What is an Alt Session?

We’ve been taking photos of couples for the better part of two decades and we’re always pushing ourselves to think outside of the box and do things a bit differently. Several years ago, we realized that most of our engagement sessions were similar. We would take a couple to a mountain park just before sunset and take 60 or so minutes of portraits. They all turned out beautifully, but they also all looked relatively the same. So, we drew a line in the sand and promised ourselves that from then on, we wouldn’t shoot the same session twice and we began thinking up all sorts of cool alternatives to traditional engagement sessions. Hence the birth of Alt Sessions!  

Nowadays, instead of standing in a field practicing awkward prom poses, we’ll hang out and do something fun for your Alt Session. Like skiing. Or hiking with your dogs. Or grabbing a drink at your favorite happy hour spot. We have a long list of cool ideas and we never do the exact same shoot twice, so your session will be unique to you.

Our list of ideas can essentially be divided into three categories: epic locations, fun activities and avant-garde shoots.

Some of our favorite “epic location” sessions have been White Sands National Park in southern New Mexico, the ice caves in western Colorado, the Bonneville Salt Flats in western Utah and the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. And while we think that “epic” is one of the most overused words in the English language today, it’s still the best word to describe these locations (Trust us, we’ve spent hours looking through the thesaurus.)

Examples of activities we’ve photographed include going to watch fireworks, riding around in a tuk-tuk to a bunch of breweries in Denver and touring an antique airplane museum in Palm Springs, CA. Last, but not least, our avant-garde sessions have involved trampolines, colored powder, paint-filled water balloons and many more. There are a million alternatives to traditional engagement sessions we have yet to do, but start by checking out our past shoots below!

bride and groom to-be standing under waterfall at Ouzel Falls engagement session

Ouzel Falls Engagement

Jesse and I prioritize the photographer/client relationship above all else. Not only is it important to our photography style, it’s important to your enjoyment of your own wedding. After all, your photographers are who you’ll spend the most time with on your wedding day. Well, I can confidently say after our 8-mile hike for Andi…
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horseback riding engagement in Colorado

Horseback Riding Engagement

It’d be an understatement to say that 2021 was a whirlwind. While we managed to stay on top of editing and delivering galleries, some things had to be triaged. Which means that we’re now going to take a short trip back in time to late September when we met up with Ciara and Jonathan for…
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canoeing engagement session with dogs in Boulder Colorado

Canoeing Engagement

For never having been to Gross Reservoir before this year, Jesse and I sure ended up spending a lot of time there! In fact, after Amy and Ian’s canoeing engagement session, I’m pretty confident there isn’t a spot we haven’t seen. I’m also pretty confident that it’s one of the best hidden gems in Colorado.
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color powder wedding session in Boulder Colorado

Color Powder Wedding Session

Chip and Brett had quite the roller coaster in getting to their wedding day. And while that roller coaster meant that we weren’t able to photograph their elopement in Hawaii, we did get the chance to do a crazy fun color powder wedding session with them when they visited Colorado this summer!
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Hoosier Ridge engagement

Hoosier Ridge Engagement

Emily and Luther moved to Colorado for the hiking. On my very first phone call with them, I think we spent more time talking about our favorite (or top five, because it’s hard to pick just one) hiking spots than talking about their wedding. Naturally, when it came time to plan their Alt Session, an…
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bride and groom to be posing under the stars

Grand Canyon Engagement

Last week, we had the pleasure of traveling down to northern Arizona for Sammie and Kevin’s incredibly fun Grand Canyon engagement session. We’ve been to the Grand Canyon a couple times before, but never for a shoot, so we were stoked when the newlyweds-to-be suggested it as a location. We arrived two days early and…
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bride and groom standing on balcony of bishop castle engagement

Bishop Castle Engagement

Five days after we made it home from our New Year’s Day wedding in Houston, we were back on the road once again. This time, our destination was southern Colorado for Emily and Tyler’s super fun (and super cold) Bishop Castle engagement. Billed as the world’s “largest one-man project,” the castle sits on two and…
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post wedding photoshoot bridal portrait

Should We Do a Post-Wedding Photoshoot?

Just when you thought you had a handle on all the options open to you for your wedding (and there are many), you hear this new term popping up. Now there’s yet another decision you have to make: should we do a post-wedding photoshoot? While we can’t answer that for you, we can at least give you some things to think about to determine if a post-wedding session is right for you.
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engagement photo inspiration | loveland pass engagement session | colorado wedding photographers | j la plante photo

Loveland Pass Engagement

Michelle and Dan’s Loveland Pass engagement session came as a surprise to Michelle. Granted, she thought that she’d be taking photos that day and in that location. But she also thought that it would be Dan setting up a camera to capture some images of their family vacation to the Rocky Mountains. Dan is no stranger to photography, so this had become an expected part of any of their adventures together. Little did she know, she’d be heading back to Delaware with a gorgeous rock of her own.
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bride and groom hugging during airplane engagement session

Airplane Engagement

While Jesse and I have our own photo “bucket list,” we always love when couples have a crazy idea of their own for an Alt Session. Heather and John not only had their own idea, they had already been in touch with the Palm Spring Air Museum about doing a potential airplane engagement session. Having…
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Unique Engagement Photo Ideas | Royal Gorge Engagement | Colorado Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

Royal Gorge Engagement

I’ve been on a gondola or two in my day. But I’ve never experienced a ride like the one we took for Hanna and Dan’s Royal Gorge engagement session. Traveling almost 1000 ft. above the raging Arkansas River, the aerial gondola that takes you from one side of the gorge to the other isn’t for…
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Bride and Groom at Sand Dunes | White Sands Engagement | Destination Wedding Photographer | J. La Plante Photo

White Sands Engagement

Last weekend, we traded white snow flurries in Colorado for bright white sand dunes, stretching out for miles in New Mexico. While we’re no strangers to sandy Alt Sessions, Ashleigh and Tony’s White Sands engagement session had a particularly otherworldly feel to it. A mere 70 miles from the Mexico border, the entrance to White…
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