Backyard wedding in Kalamazoo Michigan / Kalamazoo Wedding Photographer
According to my mother, Kevin and I go way way back. When we were three, we had a play date at a local park and I gave him my stuffed animal. I'd like to think it was then that I solidified my reservation as his wedding photographer. I say it that way because even though I was a hired professional, I was truly the lucky one. The day was so fun and beautiful it was the kind of wedding photographers drool over. Branda and Kevin trusted me totally. They let me be creative. So it wasn't just the wedding that made me so happy, it was them. I mean, the venues didn't hurt though. Their ceremony was at one of my favorite places in Kalamazoo. As soon as I heard the words "Brewery Wedding," I was IN. Arcadia Ales has amazing food and amazing beer and amazing atmosphere. It's industrial but somehow homey. They have lawn games and you can paddle your kayak up to their boat launch overlooking the Kalamazoo River.
And for the reception, we danced the night away at Monaco Bay, a dueling piano bar. Because it is part of the Entertainment District downtown, we also had access to Loft 310, Gatsby Night Club, and SkyDeck. Everything was gorgeous, and the staff coordinating the night were incredible.
I love being a Kalamazoo wedding photographer. We've got some super cool places to get married and even cooler people.
Branda and Kevin are the kind of people that I love to sit down and share a drink with. Branda has the best laugh, and Kevin has a way of making you feel heard and valued. They have been together for a long time, and I know that their love and kindness will continue.
Michigan summers are magical. Our state has some real hidden gems and Leland fish town is definitely one of them. I never would have discovered it's historic wooden shake covered shanties without Brooke. She, the creative force behind Stellaluna Events, is another one of those Michigan gems. We were in the area for a super sweet girly workshop on floral design and hand lettering (check out the Bloom Workshop site here). And after driving three and a half hours up to Northern Michigan, we were not disappointed. The workshop was fabulous... SO MANY PRETTY FLOWERS... and when we finished, getting sandwiches from the Village Cheese Shanty was well worth seven collective hours in the car.
Being a photographer is easy in Leland. There is so much texture and visual interest. Taking pictures at Bloom- surrounded by intentionally lovely things, was obviously a breeze as well. I hope you enjoy living vicariously through these images.
I was dying to photograph this apple orchard, farm-to-table, brewery reception wedding from the moment Andrew told me he was going to propose to Ruth. Colin and I were sitting outside at Texas Corners Brewing Company on our first date night since moving back to Michigan. I've known Andrew for years from school and his family farm, but I had never seen him so giddy... smile crinkles dancing in place happy. The whole wedding was full to overflowing with joy. From an outdoor ceremony with the orchard as a backdrop to the reception at the brewery and the best wedding band I've ever heard (seriously, their rendition of Up Town Funk was AMAZING), it was the kind of wedding I could have stayed at forever. At the end of the night, Ruth asked to take a picture with me because "You're not just our photographer, you're our friend!"
Folks, that's what I live for.
Maternity photography celebrates the strength of the female body and the hope of what is yet unseen. Spring is the perfect time for it, because we see the fruits of our hope manifested in nature. Emily and Jared are going to be great parents. They are compassionate and strong. Unwavering in love. The flowering spring trees in Lombard's Lilacia Park are like them... rooted and beautiful. It was the perfect place for a maternity session.
Each time I visit the Chamberlins, it feels like a homecoming. I photographed Angela and Brent's wedding and each of their three newborn babies. There is always love and a touch of chaos. They are my kind of people... real and passionate and full of compassion. P.S. The last picture is the most true to life. You're welcome Brent.
Colin shot this session with me and it ended with us getting drinks with Branda and Kevin at Founders Brewing Co. Basically, we just met our new BFFs.
My heart swells when I think of the Garbersons. Their family is an active force of good in a world that needs it. Their new baby Edison is yet another wonderful thing they have done to make earth a bit brighter. (Sorry not sorry for the pun)
I first met Shawnda at church, and everyone kept telling me about how awesome she is. She runs our Free Store and serves in about a million other ways. This session was the first time we got to spend any real time together, and she is even more sweet than I imagined. Lamont is her perfect match: steady and kind. It was a cold and rainy day, so Adrienne from Salt & Light in the Kalamazoo Park Trades Center let us crash her space. I love that building. The giant windows. The murals. Everything was gorgeous.
This was the session that almost didn't happen. First of all, Emily and Drew didn't really NEED me to take engagement pictures because their good friend Cindy had already taken some, but I gave them the option and we all figured it would be fun. We had plans to walk around downtown Grand Rapids and I ALMOST rescheduled this session. I had a specific vision, and Lord knows that when I get set on something, it's all I can think about. I couldn't think of any indoor locations, and I was about to give up when I discovered the Studio 3 Space in the super cool 1111 Godfrey Ave. SW building. Guys.
It's so cool. Studio 3 included, the whole building is incredible. Emily, Drew, and I had a blast exploring the stairwells and crumbling brick hallways. I loved seeing them lean into the wonder of the space.
Cheers to them and their many adventures to come!
A hodgepodge of shots Colin and I took for ourselves. Below are some landscapes, some portraits of each other, and some pictures of me taking pictures. Hope you enjoy! -Rachel