Monday, January 31, 2011

My Central WA Bridal Show Beginnings {32}

Yesterday was our third year as photographers at the Central Washington Bridal Show in Yakima. The show has been going for many years and 2009 certainly wasn't my first "appearance".

central washington bridal show
There I am! In good 'ol 1992. I was a model and strutted the runway in my awesome attire.
central washington bridal show
This is from the show in 1993. I'm the little one, waiting to get on stage for the fashion show. (check out that sweet wedding dress on stage)

See, I've always loved weddings and wedding shows :)
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Local Artist:: Haley Holmes {31}

Haley Holmes is an artist right here in Yakima. I would describe her artwork as colorful, modern, and abstract. She has a great mixture of solid colors, random shapes, and a variety of dots. We have a couple of her paintings hanging in our home!

I photographed some of her recent work to give you an example of her style. All of these are available for purchase, and she is also willing to do a custom assignment if asked.

painting haley holmes yakima artAmy: How long have you been painting?
Haley: almost 2 years 

Amy: What's the first thing you do when you start a painting?
Haley: When I start a painting I usually have it roughly sketched on paper, so after I've come up with a design I decide on a color scheme and begin. 

Amy:  How long does each painting take you?
Haley: Each one takes anywhere from about 5-10 hours

painting haley holmes yakima art

painting haley holmes yakima art

painting haley holmes yakima art

painting haley holmes yakima art

painting haley holmes yakima art

painting haley holmes yakima art

painting haley holmes yakima art

painting haley holmes yakima art

painting haley holmes yakima art

If you'd like to contact Haley about her artwork, here is the contact info:
Cell: 509.654.3641
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

iphone apps for photographers {30}

Hey! usually I (Amy) am the one posting blogs, but today I have a guest post from my tech savvy hubby Tavis!


If you are anything like me, you probably have thousands of photos on your phone. What now? My philosophy is that you should always strive to take a good picture, but then edit it to make it great. Today I'll share with you all of my favorite iphone applications that can transform your cell phone photography into great works of art.


This app gives you the ability to take control over where the focus is in a picture. Just like a real tilt-shift lens you are able to manipulate the DOF. Although it's fake DOF it's still a fun app to add a little something to a seemingly normal iphone picture.


Pano is a great app for when you want to capture more than what one picture can show you. Because our human eye has a field of view of 95 degrees, we naturally want to take a picture of everything we see. This app helps bridge the gap and stitches pictures together creating a panoramic view.


As a photographer detail is everything. To put it simply I LOVE COLOR, but I also appreciate the power of black and white. One of the reasons black & white photos can be so powerful is because you are able to let the viewer not be distracted or led by color. Your eye has a better chance to find the detail it is looking for. This app gives you the ability to have the best of both worlds.

PS Express

It's essentially a basic version of Photoshop. It's strongest features in my opinion are:
1. Crop (Easiest I've used so far)
2. Black & White (Doesn't change the brightness and contrast like others)
3. Sharpen (Easy to go overboard, but useful)

It also has preset effects, but they all seem cheesy or easy to reproduce myself manually.

Sunrise & Set

I love this app! Light is everything in photography. That is why this app is king. We have so many meetings where we are setting up photo shoots sometimes 6 months in advance and we need to know what time to start the shoot. With this app I can always get the sunset pictures I want without having to wait hours because I didn't know what time it was going to set.

Best Camera

Chase Jarvis is definitely a photographer I look up to. He created this app a few years ago and it is another favorite of mine. Of all the apps I have used with filters, this one dose a good job of adding the filter or effect and not subtracting away from the photo quality.


This app adds your logo and name to any photo on your phone. So when you upload that iphone picture that blows your socks off you can credit yourself. It also helps a picture look a bit more professional even though it is just a cell phone picture.


imovie is a great app to use when you want to quickly edit video clips and photos together.


I use this application the most. This app takes two pictures of different exposures and merges them together to create a High Dynamic Range picture. It also has what I think is the most powerful Brightness/Contrast controls. The reason for this is because they put them both on sliders right next to each other so you can really refine your picture quickly and in real time. I also use this app to edit a single picture using its "Library" mode, because of how easy it is to change the properties of the picture. If I could only have one photography app it would be this one.

