May Day

For love of light and life. This is why I do what I do. Sometimes, I’m inspired simply by the blooms on a tree, knowing their ephemeral nature. Sometimes, it’s a person, or a glance. And ALWAYS, ALWAYS by beautiful light. But more than that, it is that there is life running through all of this…coursing, breathing, beaming…and this is the true reason to be inspired again and again.

Oh, and Happy May Day! I remember making baskets out of construction paper and filling them with wild flowers, forget-me-nots and daisies, then placing them on our neighbors’ doorsteps, ringing the doorbell and running to our hiding spot to watch their reaction! This day has a very special day in my heart. Have a very wonderful day full of happy, little surprises!

{ ♥ ♥ ♥}


p.s. I also shot some Kodak Portra 400 & Fuji 400H with my medium format camera that I’ll be processing and posting soon!



Film photography | Jumping on the bandwagon…and loving it

About a year ago I got really excited about the idea of shooting film. But, I didn’t want to be the one who jumps on the bandwagon, just because everyone else was doing it.

I bought a film camera though, just to check it out. I played a bit and I loved so many of the images I was getting back from the lab. In general, I would shoot a roll here and there during engagement sessions and even at a few weddings. So, I never really felt like I got to know my camera very well and didn’t feel like I could trust it anymore than something to play around with.

Sadly, I haven’t used it much more than that, but I am increasingly being won over by its superior beauty. The way Kodak Portra and Fuji 400h handle the highlights just makes my toes tingle. While I thought maybe this was a passing phase, I am more convinced than ever that I will be incorporating more seriously film shooting into my work flow. I might not become a full-time film shooter any time soon, but I most certainly will be shooting many more engagement sessions solely on film and ramping up my film usage at weddings! It’s really exciting to think about how this will change my work flow and really will slow me down (which is something I’ve been longing to do with my work).

Here are a few frames from the past few months from film I just got back from Richard Photo Lab including images from the shoot I did with Melinda Rose Heirloom Bridal and from Katie & Jerry’s Whistler wedding!

Synergy in a Styled Shoot


noun, plural syn·er·gies.

1. The interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, etc.; synergism.

This is the exact definition of what came to pass this weekend…
Melinda Sandberg of Melinda Rose Design, Michelle DesCombaz (hairstylist), our model, Elizabeth, and Janine from Bloomers all worked together to create a styled product shoot to introduce Melinda’s 2013 collection. This is the first full collection of bridal head pieces Melinda has created…it’s something she’s been working on tirelessly for the past six months and it just seemed right to be a part of it…
We had worked together before and I truly loved what we had produced during that shoot back in June. I am beyond inspired by her designs, her passions and her vision!
I was inspired, awakened, beaming from the combination of people, creativity, design, light and location! Working with professionals who care deeply about their craft is a creative’s dream, And “when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements”  It truly was a harmonious synergy! Here is a preview of the Melinda Rose Design 2013 collection “A Vintage Romance”…
I am proud of Melinda for creating the gorgeous collection, which will be fully released on Valentine’s Day 2013 on her Etsy Shop!

Holiday Party Bubbly with a Twist!

I practically live on these babies throughout the holiday season (no, not the drink, silly, the Satsumas)! I LOVE satsuma mandarin oranges and buy boxes (plural) from December 1-the new year. Remember last week’s blog on how to make homemade eggnog? Well, read back and you’ll discover eggnog is part of my holiday diet, and essentially Satsumas are the other half of it. So, I thought why not find a way to drink them as well! Here’s what I came up with!

We’ll be heading to our good friend Dan’s house next week to celebrate his birthday. I’m pretty sure we’ll make a few of these to celebrate!




Beecher Hill House | Autumn Wedding | Styled Shoot

I am thrilled to share with you this gorgeous Beecher Hill House wedding styled shoot! I partnered with a bevy of really talented local wedding vendors from Leavenworth, Chelan and Wenatchee. I was struck with everyone’s willingness to help and really go out of their way to make this happen and on quite a short timeline!

