Michigan

EXTENDED FAMILY PORTRAITS AT CAMP MICHIGANIA // WALLOON LAKE, MICHIGAN

 

I have way too much fun photographing this family. You may have seen them before… and they are all awesome. This year was no exception. You can’t go wrong on the grounds of Camp Michigania. The goofing, laughing, and playing was top notch and the soft serve game was strong. I feel lucky to have such amazing friend-clients. Cheers to another Summer session focused on what’s important: family. I love you guys!

 

ALLISON & RAY // A JULY WEDDING ON HIGGINS LAKE // ROSCOMMON, MICHIGAN

 

On a Tuesday in July, Allison & Ray tied the knot. They stood on top of a friend’s boathouse overlooking Higgins Lake and read vows and exchanged rings. And laughed. And cried. They made Ray’s daughter, Eleanor, a critical part of their day. They danced and joked together. They remembered Ray’s dad in a powerful way by placing his flag and portrait on the front row of ceremony chairs. Friends surprised them and decorated the van with “just married” chalk paint and streamers. They drank and danced the night away. I’ve been trying to write about this day and coming up short. I haven’t been able to find the right words, but I keep coming back to this: This day felt real. This was truly Allison & Ray’s wedding. It’s hard to explain. There is no way this wedding could have been for anyone else. It was 100% them. It was filled with their personality and I am filled with gratitude because I had the opportunity to tell this story. Cheers!

 

SUE & JURIS // AN INTIMATE WEDDING WITH FAMILY AT ROCKY TOP FARMS & LAKE SKEGEMOG

 

A small wedding with a beautiful, happy, family on a Tuesday at Rocky Top Farms? With orchard and lake views and amazing farm-to-table food from Epicure? Yes please, sign me up! Sue & Juris were absolutely wonderful to work with, as were their children and grand children. This group was all smiles and hugs and cheers and I feel very privileged to have been invited to document it. Congratulations Sue & Juris!

Ceremony Venue: Rocky Top Farms

Reception Venue: Private Residence, Lake Skegemog

Planning & Coordination: Fox & Fern Events, Kelsey

Officiant: Heidi of Rocky Top Farms

Florist: Sweetwater Floral

Rentals: 307 Events

Appetizers at Ceremony Site: Folgarelli’s

Catering: Epicure Catering

 

BRITTANY & HUNTER // SUMMER ENGAGEMENT SESSION IN DOW GARDENS // MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

I had never been to Dow Gardens before this session - and wow what a gem! Brittany and Hunter asked me to come to the gardens because it was where Hunter proposed and in the town where they will begin their married life together. On top of the beautiful grounds and gorgeous light, these two are the sweetest. This entire session literally felt like a “walk in the park” ;) Carefree, enjoying the warmer weather, the greenery, taking a break from work and study groups and a recent move to enjoy just being together. Cheers to Brittany & Hunter, I can’t wait for the wedding!

 

KARIN & NATE // A BACKYARD WEDDING IN WATERFORD, MICHIGAN

 

It’s no secret that a backyard wedding is one of my favorite venues. There are a million reasons why it’s not always possible or practical, but there is just something so personal about opening up a family home to all of your wedding guests. Karin’s parents were able to do just that and it was really special. After the wedding ceremony at Karin & Nate’s church, everyone returned to the family home where they personally greeted every guest as they entered the door. This little gesture felt very symbolic of their new life as a married couple and the close knit group enjoyed an awesome celebration throughout the afternoon and evening with beautiful lake views. The weather came through for us with some awesome golden light. The party had bbq, garden inspired centerpieces, cupcakes, donuts, belly laughs, tears, and lots of joy. Cheers to Karin & Nate!