Also keep in mind that ill often use multiple apps to obtain the look I want for the picture. Here are a few images that I've taken with my iphone and edited them using the apps above. These images are straight out of my phone and I have not used any other software other than the applications listed

Pro HDR, PS Express, PhotoMarkr

PS Express, TiltShiftGen, ColorSplash, PhootoMarkr

Pro HDR, PS Express, PhotoMarkr

Pano, Pro HDR, PhotoMarkr, PS Express

Pro HDR, PS Express, PhotoMarkr

Pro HDR, PS Express, PhotoMarkr

Pro HDR, PS Express, PhotoMarkr

Pro HDR, PS Express, PhotoMarkr
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Vendor Spotlight: Pine River Ranch in Leavenworth, WA {29}

Last summer Tavis and I shot a wedding at this beautiful venue in Leavenworth, WA.... The Pine River Ranch! If you're looking for a wedding venue, you'll definitely want to check this place out.

 leavenworth wedding
 leavenworth weddingI asked the Pine River Ranch some more helpful questions for you, and here's what they said!
How far in advance do you usually book weddings? Usually a year in advance 

How many guests can the space accommodate? 150

 leavenworth wedding
 leavenworth wedding
Give me a brief overview of this venue, and include all of its benefits and unique features.
Pine River Ranch is a 22 acre wedding venue in Leavenworth, WA. We are nestled between mountain ranges, meadows, rivers and fields in a county oasis. Our lush manicured lawns back dropped by the Cascade Mountains are the perfect place to say "I Do." After your ceremony couples retreat to the 1944 dairy barn for their reception where all the amenities are included from tables, linens and chairs to silverware, dishes and stemware. Once the festivities are over the wedding party and guests can retreat to our beautiful bed and breakfast with 6 luxurious cabin suites inspired by the Pacific Northwest. Each suite is complete with 2 person Jacuzzi spa, river rock fireplace and hand crafted pine log beds.

  • Complete wedding package with all amenities included and staff on hand (
  • 1 or 2 day weddings
  • Outdoor and Indoor facilities (for questionable/bad weather or winter weddings)
  • Outside catering is allowed
  • Exclusive use of the 22 acres for your wedding, no one will be on the grounds except you and your invited guests
  • Overnight accommodations for 12 guests and nearby lodging for others
  • Separate Bride and Groom dressing suites large enough to fit your wedding party plus hairdressers, make-up artists, manicurists, masseuse, therapists, mother-in-law... :)

 leavenworth wedding leavenworth wedding
 leavenworth wedding
What are the different ways the venue can be set up? We can set up your wedding however your heart desires! Most of our couples choose to get married in front of the arbor and have the reception in the barn but it's your day and you can get married wherever you want! We have had cocktail hour as well as rehearsal dinners outside on the lawn and also have winter ceremonies in the barn. One of my favorites was a winter wedding where the bride, groom and pastor were on outside on the deck and the guests were seated inside the barn. 

 leavenworth wedding

How many hours does the rental fee cover? A single day wedding package gives you exclusive use of the grounds from 3pm the day of your wedding until 11 am the next morning. A 2 day wedding package gives you the grounds from 3 pm the day before your wedding until 11 am the next morning. 

 leavenworth wedding

Is there an in-house caterer? Can couples bring in any caterer? We allow outside catering of your choice and have had everything from potluck BBQ's to 4 course meals! We do not have an in house caterer but have a few outstanding local caterers we can recommend.

 leavenworth wedding
 leavenworth wedding

What kind of rental items/equipment do you provide or offer? Is there a dance floor available? What about other items like a piano, maybe for a band to use? Everything is included in your package when you get married at Pine River Ranch, we do not unexpectedly tack on additional expenses! You will arrive to find the venue completely set up exactly the way you asked us to with tables, chairs, linens and dishes as well as the ceremony seating set up at the location of your choice. You have access to our sound system for speeches and ipod weddings or are welcome to bring in your own equipment, or your own band! The plates, flatware, stemware, linens, napkins, chairs, tables, right on down to the salt and pepper shakers are here for your use, and our staff will pick it all up afterwards. On your big day we don't want you, or your family having to deal with dishes! The only "fee" you will see is you do have to have a state certified bartender (Washington state law, so there's no way around it) but we can provide one at an additional expense. If you do wish to have a bar we will have one set up for you.  

