My love of neutrals, Colorado, and the outdoors all came together in this couples session at the Paint Mines Interpretive Park. Ever since I had first visited the Paint Mines in the summer of 2021, I knew I had to photograph a couple there. I found Arial through her vintage thrift account on Instagram, and was immediately obsessed with her eclectic bohemian style. Her and her husband Angel seemed like they would be the perfect couple to bring my vision to life. I reached out to them to see if they would be down for some summer lovin’ in the Paint Mines and they said yes without hesitation! I explained to them how I wanted to play off the neutrals of the landscape, focusing less on what they were wearing and more on their love and connection.
We met at the Paint Mines for the session on a June evening. The sun was out and storm clouds were creeping in, creating the most beautiful mixture of light and dark texture and color. The landscape at the park, located in Calhan, Colorado is unlike any other. It is composed of a mixture of grasslands and unique geological formations formed by erosion. Oxidized iron compounds give parts of the clay the most beautiful orange and purple tones. What began as a more neutral inspired shoot, quickly became one incorporating more and more of these beautiful colors that give the Paint Mines their name.
One of my favorite parts during this Paint Mines couple session was taking some individual portraits of Arial and Angel. This is something I want to start doing more at each of my future couples’ shoots. Each year we change and grow and become someone slightly (or maybe drastically) different than we we were the year before. Portraits serve as a time stamp, a visual representation of someone at a certain point in their life. I love that when Angel and Arial look back at these images year from now, they’ll not only remember who they were as a couple, but who they were as individuals.
I hope someday I run into these two again—their love and connection is inspiring and seeing it come to life in a new place (for all of us) was absolute magic.