Spring 2020 Special

Celebrate spring, and masks, and “new normals”, and great outdoors and most importantly


With the current health concerns I want to reduce the number of meetings we have and the amount of time we spend at the portrait session.

Restricting sessions to 2 location options, reducing our in-person meetings, and shortening the time of the session keeps everyone within safety parameters.

If you have dreamed of pet and family portraits now is a perfect time to full fill that dream. 

I anticipate summer and fall to begin to continue to improve which will mean a busier time for the studio. So this special is only good until June 30th, 2020.

Enjoy this special session option.

The portrait session will include:

  • Up to 2 people
  • Up to 2 dogs
  • 15 minute abbreviated photo session
  • At my fav secret outdoor location in Fort Collins or my waterfront natural area in Loveland.
  • Gallery of social media ready digital images – minimum of 15 images.
  • Severely reduced price for direct shipment prints

Full retail total is normally $1,725

Until June 30, 2020 it is only $500


The catch:

  • Must order and complete session before June 30, 2020.
  • No prints included.
  • Amount of digital images will vary but will include at least 15.
  • We wont meet for a planning meeting, sales meeting or delivery. 
  • Must wear a mask except when being photographed.
  • Must try our best to keep to the 6 foot safety rule. (I have long lenses so that wont be a problem.)

The details:

  • Additional people/dogs can be added (up to 5 people) for $50 each.
  • Included digital images are low resolution but perfect for social media sharing.
  • Sessions can be purchased as a gift but must be completed by the recipient by the June 30th date.

If you have any questions please call, text, or email. 970-286-3198. Monique@SilverPawStudio.com

Many Woofs, Purrs & t-r-e-a-t-s!

Spring 2020 Photo Session Spring 2020 Photo Session Spring 2020 Photo Session



Last two weeks of FIRSTS

The last two weeks of April have flown by. Surprisingly I only had 2 days where I didn’t try anything new. Perhaps I will keep up the tradition next year for my 50th birthday?

April 16

Posed with Bob Ross of the snow

Bob Ross Snow

April 17

Painted with snow

snow painting

April 18

Watched Thunderbirds fly over our house


April 19

Grocery shopping with a mask on


April 20

Filmed Bailey’s Midnight Snack Nightmare

baileys midnight snack nightmare yt thumbnail

April 21

Nothing new today.

April 22

Edited a TicToc on my phone

April 23

Had video hit 1,00 views in 2 weeks (Pluto)

April 24

Baked sour cream and green onion biscuits

sour cream and onion biscuit

April 25

Curbside pick up at Home Depot (lawnmower)

April 26

Nothing new today.

April 27

Back to work with a mask (Safer at Home)

April 28

Took Bailey to Animal Friends Alliance for grooming

April 29

Filmed a video for another YouTube channel

April 30

Photographed fish in the pond


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


Why I won’t offer “Front Porch Sessions”

Why I won’t offer “Front Porch Sessions” March 28, 2020.

A week and a half ago I thought “Front Porch Sessions” would be fun. Families gather on their front porch. I drive up and photograph them from safely across the street. 

Then I thought about it deeper. I checked my reaction when I heard photographers across the country and the world were offering them. And I got mad.

Who are we to think we are elite? Yes everyone wants to feel “essential” but where does it stop? If I am out walking and driving around and staying 6 feet apart isn’t that ok? No.

If I as a photographer start doing that then landscape companies, fence repair shops, roofers, painters, and any number of contractors should be able to go about their business as well right?

Here’s why it doesn’t sit well with me:

Driving: Once the governor issued the Stay at Home order for Colorado I finished my last errands. One was to close up my studio space and bring home any equipment I could use for projects at home. On my way home, one block from my house, emergency vehicles were gathered. Fire truck, police, tow truck, ambulance. A fender bender. Car accidents still happen. We are distracted and anxious. Now all these emergency responders and potentially ER hospital beds will be taken.

Desperation: Offering portrait sessions during a time of crisis felt desperate. Am I doing it to be in the news? Publicity? Do I just want to increase my portfolio? Am I in it to make a few dollars? Do I want people to remember me as the nice photographer who took family photos for free? These are all so self serving. 

Leading by Example. This crisis is real. The numbers around the globe prove it. I need to lead by example and stay  home. As much as I love photography it is not essential. Repeat-Non Essential. That’s a bit of a blow to my profession I know. But is it really worth walking or driving all over town when I could be doing my part for the greater good?

I searched my heart and what I considered the deeper reason for Front Porch Sessions. Why was I originally drawn to the idea weeks ago? 

To me it’s all about memorializing this time in our history, in our community, in our family. What did life look like in Spring of 2020? How did we fair during isolation? What did our day to day look like? How did we feel? Like a happy family in our best clothes sitting pretty on the front steps? Maybe sometimes. How about the quiet moments on the couch in the evening. Or everyone gathered around the dining room table for a meal they hadn’t enjoyed as a family in a very long time? What about our pets, our children, our spouses telecommuting? When we look back years from now we will want to remember those times.

You don’t need a professional photographer to show these moments. Take your own family portrait. Prop your phone on some books, set the 10 second timer and get in the photo. Or be watching for moments and quietly record a photo or video. Give your phone or camera to your kids and have them take photos all day. Set your camera in the corner, turn on time laps and forget it’s there for an hour recording. You can document your own life. Heck you can even sit on your front porch in nice clothes and prop your phone on a bush. 

When “normal” life resumes again us professional photographers will be here for you again. To photograph your family in high definition to print and hang on your wall and send to loved ones. 

Until then I will be home. Washing my hands. Snuggling with my family. Holding Zoom meetings. Creating videos. Honing my skills. Reading. Bird watching. 

And wishing all of you health and safety. 

Phone propped on books with toilet paper rolls for self portrait.



Tony and His Driver Jill

Jill carried Tony into the CSU destress event for HABIC this winter and immediately drew a crowd. Orange, calm and regal Tony the therapy kitty had arrived. With such an usual occupation I knew I had to interview Jill about the fabulous life of Tony. He’s the most confident and laid back cat I’ve ever met and Jill says her only roll is to be his driver.

Find out more about HABIC here and enjoy this tale.

Listen here on Anchor.fmOn Apple here. Or on your favorite podcast app.



Therese Monkeys Around

Therese Kopiwoda shares a hysterical childhood tale of an unusual family pet in the Tales with Tails Podcast. Therese and I met on-line in her livestream group #PetLoversTribe a few years ago. While that group is now dissolved we all still stay in contact and are great friends (like Tricia in Cheesy Riedi episode). Therese even designed this website! Be sure to check out her biz if you are a pet business.

Through the Social Media Hound Therese teaches pet businesses livestreaming and more.  

Listen on Anchor.fm hereOn Apple here. Or your favorite podcast app.