About Mark Hayes

Denver Wedding Photographer
As a child I was always fascinated looking through old family pictures and photo albums.  I was amazed by the seemingly magical process that allowed capturing moments on paper from when my grandfather was a boy younger than myself.  This in turn led to my love of photography.
My first self assigned photo project was in 1978. I took the families polaroid and all the film in the house I could find to photograph my Star Wars models hanging from thread against a dark background. This taught me a little about lighting and a lot about how expensive film was when you had to replace it out of a dollar a week allowance.
I’ve been shooting 35mm cameras for close to 20 years or so now.  Been shooting professionally as a second job for about 10 of those years (late 90’s).  In January of 2008 I left my job of 15 years with the Dumb Friends League, Denver’s largest animal welfare agency where I was the Network Administrator and since that time I’ve been following my passion of wedding photography, although I do get back to the League once in a while to work on special projects for them.
Denver Wedding Photojournalism
My style described as mainly hands-off wedding photojournalism, anticipating and capturing the moments instead of orchestrating them.   With an quiet and unobtrusive approach,I provide direction only when needed; allowing you to enjoy the spontaneous moments of your wedding day.  For me, a wedding is a glorious event in the lives of two people and their families that should be photographed unobtrusively, and without dictating what happens in front of the camera.   The wedding should be about the bride and groom, their friends and family, not about the photographer.  As soon as the photographer directs or controls the events in front of the camera, that wedding becomes the photographer’s idea of what the wedding should be, rather than what it actually is.  Your wedding story should be uniquely your own.  I would rather record the day as a historian, to document and record in such a way as to produce images which are honest and truthful, and can be enjoyed for generations to come.
Now that doesn’t mean as a Denver wedding photojournalist I don’t do the family and wedding party formals and beautiful couples romantic photos, those are part of the day as well.  We do try and do these quickly though since most of our clients would rather spend their day in celebration than standing in endless posed photos.
When shooting weddings I don’t think of the bride and groom as my only clients, but I’m shooting for their children and grandchildren.   To me my ultimate goal is that some day you’ll be sitting with your grandchild going through an old wedding album and sharing the day grandma and grandpa got married with them.
Sometimes a photograph captures reality.?Sometimes a photograph captures the imagination.?Ultimately, a photograph simply captures a moment in time.?And then,  it lives forever…………..
For editing the majority of images are processed in a solid clean style.  The goal being to provide timeless images that won’t look “dated and trendy” just a few years down the road.
My love of black and white photography has led me to find ways to duplicate the rich contrast and depth of the films I learned photography with and about 25-40% of the images are typically converted to B&W.
Despite the traditional approach to most of the editing process I still explore and study current trends and techniques in artistic photographic editing.  A handful of images will also be rendered artistically, capturing the mood of the day using the latest in editing techniques.  But these will be the exception, not the rule.
Colorado Wedding Photography
Despite being based in Denver and most often working with a variety of Colorado Wedding Venues in the Denver area I am frequently asked to shoot in many other amazing Colorado wedding destinations such as Vail, Aspen, Estes Park, Beaver Creek, Winter Park, Steamboat Springs, Evergreen and throughout Colorado and the surrounding states.

Denver Wedding Photographer Mark Hayes

 

My Passion

Sometimes a photograph captures reality.
Sometimes a photograph captures the imagination.
Ultimately, a photograph simply captures a moment in time.
And then,  it lives forever…………..

I coined this phrase a quite a few years ago because this really is what photographer is all about to me.  I guess it has since rung true with other photographers consider how often I find it on other web site, well I guess I’ll just go with the “imitation being a form of flattery” aspect and leave it at that.

 

Growing up my parents divorced when I was young, my father moving out of state and my contact with the “Hayes” side of my family dwindled to a bare trickle.   Holiday cards form my father and his older brother my uncle being about it.   That was pretty much all and who I knew from the Hayes family.

A few years back, I was doing mostly commercial and fashion photography at the time, my uncle Jim gave me an amazing gift.   A written family history and an old photo album with pictures going back to the late 1800′s and early 1900′s.

