Jill & Shay | The Wedding!!

A while back I wrote a little blog about these two. I wrote how down-to-earth and chill they are. I wrote how creative and good to each other they are. I wrote about my infatuation with their little dog, Gia! But, what I didn’t write about is their love for each other. Because, you see, I hadn’t fully seen it yet. I hadn’t fully realized that all these things that they are individually, also apply to the way they love each other. Their love is down-to-earth, chill, creative and it is good. It is BIG! As big as Jill’s beautiful, infectious and always-ready laugh! As big as Shay’s genuine, kind and gentle heart. And it was everywhere on their wedding day at the super-unique wedding venue, the Sunshine Mill in The Dalles, Oregon! And when I saw it full-blown like this, I was awe-struck! Jill and Shay, I am in awe of YOU! Thank you for sharing this kind of love with all of your friends and family the way you do! It was a beautiful thing to behold. Congratulations, many times over!

Wedding Photography //  Atlas & Elia Photography

Venue // Sunshine Mill Winery, The Dalles, Oregon

Catering // Sterling Catering Portland, Oregon

Band // Djangovitis Portland, Oregon

Wedding Cake // Back to Eden Bakery Portland, Oregon

Dessert // Voodoo Doughnut, Portland, Oregon

Florals // By Aaron Younger and picked from Krugers Farm Sauvie’s Island

Dress // Allure Bridal

Bride’s Shoes // Camper

Groom’s attire // Shirt: Xibit Pants: Tommy Hilfiger  Tie: Penguin Vest: Bevilocqua

Groom’s Shoes // Vans


{♥ ♥ ♥ }



A space for calm

Apparently, I work best when there’s just enough work that it must get done now, but not so much that the stress of it all paralyzes me. Or, maybe I just work well when I learn to practice that oh-so-elusive act: balancing. In fact, I know this to be true.

For me, balance looks like this: plenty of time off away from my computer, from social media, from things related to “work”. It’s starting my day sitting in silence. It’s the practice of breathing and smiling and being aware of that. It’s lots of naps under the tree. It’s planning meals, preparing them, and enjoying them with James, friends, family (and preferably all three at the same time). It’s creating a beautiful home, filled with memories and the right amount of “things” that don’t represent material wealth, but experiential wealth. It’s making time for me (weather that’s to work out, get my hair did, to read a book, or even finding the perfect new pair of shoes) and feeling great that I did so!

I’m in that space today. Tons of emails have been sent, plans made, house cleaned, meals prepped. This is the space I strive to live in. Free from distractions, free from comparison, free to live in my own head and simultaneously connected to the people that matter the most to me. Summer is almost here, and man it feels good to live in this space for a while…The trick is…when there’s more work than time, when the house isn’t just so, when I get an email that throws me for a loop–those are the times where I must MAKE time to get into this space. To make life, this very present moment, feel GREAT! To create that space for peace and calm and breathing and smiling!

Do you have advice for me on this? How do you get into that space?

{♥ ♥ ♥}



Inspired By This…& That | Destination Wedding Edition


Right around this time of year, I start to get the itch…No, not because of my crazy dry skin… I start to get the travel itch! So today’s inspiration board is dedicated to destination weddings! I’m in love with two specific locales: Tuscany, Italy and Yucatan, Mexico…

1) The dress in Italy {Amalfi Coast Destination Wedding}

2) DIY Wedding Decorations {Destination Wedding Mexico}

3) Wedding Guest Favors {Yucatan Mexico Wedding}

4) Wedding table centerpiece {Destination Wedding}

5) Air Plant Bridal Bouquet {Tulum Mexico Destination Wedding}

6) Wedding Reception Tent {Destination Weddings}

7) Wedding Reception Details {Italian Destination Wedding}

8) Wedding Gifts & Signature Wedding Cocktail {Destination Wedding in Tuscany}

9) A fireworks exit {Merida Mexico Destination Wedding}



Inspired By This…& That | Etsy Edition

Etsy is my go-to place when I’m looking for some unique ideas. So, I thought I’d put together some of what I’ve found to inspire you for your wedding day!


