metro Detroit photographer

Combs Family

I am loving fun, cuddly in home lifestyle sessions. There is something so beautiful about capturing a family in their home.  In the place where they do life together and make the majority of their memories.  It feels really intimate and real, and I think that is why I think they are such a unique way to capture the essence of who you are as a family. I highly recommend them- especially as we move into the colder months here in Michigan.

But anyways back to the story of the Combs family.  At the beginning of a session I will typically chat with mom and dad about expectations for the session.  I will let them know how I plan to organize the shoot and then ask them if there are any specific must have shots. I have photographed the Combs family a bunch of times in the past and I should have known that Lauren's response would be easy and carefree. When I asked if there were any specific shots she hoped to get out of the shoot she said, 'Just the kids playing! I don't even mind if they look at the camera or not, let's just photograph us hanging out at home.' A photographer's dream response! 

Well funny thing, her kids are so use to seeing me around them with a camera that they were slightly confused when we got out the toy cars and just started playing.  Their oldest kind of looked at me like, so are you going to ask me to smile now? Should I look at you? It was the sweetest thing, because he knows the routine! After awhile they warmed up to the idea of just hanging out, reading books, and swinging in the backyard.  And I am loving how these images capture how their family does life every day.  Thank you for letting me capture your everyday story, Combs Family!

Senior Spokesmodel

I am so excited for this announcement! I started chatting with my niece, who is a sophomore in high school, about helping me out part time with my business this summer.  One thing led to another and we started chatting about starting a senior spokesmodel program- and the rest is history! I am always excited to grow my business organically and continue to make meaningful connections with others. This is the perfect opportunity to do just that. I am looking forward to creating a community that can work together and learn from one another.  

So, what is a senior spokesmodel? 

Senior spokesmodels represent the Caryn Ashley Photography brand to their classmates, friends and teammates.  Being a spokesmodel comes with a whole bunch of benefits for the high school senior, including a discounted senior session, the chance to earn valuable marketing skills and a summer income, and fun shoots and freebies along the way.  I am excited to pamper and learn from these seniors throughout the summer as they represent and share the Caryn Ashley Photography senior experience. 

Who can apply?

Any metro Detroit, incoming high school senior can apply to be a spokesmodel.  The ideal seniors are outgoing, fun, and sociable.  Spokesmodels are willing to step out of their comfort zone, feel confident in front of the camera and want to share their senior experience with their peers.

I would love to be a part of the Caryn Ashley Photography spokesmodel program! 

If you or a high school senior you know is interested in joining the senior spokesmodel team the application can be found here.  Applications must be submitted by July 6.  I am so excited to grow this team with you!

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! 

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.

Halberg Family

It is such an honor to photograph extended families.  Over the holidays I was contacted by a whole bunch of families to see if I could photograph their whole gang while everyone was in town celebrating together.  I think it is so important that these families make it a priority to take time out of their visit to snap some pictures together.  I come from a big family, and although we are together all the time, we hardly ever take pictures with everyone in them.  And when we do get one of those pictures, it always becomes my favorite photograph of the year.  So, I am always eager to work around everyone's schedules and fit these shoots in, even if everyone is only in town for a weekend.

The Halberg family was incredible to work with.  They kept each other laughing the whole time.  I love seeing aunts and uncles love on their nieces and nephews and this was certainly the case with this bunch.  I was exceptionally grateful for their fun interactions when it came to getting smiles out of middle school boys!  All those kiddos absolutely adored Grandma and Grandpa and were eager to cuddle up with them any chance they got. It really was an honor to be a part of their family's Thanksgiving celebration, and I hope you cherish these photographs for years to come, Halberg family!

Miller Family

If you can't tell, this guy is my big brother.  Which means I am lucky enough to call these gorgeous humans my family.  Every year I get to photograph their family at a new location.  This year when Amy and I chatted about their shoot she let me know that she was specifically eyeing a golden hour shoot.  She was speaking my language on that one!  We timed it perfectly and the setting sun gave us the perfect glow to capture their family.  It felt like each turn we made around the park, that we found a more gorgeous glow of light peeking out through the trees.

I have to be honest I haven't made it a big priority to time shoots around golden hour in the past.  There are usually more pressing elements to scheduling like naps, meal times, soccer practices, the list goes on and on.  But you guys- let's shoot at golden hour!  I am serious, I just love the way these photographs turned out.  It totally made me realize that shooting at golden hour needs to become a priority when possible because it gives the images such a soft, gorgeous look. 

Alright I know I just chatted a lot about the light, but also these people.  I love them.  It has been so much fun to watch these 2 little humans quickly growing into young adults.  They are outgoing and sweet and being their aunt is such a pleasure.  And I couldn't have started this business of mine without the help of Todd and Amy, through the years it feels like they have been on staff in my personal marketing department.  Thanks Miller family, I sure do love you guys!

Baby Luke

Oh you guys, can we please take a minute to talk about how cute big siblings are with their newborn baby brother or sister.  Yes, I will be totally honest that when parents e-mail me saying they would like to get some photographs done with their 1 week old and 2 year old a slight wave of panic runs through my body.  Attempting to get a 2 year old to sit still can be exhausting in itself, but add a newborn baby to their lap and who knows what will happen!  But when it goes right, it is so good! Thankfully, I have met some pretty amazing big siblings these past few months and they are willing to love on their new baby sibling for at least a few moments.

Graham was such a rock star big brother during our time together.  I first asked him if he might want to hold baby Luke and he answered with a very direct and very polite, no thank you.  Oh no, I thought.  As we talked to Graham about how important his job is as a big brother, he slowly decided that he was up for the task.  He held his brother, laid with him on the floor and kept placing his little hand right on Luke's head.  These two are certainly going to be lucky to have each other.  

The interaction between big and little brother was so sweet, and I feel so thankful I was able to capture it.  Welcome to the world, little brother Luke! 

Wilson Family

I just adore the Wilson Family.  Nikki & Jake are another pair of Albion grads- I know they show up all over this blog!  Ted and Jake were in the same fraternity and Nikki and I were in the same sorority, and after Nikki graduated she came back to help coach the Albion volleyball team while I was playing, so our lives have been intertwined all over the place.  I have seen Nikki and Jake a few times throughout the years as their family has grown, but it was so nice to spend some quality time with them. 

Their three little ones are off the charts cute.  They each have their own little personalities, and love to interact and take care of each other.  At different points during the shoot I heard their oldest daughter say, 'mommy, Miss Caryn is a really great photographer' and 'can you please wait a minute, mom, someone is calling my cell phone.'  Oh the personality!

We had to reschedule a few times because of the weather, but it certainly worked out for us!  The morning of their shoot a thick blanket of snow covered the ground, so we snuck outside for a few wintery shots and then made our way to downtown Rochester and used those gorgeous lights as our final backdrop.  Just like any good shoot it ended with frozen yogurt on a 10 degree day, because we all know I am a big fan of treats after a successful shoot!  Thanks so much for sharing the day with me, Wilson family!