The models, Kristin McCamey, Luke Kerns and Erika Tinker were amazing to work with and were so fun to spend time with. That’s what makes these shoots so wonderful…the people! So thanks to:

Pam and Susan at Beecher Hill House in Peshastin, WA

Libby Harrison of Sweet Bliss Events and Stella & Dot Jewelry in Pateros, WA

Patti Bosket of Au Naturel in Leavenworth, WA

Michelle DesCombaz of Michelle DesCombas Hair Design in East Wenatchee, WA

Cindy, Debbie and Kelly of Bella Sera in Wenatchee, WA

Mills Brothers in Wenatchee, WA

Jenae of All Seasons Events in Chelan, WA

Linda and Mike of The North Central Washington Dahlia Society

Autumn Miller of Autumn Miller Makeup Styling in Wenatchee, WA

Heather of Anjou Bakery in Cashmere, WA

Ben of Mission Street Bistro in Wenatchee, WA

You all are truly the best!




Collaboration & Sharing! | Why I love styled shoots…

The collaborative process that is a styled shoot is something I crave. The excitement when ideas are flowing, the rush to get everything finished, the great energy that wonderful people bring to the table just fuels me! This among a few other key ingredients is why I love styled shoots!

Here are the top 3 reasons I do styled shoots:

1) It’s a chance to collaborate! I love working with people! And working with professionals who are just as passionate as I am about creating wedding-related pretties just puts it over the top for me! From the very first phone call discussing the ideas in my head and hearing their wisdom and contributions, to the last push the day of to get all your ducks in a row, to actually photographing all of the gorgeous details brought together by everyone, collaboration is the top priority for me.

2) Sharing is caring. Second only to collaboration on a styled shoot is sharing. One thing I tell the vendors involved in the shoot is that the images I create are just as much theirs as they are mine. Because they put in so much time and talent into the work (for free!) I make sure the vendors receive all of the images I take free from watermark, so they can use the images however they’d like for marketing purposes. Some argue that the images should have your logo on it, but I’ve taken what I believe to be good advice, from Justin and Mary Marantz, and believe that if vendors are elated with the work we’ve done together, they will happily share my name with people and potential clients. And if you’re not convinced, see point #1 again.

3) To spread the word. Whether the images are used solely for vendor’s marketing purposes, or if they go on to be published on blogs or in magazines, the end goal, for me, is to get the word out about all of our businesses. And going back to reason #2, I believe that sharing the work that I do with others, will get people excited about my business and will talk about it. And, in my opinion, a word-of-mouth referral is by far the best you can get! Of course, having your work published is a wonderful way to spread the word farther and possibly faster, so it’s a goal that stays top of mind throughout the entire process!

Yesterday, I photographed a styled shoot, which I will share with you after it’s published. But, because I just can’t help myself, here’s a little look at our gorgeous bride…

Isn’t the bouquet simply stunning (Patti, your work amazes me every. single. time!)

A very special thank you to my collaborators (and now friends) who made this amazing shoot happen!

Beecher Hill House
Libby Harrison of Sweet Bliss Events
Patti Bosket of Au Naturel
All Seasons Events
Michelle Bainard DesCombaz (hairstylist)
Autumn Miller (makeup)
Bella Sera
Mills Brothers
The NCW Dahlia Society
Anjou Bakery
Mission Street Bistro
Models: Kristen, Erica, Luke and Avery!

p.s. In the coming weeks I will tell you how to put together your own styled shoot (including the number 1 tip that is so simple, you won’t believe it)!


Bridal Veil Styled Shoot | Melinda Rose Design | Leavenworth WA wedding photography

Every once in a while you meet someone that you just click with. You don’t really know what it is, but you just can feel that they are “my people”. It wasn’t more than 3 weeks ago that I met just a person. Well, met online anyway. We didn’t officially meet until this past Friday when we got together for a styled shoot.

