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5 Ways to Include Friends and Family in your Wedding

Posted in Wedding Planning Tips

bridal party in pink in front of the tetons in jackson hole

Have you set your wedding party but have some special friends you’d like to include in your wedding celebration? Or have you decided to forego bridesmaids and groomsmen altogether? What’s so wonderful about modern weddings is that you have the option to do things YOUR way. Whether you decide to have a wedding party or not, there are many fun ways to include friends and family in your wedding celebration.

family member officiates wedding in oakland california
1. Have them officiate! Is your brother, sister, or best friend great at public speaking? Many couples have chosen their closest friends or family member to become ordained and officiate their ceremonies. This is a wonderful way to honor a close friend and you’ll always be glad you had somebody who really knew you proclaim you “husband and wife”!

mother of the bride reads a quote at wedding in leavenworth, washington
2. Perform a reading at the ceremony. Saying a few short words, whether it be your favorite poem or quote, is a pretty easy thing to stand up and do. Friends and family are usually honored to be a part of this very special portion of your wedding day!

beautiful modern calligraphy sign on marble coasters and wooden welcome sign
3. Contribute to the decor. I’ve noticed many couples creating their own centerpieces. Whether it’s painting bottles, writing place cards, or doing calligraphy on a sign, this is a great way for that creative friend of yours to participate in your wedding day.

dessert bar at jackson hole wedding
4. DIY dessert bar. Couples are shying away from gigantic tiered wedding cakes and frequently opting for a dessert bar with options that everyone will love. If you have friends or family that enjoy baking, have them whip up a plate of their favorite homemade goodies.

friends playing music at a wedding in jackson hole
5. Play Music. While I’d never advocate for anyone to ask their friends or family to “work” at their wedding, musical friends and family members are usually more than happy to participate in shorter portions of the day. Does somebody you know play the guitar or piano? Forego the DJ them perform live as you walk down the aisle. Maybe a friend would love to bring their band to play during your cocktail hour, or if you know someone who loves to DJ (make sure they have done weddings before!), ask them to participate in that way.

There are so many great ways to include friends and family in your wedding day celebration without having to ask them to be in a wedding party. What ideas do you have? I’d love to hear about them!


Bothell Senior Photos | Caraline

Posted in Seniors

bothell senior photos at bothell landing park

Hey there and happy summer! I hope you’ve all been enjoying this beautiful weather lately. I’m in the thick of wedding season and also starting to book up senior portraits over the next few months. It’s a super exciting time helping seniors come up with locations and ideas for their sessions. I thought I would share this super summery session that I did with King’s Class of 2018 senior, Caraline. Caraline is the absolute sweetest and was a joy to work with. We had perfect weather and took advantage of the many backgrounds that Bothell Landing Park had to offer. If you’re interested in booking a session with me this summer, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We are taking only a limited number of senior sessions this year so be sure to email me [email protected] to get on our calendar sooner rather than later!


The Whole Package | Wooden USB Drives

Posted in Announcements

wooden usb drives for wedding photographers

Tis the season for delivering finished product to my couples! I went through a pretty big brand design overhaul this past winter. Choosing how to package my finished product before sending out to couples wasn’t easy, but I’m in love with the final results! I wanted to have a great way to deliver my digital files. That’s where USB Memory Direct came in. They offer a wide variety of personalized USB drives for you to brand your business and deliver digital media to your clients. Their walnut wooden USB drives fit my brand aesthetic perfectly! I’ve been loading my my client’s gorgeous wedding photos on their 8GB drives since the season started and packaging them up with pretty ribbon and boxes. I love how the drives can be customized. I chose the engraving option to display my company’s logo and it turned out beautiful! If you’re looking for a high-quality USB drive you can rely on, look no further than USB Memory Direct!


North Bend Engagement Session | Jon & Carley

Posted in Engagement

North Bend Engagement Photos with dog in the Cascade Mountains of Washington by Amy Galbraith Photography

Jon and Carley met in college and moved to Leavenworth shortly after to play in the mountains. After a few years they moved to the Seattle area where they still try and get as much play time in as they can while still working the “real job” scene. When they’re not spending time gardening or working on their house, they are finding their way into the mountains or out on the coast to surf. We decided on North Bend for an engagement session to capture the beauty of the Cascades and also have some room to roam with their sweet pup Ocho. It was a perfect summer evening! I’m headed out to their friend’s farm in Quilcene this weekend to capture what should be an extra fun wedding celebration for these two. Here are a few of my favorites from their North Bend engagement session earlier this summer. Cheers, you two!


Arctic Club Seattle Wedding | James & Madeline

Posted in Weddings

Bride in sequin pink wedding dress and Groom on the Seattle waterfront after their Arctic Club wedding

I had the pleasure of meeting Madeline of Fearless in Training through a mutual friend. We started a “lunching ladies” tradition and contemplated the challenges of being women in business and some of us also mothers in business. I loved her company and she having just given birth to a sweet baby boy, we had a lot to chat about! One day at lunch Madeline announced she was getting married. She planned on a smaller ceremony at the courthouse with a cute cocktail dress and low-key dinner following. After conversations with family, the wedding turned into a bit more and she landed on a ceremony at Seattle’s Historic Arctic Club ballroom. Madeline even surprised James with her sequin wedding gown. It was an incredibly sweet ceremony and happiness was simply radiating from James and Madeline’s smiles! I’m so honored to be a part of every wedding I photograph, no matter the size or style. Thank you James and Madeline for including me in your beautiful celebration!


