nick & surya, basalt, CO

This is a story impossible to tell.

You had to be there.

It’s as simple as that.

No photos or words in the world can describe the awesomeness of this day, this night, these people.

Nick and Surya.

“We are having a fun, vintagey picnic style wedding on a mountain in Colorado with BBQ ribs and tons of beer.  It just seems like your style would be an amazing fit.”

I received that email in September last year and even though Nick and Surya thought I was based in Brisbane, California and not Brisbane, Australia, we worked it out.

Because this was meant to be.

Fast forward to the end of July and I’m driving up from Denver to Aspen, nervous but also happy and excited. I love what I do. As some of you know this is my second career, my fallback plan and it has changed my life profoundly. You all have made me a better man. People like Nick and Surya. And people like Erik, who flew up from Texas to shoot this wedding together with me. Erik is in my opinion one of the best wedding photographers in the US, so having him there with me meant more than you can imagine. Add the amazingness of Beth, the wedding planner and you have a day to remember forever.

I don’t know how to best describe this wedding, all I know is that I have met people I hope to stay in touch with for the rest of my life, so instead I’ll leave you with the song “Love Is A Big Deal” that Surya’s sister Miya performed for Nick and Surya’s first dance (iTunes). And also what Garland, celebrant and BFF, said at the beginning of the ceremony.

True love truly is a big deal.

“First, a word.
 
This is a celebration.  This is not a sit on your hands, wait for it to be over, wondering what the readings mean wedding.  This is a stand up and cheer wedding.  This is a clap your hand joyous wedding.  This is a day that you are a part of because you are awesome people and this is an awesome couple.  and we’re to hoot and holler about that.  So please feel free to be as joyful and raucous as you’d like.  in fact, it is encouraged.
 
That being said, a thank you is in order.  Thank you for being here.  Thank you for the miles you have traveled and for making the choice to come today to celebrate.  To support.
 
To love.
 
Your presence here is not taken lightly.  You were invited to bear witness to this day because you are an integral part of this story.  You are family, you are friends.  You were there in those first months.  You saw the glimmer.  The spark in their eyes as they spoke of the other.  “this is the one” they said.  And over a glass of wine.  Or on a cross country phone call.   Or an email from a world away.  You said “yes. And I couldn’t be happier for you.””
 

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Designer & Planning: Beth Helmstetter Events
Videography: Brian Morrow from Flash Dance
Florals: Flower House
Lighting & Entertainment: Platinum Productions
Screen Printing: Indy Ink

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COMMENTS Expand -
  1. This is pure beauty….whenever I am lost when I want to take pictures, I always returned to this..here…this particular event that you have captured….thank you for such inspiring pictures….

  2. i’m tearing and i don’t even know these people. your writing anchors the photos and your photos show us the words. do you ever get tired of compliments?

  3. I am in awe. My eyes watered reading your introduction to this beautiful couple’s wedding, and the tears spilled over looking at the stunning photos. Your talent is unrivaled. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I can’t remember whether I ever commented on this post or not. I do remember though this was the first wedding I’d seen of yours JP, it floored me then and still does. Crazy good man.

  5. llevo viendo post de tus fotografías de boda así como 2 horas y voy a seguir un ratito más porque no quiero perderme ni una! qué gran trabajo, por dios!!!

  6. Amazing light. Just like everyone else already said.what a stunning image….the quality of light is outstanding and she’s framed perfectly between the trees. Awesome

  7. I simply do not have words to express the wonderful images that you have captured. You are very inspiring :D

  8. By far the best wedding album I’ve ever had the pleasure to look at. There’s just no comparison, and no doubt the fact that the wedding in itself was so original and fun added to the “wow factor”. You’re an amazingly gifted photographer, Jonas. Congratulations, in particular to the many awards you’ve won already during 2012. Keep up the good work.

    Warm Regards
    from beautiful Mexico City

  9. Greetings from Uruguay, amazing photos (loved them all!)… I wish I could take pictures like you, beautiful and fresh. Congrats!

