Colorado and lifelong friends – Denver Family Photos

This is my dear friend Kirsten and her adorable family.

Kirsten and I met over a decade ago when we were both living in New York City. We spent a few years as roommates between two homes: one on Long Island and the other in Queens. I never would have imagined us both living in Colorado and having families when we were creating our “dcuk” stories, or laughing or crying (sometimes both) during our many wine or chocolate martini nights together, but if it wasn’t for her, I’d probably not be here in Colorado today.

Kirsten was born and raised in Colorado. When we were roommates in New York she went home for a while during the summer of 2003 and invited me to come visit for a week. I thought sure, Why not?! I had never visited Colorado and it looked beautiful in the pictures I had seen. I didn’t even get out of DIA before I knew that I wanted to live here. Had no idea how, when, or why, but I knew was one day I’d call Colorado home. That’s a pretty big deal, seeing that I grew up a military brat and moved every 2-3 years during my childhood. It took a long time to choose a college because I couldn’t imagine being in one place for 4 years! But I knew before leaving the airport when I arrived that summer that Colorado would be my home. I thought I’d even retire here. The pull was hard and I ended up leaving my career, moving from NYC to Denver, and starting a photography business in May 2007. However, that’s for another blog post.

I was stressed out at my job at a local children’s hospital. I needed an outlet and one of the nurses that I worked with suggested that I try photography. I’m all self taught. Kirsten was one of my first “models” when I began experimenting with film and trying out photography. She was always up for anything and patient… very patient.

It’s rare that I get very personal on my blog or mention who is who. However in the last several months two outstanding, high caliber photographers that I know, and who I have had photograph my own family, left the business. This has left me wondering, reflecting, looking back at the beginnings of my business, feeling disappointed with the over saturated market, and really trying to make a definite decision on where to go from here. If I continue, how do I find the love in photography that I once felt before?

But I probably wouldn’t be here in the first place if it wasn’t in large part thanks to Kirsten for inviting me to Colorado and being my model for so many years. (Getting robbed and tired of NYC played a large part too but again, another post for another day.)

Psst…. check out her graphic design business Pastel Black Design.

B&W image shot on Tmax 3200 speed film. Light source – 40 watt bare bulb. Vintage image – one of our “I spy dcuk?” set ups.

Break during a hiking trip in the Catskill Mountains, NY

Aren’t we cute!

Studio model photo denver colorado rachel kemble

About 10 years later

By the time I had decided to move to Colorado, Kirsten had met her now husband, Evan. There are no two people more perfect for one another in my opinion. Such sweetness between the two of them. My 2nd or 3rd time meeting Evan was the day after I had to put down a cat that I had had for 18 years. He came over to pick her up for a date or to hang out but brought me a box of chocolates with a rubber dcuk on top with his condolences for my loss of my beloved cat. I told her then she must marry that man! About a year later, I was honored to be the Maid of Honor at their wedding! (Which was just 2 short months after I shaved my head, brave bride!)

denver couple images studio

Denver Studio Family Photography

Then came Miss H. This sweet girl with her big, bright blue eyes and when they left NYC and moved to Colorado, she became my little model and has been quite the model for my photography business over the years. You’ve probably seen a lot of her but not realize it was the same child.

Denver Baby PhotographerDenver Studio Baby Photographer

An image from this session was even used for the cover of a baby planning book! These images were shot in her living room hall with the front door open for light.

The above shot has always been one of my favorites and I’ve always wanted to one day re-create it. I had the chance to do so recently when I asked them to come in and be “models” once again so I could play with the light of the new studio I’m at.

natural light studio family photos

What I love about this recent session is that we caught Miss H during the day or two that she had a little snaggle tooth in the front. Hanging by a teeny tiny piece but refusing to come out. It stuck out even with her lips closed.

Denver Studio Family PhotosStudio child photo denver colorado rachel kembleStudio child photo denver colorado rachel kemble

It’s also interesting to see so many mannerisms, looks, and characteristics in the child of someone who have photographed for over 10 years and lived with for awhile.

Studio child photo denver colorado rachel kembleDenver Studio Family PhotosDenver Studio Family PhotosStudio child photo denver colorado rachel kemble

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  • Keziah - It’s so awesome to see both the story of this family over the years but also your personal growth as a photographer!! That B&W with dad is a knockout.ReplyCancel

  • Larissa - Oh my word those little girls eyes!! Such beautiful images!ReplyCancel

  • Kayla - I LOVE seeing the progression for your friendship and time there this post! I love the black and whites! What a beautiful family!ReplyCancel

  • Mackenzie - I adore the black and whites, all of their eyes are incredible!ReplyCancel

  • Krystal - I am so captivated by these images, really incredibleReplyCancel

  • Nicole - Love the light – you are so good at close-ups! Also, really nice eye light!ReplyCancel

  • Shelli Quattlebaum - What a beautiful family. I love all of the laughter. Wonderful portraits.ReplyCancel

  • Flor - Beautiful, gorgeous work. I love all of the black and whites, I can’t pick a favorite.ReplyCancel

  • Kristina Lynn - I love this post – so cool to hear how you came to know each other and how your relationship has grown (and been captured in photos) throughout the years. Beautiful work as always!ReplyCancel

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