The Universe Is Always On Our Side

“Hey, have you ever had any yoga portraits taken, Sarah?” I inquired one day after she lead a butt-kicking yoga class. With a big smile, “I have thought about it, but not yet…” Sarah responded.

When I asked if she would be interested in a yoga portrait shoot, Sarah jumped at the opportunity and we agreed that we would have an absolute blast. You see, Sarah Shafer is one of those people will incredible energy, full of life and laughter, and I was absolutely stoked to get the chance to photograph her beautiful yoga practice.

Over the next few weeks we tried to get a time set, but for one reason or another, challenge after challenge kept preventing our shoot. Eventually we got the date set for a Friday afternoon portrait session, outdoors in a wheat field, with the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains as the backdrop, and I couldn’t wait to get out there.

Two days before the session I checked the forecast and was horrified when I saw that there was a 70% chance of thunderstorms for Friday… surely, after all the time spent to get to this week, the universe wouldn’t shut us out. Friday afternoon came, and when I looked out the window towards our location, all I saw were rain clouds as dark and ominous as any I had seen. At that exact moment I got a message from Sarah, “Should we go for it? It looks pretty nasty outside, but I’m game if you are!”

There was no way we weren’t doing this and we decided to take the adventure, against the odds, and figured that if nothing else, we could always just go have a glass of wine. Driving to the spot was rainy, windy, and I think even a bit of hail dropped from the sky; the universe was trying to scare us away, but we pressed on, and I could not be happier that we did!

Knowing this was an outdoor shoot and that we wanted to be shooting right at “golden hour,” we had scheduled some buffer time, which I have learned is always crucial for success. It drizzled on us for 30 minutes or so, then all of a sudden the atmosphere decided to cooperate and the weather moved away. Over the next 45 minutes, the sky kept getting better, provided a vibrant double rainbow, and culminated with one of the most amazing sunsets that I have seen in Colorado.

So glad we didn’t cancel that day… I hope you enjoy some of the shots from Sarah’s yoga portrait session and that Friday adventure.

For more information on a Yoga Portrait Session of your practice, contact www.matthewbe.com. Continue reading

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Summit Adventure Photography Workshop

I’ve been having a blast at the Adventure Photography Workshop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the last couple days and am super excited to have another 4 days of this intensive, on-site photography shoot. This week is a mix of classroom learning during the day and photo shoots in the morning and evenings. This workshop is focused on Adventure Photography for both commercial and editorial purposes and there are no better instructors for these than the editors and photographers that are here on site, absolutely world class including the Senior Photo Editor for National Geographic, and several Nat Geo photographers. Pretty awesome to learn from these people. So far we’ve completed the mountain biking, trail running and yoga photo shoots and here are some samples of my work so far. 

Also, please be sure to check out the awesome folks who make this possible at Clarkson Creative: 

http://www.photographyatthesummit.com/workshops/adventure/

http://www.clarkson-creative.com/

Here are some shots from yesterday: 

Yogi in the garden.

Yogi in the garden.

Trail runner in Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Trail runner in Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Trail runner in Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Trail runner in Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Trail runner in Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Mountain biker taking a break from riding the trail and jumping in beautiful sunrise light.

Mountain biker taking a break from riding the trail and jumping in beautiful sunrise light.

Mountain biker riding the trail and jumping in beautiful sunrise light.

Mountain biker riding the trail and jumping in beautiful sunrise light.

I’ll post another update as the week progresses!

Happy Trails, 

Matthew

New Toys For A Weekend Of Fun

I’ve always been the instant gratification type. I typically don’t like to wait around for something that I’ve ordered; if I’ve paid for it, I want to be able to play with it… now! In fact, I rarely purchase items online if I can find them locally, for this reason. However there are times when it’s necessary and I had been wanting a lens that isn’t very common, and I reluctantly placed the order online. So when my new wide angle lens, the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, arrived last Friday, I couldn’t wait to get it out in the field and play with it. This isn’t a review of the lens (if you would to read on the specs, click over to B&H here), but rather a quick entry on a fun weekend, filled with laughter, camping, stars and night photography with my new lens.

