• soup
  • lightning
  • britt
  • innertomboy
  • dad
  • ani
  • dancer
  • mingus&me
  • myla
  • banana
  • moist
  • snorkel
  • decaf
  • cake
  • mormor
  • goonies
  • movin
  • benjamin
  • flagtag
  • adventure
  • girlfriends
  • rapper
  • biker
  • happy
  • firefighter
  • worms
  • mom
more facts?

soup Fact 55: I am admittedly addicted to soup.

lightning Fact 731: I have an irrational fear of being struck by lightning. Not only that, I know 2 people who actually have been struck and it scares the living ‘bejesus outta me!

britt Fact 601: The tattoo on the inside of my left arm is a Quaking Aspen tree that I drew in honor of my brother who past away in August of 2004. They are indigenous to Lake Tahoe, Ca where he lived and worked as an Emergency EMT for almost 20 years. And just for the record, “Yes! It took over 2 hours and hurt like hell but I never cried.”

inner tomboy Fact 8: I embrace my inner tomboy.

dad Fact 61: My sister and I are my father’s two favorite things.

ani Fact 777: Our two cats have lived in 3 different states and 2 different countries making them more well traveled than some humans we know!

dancer Fact 4: Aside from being an artist and photographer, I am also a dancer.  I began studying as a young child and by age 16 was performing several times a year in all genres of dance including tap, jazz, ballet, point and international folk.  I even performed with CARNIVALE! in Walt Disney World in 1993.   As an adult I have focused my studies on Latin American Ballroom and it continues to be my favorite of all the dance I have done.

mingus Fact 32: All of my pets are named after famous musicians. My two cats are named Ani (after Ani Difranco) and Myla (after Miles Davis). The newest addition is our English Cream Golden Retriever. We named him Mingus after Charles Mingus, a jazz bassist.

myla Fact 8: My cat Myla loves when I sing Opera to her. It’s like I am the pied piper, whenever I begin to sing she has to find me and crawl up onto my chest, regardless of where she is or what she is doing.

banana Fact 12: I am allergic to all tropical fruits that contain tiny black edible seeds in them as well as mango.  They cause me to go into respiratory distress.  Thankfully I can eat pineapples, my favorite fruit.

moist Fact 3: My least favorite word in the English language is moist. I hate it. It makes me squirm when others say it, when advertising uses it or if I can’t find another word to use in lieu of it.

snorkle Fact 760: Originally, I wanted to become a Marine Biologist.  Because I tested at a certain level, as a kid I had the opportunity to study with Project Oceanology and The Mystic Marine life Aquarium in Connecticut, where I am from, all the way through high school.  At age 16 I traveled all the way to Belize to help assist researchers on a Dolphin and Reef research project.  To this day my love for marine life is ever-present.

decaf Fact 19: I have been caffeine free for almost 14 years. It causes me to have hospitalizing panic attacks, so I’ve never tried Jager Bombs or a good ole’ Absolute and Red Bull. You will, on occasion catch me sipping on a decaf hazelnut coffee, and sneaking a Reese Cup but only in very small doses.

cake Fact 49: My favorite part of the reception is the wedding cake. Aside from an all-chocolate one, I ALWAYS make time to sit down and eat cake. And for the record, my two favorites are Carrot and Key Lime.

mormor Fact 82: My Mormor and her friend Gloria have been best friends for 60 years.  They met in grade school and still spend time together at least once a week.  They have taught me the meaning of friendship and I long to have that when I am old.

goonies Fact 12: My favorite movie of all time is the Goonies.  I have watched it more than I have watched any other movie.  There were actually several cuts of the film and I have seen them all, my favorite being the original version.

movin’ Fact 322: Since turning 19 years old I have lived in Connecticut, California, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Jalisco (Mexico) and Parana (Brasil).

benjamin Fact 61: My 7-year-old nephew is my favorite person to get into trouble with.

flugtag Fact 1977: In 2003 I competed in Red Bull’s international competition called FLUGTAG. Teams from all over the world submit blueprints to build and attempt to fly non-powered flying machines. My team was invited to compete in the event that took place in New York City. We did not win.

adventure Fact 1: I am always planning a trip to discover a place I’ve never been before.  Since I was 16 I have been traveling, independently, Internationally and I only hope the adventures become more and more exciting as the years pass.

girlfriends Fact 2000: I never laugh as hard as I do with my girlfriends. They are my chosen family.

rapper’ Fact 128: I know every word to the songs Shoop, Parent’s Just Don’t Understand, Paul Revere and Bust-A-Move. I can be caught singing them in any public setting if they can be heard playing in the background.

biker Fact 100: Although I loved riding my bike as a kid it wasn’t until just recently that I have rediscovered those amazing inventions that balance on two wheels. In the summer I try to bike at least 10 miles every other day.

