Archive | April, 2020

I am cautiously re-opening

Monday April 27th I am cautiously re-opening! Governor Polis here in Colorado has initiated the Safer At Home phase. Which means as a small service business I can carefully and responsibly start serving you again.

What will this look like?
1. Everyone will wear a mask (ok just the humans)
2. Humans will stay a minimum of 6 feet apart. (glad I have those long lenses)
3. Fewer than 10 people allowed on set. (large productions later)

Photo and video sessions can be done
1. In the studio in Loveland
2. At a local outdoor location
3. At your business included in the new guidelines.
4. No in-home sessions at this time 

1. Consultations can be done over the phone or zoom before the photography or filming date.
2. Sessions will be available through out the week and weekends.
3. Proofs will be available on-line also.
4. Final digital orders will be delivered on-line as always and physical products can be shipped directly to you.

I am ridiculously excited to offer my services to you again! I am ready to tell your Tales with Tails!


FaceTime Photoshoots | Virtual Portrait Sessions

A warm spring day greeted me in Savannah, Georgia last week. Lush grass, flourishing garden and tshirt temperatures.

My daughter Amber prepared all morning for my arrival. Curling hair, accentuating lashes and donning a favorite outfit. Our photo session started at 1:00 and she and Ranger were ready when I arrived. Ranger sported his bowtie and had a bowl of treats at the ready. We surveyed the backyard together looking for perfect locations for her portraits.The weathered wooden fence would make a nice backdrop. Geometric firewood stack would create lovely texture. Shade under the big tree would give us even lighting. Within minutes I was directing Amber. Lean a little closer to the tree, drop your front shoulder, tilt the top of your head the other way just a tad. Perfect! And I clicked the camera. Ranger had his turn too. He laid regally in the grass tilting his head when I squeaked the toy. He used all the patience a 7 month old puppy has to lay still a moment to earn yummy treats. We even managed a few sweet photos of Amber and Ranger together. Amber and I had an absolute blast for two hours in her backyard. 

Amber and Ranger facetime photoshootAmber and Ranger

Ranger facetime photoshoot


The biggest drawback to our photo session was that I wasn’t physically in Savannah. The entire photo session happened over a Facebook Messenger Video Call (Same as the iPhone FaceTime). She put her phone on a stand and I guided her where to place it. I used all my skills as a photographer from scouting the location, to judging the light, to posing and encouraging. In the app there is a screenshot button and I simply used that to take all the images.

Were the photos high resolution like my Sony cameras produce? Nope. Did I have control over all the camera settings? Nope. Could I zoom my big lens? Nope. Could these photos be enlarged as a big canvas over the mantle? Nope.

Photographers are constantly touting “the experience” we give our clients during a photo session. How fun and easy it is to work with us. The time getting to know each other and hearing your tales. The natural expressions and interactions we can direct our subjects into. The self confidence we help build in shy people. How we bring families physically together for an hour or so. The encouragement, the listening ear, and the sense of belonging. 

We don’t need to hold a physical camera for any of those parts of the experience. 

In times like these when we are physically far from our clients photographers are feeling lost. How can they earn a living or prove they are any good without holding and working that glass and metal box we call a camera?

Amber facetime photoshootAmber and Ranger facetime photoshootAmber facetime photoshoot


For me this Virtual Portrait Session / FaceTime Photos reminded me of all the skills I have acquired over nearly two decades that reach beyond being a camera operator. The connection I had with Amber during our virtual photos felt just like all the other modeling sessions we have done together. We both came away feeling closer, energized and seen.

This is what I strive for in EVERY session. 

Of course I yearn for the day I can fulfill that final part of the experience and craft a beautiful print my clients can cherish on their walls or side tables for years. 

But in the meantime I will be reflecting on what my mission as a photographer and videographer is. What it means to my clients. What it means for the businesses and causes I support. It extends far beyond the photograph or the video.

My Mission is To Empower You to tell all your Tales with Tails.

And I do that through photography, videography, consulting and teaching. 

While we still have a couple weeks or longer keeping our physical distance from each other would you like to have a fun afternoon Virtual Photo Session? These sessions are just for fun, no cost, no pressure. Just a time to connect, maybe dress up, and come away with a few unique digital images. Just call, text or email and we will set a time.

Amber and I recorded a video about the experience if you want to try it with me or your friends.

If you would like to wait and have a photo session IRL in the future I am happy to schedule a phone/zoom consultation. Then we will be ready to go when the world is open to us again.

I miss you all and send lots of hugs and high paws from afar.

Amber facetime photoshootAmber and Ranger

Ranger facetime photoshoot


FIRSTS for Week 2 of April

Continuing on with my challenge of Trying Something New Everyday in April here is my weekly log:

April 1

Learned how to mask in Premier

my talking pet youtube

April 2

First time turning 49. Haha.

Filmed macro flower photography

frozen purple flower
April 3

Shared my First idea for the first time (newsletter and blog)

April 4

Took a Bands exercise class

April 5

Tried underwater stop motion images

April 6

Picked ticks off Bailey, ew

April 7

Spoke at 2 virtual meetings

April 8

Tried Virtual Photo shoot “From Afar Photos”

April 9

Created a Narrative Video

Kayak a message of hope


Month of Firsts or as Brene Brown Would Say FFTs

Author and speaker Brene Brown is an absolutely wondrous and wise person. She recently started the podcast “Unlocking Us with Brene Brown.“The very first episode she explains that we are all experiencing what she has dubbed FFTs. F%*^ing First Times. None of us has ever lived through this type of crisis. It’s our First Time. And First Times come with anxiety and fear. She give lots of great advice and anecdotes in her podcast, highly recommended.

What strikes me is my personal timing. Today is my birthday. Day 20 of self isolation. And day 2 of my annual Month of Firsts. I don’t think I have ever shared this self challenge. Three years ago I realized that it would be easy for me to fall into habits and ruts very easily. To combat that I decided that every year during my birthday month of April I would “Try Something New Every Day”. An FFT or just FT if you will. 

This will be fairly difficult in isolation but I am committing to it for the month anyway. As my FT for today I am going to share my New Thing with you all for the first time ever. On this blog every Friday I will post a recap of the week. A photo or a quick note will accompany each entry.

Oh this is SCARY!  It’s vulnerable. It comes with accountability. Why am I even doing this? Perhaps as an example. The more we let ourselves experience FFTs or FTs the more we are able to cope with future new situations. Or in the world we are in now. Every. Darn. Day.

At this point I have ideas for new watercolor paintings, new books, new recipes, new video editing skills and more. If you have ANY ideas for New Things for me to try please send me a message.

Next week my YouTube episode will be a completely new style. Join me in a narrative film about my birthday, New Things, photography and ladybugs.

Monique kayaking on Cattail Pond