Shutterfest 2017 and what that means for YOU!

Shutterfest is not your average conference. Take whatever you think of when you think "conference" and kick it out the window! It was indeed an EXPERIENCE! One would hope that it would live up to that expectation after driving 13 hours to St. Louis, 14+ hour days of hands on, lecture, demonstrations, "Rent-A-Human" (models who came to loan their talents in exchange for portfolio building), walking 30,000+ steps in 80+ degree heat in 2 days, squeeze in some sleep here and there and of course, capturing epic imagery! When people work this hard, we play hard too. No stuffy cocktail parties here, we were treated to a 90's theme party with a GREAT cover band and a Lip Synch battle with some of the instructors and other attendees. 

So while that might be fine and good for us, what does that mean for YOU?! This event allowed Jeff and me to have the privilege and opportunity to work closely with internationally recognized masters in their respective fields of photography and business expertise. This in turn allows us to remain on the cutting edge of our field, all the while surrounded by other photographers filled with new and fresh ideas and how best to continue to masterfully craft capturing lives in moments of time! One of the best parts of this event is being able to receive real time feedback and what we can do to get better, both in artistry and business. Like life itself...our craft is not a destination, but a journey.

We hope you will choose to take part of that journey with us.  

Expert Engagement Shoot Tips


Engagement season is upon us once again! To help equip our brides-to-be, check out our Top 6 Picks to make your engagement shoot fun and enjoyable for everyone! 

Engagement shoots have been around for several years now and they are so important for so many reasons in time leading up to your wedding.

They are a great way to spend some quality time together before the big day; they help you get to know us and enable getting to understand your vision,  and talk about the final plans for your wedding. They allow you to get some stunning images of you both as a couple saying goodbye to one stage of your relationship. However, they most importantly, allow you to ‘practice’ in front of the camera before your big day, so we have a chance to know what you like and helps to get rid of any nerves!

So, how do you make it fun, personal and get the most out of it as a couple? Here are our top tips!

#1 Location

Think about your location, it is lovely to go somewhere that is meaningful to you as a couple but also has a variety of backdrops to make things more exciting and give you real variety in the images. City centers, towns, fields, beaches, farms, lakes, rivers all make fabulous backdrops so think of somewhere unique to you!

It is a good idea also to think seasonally. If your shoot is in the autumn, why not take advantage of the amazing yellow and orange trees? Winter could you do your shoot in the snow? Spring by the robust river runoff or forest of budding trees?  In the summer, the wildflower fields or beach?

Villages and towns can provide some great quirky backgrounds, eclectic or antique shops, colorful doorways and old barn wood or brickwork look great! If you have an amazing home or perhaps are hiring a really special bridal suite, this can make a great place for some more intimate shots. Of course the beach is always fantastic especially if there is variety - sailboats, driftwood, etc. It is also a good idea to think about your history as a couple…if you met in Starbucks start the shoot there over a cup of coffee!



#2 Activities 

Activities are fabulous in engagement shoots, they give you something fun and natural to do while making the shoot individual and interesting. You could rent a canoe or boat on a local lake. Do you have a horse and could go horse riding? Does your dad have a vintage car you could borrow for a drive or how about a vintage camper? You could visit an antique market, rent a tandem bike, or how about a picnic or trip apple or peach picking?

Fruit fields look fabulous and is a great activity that is fun and looks very cute in the images. Take a picnic to the woods or beach for some really romantic shots. Ice creams or sodas together are very sweet and again, any experience you can be seen sharing makes the images really romantic.


#3 Hobbies & Pets

Incorporating hobbies is another way to make your shoot personal to you as a couple. Obviously Zumba and tennis might not work, but boating or perhaps cycling (think vintage bikes with baskets) or hunting (bows or guns) are great ideas. 

If you have a pet this is something we could incorporate too…they are part of your little family after all.  Bringing your dog along will be sure to make it a fun experience!



#4 Hair & Make Up

You really want look and feel your very best on your engagement shoot.

If you are a bit of a makeup / hair novice why not arrange to have them done professionally. Two of our favorite local ladies: Ashley B @ SouthernExposure in Dillon, CO. and April @ First Impressions Salon and Spa in Frisco, CO. Perhaps you could even arrange your wedding hair and/or make up trials for the morning of your shoot?

If you’re doing your hair and make up yourself take a little extra time, perhaps buy some new items to make you feel great and remember to wear a little more makeup than usual while still keeping it fairly natural as makeup doesn’t show up as much on the photos.

#5 Clothing

Choose colors that go together and keep the same color palette as this will unify you together in the shots, but please keep a flavor of your own style. We feel it is important to wear color rather than blacks and whites which can look harsh…color really lifts your photographs.

