RSS Feed

Alex and Danielle’s Engagement and Family Session by Durango Wedding Photographer

I haven’t posted anything in a while because I had a family emergency that has taken up all my time for the last 3 weeks.  Still working thru all of that, but am able to concentrate more on my passion and business now.

This session was a combo of engagement and family portraits.  Alex and Danielle are engaged to be married, but also have this adorable 19 month old little girl.

I know you think by looking at these images that it must be really easy to get little kids to smile while looking at the camera.  I hate to burst that bubble, but it’s one of the hardest types of photography to capture.  There are more rejected photographs than these gorgeous images that I have beautified.  Kids will do what they want when they want to do it, so patience is a virtue with them, but it’s a lot of fun trying to get them to look at the camera and smile.  I make really strange noises that would land me in a straight jacket if I didn’t have a camera in my hands, I play peekaboo, sing songs (and I can’t sing), make funny jokes, and anything else that works.

Wedding Photographers Durango CO, Durango CO Wedding Photographers

Engagement Love

Wedding Photographers Durango CO, Durango CO Wedding Photographers

Whispering Sweet Nothings in Her Ear

Photographers Durango CO, Durango Family Photographers

Flying High!

Photographers Durango CO, Durango Family Photographers

Twirling like a Princess

Durango CO Photographers, Photographers Durango CO

Beautiful Family on the Rocks

Durango CO Photographers, Photographers Durango CO

Ava is sooo tall!

Durango CO Photographers, Photographers Durango CO

A Beautiful Threesome


Sunday Recipe Series – Warm Potato and Edamame Salad with Greens

Durango CO Photographers, Photographers Durango CO, Food Photography Durango CO

Warm Potato and Edamame Salad

My hubby and I love different salads, and this is a great fall salad because it combines those lovely greens that are so good for you and a warm mixture of potatoes, edamame (which are whole soybeans – if you’ve never tried them, do so now), cabbage, and cherry tomatoes.

My husband is not a vegetarian, so I add pre-cooked chicken to his and I add vegetarian “chicken” to mine because I like the extra protein.   For my hubby’s chicken, I get the breasts (4-5 at a time), and cook them all at once, then break into bite size pieces and freeze.  That way I can dig out as much as I need for his dishes.  My vegetarian “chicken” is made by Beyond Meat and it’s called chicken-free strips.

Warm Potato and Edamame Salad

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbs red wine vinegar

1 to 1 1/2 Tbs dijon or whole grain mustard

I add a little (maybe a pinch or two) stevia for sweetening

1/2 12 oz package of frozen shelled edamame

1/4 to 1/2 head green cabbage, chopped

12 small or 6 large red potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half

4 cups baby greens

(chicken or veg chicken – optional)

In a shakable jar or small bowl, mix together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and stevia (if using).  Set aside

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Blanch edamame for 3-4 minutes after the water returns to a boil.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl.  Put the cabbage into the boiling water and blanch for around 2 minutes.  Using the slotted spoon, remove the cabbage to the same large bowl.  Add the potatoes to the boiling water, reduce heat to medium, and cook until tender, around 10-15 minutes  (I live at around 8000 feet above sea level, so it takes most things longer to cook than sea level).  Drain potatoes and add to the bowl with the edamame and cabbage.  Stir in tomatoes and the dressing – toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper.

I heat up the chicken and veg chicken in serving bowls first, then add the greens.   Mound the potato mixture on top.

Let me know how it turns out for you.

Luv from Karen



10 Things You Should Know to Make Your Wedding Photos Better (posted by Durango Wedding Photographer

I found this article in the blog of and it was written by Mike Allebach.  I can relate to most of these situations, so bride’s, please take notice.


Remember Mike Allebach’s 12 things wedding photographers want to tell you, but can’t? He’s back with more photographer confessions that could help you avoid hating your wedding pics.

All photos by Mike Allebach

Wedding-day snafus don’t just stress out the couple — they can also affect your photographer’s ability to get those amazing photos you’ve envisioned. Wedding photographers have a lot of insight into what makes a wedding day run smoothly, so I polled a handful of longtime pros to find out their biggest pet peeves and the stress-relieving fixes.

1. The time crunch

Ambitious timelines, traffic jams, limo beer-runs, and hair-and-makeup delays can all chip away at the time you allotted for photos. So please pad your timeline. Your day will feel more relaxed, and you’ll get more photos you love. Here are some tips:

  • Make sure that your hair and makeup artists know how many people they will be working with, and forewarn them if someone’s getting an intricate updo.
  • When traveling in large cities, double the estimated amount of time you’ll need to go from place to place.
  • If you need to make a beer run en route to the reception, plan on it taking 30 minutes — or just pack it ahead of time.

must have photo

2. Must-have photo lists from traditional wedding-planning websites

Nothing smacks of not trusting your photographer more than a list that starts with “Bride looking over shoulder.” Professional photographers want you to love your wedding photos and want to capture things that are important to you. But long lists can stifle creativity and make your photographer more likely to miss a moment unfolding because they’re busy combing through a checklist.

