I was so excited this summer to finally get to shoot a downtown Grand Rapids engagement session! I spent four years in West Michigan for college (Go Hope!) but I’ve never been able to do an engagement session in downtown Grand Rapids. When Erika and Will booked me for their September 2020 wedding, they knew they wanted to use the city as a backdrop for their engagement session!
During this downtown Grand Rapids engagement session, we stopped at quite a few landmarks around the city, including this awesome mid-century wall, murals over on Library Street, and of course the infamous Blue Bridge. Does anyone really make it out of Grand Rapids without using the Blue Bridge somehow?
Erika and Will are college sweethearts and met at Central Michigan University. Right before their engagement session bought a house AND got the most adorable golden retriever puppy, Nala. I can’t believe how many of my clients have dogs and always want to feature them in their photos – I’m always game for that, your dogs are always welcome at your sessions!
We headed to Provin Trails just outside the city to meet Nala and get some nature photos because these two love to spend time outside! Golfing, skiing, hiking, you name it, they’re an active couple! Nala was just as sweet as can be (wait until you see her in their wedding photos from September, my oh my she got big). She was so good for the camera. I’m so glad Erika and Will choose to include her.
These two actually met in high school, and attended MSU together, so the backdrop made the perfect fit for their engagement session. Josh even proposed at the opening home football game on the bridge by the stadium in 2019! MSU is embedded in their love story so we wanted to use a variety of spots on campus that make for beautiful photos. I always encourage couples to choose locations that are meaningful to them rather than what’s cool or popular. It was so much more meaningful to talk about their time at MSU and hear some of their favorite memories.
The MSU campus is one of my favorite campuses to photograph on. It’s so lush and beautiful, with lots of greenery, beautiful buildings, and that gorgeous riverfront. Really, there’s nowhere you can go wrong! Summer means lots of green, which is perfect for MSU fans. I’m not an alumni of a large school — I went to a small liberal arts school — so when I visit large campuses, it always amazes me how in the world people know their way around so well at these schools!
Here we come May 2021 — these two are so ready to tie the knot and I can’t wait for them to say “I do” finally!
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!
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?