Category Archive: Kids
  1. YOUR Moments Matter | Estes Park Family Photographer

    Colorado has this healing, transformative ability. Many of the families that travel here for sessions are not only taken with the gorgeous landscapes, but this indescribable thing that Colorado seems to have. The air, the elevation, the scenery, the people. I don’t know quite what that thing is. We moved our family here about six years a go now and we were instantly enchanted. In fact, many of the families I photograph also talk about wanting to move here at some point during their session and this was NOT their plan coming in. At the very least it is a wonderful place to visit. Many come in the fall for the color and changing seasons, but summer time with it’s tall green grasses and wildflowers, I can’t put it into words. We travel for sessions throughout the year typically (though we won’t be able to next year), and coming home I often wonder at how incredibly blessed we are to call this ours. I’ve said it so many times but there is magic in these mountains.

    This family made it that much more incredibly special this day. My conversations with the families I get to photograph are one of my favorite parts of what I do. I learn so much about different people in different walks of life and have seen so many perspectives I may have never considered otherwise. It’s a gift to be able to really walk in someone else’s shoes even for a moment. Family photography goes so much deeper than pretty outfits and fleeting smiles in different settings and landscapes. I knew years ago when I decided to ditch many of my props and focus solely on the connection and intimacy a family can only offer up, that I had to put more work in and maybe even put myself out there to achieve it. It takes trust and time and fearlessly becoming your own brand. Putting yourself out there isn’t as simple as I once assumed it would be. I am a self proclaimed people loving introvert. It does take a lot of energy to also be in this vulnerable space with my families but the truth is, nothing has ever proved more fulfilling and I would never look back.

    This Mama’s story is hers to tell. I can tell you however, I have met very few women as extraordinary as she is. Her husband serves our country and she holds the fort down and raises these beautiful little girls with grace. The love between them all is so tangible and honest. I felt like I have somehow known her for much longer the moment we met up. There were moments when I Just stepped back and marveled.

    The biggest part of my methods as a photographer is letting go of my expectations and allowing my families to bring their own personality and quite honestly, their whole selves into their images. Direction is of course necessary and I have a hand in the artistic value in my work, but once we are where we need to be, my only expectation is connection. They need only be touching in some way. I have learned that micromanaging didn’t work for me because there was so much of ME in the final images, there was no room for them. This should always be about them. I have had families concerned they couldn’t have images like those they saw from past families and it’s so untrue. We all can have photographs JUST like this family. It takes a measure of vulnerability and trust and just the knowledge that on the day we meet, we are meeting half way. These photographs are just as much you as they are me.

    You deserve to have moments just like these.

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  2. That Family kind of Magic | Northern Colorado Family Photographer

    This spring we headed to Austin, TX with our family. I have been fairly fortunate in the way of weather in the past with travel sessions, but the very first days there called for rain and gloom and the photographer in me tried everything I could not to panic.

    This was the day my perspective changed.

    Let’s face it– when families envision that “perfect” family session, they aren’t picturing down pouring rain and mud and gray skies. I admit in the past I would reschedule my families if possible, but we traveled with kids in tow to another state and had rigid schedules between the two of us, so we decided we would make an adventure out of it.

    It was the best decision I could have made. In fact, this is one of my favorite family sessions to date? Why? Well, because these photos are unapologetically and imperfectly about them and their connection. My work grew a bit that day. Maybe I even grew a bit that day.

    If I can share with anyone that considers having families photographs made… ever, just a little tidbit of advice from one Mama to another. I am completely removing the “Photographer” aspect from this. Loose the “P” word from your vocab. You know the one. The “Perfect” word. I get it. You agonize over clothing choices and in some instances spend time (and money!) getting your hair and make up done. You have thought and maybe fantasized about this for months. You hope your children will cooperate–No more than cooperate– frolic with you. We think of all those tender moments we are going to get with our perfectly curated outfits in our beautiful setting. We get our family photos made too every year. Just like you. I am a Mama of almost seven. Trying to pull it all together while not losing my mind is an act of God.

    But to put that photographer hat back on and share a heaping dose of reality, these moments don’t always just happen. I help direct and reassure and share what is going to bring out the best in your family and in turn, help you to create those gorgeous authentic emotions. It only takes a moment. But I don’t expect perfection from you. In fact, your imperfection is what inspires me. It is glorious. It is even magical in ways. It is what helps make you all who you are and lets your reason for being there in the first place shine on through. It isn’t about those clothes or the mountains or rivers or fields. It’s the love you have for your family. It is the need to document that you were all here.

    So should the weather be imperfect.
    Should you all be imperfect.
    That’s perfectly okay. Because you are imperfectly enough.
    And that is beautiful.

    I am sad that we won’t be able to travel next year even if it is for the most amazing of reasons, but I do get a lot of families that come to me from out of state or even out of the country and this applies very much to that too. Should the weather be less than optimal or maybe not even what you dreamed about on your big day, it’s still going to be beyond wonderful. You are making memories in this place with your people. What is better than that? And they are documented and memorialized.

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