Lauren & Skuyler | Married!!

“When I last checked, it looks like there was a 20% chance…that’s not bad.” “Wait, I just checked it…it’s now 30%”…Lauren and I sat in a golf cart under a tree at the farthest point away from the club house at the Highlander Golf Course, as a full-on downpour began. Lauren sat, looking absolutely stunning in her dress, her hair and make up perfect. For a brief moment, she looked a bit stunned as well, but then, she looked at me and said, “If this had to happen to anyone, I’m glad it was me. It’s all going to work out.” And, she was right. She saw Skuyler just as the skies cleared. They were married just as a rainbow appeared over the sun-drenched hills. They were surrounded by all the love and support one could ever hope for in an entire lifetime!

James and I came away from this wedding just in awe of these two. Lauren and Skuyler are two people who you know will be making a huge impact in this world. Now that they have found one another, they will do even more together, than apart. There’s just something about their love for one another that teaches others, without them having to say a word. This is something very special. Something that no rain storm will be able to wash away. And, I have no doubt there’s a 100% chance of happiness in their future! Congratulations, you two!!!

{ ♥ ♥ ♥ }



Photographer: Atlas & Elia Photography

Videographer: Gaboon Productions

Venue: Highlander Golf Course

Catering: Highlander Golf Course

Florals: Bloomers Flowers

Hair & Makeup styling: Carlee of Bella Vita Salon

Cake:Cake Chic

Centerpieces: Full Bloom

Music: Charlie Solbrig

DJ: Kenaston Music Productions

Dress: Maggie Sottero

Shoes: Kate Spade

Suiting: Men’s Warehouse

Ties: The TieBar

Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Takara by Dillard’s

Bridesmaids’ Shoes: Aldo





















Lauren & Skuyler | Married! | First Look

I have so much to say about this couple, but I’m going to wait until Thursday when I post their entire wedding. I will say though, that it is people like Lauren and Skuyler who make you feel like the world is going to be alright after all–like there’s nothing but a bright future ahead! Lauren and Skuyler, thank you for sharing your wedding day with James and me, and I wish you nothing but a beautiful future. I have no doubt, that it will be bright, full of love…and sunny!

{ ♥ ♥ ♥ }


Jennifer & Dusty | Married!!!

For months leading up to this day, they prepared the property, they made favors for guests, they painted, and constructed and polished. All this in preparation for their wedding day, but more importantly in preparation for their future. Jennifer and Dusty are making a home and life on Dusty’s family ranch along the shores of Jameson Lake in the middle of Washington state where they were married Saturday. It was extremely apparent, by all of the work they’ve done together how much this new life fits them. Life in the country, with their two dogs, Checkers and Levi, their chickens and horses, and little blue house on the lake are just perfect! Perfect!

Jenn and Dusty, we were so privileged to share in this celebration with you in this most perfect of settings! James and I wish you  nothing but the best in your new life together on the ranch! Congratulations!!!

Oh, and I just couldn’t get enough of all the little ones running around! Aren’t they the sweetest?!

{ ♥ ♥ ♥ }


Special thanks to Two Chefs Catering for the seriously incredible food!


Atlas & Elia Photography || Everywhere we go we go! || Connecting with you worldwide!






























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


#30 Days of Thanks Part II

Wait, what?! Today is the last day of November? What happened to this month? Don’t get me wrong, I am pretty excited for December, but I’m a bit miffed at how fast time is flying! Half way through this month I blogged about some things I am thankful for as a way of participating in #30daysofthanks and since we’re now at the end of the month, I want to finish my list…
16. For businesses on Etsy! A little weird, right, but I have found more unique and beautiful gifts on Etsy!
17. For warm clothes…especially running clothes…
18. For my health. I take my good health for granted, but I am SO glad for it!
19. For other bloggers out there…reminding me there are others who can teach me about this thing called blogging.
20. For my dogs…Abbey & Parker…seriously, these dogs are my daily companions. I don’t know what I would do without there puppy kisses (I can, however, do without there puppy messes)!
21. For eggnog lattes (Okay, I know coffee was on my last list, but I am doubly-thankful for it!!
22. For Christmas music…for a brief time of the year, this music makes me more joyful and silly than I think is humanly possible.
23. For Mother-In-Laws. Specifically my mother-in-law. She is wise and caring and never selfish. She loves me like a daughter and wants nothing but the best for James and I.
24. For digital photography…for allowing me to play and try things, I might not otherwise would attempt with my work.
25. For the promise of a new year. So excited for 2013!!!
26. For change (in case I need a snickers from the vending machine). HA! And for the other kind of change…because staying the same might be more safe, more comfortable, just fine…but it’s also the easy way out.
27. For winter. Because without the dark and cold, I wouldn’t appreciate the light and warmth as much.
28. For real love.
29. For work…and learning how to work even harder.
30. For a great year, so far! 2012…I will miss you!
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!

