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Discovery Park Senior Session | Vivian

Posted in Seniors

stylish senior session at discovery park

If you haven’t noticed already, I spend a lot of time photographing at Discovery Park! The Class of 2017 LOVES Discovery Park – and I can see why! We have tall flowing grass, views of Puget Sound, and endless golden light. It’s also not very crowded on weeknights when I typically do my sessions. Sessions in September are always my favorite as we just get the longest, prettiest dreamy light. Vivian’s session was everything that I love about a Discovery Park senior session. Vivian will be graduating from Woodinville High School this year. She loves spending time with her friends when she’s not focused on her studies. After she graduates, she hopes to attend the University of Washington and study business. Her session turned out so beautiful! Wishing Vivian the best of luck for her senior year.

Did you know we are now accepting applications for Senior Ambassadors for the Class of 2018? Find out all of the details on how to get a free session with me here.


Education | Engagement Session Styling Tips

Posted in Engagement

well dressed couple sitting on bridge in snoqualmie washington

I have several spring sessions coming up and thought this would be the perfect time to discuss a few engagement session styling tips! I get a lot of questions about this and can definitely see why. Most of us grew up taking family portraits where we all wore the same shirt or some mixture of denim and white. Luckily, it’s much more in fashion to be yourself in today’s world of portraits. Here are a few tips I have:

couple posting at lake serene during their engagement session

Choose a simple color palette that coordinates with the season and wear what you feel good in. For any season, I like neutral tones with splashes of color. I love The Perfect Palette for inspiration on unique color combinations.

couple wearing plaid at mount baker during engagement session

Don’t be afraid of patterns. Just because your honey wants to wear his plaid flannel doesn’t mean you have to be void of textures. Combining floral prints and stripes can be a fun option or even polka dots and plaid!

couple dressed in peacoats during engagement session at discovery park in seattle

Keep your outfit changes simple. I recommend couples bring 2-3 outfits for their engagement session. You could bring something more casual and something more dressy but the simpler you can make it the better so you aren’t spending the better half of your session prepping in the bathroom. Bringing items that can layer is always a smart choice!

girl in cute hat during fall engagement session at stevens pass

Accessorize! I love accessories to finish off the perfect look. Think a cute hat for spring or summer or a textured scarf in the fall. Guys, don’t be afraid of this! I love scarves on men or even a simple watch can really bring an outfit together.

well dressed couple with professional makeup during engagement session on bainbridge island

Ladies, opt for professional hair and makeup. Not only is this a great way to pamper yourself on the day of your session, but you’ll be glad you did when you see your photos. You always want to wear a bit more makeup than usual for professional photos to make your features stand out. Check out Yessie Libby, she’s one of my favorites in the Seattle area!

I’ve pinned all sorts of ideas on my Pinterest page so feel free to check it out if you need some inspiration! Also, just because this is titled for engagement sessions doesn’t mean the same principles can’t apply to family portraits. As long as you don’t show up in matching white t-shirts and khaki pants I’m a happy lady 🙂 Do you have any other great tips on what to wear? We’d love to hear them!

Happy shopping!


Spring Mini-Sessions | April 9, 2017

Posted in Announcements, Family

We had so much fun photographing mini-sessions in the fall that we’ve decided to add in a spring edition as well! A mini-session is an abbreviated version of our regular portrait experience. Need a last-minute senior session, quick maternity photos or some beautiful shots of the kids to give to mom for Mother’s Day? Then this is for you! A spring mini-session is $300 and includes the following:

20 minutes of photography for up to five people
(additional family members welcome at $25/per person)
One location and outfit
In-person viewing at our location in Seattle
Set of 10 High-Resolution Digital Files
$100 print and product credit

Please note this is a ONE DAY ONLY event. We will be holding up to eight mini-sessions at Carkeek Park on April 9, 2017. This event will happen rain or shine, with the only exception being incredibly high winds or thunderstorm. So get out those spring colors and come enjoy some of the beautiful blooms the PNW has to offer!

