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… {extended family} The Coxes

Posted on September 24, 2012

Seattle Family Photographer

Cloud Fishing

Seattle Family Photographer

Cloud fishing? Yes. Cloud fishing. Upon my arrival at the selected photo shoot location, I found it to be already occupied by a very interesting individual doing ‘experiments’ among other things. He seemed harmless enough, and there weren’t any small children in the extended family who was to be photographed, so I proceeded with the session. During the entire session, this mysterious stranger seemed to be plucking things out of the sky… ‘cloud fishing’ as one of the guys put it. A very interesting night to be sure!

This photo shoot was to celebrate the parent’s 40th wedding anniversary. FORTY years! WOW! I think that the gift of an updated family portrait is nothing short of perfect. Well done, family. Well done.

This last one may be technically imperfect, and totally out of focus, but I love it nonetheless.

 





Sneak Peek… {maternity} Brie

Posted on July 15, 2012

Seattle area Maternity Photographer

Perfect nugget | Seattle Maternity Photographer

You’ve seen them before! First for a beach engagement/family session and then again for a beautiful Seattle wedding. Ray, Brieanne, and Alivia met up with me last week for a sunset maternity session. This little family is expecting a little baby boy in just a few weeks. These three are fun — I had a great time… especially with my ‘creative assistant/director’, Alivia. Thanks, friends! See you soon.

 





Sneak Peek… {maternity} Waiting on Bryson

Posted on May 1, 2012

Seattle area Maternity Photographer

Bun in the Oven | Seattle Pregnancy Photographer

Back in early November, I had the pleasure of photographing my wonderful friends, their daughter and future son. The photo shoot was wonderful fun and we got to break the news to all their friends and family about the latest pregnancy via photos from their fall family session. They’ve also been seen on my blog before last year and the year before.

The latest session, and the sneak peek we are debuting today, is from Sydney’s maternity session for baby Bryson. We had some perfect spring weather and a nice hour together making some more memories for their family. I get the honor of photographing baby B’s birth and then newborn photos in a few weeks. Let’s just hope he stays still and cooks a little longer so the baby shower I’m throwing this Friday isn’t missing the guest of honor!





How to… change a life. | Missions & Philanthropy

Posted on January 5, 2012

To preface this post… I humbly request you read to the end. And? This is the longest post I’ve ever written.

“You made a difference.”

I think these are words that everyone would like to hear at some point in their life. We’d all like to know that our actions, our lives, have impacted the world. Maybe not even The world, but at least Someone’s world. I know that the majority of us struggle to find a practical way to accomplish such a task. Read on to learn more about my story, and how to make your own making-a-difference story happen…

I recently returned from a week long stay in Roatan, Honduras. Roatan is an island north of mainland South America in the Caribbean.

I visited the island with 16 other members of my local church on a mission trip with Alternative Missions and Dwellings to build a home for a deserving family.

The majority of the local population on Roatan lives in very unfortunate conditions. They deal with overcrowding, limited public resources, little to no waste removal protocols, infrequent medical care and systemic poverty on a daily basis. Their homes are constructed out of whatever they can find; old wood, cardboard, etc. and are generally in ill repair and very unsafe.

During our 7 day stay, we completely built one home and assisted in the building of three others. People in our group worked at a medical clinic, tutored children and loved on anyone and everyone we could find.

My specific task while in Honduras was to photograph real life; the people, the buildings, the landscape; anything and everything that could tell a story and spur emotion.

I completely fell in love with the children I met.  Their images, among others, will be used to bring awareness to the situation in Honduras. People there need better homes to improve health and free up income for education and hopefully end the cycle of poverty, family by family. Quality images, not just snapshots, will inspire others to give to this cause or even visit the island themselves and help.  Good images will also encourage others to choose to build for a family.

My pictures will help build homes.

I was able to use my trade to change Someone’s world. I made a difference in the lives of others. In a week.

And we are going to do it again in 2012. This time? TWO HOMES, TWO FAMILIES.

So… the real question… WHY am I posting about this again? The honest answer? We need money.

BY SUNDAY.

So far, Jeff and I have raised just shy of $1000 dollars. We need $4000. I have to write a check on Sunday afternoon for at least $1500 for our plane tickets can be purchased. Then, we need the last $1500 within about 4 weeks. Ready for more honesty?

We don’t have $3000 in our family’s budget to just write the check we need to. The trip costs $4000 but that doesn’t take into account all the other expenses our family will incur (childcare for our boys the week we are gone, both parents losing a weeks pay [no paid vacation for us!], and any other travel expenses that come up).

I did not mail out our Christmas cards this year (just follow me here…).

I did order them and they are currently staring me in the face from a bookshelf proclaiming “MERRY CHRISTMAS” right across the top. I tried to brainstorm some sort of creative and not totally cruddy looking way to morph them into a Happy New Year kind of card, but at the rate, I’m going… I should just start adding hearts and cupids for Valentine’s Day. However. Inside each of these cards I was supposed to mail was to be a Mission Letter asking all our friends and family for money for our trip (a lesson in humility to be sure). Since those cards most likely won’t be going out (and since I only ordered 50), I’m going to share that letter here and hope more than 50 of my almost 1400 Facebook friends read it instead.

