Megan + Zak / Fort Wayne Indiana Wedding Photographer

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I've been friends with Megan and Zak for more than 8 years. When they asked me to photograph their wedding, I was both incredibly excited and slightly nervous. On one hand, I couldn't imagine NOT photographing it, but on the other hand, I was due to have a baby just a few weeks before their date. We problem solved by having another photographer responsible for most of the day with me shooting during portraits and the ceremony. We had everything lined up with a great gal, but THE NIGHT BEFORE THE WEDDING at one in the morning, I got a text that she was in the hospital. I scrambled to try to find someone available who also happened to be awake at that late hour. Megan and Zak deserve the best, and I was super scared that I wouldn't be able to find someone I could trust to do them justice.

Enter Ryan Gauper of GAUPERphoto.

When he messaged me saying that he would make the 4+ hour drive on almost no sleep and photograph the day, I was so so grateful. He is one of the few people I would trust to shoot the day AND he did it on no notice.

Below is a collaboration of both of our images, edited in my style. Please go check out his work with his wife Holly on their website and show them some love.

Megan and Zak. You know I love you. Thank you for being the coolest.

Southwest Michigan LGBTQ Friendly Wedding Vendors

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Happy Pride month!

I realize that not every couple is afforded the same respect when planning their wedding, and while that is wholly unacceptable, there is something I can do to help. Here is a list of vendors who will CELEBRATE that love is love.

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Photographers

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Venues

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Officiants

Jaime Wise - jaimewisessv@gmail.com 

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Ashton + Kaylie / Kalamazoo Engagement Photographer

Kalamazoo Engagement Photographer

Ashton and Kaylie were my final engagement session before going on maternity leave. We met at a coffee shop before heading out into the cold to take pictures and talked about their vision. When Kaylie said that they wanted to take engagement photos at a parking garage, I was all in. I've done some pictures in structures like that during storms to get out of the rain or really briefly during a longer session, but I've always had to convince the couple that it was going to be cool. This rad couple could have spent the whole time on that rooftop. Of course, we went other places for variety, but I think the parking garage pictures are some of my favorites from this entire year.

Thanks for being inspiring and braving the Michigan cold Ashton and Kaylie!

The Face of Adventure Photo Stories

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A logo is the face of a business. So when I began the process of creating this new brand, I wanted to make sure that it showed who I am and who I want to be. The first step was talking to a professional to brainstorm and verbally process my vision. William Hayes from Nice Vibe Designs in Kalamazoo, Michigan helped me hone in on a few important graphic elements.

Nature:

This was my number one priority. I come alive outside and am in love with Michigan forests and rivers. I know that mountains are super trendy right now, but I wanted to stay true to my home. We don’t have mountains. We aren’t trendy like the PNW, but there is incredible beauty here, and I’m proud of where I come from.

Tattoo/Stippled Style:

Since I was losing the camper van from my pervious logo, it was important for me to communicate the youth, creativity, and non-traditional feel to my work. I have yet to get a tattoo because I’ve been pregnant, broke, or super picky for the past 3 years, but this was my chance to “get a tattoo” without getting a tattoo. Don’t judge me ;) After this babe is born, I know what I want now!

Geometry:

The triangle is the strongest shape. It balances the casual stippled style and represents my professionalism and attention to detail. More than that, it is pointing upward. My ultimate goal in everything that I do is to uplift and encourage others.

Moon:

I like a little mystery. I like a little dark with my light. While the sun is gorgeous, there is something intriguing about the moon. I don’t have a fully “dark and moody” style, and I’m certainly not “light and airy,” but I adore contrast. The moon is a glowing orb in the night sky that draws all of the focus. I want my couples to feel like that.

After William sketched about a thousand concepts, I pulled the elements that I loved and made the finishing touches. It was important to me to have my own hands complete the design, and I loved how collaborative the process was. Photography is also a collaborative process between the subject and artist. It was so cool to have that represented in my logo.

This has been my logo for almost a year now, but I only recently shared it on social media. My bad ya’ll. The feedback I’ve received has been incredible. Thank you all so much, and thank you to William for his hard work and creative mentorship.

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Christine + Marta / Detroit Engagement Photographer

What are the two most important things for a great fit between a wedding photographer and an engaged couple? The first is the relationship, and the second is communication. If your personalities don't "click" (camera pun intended), it's hard for the couple to relax and have fun during the engagement session and wedding portraits. It also makes it hard for the photographer to get in a creative headspace. On the other hand, if you DO, photos can feel effortless and the results are incredible.

Here's the part that we often ignore: relationship requires communication. Recently, I've been made aware that even if we would totally go grab drinks together and laugh the night away, that doesn't mean that the couple feels comfortable in front of my camera. I have to figure out what works for each person, each couple, and help guide them in the way that best suits them. Sometimes, that means that the couple has to tell me that I'm asking them to do things that aren't natural. Sometimes, that means that I have to read their body language and make adjustments to what they aren't even saying. All of the time, that means that we have to be honest with each other.

Marta and Christine are goofballs. When we began the session, I was asking them to do some things that didn't feel right. SO, we changed. We found what worked for all of us, and the results are some of my favorite images from the year so far. Detroit is incredible. Eastern Market is full of murals and art. That in combination with these dear new friends made for the perfect winter city adventure.

Side note: they met on a Tennis Court. I loved that they suggested ending the session there!

Michael + Mary Dewitt / Grand Rapids Wedding

Mary and Michael have joy. REAL joy. Their smiles are contagious and I can't help but smile with them. Being their wedding photographer was an incredible experience. Not only was it the kind of gathering that makes you feel instantly welcomed, but I was working with an incredible team of women, and it was my last wedding before going on maternity leave. Thank you to the amazing Audrey from Where the Heart is Films for wedding videography and Alycia Choroszucha for being a boss second shooter. I couldn't have done it without you! 

From Mary about falling in love with Michael: "We met at the University of Michigan in the summer of 2012. We both had to take summer classes to make sure we graduated on time, and after the first day of class, I decided that Michael was going to be my friend. There was something about him that drew me in. The next day, I sat down next to him and we became friends. After graduation a year later, Michael and I lost touch until January 2015, when he randomly reached out to me via a text message... and the conversation never ended. On Michael's birthday (Feb 25, 2017), we drove over to his parents' house for what I thought was a birthday dinner. He stopped the car just past the entrance to the subdivision and took me on a short walk to Lake Bella Vista, where he made a wonderfully romantic speech and got down on one knee. When we reached his parents' house, my family was there waiting to celebrate with us!"

Dress: Antonio's Bridal (custom design); Caterer: Above and Beyond Catering; Venue: The Goei Center; Floral: Eastern Floral; Rings: Preusser Jewelers; Desserts: Beth Wehner, Rachel Phelps, Linda DeWitt (not assoc. with any businesses).

Grand Rapids Wedding Photographer