2011 was quite the busy business year, but also a kind of awakening for me with family, clients & friends struggles with the battle against cancer.  It was especially sad to see a few close clients & friends that lost their battles.  I think the older I get the more it hurts to see cancer take so many lives and disrupt so many lives.  I also see the survivors and their families and am continually amazed at how many get through it with such a positive attitude and will to live.

I’ll be following up with a few posts – so keep posted, but we will be doing a couple fundraising events during the 2012 year.  This first one hits very close to home, as my amazing co-worker/office manager & generally keep me together mom of 2 beautiful boys happens to work very hard every year to walk the “AVON- breast-cancer walk.”


I want to introduce you to Jenny Bonfiglio.

The first time I learned about the word Cancer was when my 19 year old friend Christine Godsey found a lump in her breast.  She survived but it was still terrifying to think someone so young and healthy could potentially have this disease.  It was what they call “a scare” & by the Grace of God or fate would have it after 12 years of losing touch with each other through moves and marriage; we literally bumped into each other last March in a crowded Park Hill restaurant.  The Cherry Tomato, a place where I had the first date with my husband, my rehearsal dinner for my wedding, my first Mother’s Day Brunch and now I could add this reunion to the list of great memories that seem to take place at this little Italian restaurant.
Now there are many friends & parents of friends that I’ve lost over the past 15 years that I won’t bump into while waiting for a table.
In February 2003 I had lost my grandmother, who was a lung cancer survivor.  I was driving and heard an ad on the radio for St Baldricks; something hit me in my heart that I should do this.  I pledged that I would shave my head for children’s cancer and my friends, family and kind strangers backed me like couldn’t believe!  All the time I kept hearing my grandmother saying; “If you want to run hands through my hair you better do it now!” to my grandfather.  At this event one of the kind strangers that I met was a couple named, Paul Stroud and Annette Chunko, who had seen my profile on the St Baldricks website and wanted to meet for some reason.  This couple couldn’t believe I was doing this and waited out the event until I took the stage to be shaved.  A new friendship was made that night.  Annette was on her second battle with breast cancer and was determined to be a bigger bitch to cancer than it could be to her!
Thanksgiving 2010, Annette passed away in the night during her fourth round with breast cancer.  I didn’t attend her non-funeral-funeral due to being very ill; I said goodbye to her on trail instead.  In March of 2011 I signed up to do my first Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.  In April I began training; spending every Saturday going on hikes that were anywhere from 10 to 22 miles long.  In June I hit the trail in Keystone Colorado and walked 39 miles in 2 days.
While I got to say by goodbye in a peaceful place Annette; many others ended up visiting me on that trail. There were friends that had “scares” that I was thankful were still here today and there were the many other friends that I had comforted through their battles and had lost who visited in tears and memories.  In the time it took me to walk 39 miles, 360 people both male and female were diagnosed with breast cancer and that’s why I’ll be walking again this year.
There’s no way to nicely explain some of my driving force.  I’ve awakened to the sound of a dear friend moaning in pain as cancer took her body.  I’ve seen small children suffer and only want to play outside just one day.  I’ve seen mothers, fathers, spouses, sons, daughters, and grandchildren suffer as they watched their loved ones suffer.  If the blisters on my feet, the lose of 2 toenails, a sunburned head where my hair parted and a pulled ligament in my knee can bring funding to help early detection, transportation to treatment, research for new forms of treatment and counseling for the families…I’ll be there with walking shoes!Jenny Bonfiglio
Client Relations
This being said.   We will be doing two days of “photography” coming up to raise funds towards Jenny’s goal that she wants to reach of $2300 this year (last year she raised $1900).  If she meets this goal by JUNE 1ST, 2012 – then she has agreed to die her entire head of hair PINK!  So we need all your help… every dollar counts.  If you would just like to donate that is AWESOME too…. but if you want to take advantage of some photo time with me here are the details:
Location: Fototails Studio in Denver, Colorado
Sessions: $30 for a 30 minute portrait session that day – BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
To book your session contact Jenny directly at or give her a call at (720)454-7608
when you visit this page, there’s a purple donate now button on the right!


I always chuckle a little when pro-photographers list their “gear.”  Not because I don’t respect all those amazing camera bodies, lens & lighting options – I can’t help but get giddy every time a new camera body or camera “stuff” comes out that I would love to buy. But… I’m a realist at heart.  So I was asked to list (by a fellow photographer) my “gear bag.” Instead of listing the biggest and the brightest that is available to me to use – which I always have plenty of options close by, I decided to list the ACTUAL “gear” in my camera bag right at the moment they asked.   You may totally understand – or you may laugh yourself… but I am a KISS kind of shooter in most cases.  MY FAVORITE THINGS ARE IN BOLD BELOW.

5D Body (backups on the shelves of course – I tend to use my older bodies when out and about… work them till their dead)

Expo disc

50mm 1.4

24-70mm 2.8


Calumet Light Bank 5ft

580EX flash (with off camera shoes & light stand – of which I probably won’t use, it is the “back-up” to natural light when I need it)

Silver Duct Tape (because duct tape fixes EVERYTHING)

2 yards of translucent white material

cotton scarf (use it to whip out at kids – always insures giggles)

A lazer pen

Wonka Slug Gummies for bribing

Breath mints

Ipad 2


That’s IT.  Nothing more… and 70% of my shoots are exactly this.  Besides…. carrying any more just gives you a back ache!lol

Happy shooting!

What’s next on the calendar for photography? April-June 2012

Upcoming “Special Days” to consider for a photo occasion!

Jeanine Thurston_Duffy

Fairy Tales....

