• Michelle Jensen Photography Blog
  • Michelle Jensen Photography Blog
  • Michelle Jensen Photography Blog
  • Michelle Jensen Photography Blog
  • Michelle Jensen Photography Blog
  • Michelle Jensen Photography Blog
  • Michelle Jensen Photography Blog
  • Michelle Jensen Photography Blog
  • Michelle Jensen Photography Blog
Michelle Jensen Photography Blog

Maple Valley, WA Wedding Photography. Professional wedding photographer serving Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Issaquah & Puget Sound.

“Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.” ~Unknown

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HOW 10 YEARS OF MARRIAGE DESTROYED ME {SEATTLE, TACOMA, MAPLE VALLEY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER}

August 20th, 2014

It all started 18 years ago.  We were kids.  We didn’t know what we wanted in life or really who we were.  All we knew was, ‘hey, I really like you.’  We were never on again off again-it was a solid relationship for 4 years.  We did however, take a 2 year hiatus after high […]


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It all started 18 years ago.  We were kids.  We didn’t know what we wanted in life or really who we were.  All we knew was, ‘hey, I really like you.’  We were never on again off again-it was a solid relationship for 4 years.  We did however, take a 2 year hiatus after high school but it was intentional on both of our ends.  We needed to find out who we were as individuals instead of in each other.  We were scared at what the future held but knew we needed to cling to The One who really mattered.  For two years we had little communication and never dated anyone else.  At the end of those two years we began communicating again and realized we had both changed so much (for the better).  So our relationship started over. From scratch.  We were still friends but this time without intentions.  Over time our friendship and our feelings grew until it turned into a love we couldn’t deny.

Without me knowing he took my parents out one night and asked their permission to date me.  He wanted to do this right-from the beginning.  A year later we were engaged and just 5 months after that married.  We were MARRIED!  What a long road road it was to get where we were but so worth it.

It was 10 years ago today that we said, ‘I do.’  And I have to be honest and say that all of my hopes and dreams about marriage have been totally destroyed.  You see, I actually never hoped or imagined that marriage could be this amazing or fun.  I never thought I could love him more than the day I married him.  I never thought we’d be even better best friends now than we had always been.  It’s not that we haven’t faced trials and hardships.  We have.  And I completely understand and have been faced with the opportunity to turn my heart cold when I have been hurt or felt unheard.  You see, we made vows to each other 10 years ago and we both intended to keep them.  We promised each other to never let our love go cold and to stay committed for better or worse.  And believe me-we have seen better and we have seen worse.  And we have had to make some very conscious decisions to keep our love on and not turn it off.  And it was at the end of those moments-those ‘I don’t know if we’ll make it through this but I’m not giving up’ moments that our marriage became stronger.

You see, marriage isn’t always easy.  Especially when you add three kids in the mix.  We have to work really hard to remember what is important and our #1 goal is to put each other first.  When our marriage is strong and happy then our whole family is strong and happy.  We’re a team.  We still date.  We walk away before we say something we’ll regret.  We never go to bed angry-let me take that back because let’s face it…sometimes there isn’t enough time in the day to resolve our issues and they have to wait until tomorrow or the next day…but we make a decision to keep our love on in the midst of our trials.  We don’t do everything right and sometimes it takes a while forever to get on the same page but somehow we find a way to get there.

Today marks a milestone.  And we wanted to take some time to celebrate us.  We wanted to remember what it was like to have fun together so earlier this year we went to Disneyland.  Just the two of us.  And it was epic!  Just a few days ago he & I got in front of the camera.  And guys let me tell you that I’m so glad we did!  This man has given me the best 10 years of my life and I can’t wait to see what the next 10 brings.  He is patient, he is kind, he loves me right where I’m at, he has fought for me and protected me and now he does the same for our children.  He is a man of great character and integrity and I am honored and truly blessed to be his Mrs.  If I had to do it all over again I would still choose him without a second thought.  He is my best of everything and there is no one else on this earth that I would want to do life with.

Check out these AMAZING photos taken by Candice of Ivy & Tweed.  Seriously they’re rediculously good!  She captured what I had pictured in my head for a long time!  And I love everything about them!

