What to bring to your Senior Photo Shoot | Garden of the Gods

Ideas of Things to bring to your Senior Photo shoot:

  • Bring your Letterman’s Jacket, show off your athletic & academic accomplishments
  • Play an instrument? Bring your guitar, also if you play drums or a larger instrument let’s photograph you where it resides rather than lugging it to your session.
  • Sports? Dance? Football? Soccer? Tennis? Cheerleader? If you have the athletic gear before you have to turn it in let’s schedule in advance because then you don’t have to worry about returning that uniform to school.
  • Read books? Bring your favorite novel or we can even do a portion of your session at the library!
  • Love cars? I mean who knows you may have a car already and you love it like crazy and it’s shows off what you love? Let’s photograph you with your car!
  • Artsy? Painter? Draw? etc. My goal first of all is to bring our all that you love with passion for during your photo session.
  • Got accepted to college already? Bring your Future college T-shirt or jacket to your session too. Let’s celebrate!
  • The list can go on and on. In addition: (Hiking, Bring your furry best friend, maybe a gift you received for your senior year from parents, also your cap and gown if you received it before yearbook due date, just a few more to think about).


Your parents, grandparents, friends and family will love to see your ambition, your goals, your personality, and passion within your Senior Photo Session. We’ll make it fun and relaxed and you can tell me more about your future plans after you graduate and just enjoy this moment. If you have any questions feel free to send me an email and contact me about your Senior Photo session.


Here is Hannah, Doherty High School Senior and she’s ready to graduate in 2018! She brought her guitar and was such a sweetheart. Her bubbly personality along with her drive for what she wants in her future is just so inspiring. Thank you so much for having me take these photos for you and your family. Wishing you nothing but happiness and success in your future!



Location: Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, CO

Ready to book your Senior Photo Shoot?

Shayla Velazquez Photography

Specializing in Wedding and Family Photography throughout all of Colorado.

www.shaylav.com | shaylavphoto@gmail.com

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Shayonna | Downtown Colorado Springs

Here is a little Q & A I had with Shayonna Middleton Photography whom i’ve had the honor of working with and getting to know her here in our Photography community here in Colorado Springs, CO.


1. What is something that your friends would consider “so you”?

I had to ask my friends about this one. This is what they said:
Playing Mariah Carey Christmas songs from 25 Nov-1 Jan. (What they don’t know is I play them YEAR ROUND), Going to the nail salon 16x’s weekly for a color change, Having a severe shopping problem (mostly photography related stuff now), Target.

2. What’s the last adventure you went on?

I took a day trip with my hubby up to Estes Park. (We toured the Stanley Hotel)

Professional Business headshots in Colorado

3. What are three interesting facts about you?

I am Guyanese & Black, I LOVE rollercoasters,

4. What keeps you up at night?

I’m a worry wart. So just about anything that is not going right with my inner circle.

5. How do you relax after a hard day of work?

WINE. (And Almond Joys)

6. What are you most looking forward to in the next 10 years?

Establishing myself more as a photographer, & having baby, conquering other business ventures I want to pursue!

7. What’s the best way to start the day?

I love a cup of tea & a devotional. Morning time is my prayer time so that’s how I usually spend it!

8. Why did you decide to do the work you are doing now?

I became a photographer because I wanted others to see the beauty that is left in the world. Specifically in people. There is still genuine kindness, love, compassion! The very things that we use to divide us are what makes us unique and valuable. I like to capture that in my work so people still have hope.

9. What are you looking forward to in the coming months?

I am venturing off into a new area in photography. It’s been both exciting & scary but I’m going to give it my best. Also, we are getting orders

 soon so I’m excited to see where the Army sends us next.


