Lacey Dippold Photography: Blog en-us (C) Lacey Dippold Photography (Lacey Dippold Photography) Sun, 02 May 2021 04:38:00 GMT Sun, 02 May 2021 04:38:00 GMT Lacey Dippold Photography: Blog 90 120 Stock the Studio Event This is such incredible news!!!


For many of you, it seems like normal to head to the studio and knock on my door to be greeted with four adorable little faces of my daughters.  Oh how they all love you!  I love welcoming you all into my home studio and having it feel cozy.  But it's also loud.  And cramped.  And busy.  I've longed to be able to move the studio out of my house and for the last two years I have been working diligently looking for the right space for me. 

I've found places I thought were perfect....and then they would fall though.  Over and over and over again.  I prayed my heart out for the right space at the right time and it was starting to look like God was saying, "Baby, not right now."  But a weird and random thing a space opened up the same day I was looking at another space in a building that was much too small for me.  And it was magic.  It's 1100 square feet of historic downtown Cheyenne.  Which is exactly what I wanted.  I wanted you all to feel like you were coming to a local, who's been here for years and plans on staying here for years.  And that's exactly what I got.

So to celebrate, I am opening up April and May for a Stock the Studio Event!!!  This is pretty spectacular event with lots of gifts from me to you!  But you will need to book fast!  I am opening up TEN spaces for the a special mini session pricing that must take place in the months of April and May. 

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You will receive with your session fee:

a 30 minute mini session

TEN digital images

a 11x14 canvas

An chance to upgrade your canvas to a large 20x30 instead of an 11x14-refer two friends to me who book a session and you're instantly upgraded!!

All for $200.

For LDP this pricing WITH digitals is unheard of.  You must book these sessions before May 1st and I am only taking TEN sessions!  So please use the link below to book your appointment!



(Lacey Dippold Photography) Mon, 26 Apr 2021 19:36:06 GMT
Beginner Photography Workshop I am so excited to be able to offer this workshop!!  With twenty years of experience in the photography industry, thirteen years with an active business, multiple awards, globally published and loads of experience in numerous areas, I am here to help you!  This workshop will be teaching you the very basics of photography.  I will be teaching you the rules of photography, how to shoot in manual mode, how to use your lenses, equipment and how to adjust it all to work with the lighting you have.  We will have several models available and I will be teaching how to shoot each one. 



I have had an ENORMOUS response to this workshop and I am overwhelmed with the excitement from all of you!  I will be offering four hours of teaching with this workshop on June 12th and if that day fills up, I will offer a second day on June 13th.  This will be a late afternoon class to be sure we have beautiful light to work with our models. 


I am welcoming teens and adults alike over the age of thirteen!!  But you know your child.  The concepts I am teaching may go above their head with manual mode and with a full workshop, I will not be able to come and help one on one for the entire workshop.  There needs to be a high level of independence with your child.  I will also need you to either arrange ahead of time for a ride to the shooting location or come back to drive your child.



This class is $150 and is paid for using the link below.

JUNE 12th, 2021 4:00pm to 8:00pm

Classroom instruction: 4:00pm-6:00pm
Break time (time to grab a quick dinner and drive to our shooting location) 6:00pm to 6:30pm
Shooting with models 6:30 pm SHARP.


Our classroom instruction will be covering:

  • Rules of photography
  • Shooting in manual
  • Adjusting for lighting


Break time will have to be very quick because we will be chasing light with our models.  Please grab a quick bite to eat and drive to our shooting location.  I will be including all the details on where we will be meeting at for both classroom and shooting.  I am in the middle of moving to a new studio location in May and will provide details shortly before the workshop.  All locations will be here in Cheyenne.  I will be starting at 6:30 pm on the dot.  I will not wait for any attendee that is running late due to that we will all be chasing the sunset.

Shooting time: 

I will have a family, maternity and teen models for you to shoot and pose.  You will have thirty minutes to shoot each model set with the group you will be assigned.  I will give brief instruction on how to do this using your new skills you learned in the classroom segment.  I ask that you are polite and considerate with the other attendees that are also shooting the same models. 

What you need on workshop day:

  • A DSLR camera-this is a camera where the lenses can be detached and a different one put on.  Please do not sign up for this workshop with a point and shoot camera (where the lenses do not come off).  This is very important as point and shoot cameras DO NOT have a manual mode.  You will need this to work in this workshop.
  • Note pad and pens
  • A great attitude, especially one that is community over competition.


This is such a wonderful thing!  I have numerous sponsors that send swag for attendees.  Sew Trendy Accessories is my biggest sponsor and they, and another vendors will need to be tagged on anything that is posted on social media.  I will give out lists and how to tag them at the workshop.


To sign up for this workshop, please pick a time on this link, fill out your information and pay your workshop fee.  The time you select is not important.  It is just to make sure I don't overbook this workshop with attendees.  I am so excited and can't wait to have you all out for this!




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(Lacey Dippold Photography) Tue, 23 Feb 2021 02:41:45 GMT
Uniquely Gifted Last year, my daughter and I had the trip of a lifetime.  We went to Romania for a month to work with a community of kids in desperate need of love and attention in so many ways.  We loved this trip for so many reasons and I can honestly say that it changed both of our lives for the better.  My daughter has a massive issue with doubting her worth and I think so many of us do the same thing.  But, what happens if we are wrong in doubting ourselves?  I think 99% of the population suffers from something I like to call, "I'm a nobody."  And it's simply a lie.  Nothing could be farther from the truth. 




What does this look like, you might ask?  It is the thing that stops you from trying new things in the fear that you might bomb it, might not like it, or will look like an idiot to others.  But it all boils down to fear and self-loathing.  Whoa, whoa, whoa.....yes.  Exactly.  Self-loathing.  Think of the words you say to yourself when you're talking yourself out of something or thinking through a problem? 


"I wouldn't be good at that."


"OMG I would suck so bad at that."


"I'm too stupid to do a job like that."


"I'm not qualified."


Eighteen months ago I started under-going a massive transformation.  I hated who I was.  I said things like this to myself constanty.  I usually still tried the things I was uncertain about but not with the vigor I should have.  My personal life was in utter choas and shambles, so much so, that it was causing me to bomb things within my business.  That continued for an entire year.  Things got harder.  I started counseling.  Things started turning around and then trauma hit me.  That emotional trauma that nearly broke me.  But I dusted myself off and said, "No more."  I started changing even more.  Now when I look back at this Romania trip, I see a completely different person.  I barely recognize that woman staring back at me.  It's borderline Mulan, guys. 


I have always wanted to raise daughters who are women of strength.  There's a huge difference between a "strong woman" and a "woman of strength."  Eighteen months ago I was a strong woman.  I was so strong in fact, no one got through my walls.  I loved people deeply and desired the good things of relationships but man, I was tough to crack.  No one was going to get inside and hurt me.  But here's the thing....they did hurt me.  No matter how high and strong those walls were, it still hurt.  So I decided to change.  The process was slow and it's still evolving. But I would rather let others in and see the real me than create a picture of myself that wasn't accurate.  I wanted to be vunerable because in creating a false picture of myself to others, I was also lying to myself.  I didn't even know who I really was.  It's sad really.  I wanted to be compassionate and strong.  Genuine, caring, a servant and a leader.  I felt I was doing okay with all those things.  I was decieved.  It wasn't until I was in Romania with a bunch of missionary kids, I say kids because they were easily 15 years younger than me, and their self-awareness and who they were was shocking.  I had never been around people like that in all my life.  They were vunerable and real, even when they failed at something.  My perception of myself was shaken.  Now pair that with the massive anxiety that something was wrong back home in Wyoming and I was a hot mess in the worst possible way. 


But I was good at hiding it.  That is until God spoke through Romanian woman on her death bed in a one room shack to me directly.  I remember the words the woman said, the awe that she would say those things to me without knowing me and the compassion and love written all over her face and how when I touched her hand her entire demeanor changed and she stared around wildly looking for who had her hand.  When her eyes locked with mine she started speaking with a vigor she probably hasn't had in years.  The hair on my arms stood on end.  The translator and the missionary family I was there with were electrified when we left.  "Did you feel it?!?!  Did you feel the air??  You just got a Word from God, Lacey!!"  And I missed it.  I was so wrapped up in my own pain and worry that I missed it.  I missed the FEELING of it all.  I was a shell.  I was so dark inside my heart that I missed God speaking DIRECTLY TO ME.  Me!  A nobody. 

I was wrong. 

And so are you. 

We are not nobodies.

You are uniquely gifted through your life expereinces to do the work set before you.  Picture it this way, hold your hands out before you and close your hands like you are holding on to something. precious.  In your left hand is all the things you love to do.  Like photography, hanging with your friends, camping, hiking, traveling, kayaking, snuggling with your kids, exploring some new part of your town you haven't seen before, taking a bath, crafting, sewing, drawing, painting, laughing with my husband...this is my list but yours might share some similarities.


Now in your right hand contains all the things that you are good at. Some of those things might be the same but they might be different.  For example, leading others, loving other people, empathy, serving others, get the idea.  Really picture your strengths.  Feel them with your soul.


Now take your hands and cup them together and pretend you are shaking all the things that were in your hands together into one glorious mess!  That is what you are uniquely gifted for.  While someone else may share similiar traits with you and like the same things that you do, their unique gifting will look entirely different than yours.  God has uniquely gifted all of us, through the things we are good at, the things we love to do and our life experiences to shape and mold us into that unique gift.  For the love, STOP comparing yourself to other people.  This is especially applicable to those of us in the creative career field.  We see someone else who is farther along on their journey of growth and experience and suddenly they become the hammer by which we smash ourselves to bits. 


I know this blog post is different than what is typically posted on a photographer's blog.  Usually it's "Here's my latest dreamy session!" or "How to style your family for your Christmas session!" and while those are all great things, I have been drawn more now than ever before to share with you what could be.  You could be walking in freedom of who you really are and letting go of the version of yourself that isn't entirely accurate.  Be you, sweet friend.  Know that you are incredibly and uniquely gifted to do amazing and wonderous things in your life. 






(Lacey Dippold Photography) Mon, 02 Nov 2020 21:33:49 GMT
Low Light Photography Tips I love low light photography.  I also really love negative space photography.  I love shooting in such a way to capture the essence of the room and not just what your camera settings on auto will get you.  Auto setting is not really your friend.  If you've ever craved shooting photos where your blacks are creamy without grain and your subjects in light are crisp then this is the post for you.


This photo was shot at ISO 3200 1/30 f/1.4 with exposure compensation brought to a -.67.  I usually shoot darker to keep my color tones rich.  I left it even though there wasn't any light besides the iPads. 




I shoot with a Nikon Z7 and a Nikon Gold Series 35mm.  I love creamy black colors and rich tones.  I want to make sure they are as close to real life as possible.  I love the classic look of this type of edit.  In order to keep your black as grain free as possible, try to keep your ISO as low as possible.  Instead of cranking it up to a way comfortable level, try shooing with it lower and then gradually raising it depending on your light.  For example, I shoot some of my first test shots as a 1000 ISO and kept moving up until I was happy with the results.  Take a shot, review it and then shoot more.  Sometimes, it's difficult to tell if you like the look of your shot until it's in your computer and you're working on it in Photoshop.  That's why I suggest shooting the same shot in a number of different exposure settings until you figure out what you like.  I then slowed my shutter speed to compensate for my lower ISO.  I want no grain anywhere.  I hate grain.  Some people like the look of it but I find it massively distracting in my work.


For this image, the settings were the same as the one above but my perspective changed.  I was standing on top of the bed right above my girls.  The light from their iPads were casting weird shadows on their faces and I wanted to keep that.  Normally, that would have driven me nuts, but this particular shot I wanted this.





Know how to shoot in manual.  This shot was shot in manual.  Normally I shoot in aperture priority mode so I can control my depth of field quickly for sessions.  This works well for me but I know how to shoot in manual well.  I wanted as much light as possible in this shot so I set my aperture at f/1.4 which is what I usually shoot in anyway.  That one didn't move.  But my shutter speed was still set at what I shoot in studio with my lights at 1/160.  I brought that down to a 1/30.  This worked well because my girls weren't moving.  Had they been moving I would have had to move my ISO up to be able to freeze the frame with a faster shutter speed. 




This shot was slightly different.  We had 15 inches of snow that fell in one day here in Wyoming today and my daughter was wanting to play in the snow.  But after a full day of carving pumpkins, snuggling, warming by the fire and drinking hot chocolate, it was dark by the time she wanted to play outside.  We turned the bistro lights on and the floodlight and let her play out in the dark. 


This one was shot at ISO 3200, f/1.4 and 1/800 shutter speed.  The light was also pretty yellow so I fixed that in post-processing.  I love the snow falling in the background and had the shutter speed been slower you would see some motion blur with that so I upped that and kept the ISO the same even though it was brighter.  That did cause a tad bit of grain so that was also fixed in post.  I shoot raw which makes fixing things like this a breeze with Adobe Bridge's raw converter. 


These are two different examples of how to shoot in low light and get the desired effect for different looks.  Just remember that a slower shutter speed means you will see motion blur and to compensate for that with a higher ISO if your subject is moving.  The best way to master low light photography is to get out there and try it.  Try shooting with TONS of negative space like the first image, especially if this isn't your style.  Try something new and see if you love it!  Use shadows and light to add interest to your shots like in the second photo.  Practice like crazy and shoot even when you feel completely uninspired.  Something will come along to light that spark in you again!



(Lacey Dippold Photography) Mon, 26 Oct 2020 12:00:00 GMT
My Favorite Things of Fall The weather has started shifting from the 80 degree days we've been having here in Wyoming to cooler temps.  The last few mornings have reminded me that we actually live in an alpine climate when I went to go let my chickens out of their coop.  The sprinkler system spray had frozen on the grass making strange crunching noises and leaving a path of broken ice.  This morning I was helping my husband install a new fence and gate to keep the chickens in their run and the ice was still in the grass until well after lunch.  Which made walking up the steps to the back door especially interesting.  I adore fall.  I love all the things surrounding fall.  The leaves in the front yard and the pumpkin patch trips, apple cider, donuts, hayrides, fires in the fireplace, fall sunshine through brightly colored leaves, just all the things! 




This morning I made cheeseburger soup at my husband's request.  It's a warm, comforting, and thick soup that hits all those places in our souls of comfort and cozy.  Dipping bread in our soup and listening to my girls tell stories and giggle over their meal warmed me completely.  What a blessing these cozy fall days are.  As a photographer, fall usually doesn't lend that to us.   Usually, it makes us fall over ourselves in the chaos of a fleeting season and trying to get as many clients in as possible.  Especially here in Wyoming where the fall is extra short.  We've already had snow in the first week of September.  Thankfully, that didn't kill our leaves off like it usually does.  We were blessed with fall a month later! 


I am looking forward to our last bit of fall here in October with a trip to a pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins, and a Halloween session to showcase the costumes my oldest daughter made for her sisters with my mother-in-law's help.  This has been a weird year with COVID-19 changing our entire lives but we still are trying to keep the things we love about fall in our schedules.  Our halloween plans might look a little different with homemade chili, cornbread, candy buckets from my mom, a Harry Potter marathon, and hot apple cider instead of Trick or Treating as long.  But it will still be memorable despite the crazy world we live in.  Every attempt will be made to do Trick or Treating but the uncertainty of 2020 might change everything at the drop of a hat so a plan B had to be formulated.


