Inspired By This…& That | Holiday Party

BHLDNAt first, when BHLDN came out last year, I didn’t get it. I mean, I was completely smitten with the dresses and accessories, but hadn’t a clue that “BHLDN” was short for “Beholden”…sometimes it takes me a while with these things. It certainly took no time at all for me to fall in love with the aesthetic of the lovely items they have curated…here’s a sampling of holiday dresses, shoes and accessories that are currently on sale! I hope you get inspired this Monday…



All you need is…

…a date night! After 5 days away, there was a feeling that something was off. There was a distance…between…us. I spent this past weekend surrounded by several incredible people in Chicago for Colleen & Arius’ wedding. Many of these people are one half of a really incredible couple. As I talked to these couples, I watched the way they interacted with each other and saw how much love, admiration and fondness they have for one another. I found myself talking to these couples about James–a lot. Clearly, I was missing him.

Before I left, James and I had planned a date night, but work ran late and we got too tired to go, so when I left the next morning, it felt like we hadn’t spent any time recently, really just hanging out together.

This is the way it is right now. The Work Monster doesn’t care if we haven’t talked face to face without some sort of internet-connected device in our hands for what seems like forever; the Work Monster doesn’t care if we don’t have the same days free to go to the lake; the Work Monster doesn’t care if we haven’t even sat together at a proper dinner table just enjoying each other’s company for what seems like months!

And, the Work Monster is just fine becoming the excuse for why everything seems “off”. In fact, it’s a matter of us making our relationship a priority, no matter how much work we have to do.

So, last night, we squeezed in some time for a little date…

(iPhone photo while waiting for our drinks)

Un-showered, and dressed in my finest workout clothes, James and I met up at Starbucks for a pre-dinner hot cocoa 🙂 As un-glamorous and basic as it was, that feeling, the distance, the distractions…went away. It was just the two of us sitting together, re-connecting.

Hopefully we will plan a proper date-night soon, but the great thing is, it doesn’t take anything elaborate. All it takes is putting a priority on it…and making sure the Work Monster doesn’t try to third-wheel us!



A place of giving…

On Facebook, sometimes it feels like you’re just trying to shout louder than the other person, rather than actually trying to connect, and carry on a conversation. And, it’s only becoming worse.

I’m not sure I know what to do about it for my business, and personally. Just keep posting and hope someone hears it? Try to really connect with others by interacting with more individuals more often? Leave all together!?

Actually, I do have a theory. When I forget that I’m “on Facebook” or “doing social media” and I am just myself, there seems to be a natural attraction and people begin to converse more freely, in a more real way. AND, when I think about just giving to others… being truly giving of my time, and maybe just lending an ear, it seems social media is just another way to become connected with another human being. And that’s what I hope to do in my life.

Maybe this isn’t rocket science, and maybe it’s not new, but sometimes I just need that reminder that getting out of a place of “selfishness” and moving toward a place of giving, elicites something that truly excites me. It means we are being more fully human…and I feel like I’m closer to my true self in those moments.

My aim here is to let go of pretense, opening myself up to others, in case they are in need of a kind word, of an ear to listen. With all of the noise online, sometimes just going back to what matters, going to that place of giving is really the place I must start.

If only I could learn to be as giving as the tree…unconditional love and sacrifice… what a beautiful reminder to be more giving…

By the way, thanks to you, for being a reader of this blog. For giving your time to me. For lending your ear. It means a lot to me.



On talking to myself & the end of wedding season

So, I’m definitely not a grammar nazi, or even a grammarian, but I do like language, and try to get it right as often as possible. Here on the blog, I probably mis-speak, or mis-type I guess, quite often and I don’t even know it, but we’re among friends here, right? So I can be a little more colloquiale, no?

So, yesterday, I just minding my own business and talking to myself, as I am want to do sometimes (that’s right…the life of a small business owner who works out of her house and often doesn’t see people..except her husband..and dogs… for days), and out of my mouth came the formal “wherem“. What, you might ask, is that? Well, of course, when you’re asking a question about a person and the answer is a pronoun, (her, him, them) … the proper way to ask is: “Whom are you referring to?”



whom (the singular and plural objective case of who)

  1. (formal) What person or people; which person or people, as the object of a verb.
    Whom did you ask?

     [quotations ▼]

  2. (formal) What person or people; which person or people, as the object of a preposition.
    To whom are you referring?
    With whom were you talking?

     [quotations ▼]

Him; her; them (used as a relative pronoun to refer to a previously mentioned person or people.)

He’s a person with whom I work.
We have ten employees, half of whom are carpenters.

Right…. right. So, because I was a bit sleep deprived… I of course, asked myself (aloud, mind you), “Wherem did I put my keys??!” Because of course, I’m looking for “them” and it would be totally improper to use the informal, “where” in this case.

Right. So, of course, there is no point to this post, except to teach you (in case you were still wondering) how to use the formal “whom” and to just say that: it’s getting to be the end of wedding season and I am tired!!!

 (From One Horse Shy)




Over the weekend I saw this quote tweeted from Portland-based photographer, Branden Harvey, and it really struck me. It struck me because using these adjectives: “happy” and “bored” are just exactly how I feel when producing/creating vs. consuming. And, it struck me because recently I’ve been attempting to figure out how I work best. I’ve been experimenting with my daily schedule. I’ve been switching things up when it comes to day to day tasks, as well as the more creative endeavors in my business.

This has not been easy. How do you become more efficient? How do you break it all down to really get to the heart of your best self? How do you even find the time to do all of this? I’ve been grappling with all of this as of late.

