The Outbound Collective

Good Morning Party People! It’s a beautiful summer morning in Boulder and I am trying to get through this morning so I can get out of this office, finish last minute packing and head to the #ORshow in Salt Lake City.

However, I wanted to take a few minutes and show you a new project I’m working on… I am now writing content for The Outbound Collective, a resource to help make outdoor adventures easy and accessible for everyone! Head on over there and search your local area for adventures, and while you are there, don’t forget to check out my posts here. The first of which is about Fly Fishing in Crystal Lakes outside of Leadville, Colorado.

Have a great day and stay tuned for more adventures to be featured on The Outbound Collective!

Cheers,

Matthew

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Steller and New Year Adventures

Have you heard of Steller? It’s a fun new social media which allows you to post short stories in the form of photo essays. While Instagram publishes one photo at a time which allows you to share a single moment, Steller is a collection of photos or videos which allow you to share an experience. There are some absolutely beautiful Steller stories being published out there and I definitely encourage you to check them out! I just published my first story on Steller, more on that below.

As many of you know, I recently returned from a winter adventure trip to the Great White North where I explored a little bit of Alberta and its beautiful Banff and Jasper National Parks. This ended up being a last minute adventure and we first booked a flight to Calgary, then started planning the rest only a couple weeks prior to departure. As you are likely aware, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is the busiest travel week of the year, so not all that surprising, both towns of Banff and Jasper (and everywhere else) were completely booked. Then we found out that no SUV’s or all-wheel drive vehicles were available for rent that week, and we started to get nervous.

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Growing frustrated and concerned that we may not be able to make the trip happen, some luck passed our way. Turns out some friends who have recently moved to Calgary were flying back to the U.S. for the holidays and their SUV would be sitting in airport parking.

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This is me tying bags on top of the car in -5°

They were gracious enough to let us use it for the week, which helped us and saved them outrageous parking fees. Then, we happened upon the Town of Canmore where we found a “charming” little condo, literally part of a shopping center that held both a Thai and Asian BBQ restaurants, and the Quikieh Asian Market. This shopping center was also about 15ft from the regularly used train tracks. What’s not to like about readily available Asian food and freight trains to help you sleep? Actually, the character of our condo really grew on us, the town itself was beautiful, and the people were exceptionally welcoming and lived up to the hospitable Canadian stereotypes. Canmore sits just outside of Banff National Park, and while it may have been a little further away, it was full of character and we had a blast. I highly recommend that you at least make it a stop on your next Alberta vacation!

Our adventures included hiking, snowshoeing, exploring slot canyons, trail-running, walking on frozen lakes and rivers, cross-country skiing and dog-sledding, and I was there with my camera the entire time. I figured this was the perfect time to post my first Steller Story, and I’ve aptly named it Valhalla, as the story showcases images from one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Please take a look and if you enjoy, please share!

What adventures do you have planned for 2015? I’m definitely hoping for more to come! Stay tuned, and as always keep checking back with the website or Facebook page for the latest happenings of Matthewbe Photography.

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The Universe Is Always On Our Side

“Hey, have you ever had any yoga portraits taken, Sarah?” I inquired one day after she lead a butt-kicking yoga class. With a big smile, “I have thought about it, but not yet…” Sarah responded.

When I asked if she would be interested in a yoga portrait shoot, Sarah jumped at the opportunity and we agreed that we would have an absolute blast. You see, Sarah Shafer is one of those people will incredible energy, full of life and laughter, and I was absolutely stoked to get the chance to photograph her beautiful yoga practice.

Over the next few weeks we tried to get a time set, but for one reason or another, challenge after challenge kept preventing our shoot. Eventually we got the date set for a Friday afternoon portrait session, outdoors in a wheat field, with the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains as the backdrop, and I couldn’t wait to get out there.

Two days before the session I checked the forecast and was horrified when I saw that there was a 70% chance of thunderstorms for Friday… surely, after all the time spent to get to this week, the universe wouldn’t shut us out. Friday afternoon came, and when I looked out the window towards our location, all I saw were rain clouds as dark and ominous as any I had seen. At that exact moment I got a message from Sarah, “Should we go for it? It looks pretty nasty outside, but I’m game if you are!”