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5 Of The Most Important Details For Your Wedding Day

May 30th, 2014

I am often asked the question when meeting with a bride and groom, “what is the most important thing I need to do on the day of my wedding?”  That can get complicated you see, because there are many important details to work out through your day from your dress, the venue, your bouquet and […]


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I am often asked the question when meeting with a bride and groom, “what is the most important thing I need to do on the day of my wedding?”  That can get complicated you see, because there are many important details to work out through your day from your dress, the venue, your bouquet and all the other decisions you’ll have to make in between.  I have narrowed down the list to what are, in my opinion, the top 5 most important details to do on your wedding day.

1.  BE ON TIME – Coming from a photographer’s perspective this is by far the most important thing to do on your wedding day.  With every bride and groom I work with I like lay out the day for them with a personalized itinerary to ensure the day stays on track.  It includes when I arrive, the time of your first look, bridal party & family photos and every other detail up to the reception.  This is to make sure we have enough time to capture every moment that you have dreamed about since a little girl.  When the schedule is kept on track you are guaranteeing your photographer to get every shot you have asked for plus more.  When you get behind schedule you leave your photographer having to choose what needs to be cut out so your ceremony starts on time.  It’s important to communicate with your hair stylist and makeup artist what time you need to be completely finished by for photos to begin.

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2.  SET PINTEREST ASIDE – I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest.  On one hand it is an amazing tool that leads you down avenues of inspiration for your wedding decor that you would have never thought of.  On the other hand it also creates a fantasy that sometimes takes away from the creativity of your photographer.  My advice to you would be pick 5 shots that you have seen that you would like your photographer to try to capture and then let them be creative with the rest.  You like their work and that’s why you hired them, right?

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3.  REMEMBER WHY YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED – Once the dress is hung up and the venue moves onto another wedding it’s only you and the one you chose to build your love story with.  Sometimes things happen on the day of the wedding that are out of your control.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  All that matters now is that you’re about the marry the person who makes you the most happy and who loves you for who you are.  Keep your eyes focused on that and don’t let anything else put a damper on your day!

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4.  EAT SOMETHING – Remember the day ahead is full of fun but can also be long.  Make sure you take some time to snack throughout the day and drink plenty of water.  It will give you the energy you need to get you through the entire day with a smile still on your face. :)

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5.  TAKE IT ALL IN – As you get your hair and makeup done take some time to look around at the people who are standing with you on one of the most special days of your life.  During your first look be sure to look into the eyes of the person who wants to spend the rest of their life with you.  When you walk down the aisle look at all of the people who have come to support you and a celebrate your love story.  Knowing how much all of those people care about the both of you is what it’s all about.  It doesn’t get any better than that!

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Happy wedding!

www.michelle-jensen.com

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A Photographer & Her Dream Come True | Kyle & Kelsey | Tacoma, WA Wedding Photographer

April 25th, 2014

There is almost nothing more honorable than being asked to photograph another photographer.  But what really humbles me is when I’m asked to capture the wedding of a fellow wedding photographer.  That’s a heavy load people!!!  So naturally when Kyle & Kelsey of Kelsey Lynne Photography asked me to photograph their wedding, well…I cried.  Yes, […]


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There is almost nothing more honorable than being asked to photograph another photographer.  But what really humbles me is when I’m asked to capture the wedding of a fellow wedding photographer.  That’s a heavy load people!!!  So naturally when Kyle & Kelsey of Kelsey Lynne Photography asked me to photograph their wedding, well…I cried.  Yes, I sat there in that moment and shed a few tears-I was incredibly honored.  What made taking their photos so fun was being with them from the very beginning of their engagement when Kyle & Kelsey’s dad, Jerry asked me to capture the moments of Kyle getting down on one knee to ask Kelsey to be his wife.  I then had the amazing opportunity of shooting their engagement session.  So you can imagine the anticipation as their wedding day arrived.  I had watched Kyle & Kelsey’s love story unfold through my camera lens and now they were finally going to say, “I do.”  My nerves usually perk up before every wedding but this one nearly made my heart beat right out of my chest.  However, I did manage to make it to the end of the evening still alive and well.