Rest & Recovery

I’ve been running now for just a few weeks to train for an upcoming half marathon. It’s a really (really) short training schedule, but I’m doing it anyway. My training schedule looks something like this: Monday: run Tuesday: run Wednesday: don’t run Thursday: run Friday: run Saturday don’t run Sunday: run really far and start again the next week. So, I run most days, right, but there are two days built into every week for rest and recovery.

This is a classic way to train to build lots of miles run into a week all while allowing time for the body to repair, rebuild and strenghten muscle. It’s also necessary on a psychological level to take days off, so that you don’t overdo it, especially if you’ve never trained for a half marathon before or you’re not used to working out on a regular basis!

I long for these days brain knows that, “okay, I ran today and I’m going to run tomorrow, but I get to take the next day off, so why not work hard for these two days and just relax on my designated day off?” It works like a charm!

So, as I cross off each training run leading up to the half marathon, I feel really good about the work I’m doing…but mostly I’m looking at the day with the “0” on it, when I get to stay indoors where it’s warm and I can lounge on the couch all I want, because that’s what gets me through..physically and mentally. And, a few days ago, as I took out my big, red Sharpie out to cross off yet another run, I thought, “Why don’t I apply this type of regiman to my work schedule?!?” Seriously, lately, as much as I’ve tried, I hadn’t had a true full day off (without checking email, editing, posting to social media) until this past Sunday.

What does this do to us? I think it’s really similar to what is described when athletes overtrain…

These are symptoms associated with overtraining syndrome! But, doesn’t this so easily translate to how we feel as small business owners?! Okay, maybe not a “mild leg soreness”, but replace “a compulsive need to exercise” with “a compulsive need to work” and pretty much this list describes me right now! I know I’ve written about this before, and recently, but as I’ve been training to run this race, it’s become starkly clear just how important it is to me to truly stop for at least one day per week to not do ANYTHING work relate. NOTHING.

This allows my brain to rebuild and repair those areas I’ve been using non-stop.

“Recovery time allows these stores to be replenished and allows tissue repair to occur. Without sufficient time to repair and replenish, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise. Symptoms of overtraining often occur from a lack of recovery time. Signs of overtraining include a feeling of general malaise, staleness, depression, decreased sports performance and increased risk of injury, among others.” –this from on the entry about rest and recovery for exercise. But again, that last sentence just hits home for me! After a good few weeks of not taking a whole day off, I certainly have a “feeling of general malaise”!

This past Sunday, I forced myself to not check my email and I didn’t check Facebook or Twitter (I still allowed myself to check Instagram, because that’s fun for me) and what happened yesterday was a minor miracle. I had a good 25 things on my to-do list and guess what? I got each and every single thing on that list accomplished. That hasn’t happened for me since…I don’t even know when. A weight was lifted. I felt like I could keep going…and today that energy continues!

As any athlete will tell you, the compulsion that you begin to feel to train constantly can consume you if you’re not careful. The trick is to recognize what your brain is trying to do here. And then the next step is to write out a plan, get out your big, red Sharpie and cross the work days off, all the while letting yourself get excited about the days with a “0” on it. And, finally, I would argue, tell others what your schedule is, so that they can respect your need for a little rest and recovery.

Happy training, everyone!




The Right Pair of Shoes + Making Decisions Before You Panic

Friends, today I’m in a bit of panic mode. You see, lately I’ve paired down and paired back when it comes to buying things like a new pair of shoes. Some (ahem, James) might not agree when they look at my collection tucked neatly away in my closet, but, it’s true. Whereas even just a few years ago, new shoes were the priority, now it’s things like saving for a new lens, or that new perfect chair for my office.

Secondly, it seems, that whenever I do decide to go all out and buy a totally impractical pair of suede, platform maryjanes, my good friends (dogs) Abbey and Parker decide it’s their new chew toy. This has happened more times than I’d like to count (I’d say the running tally is somewhere in the neighborhood of $873,271 in lost shoe costs).

So, today, because I am shopping for a specific occasion, and that occasion happens to be tomorrow night, and I live in a small town with limited resources and hence the reason I am panicking because I no longer own even ONE pair of acceptable dress shoes!

So today, I hunt. I will hunt them down and find them…and if they don’t match my dress, I will hunt one of those down too.

Now, I realize this truly has nothing to do with business, or weddings, but in general, this has been my life lately. Sort of living in panic mode that I won’t find the right (insert latest worry here). Whether that’s the right branding, the right outsourcing company, the right clients… etc., ad nauseum. And the result it a constant state of things feeling like, well, the dogs have just eaten my favorite pair of shoes and I have nothing to wear (in other words, I’m a mess)!

