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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The one thing I really love about photographing Day in the Life sessions, all over the world, is that I get to witness the work and love and patience and creativity and humor that it takes to be a parent. I’ve said this several times, it’s a true honor to have the opportunity to show [...]3 comments view
The one thing I really love about photographing Day in the Life sessions, all over the world, is that I get to witness the work and love and patience and creativity and humor that it takes to be a parent. I’ve said this several times, it’s a true honor to have the opportunity to show parents, Moms especially, how much they love and are loved. McKenzie is no exception. Hailing from a super small town right outside of Omaha, Nebraska, Mckenzie is an extremely talented wedding and portrait photographer at JM Studios. We met while she was one of the students at the Foundation Workshops on Tyler Wirken’s team while I was mentoring. Although she struggled throughout her assignment, she never gave up despite how challenging and frustrating it was. She only allowed herself minutes to feel down before she picked her camera back up smiling from ear to ear. When she contacted me to photograph a day with her and her son Rylan, I had a feeling she was going to be the same type of Mom as she is photographer. No matter how hard raising a son by herself is, she never gives up and does it with a smile on her face. I knew that this is what I wanted to give back to her, in her pictures. We had some down time throughout the shoot where she expressed to me her fear that she isn’t. “doing it right.” That made me so sad but no matter how much I could verbally assure her that she is a really wonderful mother, I knew the best way to convince her was to show her.
Aside from spending hours upon hours getting know this amazing duo, I also had the chance to go to school with Rylan. I cannot tell you how much I love getting to watch and document children away from their parents because I can then give them a glimpse into a world they aren’t otherwise a part of. I also then get a tremendous amount of insight that I can take back to the parents later. The first thing I told McKenzie once the last school bell rang was, “Your son is the nice boy that everyone likes.” Doesn’t every parent hope that for their child? A true reflection to all the amazing qualities McKenzie has instilled in Ry, even as young as he is. I watched as he treated each child the same, regardless of the social stigmas already evident within the classroom. He was respectful, followed directions and was extremely helpful to his teachers and peers alike. It made me equally proud, in a way, that I was his friend at that moment. I think the best part of my day is when he asked the teacher if he could hold my hand as we walked to the gymnasium. It confirmed to me that I am right where I should be, doing what I should be doing.
McKenzie and Rylan, thank you SO MUCH for inviting me to your teeny, tiny town in the Midwest. It was such a joy to not only meet you both, but to watch your very very special relationship. I have no doubt that you, Rylan, will one day be as wonderful a dad as your Mom is a mom.
Much love. xo
admin Thanks Ms. Shauna. All that you women do amazes me! (July 08, 2014 08:20 pm)Sherry Pickerell Kirsten you outdid yourself here! Maybe it is because I know Mackenzie not sure. But I do know this is my favorite Day in the Life so far! Absolutely in love with it! What am awesome Mom she is! An inspiration for sure! (July 09, 2014 12:28 am)
I met Susan five years ago when I attended her wedding photography workshop in Brooklyn, NY. I honestly did not know a whole lot about her but she had photographed the wedding of a friend of mine from the Outer Banks and I really liked her work. Upon meeting her, I realized we had a [...]23 comments view
I met Susan five years ago when I attended her wedding photography workshop in Brooklyn, NY. I honestly did not know a whole lot about her but she had photographed the wedding of a friend of mine from the Outer Banks and I really liked her work. Upon meeting her, I realized we had a WHOLE LOT in common. Both former ballerinas, theater students turned photographers. We both had lived in Florida, had the same TV guilty pleasures and sarcastic senses of humor. I really enjoyed the day learning from her and still use the skills I implemented attending her class. Over the years we have stayed in touch and she has been extremely supportive of my journey as a documentary family photographer. We had talked several times about me coming to do A Day in the Life with her girls but after WPPI this past year we made a promise to make it happen.