  10. Jonas – great work as always. Absolutely captivating! Oh and Surya…those shoes! Those beautiful orange shoes! I am in love. I would love to know where you got them! :)

  11. Wahouhhhh!!
    I’m french, sorry for my english.
    I love your photos.
    I would like to know Which is the necklace of the bride because I loveeeee!!!!
    How to contact the bride to have this piece of information?
    Thanks thanks thanks!!!
    Bravo for your work
    Cécile

  12. Hi there,
    I absolutely adore your photography and I saw you traveled to many places around the world but I was wondering if you would ever travel to England to do a wedding here? And if so, how much would the basic package be that we’d pay? No date set yet just inquiring about prices so we can start saving. hope to hear from you soon!
    Ellie

  13. Hi.. Do you happen to know where that true love sign came from? I am dying to find one! Thanks:)!

  14. Amazing work…you have captured their day in a way that I feel I was right there joining in the celebration…love their attitude on life and your view in capturing it :)

  15. when u see what won this years AIPP and then check out this website, you can be forgiven for being conflicted and confused…..great natural style!

  16. que belleza de BODA!!!!!!!! de pelicula!!! y que bien captados los momentos!!!!!! son increibles tus fotos!!!! felicitaciones!!!!!

  17. Fantastiska bilder! Jag är mycket imponerad. Det är väldigt kul att gå in på din blog lite nu och då och bli inspirerad av ett riktigt proffs!

  18. Wow. Not only do I want to be best friends with the bride and groom – I want to kiss the photographer – this is simply beautiful and makes me smile and tear up at the same time!

  19. So very very beautiful. One of the best sets of wedding pictures I have ever seen I think. You are clearly very very talented.

  20. UNDERBART! Igen! Och jag är SÅ glad för den andra chansen på seminariet i Göteborg nästa vecka!! Åker från Skåne lite tidigare än planerat, via Götet och sen hem till Sthlm. Men det passar bra att avsluta semestern med en västkuststrip! :D

  21. Hej Jonas.
    Dina bilder inspirerar mig otroligt mycket just av den anledning att det går rakt igenom hjärtat. Det är få fotografer som lyckas få till bilder med samma känsla, närvaro och helhet som du får. Jag fotar mycket själv och liksom du försöker jag skapa mitt egna fotostil.

    Tack för dessa fantastiska minuter.

  22. Perhaps the best wedding album I’ve ever seen. They look so relaxed and having fun. Truly a celebration about the couple and their friends, not about the wedding as a process.

    If you don’t mind my asking, what lenses did you shoot with? Looks like quite a few were taken with a wide angle, ~24-28mm??

    Stunning.

  23. i’ve never seen such wonderful moments captured so beautifully. You’re pictures are unlike anything i’ve ever seen. I have to fight back tears when I look at them because they are so beautiful. Every wedding you shoot is like a fairy tale and every picture is so perfect because they are so real and in the moment. They make me hope I will find true love one day!

  24. Jag har inte besökt din blogg på ett tag nu, men en vän länkade så studsade självklart in här. Jag har aldrig tidigare rörts till tårar av bröllopsbilder. Dina har varit nära, men de här… är fantastiska. Det är en sån känsla, en helhet och även om jag missar de ord som sägs så är jag ändå där, orden behöver inte sägas.

    Du har helt enkelt fångat känslan. Underbart gjort. Du är grym och en av mina främsta förebilder.

    Ha en toppendag och ta åt dig varenda kommentar här!

  25. Fan va bra foton du tar, blir fast så fort jag ser bilderna!:)
    Keep up the good work.

    /N

  26. I was just tearing up at my desk and thought where was here 3 years ago. I am enraptured in your photos and thought process, fan for life!

    Annette

  27. Dude. I found you after reading through American Photo’s top 10. This is stunning, truly inspirational imagery that makes me want to pick up my camera and try harder. Unbelievably mindblowing work my friend. Congrats on making the top 10… you definitely deserve every ounce of it.

  28. Hi there! Your pictures are absolutely stunning! This wedding is exceptionally beautiful. Im not getting married any time soon, well at least for the next couple years. Just wanted to know if you ever come to Canada? =)

  29. I’m a photographer too and I need to say that is the most incredible wedding photos that I ever seen!
    Your work is awesome!!