It was an amazing experience reconnect with my own history and family members through these photos.   To see pictures of a great great aunt who was a broadway star in the 1920′s.   To see pictures of my grandfather when he was just a boy on Staten Island before WW1, and to see pictures of my great grandfather and read about some of his activities with the IRA and Sinn Fien, seems being a printer he made more than a few shall we say legal looking documents to allow easy travel from Ireland to the US by key people who might not have had it so easy to travel under their own names, and it’s questioned as to if he entered the US legally to being with.

 

 

 

Seeing pictures of my father has a running, laughing, care free little child.  So much different than the memories of my parents fighting and yelling at each other which seemed to be the only memories I could easily remember on my own.

 

 

 

 

 

Pictures from my own childhood that triggered memories so long forgotten, like my grandmothers house, her little bichon dog who looks so much like my own Porthos, and of course those pre AC/DC knickers.

 

Then it sank in on me of just what a debt I owed to these photographers, some professional, some amature’s, all of whom now long dead and burried.  It was their work that tied this all together, that awakened these memories long forgotten of growing up in Vermont.

It also sunk in that my commercial advertising stuff was hollow and empty when compared to these photos, but not so the wedding photography which I had recently begun falling in love with.

Wedding photography is my way to pay it forward I guess.   The hope that 100 years from now some piece of my work will be discovered and appreciated by someone trying to reconnect with their family ancestry.

My Inspirations

The photographers I’ve been inspired from covers a selection of artists whose work I admired first in the commercial side and then those I’ve discovered after becomming a wedding photographer.

This mixed background has led to an unusual mixture of influences into who I am as a wedding photographer.   Typically about 80% of the day I’m in wedding photojournalist mode.  Maybe another 10% traditional for the family formals.   Then for the last 10%, if we have time of course, some fashion inspired romantic shots with the couple.

In the early days of my career is was people like Henri Cartier-Bresson for their street photography.  Richard Avedon for their amazing fashion.  Joe McNally and David Hobby for their use of light.

But when I got into weddings and was looking for something to inspire me and find a different direction to take my wedding photography in, well that’s when I stumbled up the likes of Joe Buissink and Jeff Ascough, both of whom took my breath away with inspiration and just the realization that there was an amazing way to shoot a wedding and tell an amazing story.

 

It’s with these amazing photographers and their influence and inspiration that my own style and philosophy took shape and grew to what it is today.

Denver Wedding Photojournalism:  My Style and Philosophy

My style described as mainly hands-off wedding photojournalism, anticipating and capturing the moments instead of directing them.   With an quiet and unobtrusive approach, I provide direction only when needed; allowing you to enjoy the spontaneous moments of your wedding day.  For me, a wedding is a glorious event in the lives of two people and their families that should be photographed unobtrusively, and without dictating what happens in front of the camera.   In my opinion the wedding should be about the bride and groom, their friends and family, not about the photographer.   Your wedding story should be uniquely your own and your wedding photos should tell that story for generations to come.

Now that doesn’t mean as a Denver wedding photojournalist I don’t do the family and wedding party formals and beautiful couples romantic photos, those are part of the day as well.  I do try and do these quickly however since most of my clients would rather spend their day in celebration than standing in endless posed photos.

When shooting weddings I don’t think of the bride and groom as my only clients, but I’m shooting for their children and grandchildren.   To me my ultimate goal is that some day you’ll be sitting with your grandchild going through an old wedding album and sharing the day grandma and grandpa got married with them.

For editing the majority of images are processed in a solid clean style.  The goal being to provide timeless images that won’t look “dated and trendy” just a few years down the road.

My love of black and white photography has led me to find ways to duplicate the rich contrast and depth of the films I learned photography with and about 50% of the images are typically converted to B&W.

Despite the traditional approach to most of the editing process I still explore and study current trends and techniques in artistic photographic editing.  A handful of images will also be rendered artistically, capturing the mood of the day using the latest in editing techniques.  But these will be the exception, not the rule.

Colorado Wedding Photography

Despite being based in Denver and most often working with a variety of Colorado Wedding Venues in the Denver Front Range area I frequently work weddings in other Colorado wedding destinations such as Vail, Aspen, Estes Park, Beaver Creek, Winter Park, Steamboat Springs, Evergreen and throughout Colorado and the surrounding states.

Mark

Award Winning Wedding Photojournalism