I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan right on Lake Superior. My family has lived there for generations, and it's a gorgeous area, but I wanted to explore beyond that region. I moved to Denver in 1998 to go to college. I changed majors a few times, moved out of state twice and finally returned to land in Centennial. I'd lived in south Denver for many years, so I already loved the area, but I knew I wanted to live within the delivery zone of my favorite restaurant: Sazza Pizza + Salads. Yes, seriously.
I live in Centennial near the Greenwood Village border. I'm 45 years old and earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography from Metro State in 2003, but I've been passionate about photography since I got my first camera in the 1980s.
I've done many types of photography since 2003, including landscape and vegan food photography, but I launched my portrait business, Christine June Photography, in 2013, the year my youngest child was born.
My favorite part is getting to know my portrait families — what they do, what they enjoy, where they're from, who they are — and customizing sessions to create artwork they're going to love. Capturing relationships within families is really special to me. Knowing that these families will have these images to look back on with so much love brings me a lot of joy. Some of the most precious things I own are old images of my grandparents and great-grandparents.
As a portrait photographer, I focus on families, kids and high school seniors. Capturing genuine smiles from real laughter is something I like to create, so when they look at the artwork they've hung on their walls, they remember the happiness in that moment.
I often hear back from the parents that the artwork has helped knit a blended family together or that their kids feel seen and loved by having their images displayed on the walls. These things don't happen when the pictures are hidden on a computer or flash drive.
“Pooch Playoffs” was a campaign I developed to help lift up a local animal shelter. For this year, I chose the Denver Dumb Friends League.
This was the first year for my fundraiser, Pooch Playoffs, but I plan to do it every year going forward. I had so much fun with the dogs, and they're often overlooked when it comes time for family portraits.
For an entry fee of $99 (collected and donated to DDFL), each dog got a portrait session in my studio … The dog parents chose their favorite image to enter into the competition and then were entered into backet-style voting on my website set up to coincide with March Madness NCAA basketball tournament. Family and friends of each dog voted for the “Ulti-Mutt Cutie” each week, down to the final four and the championship round.
The 2021 winner is a handsome rescue dog named Indiana Bones who lives in Denver with his human companion.
As a small business, I love being part of the community and serving when I can ... I chose the Dumb Friends League because I've adopted several animals from them over the years, and they do so much good for the companion animals in our state.
I've traveled to 32 countries and lived in five states, but the place that feels most like home is Colorado. After 23 happy years, can I be called an honorary native Coloradan?
If you would like to suggest someone for My Name Is ..., or if you would like to be interviewed for the segment, contact Ellis Arnold at email@example.com or 303-566-4109.
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