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!

5 Favorite Poses for Senior Girls

While it is cold and still a little snowy outside, I wanted to revisit some of my favorite senior sessions and go-to poses that I like to use. Posing during a senior session can get a bit repetitive and boring, so it’s always good to have a wide variety of ideas and options for your clients to try. Not every pose will work with every client but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try them all and see what works for you! Just remember to have fun and keep your client feeling beautiful and confident! So let’s take a look at my top 5 favorites!

I love this pose because it creates some visual interest and answers the question - “what do I do with my hands?”. The key to making this pose successful is a direct gaze into the lens and keeping the higher elbow parallel to the ground.

I love this pose because it creates some visual interest and answers the question - “what do I do with my hands?”. The key to making this pose successful is a direct gaze into the lens and keeping the higher elbow parallel to the ground.

This one is always guaranteed to bring genuine smiles and laughs! In prepping this pose I tell my clients to walk away from me and then when I say turn to swing back around like they just heard their name called by their celebrity crush. It always loosens them up and we are able to get some great smiles! You can also add a variation and have them turn or spin as they walk.

This one is always guaranteed to bring genuine smiles and laughs! In prepping this pose I tell my clients to walk away from me and then when I say turn to swing back around like they just heard their name called by their celebrity crush. It always loosens them up and we are able to get some great smiles! You can also add a variation and have them turn or spin as they walk.

When you need a little variety, having your client sit down is always a good option! We were lucky during this session to have a flat spot along the shore of the river for this pose. Bending the back leg helps keep both visible and also allows a place for the arm to rest. Keeping their back straight is also key! For a variation, create a profile pose by having her look straight ahead instead of at you.

When you need a little variety, having your client sit down is always a good option! We were lucky during this session to have a flat spot along the shore of the river for this pose. Bending the back leg helps keep both visible and also allows a place for the arm to rest. Keeping their back straight is also key! For a variation, create a profile pose by having her look straight ahead instead of at you.

Many of my girls always wonder what to do with their hands and arms. I love this pose because it helps them become comfortable trying something new during their session. Creating some additional interest in this pose is off-setting the hips and torso to one another. Usually by adding small variations to where she is focusing and where her hands are, several shots are available for the final gallery in a short time frame. And isn’t the golden hour backlight here just dreamy?

Many of my girls always wonder what to do with their hands and arms. I love this pose because it helps them become comfortable trying something new during their session. Creating some additional interest in this pose is off-setting the hips and torso to one another. Usually by adding small variations to where she is focusing and where her hands are, several shots are available for the final gallery in a short time frame. And isn’t the golden hour backlight here just dreamy?

This pose is just a classic! Leaning up against a wall is always a win for me. Starting with one leg popped, it is easy to transition to several variations… ankles crossed, hands on hip(s) or flat on the wall, or can spread the feet shoulder width apart for more of a power pose. I loved the addition of her camera as a prop in this particular shot to highlight something she loves to do.

This pose is just a classic! Leaning up against a wall is always a win for me. Starting with one leg popped, it is easy to transition to several variations… ankles crossed, hands on hip(s) or flat on the wall, or can spread the feet shoulder width apart for more of a power pose. I loved the addition of her camera as a prop in this particular shot to highlight something she loves to do.

So there you have it, my top 5 favorite poses for senior girls! Which one is your favorite? Share in the comments!