John, Shauna, and Baby J | Northern Colorado Lifestyle Family Photographer

Lifestyle Family Photo Session By Lily Jean Photography

"The most important thing in the world is family and love." -John Wooden

And this lifestyle family photo session was focused on just that! The love John and Shauna have for their sweet little guy was evident from the moment I saw them together. I loved sitting back and being able to watch them play. Baby J had me entertained the entire time; just look at the expressions on this dude! 


Aurora Colorado Lifestyle photo session
Indoor Lifestyle Family Photo of baby playing with dad by Lily Jean Photography
lifestyle family photos of baby reading books by lily Jean Photography
Lifestyle Family Photo of parents playing with baby by Lily Jean Photography
dad reading books with baby by Lily jean Photography
Lifestyle family photos of parents with baby by Lily jean Photography

Aren't they the greatest? 

Thanks, Shauna and John for letting me capture these sweet moments with your family! 

CMpro! | Colorado Springs Documentary Photographer


After an intense, year-long application process and 12 days of waiting, I recently received the amazing news that I was accepted in to ClickinMoms CMpro!

CMpro, as described on their website: 

CMpro is a women’s organization of professional photographers and highly skilled artists whose work demonstrates creativity, vision, and artistic and technical excellence. The images produced by CMpros are second to none. We critically evaluate the portfolios of CMpro applicants for technical excellence, personal style, and artistic vision. Less than 30% of photographers who apply to CMpro are accepted.

When I first heard of the program and the acceptance rate,  i thought "WOW! I wish I could have that kind of talent!" But I never suspected I would apply, let alone get accepted. However, about 14 months ago I made a tiny commitment which ended up resulting in achieving this daunting goal.

I committed to documenting at least one moment of my life, through a photograph, every. single. day.

some documentary images 

During the winter months when we were stuck inside, this became quite a challenge. The days were short, the space was small, and I can only think of so many ways to photograph my kids reading another book. What I didn't know was that pushing through these challenges would cause an amazing amount of growth, both as a professional and an artist.

After only two months of daily practice, I began to think "maybe I could start setting aside a few images for when I dream of applying."

And then, after a few more months, I noticed growth and improvement in my work. I decided what the heck. I'm going to set a goal for myself to step outside of my comfort zone and apply to CMpro by 2017. I spent the next year adding my favorite images to a folder, later removing and replacing them with better ones as my skills improved, until I had reached the requirement of 150 images. Once I submitted my portfolio, each individual photo as well as the collection as a whole was critically evaluated in the following areas:

  • The Exposure Triangle
  • Color and White Balance
  • Use of Light
  • Composition and Posing
  • Processing Cohesion and Polish
  • Technical (focus, Depth of Field, etc)
  • Creativity, Expression and Intention

12 LONNNNG days later, I received the news that I once thought I'd never hear. Not only had I attained this daunting goal of applying, but I had been accepted! 

Friends often kindly tell me that I have a "natural talent" or an "eye for pictures", but in the hope of inspiring others,  I want share that this really isn't true. Through this journey, I've learned that to master any skill -playing a sport, a musical instrument, dancing, photography, art, etc.- it takes thousands of hours of practice, tens of thousands of mistakes, a million tiny baby steps, and countless disappointments, "failures" and frustrations to develop that talent. It's pushing yourself past those frustrations and failures that makes all the difference. For anyone reading this who has what seems like an insurmountable goal to meet, know that if I could do THIS thing that seemed impossible a year ago, then YOU too can achieve YOUR goals!  

Here's the rest of my 150 image portfolio. 


Thanks for looking! If you happen to be where I was 5 years ago, with your shiny new DSLR camera and no clue how to use it, I have nothing but great things to say about ClickinMoms! They offer so much information, ideas, and opportunities for growth, that it's impossible NOT to improve!  Seriously, check them out! Tell them I sent you. (The link below is an affiliate link)

Start Capturing Life Now (300x250)

Photographing Children in the Snow | Colorado Springs Family and Child Photographer

Lily Jean Photography Snow Portraits

I love doing portraits for my own children on their birthdays! But living in Colorado and having babies born in December and February has sometimes wreaked havoc on my outdoor portrait dreams. The grass is brown, the ground is muddy, and the sun is usually nowhere to be found. However, there are few things I find more beautiful than a fresh blanket of powdery white snow! Luckily for me, on the eve of LJ's third birthday, we got hit with two feet of snow overnight! I decided to take advantage of the weather it and loaded her up with warm clothes and blankets to take some snowy birthday photos. When we got out of the car, she made it obvious that she was NOT going to last long in the 13 degree weather. Fortunately, I've learned a few tips and tricks over the years of photographing my kids in the snow, and I put them to use here. I've included all of my tips on how I get good pictures of my kids in the snow, including a failproof trick I like to call my "secret weapon".

