Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch Weekend

John and I had the most amazing weekend staying at the Bed and Breakfast up at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch so I felt the need to share it with all of you! The thing that surprised me the most was that we were warmly welcomed by everyone we came into contact with, and I mean everyone! The front desk staff was warm and helpful beyond means, the man who cooked and served us breakfast was delightful and talkative (which we loved), and the owner of the ranch even came over to us during breakfast and introduced herself and gave us some education on the history of the ranch. Everyone had stories to share and advise when we asked. We took a 2 hour horseback riding adventure though the mountains which was amazing and our tour guide was wonderful, giving us all sorts of information on horses (we are beginners so to my surprise he was very patient with us!). We got to see a baby cow that had just been born hours before (so cute!) and we also got to see deer, big horn sheep, and bunnies on our ride.  Have you ever seen a horse try to play with a squirrel? We did and that is funny stuff! We learned that Sylvan Dale consists of approximately 3200 acres in total! That’s huge! They locally raise free-range, grass fed beef and sell it at an affordable price (in case you’re interested its starts at only $6/lb and you dont have to buy a quarter of a cow, but if you do it goes down to about $5/lb). The owner’s parents bought the property in 1946 so its been a family run business for many years, which is one thing I really liked about it because everywhere you go you see photos of the family, a saddle that belonged to their parents, a cook book of Tillie’s recipes from the mid 1900’s, etc. There’s so much history there and everyone is so personable, not like the mundane hotel where they know you by your room number! I was also surprised by all the amenities they offer such as the hot tub that overlooks the pond, horseback riding, fishing, and a game room that offers ping pong, pool, and fuse-ball. Another thing that I adored was the set up of the rooms. We got one of the sweetheart cabins (yes, we got an entire cabin all to ourselves) that came with free wifi, a fireplace, a queen size bed, a mini refrigerator and we were able to bring a griddle to cook dinner on so we didnt have to leave and best of all, the cabins back right up to the Big Thompson River so you get to wake up to the sound of the relaxing river each morning! Also, one of the amazing things about this place is that they hold weddings here!! Thats right, you can get married here and stay an extra few nights at a place that feels like you’re imbedded in the mountains hours from the city when really you’re only 1 hour from Denver and 10 minutes from Loveland! How fantastic is that!!!! (I you are by chance considering getting married up here, contact Sue Bennett, she is the wedding coordinator and she is the sweetest wedding coordinator for a venue that I have ever met. I promise, she will take care of you!) If you haven’t been here, I highly recommend it! Thank you Sylvan Dale Ranch for making our (late) Valentines Weekend Get-a-way the best it could have been!


Add a comment February 23, 2011

Just Won Bride’s Choice Awards 2011!!

Denver, Colorado – January 25, 2011 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding technology company, is thrilled to announce Dalen Nicole Photography has been selected to receive the prestigious annual WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 for Wedding Photography!

Recognition for the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 is determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 750,000 WeddingWire newlyweds. Our past clients are among those that shared their experiences on WeddingWire, the largest wedding review site in the nation.

Dalen Nicole Photography stands among the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire community, representing quality and service excellence within the wedding industry. Awards were given to the top wedding professionals across 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, and were based on the overall professional achievements throughout the past year.

“WeddingWire is honored to celebrate the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire community,” said Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Chief Executive Officer. “With the annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ program, WeddingWire has the unique opportunity to recognize the best wedding professionals across the US and Canada. We applaud {Enter Your Business Name} for their professionalism and dedication to enhancing the wedding planning experience last year.”

We are happy to announce that Dalen Nicole Photography is among the very best Wedding Photographers within the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding planning sites WeddingWire, Martha Stewart Weddings, Project Wedding and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for nominating us to receive the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011.

For more information on the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011, please visit

Add a comment January 25, 2011

Are People People or are they Subjects?

I got to thinking about portraits today and came to the conclusion that there are 2 ways to photograph people.  We either produce a great photograph or a great portrait, and rarely are these qualities combined. In a great photograph the person is a subject, an accessory to enhance the image. If an image is a story them the person is a mere character in the film. It’s about what her curves, stance and facial features can contribute to the story, it isn’t about HER it’s about the finished product. In a great portrait, the photograph is about HER; her facial expressions; her personality; you feel as though you can feel what she’s feeling because the moment was captured so perfectly it seems as though a little bit of her truth had leaked out and landed on the film.

In a world where the media tells women that they should be 5’9″ and weigh 100 lbs and the most beautiful models of the world are airbrushed to perfection, is it constructive to utilize women as subjects in photographs? Could we be perpetuating the problem? Should we be celebrating a woman’s heart instead of her physical attributes?

