What No One Will Ever Tell You About The Best Photography Spots

Have you ever been scrolling through your feed and just been stopped in your tracks by a beautiful photo? Literally stop and think “holy cow I don’t know where that was shot but dang thats so freaking stunning, I would love to do something like that!” Well, I’ve got some news for you, those shots are usually either right on private land, in a VERY awkward spot to get to, or smack dab in the middle of the public where every waking eye is looking at you. Now, don’t get me wrong, not all photo ops are that way but I can guarantee you lots are.

I have a little story of my own that just so happens to fit right in to all three of the categories I just described. However, like I mentioned these are THE seemingly best spots for a stunning picture. It also helps when you have a bad ass photographer who’s down to conquer it all with you.

A couple weeks ago my family and I were on vacation in Estes Park, Colorado. We go usually once maybe twice a year but within the last couple years our family has experienced a major baby boom. Tons of littles which is the BEST but, also makes family vacations a little more complicated. We braved the 9 hour road trip and all headed into Estes though. While we were there I thought it would be the perfect place to take some mountain maternity pictures since my husband and I married in Estes Park in 2015.

My sister is a photographer based here in Wichita, Kansas. Newer to the game but you would NEVER know it. She is one of those girls who can pick up any talent and kill it. Annoying right? I freaking love it, and she is so inspiring. She suggested we drive around to look for some spots to take pictures. I had two different dresses so I wanted two different locations. Now recently Estes, Devil’s Gulch, and Glen Haven were hit with some major flooding which changed a lot of the land down along river in the canyon. We used to have a spot we would go to that was perfect for wading but also walking through some waterfalls without being deep. Hoping to find this spot we quickly realized it no longer existed after the flood came through 😦 .

This lead us to plan B, what plan B was we really didn’t even know. We kept driving and noticed this gorgeous open pasture surrounded by trees on the foothill of the canyon. It was picture perfect I tell you… pristine, well kept, beautiful sunlight peeking through the trees and a gravel drive that lead right up to it. We whip in and park the car and the first thing we notice is a “Private Property” sign.. Sh*t. Thinking quickly I googled the area we were in and actually come to find it is a public housing development where many homes are rented out for the year. I figured if we park and take pictures no one is going to know if we are staying there for our visit or else where. We even had multiple cars drive by, one being a firetruck and no one said a word about us not being allowed to do so.

Still nervous as hell we ran out to quickly snap some shots and let me tell you.. it was all worth it! Let me also add I don’t condone you breaking the law if you see a Private Property sign, do a little research and see if its actually private.. We just got lucky and it happened to be open land with an outdated sign.

Afterwards we called my husband and told him to get ready since we were on to shoot dress number 2. We were staying on Estes Lake and right by the golf course. Thinking it was peak time for Golden Hour the golf course had some beautiful land on it that would be perfect for pictures. We pick him up and make the minute drive down to the lake/course and EVERYONE.. like EVERYONE is out walking enjoying the evening all along the path. If people weren’t walking they were fishing along the path or on the course finishing up their golf round for the evening. We figured we were already there we might as well just go with it and find whatever spots we want and ignore every waking eye watching us.

The first spot was literally right by a fisherman. My sister being the awesome creative mind that she is was able to work out angles that cut him out but, he literally was staring at us overtime I looked over at him. SO AWKWARDDDD…! Again though, the final images made it all worth it. I have some of the most beautiful photos of my husband and our baby to treasure in the same town we got married in 4 years ago.

This last spot was tricky one. You would never know it but behind me was a steep slope with a little pond of yucky moss water just waiting for me to eat it and fall into. Now if you didn’t know this, you don’t exactly have the best balance when your pregnant. My husband was sweetly talking sh*t in the background telling me “don’t go falling in!” -_- Thanks dear. Happy to say I made it out alive.

I want to give a BIG thank you to PinkBlush for sending me this gorgeous Burgundy maternity dress, It truly is a perfect piece! #sponsoredbypinkblush . You can also shop the yellow dress I am wearing here , also PinkBlush. I highly recommend checking them out for ANY of your maternity needs. They are one the best places to shop in my personal opinion, with so many options from casual wear, to maternity, to hospital and home wear. For reference in Both dresses I am wearing a size medium.

Our First Baby Free Get Away!

You guys, we finally did it! It was hard but, we did it! If the title of this post doesn’t explain what we did then let me just tell ya. We spent our first night ever away from Roman since he’s been born. Trust me, it wasn’t easy but I can honestly say it felt wonderful. I think sometimes as parents you just need some time together or away to get a little piece of “you” back. No stress of “pumping and dumping,” just enjoying that one (or two or three, whatever you please) awesome glass of beer, wine, sangria, whatever you fancy! You know what I’m talking about! Enjoying each other’s time without having to “share” it, just soaking each other up. We not only got to soak in some alone time but we also got to join some fellow Coloradans (is that what you would call them?) at Red Rocks to see Incubus.

