Special Delivery | Noelle

Posted on January 26, 2014

Kirkland Newborn Photographer

Special Delivery: Noelle | Seattle area Newborn Photographer

This is a special, special blog post. I hope you will read all the way to the end. You should in fact. I promise a warm, fuzzy feeling and maybe a few joyful tears will surprise you at the end.

Have you ever been in a NICU?

I have. My first baby spent 5 days in the NICU after he was born. The first time I met him, he was 12 hours old,  in an incubator, wires going everywhere, an IV line in his head… I immediately broke down in ugly tears. This was not what I had in mind for my first meeting with my first baby. Not. At. All. Thankfully, he was a full term, 9+ pound chunky, red, wiggly thing and was in the NICU for antibiotics, jaundice, and observation and we were able to break free of the NICU in 5 days and take our baby home.

Not every NICU baby has the same stay. Some stay for a few days, like my son, some stay for weeks and some stay for months.

Some moms have to leave the hospital without their baby.

I cannot even imagine.

This year, 2014, I want to serve all those moms.

How? I will come to the hospital and photograph your baby in the NICU, family included, for no cost and no strings. There is no session fee and nothing to purchase. I will provide you with all the digital images via digital download. If you elect to purchase a newborn session after your baby leaves the NICU, you will be eligible for a NICU graduation discount. If I never hear from you again after I visit you in the NICU, that is fine too.

Why? I know just a smidgen about what it feels like to be that mom looking at her baby through glass, or plastic. The one whose heart stops every time a monitor alarm goes off. The one who faithfully pumps breast milk every three hours so that a nurse can slowly drip it via syringe into the baby’s mouth. I’ve been the mom whose hands start to dry out because each time you visit the NICU you must scrub in. I know that the NICU isn’t the place you wanted your baby’s first photographs to occur.

While your NICU story may be different than mine, I know that this isn’t the beginning of life you anticipated for your baby. I’d love to serve your family by providing professional, beautiful images for you to look back on with your child to show them what a fighter they are, how strong they have been since the very beginning – no matter how tiny they started out.

How? Email Me (info@cyephotography.com) and let me know you are interested in the Special Delivery service. Tell your sister, your friend, that lady at church… whomever has a baby in the NICU. Just have them contact me and I will make myself available.


A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Noelle. She was born at 30 weeks and weighed in at 2 pounds, 11 ounces. These images are for her family to celebrate her miraculous arrival.

Welcome to the world, sweet girl.


Sneak Peek… {2011 Photog PIF} Danielle

Posted on July 1, 2011

Bothell area Family Photographer

Family of the HeART.

Meet Danielle and her lovely family. She is the photographer behind Danielle Weathers Photography in Maple Valley and the April recipient of the 2011 Photog Pay it Forward (PIF). One of the most refreshing parts of this PIF was Danielle and her husband’s willingness to just LET GO and let the session happen without cajoling, threatening or bribing. Sure, initially the kids were very high energy and running around like little crazies, but after about 10 minutes we had become fast friends (or at the very least I had gained their respect) and the session went perfect! I’m sure you’ll agree. Check out the images!

Reflections on Roatan | Brea’s image diary

Posted on April 5, 2011

Mission Photographer


I’m kicking off this post with two videos, lucky readers! The first is my laughably self filmed post trip message. I really am sticking my neck out here and sharing my heart. (Not to mention that I had to bribe the hubs and kiddos with McDonalds and get this whole thing filmed in one take — no pressure, right?) The second video is my image diary from Roatan. I feel in love with the people and I’m sure you’ll be able to see the portrait photographer side of me in the images. The last 17 of those images are of the crew I worked with. Love them all!

The full meal deal (Mickey D’s, remember?) blog post is just below the videos. Check it out after the show.

ALSO, I have written a guest post over at the Brand Camp blog about some of my Roatan experiences and insights on how to make a trip of your very own a success. Pop on over there and let Kristen know you stopped by.


So… what did you think? Not too shabby, right?

Roatan, as I said, was a LIFE CHANGER for me. Why? I realized what it really meant to have opportunity and true community.

