Grayling Michigan



Holly’s family owns the cottage next to my grandma’s in Grayling. It was a Danish American community who initially settled and built these summer cottages on Lake Margrethe and the prized feature of Danish Landing is the red and white gazebo. I’ve always loved the gazebo for sentimental, nostalgic reasons, but I’ve never photographed a couple in front of it. So of course when Holly suggested taking photos over at the landing, I was super excited. On top of that, Holly and Collin brought their pets Up North so that they could also be included in the session! So another photography-first occurred for me when I was able to include a cat in engagement photos! We didn’t keep sweet Lacey outside for too long, but I think we got a few real gems. A++ to Holly and Collin for being so fun, and goofy, and braving the cold with me. I’m just feeling super grateful for the coolest people I get to work with!




It's no secret that we love Grayling.  Michael and I got married at my mom and dad's house in Grayling, and for us it has become a place where we relax and spend time together with family.  I have known Matt for probably 13+ years now (!!!).  Getting to know Kristy, getting to take their engagement photos, and then being able to document their wedding was so awesome.  We felt SO incredibly appreciated by their families.  I am so grateful for clients like these guys.  What an amazing way to kick off our 2017 wedding season!  Cheers to the Swopes!




"If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely" -Roald Dahl

I think photos of Kristy and Matt together would be bright and happy no matter what the weather, but last week we really lucked out with a warm sunny day... and in case you didn't notice... it's November.  Not typically a notorious month for sunshine in Michigan.  I'm so filled with happiness for these two and can't wait to photograph their wedding next year!  Thanks for making my job so fun you guys :)


A year ago we started working with Paddle Hard Brewing, helping them create and refine a logo, produce a video for their Indiegogo fundraising campaign, and photograph the build out in progress.  Paddle Hard is officially open for business and has been featured on

Here is the link to the article!  Check it out and head on over to Paddle Hard Brewing for great eats and beer!  More photos from the finished space are in the works, so stay tuned.



This is going to be a long post.  Not because this wedding is incredibly elaborate - just the opposite in fact.  This was easily one of the most relaxed weddings of my year, but it was perfectly simple in all the best ways.  I couldn't have kicked off my 2013 wedding season with a more fantastic couple.  Julie and John decided to have a low-key ceremony and reception at a unique location close to their hearts: the Matabanic Lodge, which John's family owns, right along the banks of the AuSable River.  With their closest friends and family in attendance, and their three black labs, they celebrated their wedding over the course of a week.  Everyone was able to stay on the property and enjoy the river and gorgeous surrounding forest.  

I'm so glad I was able to document the evening of their rehearsal dinner as well - since it really shows just how tight knit this group is.  Take a look:


The next day, on a wooden bridge crossing the river, Julie and John said their vows.  Julie and her father took a canoe down the river to the ceremony, the couple's 3 dogs followed them everywhere, and a local bluegrass band played into the night.  It doesn't get much better.

I decided to make their wedding a featured wedding in our portfolio.  You can view images from the wedding here.

*As a side note, you may notice a number of changes throughout our site.  We have restructured the site and made a number of changes.  Hopefully everything will be clear and comprehensive - and I am looking forward to blogging more in 2014!



I am so behind in blogging!  Yikes!  Not only do I have a fabulous engagement session coming up, but I also have an oyster harvest, trip to Yosemite, Tahoe weekend, sailing regatta, and an amazing restaurant shoot to share.  Stay tuned!  For now, here are a couple sneak peek images from a truly touching, family centered, Northern Michigan, rustic, AuSable River wedding.



I had a ridiculous amount of fun working on this "vintage", or I guess "pseudo-western", family photo shoot in Grayling, Michigan.  I have known these crazy kids since they were born... they are the niece and nephew of two of my very best friends ever.  A lot of these photos remind me of what it was like to spend every summer of my childhood on Lake Margrethe with my family and best friends.  Kind of makes me nostalgic for that time when we used to run around pretending to be from a different time or place... or fighting "bad guys" and being heros.

I am also sending a lot of love to American Samoa where Jessie will be teaching for the next year.  Enjoy. xoxo.



My dad gave me his old Pentax K1000 camera when I was in high school so that I could use it for my first photography class.  I loved using it and developing my first prints in the class darkroom, but my photography classes in college were strictly digital (unfortunately).  I tried to pick up the camera again in college, but when my hard drive had a near meltdown as I tried to transfer some digitally scanned negatives in the lab, I was sufficiently freaked out enough to put film on the back burner again.

This past year I loaded a roll of Ilford HP5 Plus 400 35mm film - black and white - into it, and would randomly pick it up or take it with me on trips.  I finally finished the roll and had it developed, and I couldn't be happier.  I am IN LOVE with these portraits of my parents.

I also have shots from San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Grayling, and a couple from my photo session with Matt, that I will be sharing in the coming weeks.  I have a feeling this is the beginning of something new... to follow along feel free to subscribe.

Ken and Sandra Michalik, Grayling, Mi. 2012

Ken and Sandra Michalik, Grayling, Mi. 2012



Spending time with my parents in Michigan meant lots of fishing on the lake and eating veggies from the garden.  The food was good and fresh and local.  I began to experiment with still life photography of lake perch.  I have done similar photography with heirloom tomatoes, eggplants, & butterflies.  I would like to expand this project now that I am back in the bay area.  We will see what comes out of it.



After my adventures in Florida were over, I headed back up to Michigan to spend time with family and work on some new projects.  I made it up to Grayling in time for the 2011 Ausable River Canoe Marathon.  The canoe marathon is a true summer tradition for the area, and it is an incredible athletic feat.  The paddlers begin the race at 9:00pm and the winning team usually finishes sometime around 10:30am the next morning.  And that is just the winning team.  Many spectators stay up all night following the race.  I had just finished driving up from Florida, so I opted to sleep and wake up early the next morning to take these pictures around 8:00am.