Our favorite stories.


January 2013

About a year ago we decided that we would do a calendar project to benefit a children.  We finally have our first calendar complete.  It was our first year – and after all of the work and organizing put into it…. Jenny up and says… “so… are we doing this again next year?”  Of course me… “I think so.”…. Jenny “Because if we are, I think I need to start on that NOW.”

Ok… enough said I think with that – it was obviously a huge project and took a ton of people, organizing, prop shopping and construction, photography time, editing time.  But in the end – yes, my first thoughts is OF COURSE we will do it again for a 2014 calendar because it was just way too much fun not to.

We had great little subjects who participated.

Then of course we had a few very gracious vendors that supported some of our shoots too.

Anything But Vanilla was amazing with some cupcakes in the “Everything nice” shoot.  She makes some of the most amazing flavors of cakes & cupcakes I’ve ever tasted.

Cake Pandemic – Christine Godsey Black 720-235-2008 made us a BUNCH of pies for the Little Jack Horner shoots.  They were so yummy, and looked beautiful… that is before the boys dug in and destroyed them upon command!lol

Kimber at Kim’s Designs is my go to tutu vendor.  Amazingly creative and custom makes tutus for our shoots.  I can’t say enough about her work.

Dizzie Izzie makes amazing pedi-skirts and much more.  The kids just love twirling in them!!!

And then my thought catcher & arranger and set designer too: Jenny Bonfiglio





BED IN SUMMER by Robert Louis Stevenson







For each copy of the 2013 Calendar sold between October 20th, 2012 – February 1st, 2013 a portion of the proceeds will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


Jeanine Thurston

Creativity control.

There is nothing more exciting to most photographers than shooting something creative, out of the ordinary, unique.  As business people we know that we need to appeal to our clients, know what they would like best to be a profitable business – as well as put a smile on their face when they see images they are happy with.  But – what drives me as an artist are those people that walk through my door and say – “Do what you do best – I trust you.”

2012 is my year of creative control for me.

Each year, instead of making a new year resolution – I try to decide one point of my art/carrier/life that I will take focus on, and then make sure it will still strike a balance that includes my family.

Early in my career I made calendars and timelines that I stuck to strictly for marketing/mailing & never really faltered from the “plan.”  I have to say – it worked/works – and many of us creative minds really need the map to keep us on course.  Then I had children – and realized no matter what the calendar said, family was controlling my calendar and in the beginning I felt very restricted and even sad at how little control I had over my life.

In 2011, I finally got my “creativity” flowing again.  I made some new connections and lasting friendships with others in my industry and we had an amazing time creating and playing – doing what we do best.  It is refreshing working with other vendors where everyone is let loose to make their own creative decisions and in the end we all have smiles on our faces and feel so satisfied with what we created & photographed.

2012 I have decided is my creative control year.  As always, I shoot for my clients… what I know they want, what they think they want, and then toss in a few of what I want.  It is a great formula & I know it works for me.  I encourage any photographer to use this formula if they need to support themselves doing their craft. After a couple decades doing this, I’m just changing the order of priority.  Why change it?  For one, I’m finally finding that what I want is more and more what my clients actually want in the end.  So I’m popping a little more inspiration into my shoots, and asking more questions ahead of time so that I can be 100% prepared for getting EVERYTHING I can get from each shoot.

That being said – I’m so excited for some inspiration shoots we have coming up… and I don’t want to give anything away quite yet, but I’ll be keep you posted on what’s ahead coming in March-October this year.


Isabelle Floral Design

Floral home & business holiday decor.

Leave it to the experts and let us be your little elves! WOW your family, friends, neighbors, clients and save time and money! Free delivery on all orders in the Boulder/Brighton/Denver area and 10% off your total bill. Isabellefloraldesign.com 303.856.4140


Kitty Mae Millinery & Accessories

3559 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205, 303-295-0545, open Tues-Sat 10-6. Spend $50, and get 20% off off of a Kitty Mae Showgirl Fascinator, Showgirl Headband or Bloom for yourself if you mention you saw it in Jeanine Thurston’s gift guide!