Kelsey made the most beautiful bride and Kyle was looking so debonaire in is tux.  One of my favorite moments of the day that also caused some tears to be shed by yours truly, was when Kelsey and her dad, Jerry saw each other before Kyle & Kelsey’s first look.  It was such a tender moment between a dad and his daughter that I, for one, will never forget.Kyle & Kelsey also chose to do a first look which gave us time to travel around the beautiful city of Tacoma, Washington to get some amazing shots and take time to capture the details of the day.  These two couldn’t be a more perfect match and I’m truly blessed to have witnessed their beautiful love story.

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www.michelle-jensen.com

Hair & Makeup // Peggy & Chelsie of Creators Touch Studio

Floral & Wedding Design // Kaleb Norman James Design

Videography // TSP Video

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TBT | The first wedding I ever shot & why I kept going

March 6th, 2014

I’m loving all of the TBT’s I see!!!  It takes me back in time and that is always my goal in my photography.  Every time I press the shutter button on my camera I know I’m capturing a moment in time that will last forever.  Sometimes you can remember every detail of that moment from […]


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I’m loving all of the TBT’s I see!!!  It takes me back in time and that is always my goal in my photography.  Every time I press the shutter button on my camera I know I’m capturing a moment in time that will last forever.  Sometimes you can remember every detail of that moment from the sights, sounds, who was there and exact emotions you felt.

I have always loved photography.  I was given a film camera when I was in high school and I took that thing everywhere.  I even traveled to Uganda, Africa with it and that’s when my true love and passion for photography started.  I knew there was a chance that I would never return to this place and I didn’t want to forget the things I saw, the people I met or the culture I was surrounded by.  My memory can fade but a picture never does.

Two years after my trip I married my best friend.  We had hired an amazing husband and wife team to photograph our wedding day.  Not only were they amazing but they became great friends to us.  I was working full time and didn’t have time or money to go to school but I knew I wanted to learn more about photography.  I approached them and asked if I could just follow them around and be their apprentice.  I didn’t want to get paid I just wanted to learn.  I wanted to be in their presence to know how they worked with clients and how they ran their business.  The very first thing they threw me into was a wedding.  A WEDDING!!!!  I was so nervous but so excited all at the same time.  Douglas & Sally of Mr. & Mrs. Photography made me their 3rd shooter.  This made me feel so comfortable because there was a possibility I could mess this up but it wouldn’t fall back on me.  I didn’t know my camera well and I had NEVER shot a wedding.  Well, I had never shot anything even semi-professional before!  They were so kind to me and I really do owe my business to them!  I was so excited to get my film developed to see what kind of job I had done.  Weeeellllll…I learned a lot from those pictures.  As you’ll see below I forgot to turn off the date in my settings so every picture was printed with the date on them…totally not useable  for the clients.  Also, my ISO was way too high in a dark room (I obviously didn’t use my flash when it was needed), the photos were dark, there were lots of shadows, I didn’t focus on the right spots and to put it plainly there just wasn’t a whole lot of good going on in any of them…and these were my best from the whole wedding.

But all of that to say I kept going.  I framed these babies and put them on the shelf in our office.  I was so proud of the fact that I had accomplished photographing a wedding and beat some of my fears.  And I wasn’t going to stop there.  I was going to learn as much as I could and grow as much as I could.  It took a lot of practice and I made some big mistakes but those mistakes are where I learned and grew the most.  If you’re just starting out and don’t feel you’ve got it don’t give up!  Keep going!  You’re on the right track!  You might have to shoot for free for a while or practice on your daughters dolls (which I have done) to figure out how to shoot best in the sun.  Don’t worry, if you’ve got passion then you’ve got this!  I couldn’t go a day without thinking about photography and that kept me going!  Be true to yourself and that’s all that matters.

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To see some of my more recent work visit my website:

www.michelle-jensen.com

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Heide & Ramon Engagement Session | Maple Valley, WA Photographer | Point Defiance Park Tacoma, WA

February 19th, 2014

In my humble opinion, I think one of the keys to a successful marriage is to marry your best friend.  The person you could tell anything to, not keep a single secret from, stay up late with, be with 24/7, go through good times and hard times and one you can choose to forgive quickly.  […]


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In my humble opinion, I think one of the keys to a successful marriage is to marry your best friend.  The person you could tell anything to, not keep a single secret from, stay up late with, be with 24/7, go through good times and hard times and one you can choose to forgive quickly.  From the moment I met Heide & Ramon I knew they were that couple.  They care deeply for one another and it shows just in the way the look at each other.  Marrying your best friend is one of the many ways to make your marriage forever last.

