Best Colorado Elopement Photographer | 2020 Year in Review
Savannah Chandler | Colorado Elopement Photographer
I’m pretty sure we can all agree that this year was interesting to say the least.
January felt normal – whatever that means 🙃. I spent the front half of the month snowboarding with friends as well as Becky and Pete for their engagement session, and the back half with Emily and Jake in Granby at what would be my last wedding without masks and social distancing. My son was granted a Make-a-Wish vacation on a Disney Cruise, which we embarked on to cap off January. There was no talk of sickness, and we had such an amazing time celebrating the health of our then 5 year old boy.
February made for an amazing time. I headed out to Iceland for the fourth time on what would be my unbeknownst last International trip of the year. We traveled to the West and North of the island, seeing the amazing Northern Lights nearly every night that we were there. On March 6th, we returned to Colorado and everything changed.
The night we got back into the states, the American Administration announced the international travel ban – meaning we made it back home 24 hours before it would have been a nightmare waiting in hour long lines and rearranging flights to make it back. The airports felt normal, our flights coming back felt like any other flight. Oh, to go back to those times.
Cue the start of the world that we now know and live in. The Covid-19 era. Like many others, my family completely self isolated for 8 weeks once the stay at home orders were in effect. Before any research came out, we were unsure if my son’s immune system would be strong enough to withstand contracting Covid. We are SO fortunate to have found out from his Oncologist that he has the same immunity as other 6 year olds, and for that I am forever grateful.
Much of my spring and early summer was spent at home and hiking through Colorado’s mountains. With weddings being postponed and cancelled, elopements having to be put off into later, and even engagement sessions were off the table – I set off to see Colorado from 14,000+ feet as often as I could. I was able to hike up 13 unique 14,000+ feet peaks this year, 4 13,000 feet peaks, and countless alpine lakes. I am SO SO SO grateful to live in a state that has limitless opportunities to spend time outside and naturally distance from others. I owe my sanity to the outdoors.
Once July (finally) rolled around, weddings were permitted to begin once again. July 17th kicked off what ended up being a CRAZY timeline of photographing. To put things into perspective, I take on 15-25 weddings and elopements each year – I cap myself at 25 to make sure that I am able to give my couples 100% of myself as well as be present with my family. I had 18 weddings in 2020 that were postponed into 2021 or indefinitely. Both which are 100% understandable and my heart is with all my couples that had to make that decision. From July 17 – October 24th, I fit 24 shoots in with a few outlying shoots once November rolled around. A whole season of photographing was rolled into 10 weeks this year – including 4 trips to the San Juan mountains and 4+ trips to the Aspen area (both of which are 4-7 hours from home). No complaints – as I LOVE spending my time adventuring in the mountains with awesome people. I am, however, very excited to spend some much needed time at home with my Hubbs, Kiddo, and our 2 pups.
As I was scrolling through photos to include in my 2020 post, I kept telling myself “Oh this was the Best Wedding Ever”! Oh, and this one was too! Man, I loved hiking with them! This one, too! I had a seriously rough time narrowing down photos as not to include 1000s. I had such a great time in those 10 weeks (and all the shoots Pre-Covid and whatever we’re going to call this winter’s era… Mid-Covid??). Seriously… thank you to each and every person that invited me to celebrate with you. Weather it was just the 3 of us, or the largest party that was allowed per governance guidelines.
Some 2020 Random Facts and Highlights:
Hiking Miles: Over 300. THREE HUNDRED.
Highest Altitude: Grays Peak – 12,728′. Where Saskia proposed to Michael at sunrise!
Two Donkeys seen, pet, and oogled over at Kelsey and Steve’s Wedding
Four Women Dancing and having a blast on a 1500ft. ridgeline with no one else in sight on V2 for Maria’s 30th birthday shoot and celebration
41 MPH – Top Snowboarding Speed thus far
9 Puppers came along for shoots
Midnight – the earliest time I had to wake up to start hiking for shoots
42 lbs – the weight of my gear and backpack to hike with. Yes, it’s been weighed. Yes, I curse at the weight multiple times on the mountain.
Favorite time of Day – Sunrise.
Least Favorite time to wake up – For Sunrise.
Number of Planners bought because crossing things out ruins the aesthetic – 4
Had to buy new hiking shoes as my old ones literally had holes in the toes.
Speaking of toes – 5 toenails have been lost this year to the mountains. They’re finally all back.
3 Trips Abroad Planned that were postponed
This was my first year visiting the San Juan Mountains and Telluride. I can’t wait to go back.
Again, Thank you to all the amazing people that spent time with me this past year. I know that it was challenging for everyone, but I am SO grateful for you all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Stay Healthy, Safe, and Sane as we approach 2021
Secondary Photographers in 2020:
Nat Moore Photography
Veronica Sparks Photography
Kat D Photography
Videographer Collaborations in 2020:
Whitney Milton | Colorado Wedding Videographer
Wedding Videos Colorado
Wedding Locations and Venues in 2020:
Vail Mountain Resort
Antler Basin Ranch
The magical island of Iceland
Maroon Bells Amphitheater and Wilderness
Colorado National Monument
Wild Basin Lodge
Rocky Mountain National Park
V2 Peak and Island Lake
SkyView at Fall River
Yankee Boy Basin
Old Thompson Barn
Lionsgate Events Center