Sneak Peek… {Mini} Annamarie

Posted on September 26, 2009

Edmonds area Portrait Photographer

Today was a good day.

annamariepolaroidOr maybe I should say this morning was a good morning. It was perfectly overcast this AM, which is ideal for photo shoots. The clouds diffuse the sun’s harsh rays offerring soft, flattering light. The bright sunny days that everyone loves actually aren’t very helpful to a photographer. Direct sun causes unflattering shadows under the nose and neck and also right around the eye area. Some of those images can be saved by Photoshop, others can’t. When I finally pulled myself out of bed I made the happy discovery that it indeed was a glorious weather day for Annamarie’s mini session.

I’ve had the pleasure of photographing Annamarie before, about 6 months ago. This time we got to meet up at the end of summer, instead of the middle of winter, and she brought her arm candy, Luke,  along for the ride. The shoot went very well, Annamarie remembered all of the tips from last time and had taken the info in CYE’s Wardrobe FAQ to heart. You can tell she studied up on what to wear -she looks amazing!

Without further ado, here is the sneak peek for {Mini Session} Annamarie:

LOVE it when you get a real smile




More Mini Sessions coming up next weekend, can’t wait! Have you scheduled your Mini Session?



Project 365: CYE Style wk 3

Posted on September 24, 2009

 Redmond area Family Photographer



of Project 365: CYE Style


Welcome to week three!

I’m glad to be here as I fully expected to be unable to complete this week’s installment in anywhere near a reasonable timeframe. CYE debuted our fall Mini Session sale this week and we have received a great interest. We still have a few sessions available for those still wanting to book:

Also this week, CYE joined, and is participating in, two causes to help give back. The first is Images for a Cure. Click the link for more info. All session fees for shoots completed on October 11, 2009 will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. Will you be a doer for cancer with us?

The other cause is Operation: Love ReUnited (OpLove) for deploying, deployed and returning military families. If you are a member or family member of the United States Military, and are interested in having very special and touching images with a patriotic edge taken of you and/or your family before a deployment or during, and at your reunion, please check out their site for more information.  You will receive a substantial package as a gift in appreciation for all you have been through as a military member.

Now… onto this week’s photos!

I’m trying something a little different this week; a gallery-type slideshow instead of posting the photos one after the other. Let me know which way you would prefer to view the photos; gallery style or just post ‘em?

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The first two photos seem to share a theme.

The first is Reiken plugging his ear while Quinn howls, and I do mean HOWLS, next to him. The second is little Miss Toby. She is the daughter of a friend of ours. The boys and I met up with a bunch of Creekside ladies at The Village Bean in Bothell. The Village Bean is a new kid-friendly coffeeshop with toys and activities for your children to master while you relax -FOR FREE! Anyway, Toby, her new sister Kasey and her gorgeous and fun mom Melissa showed up to the coffeeshop, along with every other mom with younger-than-school-age kids in what must have been a 15 mile radius of Country Village… It was quite the hullabaloo! In this image, I can just HEAR Toby asking for just ONE second of quiet and sanity. She is so stinkin’ cute.

The third photo is the newest member of the Bursch Clan;

Little Miss Lauren Elizabeth. She was born to Kirsten and Jason on 9/17/09 at 2:08AM weighing 8lbs, 5oz and measuring 19.5 inches long. This tiny elf angel was born via c-section as she was a breech baby. All are healthy and happy. Big sister Madison is in lahoooove.

The last photos are of varying scenes in my life last week.

Number 4 is a beautiful red plant that seemed to confirm that fall is on its way soon. The fifth is a beautiful photo taken at Ken and Chelsea’s wedding on Saturday. The sixth is taken from the congregation at my amazing church in Mountlake Terrace, Creekside. The dapper man featured is Pastor Don. He is an amazing teacher on Sunday mornings. The last photo is of my boys holding hands on the couch. Well, really it is of Reiken smashing Quinn’s hand trying to be sweet, but no one needs to know that, right?