happy Fact 273: I have worked for many years on finding my inner strength and loving who I have become in the process.  As a result I have found a resounding happiness.  I remember to smile every day, sometimes all day long.  

firefighter Fact 27: I once helped saved people from a burning building.  My friend and I were driving through the city when we noticed a couch on fire on someone’s porch.  She kicked in the door and rescued the people inside while I stayed on the phone with 911 until help arrived.  Within 4 minutes the entire building was up in flames.

worms Fact 326: I once competed in CBR, a cross-country scavenger hunt that is filmed from beginning to end.  During one of my challenges I had to eat 4 live crickets, 2 live earthworms and whale blubber.  For the record I won that event!

mom Fact 58: My mother loves me unconditionally ever though I’ve been driving her nuts since birth!

!!That damn bird just won't shut up!! No public Twitter messages. follow me

GIVE WHITE AND KHAKI THE FINGER:  A DOCUMENTARY APPROACH TO FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY March 7 & 8, 2013 Use the link above to sign up!!! WPPI’s Official Announcement * MY WPPI STORY Being given a chance to teach one of only 4 PLUS classes this year at WPPI is truly an honor and I cannot be [...]

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March 7 & 8, 2013

Use the link above to sign up!!!

WPPI’s Official Announcement



Being given a chance to teach one of only 4 PLUS classes this year at WPPI is truly an honor and I cannot be more excited to be a part of this amazing photo conference.  It’s still a little surreal considering I am in awe the other 3 photographers who are teaching, Marcus Bell, Cliff Mautner and Bambi Cantrell, however I am confident and excited to add a new creative voice to the portrait world and can’t wait to meet all of my students!   I never would’ve thought 4 years ago, as I attended WPPI for the first time, that I would have all of the opportunities that I have had since that first 5 days in Vegas.  My second year, I competed in the FINAO WPPI Scavenger hunt with dear friends and incredible photographers Elizabeth Lloyd, Olivia Vale and Kathryn Kreuger.  Not only did we compete, WE WON!!!  You can our winning stop motion video HERE!

The following year, I submitted a proposal to Photographer’s Ignite.  I never thought, in a million years, that I would be one of the few photographers to speak.  But I was!  It was honestly one of the hardest, most challenging and rewarding speaking experience of my life.  You can watch my Photographer’s Ignite presentation from 2011 HERE!

Last year, not only did I return to Photographer’s Ignite but the wonderful folks at my printing company PRO DPI invited me to speak at their booth.  I was beyond humbled when the public requested that I come back and speak later in the week.  It was so much fun!



~A long time ago someone, somewhere, declared, “And we, as a family, shall all wear matching outfits and get a perfect picture taken next to a fountain by the beach. And this shall become the rule for all family pictures, for all families, for all time.” Kirsten Lewis knows this all too well; seven years ago, she moved her business to the Outer Banks (the capital of white and khaki beach portraits), where on a 100-mile-long island, 52 photographers are all photographing the same thing in the same way. Learn how she carved her way through a mountain of photographers to become the most in-demand shooter on the beach by turning her back on conservative, traditional family photography. Lewis will discuss her approach and philosophy behind these unique family shoots in depth, including family, birth and newborn sessions. Day 1 will explore different shooting scenarios, view examples, and review simple techniques and secrets behind making these sessions successful. On Day 2, attendees will step outside the classroom and work one-on-one with different families, using everything they learned the day before. Lewis will demonstrate how she relates to her clients, gains access quickly and creates environments that encourage families to interact with one another. After being out in the field, the group will return to the classroom and edit through what Lewis shot to see her thought process while photographing, her ways of working a scene, and the difference between a photo that works and one that doesn’t.~

In My Own Words:

I am really passionate about documentary photography.  It’s what drives me, makes me want to be a better person as well as a photographer.  I find the most joy when I am photographing people being themselves, when I can show someone how others see them, how much others love them.  Over the years, I have learned how to relate to people in any given situation, simply by being me, asking questions and knowing when to listen.  I’ve learned how to gain trust from clients very quickly and how to submerse myself into an environment where I can be present as a person, yet invisible as a photographer.  I love teaching just as much as I love shooting, I was a kindergarten and first grade teacher many years ago.  I find myself really excited to watch the industry change, I want to see more photographers wanting to photograph real moments and more and more families wanting that in their homes.  I have had the opportunity to teach and speak quite a bit in the past couple of years, from WPPI to The Canada Photo Convention 2012.  I am returning for a second year to the Foundation Workshop to assist as a mentor in Glen Rose, Texas and was recently selected to speak at the Foundation Conference 2013.  In the Outer Banks, I taught both private one on one photography classes as well as group ones for vacationers wanting to learn how to take better pictures of their families and last year teamed up with the highly esteemed photographer Tyler Wirken to teach the first annual Advanced Documentary Family Wirkshop.  What’s so great about the PLUS class is that I have an opportunity to work one on one with a small group of students, for 2 full days and it’s very affordable for those interested as opposed to my previous tuition costs.