  30. Beautiful photos… You wouldn’t happen to know who designed her dress do you? It’s gorgeous!

  31. I don’t cry, because it’s for wussies. I cried after viewing this and couldn’t stop. Your work is pure perfection and beauty entangled in the life of those you capture. So gorgeous!!

  32. These wonderful beautiful photos made me cry of happiness. And I don’t even know the couple! Fantastic!

  33. Fantástico! o seu trabalho é a essencia da palavra “insight” …ato ou resultado de aprender a verdadeira natureza das coisas, enxergar intuitivamente.

    espero um dia fotografar assim.

    Abraço!

  34. This made me want to get married tomorrow.
    By far the most beautiful pictures I have seen in my life
    and I have seen my fair share as I do this whole “look at wedding blogs” thing alot.
    LOVED every photo.
    :)

  35. I am truly blown away, Jonas. My mom has been shooting weddings for 20 years now. She is very good. But, damn dude. This is top notch! What is your primary rig?

  36. I am blown away. My mom has been shooting weddings for about 20 years. She is very good. But, damn dude. This is top notch. What is your main equipment setup?

  37. Great, love your work Jonas! The Tilt and Shift work is lovely! These weddings are very stylised, they must be a joy to photograph! I shot a wedding in your native Sweden at Kalmar earlier this year, check it out :)

  38. this is your calling in life. keep telling the stories. thanks for sharing. it’s beautiful.

  39. omg jonas, you are one clever cookie. how you manage to capture such beauty and joy is still utterly beyond me. i feel like i know these peeps and have been a part of the happiest day of their lives. THAT is a big deal.

  40. I have never seen anything so beautiful in my life as these photographs.
    You can feel the joy just by seeing them.

  41. Jonas, I just had tears in my eyes looking at your beautiful work. What a fantastic story you have put together about this couple and their special day. Really wonderful work.

  42. Tror inte att jag gråtit av foton tidigare men jag hoppas jag har råd att hyra in dig som bröllopsfotograf den dagen jag gifter mig. Vackert.

  43. Den vackra låten ihop med de fantastiska bilderna fick mig att gråta, på riktigt.
    Så äkta, känslorna och stämningen går rakt igenom bilderna.

  44. I need NEEED to win/earn/steel some money cos I want WAAANT you to shoot our wedding!! I actually found it hard to watch some of your shots because they move me too much! Fantastic!!

  45. OH.MY.GOD! I’m speechles. I really dont know what to say. All I can say is that I’m proud to come from the same “stadsdel” in Gotheburg as you. Haha. Kind of. This ia a work of genius, more than so – this is magic.

  46. The pictures are incredible, love every single on of them. And the short dress of the bride is the best dress I have seen in a long time. Sooo cool!!
    Thanks so much for sharing, wonderful!!
    Viele Gruesse, Kristina

  47. You know, I read your blog. And I follow you on the twitters. And aside from being extremely talented, in a style that is completely your own, I think you have the best attitude in the biz. It’s no wonder people hire you from half a world away.

  48. it’s crazy to me that while scrolling through these photos i felt as though i was right there along with them, completely immersed in such profound love, joy and magic of that day. no other wedding photo i’ve seen has EVER brought me to that place, so thank you so so much for sharing these with us! it’s a testament to how extremely talented you are.

  49. This wedding makes me a little breathless, as if i was there. If I could ‘have’ someone elses wedding, this would be the one. Beautiful wedding and beautifully captured.

  50. Seriously crazy amazing! I get so much inspiration from your images! This is such a beautiful wedding and you have captured it so well.

  51. I probably looked at this post 20 times before I could find words for it. It is flat out beautiful in every way Jonas. I am inspired both by your photos and their obvious love for each other. A perfect match for sure.

  52. you are amazing, beyond words… this wedding and the photographs are so magical. and what’s almost as magical: the time it took me to scroll through these pictures was the exact length of the song. it stopped playing as soon as i got to the last picture :)

  53. Helt makalösa! Vilket underbart bröllop det verkar varit, och du har överträffat dig själv!

  54. Holy moly you are taking wedding to a whole new level…you’ve clearly been busy! It takes a lot these days for me to look twice at a wedding, and this one definitely caught me on the fly…amazing, and so so cool! i bet they loved these images.