I have to be honest, this is the first time I’ve been nervous before a shoot since photographing my mentor Tyler Wirken and his family a couple years ago. Because I admire her work so so much, I was worried that I might let her down in some way. However, just like with any other shoot, the moment I stepped foot into their home I was immediately put at ease. Susan welcomed me with both arms wide open and a giant yawn. It took no time for her girls, Emma and Livy to let me into their space with the utmost trust. It’s probably one of the most comfortable shooting situations I have found myself in because Susan trusted me so much. It was truly a pleasure to spend the day with them, including the 2 hrs I hung with Em and her friends after school. It was this strange vortex of time travel, remembering exactly what it was like to be that age, the talk of cute boys and mean girls and crushes and heartbreak. Except with texts on iPhones instead of hand written notes on white lined paper. Susan’s relationship with her girls is something extremely special. She has taught them how to be respectful and kind while also being independent and curious. They love her openly, and she them. Especially during the teenage years, girls tend to turn their backs on their parents, especially their mothers. I am no exception. However, Susan really is Em’s best friend and she goes to her Mom first no matter what the issue might be. I loved seeing this and have learned that this is the type of relationship I would want with my own daughters.
I can thank you three enough, for making me a Stripling for the day. For teaching me about Buffy and the Vampire Slayer, bath balls and Blue Apron. I can’t wait to do it all over again.
Hugs and love!
Brooke Mayo Ladies, these are gorgeous and very well written! How fun to see a Day in the Life of the city gals!! (July 08, 2014 12:14 am)Ryan Brenizer Fantastic. You've done more than just take pretty pictures; I feel like I know them, and can hear what it sounds like in their home. (July 08, 2014 01:22 am)
Citlalli Rico I love this session. Beautiful work, Kirsten. Gorgeous family, Susan! (July 08, 2014 01:50 am)Krissy Fantastic!!!! (July 08, 2014 11:44 am)
Tara What a beautiful intimate look into Susan and her girls' lives...thank you for sharing! I love the range of little moments and expressions... (July 08, 2014 12:43 pm)admin Thanks Tara. I agree, the small moments always seem to be my favorite. (July 08, 2014 02:13 pm)
admin Awe, thank you Krissy. (July 08, 2014 02:13 pm)admin Coming from you Citla, this is a huge compliment. Thank you so much. (July 08, 2014 02:14 pm)
admin Thank you Ryan, you have no idea how much I appreciate your feedback. What a great compliment. (July 08, 2014 02:15 pm)admin Thanks Brooke! Yes, City kids are so independent. They even take the city bus over the school bus. It was really awesome to see. (July 08, 2014 02:15 pm)
admin You are so sweet Lindsay! Thank you bunches. I really do try hard to praise motherhood. It means so much that it comes through in the pictures. (July 08, 2014 02:16 pm)Monika This is beautiful. I love that it's all b/w too. Nice job! (July 08, 2014 03:08 pm)
admin Thank you so much Monika! (July 08, 2014 04:41 pm)Rana I LOVE this! Great job. I really admire this documentary-style family session and how it doesn't feel like a staged lifestyle session. I absolutely adore how open and honest this feels. Like I am peering into their real lives- if you were in Minnesota I would look you in a heartbeat for a session for our family! (July 08, 2014 10:24 pm)
Elle Bright I'm just about to do my first DITL with a gorgeous 6 month old. Can't wait. Such beautiful work and inspirational work!!! And yes, I've been stalking Susan for a while - lovely to see you fighting for women to be real women, not plastic. Here here (July 08, 2014 11:34 pm)Claire Gill Precious and moving pictures, and intimate in a way that we don't usually see in this world of polished images. (July 10, 2014 08:43 am)
ben OMG, I love this so much. I'm such a huge admirer of her work, and now yours as well!!! As soon as we get settled into our new digs, you're the first person we're calling!! (July 12, 2014 12:18 am)george pahountis beautiful honest work! (August 07, 2014 11:00 pm)
Shaina Your raw, narrative style is so refreshing. Rarely do we let our guard down for photos these days- everyone is usually concerned with looking as amazing as they can. How many times as a photographer has a mom whispered to us "make me look skinny!". It always throws me off guard, and I'm trying to figure out how to move away from that and into the style I truly love- documentary, storytelling moments. Thanks for being an inspiration, and thanks to Susan for being vulnerable and real. Both of you ladies have taught me so much through your CreativeLive seminars! (August 08, 2014 12:58 am)amanda these are gorgeous photographs, timeless! amazing job Kirsten and thank you Susan for letting us in your life for a day. (August 09, 2014 05:50 pm)
Jen I am so lucky to have watched your CreativeLive sessions this weekend. I love the photo of Susan kissing her daughter's head with her other daughter in the background. You just feel her love for her daughter and her daughter resting in that love. (August 09, 2014 11:01 pm)Rose This session is incredible. The rawness of it! So good. (August 11, 2014 11:40 am)