Sessions are not limited to any one style of photography. Families, high school seniors, couples, pets, and kids of all ages are welcome. If you are interested, please email me at amy@amygalbraith.com to secure your spot. We will have the following times available:

9:00am – 9:20am
9:30am – 9:50am
10:00am – 10:20am
10:30am – 10:50am – BOOKED
11:00am – 11:20am – BOOKED
11:30am – 11:50am – BOOKED
12:00pm – 12:20pm
12:30pm – 1:00pm

GET IN TOUCH TO BOOK YOUR SESSION HERE.


Bothell Family Portraits | The Nolans

Posted in Family

bothell family portraits alone the river

I absolutely love when I have the opportunity to photograph families throughout different times in their lives. The Nolans are one of those families! I had the pleasure of photographing their oldest daughter’s senior portraits. They had a family session last spring and now their youngest daughter will be graduating! While I haven’t really done a lot of family sessions in the past, I am hoping to start doing more. With the start of my mini-sessions last year and several of my past wedding clients starting their own families, I can definitely see a lot more in my future 🙂 The Nolans chose Bothell Landing Park for their family session. I love this place because it has a ton of different backgrounds. There’s a beautiful river way, boardwalk through tall grass, tall woodsy trees and even some urban style settings. I really love how there’s a mix of some traditional posed and some fun candid shots as well. My hope as a family photographer is to help bring out personalities to result in a more natural set of images. Here are a few of my favorites from their session! Spring is just around the corner so if you are considering booking a session with us, please reach out to amy@amygalbraith.com.

We are just about to release information for our Spring Mini-Sessions! Mark your calendar for April 9. Stay tuned for more information 🙂


seattle wedding at the ruins | tony & kayley

Posted in Weddings

Bride and Groom at The Ruins in Seattle

I met Kayley while working out at Strength Studio, when owner Susan introduced us. I love how not only does Susan care about the fitness of her clients, but she cares about their businesses, interests, and lives outside of the studio. Because of working out at Strength Studio I’ve met authors, donated to charity, and connected with mothers of high school seniors. It’s basically like a family and I was thrilled to meet Kayley because of it. Speaking of family, that’s what Tony and Kayley’s wedding was all about. Tony and Kayley each have their own children and it was so beautiful to see the families come together for the celebration. I had gotten to meet the whole group when I photographed their family session in Seattle earlier last year and they were all just wonderful to be around. It was clear from the get-go that Tony and Kayley have a very special connection. They chose to have their Seattle wedding at The Ruins. I was living on Queen Anne at the time and was right up the street from the place. I seriously had no idea this little gem existed! The outside of the building is nondescript, but the inside opens up to a magical palace of chandeliers. Kayley had her dream wedding gown custom-made by Seattle’s one-and-only Luly Yang – needless to say, it was absolutely stunning! These two kept a simple color palette and classic theme, and chose one of their favorite local bands to keep the party rocking all night long! Scroll on to see all of the magical touches of Kayley and Tony’s wedding day.

WEDDING TEAM:
Venue: The Ruins
Catering: The Ruins
Floral Design: The Ruins
Cake: The Ruins
Hair Stylist: Jennifer DuCharme
Makeup Artist: Tina Jewett
Custom Wedding Gown: Luly Yang
Band: Hit Explosion

Amy Galbraith Photography is a documentary Seattle wedding photographer focused on capturing candid, natural, emotion-driven images. We still have a few 2017 dates open and now have our 2018 calendar open for booking! Email amy@amygalbraith.com for more information about booking her for your Seattle wedding and beyond!


a proposal on lake washington | ryan & ali

Posted in Engagement

I always get super giddy when someone contacts me about photographing their proposal. Ryan got in touch with me right before Thanksgiving asking if I would be available to meet him at Carillon Point to photograph his proposal to his girlfriend, Ali. Of course there was no way I could turn him down! I love the anticipation of waiting for a couple to show up, me hiding away, knowing that the lady is going to get the surprise of her life. Ryan and Ali were a bit late showing up to the site that we had agreed upon. I started to become worried and finally got a text from Ryan saying he was incredibly sorry but they were finally on their way! Later I found out that it took some convincing for Ryan to get Ali out as she hadn’t been feeling all that great. He ended up telling her it was a work function where he was getting an award at in order to get her to come! Of course she was over the moon when she realized that she would be getting a sparkly new piece of jewelry to wear on her finger. And no, he didn’t have a work function, but a romantic dinner for two planned to celebrate. Congratulations to Ryan and Ali!