10. Who inspires you?

My mom. I never tell this story but she was an auditor with a huge company when I was growing up and I remember the day she got laid off. There was fear in her eyes and at the time my sisters and I were really young so she was probably worried. She eventually went back to school to become a teacher & very recently got her Masters Degree. Now looking back on it I’m in awe of her because she never missed a beat. Her plan didn’t work out so she created a new one. Between her & my stepdad we never lacked anything even though I’m sure they wished they could do more. They showed me that it’s not what you do but how you do it. If you work hard, if you’re honest & fair you can be successful! Now that I’m an adult I’m no longer scared of not following the “plan” I had when I was fresh out of high school. Its ok to start late, find your passion first, or go right into college after you graduate, etc. Do what makes you happy with no regrets.



photographer professional photos


Thank you so much for having me sweet lady! Follow her on her website (shaymiddletonphotography.com)


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Dana and Carlotta | Colorado Mountain Elopement

One of many more Colorado Mountain love stories:

Dana & Carlotta’s love story,

“Our story didn’t look like it would have a happy ending. We met in college, and fell in love over a mutual appreciation of music. We sent each other songs, and lyrics, and CDs, and for a while that bridged the distance of going to schools 4 hours away from each other. But after a few months things fell apart. A little explosively. And that was that, for years to come. Dana dated another girl, Carlotta had a beautiful baby boy and named him Ian. But then in early 2015 we found each other again, with all of the same traits we’d fallen in love with the first time grown deeper, and all of the faults that had fractured us the first time we’d grown out of. And almost two hundred Spotify playlists shared later we got married at sunrise near Long Lake in Colorado, reading our vows off of postcards, just us, our wonderful photographer Shayla, and a pair of moose foraging in the distance. If you’re reading this, know that any and all obstacles can be overcome by two people who love each other and want to make things work. We’re living proof. ” -Carlotta & Dana


Thank you so much for having me be a part of your wedding day and for waking up at the crack of dawn to head into the mountains at Long Lake. 🙂 Ready to schedule your wedding day? Let’s get you scheduled!

Now booking Colorado Weddings in 2018! All wedding packages can be for any location in the State of Colorado, NO TRAVEL FEES!

Hair and makeup by: Shayla Velazquez ( www.hairandmakeupbyshayla.com )

Rings: Helzberg Diamonds

Location: Long Lake near Ward, CO



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Family Hike | Ward, Colorado

So we’re not your typical adventurous family.

We usually stay at home, Netflix and chill or go out to walk around probably too much window shopping. Well I’m here to tell you we are changing and I’m SO excited for it! We went to Nederland, CO for the weekend in September to be close to my Client’s elopement location that sunday and I was ecstatic. Got a hiking backpack (which didn’t arrive on time), bought snacks, got hiking shoes all the works so we were ready to go!

The day came and we went up to Denver to meet up with my husband to pick him up from work. And then we headed out to Nederland, I couldn’t remember if I had been there before and it looked so familiar. Then remembered we had driven through there a few times before when my dad took us all fishing. The views on the way up there is amazing!

And it just got even better and better once we went to Long Lake the following day to scope out the wedding location. The main parking lot was full so we ended up hiking a little more than we anticipated. Which was okay since we bought a map in town before we went up! And who knew we would need to read a map to get around. Thankfully my husband with his Military experience knew how to maneuver all of that. Now with that we parked over by the Brainard Lake Rec. area. and made it to Long lake and hiked around the whole lake, about 6 miles give or take.

And our soon to be 5 year old made that whole hike too! We saw a woodpecker for the first time and enjoyed the fresh mountain air & minimal to none on technology. My husband talked to me about how he doesn’t want us at home all the time and I completely agree. Here’s to future adventures!


Brainard Lake.

Long Lake.

Had to make sure her Bunny didn’t get scratched from all the bushes we walked through. haha. 🙂


This is one family adventure for the books! For getting to know me & my family more feel free to follow my personal Instagram. @shaylavelazquez

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Michelle and Tyler | Soon to be Colorado Parents

Michelle and Tyler flew from Nashville, TN to visit family in Colorado Springs, CO. I know Michelle through a local Photography group that’s throughout all the USA we connected and got her scheduled for her maternity session. We decided to head to Garden of the Gods which has so many beautiful hidden gem locations and the weather was just perfect as the summer began to come to an end. You can tell how much these two are in love and feel all the love they will have for bundle of joy. SO excited for them! 🙂

Thank you so much for choosing me to be your Colorado Photographer! I also want to shout out to The House of Flynn which you will see is the floral skirt which is stunning!

