I was born in Indiana, the son of an artistic family. I grew up in a household where adults would stay up most of the night painting and there would be several paintings on display in the morning. Particularly on my dad’s side, everybody was a musician, artist, writer, philosopher and theologian. As I grew older, my dad got into banking and left being a professional musician. I was deeply influenced by my family and spent much of my time with music and the arts, but also have some business background.
We moved to Florida when I was 9. My dad started to have business success and built a 12 sided house, with an octagon game room off the back and a hexagon garage to the side. We had artwork that cascaded onto the ceiling, a round sunken living room and wild built-in furniture. We moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and by then tennis was an important part of my life. I played USTA tournaments and became ranked as high as #3 in my state.
Unfortunately, we lost my dad when I was only 17 years old and it dramatically changed our family emotionally and financially. I realize the power of photos as I cherish photos I have of him, which to this day, help to keep him alive in my memories.
I married my wonderful wife, Bren over 30 years ago. We were both born in northwestern Indiana and we both went to Principia College in southern Illinois. I moved from Indiana to Florida when I was 9 so we didn’t meet until college and even then we did not realize we lived only 10 miles apart when we were growing up. We raised 2 of our own kids, then adopted a Chinese baby orphan at 2 years old.
My wife, Bren, joined our studio in 2001 and many of you have met her or heard her cheery voice on the phone. I’ve enjoyed being our family photographer and many ideas and styles have that I use professionally, have first been tried and tested on my own family.
I’ve been involved as a professional photographer for over 30 years. Originally I did almost anything but weddings. I shot mostly fashion, architecture, and products. Since I love working with people, it was natural to get into family photography. I started a business called Kaish Dahl with partner Howard Kaish and we built it to be one of the biggest wedding and portrait photography studios in California. Howard Kaish passed away several years ago. Curtis Dahl Photography is thriving, with a special emphasis on delivering personal 5 star service.