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Shadow Portraits

It’s sunny 300+ days a year here in Colorado.

When my husband and I moved to this state in January of 1999, we covered our eyes and begged the locals to explain to us what this massive, bright ball in the sky was. I mean, it couldn’t be the sun! This was JANUARY. We’d just battled a blizzard and trekked across the plains, leaving the gray, sunless skies of a Typical Midwestern Winter to start our new lives in Colorado.

But, it was the sun. The locals thought this much sun was normal, even in winter. Clearly, we’d moved to a magical land.  (The above photo was taken in January 2009, ten years later.)

Whenever I admit out loud that I actually like a cloudy day every now and then, I get strange looks. Yes, most everyone in Colorado thinks I’m crazy. The residents of Denver go a bit stir-crazy after a few hours of gloom, but I know better. I know that the sun will come out again. I know that we won’t be stuck for months without a glimmer of hope. If you wait just a minute, it will be sunny in Denver. It almost always is.

Well, I’ve never been one to let things go to waste, so we try to put all this sunshine to good use. One of the things we like to do with the sun is take shadow portraits. My husband and I have been doing this for as long as I remember. Some of my favorite ones are from when it was just the two of us in our little family.

Self Portrait in a KivaOur shadows stood
still while
the whispers
of the Ancients
in Mesa Verde
swirled
around us.

When we added Claire to the mix, our portraits expanded to fit three shadows. It’s because of her that we started saying, “Cheese!” just before we snap the shot. See? Even with the snow, there is sun. Colorado is amazing.

Snow Shadow Portrait