susan & matt at eagle eye golf club in east lansing, mi

To me, weddings are all about joy and I get a front row seat to see and record every laugh, smile, and tear. And going through Susan and Matt’s wedding photos I was struck by how happy and filled with love this wedding day was and what an honor it was to photograph this celebration.  Matt and Susan began the day at the University Marriott and made the long trek across the street to get married at St John Church and Student Center in East Lansing. The reception was at Eagle Eye Golf Center and made for a phenomenal background for some portraits of Susan and Matt who were game for sneaking away during the reception to take a few shots at sunset. This was one of the most breathtaking sunsets of the whole year and I am still so excited that we got to take advantage of such amazing light at such a gorgeous venue. And from there the party and real celebrations started. What a fantastic night and wonderful couple—so glad I got to document this special day.

Following two images of the guys getting ready by Diana.

Love this little look that Diana captured.

Great shot by Diana.

Diana captured the portrait on the right.

Following portrait by Diana.

Following image by Diana.

Following three images by Diana.

mike & blair – engagement session in east lansing, mi

Engagement sessions are such a great opportunity to get to know a couple before their wedding day, especially when they live out of state. Since I had only communicated with Blair via email and telephone I was so excited to finally met her and Mike in person and I am glad they made the trek for the MSU v. Nebraska game so we could take some gorgeous fall engagement pics. I love the fall and MSU’s campus is absolutely stunning when the leaves begin to change color. For Blair and Mike’s session we hit a few old favorites (like the Beal Botanical Garden and Beaumont Tower) and found a couple new areas on campus with some beautiful fall color.

lisa & matt at the lansing convention center in lansing, mi

I got together with Matt and Lisa a few weeks before their wedding to go over their timeline and left with so much excitement about their wedding day. As we went through the schedule for the day it was filled with so many fun little things and special moments for Lisa and Matt to share with their family and friends. Not to mention that Lisa and Matt are two people who are filled with incredible joy and I knew that their wedding day was going to be very personal, thoughtful, and a daylong celebration.  And when the day finally came it certainly exceeded all my expectations. The ceremony was at the stunning St. Mary Cathedral, which is just a short block away from the state capital, in downtown Lansing. After the ceremony we headed over to the capital where we actually had the unbelievable fortune of being able to take photos inside. From there Lisa and Matt snuck in a few moments along at their favorite local bar, Stober’s, before heading over to the reception.  The real party started when we hit the Lansing Convention Center with an incredible live band and some great dancing. Lisa and Matt also took a few minutes to cheer on the Lansing Derby Vixens who had a match next door, set off a few Chinese lanterns (with varying levels of success), and Lisa even fronted the band for a song. It was an unbelievable pleasure to document this day and help celebrate a fantastic couple.

Heather did a great job documenting the guys getting ready and I love her shot of Lisa with her parents just before they walked down the aisle.

Image of the Best Man’s toast by Heather.

Great angle on the Maid of Honors toast by Heather.

Amazing portrait by Heather.

calvin & stella – lifestyle session in brighton, mi

Getting to document a family over several years is just cool. I think this might be my seventh session with the Kolk family (not including Carol and Jason’s weding) and not only am I incredibly humbled that they keep asking me to document their family, but so excited at how photographing a family over many years creates this amazing record of how they grow and change together. Also, since the kids are used to seeing me and my big camera they have become so natural when I am around and just the best little subjects to photograph—not to mention the fact that photographing a family like this never gets old. It was a pleasure to spend the morning with Stella and Calvin and I am crazy for these fun and playful images.

caity & ralph at the huntington club in east lansing, mi

The best way to describe Caity and Ralph’s wedding day is fun. Caity and Ralph are super expressive people who laugh a ton and have some amazing family and friends who filled their wedding day with a ton of joy. The ceremony was help at MSU’s Alumni Chapel and the reception was at the Huntington Club located atop Spartan Stadium. But in-between I do and dinner we made a trip to Hopcat where the bridal party along with many guests celebrated the wedding (and Hopcat’s first anniversary) with some beer and snacks. After taking some portraits around MSU’s campus we got to go inside Spartan Stadium to take some photos—what a treat to look over the field on this absolutely gorgeous day.  After the dinner the party really got started and I got to sneak away with the bride and groom and a few MSU Marching Band alum to watch this year’s marching band practice. What a fantastic day. I love how you can see Caity and Ralph’s happiness and excitement in their wedding photos, what a pleasure to witness and an honor to photograph.

