I have been so anxious to share this lovely album of my visit with the Jackson’s! When Kristin first told me that her family lived on acreage and she wanted to do their session there I was super excited, but I never could have imagined how amazing it would be! You see they live on their families land along with Chris’s parents and grandparents, and soon his brother too! We packed so much in, from throwing hedge-apples in their pond, to feeding chickens, the whole time I was there was magical.
This is what documentary photography is all about…taking your beautiful life and making art that will last a lifetime. Kristin described life with twin two year-olds, Lewis and Becca, 4 year old, Elliot, and 6 year old, Nora, as a permanent child’s birthday party…I completely understood what she was saying and I knew I would just adore her and her family from the get go, I just thrive in a little bit of crazy!! 😍 She was absolutely right, we did not stop for the entire hour and as a photographer I am so pleased…I just love so much of what we were able to capture in a short hour! I am so happy that I got to document this crazy time in their lives because it really will not last forever…despite what they may be feeling right now! Ha!
I hope you enjoy their beautiful photos below and their gorgeous video below that!
This post may be about two months overdue but I felt the need to put it out in the world, not just because it is important that I share about taking the time to be with my one and only, but also because our trip may be one that others are considering and I would have loved to know a little more about what I was getting myself into!
We spent three nights at the Collective Retreats outside of Vail and it really was dreamy…in a lot of ways. The website really does not do it justice, the scenery was FAR more beautiful than I could have imagined! All in all our time spent at Vail Collective was beautiful but I wish I had known a couple of things before I committed. I would say that it is totally worth it for a couple of nights, we had scheduled to be there four nights and we only made it three then decided to drive to Denver and get back to city life a day early! It really was a beautiful experience and I do not want anyone to read the negative things below and think that I do not feel that it was worth it…it really was! I just know that I wish that there were more honest reviews, like this, out there that explained a bit more of what we were getting ourselves into!
I have added some captions to many of the photos below. Feel free to comment with any questions you may have if you are thinking of making this trip!
The lovely young woman who checked us in then pulled around a UTV to load our bags and take us to our tent. We climbed a dirt road up the mountain to find not only our tent but the most spectacular view…things were looking up! It was dusk and the sun was setting so I quickly told Grey that he could not take his bags inside so I could take some photos of our amazing tent. We then spent about 15 minutes checking things out and really taking in the scenery! It was spectacularly beautiful and I just knew that it would be perfect!
Loved this bed the minute we tried it out but learned after the first night that our tent must not have been completely level and we felt like our feet were above our head the whole night…not a big deal at all, just an annoyance.
There was electricity in each tent, but it was solar powered, we turned it off everyday so that it would charge all day and we could use it at night. I was told that the units in the bathrooms were able to charge enough to use a blow dryer. The one time I tried the power blew immediately. 🤔
The bathrooms were a pleasant surprise…definitely not luxurious but better than most camping bathrooms!
The first time I went to shower I stood naked outside of the shower for a good 10 minutes waiting for it to warm up…it never did warm up so I had the coldest shower of my life! I was worried that if I got dressed and went to another bathroom I would find the same thing, so when I went back to the tent I told Grey to try another bathroom and he came back warm and toasty! The bathroom I went to did not have warm water the entire weekend, but the others worked just fine.
There are wood burning stoves for fires to keep these tents heated at night, but we received a text the morning that we were scheduled to check in that due to a fire ban we would not be able to use them. It was a bummer as I thought that since the stoves are enclosed they would still be in use…again, just something to know. I will say that we were NEVER too cold at night, they have heated blankets and the comforters are pretty heavy as well.
It seemed that there was a bathroom for every four or five tents…maybe a total of 18 tents, but I could be wrong about that!
The large tent (the first structure in this photo) was where you could have farm to table dinners, get drinks in the evening, they have a large fire pit there as well but there was a fire ban when we went so no fires. 🙁 We did not partake in any of the features here because the prices were really steep and had heard from a couple of other guests that their experience was good but not good enough for the price.
