Tag Archives: Denver portrait photographer

Headwaters Content

Kevin Day (Principle/Content Strategist; Headwaters Content) and Hailey Day (President/Digital Artist; HeyDay Creative)

You should never start a blog post with an apology for not posting recently. It’s just bad form, and truthfully, who reads this blog regularly anyway? Even if you did, you’d notice that I haven’t posted anything — anything — since January.

But I feel the long absence is worth noting, if for no other reason than the major personal changes I’ve undergone since my last post.

I’ve started my own company.

Not a hobby company. Not a dabble-in-it-and-see-if-it-fits company.

A livelihood. A bona fide “wow, this is what I ought to be doing in life” company.

My business is called Headwaters Content, and its one of Denver’s first content strategy firms. What brought this about is a long and probably boring story (I think it’s interesting. You probably don’t). But needless to say, maintaining a photo blog has been a free-time activity, and since February, setting Headwaters up has been rather consuming, both from a labor-intensive and mentally fatiguing perspective.

Continue reading

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Introducing Varenna Autumn Day


Life has changed for the better. Way better.

On Sunday, March 7, my wife gave birth to our first, a daughter, Varenna Autumn Day. Weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces, she is a big baby, and as we’re finding out — once that big baby has been delivered — big is beautiful. She’s strong, healthy, sleeps well, feeds well and just might be rolling over in the next few weeks.


Varenna has lived in anonymity for the last 9 months. She was bashful during both ultrasounds, and despite our desire to know her gender and start formulating her life story in our minds, we had to wait until her entrance to get to know her on that level. The doctor’s announcement of “she’s a girl!” was a moment of sheer elation — like a first kiss, never to be duplicated again.

Girls are a rare thing in my family. In her generation, the Days have produced three boys (my brother’s sons Andrew, Isaiah and Jeremiah); in my generation, one girl out of five. On the Reitzug side, she is the 15th in her generation, but only the fourth girl. Even the doctor predicted a boy when she realized how big she was … her entrance was the best surprise of my life.

Last Sunday was a grueling day — labor started around 5am, we checked into the hospital by 11am, and she arrived shortly before 5pm. Hailey’s parents were her first visitors at 5:45pm, followed by my brother, his wife and their boys (that’s 6-year-old Andrew holding her above) and then my parents shortly thereafter. The next thing we knew it was midnight and the parade of late-night feedings had begun. What just happened?

Big kudos to the staff at Rose Medical Center, especially the nurses in labor/delivery and post-partem. The level of care they offered to Hailey and Varenna was outstanding.

We’re home now (have been since Tuesday), and I’ll get another post up on life at home with Varenna. After that, the Tanager Blog will continue to focus on travel, portraits and the other photographic work I do. I’ll be setting up a baby blog just for her, and for the friends and family who want to see how she grows.

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Portraits For Our Baby’s Room

Aunty Amy … married to my brother Ben and mother of Andrew, Isaiah and Jeremiah

(Click on each image for a larger view)

A few months back, I mentioned on the blog that we were working on a series of photos for our baby’s nursery. We just entered the third trimester, and we now have a crib (minus the mattress). Above the crib is a wide wall that can accommodate 10 frames at 8′x10′.

So here’s the concept: We want our child to know that they always have their family close by. So, beginning in August with Hailey’s brother and sister-in-law, we’ve been photographing them on a white backdrop. Rather than do just a headshot, we thought it would be fun if each image captured the playful, inner child of our parents, our brothers and sisters, and our nephews. On Thanksgiving Day, we completed the shoot. This post is devoted to the ones we’ve selected to frame.

Uncle Benji and Cousin Jer’

Cousin Andrew

Cousin Isaiah

Grandpa (Hailey’s father)

Nana (Hailey’s mother)

Funpa (my father)

Oma (my mother)

Uncle Jason (Hailey’s brother)

Aunty Ali (Jason’s wife, Hailey’s sister-in-law)

There are more images of Jason and Ali from a post I did in September.

What I’ve come to realize is that these images are a family heirloom, something to treasure more than any antique. At age 1 or 2, just as our son/daughter is beginning to figure these relationships out, these pics will be their guide. By the time they’ll be in high school and college, this will be a snapshot of who we were back then. Such an awesome family … we’re thankful for each person within it.

Can’t decide whether we should complete it with pictures of the two of us being playful or not. I don’t know … the kid’s going to be seeing plenty of us!

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The Hall Family

(click on images for a larger version)

On Saturday, Hailey and I did a family portrait shoot with the Halls — Bryce, Marni, Oliver and Harrison — at their Centennial home. Marni is my sister-in-law’s sister; she was the maid of honor at Ben and Amy’s wedding while I was the best man.  So we’ve known each other for roughly 15 years, and it’s such a treat to see her and her wonderful family these days, especially since Hailey and I are expecting in March, making their two-month-old son Harrison an automatic play buddy for our baby.


