Sleeping Bear Dunes

COURTNEY & MARK // AN INTIMATE BEACH WEDDING IN NORTHERN MICHIGAN

 

It’s hard to find the right words sometimes. This day meant a lot to me for many reasons. It was a small wedding, which means that as a photographer you don’t blend into the background quite as much as you can at a larger wedding. You feel much more aware of the fact that you are a part of the day and not simply an outside photographer brought in to capture the events. I always feel privileged to witness each wedding we photograph, but sometimes the size of the guest list does have a huge impact on how the wedding feels. For Courtney & Mark I truly believe that this feeling was a perfect choice - it felt so sincere and meaningful and filled with family. It felt significant and rich. It felt like bright sun, and blue water, and colorful flowers. It felt like a deep commitment. It also felt extra special for me because I grew up in Ann Arbor, just a short drive, or run, or bike ride away from Courtney - and we’ve been friends since we could count our age on our hands. My heart fills up with days like this. I am SO happy for this family and I’m beyond happy to share this preview today!

Hair Stylist: Michael Moore

Florist: Jenna at Victoria’s Floral Design

Caterer: Mission Table

Cake/Dessert: Rumi’s Passion (Plymouth) and Juicy Kitchen (Ann Arbor)

Bride’s attire: David’s Bridal, designed by Oleg Cassini

Groom’s attire: Men’s Wearhouse, designed by Joseph Abboud

 

RAY & MIKE // SLEEPING BEAR DUNES WINTER ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Last week Ray and Mike headed to Northern Michigan for a little getaway and I was thrilled that the timing worked out so that I could join them for a photo session! The weather, as always, was unpredictable and we ended up with a cold day that felt absolutely frigid the moment the wind touched you. When I stepped out of my car at the beach in Glen Haven, the wind was whipping up huge icy blue waves and I was a bit worried. Despite conditions that make you want to curl up on the couch under a blanket, Ray and Mike were absolutely up for the adventure. Those blues of Lake Michigan came through, we walked through green forests with fat snowflakes coming down, and explored the vast expanse of sand at the dune climb - Northern Michigan’s color palette really came through for us. But the most important part was, of course, Ray and Mike. Their sense of humor and laughter was contagious. We were chatting and laughing as we walked down trails and hopped back in cars to warm up. Their smiles stole the show and I had an absolute blast. Thank you Ray and Mike for an awesome afternoon!

 

KARA & ROB // SLEEPING BEAR DUNES ELOPEMENT // PIERCE STOCKING DRIVE

 

With only family and close friends gathered around them - standing or sitting in beach chairs - Kara & Rob said their vows 450 feet above Lake Michigan.  The jaw-dropping scenery has drawn them to Michigan for repeat visits and clearly held a special place in their hearts.  Kara wore her mom's wedding dress and she added her original hat and flowers in order to "re-create" a portrait of her mom.  We walked along the dunes for some epic images and headed back into Traverse City to finish the afternoon with a meal at Sleder's (and to "Kiss the Moose" of course!).  Cheers to Kara & Rob!  It was such an honor to capture these moments for you.

Ceremony Location: Pierce Stocking Drive, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore // Bouquet: Lilies of the Alley // Reception: Sleder's Family Tavern // Huge thank you to Josh Hartman for second shooting with me!

 

ZACK & LAURA // PORT ONEIDA ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY

 

We hit a perfect Fall day for Zack, Laura & their two pups.  The golden light was just right and the session kinda flew by because we kept finding new places to explore.  It was one of those times where I'd just pull over on the side of the road and say "I just had to stop - that field looks like a perfect spot right now".  To top it all off we witnessed a cotton candy sunset at Pyramid Point... doesn't get much better!

 

MORGAN & NATHAN // SLEEPING BEAR DUNES // ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY

MORGAN & NATHAN // SLEEPING BEAR DUNES // ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY

Engagement sessions with me are kind of evolving into hikes or walks - exploring new spaces and lighting.  Adventuring with couples for a couple hours.  Taking time to wander and taking in this f-ing magical Northern Michigan landscape.  Reflecting on it now, it really is a great fit for our brand.  I'm looking for people who are open to this; Morgan and Nathan were perfect.  We laughed, we hiked up dunes, explored the woods looking for glowy strands of light.  Their wedding in August is going to be a beauty - I can't wait.