Easter (Sunday – April 8th, 2012) – perfect time for frilly dresses or your little guy dressed in his best “duds.”  We will have the Little Ms Muffet set available for the entire month of March & April – and will be putting up samples of the shoot/set before the end of this month.

DONT FORGET MOTHER’S DAY!(Sunday – May 13th, 2012)!!  Yes I had to put this in capital letters because I’m a mom.  I don’t get in front of the camera often enough – and mother & child(ren) portraits are really the BEST!  We moms love our little ones and love photos to show how amazing our children are to us.

FATHER’S DAY(Sunday – June 17th, 2012).  I see father’s come into the studio all the time – and a portrait of the kids to give him on father’s day is extra special…. and make it fun maybe with some of dad’s favorite things in the photo session too!  Does’t have to be boring… let us help you customize your session to fit your personality!

The happy jumping dance.


Happy Jumping Dance

Family & children portrait sessions can be super fun.  But… of course there are always the little bumps in the road, trying to get children to smile… or even sit in a decent location to get some good images.  Years ago… (MANY YEARS AGO) as I watched the TV show ELLEN of course I couldn’t help buy smile at her dancing before every show.  So… I decided that instead that we should do a happy jumping dance “after” each children/family session to celebrate.  One of these days I’ll have to go through and make a little video of shots of this from each session… the kids adore doing it and I always have to snap one or two of the happy jumping dance.

Happy Jumping Dance

Happy Jumping Dance


Jeanine Thurston PHotography

My little man Jace

Children are exhausting little beings…. it’s true.  But the amount of love and laughter they bring to life is more than I could have ever imagined.  I had a fun day at the studio with my little guys yesterday.  Eric is quite the budding photographer now days…. makes me so proud! Jace always has a smile for me and says the silliest things to make me laugh.  Just wanted to share their smiles with all of you.

Eric Thurston

My little guy Eric

Random thoughts by a people photographer. JOURNAL ENTRY 1

February 3rd, 2012

Love photographing – hate bill collecting

Want to please everyone

When we have a few days of happy clients we are elated, but defending that we need to support ourselves financially is self defeating.

RECENT TRUE STORY: A man who comes into the studio with his family is appalled that his wife has spent money on photography (mind you he actually didn’t take it out on me – but rather on her his wife in front of me), and verbally reprimands her that she “can not” spend money on this again.  He was shocked that there was a session fee and that did not include ALL of the digital images or prints of everything – and continued to grunt, moan, and groan through the first 20 minutes of the session.  After he calms a bit and is loosening up we get some family portraits done and then I start photographing just their beautiful child.  The entire time, she has a smile on her face, is playful, silly and I have such a great time with her.  Nearing the end of the session I hear the dad giggling and commenting on how cute she is being for me.  We are done with the shoot and dad quietly says with a pause.. “well, I can already see you’ve got some amazing shots of our daughter; so….. I’m SURE we will be ordering a lot of photos.”  with a big huff and drops his shoulders like I have physically defeated him in the ring.

I walk them to the front door to see them out of the studio and mom takes the beautiful daughter to the car ahead of dad.  My response to dad after mom & child are out of ear-shot… “Thank you so much for bringing your family in for me to photograph today.  I can see that you are a proud man, as well you should be with a beautiful family like yours.  I know this was not your choice to come in today, but I commend your wife for getting you all in here for a family portrait – and as a daughter myself, I can tell you that these will mean more to your daughter in her life than you could ever know.”   The dad turns to me sharply (mind you I was a little worried that I had overstepped my bounds at this point) and he very kindly says – “I am sorry I was rude in the beginning – I am a CEO and make plenty of money… and that is the last time I will question paying for portraits, thank you – you made my daughter and wife smile which I see all the time – but today – you made me smile by seeing you make them happy.”

As photographers – we can’t please everyone, and we will never be able to make everyone believe there is value of photography.  But sometimes, when we break through to  a client – all of those “other people” that don’t understand just melt away from our minds.  We are photographers of love, of family, of life and we are historians more than most will ever understand right away… but some day when they look back at images we have taken as photographers… they will have one moment when they understand the importance that they have that image sitting in their hand or hanging on their wall.



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Little Miss Muffet is just the beginning!

Getting ready for our spin on a fairytale classic in a couple weeks.  It’s the first in our series for our 2013 calendar coming out FALL this year(2012).  Our day is packed for this first photo-shoot but, if you are interested in being on our e-news list for future shoots planned for this calendar e-mail me at and put in the subject line “2013 Calendar Shot-list”  and we will keep you posted on all the upcoming shoots for this fundraiser!!!   All photography will be done in and around the Denver area.

Little Miss Muffet, sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider, who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

Inspire yourself.

As photographers & wedding vendors we love our work, but we are always at the design desire of our brides & grooms.  So when we all get a day to play together with an inspiration board created and carried out by some of our favorite vendors in the wedding business… it is pure excitement for all of us.  Just imagine planning a wedding with such amazingly great wedding gurus…. I LOVE IT.  It allows us to be creative, fun, a little silly, completely at ease with no real pressure of time constraints.  Plus, it allows us to break the boundaries of what most see as “traditional.”

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This time around we played with a romantic “Snow-white” themed wedding shoot.

Jessica from Vintage Affair Rentals:  (furnitures and props)
Linda from Linens Unlimited:  (linens)
Rachael from Intricate Icing: (cake)
Hannah with her team Elevation Events: (video)
Miranda from Swank Salon: (hair and makeup)
Katherine Salzberg: www.BoutiqueDeBijoux.BIZ (jewlery)
Photographer: Jeanine Thurston
Flowers & Styling: Isabelle Kline
Dress & Tux: Blushing Bride
Models: Melissa Schans, Kirsten Sletten & Ernes Kalac