We did much of the shoot in their front room, which for me was conveniently empty and east facing, making it very studio-like with lots of natural light (yes!). Their two-year-old son Oliver took only a few minutes to warm up to us (after all, it had been a few months since we last hung out). He showed us some of his awesome toys in his play room, and then he had fun jumping off an ottoman onto a massive, pillowy, stuffed sheep chair. He’s also a natural in front of the camera. Look at that smile and pose!


Harrison was born just two months ago, and he’s at that super sweet age where his eyes search everything and he’s smiling a bit. The blanket in these images below was knitted by Harrison’s grandmother, Linda (Bryce’s mom).


After the shoot at their house, and a little lunch, we all went to the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden. This place is awesome. Locomotives and cabooses of all kinds, a Galloping Goose engine that makes circuits, and all sorts of memorabilia in the gift shop. I’m not a model-train collector by any stretch, but we’re definitely hitting this place up when our child is old enough to love it like Oliver does.


Thanks to Marni and Bryce for such an awesome shoot. Really fun, really engaging and easy-going. What more could a photographer ask for? We had a blast!

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Julie Jensen in High Key

(click on each photo for a larger version)

Last Wednesday, I joined my first Meetup group at a Northglenn studio to learn a few high-key photography techniques. Pretty cool group. It was lead by Bill Murphy and our model for the evening was the lovely Julie Jensen.


There were quite a few photogs on the scene, which took some getting used to for me. Julie had to bounce around a bit to keep track of the paparazzi vibe, but in the end, we all learned a great deal and had a great time in the process.

The set-up at North Denver Photographers Studio was fantastic, and it is available for rent (and quite affordable, too). Certainly plan to do headshot, modeling and family portraits there in the future… They have a white cyc wall, which is a perfectly curved, seamless wall. There were also a variety of umbrella and softbox lights to illuminate not only Julie but also the wall, which creates this bright, sunny effect (aka high-key). Let me know if you are interested in a customized shoot similar to this one.


Thanks to Bill, Julie and the other photographers. It was tons of fun.

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Adam Huggins + Tess Leppert (August 14, 2009)

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Adam Huggins (below) is one of my best friends. We’ve known each other since our freshman year in college, and we really shouldn’t be friends anymore. Nothing personal. It’s just that freshman year was the only time in our lives that we lived near each other. He transferred to Wake Forest, and has lived in Birmingham, Richmond and now Nashville. Friendships normally don’t survive that, even in the era of Facebook. For God’s sakes: we were 18 the one time we hung out consistently.

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I’m not bragging or trying to suggest that our friendship is made of brawn and steel. It is what it is. But somehow it’s stayed relevant and significant for both of us over the years (of course, a 72-hour trip to Hawaii to see U2 in 2006 — his idea, not mine — helped keep the glory days going).

So Adam is finally getting on with his life: he just finished his nine grueling years of med school and residency and is now a doctor — which means I expect to fly on his private jet to Ketchum, Idaho in the near future — and he met a wonderful girl, Tess, and married her in mid-August. Hailey and I flew up to Boise and drove to Ketchum for a spectacular four-day weekend to be a part of the festivities. Adam asked that I be one of his groomsman.

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So as a wedding gift, we offered to photograph the rehearsal dinner, and these are some of those pictures. Adam was alright with it (he was hoping we’d get him a set of bamboo table runners from Crate + Barrel) as long as we enjoyed the evening at the same time.

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First off, Ketchum is a gorgeous little town. It’s a special place for Tess, having lived there after college, and the way they did this wedding was perfect. They rented a big house for multiple families to stay in for the week, and then the backyard doubled as the ceremony and reception venue.

After we went through our ceremonial paces, everyone piled into a school bus for a one-hour ride north to the Galena Lodge for the rehearsal dinner. In the early evening light we passed through Hemingway’s country in all its glory — braided rivers, dense willows, robust pines and rolling mountains. Classic Idaho.

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The Galena Lodge is a magnificent property. They ran carriage rides to the nearby ghost town on the hour, and the catering was pretty damn good.

Here are some images from the evening.

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Adam’s Dad is also a doctor, and he gave a very moving toast to his son just before dinner. On a personal note, getting to know Adam’s family better was the highlight of the trip for me. Such a warm, kind, compassionate and generous group of people.

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So as us groomsmen were standing around waiting for the ceremony to begin the next day, Adam brings up that he has an extra ticket to the U2 show, opening night, in Chicago, in early September. His friend Neil has to take a rain check and “it’s yours if you want it.”

“Thanks man,” I say. “Let me see what’s going on and crunch some numbers and see if I can make it work.”

This being Adam, yours if you want it quickly morphed into you’re coming, it’s been decided for you.

At the end of the night as we were saying our goodbyes and wishing the newlyweds the best, Adam shook my hand and said “I’ll see you in Chicago.” That’s Adam.

<<More on the Chicago trip in another post, but you can view video I shot of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” on my Flickr page.>>

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Jason and Ali (and Some Big News)

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In late August, we hosted Hailey’s brother and sister-in-law, Jason and Ali, for a few nights. They live in Richmond, Virginia, and they visit roughly once a year now that Hailey’s parents live in Boulder. You know me and my pet portrait projects — while they were here, I asked them to pose for some photos in front of the white backdrop. Something playful and childish … like blowing bubbles. Why? Because we’re working on a series of white seamless portraits for the nursery.

