Posts tagged real love

Growth and Balance

I could start out this post as a giant feel of gratitude, which will ALWAYS be how I feel, but this year was about growth and balance. I am utterly obsessed with my career and sometimes don’t know how to separate myself to enjoy my own personal adventures. I care a lot, always putting my clients and friends first. I am always eager to learn new skills and always wanting to be better within every aspect. 2018 was my year, to put myself in the top priority list. This sounds like an easy task, but it wasn’t. 

Looking through the adventures that 2018 has brought, I have never felt so humbled and so happy. I’ve shared so many life events with you all. The excitement and racing heart of a new engagement, tears of happiness and smiles of a blissful wedding day. The new feels of expanding your family with the stages of maternity, the new love that your heart has felt for the first time with your newborn. The playfulness and bond of family time. Standing proud of your achievements as a senior and what the next chapter has to offer.  The opening of your mind with creativeness, so we can pull out what makes you, you, with portraits.

You all chose me to share this with, and that is something that makes my heart overflow.


You leave me speechless and with a heart so full. And just when I think to myself “How can I even feel more than I do now.. ?”

My heart expands and keeps filling.

So..what do I mean by balance? I could just schedule a day off for myself and call it good, right?

My kind of balance is taking in the small moments life offers me daily. Like, taking an hour and walking along the shoreline of Lake Huron, feeling the sand beneath my feet and listening to the water rush to meet me. Laying in the cool grass with the sun upon my face, or taking a bike ride through the wooded trail by my home. Actually dancing in the rain of a warm summer day or sitting around a bonfire with your best friends while playing music.. having your morning coffee outside and listening to the birds sing..

These are the small things I would brush off because I had my own deadlines to meet or there was always work to be done..

I learned that I needed to make sure that I was keeping a balance, for my own personal growth along with growth within my business. I have been working hard, pretty much nonstop at building over the last 5 years, that I almost forgot how to separate myself and take in the moment. This is still a work in progress everyday but, it had lead to the most incredible year.

2019 is already starting to top it with the adventures lined up and I am ready to chase the light!

On an end note, I want to say a huge thank you to my partnerships with the most influential people in my industry who have my best interest always, MeghanMelia Photography, Justine Castle Photography and Jennifer A. Berggren Productions.

And also a huge shout out to Eighth Day Media and the Port Huron Prowlers for the continued growth in friendship and business.

CHEERS TO 2019!!

Angel + Kurt

If you’re ready to laugh and smile the whole way through a gallery, then this one is for you.

Angel, this beautiful and talented woman has been a dear friend since 19. She is ALWAYS laughing, always has a big beautiful smile and great energy. She and Kurt met at college in Michigan and moved to NY shortly after, I never was able to meet Kurt until the wedding day. One thing is for sure, this was a true match. Kurt smiles and laughs in equals measures with Angel. He also made their wedding cake, yeah.. talk about impressive!

They held their incredibly fun wedding in Angel’s parents backyard. I think I can speak for a lot of people who know the Assi’s, to say they are one incredible family. So many smiles, inappropriate and hilarious jokes combined with high energy..  I couldn’t help but laugh all day with them. 

This partly sunny day was the greatest mix on top of the surprise belly dancer, our trip to the beach for portraits and Angel and Kurt’s first dance/head bang as husband and wife. 

Candice + Dave

It has been a decade, yes that's right.. 10 YEARS ago on December 31st that Candice and Dave got married, in a Toledo courthouse. That summer they renewed their vows with a celebration, a wedding dress and the jewelry Candice has on in the images. At that time Candice wore a plain silver band as they couldn't afford the ring they admired for her. WELL! To start off their 10 year anniversary, Dave surprised Candice with a custom made ring that was made to match the one she had wanted. I couldn't help but be mushy with these two as we adventured around Campus Martius in Detroit. Yes it was cold cold cold.. we took little breaks and grabbed coffee to warm up. 
But seriously, these two!!
And as two local Detroit photographers, a husband and wife team, I couldn't help but feel so honored that they wanted ME to do their anniversary shoot.

Laurie + Chad

Real love.

Laurie and Chad, these two are some incredible human beings. I have come to know them over the past few months leading to their wedding a couple weeks ago. What first intrigued me about them as people was the beginning of their love story and also that Laurie is a Harry Potter super fan like myself. Go ahead judge us, haha.

I have to give a little back story about Chad and why I feel like he and Laurie fit so well. Chad was involved in a bad motorcycle accident in 2010 when three deer stepped out in front of him while going 60mph. Losing control, he went down into a ditch and hit a tree. With months in the hospital and in a wheelchair for over a year with ripped nerves from his arm and spine. Chad wasn't suppose to walk again, his whole left side is paralyzed. Mind you, Chad and Laurie met in 2012 while out with friends. When I was in my consultation with them, after Laurie informed me that they weren't super romantic people, I couldn't help but notice how much they adored each other. I didn't notice at all that Chad didn't have use of his left arm, not that it is something that defines him, but a key point in the love that Laurie has for him. They are both hilarious people and are always a little sweet sarcastic with each other, I'll never forget Laurie saying " Who else is going to cut his steak for him and tie his shoes?" My heart melted and we all laughed.

Danielle + Natalie

Where to start.

The beginning of any good story, most times starts with a lesson.. but this story is about friends and love. 

I received a message from Danielle in late June about her wedding in August. She mentioned it was going to be at her home in Goodells. Have I ever mentioned that I am a sucker for back yard weddings? They are probably my absolute favorite, probably because I get to be outside all day. I can't help wanting to be around or in the woods. Summer and Fall come and go way too fast in Michigan and they are my favorite times of the year.. so it's just natural I want to feel every moment of them.

Danielle and I set up the consultation, in which I was invited to her home. I asked what her fiance's name was, I would need to know his name when meeting. " Her name is Natalie". " I forgot to mention, I am marrying a woman, I hope that is ok? " was Danielle's reply. First off, my heart did a back flip and pounded in my chest. This would be my first same sex wedding! Second, I felt like a total jerk because I had assumed her fiancé was a man.  We laughed it off, thank God Danielle and Natalie are incredibly laid back. I won't ever make that mistake again.

The next week we had the consultation, and the three of us ended up talking for hours, I wanted to know all about their love story. They met at a private Christian school and this February will be 6 years together. Danielle proposed to Natalie in the middle of winter at Boyne Resort on the balcony of their hotel with a Pandora charm, a ring in a box. She said she wanted to give Natalie the freedom to choose her own ring.  We talked so much that I ended up staying for dinner, made my Danielle's sister. I'm not even sure what the chicken dish was called but it's one of my new favorites. I felt like I had reconnected with two long lost best friends.

Wedding Day was nothing short of incredible. We watched the weather forecast which was calling for rain, like it had already for 90% of my weddings already this year. We were prepared, with the love of the universe, nothing was stopping this unity. Danielle and Natalie were surrounded by those that love them most. Every single friend and family member that was present was helping and all of the details were coming together. I found myself staring off into the tree scape behind the ceremony set up. Though the forecast was calling for rain, there was nothing but blue skies and a comfortable breeze.

A few last touches with make up and wedding dresses, because it was time to begin. I felt like part of the family, and ready to capture the magic. I can't explain the emotions I started to feel through the ceremony besides the many tears I was trying to hold in. Natalie's vows to Danielle were some of the most beautifully written words I have ever heard, and that is an understatement. They weren't just uniting into a family of two, but a family of three. Natalie's daughter Destiny was gaining another mother. 

The day was more than I could have imagined. We played in the woods and fields, ate the most delicious food by  Jessica Phillips of Creme Fraiche Catering. Her simple and beautiful almond pound cake with honey cream cheese frosting and layered peach and tripled berry preserves was the cake of the season. I was in love with everything happening around me. The organic feel was mesmerizing and the love was overwhelming. I couldn't have asked for a better couple to share this experience with.