I am so thankful to have gained a great network, close friends, and amazing training from getting my degree in Commercial Photography at Appalachian State University.  Four years of learning with the same wonderful people allowed us to develop our skills both individually and as a team.  We worked long, hard nights shooting in the studio, spent many weekends assisting each other on location, lugged heavy and expensive equipment we would never be able to afford on our own before becoming professionals, and long hours staring at photoshop sometimes wanting to just throw the computer across the room.  At the time we questioned why our professors were putting us through days of creative strain, but now I know why.  They pushed us to learn, to grow, and develop together..harder than we ever would have pushed ourselves individually.  Not only did I gain a degree from Appalachian, I also gained a family.  Many of those family members are following the commercial path in the big apple, some are making epic video art and music production videos in California, others are editing wizards in Seattle, and some are living their dream as portrait photographers/owning their own business.  However, these categories do not cover us all. I find it absolutely amazing that Melissa Malouff and I are living in Denver, Colorado because we know that being near a big city is a great benefit for our photography businesses, but our hearts live in the mountains (Rocky Mountains Specifically).  Just a year ago we were sitting beside each other in portfolio class and now we are across the country collaborating on head shots for our social media and business websites.  I am amazed at how far we have come and I look forward to continue growing with her support in Colorado.  It makes such a huge difference having one of your photography family members in the same city- where you can share hardships, joys, and life! Please check out the head shots we made of each other in Sunken Gardens park! Though the wind was insane, we had a great time doing what we do best while enjoying each others company.  Creating beautiful imagery together is something I will always cherish with Melissa.  View her website here: http://weddings.audreyphotography.com