No more buckets of ice water?

Here ya go – a heads up for OCTOBER 2014. SO… because everyone has their own favorite charity for their own special reason, here is the deal for OCTOBER 2014.  I have decided for the entire month of October… you make a $150 donation to the charity of your choice(or more)… and let us know which charity it is (with all their contact info to post about on our blog) and I will photograph your 90 minute studio session (Denver studio only) for FREE. Yep… that’s it – simple… and it doesn’t require dumping any ice water on your head. Contact to book your date/time or call us at 720-566-9770.
Because I happen to love one specific charity in particular. For any $150 donation (OR MORE) you make to the Chordoma Foundation in memory of Tiffany Otto-Cragin in Sept or October 2014. I will photograph your 90 minute session for FREE and give you a $100 print credit.

WISCONSIN/MINNESOTA PEEPS: For any of you in the Wisconsin, Minnesota area – that would like to participate – I’m extending this in the form of a gift card that you can use in the summer or fall of 2015 when I am in your area.

Pass this along to anyone in and around Denver area, Boulder, Ft.Collins, Colorado Springs… etc.

or for gift certificate that can be used in MN, WI area after July 2015.


Tutu session

The warm weather has me anxious to get some tutus outdoors.  So we are having a free tutu day at a location in Boulder, CO on June 8th, 2014 from 9am-2pm!   We dance, we play, and of course try on some custom tutus by Kimber Cyr of Kim’s Designs.    If you have a little ballerina, or just a princess that loves her some tutus and pearls, then give us a call to set up your time.  The day is very limited on times available, so please call or e-mail us as soon as you can!  It’s photographs of your little ladies that they will be talking about for days, weeks, months and years to come!!!!

Contact us for your appointment:

or call us at (720)566-9770

The experience that end with portraits.

Plan a portrait calendar

Busy is the word, and I always suggest taking time each year to plan a portrait calendars.  It doesn’t matter what time of year you start this, but taking a look at where you are in life with your family/children and making a decision on when professional portraits are best each year is a great way to get those memories at a time that works best for you and for your budget.

Here are some great times and milestones that will mean the most to catch with professional photography:

1st year: Maternity, Birth-3 weeks, When your child starts sitting up, when your child stands, first birthday

Youth: Formal portraits yearly(if you would rather have beautiful images vs. school photographs), Awards and recognition portraits when they have major accomplishments (this is confidence building).

Yearly: Family portraits, children’s favorite interests portraits, special outfits for holidays or from special family members, siblings portraits.  Parents… the most un-photographed couple and it is one of the most important to your children~make time for formal portraits of just the two of you every few years at least.

Generation portraits: children with parents and grandparents, mother or father & child portraits, grandparents with grandchildren, and formal portraits of grandparents.

For you:  Update business portraits every 2 years (yes, get rid of the HS photos on your LinkedIn page!lol),  make-over or boudoir portraits because we all need to feel extra special once in a while – and we also need something to look back at to remember what we were like – and your children will cherish photos of you throughout the years too.

Wedding: Yes of course – but also consider formal portraits with your gown when you have made some time and space without the hustle and bustle of the wedding day.

Love: Celebrate… anniversary, birthday ~special places & memories.

And although I could go on and on ~ start picking through the most important things for you on this list and start plugging them into your personal calendar and making your appointments… you can always re-schedule closer to a schedule date.. but if it’s not on your calendar then life gets busy and these very important times get pushed aside.  Make it real, and set up your portrait calendar.

Need help?  We have a yearly portrait planning date at the studio – it’s absolutely free, and booking with us personally is not required.  I just want to help you get on track to great memories that don’t go missed!

Contact us for details:  info@fototails.comJeanine_Thurston_Z_001


Happy Jumping DanceIMG_2916b

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Keeping the kids busy

So many of us are a little over a week into winter break with our kids.  They have played with their holiday toys & gifts and now we are in the home stretch before they return to school in a week.  We have hit the zoo lights, the museums, walks, and now we need to get creative to keep them happy and busy for one more week.  Here are some fun things to break up the days!


Snowman Soap Experiment

To make some snowman soap you will need:

1 bar Ivory soap
Food coloring: red, yellow, blue, green
Round cookie cutters
Wax paper
Two dishes or bowls and spoons
1 cup water

NOW… visit this link for all the details SNOWMAN SOAP EXPERIMENT!

Snowman Soap Experiment by @amandaformaro for Kix Cereal


My kids LOVE tic tac toe, and what a fun way to get them through some things that are on their task list!  Click here for all the details and the link to download the free printable!Free Printable To Do List by Design Eat Repeat

PROJECT 3. Make your own play-dough

Check it out – she added a little video, and step by step – and what is even better she makes it allergy free with some great ingredients.