Heide & Ramon were no different than any other couple I have photographed when choosing their location for the engagement session.  They simply didn’t know where to go.  I always encourage my couples to be involved in choosing their location, although they might need a little coaching to help them figure out what exactly they’re wanting.  You’ve got to ask yourself what your style is: urban, industrial, woods, water, nautical, country, barn, etc.  The skies the limit.  Once you’ve chosen your “theme” for your outdoor backdrop you can start narrowing down where it is you’d like to be.  I suggested a cityscape backdrop for Heide & Ramon and they realized they wanted more of a nature, woods & water view.  So we headed to Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, WA.  It was breathtaking and the most perfect place for what they were wanting.  We started things off at the rose garden, then headed down the 5 mile road for a water view and lastly into the woods.  Don’t hesitate to have your photographer help guide you in the right direction, but make sure in doing so you’re choosing a place that best reflects you.

Now for the good stuff!  Heide & Ramon, you’re truly a beautiful couple and I am so blessed to have crossed paths with you.  I am so looking forward to photographing your wedding…and Heide, you’re already a beautiful bride!!!  Thank you for letting me help tell a little piece of your love story!

 

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www.michelle-jensen.com

 

 

 

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Kyle & Kelsey Engaged | Maple Valley, WA Wedding Photographer | Tacoma, WA

February 7th, 2014

She is from Washington and he is from Wisconsin.  Call it what you will but only by divine intervention were their paths crossed.  Little did they know that just acquaintances would turn into a beautiful friendship when Kyle happened to move to Washington for school.  Not too long into his stay feelings began to blossom […]


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She is from Washington and he is from Wisconsin.  Call it what you will but only by divine intervention were their paths crossed.  Little did they know that just acquaintances would turn into a beautiful friendship when Kyle happened to move to Washington for school.  Not too long into his stay feelings began to blossom and a couple of years later a surprise engagement happened and now they are getting ready to celebrate their wedding in a little more than a month.  These two coming together are what fairy tales are made of!  And I have been so blessed to tell their love story from the time Kyle asked Kelsey to be his wife to their engagement photos and next their wedding.

Kelsey, of Kelsey Lynne Photography, is a very talented photographer who has been scouring the state for their perfect venue, her perfect dress and all of the details in between.  Since their wedding will be taking place in Tacoma, WA we decided to continue the theme and do their engagement session in the beautiful city as well.    You might be asking yourself, ‘how does a photographer prepare for her own photo session?’  The same way you do…she’s nervous, doesn’t know what to wear and hopes her photographer poses her on her good side.  Two things I love that Kelsey did to get ready for her photos was to hire a professional hair stylist and also have her makeup done.  Kelsey believes as I do, that if you’re going to invest into photography you need to make it all it’s worth!

She’s beautiful and he can’t wait to give her his last name.  Stay in touch with me on my facebook page as we continue the journey of Kyle & Kelsey’s love story.  Be sure to leave them a little love below and check out my website:

www.michelle-jensen.com

2014-02-06_0012 Kyle asked me to capture the moment he asked Kelsey to be his wife.  It’s one I will never forget.  He did an impressive job!

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www.michelle-jensen.com

Hair | Creator’s Touch Studio

Makeup | Meghan Cochrane (Friend of the bride)

Engaged | September 29th, 2013

Wedding | March 2014

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The first year of her life & my love for photography | Maple Valley, WA Newborn & Family Photographer

June 20th, 2013

We celebrated our little Rylee’s 1st birthday today.  I remember this day so vividly one year ago.  After 2 previous c-sections I made the decision this time to have an all natural birth and avoid a 3rd c-section at all costs.  With an amazing doctor, the best doula, a very supportive husband & a trustworthy […]


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We celebrated our little Rylee’s 1st birthday today.  I remember this day so vividly one year ago.  After 2 previous c-sections I made the decision this time to have an all natural birth and avoid a 3rd c-section at all costs.  With an amazing doctor, the best doula, a very supportive husband & a trustworthy God, I’ll forever be grateful for the gift I was given of a natural birth and no c-section–and it was flawless at that!  Looking back at these pictures of this last year reminds me why I love being a photographer.  Taking pictures captures memories and every time I look at these I’m instantly brought back to each moment.   Have you picked up your camera lately?  Don’t let life get too busy that you miss capturing the little moments.  They’re usually the ones that matter the most!  To see all of Rylee’s newborn photos click here.

