Colorado photographers are experts at using the light and braving the elements, all to capture the moments that make your memories.
By Alex Hopkins
Alongside her husband, Jackie Zoeller of Selah Photography aspires to catch each couple’s unique personality in her work. She sees her photos as long-lasting fine-art pieces to treasure over time, so capturing the most emotional moments is Zoeller’s priority. Zoeller has studied art for more than 20 years and has degrees in photography and psychology, contributing to her ability to discover each personality-defining moment during a wedding. selahphotography.org
How did you first become interested in photography? I majored in studio art. When I got to the photography section, I just really fell in love with it. From there, a bunch of people started to ask me to take their wedding photos, and everything just kind of blossomed from there. Then, I went to the Art Institute in Colorado, and I learned that wedding photography could be unique and meaningful and that I could still be an artist doing that type of work.
What types of weddings do you shoot? I typically do nontraditional weddings that are really personality focused. I specialize in photojournalism and more fine-art photography. Ideally, the photos will look like an art piece instead of a typical wedding photo.
What do you find most gratifying about your work? When I’m able to give people meaningful artwork that is really special and purposeful. They’re not just purchasing a piece of art, but an heirloom for generations.
Do you have any interesting shoot stories? A bride and I once hitchhiked to her wedding. The bridal party and I were on our way to take photos before the wedding. After taking a few wrong turns, we realized our driver didn’t know where he was going. The maid of honor, bride, and I decided to start walking. After being turned down for rides several times, even with the bride telling people she was late for her wedding, a kind Rockies fan picked us up.
What distinguishes your work? The authenticity of the images. My eye is unique in my ability to be able to capture the moments that are really emotional. I also have an artistic eye for things, aesthetically.
Can the bride and groom request shots they want? I don’t recommend that as much. It’s based upon interaction, and when people give me a list, it can be a little bit more challenging as far as the big picture. I do ask them about really specific things— asking if they want a photo of their shoes or if their grandmother gave them a bracelet that they want to make sure we photograph. We absolutely get those.
What advice would you give to couples choosing a photographer? There are so many photographers, so continue to look until you find someone you really love. I think photography is as unique as music. Don’t feel limited by options, but know that there are many. Make sure that you connect with your photographer.
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