1. Etsy Handmade Wedding Dress

2. Fox & Brie Blue Sapphire Bow Tie

3. Custom Made Wedding Dress Hanger

4. Wedding Ring Holder by Paloma’s Nest

5. Artisan Handmade Wedding Ring

6.Wedding Shoe Accessories

7. Custom Wedding Print for the Couple

8. Printable DIY Wedding Invitations

9. Custom Made Wedding Favors

Over the weekend I participated in Bella Sera’s Platinum Bridal Show! And, I held a contest to win a 12″x12″ wedding book! It’s time to announce the winner….

Congratulations to Jill & Shay!!!

The winner was chosen at random by using random.org



Iced vs. Hot

This past weekend was kind of a whirlwind trip, but while in Portland I was able to spend a few hours with my best friend and her new daughter and 2-year-old son. It’s been a year since I’ve seen her and I really missed spending time with her. We got to catch up and I got to hold her little one lots, which really made me melt.

Every year we’ve had this tradition of drinking our first pumpkin spice latte of the year on the same day, no matter where we are in the world, and then the same goes with our eggnog lattes. This year, I may have jumped the gun on our annual eggnog latte day, but this one was in person, so it was extra special…

And even though we’re best friends, we tend to like things done differently…


I drink my coffee iced year-round, almost without exception. Beth, thinks it disgusting.

What do you think? Are you a hot drinker or an iced drinker?



Making a list, checking it twice

I made a list at the beginning of this year. I checked it twice, and then probably 20 more times…it was a list of goals I wanted to accomplish in 2012. One thing stuck out for me every time I looked at the list…it was one of those things that I would really regret if I didn’t get to check it off this year…

I saw other people had done it and thought, “If they can do it, so can I!” I thought, “Hey, if you don’t do this, who knows when you’ll have time to do this again…” I thought, “You need to do something, anything…to prove that you can be outside of your comfort zone…and live there for a while”. But, I continued to put it off…all year. I was scared. I thought I would do what I so often do, which is start, but not really follow through. But, then it really struck me. I needed to do this, not for any other reason except that I had promised myself that I would.

So, I started, little by little and made progress toward my goal. That was the thing…this wasn’t going to happen over night. It wasn’t something I could just decide to do one day and be done with it. I had to actually, really, truly commit. So, though it was outside my comfort zone on a regular basis, I kept going. And, on Sunday, after months of just thinking about it, then actually signing up for it, and putting in the hard work, I completed my goal…

These poor-quality iPhone photos are my proof that I ran 13.1 miles!

This one thing really isn’t all that incredible, but it has put me in the mindset that, yeah, it might be difficult, but difficult is good…and committing to the goal and actually following through is a trait that I have. And it’s a trait that, if cultivated, will carry into other parts of my life. And that, for me, was the real goal.



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…



O Tannenbaum!

When it comes to Christmas trees, well, bigger is always better in my book. As an Oregonian it was practically a rite of passage to go hunt for Christmas trees out in the wild (20 minutes east of Portland). My parents and I would head to our favorite tree farm and wander the entire 5 acre plot searching for just the perfect one (usually a Douglas Fir). Perfect meant: symmetrical, very round at the bottom and tapering perfectly to one nice point, for the star (or, for a few years there, an angel)…and of course, it had to be…HAD to be as tall as possible. This usually leads to the “your eyes are bigger than your stomach” comment from my mom…meaning, “Seriously? That tree would be a candidate for the position outside of Rockafeller Center!” But a few years there, my parents got caught up in the excitement and may have had to cut off a good 10 inches from the trunk to get it to barely fit (the star would sort of be smashed onto the stem, sitting cockeyed, digging into the ceiling.

This year, we moved into a house with 8.5 foot ceilings and the urge to go big came rushing back! So, the day after Thanksgiving, James, his mom, and I piled into the car and headed out to the best tree farm around, called Hog Hollow. They didn’t have any Doug Fir, but they had LOTS of tall, bushy trees, so I was in hog heaven!

(please excuse the iPhone photos!)

We decorated with a bunch of old decorations, including all of the ornaments from every year of my life (depicting aspects of that year…like, the cabbage patch doll for my 5th year of life, and the very accurate rendering of James and I on our wedding day in 2006!) And good news: the dogs have only destroyed one precious childhood ornament!