The letter:

Happy Holidays!
We never write you letters. Today is different. We wanted to write and tell you about a mission trip we will be going on in March of 2012 to the island of Roatan, which is part of Honduras.
 
Maybe you are thinking, “Jeff & Brea are going on a mission trip?” That’s a completely fair thought. We aren’t necessarily the first couple people think of when it comes to building homes for the poor in a third world country far, far away. Plus, we are busy. Work is really intense right now, the kids are keeping us on our toes and this is not a good time to go on a mission trip. But we’re not sure if there is ever a “good time” to go on a mission trip. And we could probably come up with a list of reasons why we shouldn’t go, but keep coming back to the one reason we should – God loves people.
 
We’ve been trying to live that in the life we currently have. Yes, it’s easy to pray for far off places and far off people, but loving who you live and work with is a challenge. We’ve been trying to see our life as a mission field, not just this trip. And it’s been amazing to see the way God has used this new approach to everything from the way we tip at restaurants to the way we treat people in traffic. But now, it’s time to take the things we’ve learned to a new longitude and latitude. Again!
 
It may come as a surprise, but we actually went on a trip last year that is very similar to the trip we will be taking in 2012. Last March, we spent a week on the island of Roatan with a group from our church. We built a home for a deserving family, tutored children, helped at a medical clinic and shared the good news of the Gospel. Seeing the skills God gave us at work and used for His glory was amazing. The trip was a life changer for both of us.
 
We feel called to return to the island in 2012. We are going to Roatan for one week in March. Going wasn’t a hard decision. When it comes down to it, Jesus laid out a pretty simple religion for us, didn’t He? Love God, love others, and love ourselves. Nope, deciding to go was easy. Paying for it however, is a real challenge.
 
To be honest with you, we just don’t have $4000 lying around the house. So we decided to send letters to people we don’t usually write and ask for something we don’t usually ask for, money. We’d love if you could financially support us on this mission trip. A little, a lot, any would be great. And if you want to know more about the trip, please let us know and we will give you a call.
 
One other thing, if you could pray about the trip, that would be great. As much as God loves mission trips, other people don’t. There will be a whole host of obstacles that pop up and entangle themselves around our ankles as we prepare to go love the people of Roatan. And knowing that you are praying would mean a lot to us.
 
Thanks for reading this rambling letter. We really appreciate your time and prayers.Warmest Wishes.
Sincerely, Jeff & Brea Bursch

Need more info/proof that our trip is legit? I will now inundate you with links and media!

I wrote a “How-to” article on Missions and volunteer work (which I partially copied for the beginning of this post) over on
The Brand Camp blog that was read by God only knows how many people. I shared a semi embarrasing video where I reflected on the Roatan 2011 trip and shared my video diary. Recently, I posted another embarrasing video asking people to come to our Comedy for Missions fundraiser.

So… could you donate some money to us so we can go change the lives of 2 families? Any amount would be amazing!

I’ve made it as easy as possible with this handy dandy DONATE button. If you’d prefer to send a check, just let me know ( breabursch [at] gmail [dot] com ) and I will get you the deets.




 I will leave you with the recently remixed version of my video diary from last year that includes photos of the two families we will be building for in March. And? If you made it this far into this post…. thank you.

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Comedy for Missions! | Philanthropy

Posted on November 7, 2011

What are you doing Saturday night?

Are you looking for a fun, inexpensive way to spend your evening? I have something just for you! (Keep in mind, y’all, I’m a PHOTOGRAPHER not a VIDEOGRAPHER. My photos are always in focus!  :] And? Don’t I just look SO PURDY???)

 

My personal invitation to YOU:

Details:

Jeff, my husband, and I are heading back to the island of Roatan, Honduras for a week in March of 2012. We went last year with a group from our church, The Creekside Church, and built a home for a family in need. This year, we will be building two homes, thereby drastically changing their lives.

To get to Roatan, we need to raise $4000 ASAP. That is where YOU and COMEDY come in. One of our fundraisers is a comedy night featuring comedian Jerry Miner THIS SATURDAY NIGHT at Creekside (7011 226th PL SW Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043). All proceeds from this event go to the trip. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. We even have childcare for $5 per kid.

You can buy your tickets here and put JEFF & BREA BURSCH in the field asking which team member invited you and the funds from your ticket go directly to us!

Already have plans on Saturday but still want to help us to get Roatan to build those homes? NO PROBLEM! You can send a check (working on figuring out the Paypal logistics) directly to me and I’ll see that it gets where it needs to go. All cash/check donations are TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Please make checks out to THE CREEKSIDE CHURCH and mail to ME at 12323 Gibson Rd, Everett, WA 98204.

Check out some of the images from our trip last year:

And my thoughts upon returning home:

Thank you, thank you. For considering the comedy night, for giving, for praying, for watching my embarrassing videos and for making it to the end of this blog post. :)

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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.

 






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