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.