Blog - Candid Keepsakes Photography
  • Fathers Day | Gift Ideas | Candid Keepsakes Photography

    This year is a particularly special father’s day in our house! My Husband is a father for the first time. What a gift it is to witness that love as a mother. It’s so special that I am not sure I can get away with getting him a #1 Dad mug. I don’t know about you, but I am very much a last minute gift grabber. As you already know, the lead foot to TARGET and the “sorry, not sorry” meditation afterwards also applies to last minute gifts. Not this year, Aubrey. What would be cuter than a mini photo session between father and son/daughter/fur-baby?

    Family Pictures

    This is my genius plan. It’s perfect for any age, and such a fun way to remember the day later on whether you do it every year or every 10 years. Infants are easily reasoned with on the theme. You can dress them up with limited resistance and hear about it much later when they turn 15 and are embarrassed by everything. If you have little humans that are a bit older, pick a play favorite (tea party or gardening) that they enjoy and have Dad join them in a lifestyle shoot. If you are venturing into the tween world, good luck I have no help to offer. Honestly I applaud you. Adult children can reverse pick a theme for Dad and his hobby (fishing or baseball for example). I plan to pair up our son with his father in uniform this time around, but can’t wait to follow up in a few years when our son has some opinions on his favorite things.


    Depending on how many photos you take, a picture book can put the shots together in a loving and lasting gift Dad will love all year round. To be honest, the mug is going to happen in our home. I can’t help my cheesy self – but the photo book will help to counter the silly love filled mug.

    Happy Fathers day to all, and thank you for all you do!


    Contact us for your daddy & me session!


  • Hello, nice to meet you!

    Hello all!

    My name is Aubrey Pennington.

    I am a proud semi-native here in Colorado Springs.  I live here as a stay at home mommy with my husband Richard, our new son Henry and two fur children – Jeff and Duke. We enjoy the outdoors via hiking, biking, camping and baseball. Anytime we are out in the sun, there are pictures being taken by yours truly. Even the dogs expect it at this point, and are good about their blue steel poses.


    I first met Melissa when searching for an engagement and wedding photographer many moons ago. I will refrain from telling you exactly how many moons. Since then, Melissa and her camera have graced our most exciting and important life events capturing the love and beauty every time.

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    I have been a fan of picture taking since a child, originally wanting to be an oceanographer. When I came to terms with my land locked situation, I continued my love for photography on a smaller level taking lunch breaks with any and all of the photojournalism hardbacks at my first job in a bookstore. Since then I have worked for the dark side in the insurance industry for over 10 years but never lost my sparkle for the art of pictures. It is my distinct pleasure to join forces with Candid Keepsakes as a writer on the team and I am equally excited to learn and soak up all that is photography.

    I am thrilled to provide consumer helpful hints, love for our gorgeous state, humor and a behind the scenes look with our blogs. Simply put, we are going to have some fun.

    Stay tuned!

  • Zoey | Tween Photography Session | Rock Ledge Ranch

    She’s spunky, she fun, and she’s a dreamer…meet my niece Zoey! She has just finished up 5th grade and is moving on to middle school. Where has the time gone?? It feels like yesterday she was a little girl crawling around.

    For Zoey’s birthday we did her tween photoshoot at Rock Ledge Ranch. She live’s just down the street from this gorgeous ranch.  If you have never been there or are new to Colorado Springs go check it out! Zoey wore the perfect dress that was a birthday gift from her sister and she rocked her boots along with it. I adore her style and loved what she picked out–it truly represents who she is!


    Tween Photo Session | Rock Ledge Ranch | Melissa Braden Photography | Colorado SpringsTween Portrait Session

    We were in luck when we arrived and that so many of the bushes were in bloom along with the flowers. There were so many beautiful spot to use, we had a hard time decided. So we started at the main house. Big porches, rounded glass doors, flowers and trees…can’t really go wrong with this scene!



    We began to wander around the ranch and came across this smaller paths that reminded you of some place whimsical in a fairy tale with blooming trees. We looked at each other and said-“we gotta use this spot!”


    And of coarse we needed to do a little spinning in that dress!


    So when you see a tall green grass patch, sometimes you just gotta lay down in it and get some shots.


    As we continued our journey Zoey spotted the other stone house on the property. It is nestle on top of a small hill with a green open space in front with a small rock wall that surrounds the front. I loved watching her face light up with excitement at every location that we moved too. The adventurous side of her was coming out along with more laughter. This is what makes tweens sessions so special to me. The transformation unbelievable when their confidence is shinning.


