We had the good fortune of connecting with Leah Blanche and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Leah, how do you think about risk?
I have always believed taking risks creates challenges and allows for growth and resilience. I have had many fears to overcome in my life. Deciding to build my own business and then taking the risks to make it what it is today has been the most difficult.

Three summers ago, I was vacationing on a white sand beach 6 months pregnant with my second daughter. I was passionate about the possibility of becoming a photographer. Not just any photographer, but a great photographer. I talked about it night and day, filling my head with dreams and what felt like intangible goals, but something about it stuck. I was ready to do something for me, something I could create organically from the foundation of my beliefs and my vision. I was determined to find  my passion to create.
It was there, with my toes in the soft sand and the rushing of waves in the background that I enrolled in my first photography class with very little knowledge and a lot of expectations. It was not easy. I wanted everything to be perfect. I still remember the tears, the frustration, the doubts, but I realized I just needed more time and more practice. So I practiced and practiced. I took more classes and continued to practice. I subjected my friends and their families to my practice and I finally began to like what I was creating.
Now, the risk of failure was even more present. I felt like it was a constant fight against doubting myself. Am I good enough? Are people actually going to trust me with capturing the moments I am promising them? How will other photographers view my work? Will I be appreciated?
I buried the doubts and continued to work.
I risked money. I risked time away from my family. I risked failure time and time again, but I never gave up. I used every challenge as an opportunity to develop my craft, to reach deeper and deeper into my ability to create, and to find what truly defined Leah Blanche Photography.
The risks of failure rise to the surface time and time again, but I have learned to believe in my work, to believe that I am still growing and still developing, to believe in my ability not only to create, but to be a successful business woman.
A fellow photographer and mentor said to me a few weeks ago, “shoot what makes you happy.”
There is nothing better than going out and spending gorgeous evenings having fun with families and capturing memories that they can cherish forever. I continue to take risks, finding new ways to have fun with my clients, new angles, new poses, and new artistic approaches in publishing, and I find my “happy” in every session.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an adventurer at heart. I grew up in a small Colorado town and spent the majority of my life exploring the outdoors. I think that is why I find so much joy in its natural beauty and the artistic ability I have to manipulate that beauty. I am drawn to authentic connections and emotions found within families. These are moments that convey a story — one of motherhood and childhood, of laughter and love, of beauty and emotion. I strive to capture these moments so they can be remembered.

As a mother of two young girls, I truly understand the importance of memories, of time flying by, of moments going unnoticed. I know that motherhood isn’t perfect. It is filled with ups and downs, many unknowns and controlled chaos, but that is what makes it so cherished. There is a story behind every kiss, every giggle, every loving touch and it is my goal to tell each story through my art.
I have discovered the beauty of candid moments, the ones in between the poses and the shots. These are some of the most beautiful because they capture the authenticity of connection — mom putting her daughter’s hair behind her ears, tickling tummies to get smiles, singing lullabies or snuggling when they’re upset. This is what I cherish and the more I see these moments, the more I thrive.
I love working with mothers. Whether they are expecting, have brand new babes, or are looking for special moments to cherish forever, it is my goal to tell their story in a natural and organic way. I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by such selfless women that have sacrificed so much for their children. They are truly inspiring and the connections I find with them often lead to friendships.
I was an educator for over a decade prior to beginning my business and I love finding connections with kiddos right from the start. It’s not unusual to find me carrying babes up trails, leading the older ones across streets with a loving hand, or wiping snotty faces. And I love every minute of it!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Denver has a unique vibe and gorgeous settings for any visitor. I especially love RiNo. Artists are celebrated all over buildings and alleyways, delivering impactful messages for all to see. The eclectic industrial vibe screams a good time and the streets are filled with breweries, restaurants, and markets. Some of my favorite spots are:

Central Market
Working Class
Barcelona
Odell Brewing Company
Just outside the city, Golden lies hidden in the foothills. The town has a historic feel and a great downtown with a huge variety of shops and restaurants. The river runs right through town and is a popular spot for kayaking and tubing. Along the river, you’ll find  gorgeous restored farmhouses and beautiful gardens. I especially love visiting (and photographing families) in fall! The colors are breathtaking! My favorite spots are:
D’Deli
Colorado + 49 Cidery and Pub
Bridgewater Grill — great river views
Red rocks is a must-see. Whether you’re up for a sunrise yoga session, mid-morning hike, a quick drive for sunset views, or an epic concert experience, this spot is a sacred landmark. Don’t miss out on the indoor museum to learn about the history and musical mecca.
Park Hill is a hidden gem. There are restaurants placed on corners among gorgeous historic Tudor homes, and I love that it is a quick bike ride or walk to City Park. Here, you can run, bike, or walk around the lake with gorgeous views of city, eat lunch under enormous oak trees, or rent a paddle boat or paddle board and explore the lake. Denver Museum of Natural History and the Denver Zoo are also great family-friendly excursions and are all located in City Park. Some of favorite spots to eat in the area are:
Oblios (very family-friendly)
Cake and Crumb
Cherry Tomato
Spinelli’s Deli
Waffle Brothers

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Every day, I am inspired by talented photographers who tell stories through their art, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support from three incredible women.

Audrey Rose was my very first inspiration. As a fellow mom and photog, she showed my that it is possible to do both and do them well. Her creativity and her ability to find the connection and love among families is inspiring. Not only has Audrey inspired me as an artist, but also her confidence is admirable.
Melanie Shirley, another incredible photographer, has been capturing gorgeous moments of my sister and her daughter for years. She creates moments that can be cherished forever. Her clients absolutely love her and her business techniques are on point. Melanie has supported me through the most difficult decisions in my business. She is always willing to take time out of her busy schedule to give advice, help make a difficult decision, or share ideas about what we both love — our kids and our art.
Last but certainly not least is the incredible Emily Hodge. I found Emily online and was immediately drawn to her work. Emily thrives on authenticity and that is what I love about her and her art. After a little research, I found that she is located on the Western Slope of Colorado where I grew up. I had to meet her. I had to learn from her. And right away, she agreed to mentor me!
Three weeks ago, I found myself in my hometown, camera in hand, shooting with Emily at the same spot I went fishing with my dad as a little girl. I felt full of life! It was like finding a part of me that I had been searching for, something to make me whole. It was perfection. I am so grateful to have gained a friend and mentor with whom I can share my experiences, my ups and downs, and my passion for my work.

Website: www.leahblanchephotography.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leahblanchephotography/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leahblanchephotography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDenver is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.