Katie & Troy | Spring Lake, MI Wedding

23 01 2012

Katie and Troy were married in Spring Lake back in July.  It was an amazing day full of family and friends.  The couple and their party were relaxed, outgoing, and full of energy.  It was the first time I ever photographed a bride playing volleyball in her dress!  The one small hitch – trouble with the air conditioning at the reception – didn’t slow this group down.  They kept the dance floor full and gave me plenty of picture opportunities.  Congratulations, Katie and Troy!

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Friday’s Favorites – Pink Flowers

20 01 2012

On this cold, wintry day (as most are in Michigan in January!), I’ve pulled out one of my favorite spring-time pictures.  Today, it’s not the lighting or the shutter speed or the subject that I love; it’s the depth of field.  Depth of field refers to how much of the image is in focus (i.e. a blurry or sharp background).  In this picture, I opened my aperture – which controls depth of field – all the way to f/2.2.  The background became so blurry, it was no longer discernible.  I remember that it was a fairly windy day when I took this picture, and catching the main flower in the small space that was in focus was difficult.  It took patience and quite a few shots, but I’m happy with the results!





Bekah & Spencer | Grand Rapids Engagement

17 01 2012

I might be a little partial (the bride-to-be is my cousin), but I absolutely loved Bekah and Spencer’s engagement session!  We started in downtown Grand Rapids at the blue tiled wall on Monroe per Bekah’s request.

Then we wandered along the Grand River and through the city, eventually returning to our cars.

Finally, we drove out to Roselle Park on Grand River Dr in Ada.

Bekah and Spencer braved the cold, and we got some amazing pictures!  I can’t wait for the wedding in August 🙂





Friday’s Favorites – Clearwater Falls

23 09 2011

While driving to Seattle with my husband, we stopped at Clearwater Falls in Oregon.  It was a wonderfully tranquil moment.  We were alone at the small park; the only noise came from the rushing water.  The pine tree forest was quiet and peaceful.  We spent a near 30 minutes exploring around the river before a family of four arrived.

I love the patches of sunlight that broke through the trees, and the waterfall itself was like no other that I had ever seen, cascading over and under clumps of moss-lined roots, logs, and dirt.

If you’re ever in the Umpqua National Forest, be sure to stop by Clearwater Falls!





Friday’s Favorites – MacIntosh Falls

9 09 2011

While hiking in Nova Scotia last year, my husband and I made our way to MacIntosh Falls in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.  It was an easy walk over relatively flat terrain.  We had the trail to ourselves and took some time lingering at the falls.  I love the cascade of the water over the rocks.  It was a beautiful and tranquil scene.





Wedding Tip Wednesday || The Engagement Session

7 09 2011

I include an engagement session in all of my wedding packages.  Why?  Because I feel an engagement session is an important part of the wedding experience.  First, it gives me a chance to get to know the couple.  Occasionally, I’ll only meet with one person when discussing my packages and showing off examples (it’s usually the bride!).  The engagement session gives the other half of the couple a chance to meet their photographer.  As I’ve said in the past, the photographer is a big part of your wedding day and having a good connection is incredibly beneficial (https://branderphoto.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/wedding-tip-wednesday-find-the-right-photographer/).

Second, an engagement session gives the couple time in front of the camera.  Not everyone is relaxed when they’re having their pictures taken.  The last thing you want is to dread the sight of your photographer on your wedding day.  Engagement pictures give you the opportunity to get comfortable with your photographer’s style, direction, and personality.

More than getting to know the personalities of my brides and grooms, an engagement session gives me a chance to determine the best way to photograph the couple.  We can discuss preferences in style, posing, angles, etc.  Also, some people have physical characteristics that they want minimized or prominently displayed.  Knowing this before the wedding is always helpful.

And, possibly the biggest argument in favor of engagement sessions – not all of the pictures in your house will be in your formal wedding attire!  It’s nice to have a few pictures in normal clothes, everyday make-up, and typical hair styles.





Friday’s Favorites – Arches National Park

2 09 2011

Arches National Park is absolutely breathtaking.  Rain and clouds in the morning gave way to a perfect day as my husband and I hiked through the park.  We found this scene after visiting Dark Angel, just past the Double O Arch.  While the Devils Garden Primitive Loop isn’t for everyone, if you’re comfortable with heights and difficult terrain, I highly recommend the 7.2 mile hike.  This is just one of the unforgettable views you’ll discover!








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