Those three structures were the larger $500+/night tents. I did read in a couple of reviews that the smell of the horses from the pastures directly behind the tent were pretty extreme and I definitely experienced it walking by…although I love the smell of horses so it would not have bothered me at all. Just felt like it should be said! 🙂 This is also a good indication of how long the walk is to the parking lot. There is a path that zigzags down to the dirt road below and the parking lot is to the right of the largest building on the far right. The website says that this is a 10-15 minute walk but I am positive that you would have to be really booking it to make it there that quickly.
I mean, have you ever seen something more magical?! Moments like this made all of the other little things disappear!
We were told that we could call or text ANY time of day or night to get anything. However, if you call it goes straight to voicemail and the response time to a text was about 10-20 minutes. We went out one night and came back at 12:00. I texted at 11:50 for a ride to our tent and did not hear back until 12:20 only to tell me that they cannot take guests to their tents that late due to the noise of the UTV. Made perfect sense to me, I just wish that we had been told that rather than “anytime you need a ride just call or text.” If I had known that there was a cutoff we would have been back before it…nothing better than walking up a mountain after a few too many drinks!
This is at the bottom of the mountain, where the larger tents are…still gorgeous, but nothing near as spectacular as what we had at the smaller tents.
There is horseback riding on the property and in the morning they would herd the horses in with an atv and it was so beautiful to watch!
We got poured on one afternoon so thought it would be a good time to get our free tastings at the Vines at Vail Winery. Those two tastings turned into many, many more and we really had a great time…spent too much money but had a GREAT time. ***Something else to keep in mind, they tell you that you cannot bring any alcohol from outside but can purchase from the winery on the property. I am not sure how they really monitor this and we definitely brought our own and never had an issue.
You have got to love those rain drops and blue skies…nothing better than a Colorado afternoon storm.
We filled our trip with everything from hiking the Mayflower Gulch Trail, shopping the Outlets at Silverthorne, trying to hike at Hanging Lake but the parking lot was full so we instead spent the afternoon at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, rode the gondola up to the top of the mountain and shopped in Vail and so much more…I have included the rest of my favorite images below. There really is no more magical place than the Rockies!
On our way up to Mayflower Gulch
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
View from top of the mountain in Vail
Vail-Battle Mountain Pass
Vail-Battle Mountain Pass
When I first talked to Laura she hesitantly said you do know we have 8 kids don’t you after I told her how excited I was to photograph their family. I, of course, was excited for the challenge that comes along with the chaos of all of those kiddos…AND anyone who knows me knows that I would have 13 if I had my way! (Too bad the husband doesn’t feel the same way:)) They were everything I could have hoped for and more, and I almost brought a couple of them home with me!
I just love the happiness that shines through in these photos and the love that these two have for each and every one of those babies is so evident! The littlest, Liam, was celebrating his 2nd birthday and carried his new airplane book and airplane everywhere and those siblings doted on him the entire time! I love being able to capture something that is so important but will also pass quickly!
I hope you love their album, it really was so incredibly fun to capture their personalities and play with them for an evening and I hope our happiness that evening shows! Make sure you scroll to the bottom to view their video!!
Documenting birth is one of my most favorite things. There is nothing greater than the opportunity to be a witness to new life and when I have the opportunity to take on a birth client I do not hesitate. So when Gloriana was in need of a last minute photographer only a couple of weeks from her due date I was quick to say “yes!”
This birth was so beautiful, Gloriana was a warrior, Silas was a strong and steady partner and their birth team was beyond amazing! When Bennett was born he had a little trouble breathing and I watched as Gloriana and Silas’s midwives helped him to do what we all take for granted. I could take this so much further and say that although I have obviously always been supportive of midwifery care, after watching what Deidre and Jessica did that night to help this little guy along was breathtaking and that I feel even more strongly about how midwives should get far more respect than they often do! I am quite certain that there were tears in all of our eyes when Bennett took that first breath and then let out that first high pitched scream…in fact he cried long after and never did I tire of hearing that sound, what a precious, most perfect sound!
I could talk about this birth and how beautiful it was for hours, but instead I will let you see it for yourself. Make sure to watch the video with all of the photos and that sweet sound of Bennett’s cry that will ring in my ears every time I think of this night.
