A unique and inspiring engagement session at the Colorado Paint Mines, starts with strolls through grassy trails and ends with romantic views of the colorful canyons and a cotton candy sky at sunset.
I’ll be honest, The Paint Mines have been on my Bucket List of locations for a couple of years now. So when we sat down with Luke and Niqui to chat over yummy coffee at Dark Heart, they were pretty passionate about their photos including large landscapes and whimsical elements. That’s when I knew they’d be the perfect couple to share this unique location with.
Backing up a bit, I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Niqui through a few different circles of life. But the main one that brought us together would be our love for theater. I’ve seen her perform on multiple stages over the years and through that, we have a lot of mutual friends. The two of us worked for the same character entertainment company Wands and Wishes performing as popular princesses for Birthday Parties. And I’ve had the honor of having her on staff as our costumer for our musical theater productions. Niqui is truly one of the kindest and most creative people I know. So when she contacted me about photographing her wedding, I couldn’t wait to learn more about her plans.
Niqui met Luke in an acting class at Front Range 4 years ago. She thought he was super cute and did everything she could to make sure they’d be scene partners. They ended up being really good friends for a year and started dating soon after performing in a show together.
The proposal, as Niqui put it “was very anticipated.” However, I learned from Luke he wasn’t sure it was ever going to happen. After having to change plans because of weather, the two ended up at Bartel’s Farm to look for Pumpkins and take in all that Fall goodness. Luke had met up with Niqui’s younger sister earlier that day to plant a specific Jack-O-Lantern near an older truck on the farm used for photo ops. When they arrived Luke was anxious to get her to the truck, but to his dismay, Niqui had other ideas. So as to not be too pushy, he went along with it, panicking a bit over his plans falling through again.
Honestly, hearing Luke’s version of the proposal made me laugh; his panic wasn’t without merit. To see a bunch of girls on the truck, looking in the pumpkin and seeing the ring inside would give me a heart attack too.
Eventually, they made their way to the truck and as Luke turned the pumpkin around, carved on the side was the word, “Forever?” He opened the top up, reached inside, and pulled out a gorgeous ring and got down on one knee! And of course, she said, “yes!”
Now, traveling to the Paint Mines from Loveland isn’t for the faint of heart, especially with all of the road construction and a sun setting at 4:45 pm. Can you believe we took these in JANUARY? It was warm enough to feel like an early spring session. But hey, that’s Colorado for you.
When we arrived we found ourselves on a nature trail that took us through tall grassy fields leading to the canyons. Rather than hike for 20 minutes with nothing to show for it, we made use of our time snapping photos and enjoying great conversations.
SIDENOTE: I LOVE having my husband along with me for engagement sessions. As my second shooter for weddings, it’s a great opportunity for couples to get to know both of us before the wedding day. Jeremy is naturally so good at connecting with the guys, but having this opportunity before the big day really makes him feel more like a friend. (Plus he’s so awesome and carries all my things).
One of the questions I ask our couples from time to time is what they love most about each other. And it’s in their responses that I really get to learn who they are.
“I love Niqui’s infectious sense of humor; her unrelenting positivity and optimism; her creativity and passion for making others happy. ” – Luke about Niqui
“I love Luke’s smile. I love his work ethic and how passionate he is. He buys me cookies and rubs my shoulders just because… I love Luke because he supports me and pushes me to be better for myself…. I love that he’s willing to grow and change with me.” – Niqui about Luke
As soon as we arrived at the Paint Mines we stood in total awe. I was not anticipating the colors to be so vibrant.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Paint Mines, here’s a quick history lesson. “The Paint Mines are named for their colorful clays that were collected by American Indians to make paint. Brightly colored bands, caused by oxidized iron compounds, are found in varying amounts throughout the many different layers of clay,” according to the El Paso County Website. With signs of human life dating back 9,000 years, the 750 acres of extraordinary beauty, it’s somewhere everyone should be adding to their bucket list this summer.
As the sun began to set and the chill in the air became more intense, Niqui and Luke made a quick “costume change” to warmer clothes and we found ourselves nestled into the colorful canyon.
Now Colorado wow’s me daily with its beautiful sunsets. But on this particular night, we experienced what I am calling “cotton candy” skies. The colors bouncing off the clouds made a perfect complement to the pink and orange walls that surrounded our couple. It felt like God painted the sky just for us that day.
Niqui and Luke, we are so very honored to be a part of your journey. We had the MOST fun with you during your engagement session and can’t wait to make more memories with you at your wedding. Thank you for being so adventurous and joining us at this amazing location. You two made the whole thing so perfect.
We love sharing our list of bucket-list locations with our BG Couples. If you’re newly engaged and looking for a fun and romantic engagement session at one of our unique locations, connect with us on our engagement page.
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