Venue: Woodside Bible Church & Private Residence

Day of Coordination: Purple Clover Events

Make-up artist: Hannah Price Beauty

Hair Stylist: Billy Dixon

Florist: Designs by Ella Rae

Rentals: Perry’s Tents & Events

Caterer: CAYA Smokehouse Grill

Dessert: Love and Buttercream

DJ: Love Plus One Entertainment

Dress: Becker’s Bridal

 

GORGEOUS LEGACY WEDDING ALBUM // MADE BY HAND IN THE USA // ARCHIVAL MATERIALS

 

This album is incredible. Plain and simple. As you lift it out of the box and remove it’s soft, plush, protective sleeve, the weight in your hands has an impact. The texture of the leather is beautiful. The album cover has been blind debossed with Megan & Evan’s custom logo. The pages are thick and lay flat. The luster paper has a soft sheen to it. This will become a cherished possession as the years pass and a tangible reminder of their wedding day. I’m really proud of this one and I’m so happy that they love it even more than I do ;)

I’m so excited to be offering this new product for our wedding clients! We will now have two different album options, a book style album and this legacy style album. This album is bound by hand in the USA using archival materials. With proper care, they have a lifetime guarantee. Multiple color and cover options are available. Time flies, so if you haven’t had time to make a wedding album or print your images, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

 

Backpacking in Northern Michigan // Jordan Valley Pathway // From the Archives

 

There’s nothing quite like walking out into the woods with everything you need for the night on your back. All of your food. The tent and sleeping bag you’ll sleep in. An extra layer of clothing. A baseball hat snapped onto the back of your pack. And then you walk. Through forest with tall trees. Over a wooden boardwalk elevated over swampy terrain. Along a cold and clear river. Through berry bushes taller than you are. Your feet get tired, but the sun is warm and you chat with each other about anything and everything. Then for some stretches it’s ok to be silent. To get into a rhythm. My short legs make me a pretty slow backpacker, so I just try to go with the flow. But trips like this provide me with little jewels in my memory. These are little glowing days that stand out compared to the rest of my year. It wasn’t because it was easy. No. It was definitely not a breeze. My body was pretty exhausted after this trip on the Jordan Valley Pathway, but a couple of days in the woods makes your mind slow down. After a trip like this I seem to be able to refocus on the things that are truly important. I can’t wait to plan our next outdoor adventure - I’m already brainstorming ideas for this Summer…

 

SUMMER CAMPING WITH FRIENDS IN NORTHERN MICHIGAN // FROM THE ARCHIVES

 

If you are really, really, lucky you will have a couple friends who have been there for your whole life. Who you played power rangers with. Who you spent months with in the summer living out of your bathing suits and throwing fishing lines over the side of old pontoon boats. They grew up with you and witnessed your adolescent shenanigans and still love you. They aggressively rooted for college sports with you. And then when everyone had graduated from college and moved onto other adventures, and moved long distances, there was always that phone call, that random text, that email, just checking in. I’m so so grateful to have a couple of these people in my life, and now we’re all “grown up” and either married or about to be married.

Even though we don’t always see each other as much as we might like, when we are together it’s pretty special. Last Summer we found one weekend that worked for all of our schedules. We went camping and made meals over the fire. We passed around bottles of beer and bubbly. We ate snacks on the beach and fell asleep in the sand. I almost got hit in the face with a frisbee - instead I ended up with a welt on my collarbone. We all laughed so hard we cried. We took a kayak out into Lake Michigan and the early Summer water was crystal clear. We watched the sunset and then made our way back to the fire. The best part? We were unplugged. If you only have a couple days out of the year to spend uninterrupted with some of your favorite people, I highly, highly, recommend doing something like this. Find a place where your phones don’t work - it will be great.

 

WINTER RAFTING WITH WILD BANSHEE ADVENTURE CO. & JORDAN VALLEY OUTFITTERS // JORDAN RIVER, NORTHERN MICHIGAN

 

This is the first post in a series that I have found myself calling “Blogging the Backlog”. There are so many fun personal projects, images from our travel, or commercial and editorial projects from the past few years that I haven’t found the time to blog. Some of them I haven’t even truly had time to edit! Yikes. During the weeks of February and March I’m going to try to have one scheduled each week. You’ll see images from Santa Fe, Summer backpacking in Northern Michigan, exploring and scuba diving in Bali, and hiking in Asheville. Those are just the things that are popping into my head that I know I’m planning to share, but I’m sure that I’ll find more to post as I delve deep into our hard drives.

