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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Caspian

The DeWaards became 5 this spring and let me tell you- it’s just what the world needed! Jason + Holli and their sweet three munchkins are a family who makes you feel like you belong. Their home is so welcoming, rarely without warm baked goods nearby. Eric and I have spent many evenings pouring out our hearts at their kitchen table over our favorite lentil curry and belly laughing about our favorite Office scenes together. Also, I’m going to have to spend every Monday morning with those sweet kiddos for the rest of my life because I know everything’s going to be ok so long as they’re in the world.

I’m so happy to have this family belong to my little corner of the world. And we love you lots, Cass kid!!

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Kristen + Sang

08/05/17

Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Leland Fishtown, Sleeping Bear Dunes

This photoshoot was the making of a friendship if I’ve ever had one! We met at Lemonjello’s in Holland early in the morning before jumping in Kristen + Sang’s subaru and heading north. While stopping for lemon San Pellegrino and a snack, we caught wind of a pancake breakfast at the old airport- who could pass that up?! So after seeing some awesome old planes we headed to our first destination in the Leelanau Peninsula- the Grand Traverse Lighthouse where the pair got engaged. The sun was sweet and the water was as clear as ever! What a spot. After romping around, we lunched in Leland Fishtown and moseyed down the docks in the sparkly sunshine. Our last stop took us driving around curvy tree-canopied lanes out to Sleeping Bear Dunes. If you’re in the mood for a breathtaking view, go to Sleeping Bear Dunes. My word- there’s nothing like it! The big blue expanse goes on forever and you just want it to swallow you up. Sang and Kristen are kind and hilarious and adventurous, and it was such a wonderful day to spend with them. I can’t wait for their wedding day this coming fall!

Are you interested in an adventure photo shoot with your loved one? Contact me to learn more!!

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Kierstynn + Dan

Boy oh boy do I just get the best ones! You know how some couples are sort of that “opposites attract” thing where one person is really loud and the other person is really quiet, or one is really athletic and the other is really smart? Well these two are not that kind of couple when it comes to being sweet and kind and just really really good people. They BOTH are ALL of those things! I am honored to have a little peek into Kiersynn + Dan’s story together and to see how they treat each other and those around them with kindness. I can’t wait for their wedding coming up in just a handful of days!!

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Dominican Republic

MARCH 2017

Since I was in High School, I’ve been involved in an organization called Young Life. If you’ve never heard of it, look it up! It’s an awesome faith based organization that has staff and local groups (called clubs) in over 100 countries world wide and is all about doing life together with students of all ages and walks of life. This spring I had the opportunity to help lead a trip to the Young Life camp in the Dominican Republic, Pico Escondido. For some stories and posts from our trip, take a look at our team blog here.

The month of March, especially in Michigan, is almost always dreary and gray and wet and cold. It’s usually my slowest month for photography, and it’s always one of my most discouraging months of the year. Not only was this trip to the DR a life-giving experience for me as a Young Life-er and a lover of travel and culture, but it was a refreshing time as a photographer.

Part of my role as a team leader was to photograph the trip and our experiences in the DR. It was so amazing to use my passions and gifts in such an adventurous time! I first used a DSLR camera on a trip to India in high school, and it was love at first click. Photographing the colors, the faces, the ever-churning sea of people and cows and rickshaws and palms… all these things stole my heart in India. I got to be that photographer again in the DR a couple weeks ago. Victor Hugo wrote, “to travel is to be born and to die at every instant.” No, taking photos doesn’t mean that I get to forever hold onto the new experiences I’m born into through travel. The scenes of school kids we drove by in the bus, the homes I peeked into as we walked down the slender sidewalks, the smell of the humid jungle we hiked through to find the waterfall, the feeling of my small soft plastic cup in my fingers full of steaming dark Dominican coffee… Those moments must die as soon as they’re born because there is life and a whole world in them that I can’t take away with me. But photographs remind me of the new life I had in those moments, and the ways that I am forever changed by them.

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Conor + Yuka

August, 2016

This botanical summer wedding on the water was all elegance and excitement. Conor + Yuka met at Hope College while Yuka was studying abroad in the US from Japan. During the span of their dating years Yuka led a trip for Hope students to spend a week in Japan, during which Conor met her family for the first time. After graduating they traveled back to Japan together again to spend more time with Yuka’s family who later came to West Michigan for their wedding. Needless to say, these two have come together from opposite ends of the world to form one new family! Their wedding was really amazing to be a part of. Conor + Yuka integrated traditions from each of their families and cultures, and for a day had all their worlds wrapped up in one place.

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Barret + Emily

Barret and Emily’s wedding day was absolutely beautiful. The flowers were both delicate and wild, the venues were tasteful and comfortable, and the decor was on point. The thing that stood out the most about the day, though, was the joy. There were a couple times I tried to get a serious photo of Barret + Emily. I’d ask them to hold a straight face, and they’d just burst into giggles and kisses and it was absolutely perfect! Not only did Barret and Emily have a hard time containing their smiles, but their bridal party and guests were just giddy. It was easy for anyone to tell that this was a group of people that was over the moon to celebrate together, and ready to dance long into the night to prove it. The way friends surrounded this couple, the kindness and joy their families showed each other, and the brave step Barret + Emily took into the world together- those were the highlights of the day. And the exquisite decorations and venues were icing on the cake!

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Scott + Elizabeth

This was a beautiful day full of sunshine! Scott + Elizabeth were so sweet and at ease- especially with each other. I love how each couple has their own language together, and it’s a huge perk of the job that I get to see it. The golden light we had all day was the perfect match for the occasion.

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Y O U R W E D D I N G F R E E ! ! !

IMG_1753Thanks for participating in our Travel Wedding Giveaway!

If you are getting married in 2016 or 2017 in a coastal region or in the South-west of the U.S., or internationally, let me come take your wedding photos! Enter below– tell me about you as a couple and I will be in touch soon.

 

 

 

Kellie + Jason

Kellie and Jason are two people who know how to celebrate! Their wedding, tucked away in the Yosemite area, was overflowing with the excitement of their loved ones who attended and helped with the beautiful day. And that mountaintop dance lasted late into the night!  Jason and Kellie share a passion for nature and exploring, so we made a journey deep into Yosemite National Park on their big day. What a way to celebrate their new marriage! It was a privilege to witness such a sacred ceremony take place against a backdrop of such natural glory and splendor.