Durango Engagement Session at The Smiley Building

May 2, 2024

A black and white photo of an engaged couple holding hands in front of The Smiley Building in Durango, Colorado for their engagement session, taken by Colorado wedding photographer, Ashley Joyce.


Meeting Amy & Chris – Durango engagement Session

Amy and Chris. Such warm and welcoming souls that I’m thankful to know. I met these two during a chance encounter at Pop Sushi, one of Durango’s best sushi joints, when my husband and I were there for a date night. I witnessed Amy and Chris waiting to get in while we, too, were waiting to snag a table with the other giddy restaurant goers.

After noticing their chic style and unique look, I kept telling my husband, Mark, that I thought they’d be fun to photograph. Throughout our dinner, he kept encouraging me to go up to talk to them but I was hesitant to burden these fellow sushi-lovers with an introduction from a stranger. At the end of our meal, though (and, honestly through the help of a little liquid courage), I walked up to their table, introduced myself, then told them that if they’re ever interested in being models for me, I’d be honored to photograph them. We exchanged numbers, I shared my website with them, and just a couple short hours later, I was pleased to hear from Amy; they loved my work and would love to work with me!

I was beyond excited; I’ve only talked to strangers and invited them to model for me a handful of times but it had been years since I had done so. Now that I was in small town, I wasn’t sure how my introduction would be received and was honestly worried I’d make a fool of myself (silly me).

A few months later and a few scheduling mishaps on both our sides, we finally met in downtown Durango for their engagement session (they were already married but we called it an engagement session nonetheless).

The Smiley Building

Since I was new to town, I wasn’t too knowledgable of too many locations in the area but one unique building stood out in my mind; The Smiley Building. This Smiley Building now acts as a coworking space in downtown Durango but it was originally a high school when it was built back in the 1930’s. Its unique brick architecture surrounded by stunning deciduous trees made for the perfect backdrop for this fall Durango engagement session. Not to mention the nearby mortuary added more flair for our goth-like couple and their chic style.

If you’re planning a Durango engagement session, I highly recommend looking into the Smiley Building and its surroundings, especially in the summer and fall. With plentiful trees and the nearby tree-lined road, you’re sure to have a perfect Durango engagement session location if you book your session at or near the Smiley Building.

And be sure to book me for your engagement session. Wink, wink. <3

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