Hi! I am Michele and I am a local photographer in Breckenridge, Colorado. I actually live in Blue River at 10,000 feet! So lots of snow and moose in our yard. 

I have lived in Colorado for over 14 years now. Previously I was born and raised in Maryland, but also spent time in Florida and California. In my younger days I wanted to be an Astornaut. I decided to go to college and major in Space Sciences. I then held a few different jobs in engineering in the space and aerospace industries. I quickly learned that a desk job really wasn't meant for me, and after our 2nd kid was born I did not go back to the engineering world. 

We seriousy love Colorado and never plan on leaving. My family has a love for the mountains so we moved to Summit County in 2019 after living in Denver.  We feel very fortunate to call Summit County our home. 

I love to run, bike, hike, ski, snowshoe, and cross country ski. I also love to travel, especially internationally. My husband and I have been fortunate enough to travel through most of Europe, Costa Rica, and Thailand. I have loved all of our travels, but Iceland has a special place in my heart. 

I decided many years ago, after our son was born, to focus on kids and family photography. Michele Schanker Photography focuses on getting the more traditional pictures looking at the camera as well as the candid pictures of families interacting or kids playing. I consider myself  a "true color" photographer.  To get a idea of how a session with me looks, check out my blog

Whether you are a summit county local or here on vacation please feel free to contact me to discuss your photography desires. I will help come up with suggestions on the best locations for you based on the background that you desire. 

If you are looking for micro weddings, elopements, etc...I do offer them on a very occasional basis. I just don't take on large weddings. Contact me if you would like to discuss further. michele@micheleschankerphotography.com. Think an elopment with close family at an a rental or gorgeous mountain backdrop. 






Please feel free to contact me with any questions or to reserve your session. Please make sure to include your email address (and make sure it is correct) so I can get back to you. Also please provide the dates that you are looking at.

fields marked with * are required




Michele Schanker Photography believes in offering both short (30 minute) and long (60 minute) sessions. I have found that lots of families are fine with short sessions on their vacations. I get it! It's vacation, and people want to be off having fun and adventures.

All short sessions take places in Breckenridge or Blue River. If you want a short sesion in Keystone, Dillon, Silverthorne, etc... I can do that but have to add a small travel fee. 

I will work with you to help determine a good location based on what you desire for your portrait background. Short sessions are 30 minutes long and are for individual families.  These can not be accomplished for extended families. There just is not enough time to get all the groupings in. 

Short session packages 

1. 30 minute session with 10 digital images is $325

2. 30 minute session with 20 digital images is $495

3. 30 minute session with the entire gallery is $715


Long Sessions are an hour long. These are designed for families that want a longer session and extended families. 

Long session packages are as follows

1. 1 hour session with 20 digital images is $550

2. 1 hour session with 40 digital images is $730

3. 1 hour session with the entire gallery is $900

4. 1 hour session with the entire gallery and a 20 page layflat album $1100. 



I get asked from time to time do you do proposals? Yes I do. I will either hide out in the trees or act like I'm a tourist taking scenic pictures. You can choose a quick 30 minute session or a longer session to suit your needs. Short sessions and one hour sessions, follow the family pricing above. However if you want to take it to the next level and shoot at multiple locations we could also plan for a 2 hour shoot. 

The 2 hour shoot, we will hit multiple locations to get you some different backdrops. the cost for this shoot is $1100 and will inlucde all of your proofs.

If you are thinking of an on mountain skiing proposal session, please inquire about pricing. I have to charge more for skiing proposals due to the session taking a longer amount of time. 


I do have experience with weddings and engagements. However, years ago I decided to focus on families and kids.  I am open to doing some micro weddings, elopements, and engagements. However I do not do large weddings. If you fall into this category then please email me for further pricing information. michele@micheleschankerphotography.com



Winter Hot Cocoa Sessions

These sessions are great if you just want a few pictures of your kids in the snow. I have some white mugs I can bring with me and we will put marshmallows in them to look like hot cooca. If you don't feel comfortable with me providing the mugs or marshmallows, then bring your own. These are very short and simple sessions. If you are wanting pictures of your kids in the snow but not wanting to do a family session, this is perfect! Time estimate is about 10 minutes for no more than 2 kids. If you have more then 2 kids then it may take longer, feel free to contact me for more information. 