Last Winter I had the great opportunity to join Kendall from Wild Banshee Adventure Co. (and The Revel Rose), Lee from Fieldguide Farmhouse, Heather from Ampersand Lettering Lab, the fine ladies of Juniper & Lace, and the one and only Sandy Michalik, i.e. my mom on a Winter Rafting trip down the Jordan River. Jordan Valley Outfitters led the trip and I would highly, highly recommend it!

 

TRAVERSE CITY WINTER LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHY // CLAIRE & BOWSER AT THE CABIN

 

Claire recently moved back to Traverse City with her pup, Bowser, and she asked if I might be willing to take some photos of them near the cabin that she lovingly called her dad’s “project cabin”. Just say the words “project cabin” and I’m there. Seriously. It’s kind of my dream to build a rustic cabin retreat in the woods and this one is a little beauty. Claire and I hiked with Bowser to her favorite part of the woods near the property. A beautiful Aspen forest covered in fresh snow. Bowser was beyond excited to be outside exploring and we did the very best we could to get portraits of him in between watching him dive under branches and then untangling him. Once we made our way back to the cabin we enjoyed the fire, chatted with Claire’s wonderful parents, and changed Bowser into an adorable new sweater. I’m pretty sure this is Northern Living at it’s finest.

 

FIELDGUIDE // ART. WATER. WILDLIFE. // AN ART SHOW AT FIELDGUIDE FARMHOUSE

 

My friend and fellow artist, Dani Knoph, and I had the fantastic opportunity to collaborate with Lee Maynard of Fieldguide Farmhouse to exhibit new works.  The new show opened this past weekend and our work will be on display throughout 2018!  So if you book a stay at the farmhouse, or participate in any of the fantastic events held there this year, you'll have a chance to view (and even purchase!) the pieces.  For more information, check out the links at the bottom of this post.

New work pictured above from The Compass Points Here: The Freshwater Studies and The Petoskey Collection.  Photographic image transfers onto wood.  12"x12".  $100 each.

Dani Knoph // Website // Facebook // Instagram

Fieldguide Farmhouse // Website // Facebook // Instagram

 

CHELSEA & JORIS // LEELANAU COUNTY ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Here is visual proof that Leelanau County is a magical wonderland filled with birch trees, apple orchards, blue water and perfect little pockets of sunbeams.  I had such a great time with Chelsea and Joris during this session!  We grabbed cider at Tandem and then headed to Fishtown and the beach in Leland.  I'm so excited that I get to see these two again in just two short weeks for their wedding!!

 

KENDALL & JIM // EMPIRE MICHIGAN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

 

My oh my.  What a day in Northern Michigan.  Kendall and Jim were married on a bright, sunny day in Empire.  Their laughter was contagious, they shot confetti canons during their entrance to the reception, the toasts were that perfect blend of emotional and funny, and Jim had the sweetest first dance with his mom - literally with her barefeet standing on his shoes.  Cheers to Kendall & Jim!  And I'll leave you with this quote from the back of their dinner menu:

"It's a great place to laze around and swim and fish when you want to.  And the best place in the world to do nothing.  It is beautiful country... and nobody knows about it but us." -Ernest Hemingway

Planning & Coordination: Sincerely, Ginger Weddings & Events, Hair & Makeup: Pavlova Salon & Spa, Florist: BLOOM, Tent & Rentals: American Rentals, Transportation: Blue Lakes By The Bay, Caterer: The Cook's House, Cake: Aunt B's Cakes & Desserts, Cake Topper: CFWeddings, DJ: Mr. Music, Bride's attire: Bridal Boutique of Naperville & BHLDN, Groom's attire: Nicholas Joseph, Videography: The Compass Points Here - coming soon!  Photo and Video help from these fantastic folks: Hallie Kohler & Sawyer Harris.

 

THE GOLDSMITH FAMILY // TRAVERSE CITY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER // LAKE LEELANAU

I'll say this over and over again - I highly encourage extended families to invite a photographer to document them on vacation for a few hours.  I'm so happy that the Goldsmith family invited me to do just that.  It took a lot of clapping and silly faces from Grandma to get little Shay to smile, but I think the pictures of her sweet toothy grin made it totally worth it :)  Thanks for having me you guys, it was truly a pleasure!