Enjoy the fall weather and currently missing the warm weather.  Happy Thursday!



Colorado Springs and Denver Maternity PhotographerColorado Springs and Denver Maternity PhotographerColorado Springs and Denver Maternity PhotographerColorado Springs and Denver Maternity PhotographerColorado Springs and Denver Maternity PhotographerColorado Springs and Denver Maternity PhotographerColorado Springs and Denver Maternity PhotographerColorado Springs and Denver Maternity Photographer


Location : Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, CO

Dress: The House of Flynn

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Yerkes Family | Pregnancy Announcement at Painted Mines Interpretive Park

Hello friends!

It’s been quite a while since my last blog post and there’s going to be some amazing changes. One of them being I want to hear from you! Blog posts need more meaning besides me talking the whole time. So here’s the Yerkes Family and in Andrea’s own words about her journey.

“In September 2014, we decided it was time that we start trying to grow our family. No one could have prepared us for the journey that we were about to face. I always had a gut feeling it wouldn’t be easy for me to get pregnant, but NEVER did I think it would have been this hard either.

We finally got a referral to see a fertility specialist in November 2015.

I knew we were in good hands with our specialist. I was officially diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) shortly after a few appointments. I began doing intensive research on ways to control it naturally but nothing seemed to help. All the while, our specialist was willing to start with the least expensive/aggressive options but move quickly to more aggressive options.

After 3 years, a lot of tears, heartache, negative after negative tests, countless doctor’s appointments, blood draws, and ultrasounds we are finally expecting our miracle baby! It was a rough road to get here but the day we saw that positive test it all became SO worth it. We believed in the process, our doctor and God that we would one day become a family. That day will finally is finally here, February 20, 2018 and we can’t wait to meet our baby boy!”

-Andrea & Geoff Yerkes

I’ll be photographing their maternity images in a few months so stay tuned for more beauty from this strong family.

Location: Painted Mines Interpretive park in Calhan, CO


Ready to schedule your photo session? Click on the contact tab or view my contact info below.


Colorado Springs & Denver Photographer.

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Garden of the Gods Anniversary | Andrew and Morgan

Military life and love. You know that there’s times where you can’t control when they relocate, when they will be home.Etc. Etc.

It’s never too late to recreate your wedding day of just the two of you to have wedding images to have for yourselves and to share with your family and friends that weren’t there on the actual day of your wedding. That’s what we did, Morgan contacted me and discussed how her anniversary was coming up and wanted to recreate her wedding day since they didn’t have a big wedding.

Garden of the Gods Anniversary Session.

Of course I was like HECK YES! Let’s do it! We planned on a day but weather was fighting us that day so we pushed it to the week after. Even though we saw some storm clouds that didn’t stop us. We ahead with the session and we went to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, CO. It was so beautiful as always, and I knew of a hidden little gem where we wouldn’t be surrounded by tourists.

It was heavenly and calm and quiet. Andrew and Morgan enjoyed they’re time alone together. Being perfectly cute and just in love. After we did part of their session inside of the Garden of the Gods location we headed over to the Mesa Overlook where you can see all of Garden of the Gods & Pikes Peak Views. It was so beautiful, the sunlight was beginning to go down which is every Photographer’s dream because that golden hour light is just beyond perfection. Such a lovely couple and hope to work with them again later this year before the holidays. Enjoy their gallery below friends.




Hair & Makeup by: Shayla Velazquez

Session location: Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO.

With the red orange rock formations with the couple underneath kissing each other.pikes peak view of the bride and groom walking together on the hidden dirt road at garden of the gods.Andrew helps morgan step down from the rocks at garden of the gods.Morgan is holding her husband's muscles and bring shim in for a kiss in the second image.Celebrating their anniversary by recreating their wedding images that they never got to have. Bride in one the images looking at at the camera as her husband gazes at her.

Morgan and Andrew walking hand and hand together overlooking the mountain views.

Love is in filled between these mountain views in ColoradoSun is setting behind these two love birds, kissing and standing at garden of the gods.

