Lauren & Skuyler | Engaged!

They met in class when she was just 19. She thought he was much older, so she didn’t think much of it, except that she thought he was cute. He thought she was pretty cute too and smart as well (a big A+ in his book). They hung out, just as friends, at first. After all, Skuyler was Lauren’s Chemistry TA, so dating, or even hanging out was really not an option. But, it’s fair to say…they had “chemistry” together. (Thank you, I’ll be here all night. Be sure to tip your waiter.)

When the quarter was over, they quickly began hanging out and then, eventually dating. And here they are. It’s graduation weekend at WSU in Pullman, Washington and Lauren’s just graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering! And Skuyler, who is working on his PhD, has come back to WSU to watch his now fiancé walk across the stage to receive her diploma. In just over a month these two will be married and on their way to live together in Denver!!

These two seriously brought it for their engagement session! I think it’s fair to say that one of them is copper and the other is tellurium, because they are CuTe! (Chemistry jokes!!! I die!!!)

{ ♥ ♥ ♥ }






Jill & Shay | Engaged!

It’s pretty much a guarantee that if you own a dog as sweet and cute as little Gia (seen below), I’m going to love you. But, there’s about a million other reasons why I love these guys, besides that! For one, Jill & Shay are super creative! When I walked into their house and saw all of the art and the way they had it decorated, I was pretty sure we were going to get along. And, these two are just down-to-earth, chill people…the kind that you want to have in your life–for the rest of your life. Oh, and did I mention, they are funnny (three “n’s”)! I loved watching Jill and Shay just be together and laugh! And, well, again…their dog, Gia…this dog, you guys, just made my heart melt! While we were at the 1000 Acres dog park she chased snakes, while we chased the good light. After that, she got a little tuckered, so while we headed farther out into the Columbia River Gorge, just past Hood River, Oregon, she fell asleep and took a good, long nap while we spent time at Rowena Overlook in Mosier, Oregon.

And if that’s not enough, I ALREADY received a hand-written thank you note in the mail from them!! Thanks, you two, for pretty much being the best!

{ ♥ ♥ ♥}














Thanks & Giving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fine-feathered friends (and all you other turkeys too)! This holiday just makes me giddy with excitement! Mostly it’s because of the pies and whipped cream, but of course the chance to stop and just be thankful for everything we are so amazingly lucky to have in our lives! I want to celebrate this fine day by giving a little something to all of my wonderful clients, to whom I am utterly grateful! Thank you for believing in me this year! You all mean SO SO much to me! Thank you!

You can purchase any print in your gallery 20% off the regular price, now through December 7! Use the promo code: thanks&giving



p.s. Thanks to Richard Photo Lab for being the best lab out there! Their print quality is unmatched!



Social Media Free | It’s a Choice

Yesterday, I told myself, you know what, “You can do anything you want today…James is off from work, and you should spend time with him, so you can just hang out!” What did I do though? I spent a good two hours in the morning reading blogs, checking Twitter, you know–the usual.

And, what did that mean for my time with James? Well, it meant I wasn’t going to be able to make him breakfast, go for a snowy walk in the neighborhood. It meant less time snuggling, less hot chocolate breaks, less time being present with him. I had lots of work to finish, so I did have to make time for that, but by wasting a good portion of my morning, I made a decision that the “anything I want to do today” was going to be wasting time online, not what is important to me.

I have a choice, each and every day, to make my real life a priority, or to make my online life the priority. To give all of my time to my job, or to give a concerted amount of time to work, in order to live my actual life to its fullest. When I make the choice to wile away my time online with no real purpose, I am actively choosing to disregard the import things in my life.

Today, James isn’t here, he’s back at work. I don’t have the choice to walk out of my office and into the living room to give him a kiss on the cheek, “just because”. That moment is gone. These distractions in my life are a HUGE problem for me. It’s pretty much my only vice, I’d say. So, how do I make sure I am more fully involved in my life, free from those distractions? Well, one thing I’m trying, is to go “social media free” on the weekends (this weekend I was better, but not perfect). Other things I’ve tried (and failed at) are choosing a block of time during each weekday to check social media and to post on it. I’d like to try that again, in hopes that I will realize how much more real life I have time to participate in, without all the distraction of having to post every thought and meal I’ve eaten!!