As a photographer who is usually overwhelmed in the fall, I am soaking up the season curled up with my family between sessions and meetings with clients.  This year, I was strict on my schedule and I am so grateful I have been.  I struggle with burnout towards the end of the month and this year, I sit and edit and smile at my client's beautiful faces without the feeling that I am overwhelemed and failing as a human being.  Balanced.  And grateful for my clients who trust me and for my family soaking up all of the things of fall.  Up next, halloween cookies...

(Lacey Dippold Photography) Mon, 19 Oct 2020 12:30:00 GMT
Wild Soul Retreat: Breckenridge, CO Wild Soul Retreat BlogWild Soul Retreat Blog

The retreat.  It's finally here.  After years of throwing around ideas and finding the right vendors and the perfect location, it's all coming together and you will not be disappointed!


Immerse yourself in an entire weekend at a gorgeous mountain home in the luxurious ski town of Breckenridge, Colorado.  A town nestled deep in the mountains about ninety minutes from Denver.  This is a retreat specifically designed for portrait photographers.  We will have two shooting events styled by LDP using vendors known very well in my studio.  Sew Trendy Accessories will be the star of the show! The designer and company owner, Valerie, will be at our retreat.  You won't want to miss it!


This retreat is filled to the brim with other creatives, shooting events, fireside chats, bonfires, chef-made meals right in our mountain chateau, relaxing in hot tubs, and evening out events this is one retreat you will not want to miss.  If you've ever struggled with knowing how to price yourself right, market yourself well, handle social media and how to manage the onslaught of information you need to keep track of as a business owner, you're in the right place.  I will be teaching two shooting events, a maternity session, and a family session.  I will show you how I pose, a session workflow, and how I light a session. 


I am truly stoked and can't wait to spend some truly spectacular time with you!  Sign up is easy and you can get all the details below!   Those who register prior to November 30th will receive downloads to all my Trello boards and Zapier account to fully automate your business back office.


The Details


Location: Breckenridge, Colorado

Dates: June 11th-14th (Friday evening to Monday morning)

Price: Full Retreat $1499  *other options are available

Sign up right here!


There are several different retreat options as well as payment options.  If you have any questions, please send me a message and I will get back to you!  I am so excited and I can't wait to see you in Colorado!

(Lacey Dippold Photography) Thu, 15 Oct 2020 01:08:55 GMT
Christmas Mini Sessions I am so excited about these mini sessions!  These have been designed for your families in mind!  They're adorable and classic and are being booked now!  There are a few sessions left and ready for you! 


You can see a sweet video about these sessions here!

Christmas Promo

These sessions are so sweet and adorable!  They're perfect for the Christmas season and include a keepsake video! 

Included with your session is:

  • 20 minute session
  • 5 digital images
  • 1-2 minute keepsake video
  • all for $250

Book your space today!


Christmas MinisChristmas Minis



To get more information, please contact me here!



(Lacey Dippold Photography) Mon, 12 Oct 2020 14:00:00 GMT
What to wear for your family session This is the most asked question at my client consultations.  And this is literally my favorite part of planning my own family's outfits!  I love being able to design color schemes and outfits that coordinate with my location and time of year,  But typically, this is the most daunting task for my clients.  They don't all share my intense love of planning outfits.  So I designed a guide to help you!  You can get your download by clicking here!


One of the best ways to start planning is by chatting with your photographer.  But if you'd like to skip this step and try it on your own, pick one person to wear a print and coordinate off that outfit.  Typically I choose one of my daughters to wear a print.  Then, I look for solid color shirts, sweaters, and accessories to pull the colors out of the printed outfit.  This fall, I designed a session for my parents and my girls using burgundy, teal, tan, and cream.  I love these colors separately and together, they coordinate well.  They also will display nicely in my home.  This is another big key I tell all my clients.  Choose a color scheme that is classic.  You'll want to enjoy these portraits for years and years.  Choose a color palette that is classic and timeless. 


Here are a few color palettes that are beautiful and classic.

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I also try to coordinate my outfits with what I know my husband will like too.  While I have used pinks and mint in sessions with him I try to put him in colors I know he will wear again and feel comfortable in.

Next up, accessories!  These are also great little accents to include with your session.  For my family, I will add a scarf, even a thin, lightweight one will add texture and balance.  Necklaces, bracelets, belts, shoes, knee-high socks, bows, and vests all are great ideas.  I will usually mix up the colors in our accessories with the colors of my palette.  These all add something of interest to your portraits. 

Finally, nothing will crash your vibe faster than perfectly coordinated outfits, everyone looks amazing, and then someone is wearing lime green tennis shoes with their khakis and polos.  Shoes, shoes, shoes, people!  Be very aware of how your shoes look for your location and your outfits.  And pay attention to the bottoms of your shoes as well.  Sitting poses can often expose the bottoms of your shoes and if they're brightly colored, your eye will draw right to them. 

I am so excited to see you all out for your portrait sessions!  Please let me know if you used any of these tips and how they helped you!

If you love these tips, please click this link to get even more dos and don'ts for your photography session! 




(Lacey Dippold Photography) Mon, 12 Oct 2020 02:58:27 GMT
Taking Advantage of Fall Colors I sit here drinking in the day and the cool mountain air in early fall. The chatter of my girls in the seats behind me are a tell tale sign of the events of the day. The peace settling over my family is comforting like a scent that steals you away to your childhood favorite memory.

The aspens stark and gold next to their pine counterparts look like sparklers in the fading light. The last bits of light melting behind the mountains oozing down the canyon to give way to night.

The valley is glowing from the numerous aspens speckling the tree line. We are leaving our second home in Breckenridge to make it back to Wyoming for school for the girls in the morning. This is my favorite time of the year and I’ve never seen it look quite like this. The colors in the mountains are unlike anything I’ve seen before. Growing up in Michigan the reds, golds, purples and greens that characterize fall left me disappointed with fall out west. Unless...unless I am in the mountains. The glory of the mountains leaves me breathless. The alpine lakes reminiscent of the glaciers that moved through this area in the past reflect the colors pristinely.


As a photographer, this is my busiest time of the year. As a mom....even more so. The hustle and bustle of the back to school schedule and activities starting back up in the midst of it all. It rivals a Las Vegas night club with the chaos, noise and late nights. It leaves me breathless and often grasping for the quiet late nights of summer circled around a bonfire in the back yard.

I want to be able to take advantage of the fall colors as much as possible in my professional life as well as my personal life. And sometimes that is being extra strict in my scheduling of clients to make room for the quietness of fall. The best way that I have found to do this is really quite simple. Schedule more than one client at any given day and location. This instantly frees up half your time to enjoy your down time, catch up on office work and spend much needed time with your family.

I have taken this an extra step because I've found that I die a little on the inside when I see a jam packed schedule all week. One day a week I reserve to do all my back office tasks. This is answering emails, placing orders, editing, updating my website, writing social media content and blog posts. This are all the tasks that do not multi-task well and I can do them without distractions. This is usually Monday.

One day a week I schedule to be MY DAY. This is appointments for me only. Nail appointments, salon trips, waxing appointments, shopping days for me (not groceries), massage appointments and doctors visits. I like knowing that I only have one day a week of constant interruptions or errands. It keeps my schedule streamlined in such a way that keeps my anxiety in check. Typically this is Tuesday and it corresponds with my "day off" below.

Then I have one day a week where I have the "day off" but I work in the evening with clients who can't meet during the day. It gives me down time during the day to work on home projects or things that I want to do and time to make dinner. In the evening I book three one hour client appointments in studio. I can also schedule sessions on this evening as well.

Wednesday during the day I have clients in studio for studio sessions, consultations and ordering sessions. I am done working in time to grab my kids from school and I don't work this evening.

Thursday is my busy day. I take clients all day and also shoot in the evening. Occasionally I need to reschedule clients due to weather or sickness and they will usually go to a Friday.

I desperately try to take Friday-Sunday completely off to spend time with my family, clean my house, catch up on all house work and PLAY!!! We get outside to be in nature as much as humanely possible. I never realized how much my soul heals when I am taking time for myself in God's creation. I need to be outside, relaxing, playing and working on my home.

The very best way for you to take advantage of the fall colors this year....get out and enjoy it! Master your schedule in such a way that you are putting yourself as a priority and making room in your schedule to say no. Also, price yourself to where you can work for a living and not work just to live. If you are constantly working and not making things better for your family, raise your prices so you can be home more often and be mindful and present in each moment. I will be going over this more in detail next month!

If you've made a promise to yourself to get out there and enjoy fall, leave me a comment and let me know how you're planning on doing! I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


(Lacey Dippold Photography) Sat, 03 Oct 2020 15:22:41 GMT
New Client Videos I am truly pleased to announce new client videos for all my remaining 2020 sessions!  These are gorgeous and timeless videos to share with your friends and family and preserve your family in a whole new way!  Take a look at a few of my recent ones!


Milk Bath


Kari Milk Bath




Chernorgorec family


Scott Family







Katy Gonzales Peeks

Newborn *coming soon!



(Lacey Dippold Photography) Fri, 25 Sep 2020 12:28:46 GMT
Scheduling Your Ordering Session I am so excited that you have scheduled your session with LDP's studio!!  But now we have a few more things to chat about and get scheduled. 


First up, you're now on the books for your session and your deposit should already be paid.  If it's not, please get that paid within two days.  Your deposit will be in your email as a proposal.  Please sign this and pay your deposit right online.  There is no need to mail a check.  Please use your credit or debit card on my secure forms online. 


Next up, schedule your ordering session!  This is the best part of a session with LDP!  Please schedule your ordering session for about five days after your session is originally scheduled for.  If we end up having to reschedule your shooting session it's just fine and we can adjust your ordering session appointment if needed.  My schedule fills up very quickly and I want to make sure that I have room for all my clients, especially if they are on a time crunch.  I will email details for your ordering session closer to your appointment.  I try very hard to keep all my appointments on my studio days but if you don't see something that will work for you and your family, please let me know and I will open something up that works for both of us. 


Schedule your ordering session here!


Finally, if you have any questions on how to style your family for your session please let me know and I will help you out with this.  I have fantastic resources and I will share them with you!


I am truly looking forward to seeing you soon!

(Lacey Dippold Photography) Mon, 14 Sep 2020 16:54:21 GMT
Managing Your Schedule as a Business Owner  

I am a self-proclaimed planner and productivity junkie.  There's something about walking into a stationary store and having so many possibilities in front of me that makes me insanely happy.  I feel inspired, invigorated and excited to get going!  But for many women this is not the case.  It feels daunting, overwhelming and just plain scary.  Especially because they don't know where to start.  I have used many systems over the years and the the one that I am currently in love with is The Happy Planner by Me and My Big Ideas.  It started as a mother/daughter scrapbook line and has blossomed into a creative planner company that I absolutely adore. 

*I am not being paid or endorsed by this company.  It's a system that I truly love and wanted to share with you.

I started with this company trying to create a memory planner to hand down to my kids.  I don't scrapbook anymore because the time it takes to do beautiful layouts is just too much for me to want to do.  I started with The Happy Planner's Planner Babe line and I was instantly in love.  I adore rainbows and always have so when they had a gorgeous rainbow planner, I jumped on the train.  It also gave me another reason to use my HP Sprocket mini printer I use for my travel planner.  I am almost done with 2020 and documenting our crazy, insane year. 


But the more I spent time with this planner company made me want to ditch the Erin Condren planner I was using to start using The Happy Planner system.  I literally agonized over this way more than I should have.  It was slightly ridiculous how much I went back and forth but I wanted to be sure I was being smart with the money I had already spent on EC over priced planners with horrible paper quality.  I jumped.  I decided to stick with the Planner Babe line because let's face it.  It's the prettiest planner line I've ever seen. 

The slowly, the more time I spent in quarantine in March and April, the more I researched different planning methods and I discovered something called Frankenplanning....and I died and went to planner heaven.  This concept is quite fantastic.  I usually end up having multiple planners to track different things anyway but I hate carrying the stupid things around.  Behold....the frankenplanning method. 

This method combines different planners into a single planner so that you aren't carrying around 5-6 different planners.  I've seen some women create these beautiful layouts with stickers and calligraphy and it just seems too much for me.  I need something beautiful AND functional that doesn't take lots of time to track or fill out. 

These are the planners I have in my 2020 planner set up:

  • Catch All Planner: this one contains my weekly schedule, my menu plan and my to-do list for each day
  • Home Tracker Planner: this one records my little urban homestead information.  Chicken care, garden care, vehicle maintenance and home repair lists.
  • Instagram Planner: this is more of a social media tracker.  I use inserts from The Happy Planner.
  • Budget Planner: tracks bills, expenses and savings
  • Health planner: this one tracks food intake, fitness, health and fitness goals


As a business owner, a mom, a wife and a human being there's so much I need to keep track of.  The most stuff I write down, the less I need to keep in my head to remember at all times.  I now have a freshmen in high school, a 4th grader, a second grader and a kindergartener. My freshmen goes to school seven minutes from our house and my other three go to a school thirty minutes away.  I spend a lot of time in my vehicle driving and waiting.  In order to be as productive as I  can in those times I've developed a system to help me do that.  I am first and foremost a wife and mother before I am a business owner.  My main priority is to them before it's to building and maintaining a business. 

I developed a "business go-bag" that I use as a mobile office.  Its a cheap Amazon knock off of a Thirty-One Gifts utility tote.  I've used this for a couple of months and I love the system but the bag....splurge on the nicer bag.  These straps literally take the skin off my shoulder.  So what's in the bag??  Watch this video to find out!  I organize all my supplies into this planner cart (from Michael's) and then I switch things out in my bag.

2020 Planner

I can switch out the stickers whenever I need to depending on what my needs for the week might be.

On to my actual system and how I stay organized. Here's the biggest one:

I don't use my planner to schedule things. 

I know that might sounds super weird but bear with me.  My business thrives on my client's being able to schedule their own consultations, ordering sessions, order pick ups and meetings through an online scheduling system called Calendly.  Everything goes off my iCal on my phone.  So if the school sends home a notice that there's a meeting for my daughter's Biology trip to Peru next year, in my phone it goes.  A dentist appointment scheduled???  In my phone.  School pick ups and drop offs and drive times are all in my phone.  Every little life detail is in my phone's iCal.  Calendly sees all that information and instantly allows my clients to see what I have available in my calendar on the set days I want to work.  Now they can schedule all their own appointments based up a workflow I have set up on Honeybook that auto emails them all the information on the timeline that fits their client file. 

I know what you must be thinking....why does she literally have five different planners to schedule her life when she uses the calendar on her phone???? 

Here's the logic: the amount of time I spend going back and forth with clients on what day particular they can meet with me is astronomical. 

Calendly literally took HOURS of my day and gave it back to me.  But the problem that I was running into is that I had nowhere to plan my to-do lists and meal planning.  It had an app called Trello I tried using for about a year and it only did my to-do lists.  Meal planning what on a completely different thing.  I still had about 6 different things and apps and no where to jot notes.  I was going insane!! 

Now, I use my Catch All Planner and I record only what is on my phone for a two week period.  This two week period corresponds with my husband's payday schedule so I know when to meal plan.  Now I know if I need a crock pot meal if I am going to be gone shooting a session on a particular night all right on my planner.  The vertical planner layout from The Happy Planner is awesome for this method.  In the top box I record my daily schedule.  The middle box is left open to bullet journal my to do lists and the bottom box contains my meal plan for the the day.  My entire day is contained in three little boxes instead of four different apps that I need to toggle between back and forth constantly.  Thus saving me time. 


