My Favorite Things with Candace | Portrait Photographer Southern CO

“Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With Strings”



I love to do a favorite things post around Christmas time! So this is my annual FAVORITE THINGS BLOG!!! It will not only tell you a little more about me as a mom and a photographer, but it just may give you some gift ideas or make your life a little easier. So here we go! *these are in no particular order*

1. Create 365 The Happy Planner – This is the day planner that I use and I LOVE it. It is re-usable so you can buy re-fill pages and stickers for every year. It’s a pretty cool planner. 365 Happy Planner

2. L’ange 32mm curling wand – This curling wand has totally changed my world! I have super thick, long hair (not complaining, my hair is one of my best qualities). But because of that, it has never held curl and has always taken That is until I found this wand! It takes half the time to curl and the curl will last all day and if I sleep with it pulled up in a scrunchy (yep, old school!) the curl will last another day!! I’m amazed!! L’ange 32mm Curling Wand

3. Smartwool Socks – Glorious smart wool socks! These are the best socks I’ve ever worn! They don’t lose their shape and they are totally moisture wicking. They have the best cushion support for every need whether it be running, skiing, or just everyday…I should be an ad, ha! Smartwool Socks!! (you can get these at other locations as well)

4. LulaRoe – This clothing line is made to be stylish and comfortable. The leggings are so soft but they have more than leggings. There are dresses, shirts, skirts; styles for hearts desire. LulaRoe by Michelle Vannoy


5. Philosophy Just Release Me Eye Makeup Remover – This is the only eye makeup remover that I have found that I actually like. It takes off my waterproof mascara without hurting my eyes and doesn’t leave my eyes all blurry so that I can’t see after I use it. Eye Makeup Remover


6. Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara – I have oily eyelashes (or so I have been told before) so mascara doesn’t stay on my lashes. All the other mascaras that I have tried make me look like a raccoon, but this one definitely stays put! Mascara!



7. Organic Bloom Frames – I fell in love with these frames the day that I saw them and have been making my clients happy with them ever since! If I had enough walls, these frames would be all over my house! You can get these little babies through your’s truly.

9. Glass measuring bowl – I use this bowl for everything! Measuring Bowl


10. Pampered Chef can opener – this is by far the best can opener I’ve ever had. It’s manual but the can doesn’t have sharp edges when it’s opened and it’s so simpleCan Opener


your friendly neighborhood southern co portrait photographer,


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Christmas Cheer | Family Photography Alamosa Co



Bringing Christmas Cheer

Every year there is a new marketing strategy for the holidays ads on tv. Some of the ads are pretty simple, but some of the ads that we see have all the feels. It’s very clear that family and being with your loved ones is the focus of a lot of these commercials. Because what fun are the holidays, after all, if you can’t be with the ones that you love.

Here are some of my favorites:

1914 Sainsbury’s Ad – 1914 Sainsbury’s Ad2017-12-05_0004.jpg

Apple Christmas –Apple Christmas

Budweiser Christmas – Budweiser Christmas

M&M’s Christmas – M&Ms Christmas and the new follow up M&Ms Follow Up Christmas

Coca Cola Polar Bears –Coca Cola Polar Bears and Coca Cola Polar Bears

Lighthouse – Lighthouse

LL Bean Christmas – LL Bean Christmas


Why are these moments important?

As a family photographer, I strive to make lasting impressions on people’s hearts and in their lives. So when we see these commercials, we don’t have such a sense of longing. We can look at the photos around our homes and think back just a few months ago when we were laughing and playing with our loved ones, just like they are in some of these commercials. Maybe it doesn’t have to happen only once a year. Maybe we can make these special moments happen a little more frequently, and if I can help make that happen my heart is singing for joy!

Because you know what, when our kids see photos and videos of themselves around the house and in their cousin’s houses and in the grandma’s house and in their friend’s house, it makes them feel special! It boosts their self-esteem. It tells them that “hey, someone cares enough about me to have a photo of me on their wall.”

So when we get those warm fuzzies when we see these ads and commercials, it’s not because it’s just good advertising. It’s because it makes us think of home. It makes us think of family. And family is everything.

Which ones are your favorite?


Your friendly neighborhood family photographer,


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Sarmiento Family | Family Photography Alamosa Colorado



“Family isn’t an important thing. It’s everything.” Michael J. Fox


This family loves each other well. They all take care of each other just the way they need. They can make each other smile when no one else can (believe me…sometimes I tried really really hard, ha!) They have a great connection and it shows.


And Baby Girl! She was unbelievably chill and adorable. This may be the most well behaved 6 month old that I have ever met! She even ended up falling asleep as we were finishing up the session…awe! And this of course she woke up like this!


This Mom and Dad totally have their A-Game going on with these 4 great kiddos! They are calm and keep the kids on task with ease. They make this parenting gig look easy!