Colorado springs family photographer snow photos

Tip #1- Make it quick!

I'm a perfectionist, and sometimes that means taking extra time, capturing more shots, in search of those perfect ones that I love! But in cold, snowy weather, if my children aren't in their snow gear, we have 2-5 minutes tops before they become too cold to stay outside. This is where mastering shooting in manual mode really comes in handy. I can adjust my settings quickly, and I know that each image will come out with the exact exposure and white balance I have in mind. I can quickly change poses and shooting positions, taking just 2-3 shots of each pose and setup, and move on. Although you can see a variety of different shots, all of the photos on this blog post were taken within a 3 minute window and we were back in our warm car in no time.  

Denver Family Photographer snow portraits

Tip #2- Dress sympathetically!

If I could only give one tip on photographing children in the snow, this would be it! Kids, especially toddlers and babies, are more sensitive to cold temperatures due to their bodies not regulating temperature as efficiently as a young adult's. Therefore, it's my rule of thumb to wear one layer less of clothing than the children I'm photographing. That way, when I start to get uncomfortable, I can guarantee they are too! At that point, I know it's time to either take a break or call it a day.

Colorado Family Photographer child snow portraits

Tip #3- Distract and bribe!

As many of my clients know, I never ask children to smile. I believe in capturing genuine emotion, and I've found the best way to do that is NOT to ask for a smile, but rather to just chat with children about the things that they enjoy. 99% of the time, this leads to natural smiles on its own, but for the other 1%, I am NOT above using bribes! Snow comes with its own built-in activities that can be great distractions to get natural smiles from kids, like building a snowman, catching flakes on their tongue, and even throwing snow! Just prepare to get cold and messy if you suggest the latter! Because I know my daughter so well, it was easy for me to quickly think of something that will both distract her from the cold and make her smile. I asked her if she would like to sing a song with me from her favorite movie (quite fitting as that movie is Disney's "Frozen") The smiles and laughter captured in the above photos were due to her belting out "Let It Go", complete with hand motions. I coupled that with a bribe of a gummy bear once we finished the song, and it was enough to keep her attention for the 3 minute span that we were out there. 

Photographing Children in the snow

Tip #4- Incorporate appropriate props!

I'm actually pretty minimalist when it comes to props in my photos, but in the case of snowy weather photography, a couple of wise prop choices can be incredibly helpful. Blankets and quilts are a great option to add an extra layer of warmth, while any type of chair or other object they can sit on will help add variety to the poses without the subject having to sit down in the cold snow! For this set of photos, I decided to use suitcases in order to get some sitting "poses" without subjecting her to the cold snow right on her behind. 

Taking pictures of kids in the snow

Lastly, My "Secret Weapon" for snowy photos of kids: 

HotHands! You know, those little packets that you can shake and put inside your socks or mittens before a day out on the slopes? These work equally well to keep kids warm when they're wearing less than ideal clothing/gear in the snow. Just be sure to use precautions, as the package states that they can heat up to 160 degrees! This is obviously way too hot to have against a child's skin. I always activate ours and then wrap them in a thin washcloth before placing them inside my child's clothing, and I would never, I repeat NEVER put them on an infant or nonverbal child who isn't able to tell me if they start to feel too hot. Once we're back in the car, i remove them immediately to prevent us from forgetting about them. For this set of photos, my daughter had a onesie on under the dress with one washcloth wrapped packet of HotHands each on her chest, back, both sleeves, and both boots. She also held one packet in her hands to keep her fingers nice and toasty. This isn't always necessary, but these photos were taken in 13 degrees Farenheit with a chilly wind.  

And there you have it! With using a few simple tips and tricks, it's possible to get great pictures of your kids in the snow that you'll want to hang on your walls!