So, when I saw this quote from William Ralph Inge I stopped and said, “that’s it!” It’s not that this is the answer to all of these questions, per se, but this is where it begins for me: When I am producing and creating, I move forward.

I’ll say it again (more for me, than for you): When I am creating, I am moving forward.

This doesn’t mean that in this creating, I’m always doing everything right, or in the very best way I can. But, simply creating seems to fuel everything else I do. When I even just begin the steps to create (whether that’s creating a photograph, or creating a better system to keep track of my expenses), that inertia, that feeling of being stuck just leaves my body. I am happy! I’ve moved forward and it feels amazing!

More often than not though, I get overwhelmed with everything I’m working on and I begin to turn to others (usually within the wedding photography industry) for inspiration. I see what others are producing and I go into consumption mode, or what I call: #iWant mode. It’s that feeling that everything I’m looking at I want. I want to photograph like that, I want to look like that, I want to be like that person…and on and on. As a consumer, I begin to feel empty inside. I begin to compare compare compare! Even thinking about producing something feels impossible. I mean, how can I? I’ll never be as good as that, I’ll never look like that…etc.

And so, after seeing that tweet from Branden, I’ve been thinking how can I snap out of that mode?..Because let’s be honest, the consumer-mentality isn’t going away any time soon. One way I’ve discovered, is to turn off all social media except at certain portions of the day. This seems to train my brain to be actively thinking, rather than digesting information. And of course, there’s the ABCs …no, not Glengarry Glen Ross style but my own version: ABC: A Always B Be C Creating. Always be creating. When the #iWant part of my brain kicks in, I need to kick it back with the ABCs…

What do you think? This is sort of the beginning of this thought process for me, I wonder if you’ve found success with this type of thinking? Maybe you disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts…



They go together… | Seattle WA

Carey & Jared are like a fine wine and cheese, fruit and cheese, crackers and cheese…they pair well! Really well.

These two are dedicated to each other, their families, their kitties, and making a home and community that embody their core values: living sustainably and living well. We stayed close to home for their engagement session, right in their neighborhood in Columbia City, in fact. It’s an awesome little place in Seattle, if you’ve never been! They have a beautiful garden right in their front yard where we sat for a bit nibbling from a hummus plate and drinking some Kiona wine (the same vintner they first discovered the day they got engaged!)

We wandered the streets a while, near where they will hold their reception when they marry September 8, 2012! I simply adore these two and can not wait to be a part of their wedding celebration!


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p.s. Leave a note for Carey & Jared below in the comments section!


p.p.s. I shot some of their session of film with my medium format camera! I’m still learning the ropes with my film camera, but it is a thrill to see the way they turn out…can you spot the images created on film?

Jacey & Cory | The Wedding! | Leavenworth Wa

As I mentioned, in the sneak peek of Jacey & Cory’s wedding there were so many heartfelt moments throughout their wedding: Many tears of joy were shed during the surprise song, performed by Jacey’s sister and brother during their ceremony. The officiant, spontaneously asked the family to join them in a prayer on the altar, before he declared the couple, husband and wife. Cory and Jacey exited the ceremony to the theme song from “Indian Jones”!! And during the toasts, each and every person who spoke became emotional, as they described how much Jacey and Cory mean to them.

Both Jacey and Cory have made it their life’s work to minister to others and in their relatively short lives thus far, have had such a strong influence on those around them! As individuals they have already accomplished great things; it will be wonderful to see what they will do together, now they are married! Wishing you two many more moments of joy and surprise in the future!

Jacey gave Cory this over 200-years-old bible as her wedding gift to him!

Sometimes, a puppy comes along and takes over a photo shoot and you just can’t do anything but let him…

Leave some love for Jacey & Cory in the comments below!

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Jacey & Cory | The Wedding | Sneak Peek

There were so many poignant and beautiful moments today at Jacey and Cory’s wedding in Leavenworth! After the wedding the two were in tears as they held each other. Witnessing their day was truly moving. I am so excited to share more from their day here on Tuesday!

Jacey & Cory's Leavenworth WA wedding Atlas & Elia Photography

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starting the day right | Cashmere Washington

Happy Friday, everyone! A few days ago my friends asked if I wanted to go for a little hike and it sounded like just the thing on a sunny afternoon! We had an awesome, if windy time! I decided to invite another friend to go out this morning and it was just a perfect way to start the day!

Here’s to a great start to your day!

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p.s. The winner of the Pay It Forward giveaway is: Barbara Corlett! Yay! Let me know which coffee shop you prefer!

farm fresh… {A Cashmere Washington engagement session}

In the past few days, some weird things have happened. Like, I was telling James a story and mid-sentence I paused and he finished my sentence with the exact word I was planning to use…The weird thing was, it was a word that I don’t think I’ve said, or really even thought EVER*. It wasn’t really that big of a deal, but then yesterday about half-way through the day, I hadn’t spoken with James and thought I’d text him. I started to text him and just as I hit send, he texted me the EXACT same thing I was going to write to him! I know, it sounds strange. And maybe it’s nothing, but, at the very least, it feels good to be that in sync, that connected.

When I met Jacey and Cory a few months ago, they struck me as couple with this kind of connectedness. When you’re in a room with them, their connection is practically palpable. Their hearts and minds are so in tune with one another, like they’re speaking to one another without having to say a word… One look and they have communicated exactly how they feel toward one another. I don’t know about telepathy, but these two are certainly on the same wave-length…

They will be married this Saturday in Leavenworth, Washington and I so look forward to documenting the beginning of their wedded life together!

Did I mention Jacey’s family lives on a farm? With horses? This is Jack:

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*p.s. The word I was going to use, and James said is “compunction” …not really a word we use everyday!