This little girl and her sister have a tight bond. When we couldn’t do anything right, Big Sister knew just what to do. It was all smiles, giggles, and cuddles when she was with her. And who doesn’t LOVE to twirl in a poofy dress!? 


As a family photographer, this family couldn’t have made my job easier and more fun! Thank you Sarmiento Family for letting me be a part of your story!



your friendly neighborhood alamosa family photographer


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Pepper Family | Family Photography San Luis Valley



Pepper Family

Families come in all varieties. There are serious families, funny families, hyper families, low energy families, blended families, single parent families…you get the idea. As a family photographer, I meet lots of different families and they all have their own unique qualities that make them special. Finding those unique qualities and bringing them out in photographs is what I love.



This family is one of the funny ones. They love to laugh and they do it often. They know how to make each other laugh and it’s so contagious. Being able to laugh and have fun as a family makes the long, hard days go by so much easier and faster.


Laughter is the fireworks of the soul. Laughing is and will always be, the best form of therapy. The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

This is what makes my job as a family photographer so rewarding and so much fun. So let’s try to learn something from this wonderful family! Let’s not take life too seriously. Let’s laugh a little more and make each other smile.


So here’s to love and laughter and happily ever after!!


What are some things that your kids LOVE to laugh about??


Your friendly neighborhood family photographer
IMG_232 adore.jpg
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Let me capture the story of you!

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Kassandra and Byonca | Family Photography San Luis Valley Colorado


Kassandra and Bianca’s Story

Have you ever met someone that you wish you could spend more time with? As a family photographer, I often meet families that become great friends! This session with Kassandra and Byonca is no different. We had so much fun, that by the end I was wishing we could hang out longer. We had a great time at their Reveal Session and I can’t wait to get their order to them!

We had originally planned to do a couples session for their one year anniversary but Kassandra called me a week before to let me know that it would be changed to an ENGAGEMENT Session!! She was SO excited! Congrats to the wonderful couple!!


We played the newlywed game during the session and I learned A LOT about both of them (like which one takes longer to get ready and which one is the better cook). Their answers had us all rolling.


One of the other amazing things that I learned about this amazing couple is that they have two adorable little toddlers. They are 1 and 2 years old



…and OMG they just wanted to RUN!!!



All of these photos were taken at the Del Norte River Walk and as soon as the little man saw the river, that’s all he wanted! So we climbed down to the river and he threw rocks into the water as I was precariously balancing on a couple of rocks that were IN the river and thought it was hilarious when he splashed me! What we family photographer will do for a good shot, ha!

alamosa-colorado-children's-photography-207Kassandra and Bianca didn’t have any family photos so they brought the kids along and let them be a part of the engagement session too! It was such a special day to be able to celebrate this family and capture this special moment in their lives. 

Congratulations, Ladies! I’m so happy for you and thank you so much for letting me be a part of your story!


If you are looking for someone to capture your story, let’s chat!


Comfort and Style – LuLaRoe | Southern, CO Family Photographer


LuLaRoe By Michelle Vannoy

I am SO super excited to share these photos with all of you! I know that most of you have heard of LuLaRoe. Well, I have had the pleasure of photographing one of my dear friends to help showcase some of her pieces that she offers.

LuLaRoe has become one of my go-to brands for clothing. They are more than just leggings. They have a look that is flattering for every body type and sizing up and down in their variety of styles can give you a number of different ways to wear each piece. These pieces are some of the most comfortable clothes that I have worn and they work so well for everyday or you can dress them up as well. Comfort and fashion! Who doesn’t want that!?

So without further ado: Meet Michelle Vannoy

Candace: When did you become a Lula Consultant?

Michelle: “I started selling LuLaRoe the beginning of August, so I am coming up on my 1 year anniversary soon!


Candace: What is your favorite thing about the biz?

Michelle: “I have found so much joy in this company and financial freedom to be able to work from home part time with my 5 children! My favorite part about LuLaRoe is getting to help women rebuild their confidence! We make clothing that fits every body style, and it has been so much fun helping women feel good dressing up and finding adorable, flattering outfits!”

Candace: Tell me something unique about your biz.

Michelle: “I have a small boutique in my home and offer personal styling sessions, just message me for my available times! I have 1000+ pieces and have orders coming in every couple of days with new inventory for you to choose from. These pieces will come in a variety of styles, sizes, and prints that you are sure to love!”

Candace: How can someone join your team?

Michelle: “Interested in becoming a part of this fabulous LulaRoe company and our TEAM? I can send you information about how LuLaRoe works to help you decide if LuLaRoe is for you and your family. I am also more than happy to answer any questions you may have. I know that for me this company has helped bring back confidence in myself and has made me want to be a better person and serve those around me. I have always loved being involved in organizations that help women to be lifted up and cared for and this is LuLaRoe’s main goal which is incredible!”