Education | The Perfect Wedding Day Timeline

Posted in Weddings

bride and groom laughing together on wedding day

Whether it’s not knowing how much time to book your photographer for or just general confusion on how to set up the events on your wedding day, creating the perfect wedding day timeline for the big event can be a tough topic to tackle. While you can ask your DJ, venue, or caterer for tips, many will leave out the portion of the day that you have devoted to photos. Below is a general timeline and discussion of how you can best schedule the precious time that you have with your photographer!

The average wedding booking for me is eight hours, so I will be providing that as a starting point. Of course if you book more hours, feel free to add and subtract time as needed! I will also be including a “first look” in my timeline. Not only is a first look the way to go for being efficient with your time, it also gives you a lot more time to hang with your guests rather than trying to squeeze in what should be 2-3 hours worth of photography into a cocktail hour and missing all of the action.

Getting Ready Photos – 1:45 – 2:45pm
Assuming you will both be getting ready at or near the venue, one hour should be plenty. I typically start taking photos of the guys – putting ties on, drinking beers, playing lawn games, etc. After that I will pop in to where the ladies are and make sure to take photos of everyone interacting, drinking champagne, putting accessories on, etc. The last thing I will photograph during this portion of the day is the bride putting her dress on. Carla of Honey Crumb Cake Studio has some great advice – “Start hair and makeup early and even earlier than that if you are doing hair (or makeup or both) at a salon instead of having a makeup artist travel to you.” I couldn’t have said it better!

bride putting on necklace at the nines hotel in portland

groomsmen on bus to wedding

First Look, followed by Bride & Groom photos – 2:45 – 3:45pm
Pretty self explanatory, but an hour is an ideal amount of time for this! Obviously we want to have plenty of time for you to enjoy some moments together and also make use of all the beautiful backdrops at your venue. I also recommend not allowing anyone else to be there for this portion. The first look is usually one of the only parts of the day that the bride and groom get to themselves and it’s really nice to have a little private time to soak it all in. Be sure to add extra time if you will be driving between locations!

bride sees her groom during the first look on their wedding day

Wedding Party Photos – 3:45 – 4:30pm
This can vary greatly depending on how many you have in your wedding party, but I like 45 minutes if I can get it. I love taking photos of the group together along with individuals of each member with the bride and groom, respectively. Even better if we have time to stop at a nearby bar for a toast! It’s so much fun to incorporate activities together during this time and makes for some really candid and natural images.

wedding party at boho wedding at over the vines in wisconsin

Prepare for Ceremony – 4:30 – 5:00pm
Whether you have a hot and sunny day or a day filled with cool weather and clouds, you will definitely want to give yourself time to freshen up before walking down the aisle. This also gives me a chance to sneak into the reception space before the guests see it and take photos of all of those gorgeous details that you planned out.

beautiful lavender table setting

Ceremony – 5:00pm – 5:30pm
30 minutes is usually more than enough time for this. Obviously you may need to adjust if you have a special religious ceremony or lots of readings.

wedding ceremony at moose creek ranch in idaho

Family Photos – 5:30 – 5:45pm
A lot of people ask me if they can do these before, but from experience, I don’t recommend it. Somebody is inevitably late and then we end up wasting precious time waiting for them. After the ceremony, everyone is already there and we can usually find a lovely spot nearby that will accommodate the group. I work off of a shot list my clients provide for this so unless there’s a crazy number of combinations, 15 minutes is plenty. My goal at this point is to get you off to your ceremony and mingle with your guests as quickly as I can!

formal family portraits at kitsap memorial state park wedding

Signing of Marriage License – 5:45 – 5:55pm
Don’t forget to make it official! 🙂 According to Kiara of Bright & Co. Events, “[Allow] time post ceremony to just sign the certificate and revel in the fact you just got married! That was my favorite part of the day.”

