Brooke Michelsen Photography: Blog en-us (C) Brooke Michelsen Photography (Brooke Michelsen Photography) Sat, 14 May 2022 18:37:00 GMT Sat, 14 May 2022 18:37:00 GMT Brooke Michelsen Photography: Blog 71 120 High School Senior Session - A Future Biologist This high school senior was so fun to photograph! Her awesome mom and sweet dog came along for the photo session and we had a great time. They came late in the day, very close to sunset, so we got great light. She wants to be a biologist and is extremely smart in addition to being gorgeous. I told her if the biologist gig doesn't work out she could be a model!

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Highlands Ranch, CO high school senior photographer Lone Tree, CO high school senior photographer high school senior photography Wed, 09 Oct 2013 03:01:21 GMT
Wash Park Family Session In April I had the opportunity to leave the 'burbs and head up to Wash Park for a family session. Before I go any further, I must give full disclosure...this is my sister, brother-in-law and my ADORABLE (I'm not bias!) niece who had just turned 1 in these photos. The light was perfect this  one late Friday afternoon with a mix of clouds and sun. My assistant (a.k.a. my 3 year old) helped me entertain my niece and get her smiling for the shots. Thank goodness for lots of ducks and dogs in Wash Park to entertain the kids!

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Highlands Ranch, CO family photographer family photographer wash park family photographer Thu, 01 Aug 2013 21:55:10 GMT
Mommy's Shoes and a GoldenDoodle This family brought the best props ever - their adorable Goldendoodle (named "Flynn" from Tangled) and mommy's shoes for the girls to wear! We got family shots which included Flynn of course, sister shots and then "dress up" shots. These girls love wearing their mom's heels at home so the parents wanted to capture it in photos. They loved being "movie stars"! So in your next photo session, bring some props that will help capture your kids' current interests and favs - dress up clothes, favorite toys, etc. so you can remember what they were into at certain ages!

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Highlands Ranch, CO family photographer Lone Tree CO children's photographer family photo with dog family photographer family photographer, Lone Tree, CO Thu, 18 Jul 2013 21:59:55 GMT
The First Dance Recital Session To celebrate these girls' first dance recital together, their mom wanted to get photos of them in their costumes. They came an hour before the recital and we were able to get adorable dance costume photos as well as some sister and family ones too. The girls were so cute posing for me doing dance moves! And later they did great at their recital!

D'Andrea dance recital-5983-12

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Highlands Ranch, CO family photographer Lone Tree CO children's photographer children's dance family photographer kids photos recital Thu, 06 Jun 2013 02:24:25 GMT
The Lucky Baby Girl Newborn Session This baby girl was luckily born on St. Paddy's Day which is perfect since her last name is O'Reilly! She is just precious and it was fun to put all kinds of girly accessories on her for the photo session. She has a proud big brother who adores her. Right after this session their family moved into a new house so they are finally getting settled in after a busy spring!

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Lone Tree CO children's photographer family photographer newborn newborn photographer Wed, 29 May 2013 02:13:42 GMT
Family of Five Session This beautiful family of five wanted family photos, sibling photos and 6 month photos of their daughter. We accomplished all of that and more in one hour thanks to great cooperation from the kids! They had fun in our backyard on the swing set, wagon and playing with bubbles. The kids loved my Smartie rewards and were happy to cooperate for many shots. It was a windy and cool day but they didn't mind being a little chilly as you can see!

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Highlands Ranch, CO family photographer Lone Tree CO children's photographer children's photographer family photographer kids photographer sibling photography Wed, 15 May 2013 02:46:20 GMT
Mother's Day Mini-Session The Mother's Day mini-session was a success even after having to reschedule due to the spring snow! All the kids were great and had fun getting a wagon ride, holding flowers, signs and playing with bubbles. The moms were so helpful with getting smiles from their kids too. I hope to hold another mini-session later this year. Here are some cute photos from the mini-session. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and grandmothers out there who give so much every day!

