Michigan photographer

Weekend Edition

So remember when I said there would be lots of changes around the blog?! Well here is another one! In addition to sharing posts about my business and tips for preparing your family for your shoot I also wanted to share with you some little insights into my life.  You all welcome me into your family so openly.  You let me tag along on your wedding day, invite me to hold your babe just a few days after they join your family, and sing along to your little ones' favorite songs as we explore the park together.  So now I would love to welcome you into my family and my life a little bit more! 

This past weekend we unexpectedly had to cancel vacation plans, which meant we had an entire weekend at home with absolutely no commitments! That is rare, and I was excited to see how we would spend our weekend around home.  Our friends, Nick and Kaitlin, asked if we wanted to join for a bike ride in Detroit on Saturday morning.  I was pretty excited we were able to say yes! Not only do I think Nick and Kaitlin are ridiculously great friends and I always look forward to spending time together, but I also love exploring new parts of Detroit.  So basically it was a Saturday filled with two of my favorite things!

We started the morning at Eastern Market, made our way through the Dequindre Cut, and onto the Riverwalk.  Our final destination was Batch Brewing Company for lunch and brews- which I highly recommend!  I am already looking forward to more summer Saturdays like this one . . . 

Miller Maternity

Well I figured I better go ahead and get these photographs blogged since today I shot the newborn pictures for the babe inside that beautiful belly!  (Side note: Hello time, if you could  just slow down a little bit that would be wonderful!)  These two little dudes couldn't wait to meet their little sibling when I saw them at their momma's maternity shoot.  They anxiously loved on their momma's belly and made guesses if they would be welcoming a baby brother or a baby sister into their home.  And can we just take a moment to talk about how gorgeous Colleen looks when she is pregnant.  And not only is she rocking her bump, but she did it in heals while also corralling two little boys.  Let me tell you, she is a total rockstar. 

We shot these photographs at a really small local park in Birmingham called Barnum Park.  We originally picked the park because it had beautiful tulips.  Unfortunately, because of rain we had to reschedule the shoot and we just caught the tail end of the blooms.  But what I realized is this is a really, really great place for photo shoots.  And you know what else I realized, that sometimes we just totally overanalyze where we do our family shoots!  I never would have thought to use this park for a session, but I totally loved it!  It had a nice pathway, clumps of trees, high grass, and that really cool old, brick front to a school building.  Realizing how much I enjoyed shooting at this park made me want to drive around and reconsider more small parks.  Sometimes less is more, right?! How many other cool locations am I missing out on because the park just seems too small?  Do you have any must consider locations?  I would love to add some more locations to my list of favorite spots. 

You won't have to wait long to find out if the Miller family added a boy or a girl to their home!  Their newborn pictures are being uploaded as I write this post.  I can't wait to be a part of your family as we watch you grow, baby Miller!

Cole Family

Sometimes when I take a look at my calendar for the month or week, I am excited for a shoot simply because I get to hang out with a family.  Yes, I will get to photograph which I always love, but I also get to know a family better that I may not spend much time with.  Photography gives me such an amazing opportunity to get to know families on a more intimate level than I would ever get the chance to do normally.  

We attend church with the Cole family and we exchange pleasant hellos and how are yous on Sunday mornings and at other church events. but getting to explore the park with their family and capture their giggles together makes our relationship so much more meaningful. I had a chance to really get to know their little ones and learn what brings out their biggest smiles.  For their oldest son I learned that thing is Star Wars and their little guy certainly adores bubbles.  

I just love how these pictures capture their family, and it is all because of how comfortable they were during their shoot.  They let themselves giggle, laugh, and cuddle.  Each person truly has a genuine affection for their other family members and it shows so clearly in these photographs.  Thank you so much for letting me capture this crazy and fun season of life with you, Cole Family!

Emma turns 2

Happy 2nd birthday to you, Miss Emma!  I met Emma and her family last fall for their first family shoot and was so excited when they contacted me to photograph Emma for her second birthday.  They are one of those families that I could spend an entire afternoon with, and my time with them feels a whole lot more like fun than work.  Not to mention, their family is quite adorable.  Little Emma with her big smile and dark curly hair, such a doll!  So naturally I jumped at the chance to photograph them again!

Emma was so great for her shoot and sang along to just about every nursery rhyme I know, which I realized isn't many, so I will be trying to up my repertoire. This shoot is such a great example of doing a lot with what you have.  The heavens opened up right before Emma's shoot and because of the weather we did the majority of her shoot inside.  Really all we did was move a chair and table, remove some photographs from a wall and with Mom's awesome props we had a perfect little studio. I love when clients keep things simple, and the finished product is gorgeous!