Think about where we are shooting and choose appropriate clothes i.e: if we are in the mountains in winter: boots, hats and scarves or on the beach by the lake in summer, think sun dress and cute sandals.  Think classic, no big motifs or wording on your clothes and nothing too fashionable as this will date your images quickly.

If we are going to an appropriate location, why not dress up a bit, a dress and heels looks fabulous or jeans, a nice shirt, shoes and belt for the will feel amazing and in turn look that way too. 

Style it up – this really makes your photos sing. You could dress in a cute vintage way (not fancy dress!) perhaps a 40′s style dress and jeans and a vest for your guy.

If it’s a winter shoot, tights and a little skirt or tweed shorts, a chunky knit cardigan with a belt, hat scarf, gloves and cute knee high boots are far more stylish than "regular" ski gear, but if that's your thing, rock it! :)

#6 Props

Think about the kind of props that might go with the shoot you have chosen. Perhaps you have decided on a woodland picnic in which case you could bring a beautiful picnic blanket, pretty plates, and gorgeous looking food like strawberries, cupcakes, olives. You could bring a vintage tea-pot or a carafe of lemonade and glasses with fun straws.

If you are going fruit picking, bring a pretty basket. A winter walk? Maybe a fuzzy or knit blanket to hang round your shoulders and a flask of hot chocolate. Even a bunch of flowers looks great as it looks like you are on a ‘date’.

If you do decide to bring props make them stylish, sandwiches in a plastic bag do not a picnic make! We could go on forever about props as they can really ‘make’ a photo…they are fun and make your images unique to you.


Check out more of our photography on our website.  Here is a ‘pinnable’ image for you to pin to your wedding planning Pinterest board – feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter with your engaged friends too!


Opening the Doors

Whew! I can hardly believe this day has finally arrived. We have been working out of our home office for the last two and a half years and now our first studio has finally come to fruition. Anyone that has opened a business knows the labor, love and long hours required, but we are so excited to bring Summit County its first personalized, fashion-focused photography studio!

Jeff is a life-long resident of Summit County and entrepreneur (he started his first business at 12!).  It has been so cool to watch him be able to fuse his drive for excellence with his artistry. I don't think he had any idea when he picked up a camera at 16 that he would necessarily end up opening a photography studio, but here we are! What a joy to watch someone take a shadow of an idea and bring it to reality. I am humbled and feel very blessed to get to be a part of it alongside my partner-in-crime for life! :)

All of the final items of business will be wrapped up tomorrow, so we are "officially" open as of this Friday, July 1st. With the 4th of July weekend and its host of activities, we are delaying our "Grand" opening celebration to Thursday, July 14th from 5:30pm-7:30pm at 135 Main St, Suite 9, directly across the hall from Cameez in Dillon in the La Riva Mall.

Come by and see what we've created to be a fun, fashion-forward extension of our home! 

Warmest regards,

Heidi :)

Studio Manager


My very first....and probably not greatest blog

Well……Here goes my first blog.  I wanted to talk about something that I recently experienced and it was a light bulb moment for me.  Recently my lovely assistant/office manager and gorgeous wife Heidi told me about searching for a tutor for our son Brian.  She is looking for a tutor that can help him with learning sign language.  Without going into to many details, none of our family members are hearing impaired.  Brian just wanted to learn sign language.  So Heidi contacted a friend of ours and she put the word out for a tutor. In a short amount of time we had several tutors that contacted us.  One that stood out was the one that wanted to know more about Brian then about teaching him.


This was a key moment for me on how I interview potential clients.  I realized that it was very important to connect with my clients on a personal level first.  We recently received an inquiry for a wedding in Aspen in July.  Before I contacted the bride by phone, I immediately wanted to refer back to the photographer in me on the type of questions I wanted to ask.  I had to remind myself to make a personal connection first.  I have Heidi sit in on all phone calls with me.  Heidi came prepared for the phone call with a list of questions written down on a piece of paper……Here was me with nothing to write on, or questions prepared.  Heidi did a wonderful job speaking with our potential bride.  I of course was able to answer the photography questions and lay out my style, or how I can change up my style.


We hung up with our potential bride and she advised us she wanted to speak with and interview another photographer.  A few days later I received an email from the bride asking more questions about the type of photography she was looking for.  It turns out we like a lot of the same type of images.  So a few days after the follow up questions, I received an email that we were selected as the photographer.  Woohoo!  Success.  I believe we got the job because we both show a passion for working with people and connecting on a personal level.  Oh and I guess it didn’t hurt that I display images from former jobs.


I haven't been much of a writer in the past, but I will work on my blogs.  I plan to put much more content on my site in the coming future.  So until next time.


Jeff Wilson

Creative Director

Jeffrey K Wilson Photography