Sweet & Simple Session - Explained!

What is a Sweet & Simple Session? I am so glad you asked! In these sessions, I set out to capture a set of meaningful images of family. The beautiful connections between mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, siblings, spouses. At the end of the day, that connection is just sweet & simple - no fluff, fanfare, or crazy props. It is the love that we carry with us throughout each day, that keeps us going during the tough times and what we rejoice in during the happy times.

Whether you are choosing a Sweet & Simple Session to highlight your family, your children, or your journey into motherhood, the outcome is the same. You will have a series of beautiful, cohesive images to select from. These images can then be shared in a beautiful heirloom album, a keepsake box to highlight your favorite memories, or a stunning piece of statement wall art to highlight the awesome memories made during your session. Remember that with Seen & Hurd Photography, you only purchase the images that you want, you aren’t stuck picking 10 because that it what you pre-paid for. Our full service studio doesn’t end with an email link to a gallery. Each session experience ends will hand-delivered, custom art that will be cherished for years to come.

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I had no idea what I was doing when I met with Sarah to order prints. She had amazing suggestions on what prints to do, and how to format them. After ordering them I was beyond thrilled with the results. The images were stunning and on a good quality paper but the metal prints and ornaments are complimented on every time we have a guest in our home. Worth every penny!
— Brittany (client)

Some details to consider. These sessions are usually a bit shorter than an average session, about 35-45 minutes, but if we need to shoot longer that is fine as well. Since we are trying to capture the connections and love in your family, the session is spent laughing, playing, and snuggling with those you hold dear. My client closet is also available during these sessions. This option can help to reduce stress about finding that perfect outfit or provide an opportunity to wear something unique and out of the ordinary. Usually clients will choose 1 gown or outfit but change the look with a variety of accessories.

It was so wonderful to have her bring us dresses and outfits so that we didn’t have to try and find/coordinate outfits. I felt like a queen wearing my gown, while my daughter felt like a princess.
— Megan (client)
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A Sweet & Simple Session fee is $250 and includes a $50 keepsake credit to apply to your art/ print order. And remember if you book your session before the end of May 2019, you will receive a complimentary gift with your print order.

I am so excited to see what we create together! Click the button below to get started with your session!

Partner Spotlight: Miss Madison Photo Props

Hello friends!  As I mentioned in a previous post, I am excited to highlight some of the fabulous people I have met along this photography journey.  This week I am thrilled to introduce you to Sunny Wells of Miss Madison Photo Props.

I honestly can’t remember where I originally came across Miss Madison Photo Props other than it was on Facebook.  I was able to join her preferred photographers group and just stalked at the beginning. I loved her beautiful gowns and was in awe of the talented photographers who were sharing just stunning images of their maternity sessions using her gowns.  I knew I wanted to offer that experience to my clients. I do remember the first gown I ordered however! Sunny sometimes does fun games in her groups where the winner gets an additional percentage off their purchase. As many of you know, I am a competitor so I was determined to win!  My persistence paid off and I was able to snag a discount code which was awesome for a photographer who was just starting out and didn’t have a huge client base yet! I decided to use my code to purchase a gown for a fundraising opportunity I was planning. My husband’s cousin had recently invited us to be a part of the Denver Walk to End Alzheimer’s event.  We had agreed to be photographers the day of the walk but I also wanted to raise awareness for the event, disease, and caregivers in honor of my grandmother who battled dementia at the end of her life. I was offering photo sessions where a portion of the session proceeds would be donated as long as anyone in the photos wore the color purple to honor those fighting the disease.  So I ordered my first Miss Madison gown - her Anna design in lilac so I could offer a beautiful purple option to my clients and honor my grandmother (Violet Weller) at the same time.

Anna gown in Lilac

Anna gown in Lilac

I was thrilled with the gown and the outcome.  My client asked at the session where it was from as she had a black tie event coming up and the gown was so comfortable and it made her feel so pretty.  Combined with the high quality and wonderful customer service, that was enough for me to continue ordering from Sunny.