Also, can we talk about how hilarious two year olds are?!  Emma is really talking now, and I couldn't help but laugh as she let us know exactly what she wanted in the sweetest little sentences.  I imagine life at the Sirhan house is never dull!  Not to mention, Emma is going to be a big sister this summer, so the fun continues! Already looking forward to meeting your little sister, Emma, but until then enjoy just being 2! 

Baby Sophia

I have to be completely honest with you here.  Sophia may have been one of my easiest babies to photograph.  She was totally out when I got there and pretty much stayed in a deep sleep the entire shoot.  I also have to be honest, I had some awesome assistants for this shoot- Mom, Dad, Grandma and an auntie- they helped streamline everything and doted on little Sophia.  They moved props, changed Sophia and came up with some of their own fun poses.  So, what I want you to know is that I can't take all the credit for how amazing Sophia looks, because between her awesome nap skills and her kind family- it basically took a village for these photos, and I am so grateful for that. 

This little lady arrived early, so when her mom e-mailed me to say she was ready to schedule her shoot I was a little surprised.  It wasn't even her due date yet!  But, as babies sometimes do- Sophia made an early entrance into the world and thankfully she is doing great.  Mom and Dad seemed to have everything under control, and I couldn't help but watch as they lovingly passed Sophia between the two of them.  I know I have said it before, but one of my favorite interactions to watch is between a new mom and dad.  They pass their little one back and forth so gingerly, basically radiating love between the three of them.  I mean if you ever need a good dose of positiveity in your life, just watch a brand new mom and dad pass their little one between the two of them.  It is the sweetest.  

Sophia is undoubtedly already so loved.  Remember that village I was talking about?  I think they all would do just about anything for Sophia.  She is going to be so lucky growing up with that kind of love and support around her.  I am continuously grateful that I get to share in these moments with families and feel that indescribable love in their homes.  Enjoy loving on your little lady, Giannosa family! 

Steve + Caiti

I promised myself last fall I would do more shoots during golden hour, the hour before the sun sets and the light is soft and the shadows are long.  There is something so magical about this time of day.  So first golden hour shoot of 2017- Steve and Caiti!  Michigan weather has been completely unpredictable this year, and we certainly lucked out with the weather for Steve and Caiti's engagement session.  We picked a weekend in February and decided to just see what mother nature dealt us.  Well she was so kind, because we had 60 degrees and sunshine the whole weekend!  

Caiti and Steve were looking for more of an urban backdrop and we decided to use Royal Oak, which is turning into one of my favorite places to photograph.  As I drove to the shoot I started to notice something a little unexpected along the streets.  People were dressed in onesies.  You know- the footed pajamas?!  As I got closer to downtown and searched for a parking spot, I realized that more of the people than not were wondering around in onesies.  We had not been informed that the entire city had been taken over by a onesie bar crawl.  I was a little nervous thinking about the boisterousness of the group, but luckily we were able to completely ignore the insanity.  And let's be honest, it kept us laughing as we moved between locations and noticed the insanity of different onesies people were wearing.

We wondered through quiet back allies and rooftop parking garages.  Each new street brought different textures and colors that made for the perfect backdrop to capture their playful personalities.  Caiti and Steve have a lighthearted, carefree love that keeps them both smiling.  It is the kind of love that is honestly infectious, and made me want to go home and hug my own husband a little tighter.  They have such an amazing impact on one another.  Steve can make Caiti break out into giggles with one word. Caiti gives Steve a sense of peace and calm that made him feel comfortable, even when I was there capturing their every kiss and cuddle.

I am already looking forward to being a part of Caiti and Steve's downtown Detroit wedding.  It is going to be an amazing celebration for two people that were made for each other.  Can't wait to see you two say I do! 

Baby Shea

Photographing the Barlage family is always such a treat for me.  Jess and I were good friends in high school and played volleyball and softball together.  After graduating and attending different colleges we didn't see each other much, so it has been so wonderful seeing her and her family regularly to capture this season of life with them.  

Their newest addition, Shea, totally rocked her newborn session.  And by rocked her newborn session I mean she slept the whole time and let her older brother crawl all over her.  What a champ!  Her big brother was so excited to introduce me to Shea and he wanted to be near her at all times.  Too sweet!  

Being a part of these special moments with families is something I will never take for granted. It is so encouraging for me to see the way these families adjust and welcome their newest additions with such selflessness and love.  How did I get so lucky? I will always feel so thankful to be capturing these irreplaceable memories with families.

