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!

Vail engagemente session | Vail engagement photographer | J La Plante Photo

Solar Eclipse Engagement

The very first time I spoke with JaimeJo on the phone, before she and Nick had even booked us, her first question was, “What are you doing on August 21st?” She explained that she really wanted a solar eclipse engagement session, and that was the date of what’s come to be known as the Great…
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Holi powder engagement photos | Unique engagement photographer | J La Plante Photo

Holi Powder Engagement

A few weeks ago, a large, heavy box arrived at our doorstep from Amazon. Since we were in the midst of weddings and wedding preparations, the box sat unopened in the closet. Until last Thursday, when we finally broke into it for Courtney and Derek’s Holi powder engagement shoot! Courtney and Derek are planning their…
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Denver Chalk Art Festival engagement photos | Unique engagement photographer | J La Plante Photo

Denver Chalk Art Engagement

Our couples hire us for many reasons. They like the color and emotion in our images. Or the different angles. Or how we incorporate the environment. But what we hear most often is that they were drawn to us because our photos looked unlike others they’d seen. All this is thanks to opportunities like P…
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MMA engagement | Denver engagement photographer | J La Plante Photo

Mixed Martial Arts Engagement

Kirsten and Mike’s mixed martial arts engagement session was a wonderfully collaborative experience. As owners of and coaches at MMA gym The Training Camp, it was a no-brainer to highlight that aspect of their life during their engagement shoot. But we also had an idea that had been simmering for a while and suspected that they…
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Horse engagement photos | Denver engagement photographer | J La Plante Photo

Colorado Horse Ranch Engagement

We’re behind the Chinese New Year by approximately two years, apparently, because 2016 has been our own Year of the Horse. With Tank and Thunder at Devil’s Thumb Ranch and an unnamed mare at our most recent wedding, we’re starting to sense a trend. One which we happily continued with yesterday’s Colorado horse ranch engagement shoot…
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J. La Plante Photo | Boulder Wedding Photographer | Boulder Engagement | Bride and Groom at Brewery

Boulder Brewery Engagement

Even though I’m not from Colorado originally, I’ve embraced the dogs + microbrew lifestyle 100%. So when Kelly and Nick mentioned that they have three goofy dogs and like to visit breweries, it was a no-brainer to combine these activities for their Boulder brewery engagement session. With the most perfect fall weather, we started off with a…
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