Chelsea & Justin | Married!

The pride he holds for her is unquestionable. The sweetness with which she looks at him is undeniable.  Each of the tiny moments, glances, gestures they shared that day give credence to these facts.

All of their tiny moments together have lead to this day when Chelsea would marry Justin; to this day when they would write their vows for one another and read them aloud in front of their community. Their feelings for one another lead them to this day when their two families would become one.

Chelsea and Justin’s unquestionable, undeniable, unwavering love lead them to this day and I couldn’t have been more excited to document this kind of love and the outpouring of it that was their wedding day at Beecher Hill House! Thanks you two, for allowing me to be a part of this day…


I want to give a special thanks to the team of vendors that contributed to this day:

Venue: Beecher Hill House

Catering: Ravenous Catering

Florals: Patti Bosket of Au Naturel

Cake: Heidi’s Treats

Dress: Bella Sera of Wenatchee

Hair and Makeup: A Cut Above


{ ♥ ♥ ♥ }


Chelsea & Justin | Married! | Sneak Peek

This is but a peek at the love-filled wedding of Chelsea & Justin at Beecher Hill House! I will share many more sweet images of these two This Thursday!

{ ♥ ♥ ♥ }



We’re on Instagram…what are you on? I will follow you, if you follow me…deal?




Time for Questions!

Happy Friday, friends! I’ve been getting questions from people offline for a while now about photography and small business. I try my best to answer in the best way I know how. And, I thought, why not see if any of you out there have questions that I might be able to answer!

You can email me (, comment below, or ask via Twitter or FB and I will begin to answer them (even if I don’t have the answer..I will try to find one for you)! You can ask me anything! What’s my favorite lens and why? How did I get started in wedding photography? How do we figure out the wedding-day timeline? What would I do if I won the lottery? Anything! As I said, I will try my best to answer it for you.

Happy asking!



Goals for 2013

Well, Goal Party 2013 is a wrap! My friends and I got together Saturday night (after watching what I must say was a shocking and devastating loss to Butler) to commit to our goals for 2013 and to review how we all did in 2012.

The tradition is to drink port wine and eat a very special cheese, called Stilton, which goes especially well with port (but is also especially stinky). As we (Karen, Dan, Jabez, James and I) went around the table reading our goals from last year and explaining if we reached the goal or not (and sometimes why), I couldn’t help but feeling incredibly proud of these people who I call my closest friends. Whether we failed or not at some things last year, the fact that we even sought to create a ritual like this and commit ourselves each year to be better, is really a wonderful thing…I LOVE that I have friends like this!


While last year, I really only had 1 goal, this year,  the pendulum swung the other way completely for me, and I filled an entire page pretty easily. As I described last week, my hope is to create goals that are timely, so my goals were written out quarterly. This will hopefully keep me on track and really striving to propel myself forward throughout the year, without dwelling on setbacks…always moving forward, forward.

I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a pretty exciting year (pay special attention to the 4th quarter of the year 😉

What did I tell you?! This year is going to be kind of epic in the Stevens’ house! (And no, this is not an official announcement of anything…just the hope for the future!) James made a short and sweet list of goals that he will totally make happen! Karen, as usual is working on goals that make her a better mother and educator and I have no doubt she will rock her goals out this year! Dan, whom I admire for so many reasons, has almost as long of a list of goals as I do, but he is crazy motivated this year! And Jabez is making things happen this year like nobodies business! This year is going to be GOOD…I can just feel it!

Thank you to everyone who shared their goals with me! I know each and every one of you can accomplish them! Let’s commit to commitment, shall we?! The winner of the giveaway is…

Megan Kathleen!!


Cheers to 2013, friends!!!



My Secrets to Putting On a Styled Shoot

A few weeks ago, a group of wedding professionals and I put on a styled shoot. When I set out to do this, it wasn’t because I knew what I was doing. No. That was not it. It wasn’t because I wanted to do something I have done before a hundred times… It wasn’t because it was going to be easy. No. It was precisely because it was going to be hard. Right in the middle of my wedding season, I saw an opportunity to make this happen, and well, I didn’t want it to pass by… Another thing, that I’d just put off until…later. The funny thing was, I wasn’t nervous to do the shoot itself. I wasn’t even nervous about the work involved beforehand in putting it all together. But there was this one thing…it’s the one thing that trips me up in much of what I do…I was terrified to ask.

