Mariah & Jeff 6~17~2017

Rain, downpours, thunder, lightning, wind gusts, high humidity and bright sunshine.  Yes, we experienced it all in just one day during our coverage of the Fredericks/Eckel wedding.  But the weather was no obstacle to this amazing firefigher & firefighter/cop duo.  

The Beginning....

We started the day at Salon 101 in downtown Lapeer where the stylists did an amazing job!  Did I mention WIND GUSTS?  They happened to gust their gustiest during our bridal session with the bride and her attendants and with the exception of a few wispy curls needing to be tucked behind the ear, our bridal party stayed salon fresh the entire day!  Great job Salon 101! 

Next up....the guys!

He or She...What Will Baby Be?

After learning of their baby's gender from the gals at Sneak a Peek in Davison Mi, Brigette and Wes could have called, emailed, messaged or announced what they had learned on social media in a simple post.   But this creative couple wanted to do something special and involve their family in the announcement.

  So, on a beautiful Fall, Sunday afternoon, they asked their friends and family to meet them as Wes's parents farm.  There four generations gathered together around an old barn door-table that was decorated in baby's breath whites, muted greens and gold accents offering little hint to baby's gender.

The answer to the question of the day, He or She, what would baby be...was hidden inside the large white pumpkin centerpiece that everyone wanted to lift the lid on.  The family sat waiting anxiously to learn the gender of their lil' punkin' to be.  Burlap and gold dipped wooden tags with the family's guesses written on them,  were tied to a wreath that hung on an old vintage door.  As near by an old Victrola and sheet music offered subtle clues with titles such as "Will You Be My Daddy", and "Beautiful Girl of Mine" & " You're My Baby". 

Then the moment arrived.  Wes and Brigette opened the pumpkin top and pulled out a...

Now, you didn't think I was going to give it away did you...

  Join in on the fun, take a guess yourself...then scroll through their beautiful reveal to see if you guessed correctly.  

Dan & Brooklyn

Dan and Brooklyn lived just miles away and knew each other casually.  However, it was not until they both volunteered as Regular Pioneers that they would get to know each other.  If you have ever had the privilege to Regular Pioneer, you know the love, dedication and long hours it involves.  Hours in the company of others day.  Hours at your best, and hours at your worst.  This is how Dan and Brooklyn really got to know each other, and from there fell in love. 

Dan's story on their wedding blog is very romantic and touching...just don't tell him I said so, he's kind of a private guy with a terrific sense of humor, who is very comfortable in front of the camera...as long as he's making funny faces at it!  :DBrooklyn is a natural in front of the lens, who's beautiful vibrant red hair match her personality.   From the moment you meet see them together you know that together is where they belong. 

Dan knew that Brooklyn was the one, and wanted to do things right.  First, he designed the ring...yep!  I'll say that slower.  HE. DESIGNED. THE. RING.  It is beautiful!  Multiple hearts interlocking and topped off with his grandmothers diamond. 

Only thing left to do...ask her!

Dan and Brooklyn plan to continue volunteering and one day hope to be caretakers of the Belleville Assembly Hall where they both worked on construction projects.  This would be the place Dan would ask Brooklyn to be his wife. 

The day finally arrived and both Dan and Brooklyn were scheduled to work at Belleville.  The day had finally arrived for Dan to ask her to be his wife.  He had the perfect gal, the perfect ring the perfect moment....would she say yes?

Look below to find out!

 

Waitng for Brooklyn,

We managed to fit in Brooklyn's maternity session just before her birth.  Her parents have always been very open to any ideas Ive had for themes so I knew this was the couple to bring out all my props for.  We set up in an open field under a large willow.  This location seems to be so calming, and peaceful while shooting.  So, under the shade of the big willow, we set up an antique iron bed, a side table, hung a crystal chandelier, and brought some outfits fit for a whimsical summer evening session.  While we were there, we thought we HAD to do something to incorporate the moment of change soon to happen to this family of three.  Adelyn, then two was soon to become a big sister.  Just for her...well maybe her and her dad...we set up a tea party with Batman complete with yellow cupcakes!  The session ended with dad and Addie walking hand in hand with her favorite dinosaur and or so we thought.... little Addie had her own ideas on the last shot....look and see how amazing she is! 

Alyssa 2016

Gals like Alyssa are one of the reasons I LOVE to shoot seniors.  She wanted what every senior wants, something fun, and unique, something that defines them.   During our texts I learned that she loves Taylor Swift.  So I did what any self respecting rock and roll fan would do...research. 

Next, we found a blue dress, some front porch steps, and a slammin' screen door. The results were amazing !!!!