 

A photographers best friend is light, so photographing night scenes comes with a few special challenges as there is very low light available. But the rewards are often great, with beautiful shots of the moon, stars and milky way. There are a few rules that must be followed, and I won’t bore you with those, but with this 14mm f/2.8 lens and an exposure time of 30 seconds, I did manage to get a few shots that I enjoy. I only had a few minutes to shoot the stars as the moon came out pretty early which made all but the brightest stars disappear, so I cannot wait to get back out and set up some additional scenes. But I wanted to share what I was able to capture so far! I hope you enjoy these.

 

 

Have a great start to your week!

Namaste,

Matthew

QUANDARY PEAK WINTER 14er ADVENTURE WEDDING, BRECKENRIDGE COLORADO

As an adventure photographer, I never know what request may come my way. I was recently honored when a friend asked if I would be interested in photographing her wedding on top of Quandary Peak, the 13th highest mountain in the State of Colorado. This mountain is one of the 53 peaks in Colorado that reach above 14,000ft, referred to as a 14er (if you would like to read more on 14ers, check out 14ers.com). While I frequent these mountains during the summer climbing season, I’ve never stood on the summit in winter, and for good reason, as they can be substantially more challenging in winter. Having said that, it had been a goal of mine to climb a 14er in winter for quite some time, and I jumped at the opportunity. This wedding was among the most challenging shoots I’ve had, and I’m so happy that I was able to document it.

The alarm went off at 5AM on a cold Wednesday morning in Breckenridge, Colorado where I got dressed in multiple layers, and stuffed a backpack full of food and photography equipment. I left the hotel to reach the trailhead by 6AM in order to meet up with the lovely couple, Marya and Nick, their friends Matt and Amy, and our guide/officiant for the wedding, Leslie Ross of Summit Celebrants. As we started the long hike, we could not have asked for a more perfect morning as we were blessed with beautiful skies above, relatively mild temperatures (by winter standards in the mountains) and no wind.

The Hike up Quandary Begins

Marya and Nick Ready for Quandary

One of the amazing things about the Rocky Mountains (and any mountain for that matter) is how they create their own weather, and manage to change it almost immediately. I like to call them moody, and you always want to climb when they are happy! This day was no different, and in a matter of minutes our beautiful calm morning evolved into a winter storm complete with snow, wind and white-out conditions. I’ve often said that mountains will fight to get in your head and try to talk you into turning around before reaching the summit. But this day was different; it’s as if the mountain was challenging Marya and Nick, testing their resilience and commitment to one another as a final assessment before they united in marriage. I wondered for a little while if we’d make it.

Panoramic of Quandary

However, these thoughts were never more than a simple flash in my mind. Every time one came along, I looked around and saw the smiles on both Marya and Nicks’ faces. While I may have worried a bit they were having the time of their life!

Before I knew it, we were approaching 14,000ft, and one of my favorite shots of the day set up naturally when Marya and Nick were climbing above me and stopped, facing one another to take a break, with Nick about 30ft above Marya. It is a shot that, if posed, would never look right. However, it set up naturally in a moment that spoke perfectly to why we were on Quandary Peak that day. Marya and Nick were hiking the same trail, it was the final push to the summit, the air was thin and it took a lot of effort, but the goal made it worthwhile. For me, it tells the story of this adventurous couple who had chosen to hike together for the rest of their lives, face obstacles together, and to jointly overcome the challenges to reach the summit. The story it tells made me fall in love with this photo.

Marya and Nick on Quandary

Shortly thereafter we reached the 14,265ft summit of Quandary Peak, and as we did, the snow lightened up to nothing but a few flurries, the clouds lifted slightly to beautiful views and the wind became (somewhat) more manageable. It’s as if the once challenging mountains were now welcoming Marya and Nick to married life with a break in the weather.

View from Quandary

Our Summit Celebrant, Leslie Ross, married Marya and Nick in a beautiful ceremony. If you are interested in an outdoor adventure wedding, definitely check out her website at www.summitcelebrant.com, or send her an email, leslie@summitcelebrant.com. This wedding wouldn’t have been the same without her.

Wedding Vows on Quandary

Just Married on Quandary

Of course now it was time to party, but first we had to descend back down the mountain.   Right as we began the down-climb, the wind howled again. I like to think that the mountain was celebrating with us and yelling congratulations and good luck!

Back at the trailhead, the champagne cork was popped, and the celebration continued with laughter, smiles, friendship, and of course, the happiness that spilled from the newlyweds.