Top 5 Moments to Capture on your Wedding Day

Posted in Wedding Planning Tips, Weddings

wedding recessional at madart studio in seattle

As a documentary photographer, I’m all about unexpected moments. I suppose that’s what makes this post so difficult to write! The last thing I’d want my clients to do is “stage” moments or provide a shot list. That being said, I think it’s important to be aware of some not-so-obvious moments that you’ll experience on your wedding day and be sure to make time for them to organically happen.

first look of bride and groom at a mountain lake with bride wearing pink floral wedding gown
1. First Look
The first look, whether you make it a more formal affair or wait until the moment you’re walking down the aisle, is a must-capture. Every couple has different reactions and it’s a special time no matter what the setting. If you want to read more about planning a first look, click here.

bride and groom walking back down the aisle being showered by lavendar during jackson hole wedding recessional
2. Wedding Recessional
Bubbles, rice, lavender, tears of joy, and of course, beaming smiles. This will forever be my favorite wedding day moment as a photographer.

bride and groom taking candid wedding photos on their winthrop wedding day reception
3. Candid Photos with your Guests
This is probably the only time in your life that you’ll get to throw a party of this size with all of your favorite people handpicked as invites. Spend time with them and make it count! The cocktail hour is a great time to take informal snapshots with some of your favorite people that weren’t a part of the formal family photos.

bride and groom posing on the beach during sunset after their des moines beach wedding
4. Sunset Photos
Sunset usually falls sometime between dinner and dancing. This is the perfect time to sneak away and soak in all of the excitement from the day in the form of a private photo session. Ask your photographer for best timing and location. Since most of the time bride and groom photos fall earlier in the day during less-than-ideal lighting scenarios, you will not regret taking time for the sunset!

bride and groom walking through bubbles during their wedding day exit
5. Grand Exit
I always love a good sparkler exit. Or bubbles, or even glow sticks. Get creative here and plan an amazing sendoff!


Lifestyle Newborn Session | Baby Revel

Posted in Newborns

seattle lifestyle newborn photos of newborn baby girl revel

I’ve had a great time getting to know Kenny and Daniella. I photographed their maternity session on a chilly winter afternoon as they were awaiting the arrival of their baby girl. Well in early May, she arrived! Little Revel “Revy” Gene was born and she is one little bundle of sweetness. I arrived to their Seattle home for her lifestyle newborn session where everyone seemed very relaxed. Revy was quite the little model for her session and we ended up with some beautiful shots of her (and her furry brothers!). Kenny and Daniella booked our “Baby’s 1st Year” collection so expect to see a lot more cuteness as Revy grows! I love being apart of this special time as couples begin their families. If you’re expecting and want to hear more about our newborn photography options, please email [email protected]


Seattle Senior Portraits at Discovery Park | Melissa

Posted in Seniors

It’s graduation time! Working with seniors the past few years has been a blast. I’ve gotten to know so many amazing, inspiring young people. I love hearing about their plans for the future, the goals they aspire to, and what they have loved about high school. I had the pleasure of working with Melissa’s older sister a few years ago, and Melissa came to me as one of our Senior Ambassadors this year. Melissa is graduating from Kentlake High School. We did her Seattle senior portraits at Discovery Park, famous for its tall fields of golden grass. I love the bright summery light, dreamy backdrops, and her cute outfits! Thanks for choosing me to capture this time of your life Melissa!


Downtown Seattle Engagement Photos | Steve & Katie

Posted in Engagement

downtown Seattle engagement photos at sunset

I’m always so amazed at the way the internet has brought fantastic couples together. The story is no different with Steve and Katie. They met online and set up their first date for The Octopus, a quirky bar in Seattle’s quaint Wallingford neighborhood. They shared their interests with each other and both were equally intrigued. Steve loves the opera, music, and the symphony. This is no surprise given he played the trumpet in the Louisiana State marching band. Katie and I actually met through backpacking. She loves the outdoors and hiking long distances to camp under the stars. Throughout their time dating they have introduced these very different interests to each other — Steve taking Katie on date nights to swanky downtown Seattle cocktail bars introducing her to the finer things in life, and Katie showing Steve the benefits of spending time appreciating nature and the benefits of being in the great outdoors. We scheduled their downtown Seattle engagement photos on a rare spring sunny day in Seattle. I loved the casual feel of the shots at Seattle’s Pike Place Market versus the cocktail attire in Pioneer Square. We even had a bonus of still having the famous cherry blossoms in bloom! These two are simply effortless together and I couldn’t be more excited to photograph their wedding this fall.


Intimate Seattle Wedding | Carl & Hannah

Posted in Weddings

Carl and Hannah had the sweetest intimate Seattle wedding at 10 Degrees in downtown Seattle. They met while completing law school together and made their way back to Seattle where Carl grew up. Their wedding was a small intimate gathering of guests in a bright and clear September day. Hannah’s vision of a vintage-inspired event came to life with personalized soda pop bottles with candy-striped straws, complete with a pale pink polka dot wedding gown. They were married by a judge and kept the ceremony short and sweet. After the ceremony we spent some time strolling the streets of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Upon their return, they sat down and enjoyed BBQ with their guests and opened up the celebration for games and mingling. I love seeing how couples personalize their weddings to be uniquely them and this one was no exception. Congratulations Carl and Hannah and thank you for including me in your wedding celebration!