Winter Engagement Portraits at Cheesman Park in Denver

When I moved to Denver, my partner and I very quickly learned that the *perfect* Saturday morning consisted of a walk down the street to our neighborhood coffee shop, and then over for a stroll in the park. I’ve been dreaming of photographing this park literally since the day we moved. So, when Abby, Andre, and I were discussing location, I knew immediately I wanted to do their engagement portraits at Cheesman Park in Downtown Denver.

A couple kisses, holding each other close under a tree in a park. It is winter, so the leaves on the tree are brown.

A couple's hands touch on each other's arms, his overlapping hers.

I love the pavilion at the park so much! It’s such a romantic spot, especially when the roses around it are blooming. But, I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could make photographs just as gorgeous, even when all the foliage in the park was dead.

A couple stands in front of a white marble pavilion. The guy is looking at the camera, but the girl is hugging on behind him, looking over his shoulder at him.

A couple in a tender embrace. On the left, the girl has her face turned toward the camera, but is looking down. On the right, the guy has his eyes closed, and his nose pressed up against the side of her face.

After arriving at the park, we walked toward the pavilion, and as we were chatting, we started to hear music. When we came in view of the pavilion, we saw there was a full-blown rave happening at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon–DJ, hula hoops, the whole 9 yards. We were dying laughing because what a weird circumstance to run into! Needless to say, photographing the pavilion was even more of a challenge than expected.

A couple sits on stairs in a park. Their arms are around each other and there's snow on the grass around them.

A close up of a couple. The girl has her eyes closed, and smiles facing the camera, as the guy kisses her on the forehead, his eyes closed.

A couple stands side by side, leaning against a wall of a white marble pavilion. They are both looking at the camera.

But, we worked around it! You’d never know in some of these images that there was a full dance party happening behind this sweet couple!

A couple hugs each other close, on the left, the girl looks at the camera with her hand on his jaw. On the right, the boy has his eyes closed, and presses his face into the side of hers.

A black and white photograph of a couple kissing in an open field of a park in downtown Denver.

A couple stands in a park under a tree with brown leaves. They are holding hands, and looking in opposite directions.

A couple smiles at each other, embracing each other. The guy is holding the girl's face close, and their noses are touching.

A couple stands in front of a white wall. The guy on the left, is facing the camera with his hand in his pocket, but his face is turned to the right, nuzzled against his fiance. She is hugged close to him, and is looking down her shoulder.

When we were making plans for their session, Abby told me that she and Andre love to thrift together and play with their outfits. I was so excited to hear this, because we love a creative fashion moment! Their outfits were so cool and brought some warmth to the cloudy winter day.

A couple stands in a park under a tree, both looking at the camera. It is winter, so the leaves on the tree are dead, and the grass is yellow.

A couple stands under a tree with brown leaves. The girl is leaning her head on the guy's shoulder, looking at the camera. The guy is looking off to the left, over her.

With their eyes closed and their cheeks pressed together, a couple embraces.

A close up photograph of a couple's hands, wrapped around each other. The guy is standing behind the girl, hugging her from behind. Her arms are wrapped around his.

I also tested a film camera I was recently gifted by a family member at this session. It’s an old Pentax 35mm my great aunt found in her garage, and before now, I had NO idea if it worked. Luckily it did, and we got some beautiful film scans back! They’re a little grainy and funky, but I think they add so much to the romantic vibes of these portraits. I’m so intrigued by film, and there’s so much to learn! I’m hoping to add more film to my client work as I continue to learn the format.

A couple embraces under a tree with browning leaves. He is kissing her cheek, and she is laughing and leaning away from him.

A man stands in front of a white brick wall. He has his arms crossed in front of him, and is looking off to the right.

A couple walks, laughing, through a park in downtown Denver. It is winter, so the tree behind them doesn't have any leaves.

A woman stands in front of a white brick wall. It is a closeup photo of her face, and she is smiling at the camera.

I still had a couple shots left on the roll, so a few days after their session, my partner and I went back to the park, and I photographed a few frames of Cheesman. Luckily this time, the pavilion was empty. 😉

A black and white photograph of a marble pavilion in a park, surrounded by evergreen trees.

A couple stands in front of a white pavilion in a park. The guy, in a blue sweater with red flowers printed on it, smiles at the camera, while his fiance hugs behind him, her head peeking over his shoulder.

A couple dances under a tree, with their arms wrapped around each other. They are smiling at each other.

Abby and Andre were so fun to chat with. They told me all the fun Denver spots to thrift now that I’m in Colorado! They also came READY to model. We got so many effortless, editorial photographs, mixed in with such fun and genuine smiles. I really can’t thank them enough for being so willing in front of the camera.

A black and white photograph of a couple standing in front of a white marble pavilion. They both have their eyes closed, and the girl is leaning her head on his shoulder.

A couple hugs each other as they stand under a tree in the park. They are both smiling at the camera, and the girl has her leg kicked up behind her.

A white marble pavilion at Cheesman Park in downtown Denver. A tree is in front of it, but there are no leaves on it because it is winter. The sun is shining through the columns.

A couple stands in an open field of a park. Evergreen trees are in the distance behind them. They are embracing each other, and he is looking at her, while she smiles softly at the camera.

A couple smiles at each other, with their foreheads touching, embracing each other.

I always tell folks that the best way to get photographs that feel like you is to ACT like you!! This can be hard with a camera in front of your face, but being relaxed in front of the camera makes a huge difference. I felt like Abby and Andre absolutely nailed this! I’m so obsessed with these cozy, winter engagement portraits.

A couple smiles at the camera in a black and white photograph with their cheeks pressed close together.

A couple hugs in front of a white marble pavilion. The guy is standing behind the girl, hugging her from behind. She is holding onto his arms wrapped around her, and looking over her shoulder at him.

A couple stands in front of a white wall. The guy on the left, is facing the camera with his hand in his pocket, but his face is turned to the right, nuzzled against his fiance. She is hugged close to him, and is looking down her shoulder.

A couple embraces each other under a tree in a park. The guy is turned away from the camera, but the girl is facing it, and laughs with her hand holding his jaw.

Alison Brooke Helms is a Colorado wedding photographer creating heirloom photographs for the fun-loving. Based in Denver, Colorado, Alison is an antiquing queen, an aspiring BBQ pit-master, and always ready for a damn good time. To view more of her work, check out her portfolio here!

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