If you would like to join Michelle in making women more confident, here is the link to her website:

If you aren’t quite ready to join her team but would like to shop her page, you can do that by joining her Facebook Group Here

2017-07-17_0003.jpgyour friendly neighborhood southern co family photographer,


Want to know more about a session with Candace Miller Photography? Join the fun!

Take Better Photos With Your iPhone | Southern Co Family Photographer



Tips and Tricks for the Iphone 7

Let’s be honest, how many of you use your phone to photograph almost every part of your day to day life because it is SO much easier to just grab it and go? (Raises hand) Ok, I’m going to get REAL with you guys. Even though I’m a professional family photographer, it’s still hard for me to have my “real” camera with me at all times. I mean as much as I would love to have perfect, amazing photos of my kids at the Sand Dunes (with sand and water all in my camera) it’s just not practical all the time. So you know what I have done? I have learned how to use the camera on my phone and a lot of it’s great tricks to take GREAT photos of my kids and our daily life! And today I’m going to share everything I know with all of you!


Tips based on iPhone 7:

1. To focus your camera simply tap the screen in the spot that you want to focus on. A square will pop up on your screen where the photo is focused. Once the square shows up, this means that your focus is locked until you move it.

2. Phone photos are almost completely all in full focus. But I have found that if you tilt your phone and get closer to your subject, you can get a little bit of beautiful bokeh (the beautiful blur behind the subject in your photo) which will add great visual interest to your photos.alamosa-colorado-family-photographer-candace-miller-photography

3. Once the photo is focused on the correct point, you can lighten or darken this point. Do this by sliding your finger up or down. You should see a + or – sign next to the square. This will add or decrease the light hitting the focal point of your photo. This is known as your exposure for your photo. If you tap on a bright part of the photo, your phone will expose for that and darken down. If you tap on a darker part of the photo, your phone will expose for that area and brighten up a bit.

4. Don’t ever use the zoom on the phone camera. When you do, it will make your photo look completely grainy and pixelated. If you want to bring a part of your photo in closer, there is a crop option in the editing software.

5. Another thing that I don’t ever use on my phone is the flash. When using flash you want to make sure you have a way to soften it so that you don’t get harsh light and harsh shadows, and with the flash on the phone there isn’t a really easy way to do that. Even in low light, no flash is better than flash. But it’s tricky to photograph in low light right? Well, it can be but just make sure you stabilize your camera well and take your time.

6. You can use your volume buttons as the shutter button, not only the main shutter button. It comes in handy for selfies!

7. The FaceTime Camera has slightly less megapixels than the everyday camera. For that reason, anything that you want to print, you will want to use the everyday camera.

8. Children’s photography can be really fun with your phone camera. It’s easy to have on hand, take unique places, angles, and not be afraid too much of ruining expensive gear. But remember, to hold it like a camera because you are using it like a camera and not a phone for photos.



9. If you are having trouble finding great composition for your photos you can turn on a grid that looks like a tic-tac-toe screen. There is a rule called the “rule of thirds” when it comes to photography. This means that you divide your photo into thirds. This grid will help you do that. You can place your subject on one of those grid lines and it will give more visual interest to your photo. This is by no means an everyday, all day answer for every photo. Photography is meant to be open to the creative eye of the artist. This is just a suggestion of where to start. You can find the grid by going to your settings, photos and camera, grid, then just move the slider to on.

10. Don’t be afraid to play! Try different angles. Use lots of colors. Try different focal points. Use different exposures. The possibilities are endless and people will be wondering when you learned how to use a camera so well *wink*. Just tell them your friendly, neighborhood, southern Colorado, family photographer gave you a few tips.

Would you like to learn more great tips and tricks from CMP? Want to know what a session with me is like? Join my VIP list and you’ll be the first to know!

your friendly neighborhood southern colorado photographer


  • Ivory - Great article, and very helpful!!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - Great post with really helpful tips! I kinda want to upgrade to the iphone 7 now 😉ReplyCancel

  • marty - This was a very well written and helpful post…I had no idea about number three! ReplyCancel

  • olivia - what a fun session at the dunes, makes me want to go thereReplyCancel

    • candacemillerphoto - It really is a fun place to visit! We live super close and still don’t go as often as we should. But it’s a lot of fun when we do!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - A lot of these same tips (sliding for brightness/darkness, volume button, etc.) are true to android phones as well!ReplyCancel

    • candacemillerphoto - Oh good, Jennifer! I wasn’t sure about the different phones so I’m glad to know that it works for different types as well!ReplyCancel

Candace Miller Photography|719.298.2593 |


Alamosa, CO