As for week four…

Its all a surprise! Really, I can’t remember what I’ve shot so far this week. I know there will be a beach portrait session and a building dedication to Jesus. Other than that… we’ll find out soon enough. See you next week!






Images for a Cure – Will you be a 'doer' for cancer with us?

Posted on September 23, 2009

Seattle area Photographer

We are daughters, sisters, husbands and fathers…

images-for-cure-buttonWe are roommates, best friends and soul mates. We are photographers with a passion for giving back. On October 11, 2009, we will unite our talents to contribute one day of session fees in support of breast cancer research. 100% of all session fees collected on this date will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. We are hopeful, that with your support we will find a cure in our lifetime. More information can be found at


Here at CYE, we have joined up with dozens of other photographers throughout the country, and a few other countries too, to be ‘doers’ for cancer and are participating in Images for a Cure. On Sunday, October 11, 2009 we will be doing (did’ja catch that?) photo sessions and donating 100% of the session fees to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. But we can’t be doers for cancer alone. We need your help!

Were you already considering a session with CYE? Why not schedule it on Sunday, October 11, 2009 and participate in Images for a Cure with us. Beautiful photos for a beautiful cause, CYE Style. Help us make this a huge success, we would love to have you.


Please email us today to set up your session, and be a doer for cancer with us:



Ken & Chelsea… 'I do' 9.19.09

Posted on September 21, 2009

Kirkland area Wedding Photographer


The dress, the shoes, THE man. Dreams realized. Fairy tale beginning? Check!

She said ‘I do’ on the lawn of her mother’s home while facing the water of Juanita Bay as the sun’s rays burst through the overcast sky. He said ‘I do’ while staring in awe at his beautiful shortly-to-be wife. She said ‘You better!’.  Laughter? Joy? Check and check!

And love?

Oh yes, let me tell you, there was love there. It was pulsating behind them from the intimate gathering of family and friends. It fell to the mothers’ cheeks as they watched their babies at the altar. It was electric across the span of their hands as they exchanged rings. And we got to be there. Amazing, this life is.

Ken, Chelsea… Congratulations. And thank you for showing us your love.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, the sneak peek for Ken & Chelsea:




Project 365: CYE Style wk 2

Posted on September 18, 2009




of Project 365: CYE Style

Another week gone and the mornings are starting to feel like fall already. Soon, every morning will highlighted by the traditional pain of making a fire and then trying to keep toddlers away from said fire. However, as those days are not upon us yet, let us be thankful and joyous for the dwindling days of summer!  My sister and brother-in-law (who is also Jeff’s brother!) had their beautiful baby girl just yesterday (photos of her next week!) so I am watching Madison for the next few days along the two boys. Seeing as I am sneaking away to write this blog and have plied the older two with candy and Yo Gabba Gabba! this week is just about the pictures.

So! Onto the photos:





Now, this photo deserves some quick words. Meet my husband, Jeff. This was just after work and I had to use him for a test shot. He is not too thrilled with the photo but I think he looks… well, I won’t say here. Just know that its good, ya?

11.365 12.365

Another quick word… Remember that wood cutting that I mentioned last week? Here is the evidence! Meet Jason; Jeff’s brother, my sister’s husband and my brother-in-law twice.



Well. We have succesfully made it through week two and I have already started collecting wonderful photos for next week.

As for week three…

What to expect? Maybe some newborns. A wedding. A little bit of maternity and maybe even a birthday party and some craft stuff  or gyoza (what? Check back… you’ll find out!). 

As for now, kids are screaming, cereal has been spilled and general chaos is ensuing. Ah, life.



Fall Mini Session Sale!

Posted on September 16, 2009

Summer is leaving us behind

and fall is rapidly approaching here in the Pacific Northwest. It is only a matter of time before the flip flops and tank tops are retired for your trusty North Face fleece and waterproof shoes. CYE is welcoming the harvest (actually… mourning summers departure) with a fall Mini Session Sale.

