Photographer Profile

My name is Melissa Howell and I specialize in custom portrait design for your home. You can visit my official photography website at to view more of my work and to contact me to set up a consultation.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Memo to Me {Parker Family Photographer}

Five-o-clock may be a wonderful time for the light, but it is also a wonderful time for mosquitoes and thunderstorms in Denver. It was raining as we drove to the trail head for the photoshoot. Behind me was one of my best friends from college along with his wife and five children. They were visiting from Minnesota, and this was the only time we had for the shoot. But I wasn't worried. Denver weather is schizophrenic, so I knew it would stop raining. But I also knew we only had about 45 minutes until the next thunderstorm hit.

Just as we pulled up, the rain was slowing down. My friend and his family took shelter under a pavilion while I scoped out a good place for the family shot. A large tree surrounded by tall, flowing grass presented itself as the obvious choice. I yelled for everyone to come over, and they set out for the tree with no thought for what they might be kicking up in the grass. I arranged everyone and headed back to my camera. With five kids, you'd expect a lot of fidgeting, but it soon became apparent that something else was going on. Hundreds of mosquitoes had been alerted to our presence and were descending on our position. Again and again, they thrust their dagger-like probosces into our tasty flesh. I swatted them off my arms and blew them off my camera. This was hardly a fitting thank-you for the man who probably kept me alive my last year of college. I was out of money, but he was never out of generosity, always feeding me store-bought chicken patties on a bun, or taking me to get a $1.00 burrito at Taco Bell. I hadn't seen him since he got married, 13 years ago, and now I had brought him and his family to a smorgasbord where they were the main dish.

I shot quickly and with purpose, but when we left, we each had tons of red bumps welling up on our bodies. The itching began in earnest, and I made a mental note: Next time, wear bug spray!

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