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Highlands Ranch, CO family photographer Lone Tree CO children's photographer Mother's Day mini-session Mother's Day photos family photographer Thu, 09 May 2013 21:44:01 GMT
My Top Favorite Mother's Day Photo Gift Ideas I have been giving photo gifts for a long before the digital age of creating photo gifts online. Before you could make a photo calendar online, I would actually scan photos at Kinkos and make a calendar and have them spiral bound. I would cut and paste photos to make a photo collage and laminate it to make placemats (which by the way my parents just sent out to me to "show Keeley" aka, get rid of). In college as a way to procrastinate from studying I would cut out pictures of my roommates heads and glue them on top of a Victoria Secret model photo torn from a catalog - it got a lot of laughs and we still laugh about it (and I still graduated on time). So needless to say, I LOVE giving photo gifts! They are unique, one of a kind and perfect for the person who has everything. What's better than drinking coffee out of a mug with photos of loved ones on them? So here is my list of top favorite photo gift ideas (don't worry, the handmade placemats are not on the list...nor the Victoria's Secret models!).


I should also first say that I do not receive commission or any benefit from these sites. Just wanted to pass along my favorite items to help you out as you sit here and wonder what to give for Mother's Day!


1. Mini-accordian album from Mpix, starts at $19.99



I just started giving these as gifts and they are ADORABLE! It's a wallet size with 12 photos, 6 on the front and 6 on the back, and they have different themes/templates to create. Mpix ships within 24-48 hours and if you live in Colorado, it arrives fast since it ships from Kansas. 



2. Personalized cards from Treat, cards as low as $1.99 with a card plan but usually around $3 without one


Treat is a sister company with Tiny Prints and Shutterfly and they are my new card source. You can buy a card plan and then they just deduct the credits from your account as you order cards. Treat rocks because 1) they can mail the card for you (you pay the postage) or you can have it mailed to you, 2) you can schedule when you want cards mailed 3) you can make cards with or without photos and 4) they have a range of cards from hysterically-funny to sweet and simple. Their site is very easy to use and cards are shipped usually in 24-48 hours. I just got an email from them this morning saying there is 4 more days to order cards in time for Mother's Day!



3. Photo Mug from Snapfish, starting at $10.99*



Yes, you can get photo mugs from a lot of places but I'm a loyal Snapfish customer and have been using them since they launched years ago. I like these mugs' size and they have held up well in the dishwasher. I own several that I've received as gifts and have given to myself. My family has a large collection of photo mugs that we have given to each other over the years. Order one by TODAY for standard shipping or Mon. 5/6 for 2-day shipping.



4. Photo notepads from Snapfish, $7.99*



Again, you can order these from other places, but my experience has been with Snapfish and I really like the quality and thicker style paper they use. Making a To-Do list or grocery list is MUCH more fun with these while you enjoy looking at a cute picture that will make you smile. Order one by TODAY for standard shipping or Mon. 5/6 for 2-day shipping.



5. Photo notecards from Snapfish, $13.00* for a set of 12 cards



Ditto on the previous items regarding Snapfish...are you seeing a trend here? These make a great gift, especially for Grandma who probably still writes more hand-written notes than you. She will love using these notecards to send to her family and friends showing off her grandkids!



6. Photo album from Snapfish, starting at $11.99*


I like Snapfish's photo books and the ones from Blurb, but I already missed the standard shipping order deadline on Blurb. Check them out though anyway. Snapfish has a nice range of sizes and options for photo books and they are all great quality while being affordable. I have given and received many photo books and they are so precious to me since 1) I don't keep photos in traditional photo albums anymore, 2) I'm not a scrapbooker 3) I still haven't made the annual family "year books" since not using traditional albums anymore that I've been meaning to make since 2001. See below on theme ideas for these albums...


*Money-saving tip for Snapfish: go to Mr. and you will enter the Snapfish site from there which will give you a 12% rebate back on your order. It also includes a list of current coupon codes for Snapfish. Right now they have 25% off your order plus free standard shipping!



7. Photos on canvas, Canvas Lifestyle, starting at $39



You were waiting to read another Snapfish item, right? Ha, surprise! Again, yes, there are a lot of canvas services out there but after trying one and not having a good experience I discovered Canvas Lifestyle from a friend and then bought some canvases through an online deal. I love the quality and their site is very easy to navigate. Now I almost didn't list this one since the cut off for Mother's Day orders was this past Monday, but if you are like me and sometimes are late on gifts, then this might work (when I'm late giving gifts I like to give a card with a picture of the gift "coming soon"!) If you order today it takes about 3 days for production and then 5 days for shipping to Colorado (not sure about other locations). Otherwise keep in mind for Father's Day or other gift ideas!



