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Say Hello to Mr+Mrs Moeller

June 16th, 2012 As I got out of the car at Viestenz-Smith park and began assembling my equipment for the day's shoot I thought to myself, as I generally do before shooting big events, "please, let this go smoothly today!" 

At that exact moment it began to rain; and then I heard someone scream "bear!".

Thankfully it was a short rain, and thankfully it was only a baby bear who had wandered down to find food and water via the many park visitors' refuse. And lastly, thankfully my bride and groom were both good sports about the bear. We simply skirted around it to take our photos. If baby bear went North, we circled around the pond to the South - I was happy enough with that mode of operation, while always keeping one eye in the viewfinder and one on the lookout for mama bear.

All in all, the day was beautiful. I met one of the sweetest couples I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, and their reception was filled with hilariously fun loved ones.

Thanks, Brit and Stacey, for allowing me to witness your love story for a day :)

[slideshow]

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Colorado on Fire

This summer has proven to be a challenging one for Colorado residents; with multiple fires and mudslides displacing families and destroying thousands of acres of property, our residents have stepped up to help those neighbors affected by wild ol' Mother Nature.

If there was ever any doubt about the kindness and generosity of the folks of Colorado, I think the sheer number of helpful volunteers we've seen has extinguished any last ember of doubt.

A HUGE thank you to the thousands of volunteers who put their life in harm's way, or offered up their homes and kitchens to assist the displaced families. From the bottom of my heart - thank you all so very, very much.

Here are a few images taken during the first big fire, which ignited about 13 miles from our home, in the High Park area. The smoke made for sorrowful yet beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

[slideshow]

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Baby Parker

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Baby Parker

20120610 ParkerYoungberg-103_WEB

A few weeks ago,  in an effort to offer his parents the ultimate convenience, I did a baby session in Parker's family home.  Only after I got the images back to the computer did I realize I hadn't had the proper light needed to get the job done to my satisfaction. This weekend Parker and his crew kindly agreed to make the trip over to my studio for a reshoot. Boy am I glad we did! I believe the end result was totally worth it.

Here's a handful of my favorites which include two collages created to match their older son's baby collages from several years ago.

[gallery columns="4"]

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Lauren McClure: Fashion Editorial

[slideshow] Once in a while a shoot comes along that reignites my passion for photography all over again, and yesterday was one such shoot.

My darling cousin-in-law, the vivacious Lauren McClure of Ignite Modeling, is in town and we decided to goof around downtown Loveland and get some shots for both of our portfolios.

I thoroughly enjoyed the creative freedom and the professional nature of the shoot, and it was so enjoyable that I believe I'll be pursuing fashion editorial more in the future. Hopefully before the end of Lauren's stay in Loveland we'll get a chance to have a second shoot with more of an edginess to complete this set of images.

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Pardon the dust.... Under Construction

My good friend, and madly talented coding ninja, has graciously offered to help me redesign my site from the ground up in the near future, but for now he's eyeballs deep with other fun and highly-profitable projects (I'm so excited for him!) so I've decided to roll up my sleeves and try to give my pretty little website a mini facelift in the meantime. I'm sure you've noticed the lack of coherence between the blog and gallery navigation... tsk, tsk. It's just shameful, really.

Starting today the Lucky Brake website may undergo some changes and links may not always work. I will do my best have things back in working order by end of May; retuning with (hopefully!) a better web experience for you.  So pardon the dust for now and come visit again soon so we can resume our photography fun!

Improved items to look forward to (providing I can wrap my noggin around how to do this):

- more intuitive navigation

- a more-often-updated blog which will include weekly photo tips, photo tech news, project shout-outs, and other fun tidbits to keep you entertained

- a new Fine Art print gallery

*Donning my hard hat and putting on my work gloves*

I'm ready. Let's do this!

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Restaurant: Next Door

The Rialto Bridge grand opening is near, and this week a companion restaurant has opened their doors. Owned by Jim & Jennie Edwards, the Next Door restaurant is like no other. When you step inside you're met with amazing metal and hardwood decor created by local artist Matt Kaufman. The atmosphere is low-lit and gorgeous and the front of the restaurant has massive glass windows to let in light by day and the street-scene by night. I very much enjoyed being a part of Next Door's VIP opening Wednesday night, and was lucky enough to get to taste a few of the different tapas they have to offer. My fave is, so far, the bacon wrapped dates. You will have to try them!

Click the image below to check out the Next Door gallery.

Cheers!