Photos of the guys by Rachael

The following image of Caity and her dad by Rachael

Great moment captured by Rachael

The following image is by Rachael

Love this detail shot at Hopcat that Rachael took

Love this image of Ralph and Caity that Rachael took

david & stevenie at the english inn in eaton rapids, mi

This is another beautiful and intimate wedding (I know I sound like a broken record, but I love small weddings). David and Stevenie came all the way from San Francisco to get married surrounded by family at the English Inn in Eaton Rapids. It was the perfect setting for this lovely couple and every detail from her ethereal dress to the crown of flowers was absolutely stunning. But what I loved most about the day was the love, support, and laughter of David and Stevenie’s family members. It made the day feel relaxed, natural, and an intimate celebration of two people officially joining their lives together. What an amazing thing to witness and a pleasure to photograph.

santino & samara – engagement session in grand rapids, mi

I had such a lovely time photographing Samara and Santino’s engagement session in Grand Rapids. These two make an amazing match and it is pretty clear they are crazy about one another. For their session we started out in downtown Grand Rapids and then we headed to the GR Veterans Center to shoot on their beautiful property. Samara especially wanted to shoot at the Veterans Center near their large flag since their love story started when they realized that they had similar histories, Santino came South Sudan as a teenager and Samara from the Philippines as a baby and both ended up settling in Western Michigan. For two kids who were born half a world apart it is amazing to see how they were each led to this place and to each other. I am excited for their wedding and honored that I will get to document the beginning of the next chapter of their story.

aubriella – newborn session in dewitt, mi

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing Aubriella on the very day that she was born. Now that she has settled in a bit at home and Jared, Melissa, and Braysen are adjusting to life as a family of four I paid their house a visit to take some newborn photos. Aubriella is absolutely adorable, but I think Braysen stole the show a little bit as the doting big brother. Aubriella is a lucky girl to have such a great older brother and it was a lot of fun photographing this new duo that are definitely going to keep mom and dad on their toes.

engagement and family session in holland, mi

So it isn’t everyday I get to shoot an engagement/family session. In fact, I wouldn’t normally recommend combining these two, but this was a very special situation with a pretty fantastic family. Connie and Reid have been traveling up to Michigan from Missouri every year with their three kids since they were little to spend a week or two on Lake Michigan. Now that their kids aren’t so little and they all have significant others they now travel as a troop of eight from Kansas City to enjoy time as a now extended family every summer in Holland, MI. This year however, was extra special because Connie and Reid’s daughter, Francesca, was surprised by her now fiancé with a marriage proposal on the beach. So, after Francesca accepted Alex’s proposal I had the pleasure of photographing an engagement session for them in this very special location. And since it seemed like a pretty monumental summer at the lake we extended the session to include the whole family together. I had such a wonderful time getting to meet and photograph this lovely family. I am also totally crazy for the fog that descended over Lake Michigan just as I was arriving in Holland—I love the effect it had on the light and the dreamy backdrop it created for some romantic engagement pics.

elliot & norah – lifestyle session in grand rapids, mi

I had such a wonderful time meeting and photographing Elliot, Norah, and their lovely parents. We met up at their gorgeous Grand Rapids home where I had a blast hanging out with these two kiddos. After a brief introduction and sticker exchange (Elliot had some fantastic ones of the scratch and sniff variety) Elliot was eager to mug for the camera. He has the cutest smile, which is completely infectious. His sister was a more reluctant model and I love that the result are images that capture her genuine giggles and the moments when she completely forgot that she was being photographed. My favorite shot is of her peeking through the stairs—not sure she wants to be photographed but she doesn’t want to miss out of the action either. I adore getting to photograph fantastic families and cute kiddos like Elliot and Norah.