8. Gift certificate for a photo session with me, starting at $100, GET $10 OFF IF YOU BUY IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS!





This is especially great for grandparents so they can have nice photos with their grandchildren and children. Give them a gift certificate to use next time they are in Denver visiting and I will photograph them with you and your kids. Then you will have nice photos to use on these photo gifts for future holidays and gift-giving! The gift certificate comes with a nice white envelope ready for gifting. IF YOU BUY IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS YOU WILL GET $10 OFF! Contact me for options/pricing! :)



Now let's talk about photo themes for some of these gift ideas. Here are some ideas to theme your photos:

  • Have the kids hold a sign that says "We Love You" or "Happy Mother's Day Grandma", etc. (would be great on a mug, notepad, card)

  • Collection of photos from your baby's first year (in an album, mug, etc.)

  • Collection of photos from just your vacations (in an album, mug, card)

  • Photos of just mom/kids, mom/grandma/kids (I made an album one year titled "Grandmothers, Mothers, Daughters" with just pictures of my grandmother, mother, sister, me and my daughter)

  • Photos of your kids in everyday life - eating breakfast, playing outside, in the bathtub, reading a story before bedtime

  • Photo alternative - take a picture or scan your kids' artwork and use on these items. I love my mug with a giraffe made out of a handprint by my daughter!


Hope these ideas help you finalize your gifts. I probably should have blogged about this sooner, but if you are like me, I'm just now thinking about Mother's Day next weekend!


Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and grandmothers who give so much every day. You rock!

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Highlands Ranch, CO family photographer Mother's Day gift certificates family photographer mother's Day gift ideas mother's Day photo gifts mother's Day photos Wed, 01 May 2013 17:47:46 GMT
A Smiley 1st Birthday Session Get ready to see the smiliest 1 year old you've ever seen. This little guy came to get his 1st birthday photos and never stopped smiling from the time he was taken out of his car seat until he left. Just ADORABLE! He's a friend of my niece and they are totally getting married I decided. I was envisioning photographing their wedding as I was showered by his smiles for an hour while I snapped away. He loved the balloons so much and then unfortunately I didn't tie them tight enough to the wagon and they blew away (luckily we got the shots needed first!). He kept looking up in the sky watching them get smaller and smaller, I felt so bad I broke his heart! But...he kept smiling. Love it!

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) 1st Birthday photos Lone Tree CO children's photographer birthday milestone photos birthday photo session children birthday photography family photographer Fri, 26 Apr 2013 21:52:39 GMT
Class of 2013 High School Seniors Last month I had the opportunity to photograph three beautiful high school seniors for their upcoming graduation. It was a very windy, chilly day but these girls were awesome and patient as I snapped away as fast as possible. They wore their new college t-shirts and brought their college pendants as props. These girls have been great friends growing up and now will all go to different colleges next year. These photos were a great way to celebrate their friendship through the years and excitement for the next chapter of their lives. They are going to use some of the photos for their graduation party next month. Their moms came to the session too and enjoyed watching everything while enjoying their own beverages on the side:) 


(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Wed, 24 Apr 2013 20:19:31 GMT
Birthday Tea Party for Two To celebrate her daughter's 1st birthday, a creative mom had the genius idea to create a tea party for her two girls at our photo session. She brought the whole set up - blanket, cups, tea pot, "table" plus mini-cupcakes. She decked her girls out in tutus, headbands, fun jewelry, etc. all color coordinated of course, even with the balloons! As you can see I had a blast snapping away at this adorable tea party and then did some 1st birthday shots of the birthday girl. My daughter was there "helping" me and thank goodness the birthday girl's dad was there to help hold her back from jumping into the tea party too early. Looking forward to doing more tea party set ups for photo sessions! 

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Lone Tree CO children's photographer birthday milestone photos birthday photo session children birthday photography children's tea party photos family photographer Fri, 19 Apr 2013 22:16:16 GMT
The Big 2 Birthday Session I love doing birthday milestone sessions and have done quite a few in the past few months. I get balloons and have other fun birthday props to use so the kids can have fun playing while I snap away. This session was for a sweet little girl who was turning 2 and her little brother came along for the ride. She loved holding her princess wand and having a wagon ride with the balloons. She had never had Smarties before so she quickly learned the game of getting one after I took each photo! Then at the end I got their beautiful mommy in there for some last shots. 

