatures didn’t rise into the 90’s until July.  On June 22, 2019 – Maddie and Braton were married on Keystone Mountain.  Just following the summer solstice, they had their wedding on the first official day of summer.  We had been watching the weather report the weeks leading up to the wedding day, and knew that we’d be heading up in the mountain with storms approaching.  In true Colorado fashion, the clouds opened up and a massive storm approached the mountain.  Starting with rain and a thunderstorm, the skies turned a deep blue.  After a small clearing of nice weather, the snow came in.  The forecast was for 8-12 inches, and I’m sure we ended up hitting at least 8″ by the end of the evening.  A massive summer snow had hit for the first time in nearly a decade.

Maddie and Braton decided to hold their ceremony inside, as the temperatures kept dropping and the snow kept falling.  We had a few breaks of time waiting on the gondolas to begin running again, and they were absolute troopers and headed out into the freezing wind for portraits.  I’m sure it’s no secret, but I’m a sucker for dramatic skies.  I love capturing all the elements that go along with hosting a mountain wedding… and Maddie and Braton’s Keystone wedding was certainly a perfect day to capture the beautifully chaotic weather.

Following their ceremony, we all headed up the second gondola to the Alpenglow Stube for their reception.  The night was full of love, laughter, and many happy tears.

Thank you for inviting me to celebrate with you and your loved ones – it was truly a spectacular day.





Venue: Alpenglow Stube with Keystone Weddings
Wedding Planner: Distinctive Mountain Events
Hair and Makeup: Keystone Lodge and Spa
Florals: Garden of Eden



Savannah Chandler Photography | Keystone Wedding Photographer
Based in Denver, Colorado | Available for Travel Worldwide
Photographing in the Rocky Mountains and Beyond
Keystone | Breckenridge | Telluride | Ouray | Estes Park | Larkspur | Vail | Buena Vista | Steamboat Springs | Allenspark


Vail Engagement Photographer | Jena and Taylor | Vail Wildflower Engagement

Jena and Taylor | Vail Engagement




Savannah Chandler Photography | Vail Wedding Photographer


For their engagement session, Jena and Taylor wanted to fly into Colorado from Texas and capture the feel of the mountains.  We planned for a weekend in early June, however, this year has been absolutely nuts with the amount of snow still up on our mountains.  Once we looked up the road conditions for our original spot of Shrine Pass and saw that there was still nearly FIVE FEET of snow, we postponed until mind July.  Fast forward roughly 6 weeks – we looked up the road to Shrine Pass to photograph on July 13… it was still closed.  Washout.  All the snow we got is wrecking havoc on our high mountain roads.  Doing what I love to do – I got in my car and went around scouting for a fantastic mountain location.  Boy oh boy am I glad that Shrine was closed ;).  Just outside of Vail, I found this amazing trail that overlooks the entire Gore mountain range, and was covered in wildflowers.  Flowers taller than me.  Fields of columbines.  Lupines knee high.  The snow had also brought about amazing flowers after the massive melt.


On the evening of our session, I met Jena and Taylor up at the trailhead to start hiking for our session.  We hiked up for roughly a mile, and tried to duck in and out of the trees for the oncoming rain and storms.   The weather report looked somewhat iffy, but not awful.  You could clearly see in the sky that somewhere to the West, the rain was pouring down.  Just our luck, we were right on the outskirts of the storm and only experienced tiny stints of rain on and off.


We began up on the mountain, looking to the Gore Mountain range with flowers lining the trail.  There was no bad view in any direction – we made our way down the mountain photographing as we went.  I knew there was a field of tall wildflowers (which I can NOT seem to find the name of, let me know if you can identify them!), we stopped in the field before heading fully down the mountain for “sunset”.  They skies were still mostly dark, but I knew I still wanted to capture what little color was in the sky in the sweeping field near the base of the trail.  I brought my dad to act as a “voice activated lightstand”, allowing me to light Jena and Taylor against the dark skies and booming mountains.

I believe that I have now found what is a new favorite photo location.  I’m super excited to go back in the fall as well to see all the aspens and ground foliage line the mountains with gold.

Thank you Jena and Taylor for adventuring with me – even if we had to be super spontaneous and we had to change outfits 3 times 😉


Seventy Image Pano Stitch!! <3.  Takes forever, but I absolutely love it.




Savannah Chandler Photography | Vail Engagement Photographer
Based in Denver, CO | Available for Travel Worldwide
Photographing in the Rocky Mountains and Beyond
Vail | Breckenridge | Keystone | Crested Butte | Telluride | Ouray | Estes Park | Winter Park | Loveland | Silverthorne | Buena Vista

Winter Park Engagement Photographer | Katie and Kerry | Winter Park Proposal and Loveland Pass Engagement

Katie and Kerry | Winter Park Proposal and Loveland Pass Engagement






Savannah Chandler Photography | Winter Park Wedding Photographer





Not too long ago, I received a message from Katie’s mom – they had been asked by their daughter’s boyfriend for her hand in marriage.  Kerry was planning to propose to Katie as soon as her custom ring made it’s way to his house in Texas.  Over the course of a week or so, I was in incognito communication with Kerry via. Katie’s mom and planning to capture their proposal.  We decided on heading up the new gondola at Winter Park resort, where Kerry would propose at the top of the mountain.  A while ago, they had visited Winter Park and had photographs taken up on the top of Sunspot.