I couldn’t just ask people to participate?! Could I? But that’s what I did. And that’s my secret to putting on a styled shoot: “Just Ask”. Stunningly simple, right? On its face, that sounds super simple. In reality, putting myself out there, with the knowledge that I might be rejected, is intensely nerve-racking for me. Rejection is probably my number one reason for not doing something. Wow. That sounds silly as I write it. But, I know it to be true for myself. Putting on another styled shoot has been something I’ve been wanting to do since the first one I did before I even began my business. But, that fear of rejection kept me from even contacting other professionals. When the opportunity arose for this latest styled shoot, I guess I just didn’t have the luxury of time to think about what that rejection might feel like. I had to either do or not do. On or off. 1 or 0. So, I did it. I just asked. And, it was like ripping off a bandaid. Once I did it, I realized if it did hurt, it only hurt for a moment. And, surprisingly, it didn’t hurt. So, I did it again, and again. Until I had a team of people together. And guess what? Not ONE person said no. Not one. Even if they had, what is the worst thing that could have happened? I would have asked another person. That’s it! When you put things into perspective, all of that ridiculous fear washes away.

So let’s review: Step 1 (the secret to putting on a styled shoot): Just ask.

Step 2: Have a strong theme in mind. If you, as photographer, are the overall coordinator of the shoot, make sure you have a strong theme and even visual examples of the theme. Often, we use words like, “vintage” or “modern” that mean something to one person, and something completely different to another. So, get specific about the theme in order to get everyone involved on the same page.

Step 3: Get your models set up. The models you use make a huge difference, so make sure you get them squared away right away. And don’t base everything on their looks. Their personality and their vibe make such a huge difference on the day of the shoot.

Step 4: Solidify your location as soon as possible. The location, whether a wedding venue, like the IvyWild (seen below), or in the midst of a forest, make sure that location is set, before moving forward. That involves coordinating with the owners/managers of the venue, or looking into permits and scouting the exact place you’ll be shooting to make sure it is precisely what you need and won’t change drastically from that point to the day you’re shooting (i.e. all of the leaves fall off of the trees and the park maintenance removes them from the ground).

Step 5: Talk with your stylist about what the models will be wearing. Or, if you’re the stylist, begin to pull ideas from your sources (wedding dress stores, like Bella Sera, tux shops, like Mills Brothers, antique shops, online) and make sure these items will be available the day you need them. Also, double-check here that each of the items of clothing, the accessories, and hair pieces all fit the theme you’ve selected.

Step 6: Talk with your coordinator/event stylist about the details of the shoot e.g. any tablescapes being creating, props used, backdrops being made or used, to make sure they fit the theme (like in this styled shoot created by Janine Davis of Bloomers Flowers and Amy Aguigui of Etcetera). And, if you (as the photographer) are the event stylist, again, make sure each of the items you’re looking for are available that day, from the rental house, or store you’re purchasing/renting/borrowing from.

Step 7: Talk with the floral stylist. When describing your needs to your floral stylist, be specific. It is incredible how much the florals can set the mood for the shoot. Make sure you have several conversations with them about which flowers they have in mind to use, or ask them to use specific flowers, if you know you want them to be highlighted in the shoot. For our autumn wedding themed styled shoot, I was really excited about using one of my favorite flowers, dahlias, so I made sure to talk to our floral stylist, Patti Bosket of Au Naturel about using those.

Step 8: If you’re including a cake or other food items in the shoot, begin to ask around about who is doing new and innovative things. Incorporate something that’s never been seen before. This is a great way to liven up a shoot and provides lots of details to shoot! Also, talk to your event stylist to find out if they plan to create a dessert table-scape, or how they envision highlighting the food and dessert.

Step 9: Details details! Again, go back to the theme and think of each of the details that make sense to incorporate into the shoot. That might be a hair piece or veil (like the one below by Melinda Rose Design, jewelry, boutonnieres, paper goods (such a menus, invitations, banners, or even a sweet hand-written note from a bride to a groom), anything that makes the shoot come alive and feel authentic.

Step 10: Be original. In all aspects of the planning all the way through the shoot. Think: original, fresh, new. The idea in doing a styled shoot is to try new things, play, be inspired, so don’t try to copy something you’ve seen…be innovative! Shoot with lenses you don’t normally shoot with, try new angles, new lighting techniques. If you aren’t used to directing your clients, try directing their every move. If you haven’t been one to focus on details, do it! If you are a detail-queen, but aren’t as versed in candid moments, try to look for the real, un-scripted parts of the day. I know I fall short when it comes to this step quite often, so it’s a constant struggle, but it’s worth it to me to at least try.

