Northwest Arkansas Wedding and Portrait Photographer

Northwest Arkansas Wedding and Portrait Blog

Wes Ryan is a Northwest Arkansas based portrait and wedding photographer specializing in professionals, families, children and pets! Wes Ryan serves as a photographer in Fayetteville, Rogers and surrounding areas in Arkansas. Check out my photography blog, where I talk a little more in depth about my clients, the photography work I love, and an occasional portrait photography adventure.

Urban Elopement in Denver, CO

Hello, loyal readers and newcomers! I'm gonna cut right to the chase for this one. I'm givin' you the good stuff first: my favorite images from an elopement themed shoot featuring local businesses and shot in downtown Denver, at the Millennium Bridge. After that, scroll a bit further and read all the nitty gritty details about what makes this project really special to me.

As I celebrate 6 months in Denver, and one month as an *official* resident, I'm finding myself with the opportunity to redefine, or at least better define what kind of photographer I want to be. After traveling around the US (32 states) over the last 3.5 years, and looking at my body of work during that time, it's apparent to me that my style has been a reflection of my environment. I certainly have an underlying approach. From the casual eye the progress has been incremental and steady. With every new project, in every new state, I feel a shift in my 'photographic personality'. It's almost as though I'm adapting to the landscape in an anthropological way.

When in Rome... photograph like a Roman, so to speak.

That's why I decided to put together this shoot. Typically I have a meeting with clients and factor in everything we discuss, their goals, etc., and use that information to guide me. And that's easy. But I decided it was time to push my boundaries and create a shoot from scratch.

So this time, I treated myself as the client. It was actually really hard! Have you ever had to write a bio? It's exactly like that. Where do I even begin? Models. Wardrobe. Location. Props. And I'm not even doing anything that complicated. I forged on. This was my opportunity to really push my vision, using models rather than clients, in a way that comes directly from me. I can't say enough good things about Brilliant Bridal on Broadway Ave in Denver, who provided the perfect gown, or Honeycomb & Co, our florist that put together a truly unique bouquet.

Brides, here's a Pro Tip: send a photo of your dress to your florist to inspire a bouquet that compliments your style. You are in great hands with Honeycomb when you ask for a custom arrangement. 

So, models? Check. Cayla and Dan-- if you could bottle their personalities, you'd live forever. Wardrobe? Check: Brilliant Bridal fitted Cayla with a champaign gown and it was a perfect fit. We struggled with the choices because there were a lot of great options, (Brilliant Bridal's IG) but when you know, you just know. Location, Downtown. I knew from the start that I wanted an urban setting. Why? We're surrounded by mountains and nature and glorious giant rocks! Okay, sure, but that's not challenging. I can shoot the hell out of some mountains, dudes. I'm playing this one on HARD!

And of course, the props. I have to say, not only did Honeycomb come up with a fantastic bouquet, but it was just as good, if not better, than anything they've posted on their IG account. Instagram can make some things look better than real life. Trust me when I say they don't need no filters.

For this project, I chose the elopement theme because all couples who elope conclude the same thing: your family never changes. You might live in 10 different states before you 'settle down' and maybe you'll never stop roaming. But you have each other, and that's home. Where you have love. Where you can be still and never have to dig deep for peace. That's it-- a feeling, not a place. 

And how I've evolved over the last few years, arriving at a style that I'm comfortable with. I saw so many beautiful places and faces, but Denver and I get along so well that I'm not just home in the residential sense, but of where and how I want to be a photographer. And it's not because it's Denver (although this place is frickin' awesome), it's because I simply reached that milestone. It was time. It was right. Okay, so it's an emotional topic. Might be getting a little verklempt here. My point is, I think sometimes you just know.

I still shoot weddings and other assignments out-of-state, but my photography business is now a static enterprise in one location, Denver, and I'm focused on building and maintaining my Colorado network. My friends have already gone from asking where I am these days to when they can visit. And I love that. I love being home.

Whether you have a 300+ guest list with a dozen vendors or it's just the two of you at the court house, your wedding is something you carry with you. And that's what kind of photographer I want to be. Those are the kind of photos I want to take. Images that go with you.

If you think we might be a good photographer/client fit, please reach out to me. I'd love to see if I'm available on the date you need me, and talk about how we can create some images together.

You can jump over to my contact page, e-mail me, or give me a call

If you're still shopping around, please take a look at the amazing shops that contributed to this project, just below. If you're so inclined, don't be afraid to tell them that Wes Ryan sent ya. 

A special thanks to my models, Cayla and Dan, the pair of funny, loving and beautiful people who graced my lens and were instrumental in helping me with this project. Fun fact: They're both Denver photographers! Click those links and give their Instagram accounts some love :)