Mini Sessions are a great way to experience the fun and creativity of a CYE photo shoot at a fraction of the price. After all, we are in a recession… right? Not to mention that CHRISTMAS will be here in barely over 3 months; and everyone knows that photos make a great gift. So why don’t you really treat those loved ones this year with some amazing prints, CYE Style? With the fall Mini Session Sale in full swing you will be able to wow those gift receivers and be a savvy shopper all at the same time.

The Details…………………………..$100

  • 45 minute photo session at a beautiful outdoor location
  • 15 fully enhanced and retouched fine art high resolution images on disc
  • License to Print your images at any photo retailer of your choice
  • Secure, password protected online gallery to share with family and friends
  • Custom designed holiday card (digital file)
  • Entrance into a drawing for a canvas print of your favorite image
  • Includes up to 4 family members; $10 each additional

More ways to SAVE and EARN:

Share the love, spread the news! Refer a friend and earn prints, possibly lots of prints! For each booked referral you earn one 8×10 print of your choice -and so does your friend. Or, if you and your friend book your Mini Sessions back-to-back you both earn two 8×10′s, three friends back-to-back equals FOUR 8×10′s… EACH!

The fall Mini Session Sale runs only through October and there are a limited number of sessions available.  Reserve your spot by dropping us an email:





Project 365: CYE Style Wk 1

Posted on September 11, 2009

So I may be a day (or like, 4) late and a dollar (or two) short but IT is finally here! (Do you have a drumroll sounding in your head right now? I do!) (Wow… I must be in a parenthesis kind of mood today… don’t mind my formerly inner, now outer, monologue.)


of Project 365: CYE Style


This gem I have dubbed “Mother’s Sanity” (can ya guess why?!) and was processed with a lahoooovely texture from the talented Miss Beth Armsheimer. Check out her site! It looks like she is still running a sale on her texture packs (I have both pack one and pack two). They are high resolution and come in a colored version and black and white of each file. Check her out!


This was Reiken’s first experience with stickers. His cousin, Madison, brought some stickers on over to the Bursch Shanty and Reiken swiftly claimed them for his own. Thus, a picture title was born! “Stickers” was converted to black in white in Photoshop. Then, I added a color fill layer in a cool yellow brown and set the blending mode to color at about 40% opacity. I duplicated that color fill layer and changed the blending mode to soft light and lowered the opacity to around 15%.


“Mr. Q Explores!” Just a quick tweak to the RAW file’s brightness, clarity and exposure in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw)was all this image needed.


I call this “Hope”. It was edited using a free action called Wheat Bread from I-don’t-know-who! I can’t find the creator’s info. Is this your action? Do you know who the author is?  Email me so I can give some credit:


“A la Mud” in Marblemount, WA. Luvin’ me some Coffeeshop Vintage Honey action. This is my new processing addiction. And you know the best part? Rita, Coffeeshop’s head barista, GIVES the action away -FOR FREE. It works both in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Rock on.


This photo (“Peace”) was also taken in Marblemount, WA, on my husband’s grandparent’s property. We (all four of us) stayed in Marblemount for Labor Day weekend. We didn’t set up the tent, (my choice; not the smartest,) instead we set up our sleeping quarters in the bed of our one ton dually Chevrolet (totally acceptable in Marblemount!)! Thankfully, we do have a canopy as it rained BUCKETS all weekend. However, 2 adults, a 1.5 year old and a newborn jammed into the space the size of two refrigerator boxes does not a happy family make.  Those were some long nights to say the least! Processed with Coffeeshop’s FREE Orton action.


Well, friends, we have made it to the end of the week. This photo I call “Temptation”. Toddler boys and puddles should not mix (at least according to mama)! However, Reiken flashed me with his white, toothy grin and I caved. Processing? I tweaked clarity, vibrance and brightness in ACR. Then I added a vignette layer and set the blending mode to overlay at about 40% opacity. Voila!