Now Roman is only 2 1/2 months old so believe me it was hard to leave him but he got to stay with my mother & father who spoiled him so Much I’m sure he was sad to come back home! But, Let’s all be real, grandparents are the best! They spoil you with so much love and cuddles, I remember always wanting to stay with my Nana & Grandma so much that I would actually fake sick sometimes so that they had to keep me during the day while my parents worked!

Back to our adventure. We LOVE Incubus and we knew we had to go see them because they were also playing at our favorite venue, Red Rocks. We saw Dirty Heads there two years before and instantly fell in love with the place! So not only did we get a win with 1. Who was playing, 2. The Venue, we also got to eat at our favorite breakfast place in Denver (we also go to the Boulder location as well)! SNOOZE A.M.! If you have not had the guilty pleasure of trying this place do yourself a favor and do so! We ate at the Union Station location which is so cool, there are the cutest little shops inside there. Some are coffee shops, pop up bars, flower boutiques, book stores etc.! I love the Pig Train coffee bar inside there, so yummy!

Our trip was literally a drive up one day drive back the next but it was so great to spend some quality time with my husband. I can’t wait for our next short & sweet adventure!

32 Weeks, Colorado, & My Birthday!

Monday May 29th, 2017 : Arrived in Estes Park, Colorado

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Ahhhh, the glorious view of the Rocky Mountains! There is seriously nothing more majestic and beautiful than this view. I grew up coming to Estes Park as a kid every year and since I’ve became an adult I’ve found myself making multiple trips a year here. With baby on the way I couldn’t think of a better “Baby Moon” than here to come as a family of 3 one last time (before we are 4)! If you have never visited Estes Park it is a must! Estes is very family friendly with so much to do from horse back riding, to hiking in RMNP, white water rafting, to shopping downtown, mini golfing, and even enjoying a Colorado home brew at the Beer Garden.

When we first got into town we dropped our stuff off at my Aunts place (who lives in Estes and was very kind to let us stay with her) and relaxed a little bit. Since the Drive from Wichita to Estes is a long one we really took it easy the first night and just went to a late movie. We saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2, it was seriously hilarious, if you haven’t seen it yet do yourself a favor and DO IT!


Tuesday May 30th, 2017 : My Birthday and 32 Weeks!

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So I officially hit the 32 Week mark! Wahoo! I must say its still unreal that I only have 8 weeks left! To celebrate our milestone and my birthday we started the day off with some breakfast at The Egg & I in downtown. They have such good breakfast, we always enjoying making a stop here when we are in town! After breakfast we went to Fun City for some mini golf. The weather was perfect, and I’m happy to say that I actually won a round of mini golf for once and NO, they didn’t let me win just cause it was my birthday! While we were mini golfing we happened to see Open Air Adventure Park across the way, and decided to make our way over after we grabbed some lunch at the Estes Park Brewery.

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Now with Open Air they only do courses/sessions every 30 minutes so we had to originally wait a little before we could go. Now obviously with me being pregnant I couldn’t participate but Lincoln and Kevin could. Before getting up on beams they had to go through a little walk through session on their gear and how to maneuver through out the course. I happened to snap a couple cute pics of them.

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Now being the quick learners they are they had no problem and hopped right on in!

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Linc completed the first level of the course, the greens and blues, we hung out while dad completed the second level of course (the hardest)! So proud of him!

We spent the rest of our evening hanging out at the house having a Monopoly game night, Kevin kicked our butts.


Wednesday May 31st, 2017 : A Day in Denver

Wednesday we made the hour and a half drive into Denver to take Linc to the Denver Aquarium. If you haven’t ever had a chance to take your little ones I very highly recommend this! Kevin and I went together last year and enjoyed it as adults so much that we wanted to bring him back here.

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The coolest part is at the very end where you can touch the sting rays! We had a hard time getting Linc to leave, haha.

After the Aquarium we made the short drive next door the Children’s Museum of Denver where they have indoor and outdoor exhibits. Now we didn’t know there was a water area for the kids to play in so we didn’t come prepared unfortunately and had to skip out on that, so if its warm out bring your kids swim suits, its a really neat area!

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As you can see this museum is also easily just as enjoyable for adults as well!


Thursday June 1st, 2017 : HOME we go!

So before we headed back home we made a quick stop down into Glen Haven for their famous cinnamon rolls! Now if you plan on making this stop make sure you not only get there when they first open (9 am) but that you also call ahead the day before If you plan on ordering more than 5! They will only give a maximum of 5 rolls per person, and they go quick so get in line and plan ahead! I promise its worth it! Hope our little vacation gave you some in sight on fun things to do if you ever visit Estes Park. Since I can’t hike I did miss not being able to go into the park and do the trails but there is always next time!

XOXO,

Danielle