bride and groom sign marriage license on MV Skansonia

Bride and Groom join Cocktail Hour – 5:55pm – 6:30pm
Yay! Time to say hello to your guests and mingle! Belinda of Happy Camper Cocktail Company says, “For couples who don’t want a first look, I always recommend a nice long cocktail hour to allow them plenty of time for photos alone and with family.” I couldn’t agree more!

bride chats with her wedding guests during cocktail hour in jackson hole

Grand Entrance and First Dance or Welcome – 6:30 – 6:45pm
Whether you do this with your entire wedding party or just yourselves, here’s where you would make your entrance into the reception after everyone is seated. After you enter, it can be fun to do your first dance or just get on the mic and welcome everyone. I find it really helpful to hold your guests’ attention for a few minutes before everyone jumps into dinner.

bride and groom's first dance at honalee farms in boise

Dinner Service – 6:45pm – 7:30pm
Whether you have a buffet or plated dinner, time to eat!

gorgeous table setting at wedding  in puget sound

Toasts – 7:30 – 7:45pm
Starting your toasts at the tail end of dinner service is a great time. Guests tend to get restless if they have to sit for too long. Unless you have a ton of guests speaking or an open mic, 15 minutes should be plenty.

father of the bride gives a toast at talus rock retreat wedding in idaho

Cut the Cake – 7:45pm
Get that dessert going! You can also skip this of course if you don’t plan on having cake. If you have a dessert bar, make sure to have your DJ or Emcee announce its opening.

bride and groom cut their aspen cake at mountain springs lodge wedding in leavenworth

Special Dances – 8:00pm
Whether you save your first dance for this time, want to do a father/daughter and mother/son dance or an anniversary dance, this is a good way to get things rolling on the dance floor!

bride dances with her father at brown family homestead wedding

Open Dancing (take sunset photos during this time)- 8:15 – 9:30pm
Get that party started! I also like to sneak in about 15-20 minutes of sunset photos if the weather permits. Since we took most of our photos earlier on in mid-day, this gives me a chance to take advantage of good light. Adjust to during dinner or cocktail hour if the sun is setting earlier on your wedding date. These can be some of the best shots of the day!

bride and groom at sunset at hidden meadows wedding in snohomish

Bouquet/Garter Toss, Sparklers, Etc – 9:30pm – 9:45pm
Those final moments of coverage may include a bouquet and garter toss if you choose to do one, a fun night shot, or just me finishing up the evening on the dance floor. A common misconception is that the photographer needs to cover the entire evening of dancing. Unless you have a grand exit planned, 45 minutes to and hour of dance floor coverage should be plenty to get those awesome moments of your friends and family boogie-ing down.

bride and groom exit their wedding surrounded by sparklers at within soda

bride and groom in the rain at night at the manor house at pleasant beach

I hope this is helpful for those trying to work out their wedding day schedules or plan on how much coverage they need. Be sure to also coordinate schedules with your venue, caterer, wedding planner, DJ, etc so everyone can be on the same page and offer their input. Do you have any helpful tips of your own to add? Feel free to comment below and happy planning!


Liberty High School Senior Photos | Jordan

Posted in Seniors

liberty high school senior on the steps at Luther Burbank Park

Jordan is a Liberty High School senior in the Class of 2017. Jordan keeps himself pretty busy. He plays on the football team at Liberty High School and has participated in karate since the age of 3. When he graduates he hopes to attend the University of Washington and possibly go into the medical field or study engineering. We got a much needed break in the weather last fall. I had a great time exploring the fall colors and gorgeous waterfronts of Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island during his session. Wishing Jordan lots of victories not only on the football field but in the rest of life as well!


Life as a Mama | The Birth of Banks

Posted in Personal

If you’ve been following me much on Instagram lately you’ve probably noticed that we’ve added a new addition to our little family! Sweet little Banks Jackson was born on December 26, 2016 one week before his due date. Being a mama has added a whole new element to my life. I not only have a love so strong that I never knew I had for this tiny person, but I’m adjusting to our life as a family. Birth is a truly personal topic and while I don’t share much on here from my personal life, I hope I can inspire at least a few mamas-to-be out there who may be on this journey or hope to be in the future.