That’s right: Hailey and I are having a baby. March 4 is the due date, and we’re determined to have the little one surrounded by our loved ones every night.

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Uncle Jason and Aunt Ali are naturally playful (heck, we even bought the bubbles at the grocery store on the way home from putt-putt golf).

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The bubble gun came with a blue hippopotamus-type creature who exclaims “bubbles make me silly!” when you squeeze its stomach. This provided a good ten minutes worth of laughs from Jason.

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Right now Hailey is beginning to show and the baby is making a few moves of its own. In 10 days, we find out if it is a boy or a girl. It gets more and more real with each passing day. I’ll do my best to make sure this doesn’t become a baby blog, but rest assured, this will be one of the most photographed kids in history.

We’ll be seeing Jason and Ali again for Christmas in Richmond, along with Hailey’s parents, her grandmother and her aunt and family. Should be an extra joyous occasion this year.

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Jacqie Kilzer + Ken Jones – August 12, 2009 (Part 2)

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(Click on each image for a larger view)

Jacqie and Ken were married on August 12 in Castle Rock. Here is part 2, with images from the ceremony and immediately after.

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At my wedding, my brother’s words to me before walking down the aisle were “on occasions like this, there’s no difference between the sacred and the profane.” Things don’t go perfectly, and that’s part of the fun. I love the spontaneity of shooting a wedding, and the pictures above capture one of those moments. During the ceremony, a bridesmaid’s hair clip got caught in the maid of honor’s veil. It brought a few chuckles in the front pew, and a round of smiles from Jacqie and Ken.

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I’ll have more portraits and images from the reception later this week.

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The Reitzug Family Reunion (The Cousins)

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(Click on each photo for a larger version)

Last week I was able to get a post up on my Mom’s amazing family, The Reitzugs — mainly, generations 1 and 2. Well, they’re back on the blog, this time, generations 3 (which I belong to) and 4. Rather than try to make sense of this massive family tree, I’ll just do this.

ABOVE: Elsa, daughter of my cousin Holly Rydel … I think I’ll entitle this sequence After Effects of a Blue Raspberry Lollipop.

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ABOVE: Aidan, Jimmy and Nick Reitzug, sons of the oldest cousin in my generation, Joe Reitzug and his wife Stephanie.

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ABOVE: Mark, Peter and Damian, three of the four Leonard boys (their brother Andrew, couldn’t make it to the reunion due to his house selling). As you can probably note from their choice in sunglass styles, they’re all outdoor-active types. Mark and Peter schooled me in soccer on the final night and they were, um … well, my teammates.

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ABOVE: Mr. Andrew Gunnison Day. My nephew, my bud, and popular star of such previous blog posts as Us Kids Know and Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitchers.

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ABOVE: Byron Lillie and Kate Balerud. Kate took the 40D from me at the tail end of the photo shoot and did a sequence of shots of Hailey and I jumping in the air in front of the white backdrop. Through no fault of Kate’s, they will not be posted on this blog. Let’s just say that I look like a complete bozo.

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ABOVE: Alex Reitzug, son of Aunt Maria, trampoline extraordinaire and a fellow photog.

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ABOVE: Isaiah and Jeremiah Day, my nephews. See also Us Kids Know and Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitchers.

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ABOVE: Amy Bierman and Randy Rydel (left); Rebecca Reitzug (right). Amy and Randy are roughly the same age as Hailey and I, and we spent a good deal of time hanging out with them at the reunion, including two memorable meals in downtown Santa Fe. I also got to know Rebecca better this go around … we’re about 10 years apart, but with each reunion, those age gaps matter less.

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ABOVE: Quinlan and her mom, Mary Beth TeSelle. At left, Quinlan is showing off her fabulous Fourth-of-July-themed rub-on tattoo.

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ABOVE: Nick and Guilia Reitzug with their son Lorenzo (left); Stela Reitzug (right). Nick and Guilia live in Rome, and were kind enough to host us for a few nights when we visited last year. This year, we got a chance to reciprocate in Denver, and carpool down to the reunion in New Mexico (with a stop at the Great Sand Dunes). My cousin Stela is headed to Kosovo right now for missionary work. She’s originally from Albania, so the trip is holding great significance for her.

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ABOVE: Elsa with her grandpa Mat (left); my mom Angie with her oldest brother Henry (right). OK, so this isn’t generations 3 and 4 as promised, but I had to include them because they are two of my absolute favorite shots. If you are wondering where my preoccupation with cameras comes from, look no further than the ‘Zugs.

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And finally, I have to include a shot Hailey took of me with my mom Angie and brother Ben. Dad had to return to Denver the day before, so we’ll have to do a reshoot to get the true family portrait.

As soon as the family book and family tree are done, you know me, I’ll get another blog post up. I loved this gig, and am looking forward to shooting more family reunions, especially with the white backdrop.

Contact me if I can offer this service at one of your own family reunions.

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