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.

Express Sale, 40% Off Site Wide!


I’m going to keep this short and sweet! I had so many questions from friends, family, and readers about my baby shower dress I thought I would go back and touch on this really quick! I found my dress from Express, I did have to have it altered slightly to be more Bump friendly but, it was an easy fix and I would highly reccomend this dress if you’re looking for something to wear while pregnant for an event. Trust me I remember close to the end when it was so hard to dress my baby bump comfortably and cute, this dress is both! However you can totally wear this even if you’re not pregnant (obviously right, this wasn’t made for maternity)! There were few sizes left last time I had checked but incase you have missed it Express is having 40% off their entire site so if you were thinking about grabbing it, now is your chance! Plus you can get a head start on buying all your Fall and winter denim! 

Roman’s Birth Story

Hey everyone!

Sooooo it’s been a while! While I am sorry I am also not, I have been wrapped up in the beauty of motherhood and have been soaking up and enjoying every second, minute, hour, and day of it! I thought I would jump on here while Rome is taking his short afternoon nap and share with you our wonderful and hectic story of Roman’s big arrival.

3:32 AM- I wake up to contractions that had felt much different than the typical Braxton hicks contractions. Now if you know me, I had TONS of Braxton Hicks! I had ourselves a couple this could be it moments that weren’t actually IT! Haha! I knew these were different because they were super painful (they actually gave me the shakes and sweats). I wake up Kevin and go into the bathroom and call out on call nurse and she advises me to head to Labor and Delivery.

3:57 AM- We arrive to L&D and get checked in. Doctor comes in and checks me, only dilated to a 2, so he has us get comfortable and tells us rest up and that he will be back in an hour to check on my progression.

5:00 AM- No progression.. still at 2 but still having painful contractions. Doctor again tells us he will return in an hour.

6:00 AM- 3cm dilated! But he called it a “possible” 3 so I started losing hope.. and I knew in my gut that this was Labor. He tries to reassure me it was false Labor and still has us stick around for another hour.

7:00 AM- 3cm and he calls it a “sure” 3 this time but I’m still not progressing quick enough and still tries to argue it’s false Labor.. says he will return in an hour AGAIN.

8:00 AM- Doctor decides to send us home. He says I probably won’t be looking to go into labor in the next 24 hours but that I should be meeting our little guy in a day or two for sure. We get our hospital bag rounded up, I change back into my clothes and we leave the hospital. On the way home we grab some breakfast to go since Kevin has to be to work at 9AM. We get home around 8:30 Kevin gives me a kiss goodbye and tells me if I need anything to give him a call and he’s there! (Such a great guy!)

9:15 AM: Ring Ring! “BABE MY WATER JUST BROKE!” Kevin speeds home, our hospital bag is still in the car and we head BACK to L&D. Now they never tell you that your water keeps breaking.. it’s a constant leak.. and walking through a hospital looking like you’re peeing yourself is not a pretty look! Ha! We check in AGAIN and get into a room very quickly! Now I’m not gonna lie it felt good to see the doctor again and give him a little “I told you so” look hahaha! It’s funny how well you really know your body!

Now from here on out all the time started to blur together my contractions got pretty strong really quick. I was ready for my epidural around 11:15am because my contractions had become so strong I couldn’t stop shaking uncontrollably.

We get the anisthesiologist in the room to do the epidural but things just aren’t working. He tries the first time and hits a vein so he has to take it out and re-do it. Goes in for a second attempt and what do you ya know.. misses again.. so third times the charm right? He gets the epidural in and runs a little test dose of fentanyl, instantly i feel higher than a fucking kite! So he had missed again.. as I’m looser than a damn goose they call for another anesthesiologist to come in and attempt a 4th try. They have me lay on my side with my knees To my chest and tu-duhhhhhh! It’s finally in correctly and I’m feeling numb and high! Win win right!?

Now the problem we started encountering was I wasn’t progressing at all as far as dilating goes so they went ahead and called in for some petossin. But before they can give it to me Roman’s heart rate starts dropping. They turn me on my other side and again his heart rate drops. Other side, same thing. While the nurses kept their shit together calmly (which I greatly appreciate) they tell me they can’t give me the petossin because it could cause more harm then good at this point and bring my OB in. He gives me the option to wait it out a little longer or to go ahead with an emergency c-section. While I wanted to choose the c-section he tells me Kevin can’t be in there with me and I instantly rule that out as long as possible!

Hour goes by and still nothing but Rome’s heart beat dropping anytime I lay on my side. So they decide to put me on my hands and knees rocking from front to front and side to side… keep in mind I am NUMB and can’t feel a thing.

A couple hours go by and I’m finally making progression!! AND Roman’s heart rate hadnt dropped since I had been on my hands and knees so the doctors knew there was a cord around his neck. I got to a 6 and they kept me rocking for another hour. My nurse was about to be off her shift and came in to check one last time and I had progressed to an 8. She introduced Kevin and I to the new nurse that would be on with us and proceeded to put me back on hands and knees. (After all that I was thinking I better have some damn abs and killer thighs after this baby from all the rocking)!

It hadn’t even been 10 minutes and the new nurse comes back and checks me again and quickly asks “you ready to have a baby!?” Of course Kevin and I were so excited and we are like YES YES!!!!! Now the best part!? My nurse who had been off the clock stayed to help me deliver. She was absolutely amazing and seriously the best ever!!!

We spent 40 minutes pushing and around 8:37pm after 17 hours of labor our beautiful little boy arrived into the word! I can’t tell you how happy I am that we decided to wait it out and avoid the c-section! The rest I have chosen to keep to us as our special moments with him afterwards. We love you so much Roman Alexander Lyda!


You are the best thing to ever happen to us!


Born 8:37 pm, 7lbs 5oz, 19.5 inches long.

Maternity Pictures 


So where to begin!? I am absolutely IN LOVE with how our pictures turned out! I could not be happier. Thank you so much Elly Bean Photography for capturing these moments! You seriously work magic!

For anyone looking for a maternity photographer I HIGHLY recommend her! She is so kind and personable! I am a slightly awkward person when it comes to having pictures taken and she made everything feel so easy and natural. Elly was also very helpful in guiding us on what to do or what looks great, she even kept in mind that I had a “favorite” side for pictures! I know silly but little details like that always make me feel great because I feel confident in certain camera angles.

We can’t wait to use her again for Roman’s newborn pictures! I’m so excited to see what she will come up with! Thank you again so much Elly!!!

Xoxo,

Danielle