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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Shrine Pass Family Photos in Vail Colorado

June 28, 2020

Summer Family Photography at Shrine Pass in Vail Colorado

I have some gorgeous Shrine Pass family photos to share today. I get a lot of interest in having family pictures created in Vail Colorado for families who are visiting on their vacations and it’s always a little bit of a struggle to find good spots to take them to get awesome mountain views in their backdrops.  Vail is located in a valley meaning it’s boxed in pretty tight on both sides.  You can get incredible views up on the mountain, but that requires buying a foot pass and the gondola closes during summer by 5 pm making it impossible to photograph during golden hour which I think is a must for getting beautiful family photos.  Luckily, only a 20 min drive east of Vail is a beautiful place called Shrine Pass. 

Family Photography on Shrine Pass Road 709 in White River National Forest

I met up with this family with three teenagers to capture their family portraits in a beautiful setting for them.  We briefly talked about a couple of locations in Vail proper, but eventually settled on the more wild Shrine Pass area for their pictures. Shrine Pass is absolutely gorgeous and you can find views looking west toward the Gore Range and you can also see views of the Tenmile Range looking toward the direction of Copper Mountain.  I love that there is a huge rest stop right there at exit 190 on I-70 called CDOT Vail Pass with bathrooms to meet at and then families can follow me in to go exploring along this beautiful forested road with incredible mountain views.  Once you leave the rest stop area, it is a bit of a steep bumpy road, but I have driven all the way to Red Cliff in a tiny low sitting Nissan so you don’t really need an off roading vehicle to go here if you go slowly and carefully. 

That’s exactly what we did for this beautiful family session.  They followed me along the red dirt road where we stopped to get some mountain views looking toward Vail first.  Once we finished up there, we continued along to the Shrine Pass Mountain Trail where there is plenty of parking and more bathrooms.  We ended our session here at sunset capturing the gorgeous wildflowers that had started to spring up.  It stormed a bunch that afternoon right before we met and we managed to get a beautiful rainbow photo right in front of the mountains.  I told this family that I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve been able to catch a rainbow at a session and I’ve been doing this since 2005.  And I certainly don’t always get lucky with having the rainbow line up in front of a pretty mountain view.  How lucky are they?  It was hard for me to narrow down some of my favorites from this session of Shrine Pass family photos, but I managed to pick a handful to share below.

Shrine Pass Family Photos with red rocks, forest, and mountain backdrop near Vail CO
3 teenage siblings pose for a portrait on Shrine Pass near Vail Colorado
Shrine Pass Family Photos in the pretty summertime wilderness of Vail Colorado
A family portrait in Vail Colorado during summer on Shrine Pass
Teenage boy is photographed at sunset with pretty dainty wildflowers in the mountains of Vail Colorado
Teen girl photographed on Shrine Pass at sunset during her family's photography session in Vail
A teenage boy poses in front of a sunset mountain backdrop on Shrine Pass
Mom and Dad get a photo on Shrine Pass in Vail Colorado
Shrine Pass Family Photos with Beautiful Rainbow Mountain Backdrop in Colorado

If you’re looking to hire a Shrine Pass family photographer, be sure to take a look at the FAMILIES section of my website and get in touch!


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  1. Hasibur Joy says:

    You have done a nice job. The lighting and as well as the editing looks amazing. The natural beauty makes the images more beautiful. Appreciate from Fast Clipping Path team. Thanks.