The Coulter Family Session

As families grow up and move away it can become a rarity for everyone to be together all in one place.  This past December I was asked to photograph the Coulter family on their beautiful property that has been in the family for over 46 years.  We were treated to a tour of the property, as away to scout out the location prior to the session.  See, this was not your typical family session of 4 or 5.  We would be photographing 22 in all, and as time is precious with so much to do, we had just one hour to do it in.  Thankfully the weather cooperated for us and the family since many of them were visiting from Florida, and the session was to be a Winter picnic shot in the great outdoors.  It all turned out beautifully, and, as I look back,  I am still impressed with the politeness of the children, and kind hospitality of the Coulter family.  Now, as the family are all settled back at their homes, we hope to have provided a beautiful reminder of one of the most important things in life...family. 

Solomon & Betty

Solomon & Betty

They make a cute couple, Solomon and Betty.  Meeting miles apart, and falling in love, this couple would prove that true love exists. 

I knew Solomon only through our mutual friends on Facebook.  We had been friends for a few years although we had never met personally.  I received a Facebook message from him asking us to do a Bridal session the week following their wedding ceremony by the Justice of the Peace.  He told me about their plans to have a big traditional wedding, but that they decided to keep it simple thus foregoing the traditional.

Solomon was from the East side of Michigan, and Betty from the West side.  Their wedding ceremony was in Betty's hometown of Grand Haven, and the bridal session had been scheduled for Solomon's hometown near the Flint area. 

Over the next week Solomon and I would talk via Facebook.  We suggested surprising his new wife with a surprise reception immediately following their photo session.  He was so happy to be able to do this for his new bride, and we were excited to begin planning the details.

And so it was born, this wonderful surprise for his new bride. Within a matter of three weeks, Invitations were sent out, a hall was booked, a website and Facebook page created to invite as many as he could.  Decorations were made to match the Comic book inspired theme he had chosen because his love is a big Marvel fan, including a custom cake topper with Solomon and his iconic glasses, and Betty in the dress she would be wearing, complete with Princess Leia buns. 

In the end, Betty and Solomon, had a beautiful wedding ceremony in front of friends and family, they had a beautiful photo session while friends decorated and waited anxiously at the hall for them to arrive. 

They also had their first dance, cut their cake, and celebrated their marriage with friends and family.  Love doesn't mean breaking the bank to have a big lavish wedding.  Sometimes it means living within your means and doing what you can to make that someone special in your life happy.  Solomon did just that.  Following our photo session, he and Betty walked into the hall, where we were going to go for a few "inside shots".  As he escorted her onto the dance floor they danced their first dance while wiping away happy tears.  A moment stolen from a traditional wedding and put in the middle of theirs.

Special Thanks

Special thanks to the many friends and family who helped put this wonderful event together for Solomon and Betty, including contributing to the dessert table, and for helping with the clean-up when we had to make an emergency trip to the hospital near the end of the evening.  Their event was special because of friends like you.  

Credits:

Cake Beth Denny, Jelissa Hamilton

Cake topper, Alexa Shillingburg

Reception Hall Metamora Historic Town Hall

DJ Kris Sawvel

is Story

"I met Betty through a friend.  I had just broken up with someone else, so my friend Candara said, "Hey talk to Betty Newton, she is a good sister."

I was a little bitter about events leading me to breaking up with the other sister.

(LONG STORY)

 I emailed Betty/called her once. We talked and I made it CLEAR I wanted NOTHING more than to be friends and was just expanding my friends. I quoted the scripture about treating older women as mothers / younger sisters as...yeah I was not really that nice so I'm actually surprised Betty and I became friends.

We hung out a few times then I moved to Pittsburgh.  We chatted via text a lot while I lived there.  We just where friends when she made a trip to see me and it was then that I admitted that I liked her more than a friend.  When she came down we had a discussion while she visited and we started dating.

How did I know she was the one?  She always excepted me for me even when I was not at my best spiritually or actual health.   She encouraged me and supported me when others couldn't.

The Proposal- Betty helped me move from Pittsburgh to back to Michigan.  My mom followed us in her vehicle with both cars packed full of stuff.  We where talking about marriage and what we wanted and expected.  We had decided we wanted to be married and were basically already engaged it was just a matter of a ring and me asking.   She made a comment about a ring doesn't really matter that's just a formality.   So I asked her to marry me. & she thought I was joking.  Then  she asked if I was serious and I explained that I was.   She said yes! (I bought a ring a few weeks later) 

 

Her Story

We met through a mutual friend. I knew he was the one, he accepted me for me, no matter how nerdy I got, and he has the most beautiful heart. I've never had someone stick up for me the way he does, LOVE that about him.

I also love the little random sweet messages he sends me.

As far as advice for anyone planning a wedding?

Do as you want, don't let anyone force you into doing something you don't want too. Be true to yourself.

 

Grayson

Have you ever seen a baby's nursery in a magazine, or online, and thought...that is so BEAUTIFUL?  Well, I got to experience it first hand.  Before stepping into the baby's room you sense the calm.  From the beautiful gray toned walls, and magical morning light streaming in, there is a peacefulness about it.  Its a room that dreams are made of...and for his mom and dad....actually came true.   Meet their beautiful baby boy....Grayson.