I spent the second week of March, just a few weeks ago, in Roatan, Honduras with 16 others from The Creekside Church in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. Roatan is an island in the Caribbean just North of mainland Honduras. The island boasts one of the world’s best diving spots and is a popular cruise ship port. Thousands of wealthy cruisers pore into West Bay and West End annually. Just outside of these tourist areas, however, the money ends and the majority of the local people live in systemic poverty.

The local people I met were born into very little opportunity. There is not a free public education system on the island. Parents must pay for each and every child to attend school. The majority of families are single parent households living in beyond poor conditions. Nellie, the sweet woman we built a home for, is a trash picker; she goes to the dump with her mother and daughter every day to search for plastic 2 liter bottles to recycle for money. I was told her estimated monthly income is the equivalent of between $150-$250 USD a month. I was also told that tuition for public school is around $35-$50 USD a month, per child. Nellie has 3 children and a grandchild. Do the math, people.

Opportunity is hard to come by without a decent job. Decent jobs required literacy and education. Literacy and education are pretty much luxuries for most of the people on the island. The majority of their money goes to home costs and food. 

Our team had the opportunity to go and serve Nellie and her family. We built a home for her in seven days. Not just any home, but one of the nicest, safest, most comfortable homes in her colonia (neighborhood/barrio). She will be able to invest the money she was using on home/living costs into other things — like school for her son, Melvin. Melvin will have opportunities he otherwise would not have had if we had not made the trip to love on them and provide them with a home.

Prior to leaving for Roatan, I tried to prepare myself as much as possible for what I thought Roatan would be. I did Google image searches on third world children, read blog posts and forums from other missionaries, watched channel 11 at 3 AM and let my imagination run wild. Imagine my surprise upon actually meeting some locals when I realized they are not pitiful. This may not seem like a big deal but I had been watching ‘Feed the Children’ in the wee hours of the morning for the last 2 months and was expecting much different.

I was greeted with open arms, smiles and a few curious looks.  The children were shy, but upon seeing their face on my camera’s LCD then showed off their biggest grins and belly laughs. Next, I would look up for their mom or dad to make sure I had their approval. About half the time, a parent wasn’t around. I would, however, catch the eye of 2-3 other adults protectively admiring the exchange at a distance.

Later I found out that most parents, if they were able, worked during the day and the children were cared for by an older family member or sibling, or quite often, by the neighborhood in general. Unlike the United States, where we may be friendly with one or two neighbors and may even know their children by name, these people have constant contact and love for everyone in their community. They support one another in many ways; child care, meal sharing, and more.

During our home build, more and more people showed up each day to haul supplies, remove debris or just watch the spectacle of all the gringos getting dirty. THIS was community. Helping each other daily, loving each other daily, without expectation of something in return. Life changer, people. Life changer.

I hope between this post, the two videos and the Brand Camp blog post, you have a better idea of my trip, my heart and missions in general. I strongly urge you to GET INVOLVED. For more information on serving or giving, contact Alternative Missions or Dwellings to have an experience similar to mine. You can also contact your local church, synagogue, temple or house of worship for other options.

GO on a trip.

GIVE to a cause.

SUPPORT your passion.

Or just LOVE others.


Out of Office Notice | Seattle area Photographer

Posted on March 11, 2011

Seattle area Photographer

Roatan Adventure | Seattle Photographer

Hello, dear reader. In the wee hours of tomorrow morning, while you are (hopefully) fast asleep, I will be heading to SeaTac with 18 other wonderful people from The Creekside Church to board a plane to Roatan, Honduras. The mission trip that we have been planning for 6 months kicks off at 3:15AM.

We have partnered with Alternative Missions and Dwellings for this trip. Our goal is to build a home for a wonderful, and deserving, family. This will change their lives, and ours too. I will also be shooting video and images for Alternative Missions and Dwellings to use to raise awareness for their cause. I strongly urge you to visit the websites above for Alternative Missions and Dwellings and see how you can help and change lives. Maybe you can’t make the trip, but you can still have a hand in the work. Make the choice.

Photo Credit: Why Did You Wear That?