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Lone Tree CO children's photographer Lone Tree CO family photographer birthday milestone photos birthday photo session children birthday photography family photographer Mon, 15 Apr 2013 20:31:29 GMT
Newborn Baby Boy - Part 2 after the Maternity Session You might recognize this family from their maternity session we did back in December. Their baby boy arrived in late January and it was so fun to photograph them again and meet the little guy after photographing his mom's belly before! He is just PERFECT as you can see and was a good little model (after a few feeding breaks!). They are a very happy and blessed family!

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) CO Colorado Lone Tree family newborn photographer Thu, 11 Apr 2013 23:07:33 GMT
Creative Gift Idea for Husband/Father Last month I helped a fellow mom with a creative gift idea she had for her husband's birthday. She asked me to photograph herself with her two sons with some sort of "We love you" message. She is starting an album to give to her husband for his birthday and every year will add a new photo of herself and the boys. Great idea, huh?! So we had a session in the cold and snow flurries with a few chalkboard message variations and "XO" letters. The boys did great and now their Daddy has the coolest gift ever that will be updated annually!

Natalie and boys-0452-1 Natalie and boys-0463-4 Natalie and boys-0478-6 Natalie and boys-0489-8 Natalie and boys-0500-2

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Colorado family photographer family photographer family photographer Lone Tree, CO family photography session gifts for dad gifts for husband we love you dad Tue, 05 Mar 2013 22:45:10 GMT
A Birthday Girl and Her Firefighter Daddy You may recognize this sweet little munchkin from their family shoot in November in Silverthorne. She turned the big 1 in January and I had the honor of photographing her big birthday milestone. With her daddy being a firefighter, we also wanted to get photos of them together in his gear. As you can see, she's not only proud of her daddy but fascinated with his helmet!

Aven's 1st Bday-0398-54 Aven's 1st Bday-0114-12 Aven's 1st Bday-0068-5 Aven's 1st Bday-0330-39 Aven's 1st Bday-0264-30 Aven's 1st Bday-0334-41

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Fri, 01 Mar 2013 04:20:20 GMT
A Newborn Baby Boy in Wash Park This little guy did so great in the newborn session, patiently letting me pose him, prop him and finally cuddling him at the end. We made the most of the session time and not only got great newborn and family photographs, but ones with his grandparents and dog siblings too! Turns out his dog siblings love to be photographed more than anyone! I got to see him again this past week and WOW he has grown so much in the few weeks since our photo session. 

Trent Glass-1370-11 Trent Glass-1434-25 Trent Glass-1515-36 Trent Glass-1507-35 Trent Glass-1543-40 Trent Glass-1348-6 Trent Glass-1315-1 Trent Glass-1406-21 Trent Glass-1408-22

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Colorado newborn photographer Newborn Photography Newborn Photography Lone Tree, CO Newborn Session Highlands Ranch, CO Wed, 20 Feb 2013 03:34:38 GMT
Engagement Session Last week I had a fun engagement session with a couple who is getting married in March. They came fully prepared with multiple outfits and I was fully prepared with beer for them. :) Are you noticing a trend here? I bribe...Smarties candies for the kids and beer for the adults=great photographs.  I'm all about making sessions fun and relaxed! This couple is so fun and we had a lot of laughs in our backyard as I snapped away. Looking forward to them tying the knot in March!

Jessi and Kai engagement-1187-25 Jessi and Kai engagement-1268-39 Jessi and Kai engagement-1039-11


(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Thu, 31 Jan 2013 23:12:44 GMT
Professional Headshots Session Last month I got my first request for professional headshots and I was super excited! This beautiful woman started her own event planning company this month and needed some headshot photos for her new business. It was a cold day right before Christmas and she came over to the house for the session. We took a few photos and would go inside to warm up and then come back out. If you need an event planner, check her out at Plan Ahead Events -

Looking forward to more headshot opportunities!


