Lisa and Peter Marshall first met Matt, the husband half of Allison Ragsdale Photography, when he was teaching math at the Durango High School. As a freshman, their oldest daughter, Colin, was shy. Lisa knew she was a good student, but had concerns about her socially. “I remember going to my first conference and sitting down with Matt,” Lisa shared. “I asked how she was doing, socially, and he just looked at me like I was crazy.”

She found out that Colin talked nonstop in class. “It made me feel good that she felt that comfort level with him to have those interactions and come out of her shell,” shared Lisa, who has three daughters and one son. “Matt had great relationships with the kids, even if he didn’t have them all in class.”

Two years later, Colin applied for the Allison Ragsdale Photography Senior Model Program. Through the program, during their senior year, students are the face of Allison Ragsdale Photography online and in their community while they model for new location shoots, portfolio building and collaborative projects and are featured on prints and canvases locally and nationally. In addition to the business cards they can hand out with their images printed on them, they receive various other perks, such as points that can be applied to prints or other products.

Colin’s participation in the Senior Model Program began a life-long friendship. “I don’t consider them photographers who work for me. I really consider them our friends,” shared Lisa. “The photos are so beautiful, but what’s more important to me is that they bring out a very natural beauty in my children. The pictures I love aren’t standard pictures of them for their senior photos. They’re looking down. They’re looking away. That’s what I love. They’re the moments we’re going to cherish forever.”

Originally published in the August 2015 edition of Durango Neighbors Magazine.

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