There was no way we weren’t doing this and we decided to take the adventure, against the odds, and figured that if nothing else, we could always just go have a glass of wine. Driving to the spot was rainy, windy, and I think even a bit of hail dropped from the sky; the universe was trying to scare us away, but we pressed on, and I could not be happier that we did!

Knowing this was an outdoor shoot and that we wanted to be shooting right at “golden hour,” we had scheduled some buffer time, which I have learned is always crucial for success. It drizzled on us for 30 minutes or so, then all of a sudden the atmosphere decided to cooperate and the weather moved away. Over the next 45 minutes, the sky kept getting better, provided a vibrant double rainbow, and culminated with one of the most amazing sunsets that I have seen in Colorado.

So glad we didn’t cancel that day… I hope you enjoy some of the shots from Sarah’s yoga portrait session and that Friday adventure.

For more information on a Yoga Portrait Session of your practice, contact www.matthewbe.com. Continue reading

Greetings from MatthewBE Photography!

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Three years ago I posed a question to several friends and asked what they thought I should do as a career as I had been growing increasingly bored in corporate America. Not really to much surprise, most people said photographer. I wrote a blog about this (not that far down) called Looking Forward, where I talked a little about my love of photography and how I hadn’t ever given it much thought as a career, among some other topics. Over these past years, I’ve been slowly working on a career change and am finally getting all the ducks in a row. I couldn’t be happier to introduce you to Matthewbe Photography!

Matthewbe Photography is an adventure photography studio based in Denver, Colorado that travels with you to capture your lifestyle. Whether your adventure is in the great outdoors, the yoga studio or just an active lifestyle in the city, Matthewbe Photography is here to document your unique place in this world. The essence of YOU and your place in this amazing world. (Of course if you want portraits inside, we can work that out too!)

For more information on Matthewbe Photography, please click on over to www.matthewbe.com, or if you found this post from the blog link, thanks for checking out my page. Feel free to email me directly at matthew@matthewbe.com or send me your information via the contact page on the website, I’d love to hear from you! Stay tuned for upcoming posts that I will release that dive into the details of my new business directly. 

Looking forward to getting into the field with you and documenting adventure, your way. 

Happy Trails and Namaste, 

Matthew

Adventure Your Way

If your family and friends are anything like mine, they probably associate the word adventure with the traditional definition; Adventure: a) an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks.  In my life, these folks see the Holiday Inn as “roughing it” and think I am crazy for spending vacation exploring dangerous activities like backpacking and climbing. It has been my own personal experience that most of these people think that there is no place for them in the outdoors and that they will avoid adventure and stick with the city. After spending a week in Yosemite National Park, I can assure you that adventure is for everyone and here is my experience.

A few months ago my cousin received the coolest birthday present- his parents gave him a guided day of photography with the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite. I have always dreamed of being a photographer, so when I was asked if I would like to go with him, I immediately jumped all over it. Being an avid outdoorsman, my first thought was that I absolutely had to climb the iconic Half Dome while I was there. So six months in advance I got my permit to climb, and planned to hike as much as I could in one of America’s greatest gems. Upon arrival, me permit day was forecast as rainy, snowy and foggy, and immediately my dreams of Half Dome were gone.

Disappointed at first, I was forced to find a new adventure, in a new way. Throughout the week I was reminded that adventure has another definition; Adventure: b) an exciting or remarkable experience.  If you are open to new and exciting experiences, then the adventure will find you. My week in Yosemite Valley was just that, nothing short of remarkable and inspiring and included some hiking, lots of photography, laughing and inspiration.

I have always believed that everything happens for a reason and this week provided the exact adventure that my life needed… a get-away from stress. I have always looked to the outdoors when I wanted an escape, but not always this way. If the weather had been perfect that day I would have attempted the 14 hour day, not spent time with family and missed out on some of the best photo’s (in my opinion) that I have ever taken. By missing out on Half Dome’s cable route, I found creativity and serenity (not to mention other amazing hikes in the park which many people don’t ever think about.)

By the end of the week I was ready to quit my job and be a park ranger. I must say this is a frequent feeling I get when I head back to the city, but something about Yosemite Valley brings peace. I encourage you to add this amazing national treasure to your bucket list. Please enjoy some of the photograph’s from that week.

Explore Away!