Matt + Danielle

Where do I start with this shoot?  I guess from the very beginning.  Danielle and I attended college together and are actually sorority sisters (AZD!)  Danielle sent me a Facebook message a few months back mentioning she had been following along with my little business and she was planning a northern Michigan wedding for 2017 with her fiancé, Matt.  I was ecstatic when they asked me to capture their wedding day. Danielle mentioned that she would like to do a winter engagement shoot and we set a date in January, that of course, we had to reschedule because there was no snow to be seen.  Thankfully there was a perfect blanket of snow for our rescheduled date in February. 

I met Matt and Danielle at their farmhouse in Marshall and immediately knew why they wanted to do their pictures in Marshall.  They both attended high school there, are renovating a farmhouse there together, and Matt's family has the most incredible cabin there.  When Danielle mentioned the cabin I wasn't sure why she was so excited to use this location.  I hopped in the back of their Jeep, because they didn't think my car could make it on the 2 track, and I quickly realized why she was so excited about the location.  It was perfect!   The rustic cabin (think heated by a wood burning stove) sits in the middle of the woods, surrounded by a majestic river, warn out canoes, and untouched nature as far as you can see.  As if that wasn't good enough, we ended their shoot at their favorite brewery, Dark Horse. 

Now that you know how perfect the setting was for this shoot, it is also important for you to know how incredible this couple is.  From the moment I entered their house we were laughing and joking the entire time.  As I typically do at the beginning of a shoot, I warned Danielle and Matt that they may feel a little uncomfortable cuddling and kissing in front of me at first, but it is all part of the experience.  These two were naturals in front of the camera and couldn't hide how much they wanted to be near each other if they tried!  I loved their playful banter and the way Matt doted on Danielle.

Oh and it would be remiss of me not to mention that puppy!  How insanely cute is that little guy!  I hope you enjoy scrolling through this engagement session as much as I enjoyed capturing it.  I am already counting down the days till I get to have these two in front of the camera again.  Happy planning, Matt and Danielle!

Baby Elias

This newborn shoot was so good for my heart.  I walked into Heather and Joe's home and it was a photographers dream- beautifully decorated to reflect their family's unique style. clutter free, natural light pouring in, and a bedroom with a big bed with white linens.  All of the good things.  Not to mention, it smelled heavenly- so basically I was about to move in.  We chatted for awhile and then quickly got started on the shoot since little Elias was sleepy and clearly very ready for his time in the spotlight. This guy was an angel, and didn't make a peep until the very last set of shots, where he politely let us know he was done modeling for the morning. 

Heather and Joe doted on their little guy.  They passed him between mom and dad, giving him gentle kisses with each hand off.  They seemed to have settled into their role as mom and dad seamlessly in the week since they brought Elias home.  When I asked them to just look at their little guy, they would really look at him- just get lost in his little features and whisper to each other how in love they were with the newest addition to their family.  

During my time with Heather and Joe we started chatting about all of the things that a baby brings into your home- the toys, clothing and blankets.  I asked Heather how she kept things minimal, and she shared with me the sweetest reminder I have heard in awhile.  She said, "all he needs is to know the love of Jesus displayed through us."  Wow, powerful, huh?  In a world where we think about the registries and showers, headbands and blankets- it was such an amazing reminder.  I am not a momma yet, but one day I do hope to be one, and I hope I continue to repeat Heather's words to myself.  Because what more can we give little ones than to truely display to them the love of Jesus. 

Kyle + Lisa

A few weeks before their wedding, Lisa called and asked if I would be interested in photographing her and Kyle's intimate courthouse wedding, and of course the answer was a quick yes!  She shared with me that she would love to capture the intimacy of the wedding and a few photographs of their family sharing this memory together- love, family and intimate ceremonies.  She was speaking my language.

We met at the Birmingham courthouse and everyone huddled inside before their ceremony. Once the judge arrived we all moved outside to the steps of the courthouse.  It was a perfect fall evening, and the sun was just setting as a pink light settled over the city and all of the lights started to come on.  Kyle and Lisa shared their vows with their families as witnesses and were united as husband and wife.  The moment was so raw and beautiful, and just made me fall in love with love all over again.  

We took advantage of the gorgeous golden hour light and captured a few images of their family together, and wondered around downtown Birmingham for their portraits before heading off to a private candlelit dinner.  The evening was a beautiful celebration of love and family, and it was a true honor to be a part of your wedding day, Kyle and Lisa.