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lovely early morning light….

I love doing high school senior sessions.  There is such passion surrounding these young souls–such promise and potential.  This young lady has all of these qualities as well as poise, grace and a gentle sweetness to her personality that was so enchanting.  And wow–look at that smile!  She was easy to work with , very laid back and of course simply stunning.  I loved the connection she shared with her horses and the absolute passion for riding competitively that she expressed and worked hard over the years to develop.  We had a fun time hanging around the equestrian center in search of soft light and simple moments (and a few laughs trying to get the horses to cooperate.)

I truly understand how hard it is to have someone pointing a camera in your face (literally since as of late I’ve been using prime lenses exclusively–50 mm 1.4 and my trusty 85 mm w.4) but this young lady didn’t seem at all bothered by my intrusion.  I could tell she was where she wanted to be and doing what she wanted to do (she had some riding to do once we were finished.)  I learned a bit that early morning about the connection between the rider and the horse…it’s quite powerful and personal.  As an artist I just found myself in awe of how sweet the whole experience was.

It’s an honor that people allow me into their personal space with my cameras.  And I feel it’s my gift to make them feel comfortable, safe and at ease.  How exciting that, in a few weeks, I get to have the whole family together for a photo session as well!

Thanks L (and the D family) for trusting in me to capture this special time in your lives!

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a time for reflection…


I just finished a program through this amazing organization for cancer survivors/thrivers called First Descents based here in Colorado.  I was selected to participate in the (FD40+) mountain climbing program in Estes Park in August.  And over three weeks later I am still processing it all.  During that week “Out Living It” {their slogan} meant stepping out of ALL comfort zones, letting walls down and people in, being completely vulnerable and doing something I never thought I would or could.  Of course, cancer completely changes everything about you and, to be honest, the word ‘fear’ was completely redefined.  From diagnosis through 18 weekly chemo treatments all the way to learning to live and balance your life after… I now find myself fearful of NOT making the most of my days rather than being fearful of trying new things.  I completed a multi pitched climb to the top of a huge mountain and repelled down (there were a few tears, a few moments of panic and a few prayers along the way.)  It was the most paralyzing fear I have ever experienced. (Honestly, I really didn’t love mountain climbing.   But I loved pushing myself.)   And I completely loved having my new First Descents family believing in and pushing me as well (particularly my dear friend “Phishy” who literally talked me “up the pitch” when I was freaking out and my friend “I Can D” who cheered me on from the summit of her nearby mountain as well as my climbing partner “Tension”.  We all had nicknames for ourselves for the week…mine was “Shutterbabe”. )

Here is an image of some of my fellow climbers celebrating their summit..

Throughout the week I felt raw and exposed but also fearless and completely alive.  Once I summited “The Thumb” in Prospect Park in Estes I asked our awesome volunteer photographer (Bear Bait) to take my photo so I could really believe that I’d done it. I’ll cherish these images forever as well as the entire FD experience. It truly was indescribable.

Here’s her image of two of our climbing instructors at the summit:

But earlier this summer my family took a quick trip to Grand Lake, Colorado and the four of us rented two double kayaks and paddled the circumference of the lake.  It was a truly peaceful and magical experience for our family.  As I look reflectively back on things “out living it”, for me, means getting out and making memories with them rather than climbing mountains by myself.   Something about the view of the mountains from that kayak, the path and potential of the deep water, along with the fresh air and the peaceful solitude opened up something in each of us that day. I will forever be a mountain girl and ‘home’ will always be Colorado.

I am so grateful to First Descents for the truly life-changing week in the mountains and to all of my fellow cancer survivors/FD family for an experience that I probably will never find the right words to explain. I feel blessed and forever changed by all of it. We truly are better off for all that we let in.

Kat - September 17, 2015 - 3:14 pm

You’re a bada** Mary Beth

some long overdue collage love…{denver documentary photographer}

look at the love that exists within this family. when we are together i feel that i can never take enough pictures of them. they believe in the power of the moment and the importance of capturing it– often. they believe in letting their kids be themselves and trust in me to capture the personalities as well as the connection between them. it’s quite an honor. they don’t care about the light or that their kids are looking at the camera or posing. the just want to capture it all. and that is pure magic to me as an artist and a mom myself.

i think if our sessions together as ‘documentary photography’ in its purest form. it’s where i’d like to take my business–capturing ‘a day in the life’ with a family…and i’ll be blogging about the details of those sessions that i’ll be offering very soon. basically it’s just spending a day with a family capturing it as it unfolds rather than trying to create/ perfect the moment in a short session.

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an adorable family affair… {littleton family photographer}

it’s always an honor when i am selected to be a family photographer…an honor to be trusted with such an historical responsibility. (family photos are an annual tradition in our family also–as i make sure to take one time per year to be in front of the camera and not behind it and it’s quite an ordeal for US–so i get the stress, planning and the preparation for sure.)

i loved the location for this sweet family–it really suited them and it’s a spot i have not shot at before so that made it all the more fun. i love the challenge of showing up before a session and scoping it out for the right light and angles.

photography for me is a creative passion. it’s a chance to forget about everything else and truly be in the moment–working to make things flow and be fun for the family behind my cameras. the time zipped by with these guys and i spend time editing with a huge smile on my face. these guys are the real deal–fun, funny and totally connected.

so thanks K family for working with me this year! sorry it’s taken me so long to get this post up! i really enjoyed working with you guys and i love these images!


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