Karin and Nate’s engagement session last weekend turned into an awesome Traverse City adventure complete with wine and snowshoeing. Bonobo Winery really spoiled us with an unexpected little wine tour down to the barrel room. It was the perfect place to start off the session and then we headed down to the lighthouse at the point of Old Mission Peninsula. Karin and Nate brought along snow shoes (because they’re awesome) so we had a blast exploring the remaining ice and our timing couldn’t have been more perfect - the sunset was absolutely stunning. The sunshine here in Northern Michigan has been magical lately and I’m glad it showed off for Karin & Nate. Cheers!
If I have clients as fun loving and awesome as Sarah and Travis for the rest of my days I will be one happy camper. They brought a 6 pack of Stella, their crazy lovable pup (also named Stella), and multiple hat options to their engagement session. We hiked the Empire Bluff Trail and headed down to the beach where the ice formations were just unbelievable! It was brutally cold, but the sun came out giving us some gorgeous light to work with. I certainly can’t complain. Cheers to Sarah & Travis!
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…
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.
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.
Happy Monday! Last week I went to Petoskey to meet up with a group of awesome women! Savannah is the face behind Nakina Artistry, soon to become Nakina & Ko. She creates magic with hair and makeup, but she also has big plans for a rebrand which will include more lifestyle content in the future. You’ll just have to follow along with Sav to stay in the loop! ;)
This seems to be a year of former wedding clients reaching out about family portraits, and I'll tell ya what: I'm 100% ok with that. I was basically jumping for joy to hear from Kendall about setting up a session with her extended family while they were vacationing at Camp Michigania on Walloon Lake. I've followed along with Kendall, Tim & Ellie on social media since their wedding and I've also run into her mom at a number of local events here in TC. This family has the best sense of humor and their laugher was contagious. Given they don't all live in the same place anymore you could just tell how precious this time together was. My job is just the best - I'm so grateful for families like these.
The Gather Series is one of my favorite little slices of Summer. A lavender farm in Northern Michigan, a table full of smiling people, an amazing carefully crafted multi-course meal, and of course wine. Sweetwater Lavender Farm is a magical spot and I feel so lucky every time I get to hang out there. The fantastic vendors for this meal include: Petoskey Cheese, Bear Creek Organic Farm, D&M Design Co., S2S, The Bow Tie Baker. Soak in some Summer vibes....
You might recognize these faces. I've photographed the Martens family every summer for the past four years! I love watching these kiddos grow, and as they get older their interaction is just the cutest. Of course we had to end the session with an ice cream stop - ahhh summer :)
My good friend Dani is a talented artist who just launched her new website! We spent some time in her studio taking behind the scenes photos of her space, artwork and process. I absolutely love her work, and we have two of her prints that we're getting ready to hang in our own home. If you're also a nature and wildlife lover, I highly recommend visiting her site and following along with her on instagram. AND she has a promotion going on right now for Father's Day - check it out!!
"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 :)
What a day. Seriously - a bright, warm, fall day with golden light, two smiling people, and phenomenal views all around? Hello, Northern Michigan. I love you. Stephanie and Jake were so much fun and we explored Glen Haven and Sleeping Bear Point trail for their engagement session. I have a feeling these kinds of days are quickly becoming more rare, so enjoy every minute!
Extended family portrait sessions are the best. I love when grandparents, kids and grandkids are all hanging out together enjoying a Northern Michigan summer. Wildflowers, toads, suckers, play dough pancakes, kites, waves, and dune jumping all made an appearance with a lot of love mixed in.
The Martens are close family friends and I love being able to capture moments like this as Grace grows! The spontaneous, in-between moments of sessions like this are the best. It's not always easy to get a two year old to follow instructions perfectly and look directly into the camera with a sweet smile, but honestly most parents I have worked with wouldn't call that typical toddler behavior. Who wants to do that when there are snacks, playgrounds, the beach, and dandelions? I hope these shots genuinely reflect the beautifully curious, goofy, and cautiously independent two-year-old Grace. Cheers to childhood! xoxo
The Jarosz family is so precious!! We ended up picking an awesome Spring day for this session! Old Mission Peninsula never disappoints. We headed to Hooper's Farm Gardens where there was plenty to keep the kiddos entertained at all times!
On Easter this year I headed up to Northport to visit Idyll Farms with my friend Carla and her kids. Cats were roaming the farm, chickens approached us with a curious interest and we were even allowed to pet a very new baby goat. On the drive back to Traverse, the ice was leaving the bay and everything was starting to turn just a touch greener. That evening Mike and I enjoyed an amazing happy hour spread including prosciutto, triple cream brie and dried cherries. Now a few weeks have past and there is even more sun. Yes, Spring has sprung and we are looking forward to everything this new season has in store. Enjoy your Sunday folks!