I had heard about this person, Melinda, from Claire who works in the same building as my office at Snapdragon Coffee. She told me that Melinda was this “amazing designer” and that I should meet her. I thought, “sure, right…amazing…” because that’s the way we talk about our friends…we talk them up, because to us, they are amazing. So, I went to go see for myself. I went to Melinda’s Etsy site: Melinda Rose Design and saw that Claire was correct…this girl has talent! So, I was immediately intrigued and wanted to let her know that I liked what she was doing and wanted to put together a styled shoot with her…down the road. We began to chat online and she told me how she was beginning to heavily focus on creating bridal veils and bridal head pieces as well as sashes made to compliment wedding and bridesmaids dresses. That was seriously exciting to me, since I love all things wedding and very much love to see what creations people come up with in regards to details for weddings. Then, we quickly realized that our design, wedding, fashion, and photography vision was practically one and the same! She sent me links to her inspiration and they were some of the same exact links I would have sent to her! Same collaborators, same ideas…same. exact. vision!

After a few back and forths, she wondered aloud if maybe I wanted to photograph the bridal collection she had recently completed, rather than wait for a full-on styled shoot.  I jumped at the chance! In a matter of days we were able to landMichelle DesCombaz of Indigo Salon and Spa to style the models’ hair, we found a location and the models appeared practically out of thin air!

Except for a few mishaps with the sprinklers (Claire I hope your phone is working now…) everything was simply perfect! Thank you Melinda for inspiring me! You are not only immensely talented but you have an amazing heart! You are definitely my people!




{ ♥ ♥ ♥ }


Once in a Leap Year {Engagement Session} Giveaway!

First and foremost, Happy Leap Day!!! Has anyone seen Leap Day William yet? I know I’m taking my dogs to the mall to have their photos taken with him later today… if you don’t know what I’m referring to, go here:

Image Courtesy of NBC

Now that you’re back…it’s time for a giveaway!

I am thrilled to give away a styled engagement session to one amazing engaged couple! What is a “styled” engagement session? We collaborate beforehand to find a theme that reflects you and your style. We work together to coordinate your outfits, props and any other things to “style” your session!

Do you know a deserving couple who is engaged to be married? If so, I want to hear about them! And, I want you to nominate them!

Here’s what you need to do:

1) (If you haven’t already) Like “Atlas & Elia Photography” on FACEBOOK.

2) post this to your Facebook page: “I nominated _______ (put your friend’s name here who you are nominating, and make sure to tag them) to receive a complimentary engagement session from Atlas & Elia Photography! Go HERE: to find out how you can nominate someone too!

3) Make sure to tag “@atlas & elia photography” in that post.

4) In the comment box below, please tell me a) Who you are nominating b) Why they are the perfect couple to receive a complimentary engagement session from Atlas & Elia Photography!

4) Email me your contact information, the names and a photo of the couple you are nominating. My email:

The deadline for nominations is March 10th!

Once all of the nominations are in, I will post the photos of the nominated couples on my Facebook page along with their story. Then, it’s up to all of you to vote for your favorite couple!! The person with the most “likes” on their photo by March 17th will win!

I can’t wait to see who the winner will be!

p.s. You can certainly nominate yourself!

*All photo sessions must take place in Washington or Oregon.


{Walk Through A Wedding with Justin & Mary} {Leavenworth Washington Wedding Photographer}

This is definitely one of those posts where I think, “Where do I even begin?” So, I guess I’ll begin in the most logical place–the end. It was 10:30pm this past Sunday night when my new friend, Kristin and I finally left Justin and Mary’s home in New Haven, CT. We were the last of the Walk Through A Wedding workshop attendees to leave. We didn’t want to leave, we wanted to soak in all that Justin and Mary had to share with us. They on the other hand were done…over it, you could tell…they were sick all weekend and it took everything in them to give us the workshop they had promised…one filled with detailed technical advice; inspiring and well-researched knowledge on how to stand out in this totally saturated wedding photography industry; all while opening their home to 18 earnest and hard-working professional photographers.

