Calluna Community | Cocktails with Nate Shepard Photo

Here at Calluna we are always looking for ways to highlight and honor some of the amazing creative partners we get to work with. We feel incredibly fortunate to work with some seriously talented vendors in the industry, and we want to show them off to you in our new Calluna Community Series! We will sit down with some of the fabulous vendors of Colorado and get to know about them, their business and what life is like behind the scenes. Stay tuned for more!

This week for Calluna Community we caught up with Nate at Nate Shepard Photo! Nate’s passion for photography started in Asia, where he grew up! Since moving to Colorado, his photo opportunities expanded into the mountains and beyond.

“We live in a beautiful world with beautiful people, so my job is made easy for me.” – Nate Shepard

Cheers! Xo, Calluna

Describe what you do! 

I am a wedding photographer for adventurous and intimate couples! Half my job is hiking in the mountains with couples and shooting their raw and genuine selves and capturing their love for each other. My work involves finding beautiful and unique locations, planning and working with other vendors, and building a new relationship with couples I’ve never met before.

What is your idea of a dream project? 

I love travel! I grew up in Asia and my family and I were always on the go, so I tell people I grew up on a plane! My dream shoot would be an intimate wedding in a remote and gorgeous part of the world. This could be in Patagonia, Jordan, New Zealand, the Faroe Islands… I’ve got a long list of locations I’d love to explore with adventurous couples!

What has been your favorite wedding that you have worked, or attended? 

My favorite wedding was last summer – Nate and Emily Flack’s wedding! It wasn’t the location or food that stood out to me… but rather the JOY that radiated that day. From crying with each other at the ceremony and endless cheers and laughter on the outdoor dance floor, the wedding was just fun. Emily and Nate treated me like a guest and friend and we just had the best time ever.

What does your morning routine look like? 

I wake up at 5:30 in the morning, roll out on the side of my bed and spend some time in prayer. I follow that up with reading the Bible and other devotional books. I’ve found this to be a relaxing start to the morning and gives me a chance to mentally be reminded that I have a brand new day to work hard, love others, and bring glory to God who has blessed me in every way. I then take the dog for a run or go to the gym depending on the day. I do intermittent fasting so I typically skip breakfast and get right to work and learning new skills!

What are some of your favorite trends that you are seeing? 

Hmmmm! I don’t know if it’s a trend, but I love any and all weddings that incorporate nature and elegant simplicity! I’m more drawn to a dance floor in the forest with lanterns strung overhead than to a fancy ballroom.  In terms of a stylistic trend, I absolutely love all floral work, but the floral designs that draw my attention most incorporate nontraditional or exotic pieces. I’ve been so impressed with what brides and designers come up with!

What advice would you give to a younger you?

Don’t compare yourself to other photographers out there that are killing it! You can learn from them — don’t let comparison discourage you.

What makes you excited to go to work in the morning? 

It is an honor to capture the joys at a weddingI I am grateful to have the opportunity to spread warmth and enthusiasm, as I really see wedding photography as such a special part of a couple’s relationship. Down the road, marriage can be tough and I want my photos to remind them of the joyful commitment they made to one other and remind them that they are in it for the journey – to love and build each other up!

What is your favorite cocktail, or what are you drinking tonight? 

Oooooo how about some mango kombucha! 🙂


Follow Nate on Instagram and check out more of his work here!

Check out some beautiful photos of Liz + Chris’s wedding by Nate!


How to Pick A Wedding Photographer

Sadly your big day is only ONE day, but luckily there are some amazing wedding photographers out there that can capture all of the beautiful moments of laughter and happiness! Choosing a wedding photographer may seem like a daunting task but don’t be instantly overwhelmed. We have compiled a list of five tips & tricks on how to pick the best photographer for you and your future hubby.

Enjoy! xx, Calluna

1. Start The Search Early

It is often the case that wedding photographers have their schedules booked fairly early so we suggest starting your research in the beginning of the planning so you can score the perfect photographer for the big day. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the perfect fit right away, there are an endless amount of talented photographers out there!

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Photography Credit: Kate Holstein Photography || Dawn Sparks Photography 

2. Utilize Social Media

To get the full feel of your potential photographer utilize social media. While browsing the photographers website is most definitely useful, check out other platforms like Facebook to see past reviews from former clients. Most photography websites also include a testimonial section that will give you some useful info!


Photography Credit: Jenna Walker Photography

3. Decide on a style 

Wedding photographers each have their own styles, ranging from photojournalism to fine art to portraiture. It is crucial to have an idea of how you want your photos to look before you start meeting with potential photographers. If you have specific photos that you want, make sure your photographer is willing to go that way.

0227W0299-620x413Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 9.37.36 PMPhotography Credit: James Christianson || The Willinghams 

4. Pay Attention to Personality

You and your photographer will be spending alot of time together. Don’t underestimate the importance of a great relationship, it will contribute largely to the day running smoothly. Setting up and interview to meet and get to know the photographer is a great way to see if your personalities mesh well together. Make sure that you trust the photographer to be assertive enough while also appealing to you and your guests.

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Photography Credit: Alison Vagnini

5. Don’t Ignore the Fine Print

Pick a photographer that has a clear contract and make sure you discuss what will be included in your wedding package. Determine which parts of the wedding you would like photographed as well as hours and any additional staff joining the primary photographer. Clear communication about budget and logistics from the start will contribute to a hassle free planning process.

ssp_urtasunwed_434-620x413Photography Credit: Steve Stanton Photography

Featured image || Dawn Sparks

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