It’s January in Colorado and that means Stock Show weather.
The term “Stock Show weather,” by the way, has nothing to do with the Stock Show. It is actually the secret code word for so-bitter-cold-that-nobody-sets-foot-outdoors, and it usually lasts for about three weeks every January in Denver.
Anyone who decides it’s a good idea to take pictures outside in Stock Show weather is either hard-core committed to photography or certifiably insane. Or polite. Inordinately polite. Polite enough to smile and nod when a client suggests it would be perfect weather for an outdoor family photo session.Since I did venture out in Stock Show weather for the first photo shoot of 2013, it goes without saying that I would do anything for my friend Molly, who, in all of her lovableness, thought family pictures during this cold snap would be an adventure.Molly and I began our photography journey together at about the same time, taking workshops and classes together, and calling each other to brainstorm ideas whenever one of us had a challenging shoot coming up. We spent one evening together in a church basement attempting to master off-camera flash for the first time while our kids belted out “Think Positive” and ate Everlasting Gobstoppers in the next room.
And my dear friend Molly will forever hold a special place in my heart because she was my second shooter at the first wedding I shot. Not only did she provide much-needed encouragement, but she captured some amazing moments herself and had my back every step of the way.Molly is also one of those gals who will go where few photographers dare to go. When we did a photo hike together in Estes Park a few years ago, Molly ventured out on some rocks and fell halfway into a river for the sole purpose of securing the perfect vantage point for a waterfall shot. And she didn’t even flinch when, on the same trip, she was charged at full speed by a bugling elk who, apparently, did not like having his picture taken.
Photography is to Molly the ultimate adventure, and every time I’m with her I am inspired to be more daring, to experience life — and photography — more fully. I’ve learned from Molly that this whole photo journey is not as much about arriving at the destination or capturing that one perfect picture, but rather about enjoying every step along the way. Even steps with chilly toes.