So, today, as I hunt for shoes (and possibly a dress, shhh, don’t tell James), I know I’ll be spending more than part of that time, hunting for some answers to a few other problem areas in my life and business right now.

I’ve listened to a few people podcasts this week (namely James Moes and Jen Huang on the My Musea podcast), and after hearing about their thoughts on this, I think one answer might be, to write down what my ultimate goal is (my overarching vision) and then to find out do these things that I worry about lead me to that solution. Will this plan help me find Kate Spade in Wenatchee? No. But, will it help me make decisions before I am forced to make that decision, and the result is worry rather than worthwhile choices? Yes!

Wish me luck people, wish me luck.



Inspired by This… | Veteran’s Day

His discipline, honor, and loyalty are not traits he developed as a Marine. These traits existed in him well before he joined and were the driving force behind why he wanted to become a Marine.

There he is, third from the left…(so cute, right)?!

I am so grateful to James, my husband, for serving his country (we met when he was still in the Marines almost 14 years ago!)and it has been amazing to watch as he has grown from that time into the leader he has become in his profession today. He is still that driven, disciplined, loyal person today, but not just for his country and fellow marines, but for his co-workers and his family.

Recently, he began organizing a group of administrators to participate in a Tough Mudder competition (check this out if you don’t know what it is!):

I can’t wait to see this group make their way through the course (though I am extremely nervous for the electric-shock portion..yeah, you read that right, electric shock!)!

James, I am so proud of who you are and I thank you for continuing to serve your country well-after your service in the military. As they say, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.”



Change | Leavenworth WA wedding photographers

As I was listening to election coverage last night, I couldn’t help but think that most everyone, no matter what their political bent, is hoping for something different after the election. It seems that what many people are looking for is an era where their leaders effect change; an era in which leaders come together to create a world where our children will grow up in peace and prosperity; an era where we all work together to make not only our lives, but the lives of our neighbors, better.

We all hope for this. And, no matter which outcome you were hoping for last night, I imagine, you were most looking forward to the moment when the politicking would be over, when our leaders would say, “Enough! Now, it is time to get to work.”

This led me to think about my own role in this election. I voted. But, really, that’s all I did. Of course, this is an important civic duty, but in all honesty, it’s kind of like being a Christian, but only on Sunday. I don’t mean I’m going to go out and run for office any time soon, but what I mean is, it made me think about how little I really do, civically. It also made me think about my business’s mission statement (strange, I know, but I can’t help but think of business–constantly!) My mission statement is really my “why”, my reason for being a wedding photographer. Here’s what I wrote about that earlier this year:

“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.”

Now, you might wonder what on earth this has to do with the election?! The thing is, I believe that by conducting myself this way, I am attempting to live my life to help others. I know I have a lot of work to do to get there and there’s so much more I could do, but looking to inspire others and lift them up, is truly my aim. And, this morning, as we look down the road with our elected leaders, I hope they will do the same, but more, I hope we, the people, do this for one another. It feels like, no matter what, we can not stand by watching the world take its course, shrugging out shoulders, wondering why its all gone so wrong.

Going forward, Mahatma Gandhi’s word ring loud in my ears:

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”



Ashley & Joe | Engaged! | Leavenworth WA wedding photographer

They met through mutual friends while in college, when, as they both put it, “she crashed boy’s night”. From then on, Ashley crashed many boy’s nights, but Joe was more than happy to have her along, and, actually, so were the guys. Ashley and Joe’s love is one of spontaneity, laughter, and laid back ease…their friends are lucky.

These two both have a love for the outdoors…probably more Joe than Ashley though, as he’s more likely to be found camping or fishing throughout the year, whereas Ashley might be found camping in front of the Nordstrom store before it opens, then fishing for the very cutest new pair of boots. Ashley is happy to go along with Joe on his outings, just as he is happy to go along with her.

This is why, when Joe asked Ashley if she’d like to go to the batting cages one afternoon, she didn’t even hesitate. It sounded like the perfect way to spend the day with her man. After, as Ashley put it, she embarrassed him with her pro abilities, they began to clean up, and when she turned back to Joe, there he stood with the ring in his glove. Ashley then told him, he’d have to get down on one knee and officially asked her, “It was the beginning of the crazy marriage we will have and a high point of the silly romance we’ve created; I would expect nothing less!” she told me.

Ashley and Joe, you two are the absolute cutest and I have truly been SO thrilled to get to know you! I can not wait to celebrate with you at your wedding! A heartfelt congratulations!!!