  • From Dwellings:

    When you help build a home for a needy family you are providing far more than a much needed roof over their heads.  In many poverty stricken  areas where even basic shelter is unattainable, replacing cardboard and plastic with a solid roof can effectively change lives.
  • A permanent dwelling provides stability in an uncertain world and is a huge step on the road out of pervasive poverty.  Owning a home brings hope for a better life. Hope brings confidence to reach for that life. We all know that even the slightest glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel encourages us to move ahead.  A home can be that light for a family.
  • A secure place to live, one that isn’t going to literally blow away with the next stiff wind, builds family life and encourages learning.  Children in a stable environment learn better and are more likely to both attend, and stay, in school. Education, of course, brings better opportunities for work and an improved life in the future.
  • Children need to be healthy in order to attend school and a clean environment is one of the most important results of a permanent dwelling that you can help provide for a needy family. In a country of extreme climate, living in a house with solid walls, floors, and a roof overhead, can greatly reduce the incidents of sickness due to dirt floors and exposure to weather and insects. Scarce funds, once being used to treat sick children, can then be used to purchase resources for school and other necessities.
  • The most important and far-reaching result of building a home is spiritual.  Here is a practical way to demonstrate the love of God to people who need to have a chance to see and experience it. Telling is important, showing is inspiring.  By giving a week of your time and talents to build a home, you can inspire needy people to know God and give back.
  • For many going to the field to build a home is not possible but you can still be a part of this important ministry. A gift of $6000 – $9500 will provide materials to build a complete home for a family. Only $1,000 will buy materials to literally build the roof over their heads. A monthly gift of $100, $50, or $20 will help Dwellings keep building houses for needy people on into the future.

I will start returning messages and inquiries Monday, March 21st. In the mean time, please pray for our trip!

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Sneak Peek… {PIF Photog} Heather & Jeremy | Everett Couple Photographer

Posted on February 5, 2011

Everett Couple Photographer

Glee, Giggles, Gorgeous.  |  Everett Couple Photographer

This session was AH-MAZ-ING. This is Heather, of Holson Photography, and her husband Jeremy. And they ROCKED. IT. They were SO natural in front of the camera. I was able to loosely pose them and then they had amazing chemistry. SO many giggles and kisses and so full of LOVE. It was great.

90% of my clients include at least one subject under a year old. I have mastered the art of bribery, cajoling, crazy dancing, shooting through tears and have memorized about twenty five MILLION kidlet songs. AND… I didn’t have to use a single ONE of these skills today. A breath of fresh air? YES!

Heather is the January recipient of my 2011 Photog Pay-it-Forward. We were going to start her shoot in an abandoned junk yard, but upon my arrival, said junk yard was being attended to by some local police. Needless to say, we skipped it in the interest of safety and headed right out to one of my favorite fields. Enjoy!


2011 Photog PIF… {giving back} | Seattle Photographer

Posted on January 2, 2011

January. Business plan month. Ugh.

As an artist, I prefer the ART side of my job to the business side. I put off accounting and behind the scenes tasks until the last minute every year. However, one good part of January is going over everything from the previous year and seeing what went right and what could’ve gone better. I am commited to giving back 10% of my income every year. Every year. I am proud to report that 2010 was a SLAM DUNK! Sessions, mentoring, post processing work and straight out cash were donated for a plethora of causes and greatly exceeded my 10% goal. Feels good.

But I can do better.

As a photographer, I know how infrequent it is for my family and I to be in front of the camera. We’re busy, I’ve got baby weight, and… well, that’s about it. Its been over a year since we had a family portrait and never have had a professional portrait session of just us. Sure… I can set up a tripod and a timer and HOPE for miracles or take a bajillion photos of my boys and their daddy myself. But what about me? How will my kids remember what I looked like cuddling them, kissing their scrunched noses,  and holding hands with their daddy if I am NEVER in any quality, professional images?

Easy. They won’t.

Time to fix that for YOU ladies.

One of my giving back events this year is the 2011 Photographer Pay-It-Forward (PIF). Every month, I want to photograph a different photographer and their family and give them a disc of retouched images COMPLETELY free of charge. No money, please. Just show up all decked out and fully styled and we will rock a session.

But there is a catch.

Each participating photographer has to pay it forward to another photographer within 3 months of their session. Get one and give one away. That’s it.