As most people know, whether you’re engaged and planning a wedding or are pregnant and planning for a baby, you will field tons of advice. Tons of questions came my way upon announcing my pregnancy – “Will you have an epidural?”, “What hospital will you give birth at?”, “Midwives or OBs?”, and many, many more. At first I didn’t realize there were so many options out there. I thought that you were just supposed to show up at the hospital and everything was taken care of for you. Boy was I wrong. Upon entering the rabbit hole of information pertaining to birth on the internet, I realized I had TONS of options. I could take the OB/GYN route, or I could simply visit a midwife and even birth my baby in the comfort of my own home (and yes, I did consider this!) Something I knew that I wanted in my birth was no medications, including the epidural. I won’t go into detail on this as there’s plenty of research out there to show why this can be a healthy (and also very empowering!) option for anyone really wanting to get the full experience out of their birth. Due to this desire, my husband and I signed up for Bradley Method classes, aka Husband-Coached Childbirth. I loved the idea that David would be there by my side, acting as a cheerleader for me. The class itself was amazing. We took it through Lauren Pineda, a doula located in Ballard. We learned about everything from pregnancy nutrition to birth complications to how to get off to a good start with breastfeeding our baby. If you’re considering a class at all I highly recommend it! After all 12 weeks had passed and it was early December, all we could do was anxiously await the arrival of our little one.

I’ll begin by saying that my pregnancy was amazing. Not to say I loved being pregnant or that I would do it again in a heartbeat, but I had none of the annoying complications that come with being pregnant. It was like the unicorn of pregnancies. I didn’t have any weird cravings, I wasn’t sick, I took forever to even sport a baby bump, and all tests for any problems came back negative. Other than the occasional sore back and lack of sleep when baby would kick at night, I was good to go and felt so confident that we would be able to accomplish our goal of an all-natural birth. I dreamed about laboring for a long time in our home with a doula, breathing and relaxing through the contractions until I was in full labor and ready to head to the hospital. We had chosen Northwest Hospital and the midwife team, which just so happen to be less than a mile from our house. I felt like we had done everything we could to set ourselves up for success. That was, until, December 22 rolled around and I had my 38 week prenatal appointment. It was that day that one of the midwives announced that our little boy was breech. No!!! How could this be??! I had done everything right. Yoga, exercise, walking, eating well, the works. How could he be facing the wrong way? If you aren’t familiar with breech, it means that the baby’s head is facing up toward your ribs instead of down towards the birth canal. There is only one doctor in all of Washington and a handful of home-birth midwives who will deliver a baby this way without a cesarean. I was completely crushed. Teary-eyed and defeated, I waited for David to pick me up from the clinic and we started going through our options. While it wasn’t likely, there was a chance that he could turn the right way on his own or we could attempt some DIY techniques to make it happen. If he didn’t turn, a cesarean delivery was our only option.

First, I went in to a local acupuncturist who was recommended by the doula we had hired. He tried some Chinese medicine techniques on me. While it didn’t end up working, it at least got me into a relaxed state of mind. That same night, December 23, we went in for a procedure called external cephalic version (also known as version). Basically, an OB and a midwife pressed on my stomach in an attempt to physically turn our little guy from the outside. This was most definitely painful and actually gave me a chance to practice a lot of the relaxation techniques I learned in our Bradley Method class. While this also didn’t work, I was at least happy that we had given it a chance. Otherwise I would have always wondered “what if”.

Sore and disappointed, I woke up on Christmas Eve with a clear mind. A cesarean was everything I didn’t want about my birth process and I’d never even had a major surgery before, but I had no other choice but to move forward and accept it. We spent a quiet Christmas Eve with David’s family and even treated ourselves to dinner at a Chinese restaurant, a tradition that I’d had with my family as a kid. Little did we know this would be our last dinner out as a family of two.

Christmas Day was oh-so-fun and relaxing. We spent it with David’s family in Bellevue. It was a happy day! We hung around in comfy clothes, opening presents, eating festive food, decorating cookies, and laughing a lot. We went for a walk around the lake nearby and enjoyed the sunshine and cold, clear weather. The festivities continued into the night and we ended the evening watching home movies of David and his siblings. At around 10:30 when the movies were almost over and we were about to leave, I felt a strange pop in my abdomen. It wasn’t like a strong kick or anything I’d felt before and I had a sense that my water had broken. I whispered to David that we should probably make a quick exit and we headed home shortly after.