P.s. You may notice that there are very few photos included in this gallery of Gloriana and Silas during labor/delivery and directly after. I feel it is so important to let my birthing mama’s have a say in what is shared and I will never share anything that makes them even slightly uncomfortable, so this gallery has been edited by Gloriana to keep her most intimate moments sacred and between she and her husband. ❤❤❤
I got to take photos of your beautiful mother while you were still in her belly just 9 days before I got to meet you. I came to the hospital when you were just two days old and still learning a lot about life. You and your mama were working hard at getting the feeding thing figured out and you were not the happiest while I was there, but while watching your mommy and how gracefully and patiently she calmed you, I just know that you two will have it figured out in no time and it will all be a distant memory. This is one of the reasons I love documenting little one’s like you, everything changes so quickly and before you know it you will be doing things on your own!
After my small time with your mommy and daddy I know already that your mama will be the calm one, the one that cuddles you when you’re scared or hurt and wipes away your tears gently when you are upset and you daddy is going to be the funny one, the one that will push the limits of fatherhood while you’re mama nervously laughs at him. You will be so loved by these two beautiful people who are so perfectly paired that you will get the best of both of them, gaining your mother’s grace, strength and beauty while also being gifted with your father’s carefree attitude and humor! You are so blessed in so many ways and I hope you can one day look back at these photos and see that it started from the moment you were born.
Every year we spend the last Saturday in September celebrating the two littlest’s birthdays. I feel like the day gets better with each passing year and yesterday was no exception. We had a bbq, tons of family, bubbles, backyard soccer, cupcakes, presents, AND to top it off we always take those that are willing to the Greater Andover Days carnival. We had a spectacular night and I could not stop editing our memories to put together a short video for Liam and Frankie so that they could always remember the fun that we had!
I have been nearly crawling out of my skin in anticipation to be able to show off this session. I met Bryan and Kaley a little over a week ago at their house for their photo session and everything about it was magical! Their sweet puppy hid from me making the photos with her included so sweet. Then Bryan took us to his grandparents property in Belle Plaine and the magic just kept on coming. These two are so beautiful and obviously so, so in love and it was so amazing to be able to capture this fleeting moment in their lives before two become three.
I had the pleasure of photographing their Fresh 48 today and also got to show them the slideshow below and needless to say poor Kaley was quite emotional. I know that hormones were a bit at play this morning, but I also can’t help but get a little teary as I look at these photos…there is really so much to love; Kaley and Bryan, their beautiful connection, the amazing property that we got to explore, the gorgeous night we had…all of it really was so dreamy! I hope you enjoy their session as much as I loved documenting it and stay tuned for their Fresh 48!
What can I say about the Potter’s? They are one of the sweetest families I have ever met. They have been through more than many go through in a lifetime with Brooke battling cancer after being diagnosed while pregnant with Adelyn, to an unexpected miscarriage after beating cancer…their story is one of courage, strength, and above all else undying love. I was so honored to be able photograph and get to know this family.
It was so amazing to watch the bond that Adelyn has with both of her parents, but it was clear from the get go that she was quite the Daddy’s girl! She LOVES going to work with Reece and riding in the airplanes, so of course it was an obvious place to document them doing what they love. Adelyn is everything you would expect from a nearly three year old, she is spunky, outgoing, opinionated and so, so ACTIVE. I love that I got to document this threesome before the addition of the littlest Potter, Emerie!
I do hope you love the Potter family’s documentary session as much as I do! As always, make sure to scroll to the bottom to see their video with even more photos. 🙂
I spent just a short hour with you and your sweet family and let me tell you, it was so evident how much love you are surrounded by in less than 30 seconds of being there. Your mama and daddy were pretty exhausted from their hospital stay but their excitement from your arrival was still so evident in their tired eyes! Your big sister Ilona is not your biggest fan right now, but she has been the one and only for quite a while and I am just sure that she will soon realize that having a sister is the BEST thing ever!
I do hope that you can look back on your photos one day and see the love that I saw, and understand just how lucky you are! Welcome to the world baby girl!
Your first paparazzi,