Cost is $199 and you will get 5 digital images


Summer Hiking Sessions

Does your family enjoy hiking? I am familiar with some very short hikes in the Blue River/ Breckenridge area. These hikes are about 1-1.5 miles long. We can take some time to hike out, capture some pictures on the way and then do a family session at our final destination. If this is something you are interested in please contact me at michele@micheleschankerphotography.com

These sessions start at $650. 


On Slope Skiing Sessions

New for this year, I want to start offering some on mountain skiing sessions. I have epic pass and an Arapahoe Basin pass. So I can meet you at Breckenridge, Keystone, or A Basin to capture some on mountain skiing/boarding pictures. These sessions will last 60-90 minutes. We will take a few runs, in which I will capture some actions shots, some top of the mountain shots, and on the lift shots! Maybe we can even capture some hot cocoa pictures by the fire if time allows. Yes I can also do Vail and Beaver Creek (but due to distance and parking, I do have to add on a travel fee). 

These sessions will start at $650.

Please email us for packages for on slope sessions michele@micheleschankerphotography.com




Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where should we shoot?

I have lists I have complied for Winter and Summer sessions. I am an on location photographer and do not shoot at rentals. I will email you this list so you have an idea of the different locations. For short sessions, I keep those to the Breck/Blue River area. I can go further for a short session, but I price these to keep them close to where I live. So if you'd like to go out of the Breck area (Silverthorne, Dillon, Vail, Leadville, etc...) I will need to add on a small travel fee based on the location. 


2. What time do you do your sessions?

I shoot mostly in the evening. I do not want you looking into the sun, as you will be squinty. Especially in the winter, we have to also consider the reflection off the snow which can be very bright. If its a bluebird day and you want a mountain location with no shade that snow is realllllyyyyy bright!  

I can shoot early if you really want to do that, but it has to be really early. Sunrise early! Which can be brutal in the winter. I’d expect 40s or so in the summer. 


3. How will you deal with my kids?

I have learned a lot over the years, being a mom myself. This is very age dependent. Sometimes I tell jokes, other times I put a stuffed animal on my head! I have some toys that I bring with me to sessions. These are toys that I feel look good in pictures. Such as a wooden truck. If a kid just isn't having it then we have fun. We will play ring around the rosie, run towards mom and dad, etc...


4. What if it rains?

I always tell people to try and plan for the beginning of your trip in case we have bad weather. Typically rain here is short lived. It may storm at 4pm and the sun is shining at 6pm. I will watch the weather and if it looks bad for our scheduled time, I will contact you and see what our options are. That could be a different day or shooting earlier before the rain hits. 


5. What is your style?

My editing style is true to color. My shooting style is a mix of candid and looking at the camera. 


6. Do you charge a deposit to reserve a session?

Yes. I do a 25% deposit to reserve the day and time you are requesting. 


7. Is the deposit refundable?

The deposits are non refundable. The deposit is there to compensate my time for committing to your session (emails, location scouting, etc..) and turning down other sessions.  If for some reason I had to cancel (illness, etc...) I will refund your deposit.  If you decide you don't want to shoot in the current weather, the despoit is non refundable.


8. Do I have to choose which package I want before my session?

No you do not! You can wait until you see your gallery to decide which package you would like to do. If you decide you would just want a few extra images that is fine too. I am pretty flexible. 


9. What about mornings? My kids do better in the morning.

I get it! I am a mom. My kids are getting older, but I remember those days of them being young. The problem with mornings, is that you are typically looking into the sun if you want a mountain view. This causes people to get squinty. To avoid this, that usually means shooting super early! Like sunrise early! If you are looking at a winter session, that also means very cold temperatures. I can shoot in the late morning, if you don't want a mountain view. We can stick to pine trees, aspens tress, maybe some water, etc... 


10.What about clothes? What should we wear? Do you have any recommendations for outfits for little girls?

I usually tell people to pick a color scheme you like and go with that.  For instance maybe you like pink and grays. Do consider the high altitude here. Even though it's summer it can be really cool, especially those higher elevations (like blue lakes). I like to tell people to have a sweater or a jean jacket on hand. Also consider your background at your location. Some places (Rainbow Lakes for instance) have a lot of greenery in the summer. So you may not want to wear a green dress, but something that looks good against green. In the winter, you have a lot of white in your backdrop. So if you dress in a lot of black your pictures may look a bit monochrome. If you prefer something that contrasts the white snow, then go for some colors. 

