Henrik Edward

How sweet is baby Henrik?! This guy was so small.  He was born just under 6 pounds, and although I regularly hold newborns, this little guy just seemed like the smallest!  He was so good for his session, and decided he wanted to sleep the entire time we were together.   He really didn't make a sound, and loved being snuggled in his big, soft blanket. 

Henrik's dad is one of my best friend's brothers, and it has been so much fun to watch their family grow.  In the past year they have added three little babes to their family, and I have had the pleasure of photographing all of them! Babies bring so much joy into life, and these three have brought so much joy to their family.  I have loved getting to watch, and photograph, this exciting year for all of them.

The sweetest part of Henrik's shoot had to be watching his older puppy brother love and protect Henrik.  Henrik's mom and dad said their little pup has served as Henrik's watchdog sine he arrived home from the hospital.  They showed me pictures of the puppy standing close guard to his new baby during Henrik's first few days at home.  He was no different in our pictures! The pup wanted to be up close in all of the family pictures.  I can't stop smiling at the pictures where the puppy is covering Henrik in kisses and Henrik is laughing at it.  I think these two are going to be close friends!  Welcome to the world, little guy!

Nik + Elizabeth's Downtown Grand Rapids Wedding

I am so excited to share Nik and Elizabeth's Grand Rapids wedding with you! These two are the sweetest, and Ted and I absolutely loved being able to spend the day with them and their friends and family.  Their ceremony and reception were held downtown at two of the most beautiful locations.  For a January wedding, the weather even decided to cooperate and gave us temperatures that made being outside totally bearable! You can't ask for more than that in the middle of winter in West Michigan!   

I have so many favorite moments from Nik and Elizabeth's wedding.  I loved watching these two interact, and seeing the way they intimately care about one another.  There were so many moments where it looked like they were living in a dream- and isn't that how your wedding day should be?!  

Elizabeth and her girls had so much fun getting ready, and it was a party all morning.  Can you tell? Champagne, confetti, and a slow morning a the hair salon- it was the perfect start to the day. Elizabeth loves all things glamour, so I loved how she incorporated that into her day with Tiffany blue as her color, Kate Spade shoes, matching robes- all of those girlie details were so perfectly Elizabeth. 

One of my absolute favorite moments of the day had to be when Nik saw his bride for the first time.  He was totally overwhelmed with emotion.  You may notice that I think these pictures are simply the sweetest, since I just had to share a whole bunch of them.  Once Nik started looking at Elizabeth with heart eyes and the sweetest smile he didn't stop all day! I mean really, anytime I would zoom over on him he would be totally overwhelmed with love. I couldn't get enough of how sweet it was. 

Then can we just talk about their ceremony location? What a beauty! The pastor from Elizabeth's childhood church conducted the ceremony, and he helped make the ceremony so meaningful. From there the party started! Elizabeth and her dad had planned a surprise choreographed routine that got the party started early!  Seriously once the dance floor opened up, it was packed the entire night.  It was certainly a celebration!  Elizabeth and Nik, you two are an incredible couple and we cannot wait to see how God blesses your marriage, congruatilaitons! 

Troy + Lauren

I absolutely loved the chance to have Lauren and Troy in front of my camera.  Ted and I met these two last year at church, and they have become quick friends.  They are other-centered and caring, and are always making their friends a priority.  I have been so thankful to get to know them better and to get to do life together.  So getting to celebrate their anniversary with them was an added bonus!  

We planned a downtown engagement session to commemorate their first year of marriage and move to Michigan from out of state. We ended up with a grey, windy day which made for such a romantic backdrop, and the perfect excuse to cuddle up close!  Our session started at the Z Parking Lot and we finished in Campus Martius.  These two were so comfortable in front of the camera, and made my job so much fun.  I love that years from now, wherever life might take them, they will always have these photographs from Detroit together to remember the excitement and changes that accompanied their first year of marriage.  Happy (belated) anniversary, Lauren and Troy! 

Marli- Class of 2018

I am still playing all of the catchup over here on blog posts from 2017, and I love it! It is so much fun to relive so many of the incredible sessions from the past year.  Up today is Marli's senior session.  I had so much fun working with Marli.  She brought her sister and her mom to the shoot and they were absolutely hilarious.  They were cracking me up the whole time.  Sometimes having a crowd can be nerve-wracking for seniors, but for Marli it was the perfect way to keep her smiles natural and fresh. 

