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Instagram Influencer, IG OG & Photographer, Abigail LaFleur-Shaffer

Article by Layne Elizabeth

Photography by Abigail LaFleur-Shaffer

Originally published in Cherry Creek Lifestyle

Abigail LaFleur-Shaffer's (@abi.lafleur) rise to Instagram fame came as a complete shock as she began posting photos of Kodiak (@kodiak_thebeardog) and Kuma (@kuma_thehuskybear) at the suggestion of a friend, who encouraged her to post some of her favorite photos online so her family and friends could keep up with the dogs’ many adventures. 

She never expected their Instagram's to blow up as they did, she just saw this as a way to showcase the fun that she had with Kodi and Kuma. Now, Kodiak has 33.6k followers, and Kuma has a whopping 58.2k loyal fans.  

When Abi is not up in the mountains hiking, backpacking or rock climbing with her two dogs, Kodiak and Kuma, she works as an amazing photographer, partnering with brands and non-profits to shoot catalogs, design entire magazines and work on covers for various publications. Being a photographer has given Abi, Kodi and Kuma all the ability to live their best lives exploring the mountains. And while being a photographer and working on Instagram can be stressful at times, Abi said, “I’m just riding the wave, and so far the wave has been good to me. Who knows how long this is all going to be around, so there is no reason to stress over it.”

Here's a sample of what it's like in the day of the life of three Instagram influencers. 

6:00 AM Wake up to a staring and/or talking Kuma.

6:01 AM Tell him to go back to bed, and I roll over to a snuggling Kodi.

6:15 AM Pull myself out of bed, throw on running shoes and leash up Kuma.

7:00 AM Kuma and I return from a quick run (high energy dog needs exercise always).

8:00 AM Showered, feed Kodi and Kuma, then coffee, work, coffee, work and more coffee.

10:00 AM Emails answered, Kuma lying on his back on the floor.

10:01 AM Kodi lays his head on my lap, begging for belly rubs while I respond to Instagram messages/comments and get ready to post that day’s photo.

11:00 AM Work for the day done, time to adventure.

11:30 AM Packs packed, dogs ecstatic, meet up with our best human friend, Kait and our best dog friends, Cooper and Pip.

11:50 AM We hit the road.

1:00 PM Windows down, singing Beyonce at the top of our lungs.

2:30 PM Arrive at the trailhead, an antsy dog pack ready to hit the trail.

3:45 PM Find a creek to play in, take off our packs, snack and take photos of wildflowers.

4:45 PM Find the perfect base camp spot, set up tent.

5:30 PM Check out the alpine lake, play fetch with Kodi and his favorite stick in the lake, and filter water for dinner later.

6:30 PM Light the stove, ready for grub!

7:15 PM Time to explore a little more, bring my camera along to capture photos of the dogs wrestling and exploring the backcountry.

8:45 PM Back at camp.

9:15 PM All exhausted, time to snooze.

3:00 AM Wake up, daypacks ready, dogs pushing noses against tent door ready to be let out.

5:00 AM Paws and boots reach the summit.

5:30 AM Watch the sunrise, all of us in awe of the view, wrapped in layers because it’s freezing or windy, sitting next to Kodi and Kuma and our best friends, smiling and thankful to be alive.

6:00 AM Hike down, nap in a field of wildflowers, Kodi and Kuma as my pillows, and then coffee, always coffee.