Add a comment October 4, 2010

The Truth About Wedding Photojournalists

As an award winning wedding photojournalist and a member of the Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association, I must say that the majority of photographers who claim to be photojournalists, do not always know what they are talking about. I read this fantastic Article from the AGWPJA website entitled “Wedding Photojournalism Myths” and wanted to share a piece of it with you…


Just because some wedding photographers may try to emulate WPJA members’ documentary approach, it does not make them wedding photojournalists who are qualified to document your wedding. “Photojournalism and shooting candids aren’t the same,” Adams stresses. “Wedding photojournalists don’t go into a situation and randomly photograph things around the room.” And neither do they follow the “machine-gun” approach, hoping that out of the myriad of shots a handful of decent pictures will emerge out of sheer mathematical probability. Wedding photojournalism is applying professional skills and honed talent to tell the story of a wedding. WPJA Gold Medallion winner, Michael Albert understands how this myth might have been propagated. “Not to say they’re spreading rumors, but traditional photographers see wedding photojournalism as a fad that totally upends their paradigm,” he says. Or they’re seeing bad wedding photojournalism, letting a few mediocre photographers who call themselves “wedding photojournalists” speak for an entire industry. “I see a lot of people who say they’re photojournalists—and that doesn’t always translate to strong work,” he says.

When considering a wedding photojournalist, it’s best to communicate and trust your own eyes, not rumors or heresay. Ask your WPJA photographer about his or her style. Ask to see samples. Look for a wedding photojournalist who is able to tell the story from start to finish, instead of presenting just one good photo from each wedding. “That means you have potential,” Albert states, “but it doesn’t necessarily mean you can tell the story of the day.” Fortunately, WPJA members have mastered the art of storytelling. And that’s no myth.”

—by Meghan McEwen for the Wedding Photojournalist Association

Add a comment February 6, 2010

Bhind the scenes of Engagement Sessions

I absolutely LOVE engagement sessions! In fact, I love them so much, I added them to my wedding packages at no extra cost. This is what everyone tells you about engagement sessions: “they are not only a great way to get to know your photographer and build that initial trust but it gets you used to being in front of the camera”, which is definitely true but here’s my take on them…

You and your significant other, when at home and not around anyone else, more than likely, act pretty silly! I mean chasing each other, picking on each other and if you’re anything like my boyfriend and I, probably even call each other names (out of love, of course) and end up on the floor laughing. This is why you love each other, because you’re best friends and you have fun together, and this is what you’ll remember about this time in your life when you look back 20 years from now. But how often do your professional portraits reflect that? How often do your professional portraits emphasize your love for each other? Well I can tell you right now that if you’ve ever been to a portrait studio, they DON’T! Portrait studios don’t capture anything besides what you currently look like. Who says professional portraits have to be boring and candids have to be taken with a disposable camera at a bar? I like my engagement sessions to capture the essence of who you are with your spouse. And if you’re thinking to yourself right now “well I’m just photogenic” I would like to tell you that everyone says that and I mean every single couple on my website! I know that people don’t just naturally feel comfortable in front of a camera so I have a list of games and playful activities to get you out of your shell and forget about the fact that the camera is in your face.

FACT: The first portraits ever taken in the 1800s had exposure times of 1-10 minutes so, it was crucial for your neck to be held in a brace from behind to keep your head perfectly still, that is also the reason that you never see people smiling in old photographs, it’s impossible to hold a smile for many minutes. Well, camera technology has come along way since the 1800s, there is no longer a need to hold a boring pose, so shouldn’t photography reflect that? I think so!

Add a comment February 5, 2010

I believe…

I came across this wonderful quote by Audrey Hepburn and wanted to share it as it so closely resembles my outlook on life!

” I believe in Pink

I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner.

I believe in kissing, kissing alot!

I believe in being strong,

When everything seems to be going wrong.

I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls,

I believe that tomorrow is another day,

And I believe in miracles.”

-Audrey Hepburn

1 comment January 23, 2010

The Intimate Truth About Photography

You remember those nights in college when the world seemed to pause every now and then so you could hang out in your living room in your PJs, hanging upside down on the couch with the phone to your ear for nearly 4 hours? Listening to anything and everything, it didnt really matter because it felt as if they allowed themselves to feel relaxed, and allow you to intimately (not sexualy, but intimately) get to know them. Their guard is dropped, they’re not trying to impress anyone, they are in their most pure state of being, laughing freely and its absolutely amazing!  People dont naturally walk around with their souls hanging out on their sleeves, however, if we listen in just the right way and read between the lines , people talk to us like that all the time! I listen with my camera and I am so amazed on a daily basis that people share themselves with me because it’s such a beautiful thing. Dries37

Add a comment May 28, 2009

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