    Inside that small rock wall next to the house was like a forest. Scrub oak towering over a small trial peaked our interest, so we had to wonder back there right??


    Zoey is a big big big animal lover. We spent some time looking at the sheep and chickens and admiring all the wool on them. As we headed to visit the horses there is a big white barn…and it is such a lovely barn!


    The horses were friendly and came right over. He was a big horse. They are astonishing in beauty. Zoey was in awe and fearless when he put his head over the fence to allow us to love on him.


    We spotted a big wagon and Zoey was eager to climb right up on it. What kid can resist a wagon?


    As the sun was beginning to set, we headed out to the last spot hoping to find some water in the stream. We were bummed to find the stream was all dried up, but we did find a bridge.


    As we were driving back to the house I asked her how she felt about the shoot, and she told me “it was so much fun and I can’t wait to see my pictures!”.  My heart was overwhelmed with joy.

    Check out more of our Tween Sessions!

  • Madeline | Tween Pictures | Manitou Springs

    Giggles…that is what I remember the most of our Tween Session. Her sweet and quite giggles. Madeline is 10 years old (almost 11!) and has a sweet and sassy personality. Her hair is beautifully red, with precious freckles that I could stare at all day. Her bold blue eye match the fierceness that she exhibits.

    Madeline is graduating the 5th grade. This is a pretty big deal. Next year she is off to middle school, and everything will be so different. More students, crowded hallways, lockers with tricky combination locks…and a whole new routine to get used too. Being a tween can be complicated. They are tested with trying to find out who they are, peer pressure to be just like the others. This is where a tween session can boost your child’s self esteem, confidence, and show the world who they are.

    For Madeline’s session we set out for Manitou Springs to visit the Penny Arcade and the surrounding area. She did a fabulous job picking out her entire outfit herself! Madeline was a great sport and was super adventurous and willing to try out different poses, playing some games at the arcade and expressing her ideas of what she wanted to do or try.

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    One of my favorite things about the penny arcade is the eclectic feel that it has and its like traveling back in time. There is always something fun and different to shoot with. This old photo booth has been there since I can remember, and it even worked when I was a kid.  It tradition to be goofy while in the photo booth!!

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    Once we felt good about the shot we took at the Penny Arcade, we slowly made our way back to the parking lot. We took the scenic route through the back streets and stopped at a couple of places that Maddie liked.

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    Old metal staircase with an old brick wall??? Yes!!! These types of spots are irresistible to me!

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    We had to stop and take pictures in front of the VW Bus….

    Tween Portriats

    I wanted to make one more stop before we completed the session. We decided to visit Memorial Park of Manitou Springs. The trees were in bloom and the grass was getting green and the water in the creek was flowing. This was the perfect stop to finish up our picture perfect tween session!

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    Are you interested in booking a session for your tween? Contact me today for more details!


  • Kennady Family | Colorado Springs Family Photographer

    Rockabilly family with an urban twist? Yes please! Meet the Kennady Family! Jen, Richard and Kai were such a blast to be with. This sweet family of three had infectious laughs, energy and connection. Jen is a family friend (my sisters BFF to be exact) and she has a wonderful outgoing personality. I was so excited to capture them, and to really show who they are, and what their style is.

    We knew we wanted to do an urban setting. Jen and Richard have a fabulous tattoo artist, Paes 164, who has started an Urban Art project in the Knob Hill community, and knew they wanted to use his art to set the scene of their pictures. Once I arrived on location and scoped it out-I was so excited!

    Once everyone arrived and we started taking pictures, Kai was super shy. Then again, he had no clue who I was, and didn’t care that I was Maghann’s sister. But with in a couple of minutes, he was all warmed up! I loved hearing him ask me “happy face or serious face” every time we set for a different pose. This little guy has model potential!

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    For our second location we ventured downtown. I love to use the outside of Bargain Book Warehouse. The old brick and the painted artwork work with the urban theme.

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    Then we slowly made our way to the railroad tracks. We were able to find a track that is no longer in use.  The tracks were old and worn, showing its age.  We made our way to the box car that was sitting on the abandoned track, watching the Kennady’s walk along the rail together made my heart melt. There is so much love between the three of them.

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    It was amazing getting to know this family and to hear their stories of how they met, where they came from and how they ended up in Colorado Springs. I can’t wait to do another session with them in the future!

    Looking to book your family session? Contact us-we would love to hear from you!

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