My home tracker is also a life saver.  I can't possibly remember how many eggs my chickens produced each week or who is on the list for buying them, or which veggies need to be planted, picked or pruned all in my head.  Having a completely separate planner for tracking this is fantastic.  If something needs to be purchased, it gets moved to my catch all planner so I can plan errands for a day I am off.  I also track when oil changes were done, new tires, new brakes, vehicle repairs, home repairs, home to do list which depends on saving money for a task and my weekly/daily cleaning bullet list.  On the monthly page, I write down the verse of the day I get text to me from my Bible app.  I like the reminder each day.


I divert a bit with my social media planner.  I use a BIG version of this instead of the classic in a different planner.  I bought a faith planner and took out all the inserts and replaced them with a weekly planner pages.  On the monthly page I plan out my entire Facebook marketing strategy and then write the posts and schedule them using Coschedule.  I write my rough plan on the weekly colored boxes and then write any to do items that I need to complete on the grid side.  Any items that need to be completed that week gets fit into my daily to do lists in my Catch All Planner.  I take my rough plan and schedule posts for the enire month using Planoly.  This takes about two hours at the end of the month prior to write and schedule the posts of the entire month.  My Frankenplanner only tracks the daily posts.  I write the stats in each evening and then update them at the end of the week. This reminds me that I need to nurture and care for my social media pages and marketing each week.  Just a few minutes each day does that.

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My budget planner are inserts from The Happy Planner as well.  I'm not showing photos of this section.  This one is completely different for each person and how they track and maintain it.


And finally, my health planner.  This is a wellness planner from The Happy Planner in a vertical format.  It's amazing!  I love the grid section for tracking things I intake that day.  The top box I record either fitness ideas or how I am feeling mentally or physically.  The second box is a focus box where I will write goals or ideas I want to focus on that day.  The third box I track my intake of fruit, veggies, protein, water and coke.  I used to track sleep too but as school started I noticed that tanking and decided to drop it for the time being.  And the bottom box I will record my stats and measurements, weight or fitness level accomplishments.  Any to do items get transferred over to my catch all planner.


And that, my friends is how I stay focused, planned and on task running a very busy business, home and a tiny urban farm.  My 2021 set up is much different and I can't wait to share that with you!  Check back in November how I am setting up and planning that planner! 


(Lacey Dippold Photography) Sun, 13 Sep 2020 16:18:07 GMT
The Calling on my Life For this post, you might want to grab your favorite cup of Joe, your favorite leggings and settle in for a read.  So much has changed in the last few months and I felt it was high time to update you all.  This is a longer than normal blog post.


As we move into 2020, I can't help but be overwhelmingly grateful that 2019 is fully and completely over.  Easily, one of the hardest years of my life where I consistently felt wave after wave of brutal growth.  I have no idea why God chose this specific year to pull out all the stops and throw me on the roller coaster of struggle.  But He did and it hurt more than all my cumulative years put together. While I am grateful for every loss (in a weird way), every hurt, every heartbreak and every thorn in my side I am praying that this year is much different.  

This created issues in my business where I was dropping the ball, too enveloped in my own pain to even begin to problem solve or sort through the chaos that was starting.  Just when I thought I had found my wings, something else would dive in and create a tidal wave of chaos that would throw me off course and rip the band aid off to start all over again.  But still….I remained grateful for the pain because in pain, is growth.  For me, that growth came in many different forms.  It came as a wrecking ball tearing down walls I didn’t even know I had built to keep every single person I knew out.  It came as blinders being torn down and seeing the things I was doing as self sabotage.  It also came as an unveiling of who I really was.  I was insecure, afraid that if I looked weak I would lose myself, and somewhat bitchy.   None of which are true in my identity in Christ.  I used my business to give me meaning and a deeper purpose.  But I know that I have MUCH to offer the world.  I am loving and kind and I have a deep love for others, even those who have wronged me.  I am compassionate and genuine.  I can offer that.  

In December I spent the better part of the limbo week between Christmas and New Year writing down and planning the goals I prayed and thought about for three months prior.  I sorted, prioritize and designed them in an agonizing and frustrating way.  I am first a believer in Jesus.  Then a wife.  Then a mama and then everything else.  I had this completely out of order for most of my life.  But I would do this process again because it gave me perspective on where I wanted to be and what God has called me to be.  I am my husband’s wife.  A calling I thought was tiny in the grand scheme of life.  What I have discovered this year more than anything is that when my husband and I are working towards the same goals, same result and same heartbeat, things can change.  I was usually so wrapped up in my own goals that I didn’t think about his or why he was working toward his particular goals for himself and our family.  

My husband is an extreme mountaineer.  He climbs mountains way taller than man has any business being on and does it well.  I don’t understand it.  I relate it to birth and forgetting the labor pains the second you hold that new fresh sweet one earth side.  All the training, all the pain, all the struggle, all the brushes with death are forgotten the second my husband stands at the summit.  He conquered all of it with the gifts and talents God gave him.  He owes it all to Jesus.  Just like I do.  I want my husband to be able to do those things that he desires to do just like he does for me.  He stood by me more this last six months than ever before.  Cheering me on, supporting me, giving perspective on the goals I had and pushing me for greatness.  

This year, I want to really focus in on those things that I know without a doubt that I am called to do.  I know I am called to be a mom to my girls.  To teach them about life, the saving grace of God and to give them perspective.  Perspective comes in so many ways.  One way, is by taking my oldest to Romania this year prepared her for her first year in public school from private school.  She saw some of the worst living conditions imaginable and the worst discrimination possible while there.  She saw how it effected the lives and futures of children.  So when kids in the United States would complain about how awful their lives were she couldn’t relate.  She’s seen how hard it is out there and we have no room to complain.  It gave her an incredible amount of perspective. I remember sitting in the dining room of my future in-laws before I left for bootcamp and before I married their son telling them how I wanted to be able to share the world with my children.  I wanted to be able to take them all over the world and show them how they can serve others and change the lives of those around them. I KNEW this is what I wanted to do.  I knew this is where God was calling me. I wanted them to know the world is bigger than themselves.  Which is weird how badly I wanted that for them because I was incredibly selfish almost my entire marriage.

I have also shifted when I am editing, answering texts and emails and when I meet with clients.  I am giving my girls and husband the best of my day when they need me and my clients the best of my day when they need me too.  I have started an evening routine with the girls that draws us closer together with Christ in the middle.  This has been the favorite time of day for the girls and they all look forward to it.  So much so, that when they aren’t home, we have to FaceTime to do the routine.  

For most of my marriage I didn’t feel my needs were being met in a supportive, loving way.  So walls went up.  I started seeping into that selfishness as a way of self-preservation.  And it was wrong.  I was consumed with myself that I couldn’t even think of trying to encourage my husband to shooting for his stars.  Only mine.  It was poison, folks.  Pure poison.  I didn’t even see all the ways that he supported and loved me.  All I saw was my perception of all his failures that weren’t even necessarily true. I am called to be a helper to my husband. To aid him, to plan and prepare for the future, to be an entrepreneur and to serve others.  This is God’s plan for all women according to Proverbs 31.  And I was failing.  My anxiety was flaring and I didn’t even know what it was.  Now, two years into that diagnosis, I have started to see where it originally came from, how to recognize the symptoms and how to battle it.  And it’s a battle.  Daily.  I have the big symptoms under control naturally but the smaller ones take more time and patience.  

With the junk aside now, I can now focus more on my priorities and changing habits that were drowning me.  I am implementing changes in my business that will make my family my number one priority.  Which means first up, the studio is moving.  I am actively searching for a new studio and have a potential property that is being nailed down as we speak.  No details can be given just yet but as soon as I sign the contract I will be sharing more.  You can still expect the same homey and welcoming feel like walking through my bright yellow front door but my work and home life will be separated a bit more.  I am limiting certain sessions that take me away from my true passion and focusing more on those that bring me light.  I specialize in maternity, newborn, babies and children.  I will also secondary focus on families.  This is where I find my heart.  I love seniors as well and will be accepting seniors on a first come basis.  I will no longer take any seniors who are rushing their yearbook deadlines or are past their deadlines.  This creates massive chaos in my business where I am rushing and pushing and moving other clients and my editing schedule to make room and it literally sucks the life out of me.  

Next up, no more birth photography.  As much as I adore birth photography, it pulls me away from my passion.  Destination work, mission work and humanitarian work is my main focus.  I specialize in work that fills me with creativity, love and passion so that I can give back to the world through the God-given gifts and talents that I treasure deeply.  Maternity, newborn, kids and families do that for me.  They fill me up so I can give back.  So keep in mind that every session you book, every print and collection you invest in, you are being a part of a much bigger picture.  One where the under privileged have their stories told, their hands held by someone who loves them deeply even though they just met them and who will share their name to anyone who will listen.  

I will also only be accepting two weddings a year.  Once those spaces are filled, my wedding calendar is booked.  Again, my specialty niche is where it is because it fills me light and creativity.  I want to be able to focus on that while also serving my clientele in different areas.  Weddings are not off the books completely but it will be limited.

I have a few goals this year that I desperately want to hit and I want to be able to serve others in that. Over the last six months I have been working on a project that has been pretty hush hush.  I am writing a book for the mom/wife entrepreneur on how I balance it all and make it all work.  Researching and writing has been a process and I am no where near done but I am hoping by the end of this year to have that in the hands of my publisher.  I have been reading other books and trying new practices seeing if I see a change in my family and productivity in my work.  Stay tuned on that one.

Next up, my big goal was getting a studio.  But not just any studio, one that I could see myself being in for the next five years successfully.  That one is about ready to be tangible.  I will be having an open house in April depending on moving schedule and building furniture.   Also, stay tuned.  You can see most of the updates on my facebook page.

Finally, I am battling anxiety and depression.  I am pretty open about this except the real battle is always not told.  I hate it and I know my family and my business suffers because of it.  One of my big goals is to start therapy for that so it’s no longer a huge battle.  I am not a medication driven person so I’d like to avoid that route if at all possible.  I know modern medicine is there for a purpose and to help.  I know many people who have seen success using medication and I am so insanely happy for them!   But for me, I’d like to see if I can get down to the bottom of it and heal it where it began…in my brain.  My physical health depends on it.  I have a plethora of issues that need to be dealt with physically that have been brought on by anxiety.  All I can say….you are not alone, sweet sisters.  

I am also working very hard to be on staff with National Geographic.  This is probably my biggest goal of 2020.  I desperately want it.  While I love going on mission trips and humanitarian trips, they are all based on being self-funded.  Which means I need to fundraise to make it happen because they are not cheap.  I get the most God-given joy from this type of work but its quite taxing on my family when I am stressed to the max trying to cover all the expenses from these without pulling away from my family.  I know the route I need to take and I am busy doing that.  

I submitted twelve images from my work in Romania for publication and I’ll find out the last week of March if I was accepted for that.  March is the same time that I find out the results for the world’s largest photography competition that I am prepped to submit everything to this month.  So lots and lots of big things happening in this area.  This is the first time that I have submitting anything for publication.  My work in Ghana was globally published but they sought my work out, I didn’t have to submit it.  So this is massively nerve wracking and intense.  

I also applied to Colorado State University for a degree in archeology.  I have always been drawn to ancient cultures since I was a child.  Had I thought that it was in the realm of what I was physically capable of doing, I would have pursued it while I was younger.  I drastically sold myself short when I was a teen.  My husband was able to shed some light on this goal to where I could still be a photographer for an archeologist, which is what I really wanted to be able to do.  He’s such a genius, I swear.  So I am going to attend the classes I need to have the basic knowledge of archeology and ancient cultures while taking other classes and workshops to hone in on the skills I would need as a photographer in those situations.  It’s literally perfect.  I will hopefully be attending a class in Guatemala focusing on those exact skills in October/November of this year.

Up next, my logo is shifting slightly.  I am loosing the floral design above my logo and to make it a bit more professional.  I will still keep my signature boho vibe and still the same talent.  Most of you probably didn't even realize I had floral in my logo since I can't use it in my watermark because it makes it look wonky and weird.  Once the new studio opens, all signage and letterhead will be the new logo.  Not big news, but still wanted to update you.

I almost forgot to mention my fitness goals for this year.  I have surgery on Wednesday to get a bladder sling.  Being pregnant sixteen times has taken it's toll on my body.  I've been going to my gym, HIIT 30, pretty regular for about six months.  I've seen lots of great things happening but I want to push it some more.  I signed up to do the Battan Memorial Death March in March which is 14 miles in the blistering desert of New Mexico four weeks after I am supposed to be cleared from my surgery.  It's not a lot of time to train for 14 miles.  Not only that, I also signed up for a Spartan Race in August....I may die.  But I want to become an athlete like I was all my life before children.  If I become more physically fit, I can go with my husband while he's out there chasing his dreams on those mountains, I can carry my sixty pounds of equipment better while on assignment and I don't feel terrible all the time.  So here's to new challenges that force us into greatness.

And finally, I wanted to be able to do another project with Photographers Without Borders.  I loved working with them while on assignment in Ghana and I shot them an email with my resume and the projects I was interested in.  I literally just accepting an assignment in Bali for 2021.  They sent me an email back the same day saying they wanted me on the project and that I can set the date for 2021.  This is a massive big deal for me.  PWB is very elite and they are extremely selective on the photographers they invite on board for their projects.  Sometimes I get pretty down on my work and start to second guess my talent and expertise.  I know we are all our own worst critics but it’s extremely validating when another highly selective organization wants you on board with them.  It’s a colossal honor and I can’t wait to work with these kids in Indonesia. 

I know this was an insanely long blog post but there’s been so much going on and focuses that are shifting and honing that I needed to update you all.

(Lacey Dippold Photography) Sun, 05 Jan 2020 23:09:01 GMT
The Workshop: Business Edition  

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I am super excited to be hosting my second workshop!  This one is a bit different!  We will be focusing on all aspects of running your photography business.  Starting from your back office and how to manage all those inquiries, getting pricing out to those inquiries, managing your workflow for each client and how to maintain your sanity.  This is where most of my fellow photographers tell me that they struggle the most. 


We will also be chatting about how to utilize an assistant and where to plug them into your business to maximize your business efforts.  I call Melanie my professional everything because that is exactly what she is to me.  She fills the gaps where I need it the most.  I will be teaching you what items to delegate and which ones to continue to do on your own to make sure you both are sane and functional!  You will hear from Melanie as well on how she handles running her own successful wedding planning business and is a professional assistant for several businesses.


We will also be chatting about how I use a Content Calendar to write all my social media and blogging posts.  These are extremely important for marketing purposes and managing the flow of marketing.  There are times where I don't need as much marketing and these things take the back burner.  But there are ways that I can boost these up to increase my bookings.  I will be sharing the tools I use and how to utilize each and every one.


The workshop will be five glorious hours of teaching, eating and spending time with the girls...oh and there's a mimosa on being here in your comfy clothes, curl up with a blanket and be ready to take some notes and enjoy some delightful gourmet finger foods and be filled!!


The price includes five hours of instruction, a light breakfast, a gourmet lunch with hot chocolate and desserts, a mimosa bar, and a question and answer time where I will answer whatever questions you all might have.  Your investment into yourselves is priceless!!


