A few weeks ago I blogged Patrick + Lisa's Caribbean, Punta Cana destination wedding. If you missed it, you can check it out by clicking here. On our first day on the island, we were walking along the beach discussing the wedding day, and we came across this abandoned hacienda tucked far back, behind a forest of palm trees. The estate and surrounding property had never finished being built. It was pretty fantastic, and literally, stopped us in our tracks. At this point, we knew we had to do a photo shoot there, so the morning after the wedding, we took a field trip back to this jaw dropping estate, and had a fun little session. I wish I could take home the amazing "palm tree forest" located on the property. It was like nothing I had ever seen in all my travels. I hope you enjoy this little bit of paradise! I most definitely have to head back here someday. It was just too good!!
"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." -Jacques Yves Coustea
This quote is me in a nutshell. All of my happiest memories growing up were by the water. It's why my husband and I chose to live on the water, and why I constantly strive to be surrounded by anything that reminds me of it. The water is what brings me my biggest sense of calm and peace. You can most definitely say, I am cast in its spell.
I don't typically begin my blogs with a paragraph that's all about me, but I feel like for this, it's quite fitting. When Patrick + Lisa originally reached out to me to photograph their family reception here in Michigan, I thought, absolutely, but who's photographing your actual wedding? We all know how much I am in love with photographing love, and a couples wedding day is the epitome of that greatest love. So when I got the opportunity to photograph a wedding by the sea, it really was a dream come true for me. My heart honestly couldn't have been happier to be there by their side, in such a majestic setting.
So a month ago, we made our way to the Caribbean, and landed in the beautiful, sunny, and tad bit windy island of Dominican Republic. I could feel the excitement and anticipation of photographing in a new place, which allows me to step out of my comfort zone, and be challenged by a new environment. The day of the wedding was windier than normal as the locals confirmed, but it really did work in our favor. I mean, Lisa's dress + that wind were pure magic!
This day really was so special to everyone present. As a wedding photographer, it's my job to document the day. Yes, there are times where I will give directions or prompts, but my absolute favorite moments of the day are the ones I can just stand back and capture what is happening in the moment. Whether it's a mother helping her daughter get ready, or the groom seeing his bride for the first time. Being able to capture those brief, split second moments of the emotions that ensue, the sheer happiness that comes from friends and family, and the couple themselves, are what feeds my soul, and drives this passion of mine. There were so many of these moments present on this day. The wedding was small, intimate, and perfect in every way. Patrick + Lisa were radiating happiness, as were their family. I can't fully express how much joy I felt just being there to witness it and document it. Thank you so much Patrick + Lisa for allowing me to be a part of your incredible day and trip. I can't wait to capture your family reception and continue to celebrate you both! xoxo
Bridal: Maggie Sottero
Menswear: Joseph Abboud
Invites: Lezlee Downing
Ben + Melissa kicked off my 2016 wedding season with a showstopping day! I can't even put into words how incredible their day was. They got married on April 2nd, in Ann Arbor, which just so happened to fall on the annual Hash Bash event. This ultimately lead to some really great stories that I know not only they, but I'll be telling for years to come.
I'll be honest, I'm a little sad to get these photos delivered and stored neatly away on my hard drives. I have had a smile on my face editing these images, as big as the one I had when I was taking them. Ben + Melissa exude happiness, and pure JOY. One look at these photos will show you exactly what I mean. If there was ever a smile so contagious, it would be Melissa's. This day for her and Ben was years in the making, and the happiness, love and joy that was shared between them and their families was like nothing I've ever experienced. I honestly felt like a member of the family by the end of the night. It was just that powerful, and a day I will not soon, nor ever forget. <3
So, as I mentioned, this day was full of surprises and fun stories. A beautiful spring day turned into winter, as we left the church to be surprised with a blizzardy snowfall. We headed out into the city for photos, and even had a celebrity siting of the Violin Monster, who graciously posed for a photo op. ;) We then headed to Literati Bookstore, where Melissa, who's Masters is in Children's Literature, has a soft spot for this beautiful little shop. They typed love letters to each other, found their favorite book in the Children's section, and beautiful memories were made.
Melissa + Ben, I can't put into words how much I loved your day. I know your joy, happiness and love that's evident in your smiles will last you a lifetime. Thank you for having me along. xoxo
So, here it is. I pondered whether I was going to put together a highlight reel this year, but I just had to. Because this year was just THAT good! I finish every year as my best year yet, and this year continues in much the same way. I've spent a few hours going through all of my wedding and portrait session galleries, and am left feeling so fulfilled. Looking through these images brings me completely back. No only do I relive the day I took them, but I'm smiling all over again at the amazing people in them. I can go on and on about how much I love this "job" of mine, but it's because of every person in these images who trust me to capture these moments for them, that I am able to continue to pursue my passion. Being behind the camera has always been my happy place, but being able to be a part of people's stories, and documenting these moments takes it to a whole new level. To all of my amazing "clients", (we all know we're friends now), thank you from the bottom of this photographers heart, for trusting me with capturing your love. It makes me smile, it makes me giddy, and well, it just makes me happy! Wishing everyone an amazing 2016, full of more love, more happiness, and more smiles for all! <3
Now, sit back, and enjoy... and p.s. there's a lot of images here, because well, I just couldn't narrow it down any further. Images are displayed in no particular order, so scroll through, and find yourself. :)
Let me take you back to a day this summer, where the temperature reached 92 degrees, and the heat index had to be rounding out to 100. The sun was bursting through the sky the day Matt & Lindsey said their I-do's. I've been smiling while putting these photos together for their blog. What I love most is all of the little stolen moments and glances they kept giving each other throughout the whole day. They're some of my favorites to date.
So let's head on back to July, and check out a few of my favorites from Matt & Lindsey's gorgeous day. I can feel the warmth already. ;)
Ceremony: Christ the Good Shepard Church, Lincoln Park, Michigan
Venue: The Holiday Inn, Southgate, Michigan
Cake: Cakes by Stephanie
A big thank you to Lorree Smith for second shooting with me!