Out of Office notice

Posted on April 19, 2011

Seattle area photographer

You can find me on the beach.  |  On vacation

Hi there… just a FYI. I will be out of town 4/20-5/1. Feel free to email/comment/facebook/tweet/check our Flickr
/send smoke signals/etc. I’ll start getting back to you on all of those starting 5/2. Thanks!

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Reflections on Roatan | Brea’s image diary

Posted on April 5, 2011

Mission Photographer

Roatan.

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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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





Snap Happy… {friends with cameras}

Posted on June 19, 2010

Reiken…. HEY! Reiken. Want another treeeeeeeeeat? Mia, Abbey, Jacob…. want more Smarties? SMILE!

Ahhh… the sounds of photographers and their children.

Where the children tire of treats long before you stop offering and the mothers’ pants have more grass stains and mud than any toddler boy. Dana, from the fabulous Urban Utopia Photography, and Kara, from the equally fabulous Kara Rue Photography, and I, met up just yesterday at Discovery Park in Seattle for a shoot around. We also brought 6 of our 7 kids, 5 of which are 4 and under.

Needless to say, after over two hours of running around, bribery and jumping, the kids were exhausted and our memory cards were full. It was great fun and I look forward to getting together with these ladies, and possibly a few more, next month. And now, for your viewing pleasure, some of the fruits of our labor! Enjoy!!

Seattle child photographerLynnwood Child Photographer  Everett Child Photographer

Marysville Child Photographer

Mukilteo Child Photographer

Edmonds Child Photographer

Shoreline Child Photographer

Bothell Child Photographer

Woodinville Child Photographer

Kirkland Child Photographer

Redmond Child Photographer

Bellevue Child Photographer

Juanita Child Photographer

 

What a photo shoot with toddlers looks like behind the scenes…

Mill Creek Child Photographer

When I said ‘jumping’, I really meant it.

Everett Child Photographer

Mountlake Terrace Child Photographer





Sneak peek… {Bebe} Emma's cake smash!

Posted on March 31, 2010

Everett area Child Photographer

One year old + cake + free reign = absolute cuteness!

Thanks for checking back! Debuting today is Emma’s first birthday cake smash photo session series… Let me tell you, she handled that cake like no other 12 month old I’ve ever seen. She was the best! She demolished her cake in under 5 minutes. Then she was even nice enough to share some with kitty Milo. Enjoy her sneak peek!

seattle cake smash photographer

bellevue cake smash photographer

lynnwood cake smash photographer

cake smash seattle photographer





Fashion Friday | Spring Family Photos

Posted on March 19, 2010

Seattle Family Photographer

“I have no idea what we should wear!”

This is THE most common comment I receive after a lucky family has booked a session. After all, it is pretty important. I don’t really see too many people purchasing a 30″x40″ gallery wrapped canvas to put over the fireplace featuring mom wearing a sweatsuit or dad wearing that nasty old ballcap or little miss wearing her favorite ratty old Dora tennis shoes. Considering the investment, you want to look good.

That is where we come in… After photographing numerous families over the last few years, we have a pretty good idea of how to help you look your best and how to accomplish that together. We have written a handy wardrobe FAQ with tips, tricks, and even ’Where to Shop’ suggestions to help you get started and are more than happy to offer personalized one-on-one assistance in your pre-session consultation.

To take that one step further, today we are featuring a What to Wear blog post that is all about spring family photos and builds off of our wardrobe FAQ. The main thing to remember when dressing a group for photographs is “Coordinating, not Matching”. See our wardrobe FAQ for all the details and see below for a visual representation of our advice.

Enjoy!

Seattle Family What to Wear





Wedding {revisited}… Breanne & Chris

Posted on January 28, 2010

Seattle area Wedding Photographer

I love a good wedding.

I mean, really, who doesn’t? I like pretty much everything about it; the hustle, the floral arrangements, the party atmosphere, the really good food, an elaborate wedding cake. All the little details are what make it good. However, my favorite part of a wedding is afterward. Usually quite a while afterward. Do you know what it is? Any guesses?

The wedding album design!

That is my favorite part. I get to create fairytales! Every story has a happy ending, a beautiful woman and a dashing man but (bonus!)no villain (that is unless a crazy ex shows up or something)! Every story is different so I’m always intrigued. Every bride gets a different, custom design. Brides can have as much, or as little, input as they want in their wedding fairytale album. Some brides don’t even know I have designed an album for them until I reveal it.

Like tonight! Surprise, Breanne & Chris!!

