Winter is Here // Breckenridge Pet Photography Retreat
Back in May, my partner, Nicole Begley of Hair of the Dog, and I co-taught a pet photography retreat in Breckenridge, Colorado. It was everything I dreamed it would be… and more! We rented an 8,700 square foot chalet high atop the town where we stayed along with our students. It had three kitchens, four dishwashers, four fireplaces, radiant heat flooring throughout, and two hot tubs. I screamed with excitement when I saw it for the first time!
Before we left San Diego and Pittsburgh (where Nicole lives), we were keeping a close eye on the forecast. It was calling for rain, then 1-3 inches of snow so we packed wisely and didn’t think much of it. We arrived a few days beforehand to location-scout and it was beautiful. We couldn’t wait for everyone to arrive and see the stunning spring landscape! But… the day before everyone was scheduled to arrive, the forecast changed… to 1-3 feet of snow. Feet! At least it didn’t start until after everyone had arrived!
We went to bed that night with flurries and woke up to a winter wonderland! It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen! We had shoots planned for that afternoon but none of our models could make it safely through the weather. Luckily, the management company we rented our house from was a dog-friendly business — and just down the road. We called and asked them if anyone had their dogs with them that day — and they did! A sweet sheepdog (who had already been shaved down for the summer, oh no!) and a white husky (a white husky!!!) were able to come up to the house and model for us.
I cried tears of joy after photographing this dog. I really did! Ask Greg, he’ll tell you!
A few days later, we held a shoot at the Dillon Reservoir in Frisco, just outside Breck. The vast majority of the models we had lined up were coming from Denver and couldn’t make it, so we put out a call and more local dogs saved the day! We were very grateful to the couple of pups who did make it all the way from Denver, too!
The following morning, we held our final outdoor shoot at Officer’s Gulch between the town of Frisco and Copper Mountain. The sunlight was sparkling and our doggie models were total superstars!
On our final day, we taught the basics of lighting with off-camera flash. While Nicole was the outdoor lighting master, I was the indoor guru and showed everyone how I ran my Limited Edition Studio Sessions. We had some gorgeous dogs model for us that day!
Fun fact: the background above was the wood stack in the garage. It was also home to a teeny tiny happy little chipmunk! Greg spotted it as a good indoor location and I couldn’t have agreed more!
We had an amazing five days of learning, adventure, and puppies and I can’t wait for the next one….. hint: it’s already in the works!!!