Must have for you, your friends and family.

Chef Biju and Dr. Lim vetted countless meals with the world’s best endurance athletes in the most demanding test kitchens. In The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes, Thomas and Lim share their energy-packed, wholesome recipes to make meals easy to prepare, delicious to eat, and better for performance.

The Feed Zone Cookbook provides 150 delicious recipes that even the busiest athletes can prepare in less time than it takes to warm up for a workout. With simple recipes requiring just a handful of ingredients, Biju and Lim show how easy it is for athletes to prepare their own food, whether at home or on the go.

The Feed Zone Cookbook strikes the perfect balance between science and practice so that athletes will change the way they think about food, replacing highly processed food substitutes with real, nourishing foods that will satisfy every athlete’s cravings.

The Feed Zone Cookbook includes

  • 150 delicious recipes illustrated with full-color photographs
  • Allen Lim’s take on the science and practice of food
  • Portable whole foods, including Lim’s famous rice cakes and more
  • Dozens of quick-prep meals for before and after workouts
  • Shortcuts, substitutions, and techniques to save time in the kitchen
LadyCharm Artistry – Professional Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist
www.LadyCharmArtistry.com – (303) 525 8046. Book today for your special occasion makeup & hair styling services! Receive a 15% discount on parties of 3 or more that book both services, if you mention you saw this deal in Jeanine Thurston’s gift guide!
Give the gift of memories… purchase a travel package with great divide travel and get a 50.00 gift card if you mention you saw this ad in Jeanine Thurston gift guide . offer expires December 23,2011. Contact dawn@greatdividetravel.com 303 291 1288
The days come and go and the years fly by – especially when you have children.   Any denomination – custom gift cards that you can give your friends and family to capture a little piece of that history to hang on your walls for many years to come.  Family is a beautiful thing – and images of your love and life are one of the most personal gifts you can give.
Gift Cards available for any amount.
e-mail: info@fototails.com or call us at 720-566-9770 to get yours today.

Vintage woodlands – wedding style.

A truly creative collaboration by some of the top wedding vendors in Colorado – this Vintage spirited woodland area was an amazing little spot for us to play.  I’ve been dreaming about this wire dress that Julia had in her flower shop for months and couldn’t wait to incorporate it into our inspiration shoot this summer.

Mulberries Flowers – Julia Kaaren

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Wedding Inspiration: Vintage Romance

We all have vendors that we have worked with or just love, if you are in the wedding industry – you know exactly what I mean.  Your personalities click, each helps the other and you become in theory a dream team because you all have the same amazing goal to make a wedding perfect.  While we don’t always get to choose who we work with at a wedding, in about April this year I wanted to have a chance to work with some of my favorite people in the wedding industry and do an inspirational photo-shoot.


Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Originally it started small, Melissa Schans (model/actress) was all excited and we were planning for sometime in May 2011.  I gathered a couple of vendors that were willing to work on this project, but as you can’t control everything that happens – if we would have done the shoot in May I would not have had Samantha Koch as my MUY/Hairstylist.  We decided to post-pone so that she could still be part of this production.  In the end, it was good that we waited – because good turned into great.

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Julia Kaaren, owner of Mulberries Flowers was in the group from the start.  She has amazing energy along with a creative eye – and well – of course I just love her dearly as a vendor and person.  I am forever grateful that she brought Jon Taugher into the shoot as he had some amazing Retro Bicycles that added some fantastic imagery.

Then of course there is Susan Dillon of Kitty Mae Millinery.  I had never met her personally… fb friends, and of course Melissa always spoke highly of her.  Above all, her artistry in hair pieces speaks for itself.  Then after some chats on facebook… there was not a doubt in my mind that our personalities clicked.

In July, after having a hundred dreams about what I wanted this shoot to look like; let’s be honest, I couldn’t make it all happen while working a full schedule and with two kids at home on top of it.  I put a post on ISES board for a wedding planner, and Isabelle and I met for coffee a couple of days later.  Loved her, and could tell she “got” what I wanted to photograph and she organized my mind for me along with every other detail.  We also brought in LeAnne to assist her in some of the details as well.