MAKE YOUR OWN COCO-DOUGHcoconut oil play dough

Hope you have some fun with these projects… and check back, I’ll be adding more favorites to come in the next few days!

~ Happy New Year!!!

To be a child.

We can’t let go of what it feels like to be a child.  It is what keeps us young, it is what gives us hope, it is what makes us believe in people, and it is what allows us to chase after our dreams. If you want to be inspired by love and life – give a child a stage. ~ Jeanine Thurston






Girls vs. Boys

ImageLet’s just say it’s official.  Girls are different than boys.  Now I know what you’re thinking – that is no new concept, but I’m telling you – no matter what the differences I thought there were before… yesterday was proof positive.

Understand that I have two boys, I grew up with two brothers… I KNOW BOYS.  If you’ve been following along at all the past year we have had a lot of tutu sessions through the studio and I’ve had many parents asking for a “boys” day.  So yesterday we had our first official boys day at the studio.  It was the most fun I think I’ve had at the new studio… and today… well, I AM EXHAUSTED!  I can tell you the decibel level is about 100 times more than on a tutu day when you get a bunch of boys pass through your doors.  Lets make it clear… boys ages about 18 months-9 years… about 15 boys within 6 hours.

I CAN’T WAIT TO DO THIS AGAIN!!!  So as much as I’m enjoying a quieter day with my ONE boy at home today, it was an absolute blast and I would highly recommend it if you have a boy or boys.  SO MUCH FUN and so much energy – and from what I’ve heard so far, the boys are talking about it still today and telling everyone about their studio “camp” day.Image

Children’s Treehouse Foundation

We will be working closely with Children’s Treehouse Foundation in the coming months.  I wanted to take a minute to tell you a little about their foundation.  Please feel free to visit their website for more information as well at

The Children’s Treehouse Foundation’s psychosocial intervention programming is unique because of its special focus and delivery system.
It’s About The Children
It’s a given. Cancer affects the entire family. Yet in too many situations, the undeniable psychosocial impact on the children whose parent has cancer goes unattended.This may lead to ongoing stress and anxiety for the children, evolving into maladaptive behavior throughout life. Our mission is to redress this critical oversight.
Parents In a Crisis
Many parents dealing with cancer acknowledge they don’t know how to talk to their children about their cancer. This breakdown in communication not only heightens the stress and fears of the children, but also isolates them and precludes them from being an active member of the family. We are committed to help fill this need.
Enhancing Hospital Services
Hospitals are clearly the haven in treating the parent with cancer. Yet even as they know the parent’s treatment proceeds best when their concerns of their children are diminished, far too few provide adequate emotional support for the children involved. Our emotional, group-support programming for children bridges this gap.
Training the Facilitators
Enlightened, trained, professional facilitators at cancer centers are the keys to assuaging the fears and anxieties of children whose parents have cancer. Clearly, social workers, nurses, clergy, life center specialists, or others, when armed with new insights into the children’s psyche, and provided with the proper tools, are uniquely qualified to help the children in their new unsettled environment.
Closing the Caring Loop
Finally, they all come together: Fearful children, anxious parents, a healing facility, and caring, thoughtful professionals. And almost like magic, the children learn how to cope with their feelings, parents become aware of richly improved family communications, and facilitators know, in their heart of hearts, that the trauma and travails of the family are measurably reduced. We’ve closed the caring loop.
Our Role, and Benefits
  • Professional Training: The Children’s Treehouse Foundation provides cancer centers and hospitals with professional training to enable them to launch support programs for the children whose parents have cancer so they are better able to cope in that unsettling, frightening, and stressful environment. 

    They receive training and program manuals, a power point presentation, a DVD, and children’s activity material developed by the Foundation’s CLIMB (Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) program, funded in part by the Avon Foundation.

  • Family Support: By providing group-support programming, the family burden of dealing with cancer, and the inevitable stress, is significantly reduced. Parents need support and help in communicating with their children.
    They tell us: 
    • “I don’t want to alarm my children, but I don’t know want to lie to them either. How much should I tell them?”
    • “I think my child understands, but I don’t know. He never says anything to me about my cancer.”
    • “What should I answer when my daughter asks, ‘Are you going to die?’
  • Children need support because they tend to 
    • imagine the worst
    • experience intense feelings of shock, disbelief, denial, fear and anxiety
    • mistakenly believe they caused their parent’s illness
    • act out their feelings, displaying behavioral problems

    Here’s what children tell us during the CLIMB support program: 
    “I really don’t feel like playing.” 
    “I wish this NEVER happened.” 
    “It feels like it’s your fault.” 
    “I want to BEAT SOMEONE UP!” 
    “I’m afraid of going to an orphanage.” 
    “You don’t feel safe.” 
    “You feel like you want to help a lot.” 

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