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dear hallie jane…

i need to write this now while the emotions are bubbling inside of me.

you fought ovarian cancer with grace and class. so many of us never really knew how much you were struggling because you always rose way above it. you always concentrated on the gifts of right now rather than the struggles happening concurrently. i always admired you for that and for so many other things. you were a beauty inside and out and loved by so so many.

we met at a colorado ovarian cancer alliance event, a movie premier of the band of gynecological oncologists called NED (no evidence of disease). you looked so fancy with your teal accessories, your stylish short signature blonde locks and your dashing husband (also clad in teal) on your arm. i was photographing the event and i knew we needed to meet. and i remember our first hug (caught on camera by my friend and fellow photographer molly.) it felt so good to meet someone my age and in the same place in life. what a comfort that day was. our get togethers over the years were short but powerful. how intense it was to have someone who truly experienced the same things as i had, who understood exactly my fears and tremendous anxieties about the disease we shared, our kids and our lives with the word ‘cancer’ in it. when we met we absolutely were on the same page. we talked about our kids and the fear in their eyes, our spouses and families and their tremendous role in our lives. we drank: prosecco, wine, margs. we walked and we talked around clear creek in golden, sipping coffee and letting the cold air blow through our hair-{we even got our cartilidge double pierced that chilly day in january together in a design you picked that will forever remind me of you and your unbelievable fashion sense}. i always sat in admiration of your focus and your determination to push all of the messy ovarian cancer drama out of your way so that you could live your life. you never let it define you or even label you. never.

i am so glad i did a mini photo shoot after our lunch in denver after we met. love these images…


and even though you fussed about getting behind the camera during the photoshoot we did for mountain moon..i’m so glad you did. so we could capture your immense love for emily and your sister katy.

hallie jane--the beautiful warrior in teal.

hallie jane–the beautiful warrior in teal.

you were always there at Jodi’s race in City Park…with your amazingly supportive family (and even your wiener dogs) sporting teal and your million dollar smile.


jodi’s race in 2014 as we proudly sported our hair growth.

and even a teal wig…

this quote will make me forever think of you!

and this amazing caption to a photo you posted on instagram exemplifies your way with words and your attitude on life with cancer–so spot on.

this is the text from one of hallie

click here forA BLOG Hallie wrote for my web site,

you will ALWAYS inspire me in this journey my friend. always.

your love for jeff and your children always inspired me as well.



i’m very grateful for my time with you and all of the lessons you’ve taught me. until we meet again sweet hallie jane.


Hillary Shemin - October 6, 2016 - 4:38 pm

MB…I’m at a loss for words. She was beautiful…YOU are beautiful. Live your life as you know she would want you to do. Hugs to you my dear friend.

the birthday girl…{littleton event photographer}

it was SO much fun getting to photograph these girls at their birthday party yesterday. they were just lovely–and had so much energy–and an extreme amount of creativity! they giggled (a lot) and were totally up for artistic photos (in addition to their instax ones). i have to admit their enthusiasm was pretty cool to be around.

we did a bunch of photos outside of the house (in the street of course) and then headed to a special spot with a view of the mountains for more photos. the wind blew just right and the sun was just about to set so we didn’t have a lot of time. but the company and the view were both just perfect.

thanks for trusting in me to capture this time in your daughter’s life C. it was a real treat! HBD J!!


mason and family… {arvada family photographer}

this little guy tugs at my heartstrings.  he’s so adorable and so loved.  i’ve had the honor of photographing his family for several years now and really enjoy being with them.  (and i love that they are all from pittsburgh too…my hometown.)  hanging out with them during this shoot was just like being with my own family.)

Scroll down to read more of their story.


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a little “cameron time”… {parker family photographer}

i wish i were exaggerating when i say that i did not want to leave after hanging out with this family…. after our photo shoot.  we laughed.  a lot.  and these two were so adorable together and quite interesting as well.  and then there’s cameron…  what a doll.  i felt a strong connection to him and wanted to hang out on the new patio furniture on the new deck cuddling with this cutie pie long after our shoot ended.  but i didn’t want to  impose…

{but i’m pretty sure i invited myself over to do just that in the near future…}

the images do a great job of portraying their love and connection as well as showcasing just how adorable cameron is!

this family is connected with the amazing Maria Hopfgarten (and her late son Jacob) via the organization called:  Miracles for Mito.  (They are hosting a silent auction dinner on October 1st at the Forney Museum of Transportation in Denver which I will be photographing:)  TICKET INFO HERE.  Please consider donating, volunteering or attending an event with this fantastic organization.

(links from past blogs with jacob and family)

jacob and sara blog,

family blog here,

and one of my first sessions with them here

thank you guys for welcoming into your home, laughing with me, and letting me cuddle with your sweet, sweet boy.