The price will be $600 and will be split into two payments.  Half to reserve your space and half two weeks before the workshop.  You're welcome to have more payments but the deposit is $250.  In order to reserve your space please contact me for and click "MENTORING" from the session type list.  You will be emailed all the information and how to reserve your space.  Date will be March 7th, 2019 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

(Lacey Dippold Photography) Fri, 22 Nov 2019 04:26:04 GMT
Romania: Day Twenty Yesterday was another day in the scope of our team.  We went to the program in Clopotiva and enjoyed a meal at the restaurant close to the Goggin’s home.  I have been running the photography team this week so Aria could help some of the other teams that are here.  It’s gone very well this week since we are only doing it at this community.  The other one doesn’t have kids old enough for the photography team.  

After lunch we went down to a mountain river and went swimming.  It was amazing and super cold.  We had a great time down here for a few hours.

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In the late afternoon, around dinner time in the US, we headed to Balanu to do the second program.  I didn’t take many photos this time because we do much of the same every day.  The games, stories and crafts are different but the concept is the same.  The kids really love it and the team can bond very well with the kids because they get to spend so much time with them.

Immediately after the second program, about 7:00 at night, Hallie, Jessie, Maci, Skylar and I went up the mountain behind Clopotiva.  We had plans to shoot Skylar’s 13th birthday session up on the mountain…and the light did not disappoint.  It was stellar up there.  I was blown away with the beauty of it once I was shooting it.  Skylar’s gowns are by my exclusive designer, Sew Trendy.  Cami and Jessie LOVED the quality and couldn’t believe how perfect it was with the crown.  I will be bringing back more gowns to shoot Cami and Jessie’s girls in them next year.  

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We didn’t even get back to the hotel until 10:30 at night and the sun had literally just gone down.  We saw two baby foxes, two owls and a hawk.  It was amazing. This place feels like home to me and I don’t even know how to really explain that.  I know I will be back.  I have never been so sure of a future trip in all my life.  Romania got into my soul and makes me feel like I was born to be here.  

Cami told me that she is thinking of switching camp to the last week so I can come back and see them again.  If it’s not the third week, I can’t see them again because I can only come for two weeks.  Skylar would be coming back for the whole time.

Tomorrow we have part of our team that will be going paragliding while the other part runs the program.  The following day we will be switch.  And yes,  I plan on doing it too, despite my very intense fear of heights.  I literally had a panic attack driving up to Pikes Peak.  Hyperventilating and all. This should be very interesting.  I am hoping the more things I do that directly connect to heights will get me over this irrational fear.  And in my defense, it’s not completely irrational.  You can fall to your death from high places….so there’s that.  I will probably be crying while I am strapping myself into the harness.  A few years ago my husband and I went to Ouray to do the Jeep trail from Ouray to Telluride.  While I was driving on these intense cliffs and obstacles with my husband’s rock crawling Jeep I was crying horribly.  But I told him, I still wanted to do it.  The crying part is so annoying but it’s better than passing out, right?!


(Lacey Dippold Photography) Sun, 07 Jul 2019 07:56:18 GMT
Romania: Day Eighteen We went into the city of Sibiu first thing in the morning and it literally looked like if Disney was in real life.  It was amazing and also reminded me of the movie on Netflix, The Boxtrolls.  It was really beautiful.  We grabbed breakfast at McDonald’s and it was close to what’s in the US but not.  My family knows how much I loathe McDonald’s and think it’s the grossest place to eat ever.  But it was actually really delicious and the highlight of my day.  I was so happy to be eating something different than lunch meat and cheese or pastries.  


We walked around the city’s historical center and went shopping and just enjoyed the day.  Every single place we looked was a fabulous building.  I absolutely loved it!


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Lunches and dinners here are much later than in the US because the sun doesn’t go down until about 10:00pm.  They still farm using horses and pitch forks.  Very few tractors are here.  So lunches are very large meals.  Usually with a soup, bread, main course and dessert.  Dinners and breakfasts are smaller.  This is the complete opposite of the States.  It’s harder to get used to but we manage.  

We ate lunch around 1:30 in the town square.  I love the restaurants here because most of the have awesome covered patios that you can enjoy while eating.  After lunch we made the three hour drive out to Clopotiva once again to the missionary family that would be hosting us this week.  We are staying in a hotel that’s the nicest in this area.  Careena said it reminded her a lot of a lodge type hotel that’s Romanian, like Gaston’s lodge.  When we arrived, I saw she was absolutely correct in that.  But dinner here was fabulous and our host family went out of our way to make sure we were comfortable and had a delicious meal.  But wifi here is completely sketchy.  I’ve been trying to upload 45 photos for the last hour….I will keep trying to write these posts with as many photos as I can but this makes it really difficult.  I also can’t have more than one browser window open at a time, but we will make this work for our last week.

Tomorrow we head to two new communities.  The first one is a church community where our host families attend church.  The second one is another gypsy community.  But this one has a very real spiritual battle going on.  We are praying for safety for our team and these kids.

(Lacey Dippold Photography) Sun, 30 Jun 2019 20:58:05 GMT
Romania: Day Seventeen We’ve had so much happen in such a short time frame.  I do apologize for the really brief blog posts.  With not having wifi for several weeks, I am playing catch up on all my new posts.  The older ones I had much more time to write. 

In the morning, we grabbed more pastries in the morning and went down to the Bran shopping square.  Skylar and I circled the entire square searching for just the right things to bring back for family.  



I found this fantastic shop that was not a tourist trap shop with imported goods that aren’t even from Romania.  This shop was different.  It was in a perfect little store front cube and was neatly organized without junk piled up on every tabletop.  And it had a whimsical feel to it  but still had useful and relevant products.  I ended up buying nearly everything for my family at this place in two different trips.

Stefan is the shop owner and he has done an exceptional job setting himself apart from the other shops in Bran square.  We sat and chatted for about a half hour and I got the insider look at Sibiu, which is the next city we were heading to.  


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After shopping, we stopped at the Rasnov Fort, which was probably the coolest thing I have ever been to.  It was a thousand years old and I could picture the midivil scenes that could have played out here.  The view was spectacular.

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II was so excited to find this little gem inside the Fort Museum.  It was a complete set of US quarters.  My husband would have loved it since he collects these with our girls.  We literally have a fraction of them and we live in the States.

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I looking for beads for Skylar's grandma back in Cheyenne, we had a shop owner insist that Skylar have one of the necklaces.  But not just any necklace.  One that was made from a stone that glows in the dark.  He said it was phosphorous but I don't know for sure since he only spoke Romanian and very little English.

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We also stopped at this mud and straw home that reminded me exactly of Whoville.  

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After a few hour drive, we ended up in Sibiu and ate at a place called Super Mamma and this placed looked like a scene directly out of Pirates of the Caribbean.


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(Lacey Dippold Photography) Sat, 29 Jun 2019 20:43:17 GMT
Romania: Day Fifteen Yesterday was a really long travel day from Clopativa to Bran.  We got to our airbnb and the electricity was out from the rain storm that we had.  It was lovely getting there and having lanterns lit in the doorways with candles.  We were surrounded by mountains on every side and it was really quiet.  It was the perfect ending to our crazy week at camp.

In the morning we got up and headed into town to grab breakfast pastries.  We wandered around for coffee and pastries before heading to our first castle tour of the day.  It was Peles (Pel-ish) castle that was built for the Romanian king and every room was styled after different country.  It was ridiculously ornate and beautiful.

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My favorite features were the spiral staircase in the main hall, the paintings, and my favorite was the embossed, colored leather wallpaper from the 16th century.

Next up, was Bran Castle which is Dracula’s castle in Stoker’s book.  It was amazing and my favorite stop of the day.  Every staircase, every passage, every room was a maze and it was awesome trying to figure it all out.  The whitewashed walls and wooden floors were honey to my soul.  I really loved this place.


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We had an amazing dinner of pizza at a place in Bran.  It was absolutely delicious!

(Lacey Dippold Photography) Sat, 29 Jun 2019 19:41:54 GMT
Romania: Day Thirteen Today is our last full day at camp and everything inside of me is breathing a massive sign of relief.  But there is a small section of me that wishes we had just one more day with these kids.  The photography kids have literally just started opening up with us and connecting.  There’s the same couple of boys that came with their own cameras and one of them was Nikon.  He asked me to come with him to see the spider web he had found for the macro class and wanted to shoot it with me.  I brought my macro lens and let him use it to try it out.  He also used my professional lens and was so excited to see the difference in the color and clarity between his lens and the ones that I used.  I need to ask him his name again.  

There’s one who’s name is Darius and he looks like a guy from the first Hunger Games.  He’s the sweetest boy about thirteen.  I am so shocked with how loving the boys in this culture are to each other and adults.  They pretty much ignore the girls but they love on each other more than any culture I have every seen.  I wish the kids in the US were like this.  

I also really like a boy named Michael.  He’s very sweet and knows quite a bit of English. He learned from video games.  There’s a girl I need to ask her name as well and she really loves photography and getting to learn different techniques and the rules of photography.  Today, I taught macro with Aria and it was probably the most receptive the kids had been.  I think it had a lot to do with the personality tests we did the last few days.  I feel like we should have started with that to get them warmed up to us.  They were very distant and struggled to even want to be with us the first few days.  We also had Seth do a question and answer thing and the kids wrote down all kinds of questions about God, Jesus, demons and prayer.  They asked a lot of questions about Seth personally as well but mainly the revolved around spiritual things.  They seemed to really like that as well.

This whole experience of camp has shown me many areas in my personal life that I need to work on.  I see these young people that I came with on this trip and they are teaching me, someone ten years older than them, so many things.  I see the way they love and interact with each other and me and I am shocked at their moral character and strength together.  We are a team and so often, I feel like I am the weakest link letting them down.  They assure me that this isn’t the case, but I know it is.  On the hike up the mountain to the BBQ while we were in Romos, I realized it very clearly that it was me.  On a spiritual plane, a physical one and a mental one.  Before I came here I felt very confident that I knew I was strong in mind and faith and very good at connecting with others.  God has gifted me with feeling things about people and how to connect with them instantly.  He blocked that for nearly every single person since I’ve been here.  And it actually hurt me very deeply that He would do that.  I’ve never felt so alone in all my life.  Haley said that He probably did that to level the playing ground with everyone else.  Which may be true, but it hurt and I was struggling with feeling betrayed by God, even knowing that He is good all the time and has a deep purpose and plan for everything he does.  I felt an instant connection to Jessica and the old woman in Geaugiu but that has really been it and it’s been insanely hard.  I thrive on those deep connections with people and having to work for them has been mental and emotionally exhausting.  I have committed to spending time with each of the people here on a one-on-one level, even for just a few minutes, to talk with them and get to know them much better before we leave in twelve days.

I am so surprised to see so many areas that I need to work on.  I never expected that to be a side effect of this mission trip.  Not ever.  I do put up walls so that people only see what I want them to see.  I want to work on being more transparent and making sure that the person they see inside glorifies God well.  

Currently, most of the camp is out on a hike.  I chose to stay back.  My feet have been swelling immensely and are causing lots of pain for me.  We have a full weekend of walking and long car rides, which causes me to swell more.  Compression socks and essential oils aren’t really helping so I need to try and stay off my feet as much as possible before we leave.  I have repacked my suitcase for the third time on this trip and I have three more times to do the same thing.  It’s actually been really fun changing locations this many times.  Usually, I hate that because I like a familiar routine but this has been really great.  I am ready to roll out tomorrow but saying good bye to these kids we have spent nearly every waking moment with for the last week will be really hard.  I am not ready for the tears but I am ready for the next leg of our adventure.

I think my favorite person on this team is Seth.   He’s hard to figure out but he can draw you in immediately.  He’s mysterious and creative and absolutely hilarious.  I really love his stories and his ability to be very honest on who he is.  He connects well to the kids in every place we’ve been and I really love that he comes down to their level without changing who he is.  I love taking photos of him and you see him in many of my images.  He has a way of showing his love for those around him without trying or losing his masculinity in the process.  He’s who he really is all the time and the team and the kids respond very well to it.  I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as brutally honest about himself and willing to accept it as Seth.

Also, Emily.  She’s the very picture of a quiet and gentle spirit.  I admire her so much and I am shocked at all the qualities that every person on this team brings to the table.  We are all so different and all love God.  I am in awe of how He is using everyone here.  I don’t feel like I am being used very well because I am getting in the way of His work.  This week, especially.  I feel like an absolute failure.  But I trust that He is working through me no matter what.  I find it so bizarre that Aria says she closes off her heart to almost everyone but she can compassionately teach something to draw the kids out of their shells.  She’s quite remarkable.

Another sweet person is Hallie.  She's a teenager too and so quiet and sweet.  I really love being with her and seeing her face light up when we start chatting about something. 

Tomorrow we leave camp to head into civilization and I am so excited.  We will say goodbye to this set of kids to head down the mountain. We will be heading to castles all weekend before getting to a new missionary’s home and staying there for our remaining time.  Camp is exhausting and I am very ready for some relaxation time and being able to sleep in without a schedule to keep and people to teach.  I am looking forward to taking pictures of new things instead of the same program every day.

When everyone got back from their hike, we gathered everyone up and had a water fight. It was truly, truly glorious watching the kids splash in the river and the creek. 


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We had a bonfire with Romanian s'mores and the kids waited in line for a long time for theirs.

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(Lacey Dippold Photography) Sat, 29 Jun 2019 18:47:31 GMT
Romania: Day Twelve Camp week has been very much the same everyday.  We have our rotations that happen between games, story and craft teams and then photography team has their own agenda they teach.  We have been here since Saturday and everyday has been pretty much the same.  It’s now Monday.  The view here is incredible although I am craving some quiet time without the music playing over the loudspeakers or people in every direction that I look.  I went out on the mountain for a little time away yesterday and woke up this morning with the smallest tick I have ever seen imbedded in my thigh.  Ticks are the grossest thing to me ever.  We had a massive run in with them a few years ago when we were camping in Michigan for two weeks.  We literally had these nasty bugs everywhere.  This one had been in my skin for about 18 hours so I am a bit concerned but so far it’s just red, so telltale red ring around the wound.  Unfortunately, I don’t have service to google what kind of ticks they have here and if they carry Lyme disease.  One of the girls I came to Romania with actually had Lyme disease and she shared her testimony yesterday.  She has a difficult life ahead of her.  

I am seeing a few of the kids in the photography team already are interested in it so it’s great that we can encourage them in that.  A few boys had brought a camera with them to camp and have put it to good use practicing the lessons we have presented.  Today I taught posing with Halie and it was super fun to show the kids how to pose and how to pose men and women differently.  I also brought my reflector out, which they called a bouncer.  I showed them so many different examples of my work that had different poses and showed them how to work with the river and bright sunlight days to make it work.  I walked through the river which was amazingly chilly like the rivers in the Rockies in March.  I showed them how to add interest in their work by doing things differently like posing in water and then shooting it in the water as well as the photographer.

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We try to dive deeper into the kids’ lives but at the ages we have in this program it’s really hard to get them to get out of their shells and their outward appearance of “cool.”   Macey is a missionary’s kid from the US and she did such an amazing job with her project.  Their assignment was to take photos of here at camp that tell your story and testimony.  Every single Romanian teen that has done it has only taken photos of the things they like, not anything that shows us who they really are.  This is the most frustrating part of camp.  They are not willing to let down the walls and show us who they are.   Aria played a game with them that had them answer innocent questions and the answers to the questions once she explained what they meant, lent a really good insight to who they were.  The kids are extremely loving to each other when they are good friends.  The girls will hold hands and hang on each other in a very loving way, even as teens.  The boys will lean on each other and put their arms around their friends.  It’s actually quite refreshing to see that.

