kalamazoo photographer

The Whittingtons / Benton Harbor Michigan Wedding Photographer

The Whittingtons / Benton Harbor Michigan Wedding Photographer

Sundance Studios Wedding by Kalamazoo Wedding Photographer

The Pecks / Kalamazoo Michigan 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.

Dress: Azazie Flowers: Stems Market Venues: Arcadia Ales, Monaco Bay Hair/MUA: Avante Salon

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The Shafers / Huntington Family Photogrpaher

Danielle, Dustin, and baby Ellis came to visit us this weekend! They are some of our very best friends, and it was good for my heart. Spring is coming. I can feel it. IMG_9507IMG_9514IMG_9563IMG_9577IMG_951435IMG_9557IMG_95142IMG_9536IMG_9546IMG_9551IMG_95143IMG_9597

Dawn: Joshua Tree Part 1

Dawn: Joshua Tree Part 1

Sometimes, waking up at 4:00am is SO WORTH IT. Jasmine and Will are pretty people in a pretty place and are in all the pretty pictures.

3 Questions for Finding the Right Wedding Photographer

3 Questions for Finding the Right Wedding Photographer

What to ask a wedding photographer before hiring them.

Baby Watson

The last time I took pictures of Susanne and Josh was on their wedding day. This time, it was just hours before the new year and I was taking pictures of their growing family in their home. It was simple and so very sweet. The world is so ready to meet their little boy. img_6791img_6797img_6812img_6824img_6831img_6832img_6834img_6837img_6855img_6862img_6864img_6872img_6875img_6902img_6903img_6914

Adrienne and Matt Anniversary iPhoneography

A while ago, I posted on facebook that I needed to experiment more and challenge myself to think differently about my craft. I proposed something a little wacky- an entire session done with my iPhone as the camera. No special add on lenses... no "cheating..." just working with the tools in front of me while trying to make something new. Adrienne of Adrienne Dennis Photography and Salt + Light Collective volunteered right away to model. I'm so glad she did. We are totally kindred spirits and (surprise!) it was approaching her 10 year anniversary with Matt. Perfect timing for a couple's session in the winter woods.

I love what we made. I love that it was a scrappy set up. I love that we took a risk.

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Lane and Tiffany / Kalamazoo Engagement Photographer

I met Tiffany and Lane at One Well Brewing in Kalamazoo (Go. Don't ask, just Go.) and I wasn't even finished with my beer before my suspicions of their awesomeness was confirmed. They bonded over geocacheing- aka: super cool kind of treasure hunting outdoors. My kind of people. Adventurers.

Their wedding next year is going to be at a gorgeous herb garden, and I know that it's going to be the perfect balance of unique and laid back... uncontrived, just like them.

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All Hallow's Elopement

All Hallow's Elopement

Kalamazoo Michigan wedding photographer- In honor of pumpkin lovers and witchy weddings everywhere: a moody styled shoot themed for Halloween. Featuring craft beer, local donuts, and just a hint of eclectic autumn decor, we can definitely see being a perfect combination of stylish but easy to DIY inspiration.

Why I'm a Wedding Photographer

my-wedding-dayBy Rachel, circa 2015 I take a lot of pictures. My camera is an extension of myself, and I honestly sometimes I get queasy if I don’t have it with me when I see something beautiful. I understand it, and it doesn’t fail me. I value it’s ability to freeze time, places, and emotion. When I look at a photograph, I am grateful because without it, I might forget.

There was a time after my daughter Margo was born when I was struggling with postpartum depression. I felt like the world was grey until I looked through the lens of my camera. It made me focus (pardon the pun) on beauty. I noticed the color of the sky. I noticed the way my baby’s face crinkled when she yawned.More importantly, when the fog of sadness finally cleared, I had pictures of the things that I missed.

That’s why I’m a photographer. It’s a way to give love to people.

The most important parts of our lives are often the hardest to remember in detail. Our weddings, the birth of a child, senior year of high school- they are all joyously chaotic. If I can help someone remember the joy, my job is one of real meaning.

I believe in marriage. I believe that when done right, participating in the sacrament of marriage is one of the most selfless commitments a person can make. You are no longer one. You are two opinions. You are two lives. You are yours and you are someone else’s. There is a tension in that. Choices take twice as long. Disagreements must be resolved. Wills must bend. Someone else must come first. It’s impossibly hard, but it is oh so good. The sacrifice makes us better humans. I want my clients to look back on the pictures from their wedding day and remember that it’s worth it.

It’s the same for every other kind of session, but weddings are where I thrive. The energy from the day is contagious. It’s the start of a great adventure, and I get to be there.

I do it because the world can always use more love.

Van Life / Kalamazoo Photographer

What happens when you put 3 photographers (and a photographer's in-denial-but-also-a-talented-photographer husband) together with a Volkswagon Westfalia Van and unleash them in a vineyard? Well, first the farmer dude of the group spends a half hour under the Van trying to fix it because it's FALLING APART, and the two ladies spend the whole time taking glam shots in the perfect light and then this happens. So much this.

Shout out to that "I'm not a photographer" husband for some of these images of the "real photographers." Also shout out to Lawton, Michigan for the glorious golden light.

Van life is about just letting the sh*t happen. It's about having a positive attitude and trusting that it will all work out even if the result is unexpected. That's why Robert brought expired polaroid film to play with. He thought it might turn in to something good... for the record, it didn't because it was EXPIRED. The most important thing is that we had fun along the way.

How are we ever going to discover adventure if we don't give it a chance?

All images copyright Adventure Photo Stories 2016