Chelsey and Yianni were my first booking for 2021 and I finally got to meet them for a spring Stony Creek metropark engagement session right after we were able to start working again post-quarantine. Before we headed to Stony Creek metropark, we stopped at Yates Cider Mill for some doughnuts. Chelsey had told me that her and Yianni love going apple picking and cider mill visiting in the fall, so it only made sense to have some doughnuts before hiking through the woods at Stoney Creek Metropark.
A spring Stony Creek Metropark engagement session is all about the greeeeen! The trees are so green, the field is growing back, and it’s a less buggy than the summertime. Stony Creek Metropark is one of the most popular spots for engagement sessions in the Metro Detroit area for a reason. The tall pines and beautiful meadow are perfect in just about any season. I’ve done sessions at Stony Creek Metropark in every season and loved every single one.
Chelsey and Yianni were so much fun to photograph! I think they’re so adorable together and literally shined with every prompt or direction I gave them. Old pros, I think! And also, what a good looking couple with amazing style!
Abby and Alkin’s downtown Detroit winter engagement session was a perfect example of why February doesn’t suck for downtown sessions. Downtown Detroit winter engagement sessions are never a bad idea — the city shines in any season!
Abby and I actually knew each other as kids. She lived on the same street as one of my childhood friends and we actually played softball together for several years. I was honored that she asked me to photograph her and Alkin’s wedding and engagement photos!
These two met while working at a local bowling alley, not a story you hear too often in the Internet age, but adorable nonetheless. Workplace romances is a common theme for many of my clients.
We started at the Dequindre Cut for a few photos with Abby and Alkin’s dog, Ollie. What a good boy! Also, are you sensing a trend that I attract a lot of dog lovers? Why, yes, I do. If you are a cat lover, it’s no problem, promise. We won’t hold it against you — that much. Just kidding!
We shifted to Greektown, which is a fun yet underused part of town. Alkin is a pro poker player and a casino lover. Though you can’t photograph inside the casinos, we did dip in for a clothes change and to warm up.
After being foiled by the People Mover (which I usually NEVER take), we walked down to the Riverfront to use Hart Plaza. Being February and rather chilly, we had the place to ourselves. You can’t tell in the photos, but these two were rather cold (remember it’s way colder by the water) but were definitely troopers for this downtown Detroit winter engagement session. Anything for the photo, right?
Can’t wait to (hopefully) celebrate these two in November at their wedding!
When we planned Laura and Dillon’s engagement session, we truly had no idea we’d be in for a snowy winter Detroit engagement session (though apparently they were secretly hoping for it!). If you’re having a winter engagement session, doesn’t snow make it all the more wonderful?
Before we headed out for their snowy winter Detroit engagement session at Maybury State Park in Northville, I stopped by Laura and Dillon’s home to meet their brand new puppy, Kane. He was absolutely ADORABLE and such a baby (I know he’s a big boy now)! I love that they wanted to incorporate their new pup — dogs are alway welcome!
There’s something about the snow that quiets the world. We had Maybury to ourselves and in the snow (or really any season) it never disappoints. Shooting in the snow is a little easier than shooting in the rain, but you have about 20 minutes before your hair starts to get wet! Laura and Dillon loved it and were amazing in front of the camera. I’m so glad they were pumped about the snow! True Michiganders.
Though they’ve postponed their 2020 wedding to May 2021, I still can’t wait to spend the day with them in downtown Detroit (a departure from their engagement session). It’s going to be a blast!
A summer Stony Creek engagement session is very popular among Detroit couples. There really is nothing like those tall pine trees and the beautiful meadow at Stony Creek metropark. It’s one of my favorite places to shoot year round just because you don’t have to hike in too far to get to great photo locations!
I can’t believe it’s been almost two year since I shot this summer Stony Creek engagement session. Summer is probably my favorite time to visit Stony Creek metropark because of the golden hours. Something about this park and its perfect sunshine and tree line!
Kelsey and Ryan made my job easy. Kelsey is someone who doesn’t enjoy wearing shoes; she also avoided it on her wedding day. These two bonded over a love of beer and trying new breweries, so it was only appropriate that they include some beer at their session. How fun, right?
I will let you in on a little secret about fall engagement sessions: they are best in November. Originally we had scheduled Mychelle and Jared’s fall Ann Arbor engagement session for October but due to illness we had to reschedule, and I think it was the best thing we could have done!
In the Detroit area, the fall color peaks late in October and continues into November. Often the first two weekends of November still have great fall color, if not some of the best. Usually the oak trees hang around until mid- or late November. The oak trees did us well for this fall Ann Arbor engagement session.
Mychelle and Jared were referred to me by a dear photography friend of mine and I’m so glad because they are so lovely! I enjoyed hearing about how they met (at a club when those were a thing – ha!) and about their two beautiful daughters, one whom I share a name with (which is super cool!).
For all of my clients who always ask me what to wear, this is a perfect example of how simple outfits go a long way. Burgundy is perfect for fall. Pairing a dark color with a light color is just a super simple way to dress in coordination without thinking too hard. I love love love Mychelle’s dress here and the movement made the photos better!
For their fall Ann Arbor engagement session, we choose to start at Gallup Park, one of my favorites in Ann Arbor (see Bill and Lauren’s October engagement there here), then hopped over to Furstenberg Nature Center next door to use their beautiful tall grass fields. The best part about doing a morning session is there’s usually no one around, which was the case for this session.
I know spring just sprung but is it okay to be excited for fall already?
Getting married? These top Detroit engagement session locations are perfect for photos that announce the big day. With the renaissance of the city, Detroit has become a popular spot for an engagement session. With a sprawling city like Detroit, there are so many places you could visit. Here’s my top Detroit engagement session locations you’ll want to check out before your session.