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Strike a Pose

On February 25th Suede held it's first runway fashion show and it was a hit! I wasn't the official photographer for the evening but Cass and Roland were kind enough to allow me to tag along and shoot it anyway. The whole evening was fierce and fantastic. There were beautiful models, body-painted ladies, great music by DJ Chris Diablo and more people attending than I thought Suede could handle. I'm grateful to have been able to try my hand at runway photography. I learned a few things from the hands-on experience, and got some great advice from a fellow photographer that I will tuck away in my bag 'o tricks.

Click the below image to view the gallery.

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Baby Shower for the Diaczuns

I recently had the pleasure of documenting Karen's beautiful baby shower on a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon. She was absolutely glowing! Click the image below to visit the Diaczun's baby shower gallery.  Congrats you two!

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LOVE+LIGHT Loveland 2012: Opening Night

Last weekend I had the honor of being one of the photographers to have work displayed in the photography gallery of the Love + Light Loveland Art Exhibition. I even sold two prints of one of my images! (Yes, okay, one of the two was purchased by my darling mom, but it's still exciting for me) I also had the pleasure of capturing the fun of opening night, and meeting many of the creative individuals who made it all possible. The event was awe inspiring. People were lined up out the door and into the street all night, fire dancers, student performers, incredible art installations... truly a resounding success.

That evening my little Lovelander heart was warmed to the core; seeing our community turning up, despite the bitter cold of the night, to support our local artists. I feel much gratitude for being able to grow up here in such a supportive community.

Click on the below image for a few more of my favorite shots from the evening.

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Mime for the taking?

Yesterday I got a call in the wee hours of the morning from my film-production careered sister, Shawna, saying they were filming a short here in town and one of the actresses couldn't make it and they needed a stand-in. Sure! Why not? I was only going to work on my cashflow spreadsheets all day so I welcomed this change of plans. I nabbed my camera and the 50mm lens I'm borrowing from a buddy and headed out the door. What better way to test a lens than on a film set with all kinds of neat lighting?

It was a truly enjoyable day. I learned how to act, received mime lessons, helped out a little bit on set and got to partake in a delicious sushi wrap-party after all was said and done.

I have great admiration for folks who make movies. There's so much going on and so many important details to keep track of - not to mention the necessary stamina it takes to stay active and focused for a 12 hour day under those hot lights. Very impressive!

I can't wait to see the movie when it's finished. Check out a few of my favorite images of my day on set: Final Hour Films - Production Stills

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The Goods

Tonight I stopped in to 5th Street Consignment Café to try my hand at on-site product photography. I had a really nice time staging merchandise and chatting with the lovely patrons who stopped in while I snapped away. If I'm going to continue hanging around this place I'm really going to have to build up a tolerance to all the goodies in the shop.  So yummy! Check out the vintage typewriter below.  I may have to go back and get it. . .   :D

Thanks again to the amazing Cassandra for letting me work on building my portfolio in the shop, and I can't WAIT to take photos of Cassandra and Roland's newest venture, Suede.

I keep hearing more about the place and it sounds like it sports an 18' garage door mural painted by local artists, several huge paintings of various swanky famous folks (Marylin, Dean, Sinatra...) by another local artist, a vintage truck inside and loads of amazing fixtures. I am chomping at the bit to get in there and see it. Hopefully I'll be able to swing by and snap some photos before the massive New Years party they're hosting breaks the place in. (Can't wait for that either!)

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Winter in RMNP, Colorado

Jason and I met up with a couple of friends this weekend in Rocky Mountain National Park for a bit of wandering around. There wasn't nearly as much snow  as I thought there'd be so I improvised with mostly detail shots and then tried my hand at a few night-from-day images. I had some pretty good luck with it for my first try!

Good company, good weather, and tasty lattés in Estes Park to warm us up after our little jaunt to the edge of nature. It turned out to be a really enjoyable afternoon.

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5th St Consignment Café

The moment you open the door the devine aroma of coffe and vintage welcomes you in. You glance around to see hundreds of fabulous and classy items you instantly want to take home. This place is like no other.

I found some nifty vintage camera equipment that I snatched up right away, a kitchen table that I'm still thinking about going back for, as well as several bits of art and knick-knacks that I had to restrain myself from taking home.  I highly recommend stopping in and saying hi. Just be prepared because you will undoubtedly leave with a treasure under your arm.