What are your tips to keep the distractions at bay? Thank you, in advance, for your help on this…I want to tackle this problem head-on and come out on the other side with more time, freedom and choice!



Meghan & Danny | Engaged!

Wet weather be damned…

We met in Leavenworth at the Forest Service ranger station and decided to hop in their car and go.

Off we went, up Highway 2, the rain drip drip dripping and the windshield wipers, wipe, wipe, wiping.

They were happy as can be in the front seat, ready for another of what was just one of many adventures they have taken, and will take-together.

Meghan and Danny seem to me, in the brief time I’ve known them, to be adventurers at heart…always seeking new horizons, new ideas, new ways of looking at things.

They are the exact kind of people I love to be around…because they not only want this for themselves, but they want to share these adventures with the people around them.

Our time together was brief, but I have no doubt this will be just one of many times we go trek together out and about … I look forward to learning more about them, and from them…

How cute is the one where Meghan’s glasses are all fogged up?!Congratulations to you two on your engagement!

Feel free to leave your congratulations for Meghan and Danny below, in the comments!



Carrots + Ginger | nicknames + yummy soup

My entire life my hair has been a major defining feature for me. For the longest time, I tried to hide the red, desperately avoiding the teasing remarks and legitimate name-calling…there was a boy who actually called me “carrots,” á la Anne of Green Gables! Now, apparently, us redheads are now referred to as “gingers” even though I had never been called that before I turned 30. I don’t hate this term, but honestly, I don’t love it. I’ll take “carrots” any day.

Anyway, I’ve learned to embrace the red and now I am at peace with it…dare  I say, I love it!

And of course, throughout my childhood was told that the more carrots I ate, the more red (orange) my hair would be…you can imagine the lengths I went to avoid carrots… NO more!

Last night we made THE BEST carrot ginger soup! Because I know so many of you have always dyed 😉 to have red hair, here’s how you make it:

1 tablespoon oil (I used grapeseed)

4 medium onions, sliced

6 cups vegetable stock

8 large carrots, roughly cut in evenly sized pieces

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

“Heat the oil in a large sauce pot over low heat, and sauté the onions until they are translucent. Cut the peeled ginger into 1-inch slices and then roughly    chop. Add the chopped ginger to the onions, and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Increase heat. Add the stock and carrots. Simmer over medium heat until the carrots are tender. Season with the salt and pepper. Purée.”

That’s it! It takes no time, is super good for you and is seriously the perfect soup for autumn. I’m making more tonight!

(I realize that the carrots do not make my hair a deeper shade of orange, but it can’t hurt right?)



Recipe from The Whole Foods Market Cookbook


Building connections: On Twitter

Last night, among tweets with hashtags like ” #bindersfullofwomen ” and “#debate2012″ and #wholiedtoyou”, I was reminded the power of Twitter. It really hit me though, when I saw a tweet come into my feed BEFORE I heard it as I was streaming the presidential debate on Hulu.

Twitter is (or can be) reaction to information happening in real-time. I loved the interplay between what was being said in the debate and the opinions of the people I follow and then links to more information, like fact-checking and even almost-live art being created around the event.

This isn’t a new revelation, for me, or anyone else, but it did remind me of how Twitter can be used.

For my business, I find it to be the very best way to connect with people…even better than Facebook. Very often, I will just push links out through Twitter, and then forget to check my feed to see what others are saying, but this is a big mistake. Huge! The information coming through my feed is fresh and highly relevant to me (because of the people I choose to follow). And, when I remember how important it is to connect with people here, I am blown away by the number of real and meaningful conversations I have …albeit in 140 character snippets.

I follow several people who I think do Twitter right:

1) @citysage is genius when it comes to her ability to interact with her followers, create meaningful content, and promote her brand all through Twitter!

2) @bonnietsang tweets her thoughts on work, life, style, all seamlessly and constantly throughout the day all in a way that makes you want to know more about her and her brand!

3) @abbygracephoto uses Twitter really well to connect to other companies and to give shout-outs to the brands she loves to use in her business.