As we gathered our things and made our way to the front door, I made some small talk about how I hoped they had a great time this next week in Las Vegas at WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) where they will be speaking again this year. But, what I wanted to say was,

“Justin and Mary, you have made a choice in your life to become the best you can be at your craft. You have dedicated yourselves these past few years to being the best in the industry and you are. But you didn’t do it for yourselves, even if you sometimes think you did. You did it for your clients. You did it because you knew that if you could hone your skills and put your whole self into this, you would come out on top because that’s what your clients deserve. But you didn’t stop there. You took all of your skills and you decided…”other people could benefit from what we know” …and you were right. I came away from this weekend learning actual, actionable, specific knowledge that I can put to use immediately. You didn’t mince words. You were real. You made me want to be better…not for myself, but for my clients. Just saying, “thank you” doesn’t feel like it’s enough. But, by putting into action what you made the choice to share with me this weekend, I hope that will show you how thankful I am for you.”

I didn’t say that of course, cause saying those kinds of things in person can be hard. And, well…I’m pretty long winded, so we would have been there all night.

I learned something from each and every person that attended the workshop as well. Each of these amazing individuals has such a big heart and they shared it this weekend. I am so grateful for them! I flew into Boston to visit my friend Beth, her husband and their 1-year old…Lucas, whom I visited last year just after he was born..remember this guy?

So, I was lucky enough to bum a ride from attendee Kristin! I loved getting to know her and bounce ideas off of, especially on the way home, when we were both brimming with new ideas and the post-workshop high!

It’s an intense feeling and I must remember that I won’t necessarily feel this excited, or energetic, or inspired all the time…but at least I know now that when I need someone to talk to, I have 17 new friends who have been there and will support me as I go through it.

We spent most of Saturday shooting our “Buckles & Burberry” themed wedding and here are some of the images that came out of the day…

undefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedSpring and Silas, our models are a real engaged couple who will be married in July and guess who’s photographing their wedding? Yep, Justin&Mary!

The event was at: Chamard Vineyards

Hair and makeup by: Lindsey & Karie from Like Flutter For Lashes

Flowers by: Market Flowers

styling was by Julia, Justin & Mary’s amazing team member

with props by: Heirloom Exchange

{my heart is full}



Vintage Victorian {Style Shoot}


A style shoot, in my opinion, has to have three elements: a strong theme; killer clothing & accessories; and it has to feel REAL. My good friend Hillary Polen Ryan-Hamm and I worked together to do just that.

The theme for the style shoot was: 1940s wedding.

Hillary chose clothing and accessories from local vintage clothing shops, Lily Bee’s Consignment Shop and The Storm Cellar and each necklace you see is handcrafted by Cydny Winslow of Agnes Crafts.

Our “bride and groom” are newly-engaged and our attendants are also a real couple. They all exuded passion and it didn’t hurt that they are all beautiful people, inside and out. Besides our beautiful location at the Perkin’s House living museum (an old Victorian home in Colfax, Washington now run by the Whitman County Historical Society), the bride’s dress was the most special element, in my opinion, of the entire shoot. The dress belonged to Hillary’s husband’s grandmother. It was her wedding dress and we were thrilled that it fit our model, Jamie, perfectly!

Hillary, the stylist, designer and organizer of this style shoot hand-crafted everything you see on the table-scape, right down to the doily bowl and the cupcake stand! She’s a crafty one alright. It was more than her skills with a hot glue-gun that made the day go off without a hitch though. Hillary has such a wonderful way of executing each and every detail in a way that is flawless, yet feels effortless; dreamy yet grounded; playful, yet sophisticated. Have a look at her blog for diy tips on just about everything you see here…















Stylist & design: Hillary Polen Hamm-Ryan . Location: Perkins House . Clothing & Acessories: The Storm CellarLily Bee’s Consignment Shop .

Necklaces: Agnes Crafts . Models: Models: Jamie Capawana, Afton Carlson, Robin Buss, Max Gash . Special Thanks to Debbie Snell of the Whitman County Historical Society