Communicate what is most important to you: Details? Real moments? Photos of the guests? Who are the most important people to you, and what are their names? And don’t worry — if you happen to look over your shoulder, we’ll get that photo, too.

make sure you pick clothes you can move in

3. Wardrobe malfunctions

Does your dress look amazing… as long as you’re standing still? Find a comfortable dress so you’re not fussing with an ill-fitting bodice or wayward bra the entire wedding day. Stand, sit, and dance in the fitting room to make sure your dress stays put. And don’t worry — no matter what, we’ll spare you all the photos of you readjusting. We just want you to be comfortable and look good.

4. Weird ceremony lighting

Nothing is worse than bad lighting at the ceremony.  If you’re hosting a wedding outside, try to find a spot where the sun will be behind you, hitting your shoulders.  For late morning and early afternoon weddings, standing in complete shade of a tree or under a chuppah is ideal.  Find out where the sun will be at the time you are getting married (there are apps for that!).  Nobody wants squinty ceremony photos or shadow images with the bride in the sun and the groom in the shade.   (And bad lighting can strike anytime – not just at the ceremony).

5. Peacocking groomsmen

If you’re a groomsman, put your penis away. This should go without saying, right? But apparently it’s a thing now, because one of the biggest complaints I heard from female wedding photographers was inappropriate groomsman behavior — including lewd comments and awkward displays of man meat. Zip it up, guys. And that goes for all the sexual harassment that drunken wedding guests dish out to photographers.

6. Grooms who stuff their pants

If you’re thinking, “I would never do that!” — think again. You don’t want to know what your cell phone, wallet, and keys look like on our screens. We’re (usually) kind enough to smooth out those weird bulges for you in Photoshop, but it would be helpful if you’d just un-stuff your pockets.


unplugged wedding sign

7. iPhones and iPads

We understand Aunt Zelda needs to update her Tinder profile with selfies from your wedding, but can we just go unplugged already? Some photographers will even give you bonuses or discounts if you have your guests put their phones away!

The simple fix is to have your officiant announce a time to take a photo as your ceremony begins, and then ask everyone to turn off their phones and enjoy the rest of your wedding. Take the Hands Free for Love Challenge.

8. Bossy Pinterest-stalkers

Just like Beyoncé, photographers want to ban bossy… wedding guests. In fact, this was the number-one pet peeve when I polled photographers. As far as we’re concerned, our wedding couple is the boss. We want to do anything to make them happy. So we hate when a wedding guest who has stalked too many Pinterest boards interrupts our photo time to make suggestions. Their ideas may be “cute,” but we don’t want to copy someone else’s work — not to mention it takes time away from the newlyweds and pulls them out of the moment. Don’t worry, we’ll brush them of with a polite “thanks but no thanks.”

mike allebach photography

9. “You can fix that in Photoshop, right?”

If you want to drive a photographer nuts, just repeat this phrase a few times. We have a love-hate relationship with Photoshop. Yes, Photoshop can do a lot of things. But those things take time, especially when we’re editing hundreds and hundreds of images. If there is any way we can fix a problem in real life, before we snap the photo, we’ll take that over spending the next few days in 7 Circles of Photoshop Hell.

10. Forgetting the photo credit

Obviously we don’t like it when newbie photographers steal our work and pass it on as their own. But we also don’t like it when our photos get posted without credit. Give us a shout-out when you post to Facebook, Instagram, or wedding blogs. We live and breathe from referrals, so we want your guests to know who took all the photos they love. Plus, it helps us protect our images from those aforementioned photo thieves.

Professional wedding photographers want to do everything in our power to help you have a stress-free wedding day. We want to partner with you to document your event as smoothly as possible. Therefore, communication is key! I hope these 10 tips will help you build an awesome working relationship with your photographer.


With Luv from Karen



Sunday Recipe Series – Chipolte Pasta with Almonds

Here’s a really nice pasta dish for a cool evening that’s high in protein, a little spicy, and totally delish.  You can use any kind of pasta that you like – spaghetti, linguini, fettuccine, or even gluten free pasta.  If you want to use gluten free pasta, try the rice noodles (with rice bran) from Tinkyada which can be found at most health food stores.

Chipolte Paste with Almonds

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup minced onion

1 Tbs minced garlic

6-7 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 tsp dried parsley or basil or 2Tbs fresh

1 canned chipolte chile in adobe sauce, seeded and chopped

1/4 cup blanched almonds

1 lb pasta (spaghetti, linguini, etc)

In a non-stick skillet, heat oil and add onion.  Cook, stirring frequently until onion softens, about 5 mins.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Add tomatoes, parsley or basil, and chile.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 10-15 mins.  Add almonds, and transfer sauce to a blender or food processor.  Puree until smooth and thick.  Meanwhile cook pasta according to pasta directions until al dente.  I usually put the sauce back into the skillet to warm it up when the pasta is almost done.  Drain pasta and toss with sauce.

