When you set the bar high with your first son and went to the Salt Flats and did niece and nephew pictures at the Paint Mines, Great Sand Dunes and Epic Mountain senior pictures, it is hard to compete. However, I think we may have hit the jackpot when we went to Aspen for a few days to do a classic Colorado Rocky Mountain senior pictures.
Not only did I go with my son and my niece, but my sister came along for the ride too! It was so fun to have some sister bonding and jam to our favorite 90’s music (mixed in with some Taylor Swift and John Denver…it was a killer mix we had going on). We even hopped in for a few photos with our seniors!
If you have not gone over Independence pass on the way from Denver to Aspen, you are missing out. However, it might make you a little bit car sick and you might not want to look over the side at the steep drop off.
Rocky Mountain High Senior Pictures
My son is a HUGE John Denver fan and wanted to recreate his famous “Rocky Mountain High” album cover. So we did some research and found Slaughter Falls where the photos were taken. We even bought a shirt and matched the “look” of John Denver. Unfortunately, in our haste to get out the door, we forgot ALL of the clothes he was going to wear that were hung up. Thankfully he had some plain t-shirts in his bag, but it was kind of a bummer and we couldn’t just run home and grab them. So just pretend that he is wearing a green plaid flannel with a red shirt underneath in these photos.
It was a little tricky to get down the hill to the river and it was SO loud when he was on the falls and I was on the shore that posing him was nearly impossible! Thankfully he is a photographer’s son and he is used to posing and did a great job all on his own (paired with me frantically pantomiming from the shore).
The path to get to the falls was wide, flat and perfectly maintained. It was a gorgeous walk and we even found some wildflowers on the way (which is what Adah really wanted for her photos).
The internet directions to the falls were a little unclear so we actually walked a little bit too far and were surprised by this amazing bridge. I have always dreamed of taking photos on a bridge like this so it was a wonderful surprise…especially as NO ONE was on it and we didn’t have to worry about traffic of any kind.
There was beauty and cool spots for photos every where we looked. I am so glad we got a little lost and came upon this amazing bridge area.
Colorado Rocky Mountain Maroon Bells Senior Pictures
After the falls, we headed up to the Maroon Bells for more pictures. Because you can never have enough, right? Look at who we found in the parking lot. He was greeting all the guests and did not want to move.
Apparently now (post-Covid) you have to have reservations for the Maroon Bells (whoops)! We had no idea, but thankfully a storm was rolling in and it was almost dusk and the ranger station just waved us on in after we paid the park fee. It was getting a little bit chilly but we had the entire place to ourselves! It was another little miracle. Can you even believe how beautiful and epic this location is? There is no wonder why this is the most photographed place in Colorado (and even the world).
What you may NOT know, is that these mountains (which oddly enough look WAY more maroon than the actual Maroon Bells) are just 90 degrees to your right if you are standing looking at the Maroon Bells and lake. Crazy that these aren’t in most photos because these jagged, red mountains are amazing!
Can you even believe how amazing these photos are? The green grass, the storm and the contrast of colors is a dream for a photographer!
As we were walking to the car, the freezing wind picked up and we started to feel raindrops. But as a true photographer, I made Adah stand there for one last, quick picture. It was SO worth it and this is probably my favorite picture of the trip.
According to the time stamp on the photos, these pictures were taken 23 minutes apart! Crazy how fast it went from blue skies and sun to raining storm. The mountains are crazy when it comes to weather.
Downtown Aspen Senior Pictures
In the morning, we headed out to try to find Tanner a new shirt or two at the thrift store (because…regular stores in Aspen are $$$). While we wandered the streets, we found some fun spots for pictures!
Ashcroft Ghost Town- Colorado Mountain Senior Pictures
The Ashcroft Ghost town is about 15 minutes from Aspen and we thought it would make for fun photos…and it DID! There is a small fee per adult over 18 so it was a bargain for sure.
Check out the old hotel, jail and homes.
We even got some cousin pictures. Although they always laugh when I take these and say they always look like a couple. Funny story…these guys went to middle school together and people always thought they were boyfriend/girlfriend because they are so close with each other!
Colorado Mountain Senior Pictures
What would a mountain photo shoot be without epic, sweeping views of the mountains. This bright blue dress of Adah’s was my favorite! Everything is SO green right now because of the unprecedented amounts of rain so the blue really POPS!
Twin Lakes is another little hidden gem we stumbled upon on our way back to Denver. I kid you not, there was only ONE little family on the entire shoreline of this giant, GORGEOUS lake.
I guess the moral of the story is….if your mom and/or aunt is a Colorado senior photographer, you are going to get some pretty epic senior photos. Mountains, check. Rivers, check. Waterfalls, check. Ghost town, check. These sessions are always my favorite as they include my favorite people and they allow me to flex some creative muscles that I don’t usually get to flex at senior sessions. Thanks Tanner and Adah for being my models! I love you to bits.
And if you want epic senior pictures in the Rocky Mountains or Denver area, check this out!