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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kirsten’s Very Own Collards It’s taken about a year for me to perfect this recipe. I personally am not a HUGE bacon fan and I don’t particularly like it in collards, so after many many trial runs, I have FINALLY found a combination that makes a really rocking Vegetarian Collards dish. What you’ll need: 1 bunch of local [...]
Thank you so much for stopping by to the most fun blog in all of Cyberworld, at least that’s what my mother tells me. It’s here that you will find anything and everything you might want to know about me, my work and my services. I have recently added several galleries just for your perusing of some of my most favorite weddings of all time. There is also a section now dedicated to my most favorite vendors to work with, so you can feel confident in choosing awesome people that make me really happy. There is a handful of helpful information in the, wait for it, INFO section . . . . so clever, huh? And, because more than likely you are super far away from me, I have also included a visual guidebook, so to speak, to all the products that I offer. Please feel free to spend some time in the section directly above all of this gibberish. It’s here that you will find all sorts of interesting facts, stories and favorite recipes of mine, because in my kitchen I am Julia, Rachel and Giada. If you have any questions, comments or are interested in booking a session with me, by all means shoot me an email at email@example.com
A week after Thanksgiving Greg and I were on the east coast visiting family and friends. While we were staying with our very good friend Sara in the Outer Banks, she told us the story of a sorority sister of hers whose three year old daughter was fighting a brain tumor. My heart immediately sank [...]7 comments view
A week after Thanksgiving Greg and I were on the east coast visiting family and friends. While we were staying with our very good friend Sara in the Outer Banks, she told us the story of a sorority sister of hers whose three year old daughter was fighting a brain tumor. My heart immediately sank as the reality of Sophie’s situation seemed imminent. As someone who has suffered significant loss, I know how much I cherish the photographs I have of those loved ones of mine who have passed on. I got right on the computer and asked Sara to direct me to her friend Jenna’s blog and FaceBook page. As I began reading the story through her words, I realized that they lived in Charlottesville and I was already planning on being in that town later the following week. I penned a short letter to Jenna explaining who I was and that I wanted to offer her family a Day In The Life Session for free. I wasn’t sure if I would hear back, but I knew that I had to at least try. Within 3 days there was an email back from her, thanking me for the offer but that Sophie was beginning to really struggle with her motor skills and functioning, so a full day was probably going to be too stressful for her. However, Jenna suggested I stop by right after dinner for about an hour, when Sophie was usually at her best. We planned for a night that worked for us all and I was really anxious to meet this amazing family.
Jenna has filled her home with so much love, the air inside their walls feels good to breathe in. I felt warm, safe and instantly welcomed into their lives even though we had never met before. Jenna, her husband Laith and I revisited their college days as they shared with me their story of playing a little hard to get, or aloof, however you want to take it. Their love story made me smile a big smile and we laughed a lot as they each shared a somewhat different viewpoint of who courted whom. Their son Lucas guided me through the living room train tracks to the small table where he and Sophie were making Playdough pancakes. As I began making pictures, I reminded myself of how important they were. I just wanted to document how much love I was feeling in the room.
As a photographer, I will share that the latter half of the shoot was very difficult and required me to practice all of the skills I have been taught from all my amazing photojournalism mentors over the years. Because Sophie was in pain, her tolerance of the camera only lasted about 20 minutes before she became very upset by it. The last thing in the world I wanted to do was make her feel uncomfortable in any way. So I had to be patient. And quiet. Observant. And kind. I had to move slowly and know when to remove my camera or even myself from her line of sight. At the same time, I knew that Jenna REALLY wanted photos of bedtime, so I had to do so with the utmost respect and consideration for Sophie and her comfort. The wonderful thing about all of it was, that I had this incredible honor of witnessing this very sacred ritual of bedtime. Where the whole family reads together, but then it’s just Daddy and Sophie time, Jenna and Lucas time. How lucky I was that they invited me to be a part of that. All the more reason why it was so so important to me that I document it for them.
I quietly let myself out after Jenna soaked me into her hug, thanking me over and over again. All I could think was, “These children are so lucky to have Jenna as a Mom.” If I can make my own children feel the way she made me feel, I will be a successful parent. She was beaming sunshine even in such a difficult time in her life. I teared up as I climbed back down the stairs, trying ever so hard not to creek the old wood steps as my shoeless feet passed over. I took about ten minutes to document and absorb all of the details circling me. Jenna is a beautiful photographer. She had a successful business up until Sophie’s diagnosis, and left it all behind to care for her daughter. But her photos are so full of life. I have always said that I just want a picture to make me FEEL something. This is what her pictures do. Her walls are covered with photographs of her family, her children at their happiest times. I told her that I do hope, in time, she returns to her camera. When she is ready. Because she is so gifted.
It is with a very heavy heart that I say Sophie passed away on Sunday. I received a message from Jenna late last night. And I cried. For Jenna. For Laith. For Lucas. And for Sophie, whose wonderful spirit was the heart and smile of her parents.
I have decided to contact the Children’s Hospital of Colorado here in Denver and offer to any of the patient’s families A Sophie Session. They are mini Day In The Life Sessions, completely free of charge, to any other families who find themselves in the same situation as Jenna’s. My only hope is that I can bring a small amount of comfort to not only the Vincents, but to other families out there whose children are fighting terminal illness.
If you are interested in reading Sophie’s story, here is a link to Jenna’s blog.
Here is their slideshow, if you would like to see more pictures from their session.
To Jenna, Laith, Lucas and Sophie: My life is forever changed because of how much you love each other. May I be half the Mom you are Jenna. My heart cries for each one of you.
Kate Mefford Proud of you and your big heart, Kiki! Love you! (January 01, 2014 03:09 am)Elizabeth Lloyd Kirsten, thank you for being you. The Vincent family's story is heartbreaking and my heart truly goes out to them. Thank you for giving them this gift. Thank you for giving them love and allowing us to care for them. You are a wonderful human being. (January 03, 2014 06:16 pm)
Elizabeth Lloyd Thank you, Kirsten. Thank you for giving the Vincent family this gift, for giving them love, for allowing us to love them and care for them. Your strength and thoughtfulness even in very delicate situations is a special gift. (January 03, 2014 06:31 pm)Lindsay Pierce Oh Kirsten - your love is so rich and profound and your heart shows through your work. These photos are beautiful. What a beautiful family. (January 29, 2014 05:31 pm)
katherine emery This is simply beautiful. And heartbreaking. I'm grateful that Jenna, Laith, Lucas and Sophie trusted you to capture their family, and their world of love. Thank you for sharing this, so I might think of them too. (February 26, 2014 05:13 am)McKenzie Oh my heart Kirsten. Love. (February 26, 2014 07:51 pm)
I just taught a wonderful documentary family photography class in CANADA! After spending a 2 days with 2 different families in Canmore and Edmonton, I was invited to work with an amazing group of Alberta photographers. I had such a great time meeting each and every one of them, not only sharing all the tricks [...]1 comment view
I just taught a wonderful documentary family photography class in CANADA! After spending a 2 days with 2 different families in Canmore and Edmonton, I was invited to work with an amazing group of Alberta photographers. I had such a great time meeting each and every one of them, not only sharing all the tricks I know for working with families but I learned so much myself. Here are some of the pictures I made with my beautiful model family.