Wedding Books | The Design Process | Part I

When I first started designing wedding books (albums) I was daunted by the task (it still makes me kind of overwhelmed at the start). So what I had to do was break it down into parts and just start at the start, as they say.

For me, step 1 is to edit the wedding down to my very best images. Luckily, I’ve already attempted to do this when I blog the images from the wedding. And often, I create diptychs for my blog too, so I’ve already found images that pair well together, which is possibly my favorite way to display images together on a page.

So what is it that I’m looking for when I’m pairing images? There are a few things:

1. Color vs. Black & White Are both images color or are they both black and white. I do not pair b&w and color images together on the same page (and usually within the same layout, that is, two pages, side by side). Since I create my images in color and then convert to b&w, I could, of course, go back and find the original and see if it fits, but I usually look for another image that works rather than doing that. This is because, if I’ve seen that image as a b&w from the beginning, it often just won’t work for me in color any longer.

2. Subject Obviously, the wedding book is a medium to tell the story of my couple’s wedding day. So, for the most part, I tell the story chronologically. Each image on one page go together in time and in style and then flow into the next page using the same parameters. What do I mean by “style”? My style is consistant throughout the wedding, but the lens choice might be different, or the angle that I’m shooting from might vary, and of course, the emotions can be wildly different. So, I look to create cohesive spreads that show all aspects of the day, through tighter shots, then wider shots, joyful emotions, and more somber tones…

3. Logistics This is the part that makes me kind of want to avoid album design all together. I’m nervous I won’t be able to put the images together on the page in a aesthetically pleasing way and tell the story at the same time. Meaning, because I am not a professional designer, I don’t yet feel completely confident in my skills! And, I prefer clean, simple, lots of white space…and well, sometimes I think less is more…but clients tend to think, more is more!!

I am far from a designer, but once I begin working on a wedding book, I really get excited about the creative process and all of the little choices that go into making a keepsake that will be held and seen for generations…



p.s. We will talk about the rest of my book-making process in Part II, next Wednesday!

p.p.s. Happy 12.12.12 !! What are you doing at 12:12:12 on 12.12.12 ? (I’ll probably be by myself, eating a grilled cheese sandwich in my jammies, with my dogs begging next to me…)

#30daysofthanks | Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

Well, we’re half way through November! Can you believe it? I feel like time is just flying right now. So, I wanted to stop for a minute, to reflect and give thanks. I haven’t been posting my #30daysofthanks this year, but it seems like the right time to list each of the things I am thankful for this year!

1. For a home and community that is safe and secure.

2. For a family who has supported me no matter what choices I have made. And for my second family, the Weilers, who are truly some of the best people I have ever known.

3. For James who continually encourages me to be a better person.

4. For coffee.

5. For struggle, which gives me pause to reflect on what is truly important and reminds me of those who are far more burdened than I.

6. For my friends. You put a smile on my face, no matter what.

7. For those photographers in the industry who are not only paving the way for people like myself, but also setting the bar higher for everyone in the future.

8. For my couples who trust me and give me the freedom to photograph them with my own vision and give me the honor of documenting one of the most important days of their lives!

9. For my education.

10. For cranberry sauce. And mashed potatoes, and turkey and stuffing, and green beans and gravy and pumkin pie and pecan pie and apple pie…!

11. For film–it has opened my eyes to a whole new way of seeing.

12. For all of the wedding-related business people who have been willing to collaborate and share their knowledge, in hopes that we can make a better wedding industry, locally!
13. For champagne…straight out of the bottle. Oh yes, that is how I roll 😉
14. For babies everywhere who have convinced me I might want one of you someday…and simultaneously drawn me in with your cute little smooshy faces, while making me cringe with your screeching cries–reminding me that motherhood (eventually) will be incredible…but difficult. Very, very difficult.
15. For you, my faithful blog readers. Blogging is hard work, but if I connect with you, even just one of you, in some way, it is worth every minute of it.
I’d love to hear what you’re thankful for right now! Feel free to leave a comment, or if you’re in town, we can get together over coffee, or if you’re not from here, let’s Skype/FaceTime! I’d love to connect somehow with each and every one of you!