As for week two…

I can tell you that on our photography adventure we will be going to the grocery store, visiting my preggers sister (two weeks ’till Lauren!) and possibly sneaking up on Reiken during nap time. Also, summer is saying its last farewell to the Northwest tomorrow and blessing us with 80 degree weather. There will be wood (hopefully ONLY wood) chopping and other antics that may be captured and become Project 365: CYE Style contenders. You’ll have to check back next week to find out!

Until then,


Tutorial: Digital Stationery 101

Posted on September 10, 2009

Digital Stationery 101: Creating an announcement for beginnersbafinalnopattern


This tutorial was created using Photoshop Elements 6 (PSE 6) to ensure maximum compatibility. All versions of Photoshop can be used to accomplish this tutorial. PSE 6 and 7 are also compatible. I have included some keyboard short cuts; these are PC compatible. Also, I’m sure there is a better or more effective method of accomplishing what is included in this tutorial. This is just my way of creating and designing this type of stationery; I hope other find it useful and can build off my knowledge.***If using PSE, please download and install the layer mask action from Hidden Elements It is free and will make your life soooooo much easier when it comes to Photoshop. 
  1. Open a new file at 300 pixels per inch. The most popular stationery sizes are 4×6, 5×7 and 5×5 inches. This tutorial will utilize the 5×7 ratio. 300 pixels per inch (dpi) ensures superior print quality with the least chance for pixelization. SS1final
  2. Create a new layer, PC: shift+ctrl+n
  3. Utilizing the paint bucket tool from the tool palette on the left, fill your new layer, Layer 1, with your chosen background color. I chose a medium pink as I am creating a birth announcement in this tutorial.SS3final
  4. Next decide on the photo layout for the announcement. Be sure that you are not placing anything close than 1/8 inch to the edge to allow for bleed during printing. I decided on three rounded rectangular photos for this announcement. To create a layer mask for the photos, I created a new layer, shift+ctrl+n. This will become your photo shapes layer. Next, I switched my foreground color to black, just hit ‘d’, and chose the custom shape tool (right under the gradient tool) from the tool palette. The rounded rectangle shape is under the ‘shapes’ menu in the standard PSE 6 rollout. Next, I created a rounded rectangle using the custom shape tool. Then I copied that custom shape layer twice so I had three black rounded rectangles. Using the free transform option, ctrl+t, on each rounded rectangle shape layer, I lined up the rectangles utilizing the ‘snap-to’ option with the grid. This ensures that everything is even. Now, select all three rounded rectangle shape layers, right click the mouse while in the layers palette and click ‘merge layers’. Now all of your rectangles are simplified in one layer.SSfinal4
  5. Now make another new layer, shift+ctrl+n and fill the layer with white with the paint bucket tool. This will become your photo mask layer. Add a layer mask to this layer utilizing the layer mask action from Hidden Elements. Now, click your mouse back down to the Photo Shapes layer. Using the magic wand selector tool found in the tool palette click on the Photo Shapes layer in the transparent area, NOT the black rounded rectangles. This will select the entire area except the rectangles. Now, on the layer palette, go back to your new Photo Mask layer and click on the layer mask that you just added with the Hidden Elements action. Press shift+ctrl+I to invert your selection. Now, using the paint bucket tool, fill in the selected areas with black. You should now see three white rounded rectangles.SSfinal5
  6. Now, to add your photos! For my announcement, I need three photos. To start I created a new layer, shift+ctrl+n, above my new Photo Masks layer. Next, you need to group this new layer with the previous layer’s mask. To do this, select the layer in the layers palette and hit ctrl+g. Now check out the layers palette. By grouping your newest layer, Photo 1, with the previous layer it has caused Photo 1’s layer to indent slightly and a downward pointing arrow to appear just to the left of the layer’s thumbnail. Next, I opened the first photo I wanted to use in PSE 6 and copied the photo, ctrl+a and then ctrl+c. Now, go back to the stationery file we have been creating. Click on your new Photo 1 layer in the layer palette and paste your photo into the layer, ctrl+v. Now you need to resize and align your photo into the layer. Use the transform tool, ctrl+t to do this. Repeat these steps for all photos that need to be added to the stationery layout.SS6final