Wedding album design

Contact me for all the details on album design, wedding photography and anything else that comes to mind! info@cyephotography.com

FYI… summer dates are booking up fast

Seattle Photographer





How to… stop time.

Posted on January 19, 2010

Seattle Newborn Photographer

Are you, your sister, wife, aunt, friend, neighbor, co-worker, husband’s friend’s girlfriend’s sister, etc, expecting a new baby?

Seattle Newborn Photographer

Newborns are tough work. Feeding every 2’ish hours, even more if they are a piggy. Sooooo many diaper changes. Clothes on, clothes off. Gas. Colic. No schedule. What new, or newly repeating, parent has the time, the energy, for newborn pictures?

 That squinched up, wrinkly, kinda hairy, pre-baby acne and cradle cap bundle of goodness quickly changes from newborn to infant… Your window of time with your newborn is so, so small. They change into a chubby, personable, won’t-sit-still baby almost overnight. Really, how can you afford not to take the time to properly, professionally, document the curly-ness of your just hatched newborn?

Seattle Newborn Photographer

Luckily, a newborn session with CYE Photography is easy by design and little to no work needs to be done by the newly exhausted parents.

How? Newborn sessions take place in your home. Not on-location or in studio. We come to you and bring everything needed with us; backdrops, lighting, even props. After all, home is where you are most comfortable and also where the truckload of baby’s necessities is. Not to mention you don’t have to wrestle your new baby into their car seat, pack a million and one things in a diaper bag and try to get somewhere on time. Ideally, the session should happen between days 4-10 of life or earlier. That way mama’s milk is in and baby can have a full meal and hopefully your new family has been home a few days and is getting into some sort of routine.

We do request two things of you prior to the session:

  • Feed baby just prior to our arrival so they have a full tummy.
  • Make sure your home is very, very warm. If you are sweating, that is about right.

Those are all of the requests. Most likely you are already feeding baby and also have your home nice and warm since, hello?, you have a newborn in the house that isn’t able to effectively regulate body temperature. So, in actuality, we don’t really make any requests at all!

So, schedule the session.

It is very relaxed and low key. Parents and siblings are welcome to participate as much or as little as they would like. You can schedule the session way ahead of time and we can agree on a tentative date, or do it at the last minute and we will squeeze you in.

You may not be able to stop time. But we can. Remember… forever.

Seattle Photographer

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How to… Remember what you forgot

Posted on January 15, 2010

Seattle Maternity Photographer

Pregnancy takes forever to be over and no time at all to forget.

Let me ask you…

Seattle Maternity Photographer

Because I can tell you from experience, twice, that I can’t remember what pregnancy was like. Not how it looked, or felt. If it was good or bad. All I have left are the stretch marks to prove it happened inside me at all. And Quinny was born only six months ago.

Between sleep deprivation, feeding (otherwise known as ‘assault on your body by wee bitty thing’), diaper changing, more laundry, doctors appointments and just general life upheaval after your bundle of joy arrives, any remembrance of pregnancy is quickly removed from your brain and replaced with mommy scatterbrained-ness. The only way I can remember how it was is to look back on my maternity photos.

Everett Maternity Photographer

A lot of women are unsure or skeptical of maternity photography. I know, I know… you feel like a cow, can’t get up off the couch and have come to realize the whole ‘pregnancy glow’ thing is a myth. You’ve seen the snapshots someone evilly took of you and can’t even imagine wanting to pay for more of those lovely tokens. Not to mention those stretch marks.

Newsflash! Professional maternity photography is NOT your average snapshot.

The perfect lighting, a flattering angle and divine clothing choices make a big difference. Editing will erase those stretch marks and ‘flaws’. You WILL have the perfect, creamy belly we all want. Again, we’re concentrating on the belly here. Not how big your tush has gotten or the fact that your ankles have disappeared. Because, let me tell you, I’ve BEEN there and KNOW that isn’t what you want to remember. 

So, will you remember after you have forgotten? I can guarantee you will with a maternity session by CYE Photography. And the best part is… you will WANT to remember, not cringe when someone busts out the album with THOSE photos. In fact, you may have to restrain yourself from showing off your pics to each and every person who walks in the door.

Click ‘portrait info’ above for all the session details. Then, drop me an email (info@cyephotography.com) to chat about your session. We can set it up way ahead of time, or last minute. Consider combining your maternity session with a newborn session in our Belly to Baby package and remember. Even after you forget.

Seattle Photographer

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