If you’re considering doing a VBAC or a VBA2C and need some encouragement I would love to share my story with you!  Feel free to contact me any time!

www.michelle-jensen.com

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Alex & Whitney | A Belly & A Baby | Maternity & Newborn Photography | Maple Valley, WA Newborn Photographer

June 6th, 2013

This little peanut has a special place in my heart along with his mama!  I was so thrilled to hear when my cousin, Whitney was expecting!  She hasn’t just been a “cousin” to my kids but is known as “Auntie.”  Baby Aidan surprised her and Alex by arriving 5 weeks early.  Whitney was on her […]


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This little peanut has a special place in my heart along with his mama!  I was so thrilled to hear when my cousin, Whitney was expecting!  She hasn’t just been a “cousin” to my kids but is known as “Auntie.”  Baby Aidan surprised her and Alex by arriving 5 weeks early.  Whitney was on her way to her baby shower when her water broke and shortly after Aidan made his grand debut into this world!  Congrats to you both on making a very handsome boy!!!

www.michelle-jensen.com

To see more of my maternity & newborn work click HERE.

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Armando & Michelle Engagement | Tacoma, WA | Tacoma Wedding Photographer

May 30th, 2013

Armando & Michelle drove over from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to have me shoot their engagement photos in Tacoma.  The city was full of life that day especially from these two!  This beautiful couple is tying the knot in 2014 in Spokane, WA and I’m more than thrilled to capture the big day for them!  Until […]


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Armando & Michelle drove over from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to have me shoot their engagement photos in Tacoma.  The city was full of life that day especially from these two!  This beautiful couple is tying the knot in 2014 in Spokane, WA and I’m more than thrilled to capture the big day for them!  Until then here is just a little preview of their love…

www.michelle-jensen.com

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Ryan & Alycia | Dreams Do Come True | Maple Valley Presbyterian | Maple Valley, WA Wedding Photographer

May 15th, 2013

He’s from Washington & she’s from California.  It was only the course of destiny that could have crossed the paths of this gorgeous couple.  The two of them waited patiently for “the one” to come along and sweep each other off their feet.  And that moment happened the second they laid eyes on each other. […]


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He’s from Washington & she’s from California.  It was only the course of destiny that could have crossed the paths of this gorgeous couple.  The two of them waited patiently for “the one” to come along and sweep each other off their feet.  And that moment happened the second they laid eyes on each other.

They wrote the most beautiful vows that I have ever heard.  It was more than promises…it was lifelong commitment and covenant they spoke of.  They spoke words that came from so deep inside that captured every ear and heart in the room.  I always feel honored to capture the beauty of a wedding but am even more honored when a wedding is more than just tradition.

I also had the honor of having my very good friend Eryn, of Eryn Kesler Photography, based out of Vancouver, WA  join me in shooting this wedding.  She’s an amazing photographer and I was so excited to have her by my side!

I won’t keep you waiting or reading any longer…As I bid you adieu I am excited to share with you the love story of Ryan & Alycia.

Alycia, are you kidding me!?!  You’re stunning!!!

These amazing flowers were done by Kaleb Norman James Design.  He does A-MAZ-ING work!!

Ryan & Alycia chose to do a first look before the ceremony.  And these pictures are exactly why…just the two of them savoring every moment of the day. My view on the left and Eryn Kesler Photography‘s view on the right.

If I could whistle at you both through this blog I would!!! 😉

Above photo courtesy of Eryn Kesler Photography.

Again, all of these seriously beautiful flowers are done by Kaleb Norman James Design.  Go give him some love over on his facebook page and tell him what an amazing job he did on this wedding!  Details matter so much and Kaleb takes care of all of that so his clients don’t have to even think about it!

Above photo taken by Eryn Kesler Photography.

Oh Alycia!

Photo on right taken by Eryn Kesler Photography.

// Ryan & Alycia //

Married | April 20th, 2013

Venue | Wedding & Reception | Maple Valley Presbyterian Church

Hair & Makeup | Hello Glam

Flowers | Kaleb Norman James Design

Honeymoon | Maui, HI

www.michelle-jensen.com