I love Marli's style.  The way she added accessories like hats and jackets to her outfit is another great way to keep the pictures fresh and natural.  We started Marli's session at Maybury State Park and ended in downtown Detroit. I love how the lights started to come out during the end of our time together.  These are some of my favorite photos from the session, and they make me want to shoot even later into golden hour more often!  With an infectious smile, outgoing personality, and boundless confidence, I can't wait to hear about all of the amazing places life takes you after graduation, Marli! 

2017 Highlights- Personal

2017 was quite a year.  Every year around this time I sit down to write out our story to put in our photo album.  When I think about writing our story for 2017 it has a lot to it.  Ted and I both grew so much personally, spiritually and in our careers.  The year was filled with some awesome adventures with some of our favorite people, slow mornings at home, and more time spent with family and friends.  I really, really loved the way this year challenged us and I am hoping for a 2018 that brings more adventure and growth. 

So without further ado- 1o of our highlights from 2017! 

Our year started out with our biggest adventure! We visited Iceland with two of our very dearest friends and had the time of our lives.  I have about a million photos to share from this trip, but they are still in my editing queue- yikes! Iceland is so beautiful and unlike anywhere I have ever been.  We hiked on glaciers, soaked in hot springs, stayed in little fishing villages, visited waterfalls, and watched the Northern Lights!  Those Northern Lights are something else, and I am already plotting a way to get back to Iceland to see them again! 

Just like we have every year since our wedding, we celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary in Petoskey.  Our trip almost always looks the exact same, and I think that is why I Iove it so much.  Our first stop is at the church where we were married, where we read the bible readings from our wedding and pray for our marriage.  Then we make our way to the Perry Hotel where we celebrated our wedding reception.  They always treat us like royalty and gift us with champagne and put us in the room with the best view of the bay. I really love that place, and it is by far my very favorite tradition.

Next up- our chance to be lighthouse keepers! I had been looking forward to this trip for a whole year! Ted and I got to be lighthouse keepers at Crisp Point Lighthouse in the Upper Peninsula.  We took care of the lighthouse, opened it for guests, cleaned the area, and ran the gift shop. We invited some of our family to come Up North with us for the adventure and had so much fun camping on the beach with them. One of my very favorite moments of the entire year was rock hunting with this bunch in our pajamas at sunset.  I hope I never forget how much fun we all had together doing something so simple! 

I know this is a work highlight, but it is also a huge personal highlight for me! Ted started shooting with me this year, and it has been the very best.  I could go on and on about the ways he serves our clients, but you have probably already heard me do that.  Another way it has blessed us is in our marriage.  We have had so much fun growing and learning while working together, and I love the new element it brings to our relationship. 

We finished the summer with one last adventure to Northern Michigan with family and friends.  The highlight of this trip was watching Ted compete in his first triathlon.  This guy has so much heart, and it was so cool to see his summer of training pay off during the race.  He also has so much physical endurance, and I could never do something like this so it's fun to live vicariously through him! The atmosphere around the race is so fun and we had a blast chasing him around the course and cheering for him at different spots.  We rented the prettiest little beach house in Northport and once the triathlon was over we visited all the local wineries and breweries to celebrate! 

Clearly we are all about traditions in the Beatty family.  A few years ago we started a tradition to take a big road trip every October.  This year we headed out to Utah.  We visited Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Capitol Reef and Zion National Parks.  We hiked every day, cooked over a fire, slept in our tent most nights and the cutest little cabin one night, and totally disconnected from the world.  Utah and its National Parks absolutely stole our hearts and we had one epic road trip! My favorite memory was hiking The Narrows together at Zion, something I think everyone should do once in their life! 

Every year we try to get at least one photograph with everyone from the Miller side, but somehow one person is always missing.  This year we actually got together with the sole intention of taking a family picture.  I know we will all treasure this picture for years to come and I can't help but laugh when I look at it, because how are there really that many of us?! 

Our last trip of the year was to San Diego.  We left the day after our last wedding of the year, and it was such a sweet way to celebrate the end of wedding season.  Ted actually went on the trip for work, but a whole lot of it felt like vacation.  We watched incredible sunsets, ate delicious seafood, and even tried surfing- which was on our bucket list! 

This year we became an aunt and uncle to three new little humans! We welcomed Alicia, Colin and June to our family and we think they are simply the greatest.  There isn't much that we love more than being an aunt and uncle and these three have already stolen our hearts! 