So… here is my ad for the free sessions… I can only accept 12 photographers. I will open up sign ups for a week and then will use random.org to select the winners. If you would like to be considered, check out the ad and follow the directions. Easy peasy.

I’d love to shoot you.

2011 Photographer pay it forward

Sneak peek… {family} The Orsillos

Posted on June 30, 2010

Bothell Family Photographer

A field, a family, and some photos in June. And rain.

Always with the rain! I have to keep reminding myself that it is indeed NOT April while I pull on my socks and long pants. I thought we were going to get lucky last night and have a wonderful, rain free photo shoot.


But the Orsillos, Rick, Gail, Brendan and Aidan, and I, made the best of it and had a somewhat soggy picnic complete with picnic basket and glass bottled soda. I wouldn’t have changed it for the world, we had so much fun! Jumping, light saber fights, some Star Wars masks, comic books and angry skipping rounded out our evening.

I mean, just LOOK at the fun we had:

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Happy, happy 2010!

Posted on January 7, 2010

Seattle area Photographer

Ciao 2009!!!



Edmonds, WA Newborn PhotographerHello, friends! Welcome to a brand new year!!

I love the new year. I leave all the junk from last year behind but get to take the good along with me into the next. It is a great feeling. I hope that you get to have the same kind of liberating and refreshing experience!

Big changes are coming for CYE Photography this year. New products, new pricing and lots and lots of new clients (right? :))! New pricing will be going into effect January 31, 2010. If you are considering a session and book prior to 1/31/10 you will get to take advantage of 2009 pricing!

CYE Photography will continue with our commitment to giving back 10% of our annual profits in 2010. We are donating two photo session packages to Seattle University’s Professionals Without Boundaries big fundraising auction in February (I’m sure they could use your help if you have something to donate!), OpLove sessions for deployed and deploying mililtary, sessions to various MOPS groups in the area as well as photo sessions to families in the community who may not normally be able to afford it or who need a little pick-me-up.

If you have, or know of,  an upcoming auction for a school, person, cause, etc and are looking for more donations, please hook up with us at info@cyephotography.com and we can chat. 

We think goal setting is important on an annual basis. This year, we gave up the ‘lose more weight’ goal (because, really? Does it ever come true?) and came up with some things a little closer to the heart, and a lot more important. As we are very visual (duh, right?) we commited our goals to .jpg and you can check them out below:

Thanks for a great 2009. Here’s to ’10!

Seattle Photographer

So this is Christmas… {giving back}

Posted on December 10, 2009

Western Washington Photographer

Yes. The weather outside is frightful.

xmasballsWouldn’t the gift of custom portraits be delightful?

Maybe even more so to a family who wouldn’t even dream of the experience of the stop-and-shop drive-thru portrait experience, let alone the magic of a custom photo session?

I have so many blessings in my life, so much to be thankful for. This is due in large part to other people, friends who have become family, who have gone out of their way for me and my family.

This Christmas season, I want to pay those blessings forward by offering a completely, 100% free photo session and print package to a family who truly needs to be blessed. Do you know of such a family?

Maybe this family has a parent who is deployed or deploying. Maybe this family has experienced financial hardship, an illness or an untimely death. Maybe life has just thrown them a curve-ball that has been difficult for them to handle. All of us can remember a time in our lives where we were down and just a little kindness made all the difference.

Here is the plan; you know a family.

Now let ME know about them. Submit a comment to this post. Tell me in five sentences or less about the family you know and what is going on in their lives. Make sure you leave your contact information in the comment fields, an email address would be perfect. Please be sure not to leave any information that could be potentially embarrassing to the family you have in mind. Also, this family should be in my local area: Seattle north to Arlington and Mukilteo east to Snohomish/Monroe and the Eastside. Please submit this information by December 20, 2009, that is 10 days from now.

I will select a family at random the week of Christmas who will be given the gift of custom portrait photography from CYE. Also, the person that submits that family’s information will also receive a 50% session discount on a photo session of their own.

Help me bless a deserving family. Submit the info. Then, feel all warm and snuggly inside knowing you did a good thing for someone else. After all, this is what Christmas is all about.


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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: info@cyephotography.com.

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!






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