Katharine Salzgeber of BoutiqueDeBijoux jumped right in with her hand-made jewelry designs.  They are beautiful, one of a kind pieces that fit so perfectly with our look.

Then of course there is Blushing Bride Colorado.  Danielle has a beautiful little boutique dress salon in Windsor, Colorado.  I’ve known Danielle for many years and she jumped right in, providing us with dresses for our models to fit the look we were going for in this project.

Melissa Schans was in from the start.  She has done some bridal modeling for me before and she is an instant sell when it comes to bridal modeling.  She has all the poses, expressions – and best of all she makes everyone smile.

Brittany Quinn, I had the opportunity to photograph this summer and was so happy that she was able to be a part of this photo-shoot.  Fresh… just back from spending some time in China – I’m surprized that she didn’t still have jet-lag from such a long trip, and she looked amazing.

Kirsten Sletten, was the third model for our shoot.. and I so wanted to bring her on sooner but I had already had another model at the time and didn’t want to have too many.  But, the instant that the other model wasn’t able to make it – I couldn’t have been happier to have Kirsten come on!  What a beauty – and hope I get the chance to photograph her again – she is gorgeous.

Then of course comes THE MAKERY.  I was at the Grant Humphrey Bridal show when I first got to taste their cupcakes, and I’ve been sold on them ever sense.  Yum, beautiful, great to work with.  Will always refer them – love them and their creations.  Even my husband is completely sold on that they have the best tasting cake EVER as he would put it.

Pampered Passions also was kind enough to loan us a vintage piece for some shots.  Beautiful quality.

Then last, but certainly not least, Michael Sasser.  He was my wild-card.  I had never worked with him, never met him, and two days before the shoot he agreed to take some video and create a little vendor promo for us.  I’ll be honest, I’ve worked with a lot of videographers – and the talent really varies a ton, so I went by a referral from another photographer with my fingers crossed.  I can not say enough about how amazing the video he created was, and loved working with him.  Personality… love, video… love, and the simple fact that he pulled it together so quickly for me was amazing.  Many, many thanks to him and he has definitely made it to #1 on my referral list.

A little stress the few days before when the weather people were forecasting 30% chance of rain.  We ended up getting 100 degrees that day and sun… with the storm moving in just in time to give us some great images and give us a few sprinkles right as we were finishing the shoot.

In my mind – it went AMAZING… wouldn’t have done anything different and we have some great images, video and made a few more long-lasting friends in the process.



Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

The Value of a Portrait

Fototails PhotographyWith many inexperienced amateurs purchasing digital cameras and charging less and less for a session, I want to share the true value of a portrait. As a consumer, it is important to be educated in what you are paying for and the worth of what you are getting.

Most of what we do, our clients never see and the actual session is such a small part of what is involved.

We do this every day.  Our clients may only do this once every year or even 5 years. It is important to hire a professional who will find out what you want and help you to achieve that.


  • helpful guides for clients including clothing and the displaying of prints in the home – A professional photographer does not like to leave your session to chance and will share helpful information to give you the best session possible.
  • software – It is not uncommon at all for a photographer to have over $1500 worth of software that needs to be continually upgraded, plus extras each year for giving you the most professional, and artistic images.
  • computer – The professional cameras continue to improve and constantly require updated software and computer systems. It would absolutely amaze most people to know how slow the large files can be to work with and the cost of continually upgrading.
  • camera – Most professional photographers have more than entry level digital cameras. Professional photography can be hard on a camera, especially if a photographer shoots in elements such as the beach.  This will require additional cleanings and new equipment.
  • lighting
  • props
  • reflectors
  • lenses
  • education – Education is a constant in the life of a true professional photographer.
  • insurance
  • licenses, fees
  • professional, legal forms
  • advertising
  • display samples
  • assistants

The ACTUAL time that a professional photographer puts into a session:

  • corresponding and telephone calls for forms and consulting before a session (30-60 minutes)
  • planning – a photographer will spend time planning and preparing for your session, including scouting, posing, correct equipment, etc. (60+ minutes)
  • the session (1+ hours)
  • choosing the best images, eliminating blinks, etc (1-2 hours)
  • professionally processing the images (6-8 hours)
  • ordering and packaging of prints (if ordered) (1+ hours)
  • uploading images or making CD (about 1 hour)

So, at this point, we are looking at approximately 17 actual hours that go into a session, not to mention the time that a photographer spends additionally each week just to conduct business (advertising, website maintenance, education, ordering supplies, maintaining books and records, correspondence, telephone calls, exploring new industry information, etc.). While it appears that a photographer just shows up and works for an hour or two, there is so much more to what a professional photographer does.

Add to that the actual expenses that a photographer has, most of which you may not actually see because they are behind the scenes, and you will see why you will not find a professional photographer offering their services for next to nothing. They simply cannot afford to stay in business.

So, what makes a photographer worth the money? These are your portraits.  Life is fragile and fleeting.  One day these images will hold your memories.  These images will become your memories.  Most of what we remember, was captured in a picture. It is not likely that you will find professional portraits at chain department store pricing.  A professional photographer just cannot stay in business at those prices.  And at a chain department store, you will probably not find the artistic images that you are looking for in a 15 minute session from someone making minimum wage working there for the summer or for extra money over the holidays. Sometimes, we just have to make a choice.

You get what you pay for when it comes to professional portraits. They are an investment and will be one of  the very few purchases that you will still  have in  20, 30 years, or even a lifetime.  The importance of these memories go so far beyond the paper they are printed on, or the drive they are stored on.


Little girls dance their way into your heart, whirling on the tips of angel wings, scattering gold dust & kisses in our paths.
— Author Unknown

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston


We are looking for a few little girls to twirl, dance and giggle in the 2011 spring collection of Dizzie Izzie clothing on Sunday, March 20th from noon until 2:00 PM! This will be a fun afternoon full of adorable dresses, gorgeous fabrics, colorful tutus and lots of smiles!

If you’ve got a little lady between 18 months and 7 years in age – that likes to dance, twirl and giggle – then submit a photo and your contact info to wendy@fototails.com for a chance to be one of the newest Dizzie girls for the photo-shoot of their new Spring fashions!

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Local Artist Spotlight: Stephen Roberts

I’ve been involved in art as long as I can remember.  I’ve dabbled in charcoal, pencil, oils and etching – which eventually lead me to photography that I love so much.  Many of my clients are interested in art as well, however it is always exciting to me when one of my clients practices their art.  So, this is the start to my monthly blog post “Local Artist Spotlight” to show off some of the amazing artists that I am fortunate enough to cross paths with along my way.
DECEMBER 2010 SPOTLIGHT: Stephen Roberts


Stephen Roberts/ Title: UNFINISHED


I’ve been photographing for Stephen and Jaya Roberts for some years now, starting with their wedding.  Over the years their family has grown – and it is what I love most about my clients and getting to know them more over time.  I get to see them and their families grow and grow up – it can’t help but make me smile.  Our last session this fall with the Roberts, I was talking a little more with Stephen and found out that he is an artist.  I can’t help but get a little anxious when people tell me they practice their art and of course couldn’t wait to see some of his work.  Thanks to cell phones these days, he had something to show me to appease my “photographer” instant gratification need to SEE! 

Stephen Roberts/ Title: Dead Bird Circus

The colors in Stephen’s art are amazingly attractive to the eye and the brilliant colors and shapes draw you into his work.  It is wonderful looking at his work, and the only hard part is trying to look away – there is just so much to see in each piece, you don’t want to stop looking.
A creative with deep spiritual connections. Developed talent from a young age and has worked many different mediums.

Stephen Roberts/ Title: Passion

From oils in a wandering type composition to photorealism with pencils.
“I Enjoy painting with my boys of five and three years, and look forward to tomorrow and the colors that will be enjoyed!”
Stephen J Roberts
Ps 27:1
A Creative