Cheers to Wedding on Quandary

It’s always fun to share life events with people, and I was truly honored that Marya and Nick wanted to involve me in their adventure wedding.   Adventure photography is about photographing challenging experiences of any kind, and this hike up Quandary Peak in the winter was no different- it was a ton of fun with some excellent shots, good friends, and overall temperamental winter weather.

Happy Trails everyone!

 

 

 

Greetings from MatthewBE Photography!

Chevron-Logo-Stacked-background

Three years ago I posed a question to several friends and asked what they thought I should do as a career as I had been growing increasingly bored in corporate America. Not really to much surprise, most people said photographer. I wrote a blog about this (not that far down) called Looking Forward, where I talked a little about my love of photography and how I hadn’t ever given it much thought as a career, among some other topics. Over these past years, I’ve been slowly working on a career change and am finally getting all the ducks in a row. I couldn’t be happier to introduce you to Matthewbe Photography!

Matthewbe Photography is an adventure photography studio based in Denver, Colorado that travels with you to capture your lifestyle. Whether your adventure is in the great outdoors, the yoga studio or just an active lifestyle in the city, Matthewbe Photography is here to document your unique place in this world. The essence of YOU and your place in this amazing world. (Of course if you want portraits inside, we can work that out too!)

For more information on Matthewbe Photography, please click on over to www.matthewbe.com, or if you found this post from the blog link, thanks for checking out my page. Feel free to email me directly at matthew@matthewbe.com or send me your information via the contact page on the website, I’d love to hear from you! Stay tuned for upcoming posts that I will release that dive into the details of my new business directly. 

Looking forward to getting into the field with you and documenting adventure, your way. 

Happy Trails and Namaste, 

Matthew

Happy Holidays?

Wow, I just realized that I haven’t blogged in AGES. So much has happened since Thanksgiving and now we are already over 2 weeks into 2012. Because it’s been so long, I have a couple different topics to cover so bear with me but I hope you all had a great holiday season! 

While on the subject of holidays- did anyone have a white Christmas this year because the lack of snow across the country is kind of insane. Granted winter 2011 proved to be among the snowiest seasons ever, but 2012 is pretty much a draught. South Lake Tahoe has received NOTHING all season- unbelievable! I was snowshoeing in Colorado for New Years- let me correct that, I tried to snowshoe, but ended up not needing any sort of floatation for walking on the snow. What is on the ground is hard packed. Many resorts around the nation are only partially open for skiers, and while the snowiest time of the year is still to come, it’s still concerning. 

If you are interested, click here to check out the 5 Most Snow-Starved Locations in the country according to weather.com.  

Even without tons of snow, temperatures were cold on New Years, and I absolutely love the mountains, so a trip there is always worth it! I’ll post from photos from the trip shortly, I hope you enjoy.  

(for a completely new train of thought)

Ok, so lately I have been pondering the topic of long distance relationships. It is no secret that the internet has made the planet a much smaller place and dating is no exception to the modern world. Like many other 20something singles, I subscribe to match.com and recently I have met someone who seems amazing. Great conversation, ridiculous amounts of interests in common, attractive, personable, I could go on… the only thing, not local. Not only out of town, but out of state. So, I guess I have pondering to do… have you had an experience with a long distance relationship? Challenges? Any benefits to starting out long distance that you can think of? I sure would be interested to hear from others. 

 Hopefully I’ll have more time now that the new year is settling in to blog more often. 

As always, 

Namaste, Matthew

 

TCU Frogs for the Cure Video

In 2005, while still a student at TCU, I went to a football game against BYU with my grandparents. It was the first Frogs for the Cure event in which all TCU fans wore pink to the football game instead of purple in support of breast cancer survivors and in loving memory of those whose lives have been taken by this terrible disease.

At the time, I was very proud that my university took such a strong stand in support of breast cancer, and Susan G Komen. It became very real a couple of years later when my grandmother was diagnosed. Every time I think about TCU and everything they do to support the Horned Frog community, the city of Fort Worth and the nation, it brings tears to my eyes. TCU was supporting my family as well. Survivors are asked to come join others on the field every year at halftime in the shape of the pink ribbon.

That original event has turned into a major event that spans several sports and includes year-round activities.

Now, TCU is looking for your help to raise awareness. If the YouTube video reaches 100,000 views then the Frogs 4 the Cure will get to the Today Show to talk about how other universities can do the same.

We appreciate your help!

Matthew