Jay and Kristi have been married for over 14 years. They have 3 fur babies (dogs), 7 siblings and 16 nieces and nephews (yes, really!). Both their parents have been married over 35 years.
Their families are not just important to them, they are everything.
Kristi has been a professional photographer for over a decade.
"My love of photography started very young - only 12 years old! My dad showed me how to use my first camera at a ballon festival. I have to give credit to my parents for becoming the portrait photographer I am today. My dad was always documenting our family's life story through the years. I get that love of photography and the way I see life through a viewfinder from him. My mom was an elementary teacher and very comfortable being silly with kids and comforting with babies. I am so thankful that I get those talents from her!
My parents bought me my first camera at 16 when I went to live as an exchange student for a semester in New Zealand. It is such a beautiful country! I really enjoyed photographing everything during my experience living there, but there is one experience that defined my journey as a portrait photographer. I made a portrait of the family I was staying with. I printed it and they hung it in their home. I will always remember their dad telling me that families typically don't smile for their portraits in NZ, but I had made them crack up and really brought out their personalities in the photo. It is a memory that will never be forgotten because that's when I knew that I wanted to be a portrait photographer for the rest of my life!"
Kristi holds a B.A. in Photojournalism and minor in Fine Art Photography. She is a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) with the Professional Photographers of America (PPA).
Kristi is a volunteer Area Cordinator and photographer for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. She is also on the Board of Professional Photographers Guild of Colorado Springs.
Jay is Kristi's soulmate and also a cancer survivor.
"When I was a teenager, I injured my shoulder horsing around in the pool with some friends. When it didn't get better, a chiropractor did an x-ray on my shoulder and discovered the bone in my shoulder was eroded by a tumor. I had the tumor removed when I was 16 but it came back 2 more times - the third time it came back, it was cancer.
The morning of the surgery, my doctor came in the room and said he had been up all night researching. We were a little concerned at the "up all night" until he explained he wanted to use a cadaver bone instead of the steel rod that he originally planned. It would change from giving me 10% to 90% use of my arm. He changed my life and I have been cancer free ever since."
Jay holds a B.S. in Nuclear Medicine Technology. He started Rocky Mountain Worm Company with his dad in 2010 and today he is Kristi's studio partner.