It seems like ages and ages ago that I hugged my husband around his neck and let the tears collect in his t-shirt at the airport when in reality it was only thirteen days ago.  Which is one day shorter than the longest time I have ever been away from my family.  I went to Africa two years ago for two weeks for a photography assignment with Photographers Without Borders. I still have thirteen more days in Romania.  I am so thankful for Melanie.  I know she’s getting all the notifications and emails and handling everything while I don’t have service.  I may get a random text message or notification that will come through in one spot in their balcony but that’s it.  I can’t send texts very well and I made one short phone call yesterday to my husband.  I am truly missing my children and can’t wait to hear their voices and see their little faces when we get service again.  There’s a decent sized town we drive through on the way to camp and I am hoping and praying that we can stop there so we all can call our families.  

I had a really good day yesterday and connected a bit more with the teens in my program.  It’s really difficult to get them to let you in.  Today was pretty fantastic with them when I was teaching posing.  I wouldn’t let them walk away to do their own thing or to sit and watch.  I made them pose and I made them shoot it.  It was actually really amazing and you could see them make the connection with posing and how that really will make or break an image.

Yesterday the kids did the obstacle course and the zip line down the river. We didn’t get a chance to do that with them because there were so many kids at camp.  We even had to push our program time back another hour to make time for them all to do camp activities.  

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We are in Transylvania right now and it’s pretty much the coolest thing I can say that I’ve done.  This weekend we tour Bran Castle which is Dracula’s castle in the books and movies.  I am so absolutely excited about this and can’t wait for it.  I am taking Skylar’s birthday session photos somewhere on the castle tours this weekend but I’m not sure which one yet.  

I am still struggling with the camp environment although it is much better than what it was the first few days.  I just want to be able to leave to go into town and grab more coke, make a few phone calls and grab more snacks and I can’t.  I don’t like the limited freedom and the restricted time to myself.  I really struggle without having time to decompress away from people and voices of people.  I love the quiet and the mountains.  I wake up long before everyone else to do my Bible study down at the river in the stillness and the dewy mornings. It’s my favorite time of the day.  Last night I struggled with going to sleep and couldn’t wake up early enough.  I tried to take a shower but the water was ice cold.  They use a wood burning boiler system and apparently that was down.  I found the tick on my leg.  And I only have one Coke left.  It started out to be a really rough morning.  My Bible study was done sitting on my bed in my room instead of next to the river.  And breakfasts here are probably the most disappointing time of day for me.  It’s usually a strong cheese, fresh tomatoes, and lunch meat with bread, not toast, fake butter and honey. None of which, I really care for, except the honey and bread.  I am desperately craving pancakes, eggs, bacon and toast from Snooze.  And a big, fast, juicy burger and fries with an ice cold Coke from Stuft.  I’ve literally drank my Coke warm for the last three days since we don’t have a fridge.  I did manage to find a microwave last night and made two bags of Romanian popcorn.  It’s definitely not Orville’s popcorn but we made it work in a pinch.   

Lunches in typical Romanian homes are a very light breakfast, soup for lunch with bread no butter, a large meat portion and potatoes.  Dinner is a light meal as well served with a fruit tea that they call Chai, but it’s not anything like the cinnamon tea they serve in the States.  It’s a weird, hot and delicious, sweet fruit tea.  Next week we are staying with another missionary family and the mom learned to cook in Spain.  So our food promises to be a bit more varying in flavors than just Romanian foods. My favorite Romanian food is called “sarmale” which is a lot like gumbo in the south or grits in Texas.  This region is known for for sarmale and each of the homes within this region has their own recipe they say is the greatest.  Its a lot like a meatball with meat and rice but it’s wild boar with rice wrapped in cabbage and then boiled.  Its served with the creamiest yogurt I’ve ever had.  It’s almost like a mix of Noosa yogurt from Colorado, sour cream and custard.  And it was AMAZING.  It’s been my favorite food the entire time I’ve been here.  The sausage we had on the mountain in Romos was pretty fabulous too but that was German from our Dutch missionaries in Romania.  Figure that one out.

Overall, I am very ready for our camp week to be over but I am enjoying seeing the kids get more and more into our lessons.  We do devotionals with the kids of all ages every morning and then also have devotions during the day with our class.  Skylar is struggling with the kids here because they don’t go out of their way to chat with her and make friends.  She has a few but they aren’t always free to go hang out with her.  Many times I see her up the mountain by the obstacle course people watching and listening to her headphones.  She’s having a hard time and I think she feels like an army of one.  She’s so much younger than the team and the kids at camp aren’t nearly as accepting as the kids in the villages.  Our team has been really wonderful including her in their activities but I think she just wants to play and be a kid.  She’s in a position of responsibility and that gives her a different relationship than just being a kid.  

Yesterday I watched her teach and execute a game and a Bible lesson to 25 Romanian kids with a translator.  The last time that I saw her in front of other people she wasn’t even talking and she was in tears because she was just standing in front of them.  The growth I have seen in her is phenomenal and I am so proud of her.  She was confident and taught the lesson to these kids with a passion that was infectious.  I don’t know any thirteen year old who has done anything like this ever.  To have my daughter who struggles with being the center of attention to actively teaching other kids just blows my mind.  I told her how proud I was of her several times and she brushed it off like teenagers do.  It’s quite incredible.


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My blog posts from camp will be fewer since we are doing pretty much the same thing every single day. 

(Lacey Dippold Photography) Sat, 29 Jun 2019 18:38:59 GMT
Romania: Day Nine Today was quite a bit different than any other day that we’ve been here.  We had to eat breakfast and lunch all while packing up and waiting for our driver to get to Holland’s Hof, which is the farmhouse that we stayed at in Romos.  We were heading to camp.  Camp week is the week where we volunteer and run the program at a camp that is already well established here in Romania.  The kids come from Christian homes already.  Which is really quite a bit different than the places we have been previously.

While I actually had 4G coverage, I called my dad on FaceTime hoping for a talk with Norah.  I haven’t been able to talk to her all week because she was always sleeping when I called.  She likes to hug and kiss the phone when we are on FaceTime and she hugged me for so long on the phone that it made it very difficult to not sob while I was talking to her.  I truly miss my family so much and that’s the hardest thing for me on these trips.  Saying goodbye for a time to come serve is hard on so many levels.  I am trusting them to the care of another and thankfully I have always had wonderful people on board.  This time, my sister-in-law selflessly dropped everything four days before I was supposed to leave to drive out to Cheyenne with her five children to watch my three kids with her five at my house.  It was heartwarming to see the support for me and Skylar, especially at a moment when I started doubting if I should really be going.

The drive up to the mountains was quite spectacular.  It actually reminded me a lot of the drive up to Estes Park in Colorado.  There was a river right next to the road with a row of houses and cottages on the opposite bank.  The mist and clouds hung between the mountains like someone painted them there.  Even once we arrived at the camp, the river had so much mist hanging above it.  I’ve never seen anything like it, even in Michigan where it’s humid and gross most of the year.  I have never seen mist form everywhere except when I was in Ghana and it was only at the tops of the mountains.  Not like Romania at all.  

We got to explore the stream and I fully anticipate lots of quiet time spent here for me.  I love the mountains and the river because it reminds me of home so much.  It was incredibly peaceful.  


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I had a Romanian man come up to me when we first arrived at camp and ask where we were from.  I told him Colorado, like I tell everyone.  No one usually knows where Wyoming is on the map, even in the States.  We split our time pretty evenly between Wyoming and Colorado and we own property in both, so it’s safe to say we live in both states.  And the man said, “Yes, me too.”  I literally thought he was joking since he had a Romanian accent and we are in Romania.  He ended up being in Colorado Springs and he escaped from Communism to the United States.  I will never understand how people can push so hard for Communism here in the US when so many people ran from it here in Europe.  It seems just insane to me.  His name was Val and he and his wife and three boys just moved back to Romania from Colorado a month ago to become missionaries.  He was on fire for God and his wife was truly lovely.  We did exchange Facebook names so hopefully we can meet up again if they are ever back in the US again or I am back in Romania.  

The camp kids here started playing with these fantastic bubble wands and Skylar joined right in with them.  It opened a door for two kids about her age to talk with her.  These kids mostly speak English and Romanian so it’s wonderful for her to have friends and not have to have an interpreter there with her.  I really love how accepting the kids are here of her and I pray that she makes friends this new school year just as easily and with kids with Jesus in their hearts like these kids do.  

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The team is coming together quite nicely and you can see the bonds that have started to form.  I struggled sometimes in a team setting because there are so many people that you need to work with and sometimes personalities can clash.  This team works so well together and we love to hang out and be with each other a lot on our down time.  We share a lot together during the team meeting everyday and slowly we are all getting much closer together.  The rawness of us all is exactly what God is connecting together and it’s weird how it’s all working.  I see so much beauty in the others in their personalities and their stories and how God is using them.  Every single one of them has surprised me to some extent.  My anxiety sometimes gets the better of me when I start to doubt that I have anything to offer besides photography or that I am not worth them getting to know or that they don’t really like me.  It’s difficult to silence that voice even though you know it’s the enemy and your own chemical imbalance talking.  

Tomorrow the new set of kids arrive that we will be working with very closely over the next week.  We have seven lessons to teach and it’s exciting to see how this will play out with a completely different mindset of kids.  I am exhausted every single day and today is no different.  It’s cooler here which feels more like home.  And the mountains give me a peace and remind me of my husband waiting back at home for me.  I am so thankful for his support of this trip and what it means for my daughter and I and the kids we are serving.  Knowing that he is supportive and has my back during this has made all the difference in how effect I can be.  I am not worrying about his opinion of me during this trip because his support has been extremely evident every time I have talked to him.  His belief that God can work through someone like me has carried me this whole time.  I am broken.  I am weak.  And I am fragile.  And knowing that God can use me too during this trip for these people has made me feel amazing.  I never want to feel like I am not making a difference somewhere for someone.  I want to be able to give back somehow and these trips are what I am called to do.  I’ve known it since before I was even married that I wanted to take my kids to experience the world and serve in some way.  At 36 years old, I am finally able to bring my kids along and it’s truly been life changing for me to see Skylar working and serving here.  She’s brave, strong and compassionate and I truly hope when I grow up that I am a little more like her than I am right now.

(Lacey Dippold Photography) Sat, 29 Jun 2019 18:28:05 GMT
Romania: Day Eight Our day started just like every other day here.  Breakfast at 8:30 am, followed by prayer time for the program today.  We pray that the kids’ hearts would be receptive to the message and that bonds would be formed.  We did a little worship time as well.  


We were headed back to Geoagiu again.  This is my favorite community and I was happy that we ended our time with this one because I loved it so much.  I wanted to focus on shooting the older generation of this place because I feel their stories will be ending soon and I want to be able to share them before they are gone.  I saw the woman from Wednesday and I was able to give her a huge hug and she kissed my face and told me, “God bless you.”  She was my favorite person of entire time here.  Our souls connected the first second I met her.  It was instant and deep.  I’ve never felt another human being so quickly or deeply.  I can usually connect pretty quickly with people even before any words are exchanged but this woman was different for me.  She was kind and tender and loving and there was something about her that was different than anyone else I have ever met.  I knew that the people here would effect me more than I would them but I was not prepared for her.  And my time with her was probably about two minutes total the entire time I was here.  Briefly one day and even briefer the second.  It was almost like God reached inside me someplace very deep and created a bond with her in only the way that He can.  I desperately want to come back next year just to see her for another two minutes.  And maybe I can know more Romanian enough to not need a translator so I can go to her alone and spend time with her.

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I also saw Alex, who is the boy from the first day with a mental disability.  I saw him in the community when we were collecting the kids for the program with his family and I was able to go up to him and hold his hand and give him a kiss.  He smiled and hugged me and his family’s faces lit up and were so happy I knew his name and took the time to come over to him alone and see him.

I saw a meme on Facebook yesterday that I actually saved to my phone and printed it for my Roterfaden journal.  It said, “We all smile in the same language.”  This has never been so true to me as much as it has been here.

I was teaching again today.  I was teaching storytelling to the kids here.  Sometimes it feels like you are fighting for the words to say and the kids will wait for the translator and then still have blank looks on their faces.  But then you hand them the cameras for them to practice and they shock you with what they actually heard and picked up from the teaching. There were two boys that have come every single day and have done an exceptional job each time.  Aria taught the devotional and the kids in our group were extremely receptive and you could feel God right there with each of us there.  

There was a little boy that attached to Enoch so much so that he refused to leave when the rest of the children did.  He stayed with us for another hour until our ride showed up and then burst into tears when he found out we were not coming back the next day.  We don’t know what kind of place the boy lived in or his family experience but these kids are starving for love and attention.  


It was our host’s, Gerry, (said like Gary) birthday today.  She wanted to do a BBQ up at their cabin at the top of the mountain.  So we had another hike ahead of us.  Thankfully it wasn’t nine miles, but it was straight up the mountain.  They don’t believe in switchbacks here.  It’s literally straight up and intense.  

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They dropped us off at the closest road and drove the truck up.  The roads are too washed out and slick from the wet season they’ve had this year to carry us all up.  So while we all hiked, they drove with Jessica and the kids with all the food we were going to make up there.  When we were nearly to the cabin, we found the truck they were driving had nearly slid off a cliff with Jan (pronounced like Yan), Gerry, Jessica, Rosalie ( 1 year old) and Louie (pronounced like LOW-ie) (4 years old) inside the truck.  A small tree saved them from sliding completely off the cliff.  It was truly terrifying.  We all worked together with their neighbor and would use the jack to jack up the truck on the side of the cliff, stuff tree branches under the tire, move the jack and repeat that process in layers.  Then about seven of us piled into the back of the “French machine” as Jan calls it and added weight on the back tire.  Finally it pulled out back onto the road. 


The turn on the road where it opened up into the property was stunning.  Never had I ever seen anything quite like it.  While these are not the Rockies where I live, they are something quite unique.  Grass covers the mountains and willow trees grow with thousands of species of trees and wildflowers, wild cherries, wild strawberries and wild blueberries.  The sounds of bells carry on the warm breeze from the cows just beyond your field of view.   

Jan and Gerry started the BBQ and cooked an authentic Romanian dish for us.  Pork chops, uncured bacon, sausage, mountain potatoes with a special cheese, homemade bread and a salad made from tomatoes, homemade mozzarella and cucumbers.   We sat under a trellis made from wild grapevines and tree branches with a specific “V” in the top.  It was actually quite clever.  It reminded me of something my dad would Jimmy-rig together.  


I took Jessica’s family picture here because they needed a new one for their website and newsletter.  

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The truck ride down….where do I begin…Let’s just say that I have a very intense fear of heights.  Most of the time I know that its an irrational fear and I really don’t need to worry.  Not this time.  The road was so slick it was like ice.  It was also so washed out that every slip and drift meant only a few inches was saving us from careening to our deaths below.  I was sitting on the floor of the bed of the truck holding onto Rebecca and Careena’s legs with my eyes tightly closed and trying not to cry.  I literally thought we were going to die right here in Romania on the side of this mountain.

Safely back at the farmhouse, we ended up living for today…We did manage to get a video of the ordeal among the bumping, bruising, jerking and sliding.  We had ordered pies (cakes) for Gerry’s birthday and it was chocolate with rum.  I’ve never had anything like it but it was quite fantastic!

Tomorrow we head to camp where they have zero cell reception or wifi so it will be awhile before I can chat with my family or post a blog post.  



