Photographing Brides and Ball Games

PQ8A5306At a wedding, Chris Humphreys ’04 photographs a bride, capturing the rhinestones on her shoes, the lace in her veil and the blooms of her bouquet. The same week, he sets up on the sidelines of a Broncos game, aiming his lens as Peyton Manning sends a football spiraling toward the goal line.

“I like shooting such different subjects,” he says. “It makes me a better photographer overall, more rounded and fresh. I try to be creative shooting bride after bride, but now I get to shoot people like Manning and players for the Rockies. It makes me think carefully about what I’m doing and how I’m doing it.”

Chris covers up to 20 weddings a year. In 2012, he photographed 52 Rockies games. “I try to shoot with a photojournalistic style, but brides want pretty pictures with happy people laughing and hugging,” he says. “In sports, some of the most telling photos reveal frustration and disappointment. In one game, Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. When the Rockies got a hit, I watched him closely. He remained expressionless until he wiped his forehead and sighed; then I got the photo. That was the story—a bride would never want that expression. The look on the face of a losing quarterback is just as powerful as Peyton raising his arms in the air.”

Chris came to Westmont to major in religious studies but soon discovered the field didn’t fit him. Invited to play guitar in the Spring Sing Band, he started thinking about music even though he couldn’t read a note. “I got hooked on music composition,” he says. He studied theory, sang in the choir and learned to play the bass for the Westmont Orchestra.

The summer after his sophomore year, he lasted two weeks as a camp counselor for 7-year-old boys. The owners let him stay and do a variety of jobs, such as photographing hundreds of campers each day for the website. “I’d never done anything with photography, and I loved it,” he says. “I immersed myself in it as a hobby.” On campus, he shot photos for the yearbook and the Horizon. He worked for Brad Elliott, Westmont’s longtime photographer, and took his photography classes. “When I graduated, I found myself at a crossroads between music and photography,” he says. With Brad’s encouragement, he started his own business in July 2004.

“I never intended to go into wedding photography,” he says. “I always thought I’d attend graduate school or be a singer-songwriter.” He worried he’d run out of funds by September, but the business grew with a diet of Westmont weddings. He married Katie Evans ’05 in 2005 and made her an assistant, giving her a camera and a crash course in photography. She improved with each wedding and developed her own style.

In 2009, Chris and Katie decided to move to Colorado to be close to her family. One of his high school friends directed photography for what is now USA Today Sports Images and needed a photographer. So Chris began shooting Colorado sports teams as well as brides. For a few years, Katie left the business and worked remotely for a company providing services to wedding photographers. Now she’s back. “We’re used to working together and make a good team,” he says. See his wedding and sports photos at www.chrishumphreys.com.

Chris has found a new subject for his photos: 1-year-old Vera. After living in downtown Denver, Chris and Katie built a home in Castle Rock so Vera would have room to play and ride a bike—and pose for pictures.

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