Ok folks, it's official; this place is the bee's knees, and the owners are fantastic to boot! I haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting Roland but Cassandra welcomed me in to the store as if I were a guest in her home. We got to chatting and an hour slipped away as if it were only 15 minutes. I regretfully had to cut it short to make dinner with my father - otherwise I'm convinced I'd have been happily discussing life's successes and fears over a hot cup of Joe late into the evening.

As I start out on my new adventure I'm alarmingly aware of the type of clients and projects I will, and might not, want to work with. As far as the Consignment Cafe goes, I would be honored to work with such innovative and friendly folks; and the fact that the shop's style is right up my alley doesn't hurt either. Before I even walked in the door I had zeroed in on a beautiful old trunk displayed on the sidewalk and I was already daydreaming about how I'd photograph it to flaunt the yummy helter-skelter buckles and aged leather straps.
So, a big thank you to Cassandra for the lovely visit; and after our chat about all the great connections she's made in town I'm convinced that it's time for me to step out of my I'm-afraid-of-everything box and get involved with our fantastic Loveland community more often.
For more information, visit the 5th St Consignment Café website [http://consignmentcafeco.com/] blog [http://consignmentcafe.blogspot.com/] or go say hi [111 E. 5th St] and have a sandwich and relax on the big comfy sofas.

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Business Portrait Time

A big THANK YOU to Erin for letting me try my hand at the photos for her website! Erin resides in Fort Collins, Co and is the brains behind Robbins Ink [robbinsink.com] where she helps non-profits around the world create and perfect their written voice to maximize their potential. It sounds like she'll soon be expanding to help small businesses with their initial business plans and paperwork too. How exciting!

Lookin' good girl!

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Still Shakin' in Mah Boots

Life teaches us many lessons. The class I'm continually working on passing is Social Skills. I think I'm getting much closer!

I am extraordinarily awkward in social situations. I blush, talk too fast and incessantly worry about what to say next. We won't even talk about the LCBD networking event I attended this summer where I had to leave early before bursting into tears of frustration over how uncontrollably unnerved I was.

I choose to believe that social awkwardness is a surefire sign of genius ::giggles::

Currently, the photographers I most look up to are local cool-cats Harper Point. They have a fantastically edgy, all-their-own style that they are completely unapologetic for. I pine for 1/10th the confidence and people skills that group has. I know I'll eventually measure up in photographic skills if I work hard enough, but their social skills are something out of this world. Jason and I booked HP for our wedding this summer and Nate treated us like old friends instead of new clients - I was blown away by how comfortable I felt working with him.

I will die a happy girl if I can learn to project this kind of old-friends comfort with my clients. Keeping my wits about me will probably be my greatest achievement during this entire process.

So, until can afford a partial lobotomy, I have researched some other techniques on how to keep nerves in check and I'm diligently working to employ them in my daily life.

Surprisingly enough, the most effective one so far has been to step back and remind myself that everyone is human and any mistakes I make are not the end of my world unless I allow them to be.

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The Nerves are Astounding

My heart is racing, my brow is sweaty. Eww, gross. Here I sit writing my first post on this shiny new blog about my shiny new venture: Lucky Brake Ltd. I sometimes envy people who knew their career path from childhood. They go to college, they get a degree and then they make enough money to never look back.  I, on the other hand, am a member of the other group of people who could easily still be asking themselves, at the ripe old age of 94, what they want to be when they grow up.

I'm a slow learner in life; but I learn the lessons well, and they never escape me again. It took me a while to understand that just because something is difficult, is improbable, is an uphill battle; it doesn't mean you shouldn't still try for it.

The start of my uphill battle has been simply allowing myself to say, out loud, what it is I really want. Are you ready for this?

::whispers::   "I want..."

::clears throat and yells::    "I want to take pictures. Lots and LOTS of pictures!"

Step 1: accomplished. So here I sit, terrified -in a thrillingly good way- and about to give up my safe and cushy day job that most people would die for right now. I'm not so afraid of leaving the job. I'm more afraid of what future clients will think of my abilities as I'm stretching to find my potential. I'm more afraid that folks won't be understanding of my faults as I work to master my skills, though I know there's a possibility that I'm harder on myself than anyone.

I am very afraid of failing at something I love so much.

Chin up, old girl. Who isn't afraid of failure? Who doesn't feel like every step into the unknown is akin to that gut wrenching feeling of a sea current dragging you out of reach of the safe shoreline? The worst that can happen is you fail. You start over. You move back in with your parents. ::gulp::

We all started there, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Besides, think of it this way; if you didn't feel this much pressure it would mean it's not worth doing, right?

Right?

::takes a deep breath and willfully slides her foot into the darkness::

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