(Lacey Dippold Photography) Fri, 28 Jun 2019 20:14:41 GMT
Romania: Day Seven Today started just slightly earlier than the other days here.  Tase wanted to take us on a Pilgrim’s Progress type hike through the mountains of Romania so we left about an hour earlier then we had before.  Originally when they said they wanted to do this, I scoffed when they said it was a really difficult hike.  I live in the Rockies.  I know how to hike…Pssshhh…this is nothing. What are you?  Like maybe 2000 meters above sea level?!

What I didn’t know is that their hills and mountains literally go straight up with an incline of easily 55 degrees.  It’s hot, humid and you’re dripping in sweat in the first 10 minutes.  I literally took a shower in the morning and right when we started it looked like I had jumped back in a pool with how wet my hair was.  Not only that, every plant in the wilderness either has ginormous thorns or stings you as you try to walk by them.  

We started the hike with an incline that rivals the Rockies with mud and rock and a path that doesn’t look like it gets used by cars ever despite the deep grooves cut into the dirt.  This was the beginning of your Christian life and it’s the hardest part.  The part that makes you question if you made the right choice with how difficult it is.  


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Once we were all breathing quite heavily for a VERY long climb which was at least a mile according to my Apple Watch, we finally reached a level area.  Here is where you start to feel a bit comfortable in your Christian walk.  Where things get a bit easier for you.  Tase had said that this is where Christians will settle into the home to work routine and never shoot for the big dreams and callings that Gd has for us. And once you see the incline ahead of you that looks harder and longer than what you just came from, it’s so easy to stay right there and not make that climb.  But!!  Once you make the decision to go for it, you can see your vision at the top.  The path that God has chosen for you. 

And that climb, my friend, is hard.  It’s rocky.  It’s literally straight up.  You are fearful for the people around you that could easily fall off and get seriously injured.  And it’s hard.  So hard.  But that climb is different than the one before.  This one looks bigger and meaner but really it’s not as long as it seems and once you start on it, and fight through the hard bits, it’s over as quick as it started.  And the view is something to be rivaled with.  It’s incredible and takes your breath away with the beauty God laid out for you.  Here, the lukewarm Christians start to tell that you your fire and zeal for God is too much and you need to slow it down slightly.  They will try to put out that fire because you are dangerous for their safety in the easy path.

But you set out again on the vision God has for you.  You make it to a tree that has been struck by lightning.  This is where the trials and tribulation comes that make you second guess the vision God has placed in your heart.  But still you press on.

Eventually you come to more uphill areas and ones that are just as difficult as the first and right in the middle is a tree that was covered in vines and hollow inside.  Here is where you see people that have a good front and outward appearance but inside they are empty and when everything starts blooming around them, they are dead.

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But still, you press on.  You come towards the end of your journey and you are making your way to heaven.  On either side of you are trees clothed in white.  They are shaking in the breeze and you are silently being cheered on by these trees for making it this far.   At the end of this path, you walk out into a mountain meadow covered in soft grass and wild flowers.  You can see for miles and miles and the scene in front of you is unlike anything that you have ever seen before.  You have made it to heaven.  And you’ve never felt anything so amazing in your whole life.

For us here in this reality and not in the story….at this point, we are all exhausted and tired.  We’ve done 5.5 miles and I did it in Tieks.  I had no idea we would be hiking or I would have brought my hiking boots.  We also didn’t bring any snacks or a lunch.  It was now, 12:30 pm and we’ve been hiking for three hours.  The journey back was intense as well.  At one point we were walking down a steep downhill path on a hairline which was much deeper than the pictures show.  I did slip and fall and my camera smashed into the dirt.  Thankfully I had a feeling I was going to fall and rotated my camera on my belt to the backwards position.  This made my camera hit on the top and not directly on my lens.  This literally saved my camera.  I would have broken it had I fallen with it in any other position.  I NEVER rotate it like this but I listened to God and it made it just perfect.

Toward the end of the hike I was absolutely miserable.  I had a killer headache, I was shaking so bad and was so swollen I could barely move.  My feet hurt terribly from dirt getting between my shoes and my feet.  Otherwise, the Tieks would have been just fine.  When I enter things unprepared it usually ends badly but while this was difficult, it was incredibly worth it.  I have never seen someplace like the mountains of Romania.  My husband would have loved every minute of it, even if he would have been dripping with sweat in the first five minutes.  We did nine miles with no snacks and limited water and unprepared but it was so amazingly worth it.


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As soon as we got back to the lodge, I hit the sack.  I needed to rest and right now.  I must’ve been out for at least an hour.  I was so sick when I got up that even the smell of food was making me nauseous. I couldn’t eat the sandwiches the team had for lunch so I tried to choke down some beef jerky and Motrin and a coke.  Which strangely helped amazingly well.  I needed it to work desperately.  I was teaching today with the kids this afternoon.  We went back to the center in Romos and it was our last time with them.  I was teaching storytelling through images, which I feel I am tremendously good at.  It’s fantastic they gave me something to teach in a foreign language that I felt very confident in.  

At the center, the afternoon went off without a hitch.  The kids were attentive and responded very well to the lessons we taught and the gospel that we presented again.  Even the little kids when they went through the games, story and crafting rotation, did an exceptional job.  


We went back to the farmhouse for dinner and ate until we were stuffed.  A few us went back into the Romanian town and not the Gypsy village to gather supplies for the next few days and camp week.  We stopped at a cafe with great WiFi and I was able to post yesterday’s blog post and grab a kit Kat shake…and yes…it’s as delicious as it sounds.  Shopping in Romania is interesting.  They have about 2% of the same stuff as in the US and it’s all in Romanian…so trying to figure out what things are what are actually kind of fun. It’s like playing a lottery and you’re unsure of what the prize might be.  I found some microwave popcorn which made me exceptionally happy.  

Tomorrow we head back to Geaigu which is the extremely poor neighborhood that I really like.  I feel like we make a bigger impact here and that’s incredibly rewarding. 

(Lacey Dippold Photography) Fri, 28 Jun 2019 20:05:20 GMT
Romania: Day Six There’s something to be said about constantly producing powerful images and the toll it takes on you.  The emotional content is high and it’s hard to separate yourself from the project in front of you.  You start to fall in love with these people and you know that there’s nothing you can do to truly change things for them at this moment.  You just need more time, more miracles and more hope.  There’s so much of your day wrapped up into other people that sometimes there’s not enough down time for you to truly recharge.  Your team needs you and so do the people we are serving.  For me, I am more in tune with the people around me when I am behind a camera because I am looking for the little nuggets of emotion and connection that help to tell their story more fully.  I am looking for that whisper between sisters, the playful punching between brothers, the sad eyes from a grandparent.  

Today, we went to the same communities that we went to yesterday with different lessons.  Today, we fell more in love with them.  In Romos, the community is the poorest that I have ever seen.  Even when I went to Mexico on a trip much like this, the family we worked with at least had clothes and food and a job.  Most of the families here do not.  Most times, when I am shooting in the village when we are collecting the children, I have to shoot very strategically to not expose naked children to the internet.  While yes, that is very much a part of their culture, it is not mine.  I will be respectful of them in order to try and keep them children for as long as possible.  

Today, I also learned that there are many, many, many prostitutes at a very young age.   As young as eleven can be found on the streets looking for a man to pay them for sex.  They get the equivalent of $12 for it.  Once they get pregnant, they find an old woman in a shack with a hook that is willing to perform an abortion in the dirt and filth of the slums of Romania.  If you ever thought that there isn’t a need for care, love and support in other countries, you are wrong. As Pete was telling me this on the way to the city, I was crying in the front seat of his car.  I can’t imagine being so desperate that you are willing to do such drastic measures.  I also can’t image such little value on human life.  Pete was telling a story of a woman he knew that did this and three days after her abortion, she is out on the streets once again trying to get paid.

A day always starts better with a plan.  In the morning, we went over our plan once again before hopping into an old military vehicle with “MINES” stamped on the side.  Driving through the streets of Romania, I was pretty sure the driver’s goal was to see how many of us he could bounce out of the back of the truck before giggling and driving away.  It made the drive much more hilarious than it would have been on its own.

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Once again, we walked the streets of Giougu to collect the children.  Today I focused on the lifestyle of the families that lived here.  I was super stoked to see a little guy wearing a Detroit shirt and I have no idea how he would have been able to get his hands on it.  Jessica knew a woman who worked the streets and needed help with firewood for her family.


And this sweet soul that I fell in love with the second I laid eyes on her.  Everything inside of me knew that she was a kind and gentle and loving woman with a heart bigger than she should have.  Jessica and her have a very unique relationship.  I pray that I am able to spend more time with this woman before my time here is over.  I only have one more day in this community before we move to camp week for the kids in Romos.

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We prepared new lessons for these kids and the photography team would rotate through basic lessons for the older kids.  We also had some devotionals ready for them as well.  The game team, craft team and story team all had new activities relating to the gospel that we would rotate the other kids through.  After each micro lesson, we would send the kids out with point and shoot cameras again to hone their new knowledge.  The photography team would follow the kids and help them achieve their “homework” but we would still get asked from the other kids to take a photo of them.  They were very drawn to my big camera and asked constantly.  I did have a child try to rip my Apple Watch off my wrist out of curiosity.  At the very end of the program, we would do a short skit and the kids always LOVED them.  All I can say is that Bob the Sheep is a baaaaaad sheep and God still loves him…

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At the next community, Seth decided to pull out his guitar and play through the streets as we rounded up all the mini humans.  It looked like the Pied Piper of Gypsy kids.  Probably the most adorable thing I had ever seen.  

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This community was much easier to teach and work with because they did have a school and better housing arrangements.  They were all very eager to learn and practice.  I had an amazing girl named Sephora, which is super gorgeous before I made the connection with the retail store.

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I really love detail shots and I wanted to show her how to connect leading lines and the rule of thirds with details.  I really love this shot of her baby curls on the back of her neck as she was looking at the back of her camera.

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I also did a very basic posing technique with our translator, Sarah.  


Skylar loved playing with the younger kids outside the center when we were done.  The little ones just loved her and would run away from her waiting for her to come chase them and carry them back.  Two other boys would ride their bike and spray her with a squirt gun.  

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Aria is teaching perspective in this shot…which I love!  


I showed Sephora how to use the leading lines Aria was teaching.

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We also tried some action shots and more of Bob the Sheep.

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After dinner we did some praise and worship on the patio during a splendid golden hour.

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This is Jessica and her youngest daughter, Rosalee.

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(Lacey Dippold Photography) Wed, 19 Jun 2019 17:04:52 GMT
Romania: Day Five We started the day with a cold breakfast of hardboiled eggs, meats, Nutella and fruit.  I love team meals because we are all together, relaxed and getting ready for the day.  Mornings are my jam.  Skylar has learned to drink coffee and actually enjoy it on the trip.  Jet-lag has not been kind to her and she’s learned that coffee and coke bring a welcomed caffeine alertness to the day.

Once breakfast was over, we finished getting ready and prayed together once again. The drive to the center was also relaxed as we piled into an English vehicle in a Romanian country that drives on the opposite side.  

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Today was the fulfillment of eight months of praying, working and pouring my guts out.  From the minute we loaded up into the van to drive to the program I was in tears.  I was so excited for this moment.  We were going to walk the neighborhood to “collect the children” as Jessica the Belgium missionary said.  We were going bring them to the program center that Jessica and Tase had created and do the curriculum that Global Encounters created.  


Jessica called to the families and the children on the streets in her sing-song Romanian language.  Romanian sounds SO MUCH like Italian and are pronounced in very similar ways and sounds.  It’s almost a mix of Italian and Spanish.  The kids came running from every home, every street corner and would appear out of nowhere to hold our hands, ask us for a photo and run around us to the center.

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Animals were everywhere.  Even if they weren’t alive.  There were many dead baby animals all over this community.  Along with children without clothes, underwear or shoes.  We went to a family home to collect their children and four of them were completely naked.  When we told them to put clothes on to come to the program they couldn’t even find any for them to wear.  This is a completely different world than anything I have experienced before.  In Ghana, the children were naked but not because they didn’t have anything to wear but because they chose to be that way.  Diapers were a luxury, so many babies and toddlers were naked.  

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Back at the program center, Jessica sang songs to prepare the kids to be there.  They were extremely receptive to her.  We divided the kids up into groups and gave them bandanas so we knew what group they were in because of the colors.  We grabbed the older kids and started teaching them about photography before turning them loose with point and shoot cameras to try a few skills that we showed them. They were infatuated with learning and shooting.  

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We had three different groups of games, stories and crafts that the younger kids rotated through.  The older kids, 12 and over, stayed with us in the photography team.  At each of the rotations the kids were sporadic and crazy and hard to keep engaged, more than I had ever seen before.  They are not in school ever so they have never had an opportunity to learn to sit down and listen ever before.  

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We finished the program with a story skit to share the gospel with these kids.  Which was hilarious! The kids high fives Tase as they walked out the gate and returned their bandanas.  Pete, another missionary, Skylar and I walked a special needs little boy, Alex, back home.  We chatted with his mother about what his needs are and what happened.  I usually pick up languages pretty quick and this was the first conversation while I was here that I could understand.  Alex was a twin and his sister died when they were born at six months.  He survived but he was hemorrhaging in his brain which led to his special needs.  His mother takes him to a special needs school about 20 minutes away everyday. The fact that she has a car, can drive and is willing to take him to school is mind blowing and wonderful in every way.  There are 400 children in this community and only about 100 of them actually go to school.  That’s why the Belgium missionaries built the school center right where they did.  

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We came back to where we are staying for lunch.  We stopped at a grocery store for lunch supplies and that was an adventure.  Of course, I grabbed Coke.  

After lunch, I edited photos and prepped to go back to the second community program.  We will visit two different communities this week to do different lessons each time.  Hopefully, growing these kids in their knowledge of Jesus each time but also giving them practical things to use every day.  But we did also find snails in the flower garden, which was pretty much the most amazing thing ever.

I requested to sit in the front seat of the car to take photos of the city.  This is more upscale than the community that we were in this morning but the idea of being in a foreign country is still present.  

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Again, once we arrived at the next community, we collected children and brought them back to the program center.  It was lots of happy shouting, massive hugs from the kids and Jessica and little feet plodding down the streets to the program center.  The second community has had aid pour into it for about ten years to improve the standard of living for them.  Now, fathers stay to raise their families, have jobs and homes, and their needs are met in most ways.  They opened the school there to keep the community educated and that need is met by Jessica.  It’s taken her about 18 months to establish a level of trust and love from these families.  These people do not trust easily because they are considered the outcasts of society.  It's racism in its purest form.  They are shunned in the cities, from the Romanian people and are considered less than human.  For an outsider to come into their community, show them love and listen to them intently shows the ultimate love.  And that’s exactly what we are doing.  For me personally, and I know its true of the team here too, I am able to look into every child’s eye and tell them that I love and respect them by just listening to them even if I don’t speak the language.  And the response was unreal.  

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We did the same lessons as the morning with the kids in the second community and then returned back to where we are staying for dinner.  Our hosts are amazing cooks and always have a fantastic meal waiting for us.  Which makes it relaxing and wonderful.  Tomorrow is the same communities with different lessons for us to teach.  I am ready for it and truly can’t wait for the morning.  

