For the last few years, we have been trying to put ourselves “out there” more. By “out there”, we mean making ourselves a little more vulnerable. This year was only the second year that we entered into the Shoot & Share Photography contest. This contest is one of the most highly anticipated events in the photography community (I’m not even kidding when I say there are copious Facebook groups and “watch parties” dedicated to this event). This year was the biggest yet! How it works, is everyone and anyone is allowed to participate. Here were the numbers for 2017: 10,000 PHOTOGRAPEHRS submitted photos, 330,000 PHOTOS were submitted, 60 MILLION VOTES were cast, 1 MILLION IMAGES were favorited, 10,602 DAYS (29 YEARS) spent in the contest, 156 COUNTRIES were involved. This contest is voted for by anyone, but there are tons of photographers who spend countless hours voting and getting inspired by others images. So, needless to say, we are ecstatic and so proud that 18 of our images placed in their categories. We are also thrilled to share that one of our images, which was in the WANDERLUST category, placed in the TOP 100! Thanks for sharing in our excitement!
Mike and Tay
Seeing familiar faces in my new state was what helped get me through the first few months after my big move across the county in 2011. To this day, six years after moving to Colorado, the feeling is still the same.
Lindsay and I met when were were in kindergarten and were inseparable for the majority of elementary school. I was the oldest of six, and Lindsay was an only child, so I think we secretly loved getting an inside look (and at times for me, an envious look) of each others lives. I can remember Lindsay hosting “gymnastics lessons” on the playground at Easton Elementary, where I tried desperately to learn how to do a round off, and our attempts at planning matching outfits for school the following day.
Needless to say, I was so excited when she got in touch with me a few months ago to let me know that she was surprising her wonderful husband, Matt, with a trip to Colorado for Christmas. She went on to tell me that they had never had professional images done before and that they’d love to do their portraits when they came out for a long weekend. Like I said before, seeing a familiar face in my adopted state brings back lots of nostalgic feelings and it was such a treat to have her and Matt out to our ranch during their short stint here. Despite the cold, we had a wonderful time shooting and catching up, even standing on a dirt road after the sun went down and we were chilled to the bone!
Lindsay and Matt, it was SO wonderful to see you guys! Thank you so much for planning a little stop at our home on your trip to Colorado. You guys are truly amazing together and we can’t wait to see you again!
Mike and Tay
I. Love. This. Family! Seriously, I can’t tell you enough how much I love this family. When we bought our first home in Conifer, Colorado in 2013, we had no idea we were going to make some of our best friends during that move. I was scared moving to the mountains, but quickly fell in love with life at 9,000 feet and the neighbors surrounding us: including the Paul family. These guys are the parents you look up to and the kids you hope to have one day. Needless to say, when we made the move earlier this year to our ranch, leaving them was one of the hardest parts of the move. However, our friendships have only gotten closer and stronger!
Kaiya, who is one of the sweetest girls we’ve ever met, has a passion for anything crafty and a newfound love for photography (melts my heart). We had a blast running around the ranch taking photos of family members and the pups while they were visiting us this fall. In the last couple of years, Cameron has developed a serious love for dirt biking (making Mike super excited to have another buddy to ride with) and was able to bring his bike out to the ranch. Mike taught him how to pop a wheelie and he was off like a rocket for hours riding around the property! Quade and Emi have one of the strongest marriages we’ve witnessed in our friends and it’s truly an honor to watching them parent (and take lots of notes)! We can’t say enough about this amazing family and are so glad that we met them! Love you guys!
Watching our families grow every year is one of my favorite things about my job as a photographer! After our move to our ranch near Salida, Colorado, we were so excited to have some of our favorite people out to see us and experience our life at the ranch. It was such a joy when Suzanne contacted me about coming from Denver for a visit! I just love this family and have had the pure joy of watching them grow in numbers, age, and personality. Hayden, who is now 6, was just barely two years old when I met her. Her vivacious personality paired with her “oldest sister” heart make her just a joy to be around! I had the honor of visiting Kirk and Suzanne in the hospital the day Carter was born…needless to say, watching him grow up has been so exciting! And Miss Harper, well she’s just the sweetest thing whom I got to meet as a newborn for her first photo shoot. It’s truly been so incredible watching this family I adore grow up! Love you guys!
Watching families grow and change is one of my favorite things! When I met the Iturbe family at Brian and Alexei’s wedding last year I was so excited about their family dynamics. Mama Joanna was dancing behind me to get her girls to look at the camera and giggle while Daniel, the calm papa was laughing at his wife as well. Since their last family shoot in 2015, little miss Maya has hair and her little personality is just blossoming! Danica remembered me and put some of her best facial expressions in her back pocket for her “model shoot”. It was such treat to spend the morning with this lovely family exploring our ranch as the girls gathered walking sticks, tickled each other, and enjoyed being their free spirited selves. Thank you so much to this sweet family who has allowed me to follow them in their amazing life together, documenting these moments!
The Flavin Family | Day in the Life Session First Day of School Buena Vista Colorado Family Photographer
This morning I had the absolute honor of spending the waking hours with the Flavin family for the first day of school. Day in the life sessions are some of the most intimate, exciting, and truly raw images a family can have. Nothing is planned, no one is “dolled up”, this is just true life documented as it happens, and it’s so incredible. This year, Miss Lux started her first day of Kindergarten, a big day for her and her parents. Cash started third grade and was super transparent about his nerves as they rode to school. Lux, on the other hand, literally had jump in her skip while she ran beside her mama and brother to her first day of school.
We don’t have kids yet, so it was awesome to experience the first day of school first hand with so many parents and new students. Spending time with Erin, a wonderful mama, who wanted this day documented, not necessarily for her, but for her two kids, was so refreshing. Thank you all so much for welcoming me into your home this morning and letting me document all of the excitement and wonderful moments!
I love weddings with my whole heart. However, having some serious QT with a sweet newborn boy and his incredible parents is a much loved change of pace in my job. I had the honor of capturing Cooper Jay’s first photo shoot a few weeks ago. Humming, swinging, and singing are just a few of my favorite things to do at these quite and intimate shoots. I’m so thankful Craig and Stephanie welcomed me into their home and shared their absolutely inspiring story with me (be sure to read it at the end of the blog!) Congratulations you two, on becoming parents and welcoming this beautiful boy in the world!
Seeing a couple turn into a family is truly an amazing thing. When we first met John and Jenny, they were about seven months pregnant at the Miller’s wedding. Jenny, in all her maternity glow, had made all the cupcakes for her dear friends big day. When we got the opportunity to meet Sir Axton (not his real name, but that cheeky grin is inspired by calling him “Sir”!) we couldn’t wait to see them again! Thank you so much, Mears family, for welcoming us into your lives and sharing a little piece of your family with us. We can’t wait to see you again and watch your little man grow up!
Mike + Tay
Days after Mike and I got home from our honeymoon, my dear girlfriend Rachael texted me about scheduling her family photos. I wrongly assumed they were simply wanting shots for their Christmas cards this year. She surprised me when she said, “Also, we’re going to need some help sharing some big news we have…” I immediately jumped up out of my chair, took a selfie and sent it to her asking, “ARE YOU PREGNANT?!” She confirmed that they were actually pregnant and we started sharing ideas for how her and Al (and Calloway) were going to share the big news at their photo shoot.
We are so excited for our friends and are so thankful we got to play a little part in this awesome time during their lives! Love you guys!
Mike & Tay