Telluride on film

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Have you ever been to Telluride, the mystical land of blue-tinged jagged mountains, well-dressed yuppies, and thundering waterfalls? The formidable place was carved out by scrappy gold and silver miners in the 19th century and, over time, was polished into the cool and funky town it is today. Telluride isn’t an easy destination, no on-the-way pit stop, or a town to pass through. No, it takes intention to visit, and there is nothing more rewarding than following windy Highway 145 as it drops down the mountain passes and deposits you neatly into the breathtaking valley.

Regardless of how many times I visit, Telluride never gets old, and spending Labor Day camping at nearby Alta Lakes was no exception. There’s no better respite from the everyday hustle and bustle than taking full advantage of everything nature at 11,300 mountainous feet has to offer: sweeping vistas, campfire games, ruddy cheeks from running in the cold to catch the sunset, cozy nights in a flannel-lined sleeping bag, clean-smelling evergreens, achy muscles from mountain climbing, extra good-tasting food, tired pups, and tan skin. Here it is only early December and I’m already missing summer!

Enjoy these shots from our long weekend (all taken on 35mm film with a pentax k1000).

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Husband and Indie-bear on Telluride's bustling main street

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Leaving the beloved valley

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Setting up camp in the perfect spot for eight people and three dogs

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Hilary capturing the serene views

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Kelsey, Rylan, and Aspen exploring Telluride

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Unbeknownst to us, we arrived during Telluride Film Festival with the likes of Emma Stone and Christian Bale; Indigo was unimpressed

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One last trip in our beloved jeep

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Evening light hitting my sweet jcub just right

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Sunset views from camp

Mid-hike rest

Marie, Hilary, and Kelsey soaking it all in

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Incredible textures and colors of upper Alta Lake

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The crew on top of Bald Mountain

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Hava surveying her kingdom with a little help from Kelsey

At home with the Delins / Durango, Colorado

When I knocked on the door bright and early at 7:30, graceful Edie swung open the door to the smell of cinnamon rolls and soft music, her eye watchful over cooing baby Gemma and shyly grinning Gus. Ben bounded down the stairs a few minutes after to help Gus juice oranges and get the table ready for breakfast. Haloed in bright streams of sunlight, the Delin family commenced their day with a prayer and a kiss, and I was honored to be there to capture it.

In-home sessions are such a joy to photograph, especially with families of young kids. If you'd like to schedule your own shoot, don't hesitate to contact me

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Alert Gemma basking in the morning sun

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Two year old Gus picks the perfect orange to juice

Starting breakfast with a prayer (after which Gus claps and yells, "yay!")

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Family cuddle time on the couch

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Bundling up for a walk around the neighborhood

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Gemma making her personality known

Still floundering

If you’d ask me about the second half of this winter and the spring, I could only tell you about the inconsequential moments. I made granola and let it roast too long; I took a walk; later, I watched the trees sprout leaves with aching slowness. The plants’ painstaking budding process reminded me of myself, and this was a small comfort. But what remains most vivid is the aching emptiness that grew steadily inside me as my plans for the year fell, one by one, to pieces. Of course, it’s inevitable in life to be left suddenly without the safety net of your plans—those two fickle words. Why, then, does being without them feel so miserably isolating?

In public, I laughed it off, or at least tried, and did my best to avoid the worst small talk question of them all: “so, what do you do?”. Then I came home and teetered on the edges of anxiety and hopelessness. Completing the trio of shabby feelings came shame because, after all, I still had my wonderful, supportive husband, a beautiful place to call home, money to pay the bills, bourgeoning friendships to tend, and wasn’t I being ungrateful and dramatic? Truly, life could be so much bleaker…but also, life without a specific purpose is no life at all. 

Perhaps some of the struggle stems from one of the downfalls of modern Western society—too much pressure to Become Somebody, to Be the Change You Want to See, to Just Follow Your Dream, and not in two or five or ten years, but right now. This isn’t the first time I’ve battled with wanting to do it all but being unsure of what it is, the feeling that there has to be more to life. How do you balance all the forces that tug on you without freezing from fear, or doubt, or uncertainty? Where is the point of reconciliation between it all—or is there even one? I don’t have any answers yet, only questions.

I'm in a much better place now (much of the toxic fog has lifted/I've been blessed with a job, and thank goodness for that), but damn if it doesn't hurt to get knocked off your feet, however mildly. What started as taking a semester off college has now turned into a two year break, and it’s scary. I’m frightened that I’ve lost my momentum, or that my plans will fall through again, or that I’ll never figure it out. I'm wildly grateful for the people who've stood by me through this season, who've gently reminded me that these fears belong to everyone at some point. Those beautiful people made me feel a little less alone, and it's because of them that I write this—in the hopes that I, in turn, can help someone else feel less alone. I suspect that I’m not the only one who feels a bit lost, who’s had a lot of false starts, who's tired of letting pride get in the way of being truly honest. Progress isn't made in our comfort zones, and I have a hunch that things can never get better without allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.