Sunny Wells grew up with 9 siblings and learned to sew from her mother, much like her mother had done before her (I love a good generational connection!).  Her father purchased her mother a Bernina sewing machine after opening up his own dental practice and her mother began teaching her sew at just 5 years old.  She found it boring and often left the sewing room to bake or climb trees with her brothers. Her mother eventually suggested that Sunny design her own dress for her 8th grade graduation and after that experience she was hooked on designing and sewing her own creations - even the bridesmaids gowns for her own wedding.  Life happened and she didn’t get back into sewing for 20 years until her own husband presented her with her own Bernina sewing machine. Then one day her oldest daughter called and asked her to make a gown for an upcoming maternity client she would be photographing soon. The idea of Miss Madison was born when her daughter asked her for 5 more gowns a week later.  Now 5 years after that phone call she has sourced her own textile companies to find the perfect laces, threads, and fabric. Her main fabric doesn’t wrinkle, it retains its shape even when it’s stretched to capacity. It has amazing recovery! You can wash AND dry it! Stickers and burrs don’t cling to it... it resists stains, but most of all, it hugs a woman's curves like magic!  She says it hasn’t been all butterflies and rainbows but that she loves what she does and is looking forward to the next 30 years!

I have been able to add several other gowns from Miss Madison to my studio closet since that first Anna gown purchase.  I consistently go back to her shop for several reasons. One is the amazing customer service she and her employees provide.  When you order a Miss Madison gown they provide an estimated timeline for your purchase to arrive. I love getting updates from them when my order is assigned to a seamstress, and then when it is finished and ready to be shipped.  I also get tracking information with every order. I love that I am able to know these details. It makes it much more personal and easier to connect with the women who are helping me to make beautiful images and memories for my clients.

Piper Gown in Moss Green

Piper Gown in Moss Green

Another reason I continue to order from Sunny is the quality of her gowns and the attention to detail she provides.  I fell in love with her Piper gown (yes, partly because it is the name of my daughter!) and ordered one in moss green.  Once I had it on a client, I was even more enamored with it. I feel asleep one evening thinking about a couple of ideas I had for my next gown.  I messaged Sunny and was able to express my ideas about using a mesh fabric on my next gown. She responded just as excited as I was and created a gown that far exceeded my expectations.  Not only did she replace the lace in her original design with mesh, she custom dyed the chiffon to be a match to the new color that was created when the two fabrics were layered over one another.  I was blown away by her attention to detail that she demonstrated when creating this gown. (Be sure to follow me on Instagram @seenandhurdphotography to see images of the gown!)

Her designs and colors are also varied and meet the needs of so many of my clients.  One way this is evident is in her line of girls gowns. The versatility that this option adds to my sessions is so appreciated.  I have had several young girls wear my Charlie gown and they love how it makes them feel like a princess. The colors she offers are also beautiful - deep, rich, and luxurious.  But her women’s gowns are just amazing. I have her Everly design in Denim Blue. I love this gown and the mix of fabrics it offers. I think the sleeves are my favorite. I also recently acquired one of her newer designs - the Scarlett gown.  I selected her Mauve color for this purchase. I was also able to customize my purchase by adjusting the length of the sleeves. One of my favorite aspects of this gown is the full skirt - it adds so much drama to images and yet the gown is still comfortable to wear.  As I have already mentioned, Sunny makes customizing her gowns so easy. I ordered her Mia gown and it was so quick and easy to add sleeves to my order. The options are endless! Each gown that arrives from Miss Madison is just as well made and gorgeous as the last. And a little bonus is how good the box smells when you open it!  She adds a little extra touch when she finishes your order and I love how good her gowns smell and look fresh out of the box!

From left to right: Charlie in Berry, Everly in Denim Blue, Scarlett in Mauve, Mia in Charcoal

From left to right: Charlie in Berry, Everly in Denim Blue, Scarlett in Mauve, Mia in Charcoal

I am so excited to see what new designs she has in the works and am so looking forward to continuing building my client closet with Miss Madison.  If you are in the market for a gown for a special occasion, look her up! I cannot recommend her enough. And I love that I am also supporting a strong #bossbabe to boot!

If these gowns shared here strike your fancy and you would like to add them to your session with Seen & Hurd Photography, add them to your preferences when you book your session with me.


