2017

This was a year for me to find my voice. If you know me, that might sound funny because I’m quite a chatty person. Nonetheless, it’s taken work and time and patience to get to know myself and learn how to say what I really mean and not say what I don’t really mean. And how to take the photos I want to take and not the ones I don’t want to take (or can’t take!). Thank you so much to my community for supporting me and listening to me and giving me space to learn and grow. And thank you thank you THANK YOU to all my amazing clients. I literally would not be able to do this without you; you are what makes my job a dream come true.

This year I loved:

  • geometric landscapes
  • warm + soft colors
  • a photo for the sake of the memory + a story, not just the aesthetic
  • out of focus black + whites
  • dancing brides
  • crying grooms
  • a shot that looks like a still from an old french film
  • shadows
  • romance, romance, and more romance

This year I took photos in:

  • Dominican Republic
  • Whistler, BC
  • Seattle, WA
  • St. Paul, MN
  • Northport, MI
  • Leland, MI
  • Grand Haven, MI
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Fennville, MI
  • Coloma, MI
  • Sweet home Holland, MI

Cheers to send 2017 out and cheers to welcome 2018 in!

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2016

To be honest, I’ve written about 6 different first sentences to this post. This year was… everything at the same time. You know how you come inside from the freezing cold and can feel your fingers thaw? They tingle, throb and feel hot and cold at the same time. Your knuckles ache a little, and you know they wouldn’t ache if you hadn’t scooped some snow in your bare hands to toss to the dog. But you did, and they do, and that’s that. For me, 2016 was my life freezing up and thawing out again. Many photos from my year have hours of a story behind them. The last photo I took of my Paka before he passed away, Easter Sunday the week I came home after a major surgery, my younger brother’s wedding, our nephew driving the boat, the pregnancies and newborns… the whole of life in those photos. I love to share these photos with you, but I mostly need to share them with myself. These photos show me that there was life in that year. 2016 had light and growth and giggles and kisses and water and green and birth and good.

This year I loved:

  • a little bit of dark mixed in with all the light
  • the imperfect, out of focus, blurry black + whites
  • wind
  • that moment right before a kiss happens
  • almost-symmetry
  • children telling each other secrets

This year I took photos in:

  • Lancaster, PA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Ely, MN
  • Minneapolis + St. Paul, MN
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Whitehall, MI
  • Detroit, MI
  • St. Ignace, MI
  • Grand Rapids, MI

And of course many, many, manymanymany photos were taken on the ever-lovely Lake Michigan in my sweet home of Holland.

I’ll stop writing soon, but must thank Susie Herwig and Kaitlin Grace Photography for second shooting for me; they are kind and talented photographers!

My last and highest tribute is to my husband. Eric believes in me like he believes in the ground beneath his feet. Don’t ask me how, but he does. This year he fought for me. Not only did he fight for our life together and my health, but he fought for my creativity and my joy. This is for you, Eric.

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2015

I always love looking back on a year that’s gone by. It reminds me how long a year is. It’s easy to think a year flies by and is gone as soon as it came, but really so much happens within the time of 12 months. It’s slowing down to think about it that makes the difference for me. History is important, and I want to make sure I work on remembering my own history.

2015 was the year of adventure. In the past year, I went a desert for the first time and saw one desert hare and zero snakes. I learned how to apply for 12 Indian visas (Very complicated. Very.) and rode a rickshaw and pet an elephant. I dipped my toes in 3 different oceans and swam in my favorite great lake. I got to meet new people and grow closer to old friends.

Cheers to 2015!


 

 

Tulip Time

Every May, the city of Holland, MI doubles in size when people come from near and far to congregate for parades, watch wooden shoed Klompen dangers, and- most importantly- smell, take photos with, meander through, but certainly never pick the thousands of tulips lining every street and park. The kids get half days off school and everyone pays far too much for amazingly unhealthy and tasty deep fried snacks from food trucks. Shops close early and roads are closed off for everyone and their mother to flock to 8th St.

This year, Eric and I had no choice but to join in every festivity since we live right downtown. Though we had to suffer through cars jam-packed up and down both sides of our street all week, we had so much fun walking downtown for the carnival, parades, and fat-balls (they are amazing, no matter how deadly they sound!) with our afternoon coffee. Holland sure has it’s own flaws and flukes as does every city, but Tulip Time is certainly not one of them!

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Boundary Waters, MN / Pictured Rocks, MI

August 2014

For those of you who don’t know, I have a big family. And we’re pretty fond of each other. Now that we’re all “adults” (whatever that means…), the 6 Courey siblings are starting to scatter a bit. Gabe & Trena are rocking it in Milwaukee, as Carleigh & Aaron are in Whitehall, MI. Jake has been off in Kentucky, Minnesota, and sometimes Pennsylvania to visit the lovely Abbey. Si’s in GR,  and Sophie is hanging around Holland with Eric and I (and the most amazing Mom, Dad, kitty and pup in the world). All this to say, the most wonderful part of our summer vacation adventures were that we got to do them together (Expect Aaron– we missed you!!!).

This summer, the Courey Crew road tripped up to my sweet in-laws’ cabin in Ely, MN. It was such a spectacular week: we canoed into the Boundary Waters, hiked at Tettegouche State Park and Palisade Head, read lots of Harry Potter and C.S. Lewis and autobiographies and sci-fi novels, cruised around Fall lake at sunset on the old speed boat, talked about life, made s’mores on s’mores on s’mores, finished a puzzle and a half, and learned how to loon-call. Then we came on back to the mother-land (loveliest MI) and spent a day at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore before driving home.

There’s something unique about family. I won’t go on about it as long as I could, but this summer I’ve really realized how specific relationships between siblings and with parents are. When two people become extremely close friends, it’s usually because they’ve revealed a part of themselves to each other that not everyone (or maybe anyone) has ever known. What I realized on our vacation is that the individuals in a family have a special bond. Those deep parts- where our most shameful weaknesses, darkest fears, and most beautiful strengths lie- don’t have to be told to each other. In living life from start to present with 50% of the same genes, very similar life history & context, and each other’s company, siblings just sort of understand those things about each other. And then it’s just a blast when you get to watch those siblings fall in love with their other half and welcome them into our life. This state of relationship is vulnerable and can be intense. And it has the potential to be an extremely beautiful miracle and what I think is a piece of heaven. I am blown away by the grace I find in my relationships with my siblings and parents. With that said, I can’t wait for next year’s vacation!

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2014

What a year 2014 was! It was a year of change, to say the least. I graduated from undergrad, then Eric and I moved from Chicago to west MI where he started grad school and I didn’t go back to school for the first time since 1996. I started a couple new jobs that stretch and challenge me and I absolutely love. We returned to old friends and made some new ones. And as I said goodbye to the Chicago that I love, I said hello to so much good and many opportunities in the Holland that I love.

It was also a great year for photography! My business expanded immensely including having my first summer full of my own weddings to shoot. Not to mention all the loving families, excitement of graduations and engagements, and the holidays and summer vacations. What fun! In 2014 I was so blessed by encouragement and guidance from artists and business