  7. Now you need to decide where and how you want any text to appear on the announcement. I decided to add three cloud-like objects to put my text into. I used the custom shape tool to accomplish this. The cloud shape is under the ‘shapes’ menu in the custom shape tool. I put in three cloud shapes, using the grid to help me with alignment, then I merged the three cloud layers together by selecting all three custom shape layers, right clicking on the layers palette and choosing ‘merge layers’.SSfinal7
  8. To give my clouds a more ethereal look, I decided to add a glow to the outer edges. To do this, I clicked on my clouds layer in the layer palette, then went up to the effects palette, which is just above my layers palette, chose ‘layer styles’>’outer glows’>’heavy’ and then clicked ‘apply’. You will notice that to the right of my clouds layer in the layer palette there is a blue icon that says ‘fx’. This means a layer style is applied to that layer.SSfinal8
  9. I wanted to add some whimsy to this layout. I created a new layer, shift+ctrl+n. To make the butterflies and their trails, I chose a nice chocolately brown color and then selected the brush tool from the tool palette. After you select the brush tool just under the main menu at the top of the screen (File, Edit, Image, Etc menu), there will be a white rectangular box with a black stroke in it. Click the downward pointing arrow just to the right of this box. This will bring up your brush menu of all the available brushes you have installed. I selected my butterfly brush, went to my new Butterflies layer and stamped on the bigger butterfly first, then the trail and finally the two smaller butterflies.SSfinal9
  10. My layout needs more of that chocolately brown. I decided to add brown frames around my photos. To do this, I used the same rounded rectangle from the custom shape tool. To make the rectangles brown, I made sure my foreground color was the same color that I used for my butterflies and then made the rectangles. To get the rectangles behind the photos I clicked on the Photo Shapes layer in the layer palette and then drew in one rectangle that was slightly larger than my photos. I then duplicated the layer twice, ctrl+j, and then aligned the other two rectangles using the transform tool, ctrl+t. After that I merged the layers together. The brown frames were a little too brown, so I lowered the opacity of the brown frame layer to around 65%.SSfinal10
  11. Last step was to add text! I chose the chocolately brown color for my text. Utilizing the text tool in the tool palette, I clicked in the leftmost white cloud and wrote out my parent’s info in the MurphyScriptViva font. Then I clicked the rightmost cloud and entered the birth info in the same font.SSfinal11
BONUS! Want to add a cool texture to your background? All it takes is one adjustment layer!!
  • Click on your background color layer, Layer 1 in my tutorial, in the layer palette. Next click the ‘Create adjustment layer’ icon. It is at the top of the layer palette right by the trashcan. Choose ‘Pattern…’. This will bring up a list of the patterns installed. Choose your favorite by clicking the little arrow to the right of the pattern thumbnail and click OK. Voila! Instant change. To further customize, change the blending mode of your pattern layer: click on the ‘Pattern Fill 1’ layer in your layer palette and change the blending mode. The blending mode menu is just above the ‘Create adjustment layer’ icon. Try out a bunch of them to see what you like. You can also adjust the opacity to taste or double click the pattern thumbnail on the layers palette and change to a different pattern. My pattern layer is in the Hard Light blending mode at 58% opacity.SSfinal12

Here is the final outcome! I have also created a second side for my birth announcement, which became the introduction side of the card. Can you figure out how to make the other side using the information in this tutorial? I bet you can! I didn’t do anything fancier that what we covered here. Have faith and go for it. Besides, if it doesn’t turn out you can always try again and no one will be any the wiser. bafinalpattern


PSE layer mask action: Hidden Elements      

Pattern: Gypsy Garden by Pixels & Ice Cream

Butterfly brushes: Obsidian Dawn                

Font: Murphy Script Viva Pro                       

Recommended Sites       Free color scheme ideas and swatches                 Free patterns and textures          Lots of free brushes, patterns, textures, etc.

Do you have a suggestion or request for a future tutorial or how-to? Drop an email to


COMING SOON: Project 365 CYE Style week one photos. Stay tuned!