5 Colorado Places on my Session Bucket List

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I drive past a location, or spend time someplace with my family and inspiration strikes - and I want to have a photography session there. It might be the way the light plays in the trees or an interesting architectural feature, but a little bit of magic plants a seed. And then my imagination kicks in… I start to think about the number of people, the feeling the setting emotes, the colors or clothing I would include in the space. I love planning and creating these little pieces of beauty.

With all of that said, there are several places that I would love to shoot. I am dying to get on a beach with a pier and a desert with scrub and cactus, but there are also several places in my own backyard that are just calling my name. So here are five of my bucket list locations along the Denver Front Range.

Location #1: Woodland Mosaic Solarium at the Denver Botanic Gardens

I discovered that this solarium was originally one of eight ordered by Disney and built by a company in England. A woman living in Illinois purchased it from an auction house but passed away before it was erected on her property. Her son lived in Boulder and was asked by his father if he knew of anyone interested in it. Denver Botanic Gardens was looking for something and paid for the cost of shipping and installation.

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I have several ideas for this space, including a maternity session as well as engagement sessions. Choosing to have your session at the Denver Botanic Gardens is a beautiful option and provides several unique vignettes for your images. A reservation and fee is required to use their gardens but well worth it!

Location #2: Colorado Railroad Museum

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This location outside of Golden, CO has so much variety! And it also has spectacular golden hour lighting, which is always a bonus! I have done a couple of family and children’s sessions at the museum but I would love to see a maternity session here. And how cute would it be to have a large canvas print of your maternity session with trains in the background in your baby’s train themed nursery? I get giddy just thinking about it! With a large variety of trains, engines, cars, and a depot there is a ton of options to explore during a session. And because it has several tracks that are not in use, it is the only legal way to capture an image on the train tracks and ensures everyone is safe. There is a small cost to get into the museum but it provides a fun day for all!

Location #3: Standley Lake Beach

This is an interesting one because the beach at Standley Lake is always changing in size and sometimes isn't even available. Maybe it is because I spent 30+ years of summers in Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes, that I would love to capture this spot again. I was lucky enough to capture a handful of images during a shootout workshop there in late fall of 2018, and it got me hooked! I think a maternity session here would be just lovely with the water during golden hour and then a sunset in the background. But a fun summer family session would be cute too, with sparkles coming off the water. It is a little bit of a steep slope walking down to the water and can be a bit steep coming back up. So I would recommend that if you choose this location you are in good health, have steady footing, and are wearing excellent shoes!

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Location #4: Santa Fe Art District/ RiNo

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I love to change things up and explore the fun urban environment that Denver has to offer. The Santa Fe Arts District and the RiNo area have some beautiful art to offer. I haven’t been able to explore the RiNo area as much as I would like but I do follow them on Instagram and am blown away by the talented artists that the city showcases. I did take some fun pictures along Santa Fe this past spring and loved the colors and vibe of the neighborhood. I think an engagement session would be so fun there - could have a blast exploring the various art and side streets of either location. The fun colors, bold lines, and little details are fun to find and make such a unique image. Also a maternity session would be such a departure from the usual nature-inspired sessions that are popular. It would be so easy to find complimentary colors to a nursery design. I also think a senior session would be a blast to photograph in either area. A flowy gown or skirt would be such a contrast to the brick and bold lines. But a cute jean jacket or leather boots would add to the urban vibe. So many options and ideas!

Location #5: The Dairy Block/ Denver, CO

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This location just screams fun to me! I would love to do a maternity session or new motherhood session in front of the milk splash sculpture, even a breastfeeding session would be just amazeballs! Yes, cliché, but so much fun. This area is also beautiful at sunset and in the evening with lights that are strung across the open space above. So an engagement session would be lovely and the darkness would provide a feel of intimacy. It might be a little overused at the moment but I think even a popular area can make a photo session experience memorable if it is the right location for the images. And the number of restaurants, ice cream parlors, and drink spots available in this area would make for a pretty fun date after the session is over! The making of memories during a photo session are one of the best reasons to book a session, and this location is sure to provide memories in spades!

So there you have it - 5 locations that are currently on my session bucket list! If any of these locations strikes your fancy, let’s chat about how to make your session memorable in one of these fun Denver spots. I wonder what other locations will be added to my bucket list this year. Comment below with a location that is on a bucket list of yours!