elcome to the journal for April O’Hare Photography! Here you’ll find all of my latest photographic outings with the couples, families, seniors and small businesses that I get to work with and make beautiful photographs for. You may also see a personal post here and there discussing my life or my travels with my teeny family of one husband and three cats! Sometimes I even write advice articles with tips to help make your photo experience better which you can check out under the “Educational” category.  

Take your time and look around! Type in the place where you’ll be getting married in the search box to see if I’ve photographed there before. At the bottom of the page I’ve highlighted some of my favorite sessions and weddings from the past. Grab a drink and have fun going down the photo rabbit hole!











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Family Photos at Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park

August 14, 2021

Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park Family Photography in Loveland Colorado

Today I get to share a beautiful summer family portrait session I did up at the Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park which is a quick drive into the mountains just west of Loveland, Colorado. Most of the time I’m the one scoping out new places and finding great locations to photograph at for my clients but sometimes they’re the ones who clue me in on pretty locations that I was unaware of. The family featured on the journal today reached out because their twin boys are turning 13 soon and they wanted to get some family photos created together before they are officially teenagers. They spend a lot of time hanging out at the Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park along the Big Thompson River on highway 34 so they thought maybe that might be a good location for their family pictures. I did a quick google search of the area and agreed that it likely would be.  Plus, I always think it’s a great idea to pick a location that has meaning to you as a family for your pictures. Now when they look back on these years later, they can see one of their favorite places as a family in their pictures too. 

Big Thompson River Photography Location

There’s a lot I really like at this cool little mountain park just west of Loveland. For one thing, It’s quite large for a park that’s located riverside in a mountain valley and there is a pretty decent amount of parking.  I often see places when I’m driving in the mountains that would make stunning photo locations but there’s no easy way to access them.  So that’s definitely a plus of Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park.  I also like the variety of interesting backdrops you can find at this photo spot. There’s public art sculptures, mountain views, a CCC shelter made out of stone with beautiful curved archways.  And my favorite part of this location has to be the roaring, rushing Big Thompson River with its dramatic jagged rock edges on either side of it. When the water is low enough, it even has a little beach area next to the river although it’s not a traditional “white sands” type of beach. This has been a park since 1925 and has been through a couple of major floods, the most recent one being the flooding of 2013 which destroyed a lot of areas including this park. I’m so glad they were able to rebuild the park and the citizens get to enjoy this beautiful, nature-filled area again!  That’s exactly what we did on this evening.  We started off next to the river since that’s the most beautiful area. The twin boys were having fun getting their feet wet and we managed to get some photos of all of them standing in the river. Closer to sunset we made our way east to capture some nice photos on the other side of the river with the nice mountain view and with some of the other structures at this lovely mountain park.

Twin teen boys earing blue shirts stand back to back next to the river at Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park in Loveland Colorado
Twin boys wearing blue shirts and khaki shorts and leather sandals pose in front of a rocky backdrop at Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park for their birthday pictures
Mom and Dad alone together with pretty rock outcrop backdrop at Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park
Teen boy wearing light blue shirt with khaki shorts stands in the Big Thompson River at his family's photography session at Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park
Teen boy smiles while standing in front of the river at Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park
Couples photo in front of the Big Thompson River at Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park
Family of four wearing blue with two young teen sons stand in the Big Thompson River together with the dramatic rocky backdrop at Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park during summer
Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park Stone Archway backdrop for a family portrait in Loveland Colorado
Family of four with twin sons all wearing blue walk along the path at Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park at their family portrait session in Loveland Colorado

Are you interested in getting your family photos created at Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park? Be sure to check out the FAMILIES page of my site and get in touch!  I’d love to help you out!


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