 
 

EMILY & MATT // METRO DETROIT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

Emily & Matt are absolutely the sweetest, and what an amazing day they had last Saturday!  It was such a relaxed day.  Seriously, it was so laid back - they were both so excited to finally get married, but they were completely calm the entire time.  Their vows didn't leave a dry eye in the crowd, the summery light was gorgeous, and the dance floor was packed through the end of the night.  I'm so happy we were a part of it.  Cheers to E + M!!

 
 

Venue & Caterer: Myth Golf & Banquets, Hair & Makeup: Serenity Hair Salon, Florist: Bonnie Zientak, Cake: Home Bakery, Bride's Attire: Becker's Bridal, Groom's Attire: Men's Warehouse.

SWEETWATER LAVENDER FARM // PETOSKEY, MICHIGAN

One of the reasons I am so inspired by living in Northern Michigan is the sense of possibility.  There is a freedom here to make big dreams happen, to live the lifestyle you want.  Our friends Kalin and Matt have taken huge steps to do exactly that.  To build the life they want for themselves.  With no previous farming experience, but lots of research, support from each other and their community, love for Northern Michigan, and big dreams, they bought a beautiful piece of land just outside of downtown Petoskey.  This past Saturday they planted their first field of lavender with three different varieties and Sweetwater Lavender Farm was born.  Instead of hiding their dreams from the world, they turned this first day of planting into a Planting Party, inviting friends and neighbors to help out for as much, or as little time as they chose.  In return, they provided breakfast, lunch, beer, bubbly, and gift favors of lavender bath salts.  It was so amazing to see so many people come together to spend a day outdoors lending a hand to help two very deserving, awesome people.  At the beginning of the day Michael and I focused on shooting video and time lapse of the majority of the field being planted.  We will share that footage later, but below are some stills I took later in the evening as the light turned golden and Kalin and Matt were able to put the last few plants in the ground.  Afterwards, a number of close friends stuck around to hang out, play lawn games, and eat dinner by the campfire.  I'm so happy to call Kalin and Matt friends and I can't wait to watch all of this beautiful lavender grow over the years!  Cheers!

 
 

If you want to learn more about Sweetwater Lavender Farm, I would highly recommend following Kalin's blog and Facebook page.   Here is one of my absolute favorite posts.  And, Brides!  Kalin is an amazing floral designer!  Her studio for Stems & Sprigs, is also located on the property and she does amazing work.  

BROWN BRIDGE QUIET AREA

It's April.  It's snowing.  There is a part of me that thinks - this sucks, I can't wait for Spring to actually be here - but then the other part of me realizes that this will be the last time for many months that I will be able to stand quietly in the woods while the snow falls around me.  I love living in a place that has seasons.  It's pretty magical.

 
 

MELISSA & ANDREW // WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PREVIEW // BIRMINGHAM, MI

Late fall is beautiful and unpredictable.  It can be cold, rainy, and eerie.  But that can also make for a dramatic and unique setting for a wedding, especially for Melissa and Andrew, who chose Halloween.  We absolutely loved it.  Cheers to these two for embracing the nontraditional!

 
 
 
 

Venue: The Community House, Birmingham, Additional Portrait Location: E.L. Johnson Nature Center, Florist: Ever Ours Events, Makeup: Crystal Drake, Catering: Two Unique Caterers and Events, DJ: Mike Dutkewych of Soul Deep, Bride Attire: Catherine Deane, Groom Attire: Menguin "Roma" Tux

FRITZ & SHAHAR // ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY PREVIEW // BIG RAPIDS

Where to begin... Fritz and Shahar are the real deal folks.  They became our friends long before they became our clients, so taking their engagement photos was almost TOO much fun.  Seriously.  I headed down to Fritz's parents' property in Big Rapids where their wedding will be next summer.  We walked through the woods and the fields on an absolutely gloriously sunny fall day.  Oh Michigan, we all make jokes about your weather, but sometimes you truly deliver.