Estes Park, Colorado
As soon as the vacation was planned I knew I HAD to capture at least my own family in this epic location. As the trip neared we put together outfits and carved aside an evening sunset to spend together. The plan was to get each individual family and use my tripod to get the whole group.
Before we even arrived we had to be prepared with outfits. I began by styling my crew and then sent the rest of the families a color palette to work with. As a visual person, it always helps using Canva to put the outfit images against a similar backdrop.
Using one hour before sunset to capture 4 individual families (5 kids total) and larger groups requires a lot of prep work. Before every type of session I shoot I write out a general workflow to maximize our time together. For this particular group I had so many smaller groups/shots I wanted to be sure to get.
I love my familiar locations as much as any photographer but using somewhere new no longer scares but instead excites me! Scouting for new places is a fun adventure I generally include my family in (image to the right). When the location is out of state like this one I generally begin with Google Maps satellite view searching and from there check Instagram tags and blogs. In this situation I was fortunate to find a Colorado photographer that blogged about a favorite spot in Estes Park outside of the Rocky Mountain National Park. I took my crew on a hike the morning of our session and with the help of a sun tracking app found all my favorite spots!
With my list of shots front and center on my phone background we began an hour before sunset capturing all the kids, and working our way through each family. I even had a few specific prompts for my own family. With my manual settings ready my sister-in-law handled the shutter. As the sun began to hit the mountain skyline I grabbed my tripod and lined up the whole group. We used about 10 more minutes of blue hour to get a few couple shots with the city of Estes Park just below.