1. The Belt
An iconic downtown Detroit engagement session location is The Belt, an alley filled with art, market lighting, and some cool bars you can duck into for an after session date. The Belt is a really popular spot to end a Detroit engagement session because the lights photograph so beautifully. Located just steps away from Woodward Avenue, The Belt is a quick stop and great for those who love art and bright colors.
2. Eastern Market
Heading away from downtown Detroit, just up Gratiot is Eastern Market, one of the best spots in the city to spent a Saturday morning. There are so many murals that make for excellent Detroit engagement session backdrops. If you’re a fan of eating or drinking, Eastern Market is a perfect Detroit engagement session location. Check out Eastern Market Brewing for a good beer.
3. The Dequindre Cut
This hidden gem, the Dequindre Cut is a bike and walking path leading from the Riverfront in the Warehouse District to Eastern Market. You could spend an entire engagement session on the cut, but I suggest pairing it with Eastern Market to give you some variety. The Dequindre Cut is great for a grungier, more graffiti loving couple. It’s not highly trafficked with photographers, making it a hidden Detroit engagement session location gem (shhhh don’t tell everyone, okay?)!
4. Belle Isle
Everyone in Detroit knows about the magical island Belle Isle, with is stunning conservatory and perfect sunset skyline views. Belle Isle is truly a gorgeous Detroit engagement session location. Requiring a permit for use, I think it’s 100% worth it because the island gives you so much to explore. From a large marble fountain to the conservatory to a historic casino to willow trees and Japanese-style bridges to beaches, you have so many options.
5. The Warehouse District
Much overlooked, the Warehouse District is still gentrifying and still has a little bit of the old, rundown, rough and tumble Detroit. I can’t tell you exact locations to use, but the Warehouse District runs along the riverfront. With cobblestone streets, a perfect shot of the Renaissance Center, and lots of rundown buildings with ivy, its not-polished nature is perfect for casual couples. Atwater Brewery is also a great stop if you’re into their beers. The Vanilla Java Porter is famously my favorite.
6. The Detroit Institute of Arts & Detroit Public Library
Heading up to mid-town, the Detroit Institute of Arts and Detroit Public Library are across the street from each other. One is more popular than the other (take a wild guess), but both are marble buildings with lots of character. I happen to enjoy using the blossoming trees around them in the spring and summer. Though you can’t head inside the DIA (you can at the library with prior permission), outdoors is perfect for a more elegant Detroit engagement session location. There are some ground rules about the steps at the DIA, but plan to come in the morning before opening (preferably on a Sunday) and you’ll find the entire place deserted.
7. Palmer Park
Another hidden gem (in my opinion) for those that want to use two Detroit engagement session locations but want nature and don’t want to head all the way to Belle Isle is Palmer Park. Located in the north side of town, closer to the Ferndale border and the Detroit Golf Club, Palmer Park offers a large field, an abandoned fountain, and honestly a beautiful golden hour. Almost no one bothers to use Palmer Park for engagement photos and I can’t figure out why. The tall grass, trees, and look of a field are highly sought after in the suburbs.
Corktown has changed in recent years, especially with Ford Motor Company’s purchase of the old Michigan Central Station. There once was a time where photographing the abandoned station seemed edgy but not anymore. Either way, Corktown’s cobblestone street, fun restaurants and bars, and neighborhood vibes are perfect for laid back couples. Corktown isn’t as popular as downtown or Eastern Market when it comes to Detroit engagement session locations, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less amazing. Head down to the West Riverfront Park at the end of your session for a perfect view of the Ambassador Bridge.
9. The Riverfront
The Detroit Riverfront is very long and the Riverwalk functions as a bike, walking and running path. It can get a little busy during the summer. But along the way, you can get beautiful views of the Renaissance Center, the Detroit Princess riverboat, and the Ambassador Bridge. If you make a quick stop at Hart Plaza, you can grab some engagement photos with the art in that area or head right up Woodward Avenue for more photos.
Greektown, adjacent to downtown, is a fun, colorful place for engagement photos in Detroit. The market lights are similar to the Belt but hang over a road filled with colorful shops and restaurants.
11. Capitol Park
As many head to Campus Martias, instead sneak over to Capitol Park, which is a small little park off of Griswold with beautiful lights, a Christmas tree lot during the holidays, and perfect views down Griswold of the Guardian Building. It’s usually less crowded than Campus Martias during the busy holiday season, making it perfect for a winter downtown Detroit engagement session.
12. Campus Martias
I know, I have to mention it, but Campus Martias is really a picturesque Detroit engagement session location during the holidays. All of the light displays, the huge Christmas tree, and the skating rink really do make it so beautiful for a winter engagement session. It can get crowded so if you are nervous around people, it’s not recommended or try for a weekday session.
13. Parker’s Alley
Behind the new Shinola Hotel lies Parker’s Alley, similar to The Belt but more modern. You won’t find a ton of murals here, but lots of brick and a modern feel. Stop in at Madcap Coffee if you two are coffee lovers for a drink during your engagement session.
14. Cass Avenue Viaduct
For art lovers, visit the Cass Avenue Viaduct for a bright backdrop and beautiful golden hour light. Location on Cass Avenue in New Center, just down the street from the Fisher Building, the viaduct is a great stop but try not to park illegally (parking is a little weird in this location). As for Detroit engagement session locations, this is a great spot for rainy day engagement sessions since indoor locations in Detroit are dwindling.
Deciding between Detroit Engagement Session Locations?
When you have so many options, it’s hard to decide where to go! The important thing is to choose not the “coolest” location but the location that you identify with the most. If you’re planning a Detroit engagement session, get in touch with me!