  photographing at The Wirkshop 2012   ©Jason Domingues

teaching at The Wirkshop 2012   ©Jason Domingues


“When people tell you to hold on tight to your kids and enjoy them while they are young as the time just flys by and before you know it they will not be kids anymore.   Our two boys are now 5 and 7 and I am starting to understand what those people meant.  They change daily.  Being photographers we do have photos of them in our home showing them at various ages but they are portraits.  They are beautiful images that show what they looked like at age 2 and they show a bit of their personalities but they lack in moments.  They often times felt to perfect.  Very unlike what real life with our boys is like.  Real life is anything but perfect.  However, that is what we love about life with them.  Kirsten spent an entire day with our family from the time we woke up to when we went to bed.  She gave us the gift of freezing time.  The images she made of our family are simple timeless and are packed with more meaning than any portrait could dream of possessing.   Her being present for homework frustration, dinner laughter, hugs, giggles, playtime, and yes timeout not only allowed us to be reminded how wonderful our lives are but more importantly will remind us of these days when those two boys have children of their own.  Knowing that our kids will have a chance to look at these images and not only know who they were as kids but also how much they were and are loved is an incredible gift. “

~Tyler Wirken, photographer


“All the attitude & fearless personality to get the best shots possible is what Kirsten Lewis can transmit & share with all the students. She was a big part of my FW mentors. All the admiration in the world for her.”

~Fer Juaristi, photographer


“Hi Kirstina!
It’s very hard for me to start writing this, mostly because I have no clear idea of what words to use to thank you for what you have done to us with this touching set of photographs.  I just wanted to point out that I have never felt so loved and blessed before as much as I did when I finished watching your slideshow. It’s so hard to describe, me and Vero just stood silent, looking at the screen after it was done, just silent… it was such a powerful moment, so deep and so delicate.  I know I’m a blessed man, but in many was, I wasn’t able to SEE how blessed until I was shown that through your eyes. THANK YOU. Now I know.  You gave me the gift of joy, of love, of hope and many many many more. I will be always in debt with you for this wonderful gift. Thank You.  And by the way, I do know how much I love Isaac, but I was never show how much he loves me back until your magicla photographs came across tonight. I will neverforget this, never. Thank you so so so very much my friend, thank you forever…
Much love:

~Daniel Aguilar, photographer


“Kirsten is a teacher with soul. She isn’t about the pretty, but rather the real, the raw, the emotional. She captures the very essence of those that she photographs, and gives every little part of herself to you as she teaches. I loved her humor and honesty, and the way she genuinely wants to help you succeed.”

~Kate McElwee, photographer


“This document is not from a template. Kirsten is not from a template. In fact, Kirsten pretty much breaks the mold for everything: What a woman is, what wedding photography is, what a daughter is, what family photography is, what a
person is, what caring is, what passion is, what empathy is, what dedication is, what adventure is… You get my drift.  I’m honored beyond words to call Kirsten my teacher, my mentor, my friend. My path in photography is forever changed as the result of her guidance, expertise,
experience and willingness to give 1000% to sharing her passion for photography and teaching.”

~Kip Beelman, photographer


“Kirsten Lewis is a wonderful instructor! Feeling slightly intimidated by the documentary style photography, I hesitantly signed up for the workshop. Knowing all to well that I was going to be in for an eye opening experience! I was pleasantly surprised and delighted with the experience and teaching of Kirsten! Her knowledge and willingness to share it was refreshing! I learned that it’s ok to make mistakes and that you may only get one great shot out of a hundred, but that one is what counts! Getting the perfect shot, and then shooting it to death according to Kirsten! Ever time I am shooting I recall bits and pieces from the workshop that I apply. I look forward to the next workshop i can take from Kirsten!”

~Fiona Grant, photographer



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Elizabeth Lloyd I can't imagine a better teacher or mentor and am so happy to see you on the WPPI plus class roster! (January 24, 2013 06:12 pm)

David Murray You will do wonders. Your personality will draw them in, and your words will inspire them. (January 25, 2013 06:14 pm)

Daniel Stark So rad--I just keep remembering how awesome you were at CPC (January 28, 2013 09:05 pm)

NoBs Webinar and Inferno Video News and Updates | No BS Photo Success [...] Kirsten is a Master Series speaker at WPPI and brings an exciting, fresh new angle to family portrai... [...] (January 29, 2013 06:04 pm)

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// 01.24.2013 // Speaking Engagements and Workshops OPEN THIS POST
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