(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Wed, 30 Jan 2013 21:23:20 GMT
Christmas Newborn Session Right before Christmas, I had the pleasure of photographing a 2 week old baby boy with his parents and three "dog brothers". The baby boy napped for the first part of the session and then was awake for the second part so we were able to get good photos of him both asleep and awake. The dogs were very cooperative too (with the help of treats) and actually liked being photographed. The baby's grandma knitted all kinds of special gifts that we used in the photos and as props - blankets, toys and a football bunting! And as you can see the baby already loves his Superman book!

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Mon, 21 Jan 2013 22:21:59 GMT
Christmas Family Session Two weeks ago, on a snowy 18 degree day, this family toughed out the cold while we had a fun session. This family of four plus a sister and her daughter, did a great job being patient and going back and forth from the cold outside to the inside to warm up. The girls are just gorgeous so I felt like I was photographing models! We had fun using some Christmas props too. The snow made for a nice backdrop, especially for their holiday pictures. Their Christmas card was adorable and they used the first picture below. As I was taking this photo, their dog just happened to walk down and sit in the background - perfect!

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Mon, 24 Dec 2012 06:34:06 GMT
Christmas Maternity Session Earlier this month, I had a blast doing a maternity session which included Christmas props! This couple and I had so much fun being creative with all kinds of Christmas and baby props plus wardrobe changes. The other fun part about the session is they have already announced the name, so we got to spell it out with the baby blocks! I just received their Christmas card and it was exciting to see which pictures they chose for it. They are due in late January and cannot be more excited! Their little guy is so blessed to have them as parents!

Mino-2 Mino-4 Reinig-4 Mino-13 Mino-17 Mino-15 Mino-23 Mino-26 Mino-30

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Thu, 20 Dec 2012 03:51:11 GMT
The Smartie Session Recently I had the pleasure to photograph a beautiful family who have a 5 year old and 2 year old. The family came to my house and we enjoyed a warm, sunny afternoon while we played in the backyard. The kids did very well, especially the 2 year old whose nap time was delayed due to the session. Fortunately, they were motivated by Smarties (my secret weapon) and patiently let me photograph them as they awaited their Smartie for each shot. The kids loved seeing "horsey and donkey" (as my daughter calls them) and playing on our swing set. They were introduced to the "peek-a-boo" tree too. I just received their Christmas card with some of these photos and it was adorable!




Burnett-9 Burnett-16




(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Wed, 12 Dec 2012 04:16:19 GMT
Sunset Session in Silverthorne Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We spent ours in Summit County and had Thanksgiving dinner with our good friends who have an 11 month old. Before dinner around sunset, we went into their backyard at the top of Silverthorne in Wildernest. They have GORGEOUS views of the mountains just steps out of their front door. Their daughter loves waving at people since she knows she will get a "hi" out of them - PERFECT for taking photographs! So we played peek-a-boo with the camera and waved to each other while I snapped away. I'm looking forward to photographing her in January for her 1st birthday!

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Tue, 27 Nov 2012 04:23:05 GMT
Family shoot with lollipops and firefighter gear I was fortunate to do a session for a fun family of four this past week in my backyard. They have two precious little girls - a 3 year old and 8 month old. The mom was prepared for the shoot and brought outfit changes, snacks, milk and candy for motivation - AWESOME! The mom did a great job with coordinating everyone's outfits with the pink, grey and black. She also brought those gorgeous swirled lollipops to use as props which I will be using more of in the future. The dad is a local firefighter and he brought his gear to get photographs of him with his girls. We took photos on the hiking trail, farm fence, garden bench, grass lawn, patio and front steps. The girls did great (especially the 3 year old who was lucky to lick the yummiest, prettiest lollipop ever)! 

Sitting on the grassDSC_2331



(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Wed, 21 Nov 2012 22:09:02 GMT
Welcome to my new blog! I'm excited to announce I'm turning my passion for photography into my own business! I've been thinking of doing this for a while now and with the support of my family and friends, it's official. With the holiday season upon us, it's the perfect time to get family pictures so I've been busy photographing families and kids. It's been a blast to have playdates in the backyard complete with bubbles, sidewalk chalk, props, hikes on the trail and of course the occasional pack of Smarties for further motivation to cooperate:) Halloween was a great time too and I couldn't put down my camera all day and night long. 

Looking forward to more fun photography sessions...especially once the snow arrives!

Thanks for your support of me and my new business! 

(Brooke Michelsen Photography) Sat, 10 Nov 2012 22:44:10 GMT