Last summer I had a very special opportunity to document Brian and Anni's birth photography. They wanted someone they could trust, who would focus on the love and connections of all the people bringing Eliana into this world. They wanted photos of their joy, their happy tears, and photos of them being there for each other. I had never been present for a birth, let alone photographed one, but Brian and Anni trusted me to give it a try, and I'm so glad they did! Little Eliana took her time, and when she finally arrived, there were so many big emotions in the room. Everyone cried, myself included, and to put it simply: it was amazing.
I'm a big fan of getting married in whatever way makes you happy. David and Aubrey eloped in Iceland and then hosted a reception for friends and family back in Seattle. Aubrey loves to cook, so she and her friends catered on their own, and they created some of the most beautiful wedding food I've ever seen. Another friend brought flowers, and the family barbershop quartet surprised them with a few songs. They shared hugs, toasts, and laughter, and had me join them for two hours of photography. I love tiny weddings and hope to do many more of these in the future!
Right now my family sessions have been limited to wedding clients and close friends, but I'm opening these up to everyone this March through May! I had so much fun photographing the Appel family (all 17 of them!) and squeezing in lots of couple portraits and candids! Everyone was in town for a wedding but wanted photos together without the timelines or fancy outfits. And I'm so happy they did!
To celebrate Elyssa & Curtis's engagement, we traveled around Bellingham for a three-part engagement session. We started at Baby Greens downtown and then dashed into Lafeen's Donuts as the temperatures dropped and the rain started to fall. Lafeen's has the best donuts in town, perfect for a date with a special someone. If you're looking for a fun dessert option at your wedding, Lafeen's does large orders, too! We picked up 10 boxes for our own wedding and let's just say there weren't any leftovers. :)
Madison wanted a winter mountain shoot, and that's exactly what we gave her! If these two look familiar, it's because I've had the joy of photographing them four times over the past few years for their engagement, wedding, and first wedding anniversary. They've told me a dozen times now how much they value photography, and it really shows. They treat each session like a date and embrace whatever I throw their way. I'm so thankful that photography brought them into my life, and I look forward to many years of friendship and memories together!
Ready for something a little different? Elyssa is one of my very best friends, and she and Curtis decided to have a small elopement along Nooksack River. We finished beading her dress the night before, spent the morning getting ready together, and drove out toward Mount Baker! Their first look was beautiful and so sweet. Not only was it Curtis's first time seeing Elyssa that day, but it was his first time seeing the dress that she had put months of time and love into. I love the way she included pieces of family history in her lace, beads, and jewelry.
And as soon as the ceremony began, I swapped out my camera for Elyssa's bouquet, and my talented friend Kestrel Bailey took over as a second shooter so I could be present in the moments. Kestrel and I met through our work in non-profits years ago and spent each of my volunteer shifts talking about our shared love of photography. Elyssa and I knew we could trust her to document the ceremony beautifully. (Thank you, Kestrel!) We laughed, shivered, and shared hot cocoa, and I have to say—it was one of the most fun, light-hearted, people-focused weddings I've ever been a part of. No decorations, no setup, just a well-scouted location that served as the perfect setting to say "I do" in front of their closest friends.
Hair by Crowns of Gold Styling
After photographing the Appel family last summer, Nicole and Richard reached out and asked if I would also photograph their upcoming elopement on the family farm. Yes! This was the smallest wedding I've ever been a part of, just Nicole, Richard, their daughters, and their parents, and it was so special. We took portraits along the river, played with their daughter in the backyard, and gathered under the twinkle lights for their ceremony. It was such an honor to be a part of their tiny elopement, and know that their siblings, friends, and extended family would later get to be a part of the moments through my photos.
Richard's sister Elizabeth (Beauty by Elizabeth Marie) and sister-in-law Erika (Crowns of Gold Styling) are my go-to hair and makeup artists, and they did a beautiful job getting Nicole ready for her day!
Taylor & Matt booked me as their photographer before we even had a chance to meet. Taylor said she had a feeling, based on our emails, that we'd be a great fit, and I couldn't agree more! We eventually got the chance to meet over coffee and to do a walk-through of their backyard venue, but on their wedding day it felt like I was spending the day photographing friends. Their Deming wedding was decked out in greenery, her bouquet and flower crown from Pozie by Natalie were beautiful, and everyone was so kind and friendly. I'm so excited to share the details, the candid moments, and all the joy that tied this wedding together. This right here is exactly why I love backyard weddings. Even in the hottest, driest, smokiest month of the year, the Pacific Northwest is the perfect place to celebrate the choice to get married. Scroll to see my favorites!
Samantha, Tony, and I had so much fun getting to know each other at their engagement session! When we were emailing back and forth about their wedding plans, they really emphasized how much they love Bellingham's coastline and water views. Larrabee was the perfect spot for their autumn engagement photos! We talked about how they met, fell in love, got engaged in Disneyland, and their excitement for their upcoming wedding, and I don't think I had to ask them to smile once. ;) I've really enjoyed seeing Sam and Tony share their favorite images as they count down to May, so here's a handful of my favorites, too!
In addition to Erika being my go-to hair stylist, Erika and Chris are both partial owners of their family business, Appel Farms. When we talked about a location for their anniversary portraits, they knew there was no place they'd be happier than at their farm. They brought their dogs, we threw a few sticks, and left with a huge gallery of photos and some sweet memories, too. If you love dogs and golden hour, this blog is for you!
Erika styled her hair herself, and her sister-in-law Beauty by Elizabeth Marie did a gorgeous job on her golden makeup. I couldn't recommend them more for your next portrait session or wedding!