The stomach flu struck our house the day before Christmas Eve so we had a very low key Christmas celebration.  The day after Christmas I was finally feeling better, and we got our booties outside for some snowshoeing.  It was the perfect way to celebrate Christmas together and after being sick it felt so good to get outside and get moving! And that snow! I love the way that white stuff looks right after a big snowstorm.

Well there you have it! A few of my very favorite memories from 2017.  From big adventures to Iceland to just finally getting outside after recovering from the flu, I am so thankful for all of the big and little moments this year.  

2017 Highlights

Oh I love making this post! The year can go by in such a blur, in a mix of scheduling and shooting, constant editing and blog post creating that I can forget how many incredible families, couples and seniors I have in front of my camera over the year! It is so much fun to go back through my shoots from the year and really appreciate all of the memories we have captured together.  Also, I love to see the transitions between seasons.  Michigan can have me cursing my weather app some days, but the sun, rain, snow and wind make for such fun and creative images.  I wouldn't want it any other way! 

This post could go on for ages, and I wish I could include a picture from every single session! But here it is- some of my very favorite highlights from 2017.  It was a sweet year, with a whole lot of growth for my little business,  I made investments back into my business, found an editing style that feels more my own, and Ted began shooting weddings with me. This year I learned the importance of working smarter and more efficiently, and taking time to rest and recharge.  2017 has been my favorite year for Caryn Ashley Photography, and I cannot wait to see where 2018 takes us! From the very bottom of my heart- thank you so much to each and everyone of you for being a part of it- I can't imagine life without this community of ours! Cheers to a happy and healthy New Year with all sorts of new memories to capture together! 

Hoback Family

It is officially that time of year when I make a bold attempt at catching up with all of my editing from the past year! Phew! During the fall I do so many shoots and I know the most important thing is making sure my clients get their photos back in a timely manner.  So, sometimes blogging and social media posting take a backseat and I just power through editing all day long.  So now I get to go back and relive some of the fun from 2017! 

How pretty is this barn session with the Hoback family?! I absolutely love this setting at Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm. Not only is it gorgeous but it is also the perfect space for little ones to explore.  With a barn, river, trails and bridges there is plenty to keep us occupied and always something new to check out.  These big brothers certainly love their little sister, and they were quite confused when she didn't want to hang out and explore with them.  She was attached to mom and dad, and was content to spend the afternoon with her parents while her brothers ran around and explored. 

Thank you for letting me capture these memories with you, Hoback Family! I hope you cherish them for years to come! 

Bonnette Family

This little lady was so ready to celebrate Christmas! We started the shoot out with Charlie in her pajamas, which if you think about it is really how every shoot should start.  She showed me all the ornaments on her Christmas tree and a few of the presents that had been wrapped early.  Watching little ones during the holidays makes everything so much more magical, don't you think?

Charlie did eventually change out of her pajamas, which was much easier for her than it is for me on a typical Saturday! This lady was all giggles and made our time together so much fun.  I have gotten to watch Charlie grow up since her newborn session and it has been so much fun to see her personality grow.  She is talkative, silly and kind.  She taught me a few new songs and was constantly on the look out for the big bad wolf while I had my face buried into my camera.  

This was such a fun way to kick off the Christmas fun.  I hope you have a wonderful Christmas together, Bonnette Family.  Thank you for letting me be a small part of your celebrations!

June Faith

We are so lucky we get to call this sweet little lady our niece! I love getting to photograph newborns, but when they are family it is just a little sweeter.  This little lady made a late arrival into the world, and we all anxiously anticipated her arrival. The wait was absolutely worth it once she finally joined the family.  She is the cuddliest little bundle of joy and we have loved getting to know her. She is the first grandbaby on Ted's side of the family, so it has been so fun to see their family adjust to having a little one around again. 

June wasn't ready to stay asleep for her whole shoot, but I love the images we were able to capture when she was awake, too.  How adorable are those big eyes?! She and I got some extra time to rock and hum songs together while she fought sleep, so I will be honest I wasn't too mad that she wanted to stay awake and hang out.  

Eve and Nathan are adjusting right into parenthood and are making it all look easy.  Watching them become parents has been so sweet and seeing how much they love this little lady is so encouraging.  June already has a schedule, sleeps through the night, and I will be honest I have never heard her cry- so they must be doing something right!  June, your Uncle Ted and I cannot wait to make so many memories with you as you grow up!