Finally, June 28th came.  I headed up the hills on what was a lovely afternoon.  I headed up the Zephyr express to 10,708 feet on Sunspot mountain.  Once I saw Kerry and Katie head to the Southern facing outlook on the Outhouse Ski Run – I knew it wouldn’t be long before he popped the question.  Hanging back as far as I could to stay out of sight – I waited for Kerry to drop to a knee in front of the Indian Peaks mountains in the background.

She said YES!  Once the shock and adrenaline began to wear off – we wandered around Sunspot for a few minutes to get some images.  Katie described how she had a dream that Kerry had proposed – but in the dream the ring was a literal rock and a paperclip.  When Kerry proposed, he first pulled out a homemade ring – a rock in a paperclip and proclaimed that Katie had always dreamed this was how he’d propose.  He spent that morning making a ring to fit the description of the “dream ring”, to be followed by her actual dream ring.

After we headed back down the Zephyr (and stopped by Starbucks to get “Fiancee” written on Katie’s cup), we parted ways for the evening.  Katie’s mom had also set up a full engagement session a few days later, just before Kerry was set to leave for a Military base.  On the following Tuesday, we met up at Pass Lake on Loveland Pass.  This year has been quite interesting with the snow pack – the lake was still 75% frozen on July 2.  Being the troopers that they are, Katie and Kerry ventured into the snow and muck to get good photos.

The whole evening, a thunderstorm was in the forecast.  Being totally above treeline at 11,991 feet, we made sure to keep our radar on all evening for any approaching lightening strikes.  To our advantage, the storms didn’t come but did bring some stunning clouds and light our way.  To end our evening, we were greeted with a stunning Alpenglow on the East Wall of Arapahoe Basin followed by colorful Colorado clouds over the Continental Divide.

I wish you all the best, Katie and Kerry.  Thank you for adventuring with me.  You are both such happy people – and so in love.







Savannah Chandler Photography | Colorado Wedding Photographer | Colorado Proposal Photographer
Based in Denver, CO | Available for Travel Worldwide
Servicing the Rocky Mountains and Beyond
Winter Park, Arapahoe Basin, Crested Butte, Telluride, Ouray, Breckenridge, Vail, Granby, Estes Park, Alamosa

Dream Lake Engagement Photographer | Emily and Coty | Rocky Mountain National Park

Emily and Coty | Dream Lake Engagement | Rocky Mountain National Park

Savannah Chandler Photography | Estes Park Engagement Photographer





Last week, the 2:00am wake up call to head up the canyon and into Rocky Mountain National Park came a few times… twice to be exact.  On Friday, I left my house and hoped in my yellow jeep at 2:30 am to meet Emily and Coty at the Bear Lake Trailhead.  We started hiking around 4:30 to be sure that we made it to the lake before Alpenglow hit Hallett Peak.  2019 has been quite an interesting year here in Colorado – we still have a TON of snow in the high country this June.  I had read the trip reports for Dream Lake the night before, and knew we’d encounter some snow… but I was surprised at how much there truly was left.  Half of the lake was still frozen, and the trail up had a ton of icy snowpack on it.

Starting on the dirt/snow trail up to Dream Lake in the dark, we made great time and made it with more than enough time before Alpenglow hit.  As we were hiking up, you could see that the sky was incredibly clear – meaning we’d have an amazing red sky and mountain tops.  And amazing was indeed what we got.  Hallett and Flattop Peaks lit up an amazing pink and red – and stayed colored for quite some time.

While up at the lake, we walked around in the snow and climbed over rocks.  Towards the end of our time up at Dream, Emily and Coty got into the water – while I nearly fully submerged myself photographing them.  One of these days, I’ll remember to bring waders to a shoot.  One day.  Until then, I’ll continue freezing myself and getting soggy shoes 😉

Once we descended down the mountain and headed back toward Estes Park, we made a quick pit-stop at the Beaver Ponds near Moraine Valley for a few images.  Though the snow can be a pain in the rear to hike in, it sure looks majestic up on the peaks against a Blue Bird sky.

Thank you for adventuring with me, Emily and Coty, and for heading up the mountain in the dark.  I hope that you enjoyed your time here in Colorado!!













Savannah Chandler Photography | Based in Denver, Colorado | Available for Travel Worldwide
Estes Park Engagement Photographer

Serving the Rocky Mountain Region and Beyond
Keystone | Estes Park | Granby | Rocky Mountain National Park | Telluride | Ouray | Durango | Vail | Steamboat | Breckenridge | Arapahoe Basin | Winter Park | Buena Vista