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(Lacey Dippold Photography) Tue, 18 Jun 2019 11:49:07 GMT
Romania: Day Four This morning was an early start to the day.  We were all up at 4:45am in the Budapest heat to start the day and move all our luggage up four flights up to the lowest level hall way to prepare to move them into the van, trailer and car that I was assured would be here.  The contacts this organization have made in this country are amazing.  They are reliable and everyone had been amazing.  This morning we are heading to Romania which is a seven and a half hour drive from Budapest.  We are going to a small rural community called Brasov.  

Once we were all loaded up in the van and car that did indeed show up, we bounced along in a sporadic and terrifying motion through Hungarian roads.  I kept busy by writing in my travel journal and watching movies on my iPad I had downloaded while still in the States.  WiFi in this country is not quite ready for the demands we Americans are asking of it.  It frequently crashes and kicks us all off.  I am currently trying to add photos to my blog using my hotspot on my phone since there is literally no WiFi at the Romanian ranch we are at currently.

The drive was beautiful.  We crossed the border about three hours into the drive.  Handing over passports while were were smashed in the van like sardines all while reading signs in Hungarian about how not to bribe the border patrol guards.  In Romania the flat landscape slowly started becoming more rolling hills, trees and farmland with the occasional farmhouse dotting the landscape.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  Pristine and untouched.  There weren’t any power line poles scarring the horizon or power plants or shopping centers or even cities. Just small random homes lovingly attended to in the middle of their farmland.

The roads are incredibly narrow and Romanian driving can be compared to a combination of Nascar and ambulance drivers.  Anything goes.  Once we arrived at the ranch we would be staying at, I was in awe.  Farmland hills rolled in every direction.  To the east, rolling green “mountain” caught my imagination.  It was like a scene from every Disney movie ever.  The ranch was a beautiful white building with a bright red roof surrounded by fields, farmland and flocks of sheep and herds of cattle.  Huge rose bushes sprouted up next to buildings that seemed unintentional but somehow just perfect.  

We piled out of the vehicles and unloaded all the luggage….which is a lot when you have twelve people and are running a bible program for three weeks.  There were lots of supplies divided up between all of us before we arrived which were now sprawled out all over the common area floor. 

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We sorted everything, divided up rooms and settled in.  “Thee and Koffee” was served with chocolate chip muffins.  It was a wonderfully relaxing way to become acquainted with our Dutch host missionaries who run this facility.  This place is a lot like the retreat center my church in Cheyenne runs.  It’s open for any organization to stay at but it’s a faith based center.  We were served a dinner or pork chops, peas and carrots, peaches and French fries.  Our Belgium missionaries that would be our hosts for the children’s program tomorrow also arrived with our translators.  They are Jessica and Tase and are amazing.  They have three children and Tase was an MMA fighter prior to becoming a Christian and becoming a missionary to Romania.  There is a deep need here in the Gypsy community for the love of Jesus.  

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We enjoyed a peaceful evening dividing up the program needs, assigning classes to teach and narrowing down the roles we all needed to play.  We enjoyed the company of our host missionary family and the program missionaries all while playing with their kids and exploring the surrounding area.  I was going to snap a few images of these sheep and when I looked down my entire foot was covered in black spiders.  It was so gross!  


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Our adventure tomorrow starts with a big breakfast and then hopping into this WWII military vehicle and heading over to the center.  Once we will get there we will be heading into the village to “collect” the children from the area for the program. 

(Lacey Dippold Photography) Tue, 18 Jun 2019 11:05:12 GMT
Budapest: Day 3 In the last four days we have walked twenty two miles.  Usually thing like that don't wear me down, but the heat combined with the miles is absolutely wearing me down.  Last night I feel asleep at 9:00pm.  I am currently writing this at 2am.  The internet here isn't capable of handling twelve cell phones and my laptop.  So I need to write my blog and upload photos when no one is on the internet.  Two in the morning seems like as good of time as any.


First thing in the morning, we needed to find breakfast.  I had spotted Budapest Bagel the first day we arrived so thats where we went.  It was literally life changing.  We ordered duck, cream cheese, tomato and greens, cream cheese and jelly, duck liver pate and salami, cream cheese, greens and tomato.  It was truly a lovely experience.  Why I had never thought to do cream cheese and jelly together, I will never know.


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Hungary is probably the most beautiful place I have ever been.  It looks like a page right out of Frozen.  The architecture here is remarkable.  This is Enoch and Haley, two of our team leads.

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After breakfast, we walked down to the boat dock to grab a ferry to "The Island".  I don't know what the official name to the island is but it's right in the middle of the Danube connected with a glorious bridge.  We saw many of the historical sites from the river.

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This is our final destination.  This is Buda castle. LDP_2136aLDP_2136a


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This is the Parliment building,  On the way back, I grabbed a much better photo of this one. LDP_2149aLDP_2149a LDP_2152aLDP_2152a LDP_2140aLDP_2140a


This is the bridge connecting the Buda side, the Pest side and the island. LDP_2154aLDP_2154a LDP_2156aLDP_2156a LDP_2160aLDP_2160a

Our destination was this fountain on the island.  We took a much needed respite from the heat by sitting with our feet in the fountain.

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We explored the island a bit and found a water park that we didn't go in, although it looked amazing and this church ruin.

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Back on the ferry we went past the Parliment building from the river and it was absolutely impressive.

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The ferry dropped us off near the Chain Bridge again and we walked across that to get over to the Buda castle.

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Dinner was at Perfectto which is an authentic Italian place...definitely not Olive Garden.


We got to Facetime our family back home, which was AMAZING!!!  The little girls light up when they see Skylar.



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After dinner was more gelato shaped like a rose.  I didn't get images of that but trust me, it was divine.  In the morning we drive six hours into Romania.

(Lacey Dippold Photography) Sun, 16 Jun 2019 00:13:51 GMT
Romania Day 2 It's nearly midnight here and we just finished eating dinner and walking up the four flights of stairs leading to our apartment.  There's thirteen of us here and personalities mesh extremely well, which is surprising with so many of us in one space.  Today was a day of exploring Budapest.  It was extremely hot and humid and for someone who lives on the plain and mountains at 6,000 feet plus, it's nearly torture. 


The entire apartment didn't wake up this morning until about 10:00 am.  We were all exhausted.  A few of us walked down to grab pastries for breakfast.  Budapest in the day time is just as lovely as the evening.


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We wandered through town to find the market and it was amazing!  It was a tourist hot spot and lots of Hungarian goodies. 

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Budapest has a huge World War II history.  The city was more than 75% Jewish prior to Hitler moving them to the ghetto.  We saw a book cart in the city and this book caught my attention in the quick walk by.  We also found a Starbucks and I was able to get a Budapest AND a Hungary mug, which was seriously a highlight!! 

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The city is very old and it has modern things thrown in at random points like this. LDP_1874aLDP_1874a

This is the book cart I found the Hitler book at.  It absolutely reminded me of Belle's cart from Beauty and the Beast.  Traveling Europe makes a lot of Disney movies make more sense.


We were on a mission to see the historical sites from the Jewish community.  This is a Jewish temple that marked the beginning of the ghetto from the Nazi regime.  It was remarkable. 

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This willow tree has a name written on every leaf.  There were 400,000 Jews that were killed in Budapest alone.  They literally decimated the population here.  Hungary struggled to make a come back after the war because their wealthy business and professional class of doctors and business owners were murdered.

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We wandered down to the Danube River and walked across a massive bride that was called The Chain Bridge.  It was massive and gorgeous. 

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Along our journey, we went to The Shoes on the Danube Bank.  This was what made it so very real to me.  The shoes represented a few of the people who were shot and killed and shoved into the river. shot and killed and shoved into the river.

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This couple were so sweet.  They were touching the shoes and sobbing.  I don't think I've ever seen history so real to me before.  There were children's shoes lined up here to show that the Nazis made everyone remove their shoes before killing them.  I was literally standing right where hundreds of Jews were murdered.  The heartbreak was palpable.





The first feet photo that I've ever taken that actually means something more than cute shoes. 

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This is the Parliment building that was right in front of where the Nazis killed thousands of Jewish people.  This was a gorgeous building with a fountain in the back.

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I saw this couple trying to get a picture in front of Parliment so I walked over and asked if I could take their photo.  They were STUNNING and her dress was literally breathtaking.



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Next up...GELATO!!!  But not the nasty stuff in the States.  This stuff was unlike anything I had ever had before and they shaped it into roses. 


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We hung out in the afternoon inside the apartment since it was so hot.  We were waiting for a few more team members to get in from the airport so we could go get dinner. 




(Lacey Dippold Photography) Fri, 14 Jun 2019 22:47:29 GMT
Romania 6/12-7/7 I will be adding posts here to make them easier to find.  Feel free to catch up when you can!  I will be blogging everyday and making sure to keep you all updated as much as possible.  I am anticipating a lighter schedule than when I was in Africa so it should make it easier to blog.  I can't release city names online but we will be all over Romania once we get there.  We will be in Budapest for three days before making our way over to Romania.  I am so excited to share this adventure with you all!  Thank you for your belief in me that has helped me get here!



Budapest Travel Day 1



Budapest Day 2



Budapest: Day 3


Romania: Day 4



Romania: Day 5



Romania: Day 6


Romania: Day 7



Romania: Day 8


(Lacey Dippold Photography) Thu, 13 Jun 2019 10:41:05 GMT
Romania-Travel Day 1 The long awaited day is finally here.  My daughter and I head to Romania today.  We've been planning, prepping, raising funds, praying, working and training for this day right here.  It's my daughter's first LONG international flight.  She went to the Bahamas when she was two years old but I don't think that counts as a long flight.  Our flights went from Denver to Munich, Germany with a four hour layover and then on to Budapest.  When we flew to New Mexico in March we had some hiccups in our journey that led to us being awake for over 24 hours.  She struggled with it majorly and had to deal with it the whole week we were there.  Making better travel time choices on this trip is paramount to avoiding jet-lag and major fatigue.  I didn't have jet-lag at all when I went to Africa because I timed my sleep and travel well.  And because God is gracious! 


I love traveling to European countries.  The people facinate me.  I people watch a lot anyway but I do it more in Europe than I usually do.  I listen to the accents and the way they look and talk to each other.  German sounds like they are singing with every word they say.  It's actually a very beautiful language.  When we landed in Germany, we met back up with Addy, a team member that we met up with in Denver.  Our mission: Starbucks.  I needed a German mug to add to my collection since I was here back in 2010 when I was on another assignment for Gospel for Asia.  I was supposed to be in England, but the Icelandic volcano erupted several weeks before my trip leading to an ash cloud that grounded all flights in Europe for almost a week.  It was insane.  I was pregnant with my second which made the adventure quite different than most.  I needed to find random people all over Europe to give me the injections that kept my daughter alive.  I ended up taking a bus from Copenhagen, Denmark all through Europe where we passed through Germany.  Hence, why I need a German Starbucks mug.  We didn't find the Starbucks but another coffee shop inside the airport.  When we fly back home we fly into Frankfurt and I'll find a mug then. 


Our flights to Germany were uneventful, which is wonderful.  We had some sweet people move their seats around so Skylar and I could sit next to each other.  They had this awesome feature where there are cameras on the outside of the plane and you can literally watch your entire flight from a bird's eye view.  We watched movies, edited sessions and slept.  I am so excited to see how God uses this trip to create something spectacular.  I love how He calls the unqualified and then uses them to do amazing things.  I am unqualified.  I love people and giving their stories a voice.  But I have high functioning depression and anxiety like so many others in my career field.  While I love what I do, love humanitarian and mission work, and travel, I still have impressive anxiety before any international trips.  Which makes the week leading up to the trip almost unbearable.  God still uses me.  I don't need to be perfect, I just need to be willing.  I am a broken human being and He uses me in big ways that I probably don't even see all the time.  And He will use me here too.  My daughter is thirteen.  He will use her, a child, in a big way here too.  Because she is willing.  Her biggest excitements on this trip are to tell the kids about Jesus, the food in Romania and the local animals.  In that order.  My daughter is the furthest thing from bold.  She's shy and has a majorly difficult time even ordering food from the wait staff at resturants.  But when people ask her why we are going to Romania she boldly says, "To tell the kids there about Jesus."  There's not a hint of embarassment or shyness in her when she says that.  That's some big stuff right there. 


The key to international travel is coffee, my friends.  Lots of it.



We found a lovely sitting area that we camped out at while we waited for our flights to Budapest.  LDP_1800aLDP_1800a LDP_1805aLDP_1805a


The one thing you can count on from home will always be Coke.  Going to Africa...Coke.  Going to Europe...Coke.  Going to the Mexico....Coke.  Everywhere I have ever been internationally there has been Coke.  And it makes me insanely happy.  There won't be anything else American, but there will be always be Coke.  We all know of my love affair with Coke.  It's glorious.  Dear CEO of Coca-Cola.  Thank you for being a marketing genius so that every single country has your products. LDP_1808aLDP_1808a


This airport literally looked like the Eataly in Las Vegas.  I loved it.  The prices were about as high.  Two cokes, two bottles of water and a teeny coffee was 19 Euros... LDP_1812aLDP_1812a

We had a four hour layover in Munich before boarding another plane to Budapest.  We needed to hang at the airport for a few hours waiting for the rest of our team to arrive.  The exhaustion set in for Skylar and I needed to buy her a hot chocolate with a shot of espresso in it so she would stay awake and not have jet-lag tomorrow.


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When we finally met up with the majority of our team we grabbed our luggage and jumped in our ginormous van transportation.  I ended up taking a bunch with my iPhone XR because my camera was literally buried at my feet.  The best camera is the one that you have with you!  I can't get them to upload here for some reason though.




(Lacey Dippold Photography) Thu, 13 Jun 2019 10:40:02 GMT
Six Mistakes Every Bride Makes Every bride feels like she is loosing her mind when she is wedding planning.  Once the big day is here it feels even more chaotic and intense.  Throughout my years as a photographer I have seen many different brides handle situations differently.  I've compiled a list of different things I've seen through the years that might help you as a bride.  These are the six biggest things that are overlooked while wedding planning that if planned for properly can ease your day and make it memorable and less stressful!  And we all know what happens when a bride is over stressed!


Here's a bride that was not over stressed and had a gorgeous wedding day, complete with her puppies!



Mistake 1: Not hiring her photographer early enough in her planning process.

You'll see in mistake 2 why this is so important.  Those key details of your wedding revolve directly around Mistake 2.



Mistake 2: Not coordinating with your photographer for the best time of day for bridal portraits.

When a bride meets with me for her consultation, my first question is ALWAYS what look she wants for her bridal portraits.  I show her samples of different lighting situations to see which one she likes best.  Sometimes they don't have a preference or they trust me to come up with what they are looking for.  I have a distinct style that most of my clients seek me out for and they also want that on their wedding day.  This right here sets the scene for the entire rest of the wedding day.  This is why it's so important not to make Mistake 1.  If you wait too long, your venue, reception, wedding invitations, cake delivery times and everything else needs to be adjusted or you have to give up your ideal lighting situation.



Mistake 3: Not creating a functional timeline for her wedding day.

My next question after we determine what look she wants for her bridal portraits is now her wedding timeline.  I will create a draft timeline based upon what I need to photograph and go over that with my bride.  Every detail of what I need to photograph is accounted for.  Her detail shots?  Accounted for.  Groom getting ready?  On the timeline.  First look?  On the timeline.  Once this is created, it's very simple and easy for her and her coordinator to plan everything else.  They can easily coordinate bridal party and family and locations simply and quickly based upon the timeline I create for photography.  This ensures that the bride doesn't try to cram more into her day than absolutely necessary.  Being too busy is the killer of joy.




