When you live in a beautiful state like Colorado, it should be pretty easy to pick a location for your photos, right?
There are a few things to consider when deciding on a location for your photo shoot.
The main one is permits. While Colorado is a beautiful state, many of the most sought after photo shoot locations require a permit for commercial photography usage. With the permit comes a cost and a contract to shoot only in approved areas. Some of the most heavily permitted areas are Boulder and national parks. While these permits are completely necessary to preserve the delicate landscape we enjoy, it’s not always in my best interest business wise to purchase permits to ever location. I do, however, annually purchase the Jefferson County permit and many state park permits. This allows me use of many front range locations. If your heart is set on a location, you are welcome to purchase the day pass for your location provided my business meets the other permitting requirements of the venue. The permit cost would be in addition to the cost of the session.
Decision made… now what?
Dressing for your location is key. Proper foot wear is needed as there can sometimes be a walk to our location. Strollers are always a good idea for little ones. Photo shoots can be tiring and sometimes the walk back to our cars can seem longer to little legs. Sunscreen and bug spray may be needed but should be applied before our scheduled shoot time to prevent getting a late start and missing the best light!
In our correspondence prior to our appointment, I’ll let you know exactly where to meet me. I’ll be sure to include a link to our location with special directions for parking, if needed.
What about the weather?
Colorado weather is something, isn’t it? Sunny and warm one minute gives way to gusting wind and black clouds the next. While I love my job as a photographer, I am not a great meteorologist . Because of this, I begin each week with weather apps… five of them, to be exact. I check those same apps every day. If weather looks less than desirable as the forecast becomes more dependable, I’ll contact you to create a back up plan. This could be moving our session up or back a few hours , changing locations or rescheduling. Moving session time or location can change the feel of the photos because lighting and terrain may be different. I’ll explain those things as we create a back up plan so you can make an informed choice. In most cases, however, the decision about whether to reschedule or rearrange our appointment will rest with you; there may be times when I have to reschedule a session based on safety of myself and my clients or if conditions persist that could damage my camera equipment.
While we’re talking about unpredictable things, I’d be doing a disservice if I didn’t mention the creepy crawlies I frequently find while on location. Spiders, squirrels and snakes… Oh yes. They (and many other creatures) are all there whether we see them or not. While I shoot many of my sessions in nature, I have also encountered animals and insects at my cityscape locations.
So what can we do to protect ourselves while on location? There are two main rules: #1-Do not run ahead of me. I will lead our group to the location we’ll use. While I’m not Annie Oakley or Jack Hanna, I want to be the first one to encounter an animal, not your kiddos. You’ll notice I am nearly always wearing long pants and tennis shoes or boots even on those hot summer days. I do this so that, should I encounter a snake, spider, or other creature, my legs and feet are protected. #2-Make noise! I hope to not encounter animals while on location and making noise as we approach gives them time to make a getaway.
Bug spray is always good to have on hand.
In this section, you’ll find examples of a few of my favorite locations (Click on the specific location for directions). Not seeing a desired location here does not mean it’s not available! I am always open to a new spot provided it fits within my driving radius and I have permission to use it. Please be aware that I have a 60 mile travel radius. Once a location exceeds the radius, a flat fee is applied for travel based on location. The one hour travel radius applies toward full sessions. Mini-session photo shoot locations must be within 25 miles of Fort Lupton, Colorado.
Fort Collins :
Lory State Park is a gorgeous mountain location, but has a few hidden surprises that make for extra fun photos. Since Lory is a state park, a $10 entrance is charged when entering the park.
Olde Town provides a city feel. I’ve yet to fully explore this part of Fort Collins, but am up for doing so if a cityscape fits your desired background.
Other Fort Collins locations include Spring Canyon Park or City Park .
Chapunga Sculpture park at Centerra: A unique park with small ponds, taller grasses, and bridges.
Glenmere Park is my favorite place shoot morning locations any time of the year. It’s mature pine trees, lake, and gazebo make photos beautiful no matter what time of the year.
Poudre Valley Trail-Signature Bluffs is a quiet spot in Greeley, with a cute red barn and lots of places to explore following a tree-lined trail!
Golden Ponds is a beautiful natural area right in the the heart of Longmont. Its got something for everyone! Take a look.
Sandstone Ranch has so much diversity! It boasts an old barn, a giant weeping willow tree, stone steps, and an open lawn, as well as open fields to create those glowing sunset photos. You can see, it’s one of my favorite locations.
Coot Lake rests in Longmont along the Longmont/Boulder border. The mountain backdrop sells itself here .
Davidson Mesa: Lush and green in the spring , bright and warm in the summer, Davidson Mesa is a favorite of mine! This spot requires extra care when booking as there are no trees to block shade. That means, we will usually meet earlier than we need to in order to be in place when the light is perfect!
Milavec Reservoir is right in the middle of Frederick. It’s a great mini-session location.
Pearson Park is a little wooded area right next to the intersection of Highway 52 and Highway 85. Golden hour at Pearson is nothing short of amazing! Take a peek.
Denver and surrounding area:
McKay Lake: A forest in the city, McKay Lake is beautiful and centrally located. For this reason, I shoot nearly all of my mini and mid-day sessions here.
Eastlake: Like McKay Lake, Eastlake is an oasis in the city. With beautiful grassy areas and a big metal bridge, there are plenty of places to make beautiful photos.
Croke Reservoir: This tiny little trail in Northglen make a beautiful fall backdrop!
Standley Lake Open Space : A beautiful mountain backdrop brings all the beauty and you don’t need anything more!
Barr Lake: Barr Lake is a quiet space with lots of room to explore. With foot bridges and beautiful grassy meadows, the options for photo locations are almost too many to count. Note: Barr Lake does have a $10 entrance fee if you don’t have a state park pass.
Downtown: All the appeal of a busier downtown location without the crowds and parking headaches!
Veteran’s Park: Just outside of downtown Brighton, Veteran’s Park has a nature trail and river access. It’s the perfect place to add a bit of wow factor to your photos.
Jefferson County :
Anderson Park: (4355 Field St, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033) Anderson Park is a lush location along the green belt in Wheat Ridge.
Hildebrand Park : Located along the foothills in Jefferson County, this is a great place for sunset photos!
Mount Falcon: ( west trailhead) Your quintessential Colorado mountain back drop with out the long drive, Mount Falcon west is beautiful any time of day!
Mount Falcon: (east trailhead) I can’t love this location enough. Year round, it’s a gorgeous view. Sunrise or sunset photo seekers will not be disappointed! Who wouldn’t want the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater in their photos to add the perfect pop of Colorado!
Lookout Mountain Park: Want that mountain feel without a big drive into the mountains? This might be the perfect spot for you.
Wash Park : With its sprawling green grass, blossoming trees and gardens, and giant mature pine trees, Wash Park is a fun spot to hit in spring and summer!
Cheeseman Park: Another Denver favorite! Marble pillars and gazebo add a splash of variety to photos.
Aurora/ Parker and everyone in between:
Star K Ranch: This spot is definitely my go-to for the Aurora crowd. It’s quiet with lots of open space but still plenty of trees to filter a beautiful evening sun!
Bluff Lake in the Stapleton area is another lovely wooded area, but you can also find a desert feel right near the parking lot!
17 Mile Farm, Parker, CO : An old farm repurposed for modern day family fun makes a great backdrop for those south of Denver folks. This location does require an extra travel fee of $30.
McCabe Meadows, Parker, CO: This location really does have something for everyone! Like 17 Mile Farm, there is a flat travel fee of $30.