You’ll find me using Twitter more often and hopefully in ways that are relevant, informative, and continues to build connections.



p.s. It took me 4 tries to spell “genius” right …yikes.

p.p.s. I’d love to follow you on Twitter, let me know what your Twitter handle is and I’ll find you! Or, better yet, follow me here: @atlasandelia



Finding inspiration

Somedays require just a little more something. A little longer hug, a little more coffee. A little more just to get through the day. Yesterday was that kind of day for me. And I was looking for a little more inspiration.

Feeling drained of creativity and energy, and not having enough time to go out and create something of my own, I decided to find inspiration elsewhere. I have my go-to places, but so often I come away from those usual suspects feeling less than. Usually I find myself comparing, rather than gaining anything positive from it. So, my mission was to really just go on a hunt for some beautiful images of pretty things, that would help lift me out of this…whatever it is I’m feeling…

In hopes of lifting you too…here’s my latest inspirations…

(Mouse over the images to see where I found them…and of course, you can follow @atlasandelia on Pinterest to see more…)

I’m loving anything linen these days..included bed linens

Watercolor has become an obsession

Gold flatware & jewelry are totally on my radar

And anything monogrammed is a perennial favorite of mine

All of these things are just that, things, but surrounding myself with beauty, even in little things…maybe even especially in little things… brings me a certain amount of happiness and is truly inspiring to me…



p.s. Don’t you just love that stamped spoon?! You can find it & all sorts of other interesting & inspiring homemade goodies from Sterling & Fish 

p.p.s I’m feeling better already!

p.p.p.s. Where do you look for inspiration?






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.




I’m just going to come right out and say it: I LOVE location scouting! “Oh really? Do you want to marry it?” Yes, yes I do!

It’s a really fun part of the creative process of portrait photography for me. So, very often you’ll find me out and about doing just this–or at the very least it’s constantly in the back of my mind.

Here are 3 things I’m always looking for when location scouting:

1. Locations with good light. I don’t always start here, but good quality of light, created naturally, is of the utmost importance. “Good light” can mean many things, but in general, for me, that could mean: open shade, (in the shadow of a building or tree, you can always find this on the north side of any building); potential for reflected light (light is reflected or bounced into the area I plan to photograph my subjects); or potential to include images that are backlit (a location with a background that is clean and also has sun or other light source behind the subject).

2. Locations with clean backgrounds. A “clean” background does not necessarily mean void of everything. To me, a clean background is without distracting elements, including: poles that could pop out from the behind the subject’s head; light or shadow that will detract from the overall image; and any other aspect of the frame that will detract and not add to the overall composition).

3. Locations that make sense. I look for locations that have meaning for the subject, or that will contribute to the overall theme or vibe of the shoot. In general, I don’t just seek out locations that are cool and hip, for hipness’ sake (clearly this is true because if I were, I wouldn’t be describing this by saying things like “for hipness’ sake”)… I first discuss with my clients what they like and are into. For an engagement session, I find out information about how the couple met, how they got engaged, and what they like to do for fun. I ask other questions that help me to put together an overall theme for the shoot and begin to go through locations I’ve previously scouted that might make sense to go to. If none of those locations are right, that’s when I get to begin that fun, creative part of the process. Sometimes I base my location on the theme we’ve come up with for the shoot, and sometimes the theme come out of the location I find). In either way, I try not to box myself into a literal translation of where the couple spends their time, etc. Though, if the specific location is really important to them (for example, if the couple is really excited to be photographed in the place they were engaged), then I start with that location and find places within that location where I can create beautiful images of the couple.

Of course, the location is just the canvas from which I begin. Once I have the location chosen there are many more aspects to creating a beautiful photo shoot.  In the next few weeks  I will share with you the rest of the process!

Sometimes I think I’m explaining things well, but turns out it can be more confusing…if you need further clarification, I’m happy to answer your questions! Feel free to comment, or email me:

{♥ ♥ ♥}


p.s. If you’re a couple who is engaged, what is important to you to include in your engagement session? If you are a photographer, how do you scout for locations? …leave your comments below!