This, of course, is just the way I do it. But, for me, by following these steps each time, I can see myself learning from the process and moving forward in what I’m trying to achieve with a styled shoot.

As I said in this previous blog post, the most important part of a styled shoot for me, is collaboration. So, if I do nothing else, but bring great people together to work together in a creative environment, I’m happy!

And, if you haven’t put on a styled shoot yet, but have truly wanted to, start with step 1 and I promise it will all happen from there.



Beecher Hill House | Autumn Wedding | Styled Shoot

I am thrilled to share with you this gorgeous Beecher Hill House wedding styled shoot! I partnered with a bevy of really talented local wedding vendors from Leavenworth, Chelan and Wenatchee. I was struck with everyone’s willingness to help and really go out of their way to make this happen and on quite a short timeline!

The models, Kristin McCamey, Luke Kerns and Erika Tinker were amazing to work with and were so fun to spend time with. That’s what makes these shoots so wonderful…the people! So thanks to:

Pam and Susan at Beecher Hill House in Peshastin, WA

Libby Harrison of Sweet Bliss Events and Stella & Dot Jewelry in Pateros, WA

Patti Bosket of Au Naturel in Leavenworth, WA

Michelle DesCombaz of Michelle DesCombas Hair Design in East Wenatchee, WA

Cindy, Debbie and Kelly of Bella Sera in Wenatchee, WA

Mills Brothers in Wenatchee, WA

Jenae of All Seasons Events in Chelan, WA

Linda and Mike of The North Central Washington Dahlia Society

Autumn Miller of Autumn Miller Makeup Styling in Wenatchee, WA

Heather of Anjou Bakery in Cashmere, WA

Ben of Mission Street Bistro in Wenatchee, WA

You all are truly the best!




Collaboration & Sharing! | Why I love styled shoots…

The collaborative process that is a styled shoot is something I crave. The excitement when ideas are flowing, the rush to get everything finished, the great energy that wonderful people bring to the table just fuels me! This among a few other key ingredients is why I love styled shoots!

Here are the top 3 reasons I do styled shoots:

1) It’s a chance to collaborate! I love working with people! And working with professionals who are just as passionate as I am about creating wedding-related pretties just puts it over the top for me! From the very first phone call discussing the ideas in my head and hearing their wisdom and contributions, to the last push the day of to get all your ducks in a row, to actually photographing all of the gorgeous details brought together by everyone, collaboration is the top priority for me.

2) Sharing is caring. Second only to collaboration on a styled shoot is sharing. One thing I tell the vendors involved in the shoot is that the images I create are just as much theirs as they are mine. Because they put in so much time and talent into the work (for free!) I make sure the vendors receive all of the images I take free from watermark, so they can use the images however they’d like for marketing purposes. Some argue that the images should have your logo on it, but I’ve taken what I believe to be good advice, from Justin and Mary Marantz, and believe that if vendors are elated with the work we’ve done together, they will happily share my name with people and potential clients. And if you’re not convinced, see point #1 again.

3) To spread the word. Whether the images are used solely for vendor’s marketing purposes, or if they go on to be published on blogs or in magazines, the end goal, for me, is to get the word out about all of our businesses. And going back to reason #2, I believe that sharing the work that I do with others, will get people excited about my business and will talk about it. And, in my opinion, a word-of-mouth referral is by far the best you can get! Of course, having your work published is a wonderful way to spread the word farther and possibly faster, so it’s a goal that stays top of mind throughout the entire process!

Yesterday, I photographed a styled shoot, which I will share with you after it’s published. But, because I just can’t help myself, here’s a little look at our gorgeous bride…

Isn’t the bouquet simply stunning (Patti, your work amazes me every. single. time!)

A very special thank you to my collaborators (and now friends) who made this amazing shoot happen!

Beecher Hill House
Libby Harrison of Sweet Bliss Events
Patti Bosket of Au Naturel
All Seasons Events
Michelle Bainard DesCombaz (hairstylist)
Autumn Miller (makeup)
Bella Sera
Mills Brothers
The NCW Dahlia Society
Anjou Bakery
Mission Street Bistro
Models: Kristen, Erica, Luke and Avery!

p.s. In the coming weeks I will tell you how to put together your own styled shoot (including the number 1 tip that is so simple, you won’t believe it)!