How late can weddings play music? The music has to be off by 10 pm due to county ordinances, we normally give you a few warnings so 10 won't come as a shocker!
 leavenworth wedding
What types of decorations are allowed and what types aren’t? Anything that can be removed and doesn't leave holes is fine by us! Oh, and no open flames!

 leavenworth wedding

If you have any more questions we have a FAQ page ( that you can check out!

 leavenworth wedding

Here is their contact info:
Tim & Karen
Pine River Ranch
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

practice, practice {28}

If you're a photographer, you don't need people, or a session, or a wedding to "practice" new things.... just get out your camera and start shooting stuff!! I love to experiment with light.

First I placed my new purse on a bright orange ottoman by the window (thinking it will bring a lot of color into the photo)... forgetting that it would be reflecting orange onto the purse. (didn't look so good) - so then I covered the ottoman with a white blanket and tried again. Then I switched the blinds from facing up to facing down and tried it again. This may sound useless, but I can remember these little tips when I'm out on the job, taking photos of wedding details, for example.

Another benefit of practicing with random objects is that I can experiment with my camera settings when I have the time to immediately look at them on the computer and remember what I was trying. At a normal fast-paced session I don't trust my hands to be very still so I stick to a shutter speed of 1/100+   - today though, I slowed it down to 1/60 just for practice holding it steady. Looks pretty good to me!

yakima photography

yakima photography
I love my new purse, can you tell?!

Want to join me in this journey of 100 blogs in 100 days? Amanda Laplante, Kira Baron Photography, Mica Sansaver Photography, Nickles Photography, and Garden Gates Photography have. Email me if you're taking  the challenge as well! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why Use Weddingwire? {27} is a great tool for both brides and vendors. Couples can use the site to look for vendors, find info on a specific vendor, or compare vendor options. Vendors can get reviews so potential clients can see what people think of them! It's a great idea! Weddingwire gives out awards for the top 5% of wedding professionals per category and area, and we won again this year!

After every wedding we ask clients to review us, and I love hearing their thoughts and feedback. When potential clients ask me for references, I have a place to send there where we have 28 great reviews. For vendors, weddingwire is free to sign up, you can upload pictures, and they link right to your website. It's like you have your very own weddingwire storefront. Ours is I also get a lot of referrals from clients saying they found me from weddingwire. Like I said, it's great!

Are you a future bride? Check out our weddingwire reviews.
Are you a wedding vendor? Create a weddingwire, and promote it! It's free and very worth it! Pin It Now!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Professional Staff Photos in Yakima {26}

Every once in a while we're asked to do a professional staff photo for places around Washington. Businesses can use the photos to frame in their office, use on their website, or send out in their holiday card. If you or someone you know is ever in need of a professional staff photo, give us a call! A mini session only takes about 15-30 minutes for a group shot, or we can stay longer to do individual pictures as well.

To show you what we do, here's a photo we took in Decemeber for the Tamaki Law Office in Yakima.

yakima photographer
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Wedding Rings!! {25}

I get to photograph a lot of bling. :)

I see all sorts of different types of rings.... some big, some small, some round diamonds, some princess cut, some antique rings... but usually I never see two the exact same. Most times the rings match the personality of the bride or the style of the whole wedding!

Before I was a wedding photographer I worked at Fred Meyer Jewelers and I got to think about engagement rings all day long. I've always loved the classic look of a round solitaire. Growing up when I though of a diamond ring or a wedding ring, this is what I pictured:

photo from Angara
Here's a montage I made of some 2010 wedding rings. Which do you like best?? Leave me a comment!

wedding photography
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

The RAW vs. JPEG debate {24}

Most photographers (like me) started out shooting in JPEG and eventually switched to RAW and will never go back. Others are still shooting in JPEG because they haven't yet discovered the freedom and possibilities of shooting in RAW :)

To put it simply, JPEG files are processed by your camera, compressed, small in file size, and immediately suitable for printing. RAW files are uncompressed, have the complete data from the camera's sensor, larger in file size, and not suitable for printing directly from the camera  without post processing.