Yes I have some places that I like for outfits for little girls:

Oopsie Daisy https://oopsiedaisy.com

Joyfolie https://www.joyfolie.com


I have more information about the seasons and how to dress on my blog: https://breckenridgecoloradophotographer.com/what-to-wear/


11. How long will it take to get our photos

I like to say 2 weeks, but there are times of year that I get super busy and it take me more like 3-4 weeks. See the next question to know when those busy times are. 


12. When are your busy seasons?

Typically I get busy from mid June - through Sept. October starts to get slower as the leaves are gone.  Then I will get busy again from Thanksgiving to New Years and the month of March for spring break. 


13. Will you shoot at our rental?

I will be brutally honest, I hate shooting at rentals. So I have made it my policy that I only shoot at locations throughout summit county. 

Why do I hate shooting at rentals so much?

1. I can't check out the lighting ahead of time. Usually people want me to shoot in a direction where the lighting is not ideal. 

2. I don't always have that gorgeous mountain backdrop.

3. I don't have the space to be really creative. I like to take pictires of people walking, holding kids in the air, playing ring around the rosie, etc... Especially in the winter I'm usually confined to a deck and cant be creative. 

4. In the winter I'm typically stuck to shooting on a deck since the snow is to deep in the yards and not packed down. 

The amount of times I've shot at rentals I usually walk away feeling like those pictures could have been so much better. I want you to be happy with your pictures not feel like they were "ok".


14. We only have 8 people in our extended family can we do a short session?

Honestly I still suggest doing a one hour session. I have found that even with small families, there are plenty of different groupings people want. I don't like to just take one picture of that grouping. I like to take several different ones so you have options to choose from.  I have taken on a few smaller extended families in a 30 minute session, and we almost always go over on time. I suggest just doing the one hour and if we haven't used the full time we can move around and get some different backgrounds.


15. How do I receive my images?

Once you have decided on the images you want, I will look at them one last time. At that point I will provide a link to a location where you can download your images. You will also receive a print release. 


16. Will you provide the RAW files?

No. Sorry this is not something that I provide. 


17. Will you edit in a different style if I ask

No my style is just that. I like a true to color style. If you want more of a Light and Airy or Dark and Moody style, then I am probably not the photographer for you. I also do not add in colorful skies. Please make sure to look through my galleries to see if our styles match. 


18. What about dressing for winter, do you have any tips to stay warm?

Yes I do! Please read this if you are booking a winter session. Let's start with shoes....boots to keep those feet warm. If you don't want boots in your pictures then, consider wearing the boots and changing for pictures. But also keep in mind if we've had fresh snow. You may want those boots! I will 100% recommend heated socks. You don't have to buy the $300 pair of hotronics, Amazon sells many different types. I have Snow Deer socks and have loved them. Trust me your toes will thank you. You usually can't find kids sizes in heated socks, but when my daughter was 6 or 7 I bought the smallest adult size I could find. 

Hands...bring hand warmers and open them up before you get to your session so they can get nice and warm. Then stick them in a pocket. Snow gloves do not look great in pictures, I do suggest bringing them so you can do some warm up breaks during the session. If you want mittens/gloves on during the pictures then I would suggest those knit gloves you can get a target, etc...They may not be the warmest but they will provide some protection and you can put the hand warmers in there. 

Head - consider winter hats/beanies. If it is really cold, a hat will help you stay so much warmer. 

Body - I suggest wearing thermals under your clothes. Especially if you are wearing jeans, as jeans as not very warm. Ladies, if you've decided to wear a dress to a snow session, consider some fleece leggings underneath. Just make sure they do not show. Sweaters are always great to provide some extra warmth. Or even fleece pullovers. Do consider the weather when you choose your outfit, especially if you don't want coats on.

I always say to bring your winter coats, even if its just for warm up breaks. If you do choose to wear coats for the pictures, I would suggest having something neutral or earth tones. In other words don't bring the bright yellow ski jacket. Consider bringing a peacoat or something similar. 

19. There are lots of Photographers in Denver who will come to summit county is there any beneift to hiring a local photographer? 

Yes! Especially in winter. Consider our weather and the drive on I-70. There are certainly times where a photographer from Denver just simply can not make it here. My suggestion, even if you decide I'm not the right fit for you, is to take out the stress and worry and hire someone who is already up here. This can even happen in the summer with traffic, accidents, etc.. Trust me I've seen if happen more than once. 


What else should I add to this list? Email me your questions. michele@micheleschankerphotography.com