Mistake 4: Not having a wedding planner or day of coordinator.

This is absolutely necessary.  There's different levels of wedding planning as far as how detailed you want your planner to get.  Hire one that can meet you exactly where you want her.  A wedding planner will get all those pesky details in line and planned for instead of you having to remember every detail, every plan, every decoration choice.  She handles it all so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your wedding day.  Any question from vendors, bridal party and coordinating family all get run through her.  This means trying to get family in one place for setting up and getting ready is NOT handled by the bride.  It also means the mother of the bride and groom do not have to meet this need either.  They can enjoy being together with all the ladies and instead of running around planning details. 



Mistake 5: Not bringing a set of your bridal suite to your wedding.

These make excellent props to tell your story in photography.  This is not necessary but it brings a personal touch to your wedding album when the invitations and response cards are styled perfectly to match your wedding. 



Mistake 6: Not being organized in your entire day, including how decorations are stored and where they need to go.

A lack of organization, no matter where it happens to be, is begging for chaos to follow.  Being organized for your coordinator is key and so important.  When you can't find the information needed for your vendors quickly it's bad news.  Have everything neatly organized in boxes labeled with numbers and then have a key matching those numbers so you know exactly what's in each box and where it needs to go.   Have a binder or planner set up with all the details needed and give to your coordinator and she will handle everything else!




(Lacey Dippold Photography) Wed, 01 May 2019 02:34:52 GMT
2019/2020 Travel Dates Travel is in my bones.  I have such a hard time being home for a long length of time.  I love taking my family out and exploring a new place.  It's exhilerating and sings to me like a Siren.  I do have some pretty awesome travel dates for the next few years and I will be keeping this list updated as much as possible.  If you are hoping for a session in one of these destinations, please contact me sooner than later to arrange a time for you.




Feb 2019 - Las Vegas, NV

Mar 2019 - Las Cruces, NM

Apr 2019 - Nashville, TN

Jun/Jul 2019 - Budapest, Hungary & Romania

Jul/Aug 2019 - Michigan

Aug 2019 - Lima & Cusco, Peru

Dec 2019 - New York City, NY



Jan 2020 - Nashville, TN

Feb 2020 - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Feb 2020 - Las Vegas, NV

Mar 2020 - Las Cruces, NM

Apr 2020 - Sedona, AZ

Jun 2020 - Paris, Switzerland, Italy

Jul 2020 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Sep 2020 - Iceland



Costa Rica


Some of these destinations, I will not be accepting sessions.  In Iceland we will be having our vow renewal celebrating seventeen years of marriage, so I will not be accepting any sessions.  Although I know I am going to die to shoot here.  I may just have to dress up my girls and scour the island!  I will be accepting a few more vacation sessions in the fall of 2019 and all of 2020.  If you'd like me to tag along with you on a day of your family vacation, please be sure to give me three months notice for domestic travel and six months for international travel.




(Lacey Dippold Photography) Thu, 18 Apr 2019 23:36:47 GMT
Hustle & Hearth Retreat Recap Since last Wednesday, my head is reeling with the events of the past week.  My days were filled with gorgeous styled sessions, wonderful models, photographers from all over the US and Canada, great food, amazing light, incredible bonding time and a chance to fill that deep call in us to connect to people who truly "get" us.  Photographers and creatives are strange ducks.  We have truly weird quirks about us that make us unique and crazy and sometimes hard for the average Joe to take in.  But when you are surrounded by others just like you, in an environment specifically curated for you to thrive and shine, something truly magical happens.  You wake up exhausted and refreshed at the same time, ready to take on the world.  That is what is waiting for you at the Hustle & Hearth Retreat.  Mahlia went above and beyond with her team, vendors and creatives to create styled sessions, campfire teaching and an setting that helps creatives thrive.


I struggled with really how to write this blog post.  I debated on how my audience would want to read about this trip.  Would they want it like my travel blog where I describe in detail where we went, what we ate, where we shot and all the little details...or...would they want to really hear the heart and soul of what this retreat was.  I decided on the latter and deleted nearly everything I had already typed.  Something like this is a bit different than my travel blog and needs to be told differently.  I opted to share a few photos from the things we did that truly show what this was like and to skip a bunch of details.


My dad flew out with me for a sort of mini vacation out of Cheyenne for the week.  We escaped another bomb cyclone snow storm in Colorado and Wyoming again.  Literally the same day that we flew out.  When I went to New Mexico the same exact thing happened.  I promise you, it's not my fault.  Before he dropped me off to my retreat house, we knew some local food needed to be on the menu.  We opted for Hattie B's Hot Chicken that a local very enthusiastically suggested that we hit.



The opportunities to bond with other creatives was amazing!  We had a fantastic time filming for the Hustle & Hearth marketing video while we enjoyed each other's company over to catered family style dinner on the rooftop, FIVE FLOORS up.

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The next morning we were up early to head over to a wedding styled session with some pretty amazing vendors!  Hustle & Hearth designed and planned everything with their team and it was spectacular!  Food was Raelene with Chef Penelope.  Wedding cake by Katelin Hayes Desserts.  Noah Liff Opera Center was our stunning venue.  The three string music was provided by Viva La Strings Nashville.  Wedding planner is Weddings and Events by Raina.  The Artisan Abode, Allen Make Art painted a fabulous painting during this event of the venue and wedding.  Fresh by Carryann.  Hello Beautiful.  Tennessee Event Designs.   White Room Formal.  Her Signature Events.  The Black Tux.  Center of the Table.  Rings by Bethany Crandell.  Concoctions Bartending. 


While I choose not to be a primarily wedding photographer, I looked at this day like the greatest hands on learning event ever.  I shoot weddings and I feel that I am pretty good at them.  I prefer to have a rowdy little one with his family or a glowing pregnant mama in front of my lens.  But, there is always a place to learn and grow and get better.  I've shot LOTS of weddings but there was still a few things at this that I did not know which was awesome!!  I love to learn and grow and I wanted to be able to offer a better experience for those few brides that I do work with so I dove right in with both feet!



After dinner Mahlia had planned a sweet little family session in downtown Nashville.  I taught this one as well and it was so much fun!!  This little family was so sweet and the pedestrian bridge that we shot it at was stunning!



The next morning was a busy day of an early morning mural tour around downtown Nashville, some sight seeing at the Parthenon of Nashville and downtown Broadway.  It was filled with artists, food and live music!  Treats abounded here and I was in love with all the things we could do here!


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This man right here....I waited to save his story for my blog instead of social media.  Of all the things that we shot and experienced in Nashville, this homeless man, James, turned my world upside down.  I came out of a shop and saw him sitting here and it literally took my breath away.  I told my dad to hang back and that I wanted to grab a photo of this man.  I walked up to him, sat down right in front of him and chatted with him.  I told him, "Sir, you are the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen.  Do you mind if I take a photo of you?  You are absolutely perfect."  He had those eyes that sparkled and shook when he talked and never once let go of eye contact with me.  I find that it's rare that anyone can lock eyes with another person and actually carry on a conversation with them.  The confidence this man had when he said, "Sure baby.  I don't mind at all."  He rocked my insides.  He had such deep eyes.  Those ones that you can see their soul dancing right there on the surface as they stare back at you. 


That night I was teaching my specialty, maternity.  I had planned this amazing boho styled session and the Hustle & Hearth team NAILED my vision. Sew Trendy Accessories were kind enough to sponsor my sessions!  This gown and crown, as well as the body suit and crown for my milk bath, were provided by Sew Trendy!  If you get the opportunity to work with one of their gowns, you will be amazed at their quality! 




I was stunned how well put together the entire retreat was.  Every detail was planned.  Every model, outfit, vendor and outfit were perfectly styled, coordinated and flowed perfectly.  The amount of content that poured out of every moment of each day was unreal.  The next day, I was teaching a nursing milk bath session.  We were able to repurpose florals from other sessions and bring new life to something that was only used once.


We also shot a styled triple senior session taught by Karen Shoufler out of Illinois!  It was just gorgeous!!!

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So, in hindsight, would I attend another retreat by Hustle & Hearth???  Yes.  Yes, I would.  I plan on teaching at their next on in November or January and I will keep you updated as that pans out.  If you are a creative, you will not want to miss this opportunity to attend their retreat.  They call to LOTS of different genres of creatives so get in touch with Mahlia to see where you fit!


This retreat was stuffed full of excellent food, quality bonding and teaching times as well as some steller sessions to add content to your portfolio that is unique and new.  Don't miss your chance to be a part of this too!

(Lacey Dippold Photography) Thu, 18 Apr 2019 22:37:45 GMT
What is a Vacation Photographer? LDP_8103aLDP_8103a


What really is a vacation photographer?

This is actually one of my very favorite aspects of photography.  I really love being able to document a family during a day of their vacation and having each and every family member in the images.  I think the worst part of family vacations for me is not being in hardly any of the photos.  And if I am in them, it's usually a cell phone where printing them is limited to poor quality and small prints, poor color and quality and rough angles.  It's the most disappointing part of vacations for me.  I feel like I've spent all this money on a glorious vacation and I'm in zero photos with my family.  It's heartbreaking.  Don't let this be your experience. 

So what do I do for you?

I spend an entire day with your family and document every single thing you do with each other that day.  A day at the beach, mountain climbing, snorkeling, anything that you love to do!  Every single person is in these images!  Put your camera down for one whole day and just soak in all those lovely people around you that you love so much.  I arrive shortly after breakfast and accompany you wherever your family is headed that day.  For example, let's say you just booked me to attend a day in Hawaii with your family.  Once I have arrived, you have a glass bottom boat tour scheduled.  I would come with you and capture the wonder in those little faces and the excitement of the adventure!!  After the boat tour, we would wander down to town for some lunch.  Your small child asks for conch fritters and I get to document every silly face they make once it is presented at their table.  The laughter is captured, the memories are preserved. And the best part, you are actually IN these photos with your children and family.  After lunch, you decide a day at the beach is a must.  We get changed and head down to the water.  My gear is in a waterproof case and documents your daughter surfing for the first time ever.  Her instructor teaches her how to take her surfboard under the waves and it's all captured in pristine detail under the water, bubbles trailing from her face and a big grin is captured for all time all because you booked me, your destination adventure photographer.  Your son finds a bizarre crab and is completely enamored by it for several minutes.  You and your husband play in the water together and the laughter is infectious.  And there's me, capturing your husband looking at you like you are the only one in the world at that exact moment.  All of these are moments that you would not be able to be fully present with because you are trying to take your own photos while enjoying your vacation.  When the sun starts to fade, we shoot an entire family session on the beach.  The sun kissed skin and salty hair look just so perfect on the backdrop of the ocean.  Dinner showcases a traditional Hawaiian dance with your meal.  The fire dancers and your memories are locked safe in photographs for you to hand down to your children and grandchildren all because you decided to book me for your vacation.  These sessions are once in a lifetime and are only available with three months notice. 


What's included?

For a flat rate fee, you will receive:

  • a day in your life completely and professionally documented
  • a family session at the location of your choice
  • at least 200 professionally retouched images to share on social media with watermarks
  • a 10x10 silk album with 80 images
  • photographer's travel fees

To receive a quote please contact me with your travel dates, your family's resort or lodging information and destination. I will send you a quote with 24 hours.  Vacation sessions require a consultation, a planning appointment as well as an ordering session.  I want every detail to be planned for you and perfect.

(Lacey Dippold Photography) Wed, 20 Mar 2019 17:30:00 GMT
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Everybody loves cupcakes!!!  Especially my famous Moscato Cupcakes!!  (Cupcakes are family safe) Skylar and I are selling these cupcakes to raise money for our Romania trip in June!  You can read about the trip and why we are going here.  We still have $4000 to raise and we need your support to make that happen!  We are taking orders for these amazing cupcakes until April 15th.  So order your cupcakes here and we will hand deliver them to you!





Your order will be ready for pick up on April 20th for delivery or pick up.  Delivery must be local to Cheyenne, WY.  The last day to order will be on April 15th.

(Lacey Dippold Photography) Tue, 19 Mar 2019 19:24:51 GMT
Romania Mission Trip It's no secret that I love traveling and photography.  But what I love more is impacting the world for a greater purpose.  Last November I was contacted by Global Encounters and was told that I had been accepted for a trip to Romania.  In this trip I will be teaching the local gypsy kids photography.  We will be using photography as a way to teach them about the saving grace of Jesus and using this to help them see themselves as loved and cherish by a big God.  I will also be photographing the entire time so I will be able to keep you guys updated right here on my blog.



These kids are living in the slums of Romania and often treated as the unwanted of the Romanian culture.  They are suffering and hurting.  We are bringing them the message that they are not unwanted, unloved or less than human.  We are bringing them hope, joy and help.


And a voice.


Many people who live in conditions like this feel helpless and as if they don't matter, that their existence is going unnoticed by the world.  By sharing their stories, their lives and their hope, we are giving them a voice.  A voice to be heard.  A voice that says, "I matter.  I am important and I am loved." 



We are working directly with the gypsy children in Romania.  And I have the enormous honor of being able to bring my thirteen year old daughter with me on this trip.  I am praying for a soul-opening experience for her and for each and every one of the children she gets to minister to while we are there.  I strongly believe that we live in a world where we have a responsibility and an honor to serve the world in some way.  I feel called to minister in this way.  My heartbreaks at the thought that there is a single person in this world who doesn't think they have value, a purpose and a strength. 


But we can't get there without your support.  I have several ways that you can help.


First, you can donate directly using this link.


You can book a mini session here.






(Lacey Dippold Photography) Tue, 19 Mar 2019 19:23:44 GMT
{ m } maternity: fort collins premier maternity photographer When this sweet little mama came into the studio for her consultation, I knew she was going to be just stunning for her session.  My make up artist is Careyenne Knepp of Luxury Lab, LLC and she does a stunning job every single time.  My gorgeous mama is wearing three gowns by Sew Trendy Accessories.  I chose this location when we got snowed out last weekend.  My clients wanted mountains and golden hour and we made it happen.  It was gorgeous today but we also got tons of mud because of the snow that was dumped on us last weekend. 




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(Lacey Dippold Photography) Mon, 11 Mar 2019 03:03:49 GMT
{ n } family: fort collins family photographer I always love it when I get families ready for adventure.  This family was just that.  Her boys were so respectful and listened very well but we also had some great times adevnture-ing climbing all over the rocks, snow and mud.  And yes, I wore Tieks.  I loved every second of this session!  Her youngest kept begging me to go down to the lake and I politely declined.  The trail up is very difficult and I didn't want to die right before my nest session.  We did go down a little bit and when we were hiking back up he was breathless and begged his mama to carry him.  We all had a giggle over that!

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(Lacey Dippold Photography) Mon, 11 Mar 2019 01:31:53 GMT
Michigan Dates Once again I am headed to Michigan this summer!  I love being able to come back to my roots and work in the mitten!  I have some special collections available just for my Michigan clients!  I will be staying close to the East Lansing area and working with some beautiful locations.  I will be bringing my boutique gowns back with me on a client by client basis.  Please contact me in order to choose and reserve your time in my calendar.

Special Pricing & Collections!

Beautiful summer sessions right in Michigan! 

  • Sessions start at $350 and include 20 digital images
  • Locations in MSU campus and McCurdy Park in Corunna
  • August 3rd-5th only

To get more information please contact me!



(Lacey Dippold Photography) Thu, 07 Mar 2019 15:00:00 GMT