moments + memories. for life.

Beautiful imagery photographed by Haley at  Carnefix Photography  of Copper Mountain, Colorado based photographer, Emily Schmutz, owner and photographer at Keeping Composure Photography.

Beautiful imagery photographed by Haley at Carnefix Photography of Copper Mountain, Colorado based photographer, Emily Schmutz, owner and photographer at Keeping Composure Photography.


The tag line...

I still remember the first time I developed a black and white print: it was with my dad, and we were in (what I called) his makeshift darkroom in our basement. I was 12 or 13. We put our chemical trays on top of the washer and dryer, and his work bench held the enlarger. The print wasn't from my own negative, rather from one of his, but I still chose the perfect subject: my childhood dog. There was some real magic in that darkroom. Those are moments I will remember for the rest of my life.

These are my Moments + Memories. For Life.

Image courtesy of Haley at  Carnefix Photography .

Image courtesy of Haley at Carnefix Photography.

Fate and destiny...

I'm a dog person at heart, but my work schedule and lifestyle hasn't always lent itself well to owning a dog on my own. So I adopted a little cat named Luna, instead. She was petite and grey and had long fur (I had sworn myself against a long-haired feline!), and when she sat in my lap at the shelter and purred, I fell in love. 

She must have already used up eight lives by the time she came to me. My little bear left our world all too soon, and left me behind in a healing process that will, I imagine, continue for years.

Life is just better with an animal, so I eventually made it back to the shelter in search of a new companion. I found a little black kitten who liked when I scratched her belly. One family had already applied for her; I was on a waiting list. I'll never forget the moment the shelter agent told me: they had named her Luna. It was fate. I knew at that moment, wait list or no, she was The One for me.

I renamed her Shai (pronounced "Shay"). She is named for the Egyptian god of Fate and Destiny. She is my childhood cat, reincarnated in female form (too weird!). She is my spirit animal: loving + curious, with a serious backbone when it counts.

Image courtesy of Haley at  Carnefix Photography .

Image courtesy of Haley at Carnefix Photography.

love at first latte... and a puppy on the side

I met him at the local coffee shop. Let me start by saying I do not drink coffee - I drink lattes. Or anything but straight coffee. Yep, for better or for worse, I'm the "small vanilla latte with cinnamon steamed into the coconut milk, please" girl. (It is so good!!) And he had the most beautiful eyes and best laugh I had ever heard. Once, he secretly created a heart design in my latte, but covered it with the lid before I picked it up.

(Needless to say, I started drinking a lot more lattes - only, of course, when he was working.)

There are endless moments that I remember about our first months together: the first time I burped in front of him - I couldn't believe it (it was after yoga, and I was clearly feeling very relaxed!); our first mini road trip, when we took a long detour, got lost, gave a stranger a lift, soaked in some hot springs, explored more, split a pizza, and attempted to kiss underneath the star-filled sky only to find it was absolutely freezing, so we kept driving instead; the time I tackled him in a clear, turquoise river in Belize and yelled, "I love you" at the top of my lungs for all the cows to hear...

And then there was the tough time I had to tell him we weren't chosen to adopt the puppy we had hoped for, only to find The One little girl who was meant for us all along. Now, we get to make more memories with our second fur baby, Pepper, as we watch her grow together. My days consist of a lot more coffee at home and puppy snuggles in the mornings, which make life a whole lot sweeter!

Image courtesy of Haley at  Carnefix Photography .

Image courtesy of Haley at Carnefix Photography.

the bestest of friends...

I don't remember when we became friends. Sometime in middle school. I felt like we had known each other forever, anyway, so that milestone never really stuck out to me.

We've created tons of memories together since our awkward phase (let's be honest: has that really ever ended?). We commiserated together throughout high school, we learned how to have boyfriends and then, later, how to leave boyfriends, and no matter who else was in or out of the group of friends, we always stayed close. We snowboarded in a -3 degree blizzard at Winter Park, and ended that day playing margarita-pong... I don't like beer... (The following day consisted of moving all the way from the bed to the couch, and watching a full-day marathon of Arrested Development.) We met Australians and a French man on nights out on the town, enjoying their accent-filled stories and staying out way too late.

There are two memories that will stick with me far longer than the rest. They are feelings:

My first concert at Red Rocks was a Mumford & Sons show. Hands down, the best, most moving concert I have ever been to. Ever. And as clouds parted to show a a full moon rising above the amphitheater, the lyrics rang out above us all: "But you are not alone in this.... But I can't move the mountains for you." I remember feeling fulfilled, content and so full of gratitude for sharing this moment with her that, were I a cartoon, I might explode into a million pieces.

On a much more quiet night, sometime back during high school, St. Louis was witnessing a seemingly-rare winter storm. We lived near one another and walked down the middle of our streets together. We walked slowly, not speaking, and listened to the muffled cars in the distance. Our streets were untouched by cars - fresh snow covered everything. All we could really hear was the soft crunch under our feet and the light pat-pat of snowflakes hitting leaves on their way to the ground. The silence of that night was breathtaking.

Image courtesy of Haley at  Carnefix Photography .

Image courtesy of Haley at Carnefix Photography.

moments + memories. for life.

These are all of the moments I think about when I look at the photos above. Not just, "I remember when I went to a coffee shop with my friend" or "that one time we stood outside with our puppy." These images encompass everything that has come before those moments, and everything we have yet to discover.

For me, it's about creating moments that turn into memories, and capturing moments that create nostalgia, yearning, longing or a reminiscence of another time. Each photo shoot is an opportunity to bring the client's past together with the present. A chance to cherish that day's event and people, but to also remember why and how we arrived at that very moment to begin with.

Moments + Memories. For Life.