  55. Even though I had a great photographer for our wedding, your shots make me kick myself every time I see them for not knowing of your skills when I was choosing for my own special day….you truely are inspired and inspiring.

  56. Jonas, you absolutely rocked this wedding! Simply gorgeous! Beth did a fabulous job as coordinator. It was wonderful meeting you that day.

  57. You’re ridiculous. Those pictures… That wedding… Beautiful doesn’t seem to cover it, nor amazing. So I guess I’m at a loss for words. But, man, do I feel the love.

  58. Tror jag säljer allt och drar med “Amerikat-båten” efter att sett dessa bilder!!! Du kan verkligen fånga ögonblick, känslor, färger och mycket mera som inte går att beskriva i ord.

  59. Om jag någonsin fotade bröllop som höll din standard skulle jag vara världens lyckligaste! Men, tills dess är jag glad att du låter oss ta del av det underbara :) Tack!

  60. Det är med stort nöje jag följer din blogg! Du är vanvettsduktig! Men i de här bröllopsbilderna har du lyckats bräcka dig själv! De är helt OUTSTANDING! Du har fångat stämningen så himla bra, jag fick tårar i ögonen själv…

  61. Wow JP! No kidding… This is easily the most comprehensive wedding on your blog, perfectly captured, composed, exposed, executed and processed! How many images is the final delivery? Thanks for sharing your awesome vision with the industry :-)

  62. Wow Jonas… just… wow. Got a little teary looking at these! Love the one with the shoes on the back of the Airstream – those clouds look like they’re rollin right out of the window!

  63. Oh, I didn’t do it all, Tenielle. I had a brilliant second shooter, Erik Clausen. He deserves half the credit.

  64. Impossible. Impossible for one person to do it all… and do it so well?! Apparently not… this is blissfully, splendidly, wonderful in every possible way.

  65. Impossible….impossible for one person to do it all….and do it so well?! But apparently not…. this is blissfully, splendidly wonderful in every possible way.

  66. Hi, Jonas. I m a long time reader, first time poster, but today I had to comment. The way you shoot weddings makes me wish I was there. Makes me wish I could have been part of all that joy. Your pictures sparkle with happiness and truth, and there is no higher prise I can think of. Thanks for sharing that with us.

  67. Found your website through Elisa’s tag on her facebook page and had to check out this wedding. Wowee, such a great concept and I LOVE THE SONG!

  68. Looking at the pictures with your choice to let us listen to the song sung for the first dance, made tears in my eyes. You have beautiful eyes for the world my friend.

  69. oh man oh man oh man! i know you already had a big feature on this fabulous wedding, but if there was a sweet music list to share or the two love birds want to gush about any of the music details, i would LOVE to have this on hi-fi weddings :)

    every single image is magical!

  70. i wish i could get married again so you can photograph my wedding. thanks for sharing this.

    who sings that song? it is amazing.

  71. i haven’t been so emotionally touched by photos in my life. you are incredible! so many techniques i’m asking ‘how did he do that?!’ but then i just realised, you know how to get into relationships and people. stunning. absolutely stunning.

  72. hi jonas, it’s me, surya’s mom. thank you for saving the magic and beauty of the day. your work brings it all back. the photo of suri waiting for nick to see her for the first time captures her from birth to that moment– breath held, hopes and dreams realized. and somehow your presence was also a part of it all. you weren’t just the photographer– you were a participant in the celebration. they loved you from the moment they found you. yup, meant to be.

  73. Really, how hard can your job be?! You get the best looking couples having the most amazing weddings to photograph…:p

  74. Between your amazing, evocative photos and those incredible opening words, I am tearing up. You are seriously something else.

  75. I looked at every image, read your words, cried (a little), and then felt glad that you are setting the bar so high for the rest of us to work to, I cant wait to see what comes next, how or if you can top this (insane thought!).

  76. Part of my morning routine is to always check the blogs I love. Everyday when I click on your link I eagerly await some fabulous new post. This morning your pictures made me cry. What a wonderful job you have and what a wonderful person you must be to be able to capture these most precious moments. It most certainly was meant to be! Thank you for sharing :)

  77. These photos are amazing, and you know how I know? Because I’m not thinking about the photos, I’m thinking about that amazing couple and how happy they look. In 100 years they are going to remember EXACTLY how they felt that day. Because of you! Awesome stuff.

