Ashley & Joe | Married!

My friend recently lamented the fact that she hadn’t spent $35 on a pair of hats for her and her husband for Christmas. One hat said, “best” and the other “friend”. I thought, “How cute is that?!” And then I immediately thought of Ashley and Joe. These two are most definitely the best of friends, and they’re just silly enough to sport hats telling the world just that!

James and I were thrilled to spend New Year’s Eve with these two and it was magical. Their family and friends came together to create a fairytale day, celebrating the love and friendship of not only Ashley and Joe, but all who surround them! We could not have asked for a better way to end 2012!

Congratulations you two!!! BFFs forever!



Make sure to leave your well-wishes for Ashley and Joe in the comments below!

Venue: St Joseph’s Catholic Church

Photographer: Atlas & Elia Photography

Florals: Personal Touch by Susan

Dress: Bella Sera

Train: Pins and Needles

Shoes:  Badgley Mischka 

Cake: Glaze

Catering: Café AZ’s

Music: Glenn Isaccson’s Combo Live Band


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!




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…



I believe… | Leavenworth Wa Wedding Photographers

I know that this is kind of heavy for a Tuesday, but I want to share with you, my dear blog readers, my “why”. This is the reason I do what I do….

I believe…I was lucky.

I grew up in a family with two parents in the house–two parents that modeled pure love. We didn’t want for much. I grew up rarely worrying…except …except…I worried that I would never find someone who would love me the way my dad loved my mom. I grew up worrying that I wasn’t good enough, or pretty enough, or skinny enough to be loved. I struggled with this each and every day at a university where everyone seemed to have a perfect life.
Then, one day, I walked into a room full of people, some of whom I realized were true friends, but most of whom seemed to want to see me fail, or, at the very least, could care less if I succeeded. But, in that room, I saw one man who, in that moment, I knew I wanted to marry. A million thoughts about how I wasn’t good enough, or pretty enough or smart enough flooded into my head, but I pushed them aside and put on that front I had crafted over the years, that allowed me to come across as cool and confident, and I introduced myself.
Our palms met as we shook hands and I further knew that I was in the presence of someone who could love so deeply, so honestly, so intuitively, that he could match all my childhood illusions of what love could be, of what love should be…I met my husband, James, that day.
He told me from that very day that I was deserving of love. I was worthy of it. He told me that I could have a life so full of this kind of love, that it could match the life I grew up in…and that it was okay. I didn’t have to feel guilty, or sabotage myself, like so many people can do.
I discovered something about myself when I met James. I discovered that following my heart and trusting myself would lead me in the direction I needed to go and that listening to the noise around me only distanced me from what truly matters. And, since then, each and every time I follow my heart, there has been a light-bulb moment! “Ah ha!” I’ve thought, “this is how I’m supposed to live my life!” And, each and every time I have decided to follow through on these “ah ha!” ideas, James has gently put his hand on my lower back and pushed me toward those dreams. He has encouraged me to drown out the noise. To focus. To be strong. From photojournalism, to photographing weddings and all of the other life in between, he has been there to say, “follow your heart…”

(Our First Kiss as husband and wife, 6 years ago)

I see the world the way I do because of James, and my parents, and many other amazing people in my life. I photograph the way that I love: emotionally, honestly, deeply, intuitively. And I photograph people the way I do because I can see in them what others have seen in me: they deserve love. They deserve to be valued. They are beautiful. They deserve everything they can imagine their lives to be!
I absolutely see this in people as I photograph them and I want that reflected to them in the photographs I take–like a mirror reflecting the most perfect image they can possibly imagine of themselves. This is what I strive to create each and every time I press the shutter…each and every time I shake a hand…each and every time I look into someone’s eyes…I strive to remind them they deserve love and they are loved.
I firmly believe this, and I strive to conduct myself and my business in a way that reflects these values.

Thank you, for allowing me to share a piece of me with you today.

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Oh, and happy anniversary (a few days late), James!

{Stephenie & Tyler} | The Wedding! | Sneak Peek | Wenatchee River Lodge | Leavenworth Wa

Stephenie and Tyler decided to do a “First Look” before their wedding at the Wenatchee River Lodge where they were staying for their honeymoon. It was so beautiful to witness these two seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day. I was so touched by how moved they were in that moment. All of the stress leading up to this melted…as did the ice cubes in our water glasses! It was HOT!

Thank you Stephenie and Tyler for sharing this beautiful part of your day with us!

Please leave some love for Stephenie & Tyler below in the comments!


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p.s. I invite you back here this Wednesday to see more moments from their wedding!

Seeing an old friend…

Last night I had an awesome meeting with a couple who is getting married this winter! I love meeting new people and I especially love it when we just get along! Like seeing an old friend after a long separation…it’s just easy. We sat and drank a little wine from my next door neighbors (Dutch John’s Winery) and I got to find out how they met, how he proposed in a batting cage 😉 and what’s happening in their lives right now.

We eventually talked about what they have planned for their Wenatchee winter wedding and we talked about how I might fit into that plan. Coming away from the meeting I had a smile on my face and felt the whole evening was just very easy. I am not big into forcing anything or selling anything, but I do like to OVER-EXPLAIN myself (in case you haven’t picked on that here). I’m not sure if people like that or not, but it is how I do it and I like it! I think, in the long-run, it helps my brides and grooms to know who I am and what I believe (mostly in regards to photography, but I might throw in something about my belief that we are all just trying to make our way, and we need to make room for grace and understanding…then again, it might just be my belief that $150 jeans really ARE better and are worth the price…sorry James)!

Eventually, (in this case after 2 hours of hanging out) we finished our glasses of Syrah and said our goodbyes. When we see each other next, possibly for their engagement shoot, I have a feeling it will be just like seeing old friends.

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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!