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California love in Colorado Springs | M Family session at Palmer Park

When I connect with my clients, a lot of the time we communicate through emails. We talk about what your looking for in your session, locations your interested to have. Clothing options in case you need some assistance or just some ideas to give you some guidance. Through all of that once the day of your session comes, it’s like we’ve met already. There’s no tension but maybe some awkwardness since you know I can be a wierdo at times if you’ve followed me on snapchat or even my personal Facebook. hahaha

Now California love, this cutie’s parents met in California and it was love from then on! 🙂 They had their beautiful son and life has it’s plans from there. I was so honored to work with them! Summer is around the corner and well I look forward to working with the M family in the future! For now here’s some images from their photo shoot at Palmer Park. Enjoy!

If you’re in Colorado Springs and looking to schedule your Family, Senior or Couple session feel free to send me a message and let’s get you scheduled! This year is booking pretty fast up to September so far!

Email me at shaylavphoto@gmail.com or click the contact us tab to contact me today 🙂

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Happy 1st Birthday Photo Session! | Rock Ledge Ranch

Colorado has been given us some amazing sunshine lately and it was perfect timing too for Tristan’s 1st Birthday photo session! It was warm and man can I just say I work with the most amazing families! I have yet to blog more sessions and I’m also working on two other family sessions so THANK YOU for being so patient!

Tristan’s outfits were on point when we went to Rock Ledge Ranch for his photo session. I absolutely loved the little touches like his Pillow that shows his Birth date, how much he weighed etc. His momma even picked out the cutest Mickey Mouse outfit for his cupcake smash!

Can I tell you the best part? While I was getting his attention with random noises I somehow ended up saying “bye-bye” and he was beginning to say “ba-ba” back to me and it was the cutest thing ever! Little did I know his parents told me that was the first time he’s ever said that. 🙂 UM WHAT!? Such an honor, seriously!!!

Thank you so much for having me take part in your family’s milestone!

The best way to kick off 2017 is working with so many beautiful Colorado Springs Families! If you’re in Colorado Springs or Denver email me to schedule your little’s 1st Birthday photo session!

Saying Bye-bye for the first time ever!!! Such an accomplishment sweet Tristan! 🙂 I wish nothing but the best for you and your family in the years to come.

Are you having your 1st Birthday for your youngest coming up?

Shayla Velazquez is a natural light photographer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado and available to travel to all surrounding areas in Colorado. Contact me today to get you scheduled by selecting the contact section in the menu bar or email me at shaylavphoto@gmail.com to schedule your upcoming session.

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Jake & Sam’s Engagement Session at Mount Falcon in Colorado

Jake and Sam are one of my amazing winners from my engagement session giveaway on Instagram. And if you aren’t following me there just yet CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW US!

Sam told me how Jake proposed to enter the contest and here is a what she sent in,

“Jake and I always wanted to take our time and enjoy each other as much as possible before getting married. After 7 years (in heaven) together, we were forced to spend 5 weeks apart this summer. I was in Arizona training for work and he was in Colorado. Within 3 weeks of being separated, we began to talk about marriage. We couldn’t stand to be apart! Less than 2 months after I got back, he proposed to me at the top of Pikes Peak! This may seem cliche to some, but to a girl from Indiana, 14,000 feet was the perfect place to say “yes.” This photo was taken with our dog, Winston, moments after our engagement September 16, 2016. <3 “

I am so happy we got to meet and chat and just have a great time at Mount Falcon up by Denver, CO. It’s such a glorious place and mountain views to enjoy on our little hike! Thank you for having me take your engagement photos!

Congratulations on your engagement!!

Are you ready to book your Engagement session?

Shayla Velazquez Photography is based out of Colorado Springs, CO and available to travel anywhere in the State of Colorado. Specializing in Families & Wedding Photography.

If you haven’t worked with me before and have been wanting to give it a try, mention this Blog post and receive $50 OFF your portrait session. This Promotion Expires May 1st, 2017 & can’t be combined with any other offer.

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Hello, I's Shayla Velazquez and I photograph special moments with your loved ones because at the end of the day the only thing that matters is the people in your life.