Photography With  Heart

Family Gallery

Flowers and mountain wedding

Fall Family Session

Winter Family Portrait

Winter Family Session

Family Reunion Portrait

Family Reunion Mountain Session

Family Vacation Portrait Session

Family Vacation Session

Hi, I'm Vanessa

I’m a Colorado lover. An ice cream addict. A mountain biking aficionado. An outdoor enthusiast. A lover of impromptu dance parties. A huge fan of good food and good friends gathered around a kitchen island, fire pit, or homemade skillet pizza. I’m a traveler, photographer, wife, mom, child of God, and one happy girl.

Photography with heart

I LOVE capturing the heart and authentic emotion in people through bright, beautiful images. I want you to have an experience you will enjoy and photos you will treasure!

Married to my college sweetheart

He's my best friend, adventure buddy, and all around favorite guy. We love to hike, bike, cook really good food, explore Colorado, play board games, eat ice cream, travel, and have fun together.

Meet my family

I'm Mom to two beautiful, creative, adventurous, loving girls. They fill my life with so much joy!

City raised, mountain based

I grew up in St. Paul Minnesota ~ but am so thankful to call Colorado home for the last 15 years. I am thankful for so many outdoor pursuits right out my front door! A few of my favorites: mountain biking, hiking, fly fishing, rafting, and skiing!

38 projects and counting

We didn't exactly know what we were getting into when we bought a 120 year old home in the heart of Durango. We've jumped into renovating it one project at a time ~ and thanks to YouTube, we're on our way. Blood, sweet, and tears. We've experienced a little bit of all of them.

Always on the hunt for the next great recipe

I don't just like food, I LOVE it! I like ending the day with a glass of wine or whiskey, my Old Time Dinner Music playlist on Spotify, and garlic sizzling in some olive oil on the stove. Mmmm ... what's for dinner????

I've got you covered

I love using the best lenses, camera bodies, and gear to capture you! You just show up, I'll take care of the rest.

Clients Love Ginger Moose

from Karen

The photos from our family session
are absolute treasures.

from Laura

High praise for Ginger Moose Photography!!
Vanessa was the perfect choice for our family
mountain photos while on vacation. She was
easy to work with, found a great location, and
made us feel at ease. We love our photos!

from Katie

Vanessa made us feel very comfortable
in front of the camera. The photos
turned out amazing and we already have
them hanging in our home!

from Jennifer

Absolutely wonderful experience!!
Vanessa was kind and fun!
The pictures turned out PERFECT!


Hello! Thanks for stopping in.

Please fill out the form below and I will connect with you soon about your session or wedding. I reply to all inquiries within 48 hours.


PICK your photographer

Vanessa is an expert you can trust

  • Top of the line camera gear
  • A photographer you will connect with
  • Check if she has your date available

PLAN your day

Your guide to relaxed mountain photos

  • Access to the best Colorado mountain photo locations
  • Your guide to the best timing and lighting for photos
  • Experience from hundreds of family sessions

PHOTOS you will treasure

A family session you will enjoy

  • No stress family photography
  • Delivery of all edited images within 4 weeks
  • Online family gallery for everyone, no hidden costs

What to Expect

I want you to feel totally comfortable in your own skin, and have fun! Your session will take 1 to 1 ½ hours. I encourage you to bring a favorite toy for your kids, water, and snacks to revive tired or hungry little ones. When we meet up for photos, I’ll spend most of the time capturing natural family interactions. I will pose you for some photos, but often my favorite photos are the ones of you laughing and having a good time together. Sometimes as Moms, we feel the need to coach our kids during the picture process. “Smile!” “Look at the camera!” “Say cheese!” It’s only natural. My hope is to capture your kids’ natural and unforced smiles, and I have tricks that often work like a charm. As parents, I want you to focus on having fun with your kids. Time spent loving on them and laughing with them makes some of the best photographs.

What to Wear

Let’s be honest, it’s usually us ladies who care most about what we look like, so that’s why I usually advise the lady of the house to be the one who picks her outfit out first. I’m a firm believer in the tried and true premise that “If Mama ain’t happy, then nobody’s happy.” It’s sure true in my house. Ask my hubby. So, ladies, pick out what you feel best in. Go splurge and buy yourself something you absolutely love and feel great in. Then, plan everyone else’s outfits around yours. I know it sounds slightly self-absorbed, but trust me, I’ve done this for years and it works. Once you’ve found an outfit you feel amazing in, it will be easier to coordinate the others around you.

Another great thing to do is to pick a “Color Palette” for your family. Take a look at this example ~ and think of planning your family’s outfits around that color family so that everyone blends. Think coordinated, not matchy matchy. We don’t want everyone in white polos, but we do want you and your mate or family to look like a coordinated unit.

To find color family options, type in Color Palette on Pinterest for lots of ideas.

Last but not least, try to avoid large logos or lettering on the clothing you choose. And before you go, don’t forget to add in textures, patterns, and accessories. Scarves, chunky necklaces, or a favorite pair of boots can often make an outfit!

Location & Timing

I love bright, natural, and sun-drenched images, so it works best to do sessions outdoors in the early morning or early evening for the best light. The best months for outdoor family portraits are May through October, but with our sunny Colorado weather, family photos can be taken at any time of year. Family portraits in the autumn colors are a popular choice, and a great way to get a photo to send out on holiday cards. These sessions are very popular, so please contact me in advance to ensure availability. A spot that is meaningful to your family is often a great location for portraits: a favorite park, hiking trail, or community garden. Location is up to you, but I have some suggestions that I love sharing with clients!


I focus on capturing images that tell the story of who you are as a couple or family. I love to interact with you and your kids in a fun way, and place you in the best light that makes you feel at ease in front of the camera and helps you look your best.

I believe that getting your picture taken should be easy and fun…without all the fuss. Captured in a natural outdoor setting to make you look your absolute best. Authentic. Bright. Full of joy!

Meaningful Objects

Sometimes incorporating meaningful objects can be a fun way to add life and joy in to your photos. Consider what you and your family love to do together, and think about if one of those activities could be added in to your session.

Some ideas include:

  • Cruiser Bikes
  • Balloons
  • Books
  • A hammock
  • A picnic blanket and basket
  • A watering can and basket of flower
  • An old fashioned automobile

  • Ice cream cones or popsicles

  • Bubbles

  • Cupcakes for an upcoming birthday!

I encourage you to bring something to your session that is meaningful or fun for your family and I will make sure to incorporate it in some of the photos.

What Happens If…


Most sessions are photographed in outdoor locations, in beautiful morning or evening light. If the weather is rainy or windy, or if the forecast looks grim, I will contact you to reschedule.


If you or one of your family members is feeling under the weather on the day of your session, please don’t hesitate to call and reschedule. We want everyone to be feeling their best on the day that we do pictures. There is no fee or charge for rescheduling due to illness.

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