Durango CO Photographers, Photographers Durango CO

Chipolte Pasta with a Salad


Luv from Karen




Shannon Maloney’s Senior Portraits by Durango Senior Photographer

Shannon Maloney is the star runner at the Durango High School.  Her photo is in the paper every time they run a cross country race because she’s always in the top of the girls race.  I also photographed her brother two years ago when he was a high school senior.  He was the top boy runner for cross country and track.  He’s now in college and is a top runner there as well.

Shannon will be heading to college to become a doctor and, of course, she will be continuing her running career there also.  I know she will be an amazing runner at college, and an amazing doctor when she graduates.  She is one awesome girl.  I can’t wait to see how her life progresses.


Durango Senior Photographers, Durango CO Photographers

Shannon in her adorable dress

Durango Senior Photographers, Photographers Durango CO

Among the Trees

Durango Senior Photographers, Photographers Durango CO

Senior Portrait with graffiti

Durango Senior Photographers, Photographers Durango CO

Senior Portrait by the River

Durango Senior Photographers, Photographers Durango CO

In the Flowers

Durango Senior Photographers, Photographers Durango CO

On the Bridge in the Garden

Durango Senior Photographers, Photographers Durango CO

With the Roses in the Garden

Durango Senior Photographers, Photographers Durango CO

Shannon in the Grass

Luv from Karen

Durango Senior Photographers



Sunday Recipe Series – Quinoa Chili

Here in Colorado fall has arrived with winter to soon follow.  What’s better than a steaming bowl of yummy chili to warm up your tummy.  This is a vegetarian quinoa chili – even my non-veg friends ate this up!

You can make this chili as spicy as you want.  I like it fairly spicy, so I add some extra ground red cayenne pepper at the end (after I taste it to make sure it’s not already just spicy enough).  You don’t have to use a slow cooker for this.  Just follow all the same instructions but use a soup pot and cook for around 45 minutes.

Durango CO Photographers, Durango Food Photographers

Quinoa Chili

Quinoa Chili

2 cups cooked quinoa

1 Tbs safflower oil

1 onion, diced

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

1 1/2-2 cups water

1 7oz can diced green chilis

2 1/2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste

salt to taste

1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15 oz can hot chili beans (or plain pinto beans), drained and rinsed

1 1/2 cups frozen corn

juice of one lime

To cook the quinoa, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add one cup quinoa, cover and book for 20 minutes.   Heat oil in a pan, add onion, and saute until tender.  Add garlic in the last 30 seconds.  Put the onion and garlic mixture into the slow cooker, add all the other ingredients, except lime juice and heat on low for around 6 hrs.  Add the lime juice in the last 15 minutes or so.

How much easier could it be?

Luv from Karen

Sunday Recipe Series

This is my first Sunday Recipe Series.  I’ve been a vegetarian for around 25 yrs – yes, I haven’t eaten any meat (beef, chicken, fish, etc) in a long time.  I’m 58 yrs old and take no medications and am healthy, wealthy, and wise, except for a few aches and pains from running too hard when younger.  Now I just go slogging (slow jogging) –  I thought I made up that word, until I saw it written somewhere, but it was a slightly different meaning, so I technically made it up for my purposes.

So here’s my first recipe:

Roasted Vegetable Linguini with Torn Fresh Basil

                      2 cups mushrooms cut in half (I use baby portobellos, but any type will work)

                        1 bunch broccoli, cut into larger than bite size pieces

                        1 small onion, cut into 1″ pieces

                        1 red pepper, cut into 1″ pieces

                        2 cups grape tomatoes

                        2 cloves garlic minced

                        2-3 Tbs olive oil

                         1 tsp red pepper flakes

                          salt to taste

                         1 cup white wine (save extra for drinking:}

                         14-16 oz uncooked linguini (I use half white and half whole wheat)

                         1/2 cup torn basil leaves

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Toss together mushrooms, broccoli, onion, red pepper, tomatoes, and garlic in a large bowl with the olive oil and spread out on a  large cookie sheet.   Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes and some salt.  The vegetables will shrink almost half, so don’t worry if it looks like too much.  Roast 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times to prevent burning on bottom.

2.  Transfer vegetables back to the bowl, add wine to roasting pan and cook over two burners on the stove, scraping off the bits from the bottom of pan.  Wine will evaporate by about half.

3.  Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions (cook 12-15 minutes in boiling water until al dente).  Drain pasta, add wine mixture and vegetables to the pasta pot.   Turn burner back on to heat everything through.  Stir in torn basil, salt and pepper if desired.

If you have any leftover roasted veggies, put them on a whole wheat baguette with some provolone cheese and red pepper hummus.  Yum!

Durango CO Photographers

Uncooked veggies on tray

Durango Wedding Photographers, Durango CO Photographers, Photographers Durango CO

Yummy Pasta Dish

Check back next Sunday for another vegetarian recipe, and please let me know your thoughts.

Luv from Karen


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 194 other followers

%d bloggers like this: