for every tear, there are 10 smiles

The phone rang.

She excused herself around the corner of a building in downtown Denver, then mid-conversation with her doctor, she emerged to look at me and shake her head.

Moments later, she walked to me, head hanging, eyes hollow.

She collapsed into my arms. I felt her body weaken instantly as I held her up – every ounce of her. It’s all I could do. Because she had just been broken…by cancer.

cancer. 


This 26-year-old spirited woman that I had met just a few months prior just received the worst news she had ever been delivered. and life changed in an instant.

“i’m so sorry, but it’s malignant,” the doctor told her.


in the days to come, i watched kristina as she learned more about her breast cancer and her treatment plans. day in and day out, i saw this strong woman as she dealt with the unimaginable.

there were tears, there were moments of fear, anxiety, sadness, and pure devastation.

but kristina’s journey through cancer has not been defined by these moments.

you see, kristina is no normal woman.

she is fighting this disease with grace. 

with pride.

with faith.

with inspiration. 

and for every tear, there are 10 smiles that emerge from this amazing woman.


kristina has completed her first chemotherapy treatment, and just as the doctors predicted, her hair began to fall out … and quickly.

it can seem so superficial. it’s just hair, right? 

except it’s not.

it’s seeing sickness in the mirror every time you look. it’s strangers asking questions, and giving looks. it’s not looking like yourself anymore. it’s the constant reminder that you are dealing with something much bigger than yourself.


in true kristina fashion, friends and family gathered at a head-shaving party to bid her hair adieu. friends and family joined together with drinks in hand and as they both laughed and cried, the clippers hit kristina’s hair.

she cried. she laughed. and she mohawk-ed.

all in true kristina fashion. 

(to read more about kristina’s journey in her own words, check out her blog.)

below are some of my favorite images from kristina’s head-shaving party.

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kristina…

you.

are.

beautiful. 

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  • Cheryl Kreuger

    What an awesome group of friends…you are beautiful with or without hair…look on the brighter side..with each hair lost you are bidding farewell to Cancer and as it starts its regrowth you are the new cancer free Kristina. ..emerging stronger, wiser and just as beautiful. . Keeping you in our prayers! !!!

  • Lauren Trotter

    Such an inspiration! I don’t know you, Kristina but I can tell you’re a very strong woman!! Kick cancer’s ass!! You’re beautiful!!

  • Anna Hays

    What a beautiful tribute to have that many friends around you. My sister had to do this and your story breakers my heart as I think of her and her short life. She was a fighter and fought it for 20 years before it got her. So rock on, girl. Give it your best fight ever and talk to you in 20 years. Love you.Anna

  • Todd Laurie

    Kristina, you are an inspiration, you are wonderful, and most importantly, YOU ARE ALIVE!!! :) In every way, you are alive dear woman.

  • Judy Walton

    So special!!

  • Brittany Lee Barnhill

    Kristina I love you! You are so beautiful inside and out!!!

  • Tara

    and I’m crying. She’s a very beautiful woman.

McKinley's Newborn Session

Sugar and spice and everything nice – that’s what little girls are made of.

McKinley is no exception. Such a sweet little girl with the cutest little grin.

Snuggling this little one was just perfect – and her big blue eyes and perfect newborn hair left me itching for another baby!

Enjoy some of my favorites of little Miss McKinley!

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hi blue eyes!

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aspen is already sooo good with little mckinley. such a sweetie.

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favorite. that little grin!

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leighanne is the perfect new mommy.

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3 generations together, and the smile on grandma’s face – i just love it.

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  • Katie C

    So precious! I love them all especially the one with all 3 generations.

  • Debbie C

    Love them!! Katie your work is beautiful and you always capture those special moments :))

Stephanie & Brian | Engaged

Stephanie & Brian’s engagement session in his hometown of Craig, CO was quite the journey.

but the trees, the colors, and the unique property that has been in Brian’s family for generations were definitely worth the trip.

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Love those colors!

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shooting on brian’s family property was so fun, with tractors and cars of all sorts for us to shoot with.

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love this one!

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steph & brian, congrats again on your engagement! I can’t wait for the big day!

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Bethany & Brandon’s Grant Humphries Mansion Wedding

“It’s your day.”

As a bride or groom, you hear it all the time. It’s your day.

Most people think of this notion in terms of what it means for their flowers, their dress, their venue, etc.

Not for Bethany and Brandon.

To them, “It’s your day” meant “Today is a day to celebrate your love…with everyone you love. Today is a day to be exactly who you are, together and as each other.”

It was their day…to start the rest of their life. 

which is much more important than what color the napkins are.

Enjoy some of my favorite images from their day. 

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i love these shoes….obviously.

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bethany left her groom with a personal note and a pocketwatch just moments before their first look. so perfect.

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this is how you do a modern take on classic.

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bethany you are absolutely stunning!

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i love the creative way briony, my second photographer, photographed their first look…so unique.

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a giant fortune cookie at each place setting! i love it!

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what a great group of ladies – including two former kate marie brides!

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these two were fighting me for smiles, but somehow, we got them!

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the perfect decor for such a great venue.

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when we find an amazing couch in the mansion hallway, you can bet we are going to put it to good use!

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both bethany’s mom and brandon had wonderful expressions when seeing the bride walk down the aisle.

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bethany’s parents are two of the sweetest people i have met, and bethany and brandon are following suit. i love how both couples are praying in such similar ways in this shot.

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yup. you two look good together.

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favorite.

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there was no better way to end the night than some dramatic mansion shots.

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another favorite. it’s such a grand mansion, but somehow these two seem so intimate in this image. like they’re all alone together…

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congratulations to the happy couple!

 

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  • Katie Farrell Kline

    Beautiful!!!

  • Dianna Rucker

    Beautiful

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