Can a photographer shoot and edit an amazing JPEG? of course - But they may be working harder than they need to to get it. Shooting in RAW is something I highly recommend. Yes, making the "switch" from JPEG to RAW will change your workflow. You may need to get more memory cards, get more storage, and get different photo editing software like Lightroom. It's 100% worth it. 

 Look at these examples:
This first photo is straight out of camera.
moore mansion pasco wa
This photo is the edited JPEG
moore mansion pasco wa
This photo is the edited RAW file, converted to JPEG
moore mansion pasco wa
Do you see the difference? I hope so. It may be a small change, but RAW gives you the power to make a "good" picture a "wow" picture. Since RAW files are uncompressed, you have all of the image's information to manipulate later. You can bring back details in blown out areas, and make dark areas brighter while still keeping the integrity of the image. With a RAW image, you can take the photo and edit the image's different layers later. With a JPEG, you take the photo, it's compressed, and all of your post processing is done "on top" of the image later, versus RAW where nothing is flattened so you can work with it's "insides". 

Shooting in RAW can also save your behind in sticky situations. Even though I try to evenly expose images out of camera, RAW gives me the ability to drastically change the color and exposure of an image after the fact. Wedding days are fast paced, and if I don't nail the exposure, there's no going back to those moments. It's nice to know that as long as I'm nailing the focus, almost anything else can be fixed later. Here's another example:

Image out of camera: (flash didn't fire)

RAW saved this image's exposure and made it a printable picture.

My other favorite thing about RAW is that you can make changes to the file and JUST the changes are saved in a separate file, called an XMP. So I can open up some images in Lightroom, mess around with editing some of them, close the program, come back the next day and keep edited them or reverse my changes. In my past life of editing JPEG images, I would edit them in photoshop and there was no going back. If I changed my mind about them and didn't save the PSD file I'd have to go back and start from scratch. Lightroom & RAW files are also beneficial if you have others helping you with editing.... because they can make changes to your images that you can still modify or change later.

I like how Gavin Seim said it as well, "JPEG tosses out information that you might need later in order to make a smaller file. It keeps that the camera “thinks” it needs. RAW keeps it all. And with today’s direct RAW editing and localized adjustments using software like Lightroom, the power of using RAW data has become crystal clear."

If you're an amateur shooting in AUTO and have no intention to do post processing, shoot in JPEG
If you're a photographer that wants to take your images to the next level, shoot in RAW :)

{This post simply contains my own thoughts, ideas, and insights. Each photographer is different, and everyone goes about photography differently. This blog's content is copyright of Memory Montage Photography. Please do not copy or republish this text without written permission to do so. If you would like to share this post, please include a link directly to our blog's URL. Thank you!}   Pin It Now!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mini Sessions 2010:: Robert / Matthews Family {23}

Last month we hosted our first ever mini sessions at the Fontaine Estates Winery in Naches. We had several families and couples come through, and we really enjoyed meeting so many new people and photographing so many different faces. These were our first two sessions of the day with the Matthews family. Amy Robert is the event coordinator for the Winery, so we did some of her family, some of her brother's fam, and some of the whole group with their parents!

Snow on the trees and snow on the ground, can you tell how cold it was outside?? :)

Yakima photographer
Yakima photographer
Yakima photographer

Yakima photographer
Yakima photographer
Yakima photographer
Yakima photographer

This image is the one they ordered as a Christmas gift to their parents....a 20x30 enlargement:Yakima photographer
Yakima photographer
Yakima photographer!

Want to join me in this journey of 100 blogs in 100 days? Amanda Laplante, Kira Baron Photography, Mica Sansaver Photography, Nickles Photography, and Garden Gates Photography have. Email me if you're taking  the challenge as well! Pin It Now!