On the way home I was having some mild, continuous cramps and started to wonder if this was actually the real thing. When we got home, I decided to take a shower to make sure that I was actually in labor. The Bradley Method encourages you to go about your normal activities in case you are just experiencing false labor. If after you walk, eat something, drink something, shower, and rest your contractions get stronger, you are in real labor. While showering, I started to realize that my contractions were really starting to take off. I didn’t want to get to the hospital too early even though I knew I was having a cesarean delivery, but I also started to worry in case we got there too late. They say the average labor lasts 12-15 hours but some can be really fast and of course some can take longer. I called our midwife and doula to let them know this was it and that we would be headed to the hospital soon. Our doula happened to be at another birth so she called her backup to join us at the hospital.

By the time we left, I could barely make it to the car. David carried everything out for me while I just put the seat as far back as it would go and tried to relax through the contractions I was having. They were getting closer together and very strong. At the hospital, I decided to ride a wheelchair back to our suite as I didn’t think I’d physically be able to walk there. Upon arriving in our birth suite, they double checked to make sure that baby was still upside down and did a check to see how far along I was. They were shocked to see that I was already at 8cm (10 means it’s time to push) and it had only been 2 hours since we had left David’s parents’ house!! Things moved really quickly from that point on so they could get me into surgery before baby decided to come out on his own. Most of this time is really a blur to me as I was in a ton of pain from the contractions. All I remember is that there were lots of people around and I had to sign some consent forms and could barely write. Thankfully David was by my side the whole time to help me relax.

I soon went in to see the anesthesiologist who administered the epidural so I wouldn’t feel surgery. I can’t even believe what a turnaround that was for me. I went from having extremely intense pain to absolutely nothing. David walked into the OR and I was smiling and commenting on how excited I was to meet our baby. He said it was pretty funny how night-and-day it was. Soon after, surgery began. A few minutes later, our baby boy was out and I heard the sweetness of his first cry. 12/26/16 at 1:56 am. While it took a little longer than I would have liked for the nurses to hand him over to me, I was elated when I finally got to hold my baby boy. He had the fullest head of hair, the cutest nose, and the tiniest little fingers and toes. Sweet Banks Jackson. We were so relieved and excited that he was finally here!

The next few days were a complete blur between night and day at the hospital. I didn’t sleep at all after he was born. All I could do was hold him close and stare at him. It was simply magical to lay there in the quiet of the night and listen to his sweet little breaths. Family came and went and we spent as much time as we could learning from the nurses how to take care of and feed our little guy. Anesthesia finally wore off and I began walking around again (yep, they make you walk the day after surgery). It was real – we were parents!

Now, Banks is five weeks old. I sit here and type this while he quietly naps in my Moby wrap. It still is a little bit unreal to me that this little life has begun and that we are in charge of raising him. We have a love for him so strong that it’s impossible to describe. I look back on my birth experience and there’s no doubt that I feel a bit of lingering grief. Like many say, write your birth plan. But then, crumple it up and throw it in the trash because birth is spontaneous and raw and unexpected. You can’t paint a perfect picture of what you want and expect it to go as planned. I definitely learned that for real. That being said, I’m beyond thankful that it resulted in a healthy baby and a healthy me. That, in the end, is what’s most important.

Below are some of my favorite photos from his first month of life. The first set is from our Fresh48 and Newborn Lifestyle Session with Meg Newton Photography. We love you so much, Banks!


Fall Mini-Session | The Kinzebachs

Posted in Family

I’m excited to share another fall mini-session with you tonight. I have been starting to photograph more families over the past year and have really enjoyed it! Maybe it’s because I have one of my own now and I can appreciate it even more but kids are just the best! I especially enjoyed working with Cade, the sweet little dude pictured below. He and his parents were total troopers during their October session – which turned out to be the rainiest October in Seattle history! We wandered around Discovery Park enjoying the fall leaves and of course got a little wet. I love how these shots turned out, despite the ridiculous weather, and it just proves that you don’t have to let the weather ruin your photo session. Thanks for letting me capture your family, Kinzebachs!