  78. Your best work Jonas. The love and joy is just pouring out of every image. I could just scroll up and down and up and down and up and down. You rock.

  79. Such a nice bunch of pictures! Så stämningsladdade bilder. Känns som att du fångat känslan så in i pricken rätt. Hatten av!

    /Mattias, illustratör

  80. Jonas these are so perfect.
    beautifully shot, with more emotion held in the images than I ever thought possible.

    I love your playfulness with the evening /dancefloor photography…it looks like you had a lot of fun with it.

    Hats off to you

  81. Silverfisken, you made me cry. Again. But this was different.
    Your words, the song and the speech was wonderful.

    But this time you told a story unheard of with your pictures. The most beautiful movie I’ve ever seen played in my head when I saw the pics of the couple seeing each other for the first time before the ceremony.

    Just in time for the ceremony pictures my Spotify played the song Skin (Shine) by Ras Cricket.
    http://listen.grooveshark.com/s/Skin/2opV3P

    Ok, the song’s mainly in swedish but just as I scrolled down to the pic with the “True love is a big deal” sign, Ras sang the only line in english in the song:
    “To my inspiration and my shining star
    To my inspiration and my shining star…”.

    Epic.
    This is, by far, your best weddingstory told ever.

  82. Dude, this blog post is a big deal! Hands down, the BEST wedding I have seen blogged all year… if not ever. I mean it. Ya bloody aced it! Well done :)

  83. Man, you rocked that wedding! looking at the pictures with the tune of that song is just breathtaking. seriously!
    I wish I’d be able to take pictures like these… You make me wanna get so much better!
    And I love that sign “true love is a big deal”. I want one like this for my appartment :-)

  84. I played Miya’s song as I scrolled through these pictures and I felt completely transported. Your storytelling skills and artistry are so beautiful and unique to who you are Jonas. You really do have a gift.

  85. i’ve told you this in private and now i’m telling you openly. you are IT in wedding photography in my mind. this is EXACTLY what wedding photography should be. you are unreal.

  86. Not that you need another comment but I love viewing your work. It’s inspiring and helps encourage me to stay the course with this being my startup year.
    Thanks
    James

  87. It’s all been said, but your work, the gorgeous couple, the stellar location, the mad-about-plaid style deserves yet another congrats to everyone involved. And THAT’s the Airstream I’ve been coveting.

  88. howwwwww? seriously. so many “hows.” specifically how do you conjure sunlight AND dramatic, brooding, storm clouds in the same time? and how do you win so much?

  89. I can’t find neither english or swedish words to describe what I feel when I see these photos. It’s perfection, it’s as simple as that!

  90. Wow. I’m speechless. I’ve seen a lot of talented shots lately, but none brought a tear to my eye like your’s did.

    You have a gift.

    Continue to use it.

    Congrats.

  91. Thanks for sharing, Jonas. These photos easily put a smile on my face — but my favourite is ‘grovers01556’. I just can’t help wondering if it’s been post processed or a ‘SOOC’. I really like the effect. Hmm so I just decided. If one day I ever want to get serious about wedding photography, I will definitely visit here for inspiration…or even better, pay you to be my mentor here in Brisbane.

  92. I think this might have been the first time I have shed tears while reading a photography blog post. beautiful and full of love. great work Jonas.

  93. Ok I know I’m a children’s photographer and shouldn’t cuss. But holy fuck that’s good. Shiiiiiiz. I think I’m actually speechless.

  94. The images got progressively blurry as I looked through this post. Then I dried my eyes and they looked as they do. As good as it gets; a transcendentally beautiful day.

  95. i don’t even know what the say. it’s just so breathtakingly beautiful. the 2 that stand out immediately are the one of the bride with her mother aboutn to walk down the aisle and the close up of the groom during the ceremony. I also love how you can feel the mood change as you shift from the ceremony to the reception.

  96. Awesome. What I’d give to be inside your head for a day or two. Really great work. The shoe shot with the clouds in the window of the airstream is insane!

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