Late fall is always my favorite time to photograph engagement sessions. November is actually my favorite month to do sessions, even though it’s a little chilly, but the sun is always on point and the fall color has just begun to fade. This November, Lisa and John’s Belle Isle engagement session fell on a beautiful day with the perfect golden hour sunset.
When we were talking about possible engagement session locations, Lisa kept coming back to Belle Isle’s Anna Scripps Holcomb Conservatory. The Conservatory is absolutely beautiful and highly recommended for any cold weather session (get your permit first of course!). We had to start there and I’m glad we did because I love photographing in greenhouses and conservatories.
Lisa and John have one of the coolest how-they-met stories. They met in a kickball league! How cool is that? I don’t think I’ve ever had a couple meet in a sports league at all!
Another Belle Isle landmark is the James E. Scott Fountain. In November it’s not operational, but it’s one of the prettiest spots on the island during golden hour. The marble really reflects the light and gives this beautiful, light colored image. Though it was super windy, Lisa and John prevailed and didn’t complain! They really had fun with it, as you can tell from the images of this Belle Isle engagement session.
To finish our session, we headed to the Belt and the Z Lot, another favorite spot of Lisa’s! We had the perfect sunset from the Z Lot (and lots of laughs). These are some of the last photos without the fence that has now gone up around the parking lot, which is also where Josh and I had our wedding photos taken.
To finish, we used the ambient light of the market lighting in the Belt, as it was getting dark FAST! But as I tell everyone, I’m prepared to make photos anywhere, so I got creative and I still love how they all turned out. I know Lisa and John did too because they printed a bunch to decorate their home!
It’s always fun to spend time with a couple at an engagement session before the wedding. Not only do you get some bomb photos, but this is a chapter you just never get back (speaking from experience). That anticipation before you’re married is something really special. I’m so excited for Lisa and John’s August wedding!
I say it a lot, but I do love a wedding that is different. That’s nothing against traditional weddings. I photograph those and love them too. But I think anytime you can make your wedding your own and do things your way, that’s always the right thing to do. This was the case with Alisha and Joshua and their Belle Isle Fountain wedding.
When I first met Alisha back in the fall of 2017, nearly a year before her wedding, I knew we would get along well. We had a great conversation about bucking traditions, feminism, etc. I walked away knowing I really wanted to be a part of their wedding. When you come home from a meeting like that, you just cross your fingers that you’ll get an email saying, let’s do this! And I did.
This past May, Alisha and Josh welcomed a baby girl, Lydia. I was lucky enough to capture their newborn photos.
For their wedding, when I arrived, everyone was setting up chairs at the Belle Isle Fountain. Organically, it all came together and Alisha rode in on a Harley Davison with Josh’s father, meeting her father at the steps to walk down the aisle. After a ceremony and vows, the pair rode off on the Harley together, all the way to the Redford Marquee.
When I was getting married, I scoured the Metro Detroit area for wedding venues of all sorts. Anything that wasn’t your typical banquet hall was considered. I’d never heard of the Redford Marquee until Alisha had told me about it. It’s used as a farmer’s market, but also for events. It was quite lovely for a summer wedding!
The place was decorated beautifully by their families. Look at the lettering on the signs…Alisha’s sister did that! So good! After a pig roast dinner, there was dancing and fun, and even a thunderstorm to complete the day.
From the bride: “Madalyn was our newborn photographer and wedding photographer, and I appreciated her down to earth personality and artistic style. For our newborn photos, she helped me clear the space to take pictures and gave me a ton of slack since I was recovering from a really bad C section infection. She was never rushed, was so sweet and personable with my daughter, and didn’t fuss at the mess! 🙂 The photos came out beautiful, not pretentious, looking exactly as we do. Her personality comes through her pictures- a genuine, artistic grace and familiarity, like she was a family friend. This ease transferred to our wedding as well. Ill be honest, I didn’t notice her very much! She snuck around and took all of the best shots somehow, though. 🙂 As far as her professionalism and ease of service, her website, forms and contract, and photo gallery were all easy to navigate and use. She was transparent as well as affordable. We will definitely be using her in the future!”
This past March, I got two frantic-ish messages from a girl named Heather — one in my Instagram DMs that I almost never check and another in my inbox (that I check less regularly during off-season weekends). The message was something along the lines of “help, do you have October 12 open, help!” Luckily, that October weekend was my LAST open weekend in October (October is busy, y’all…most popular wedding month these days). I’d say this whole thing was meant to be.
At the time, Heather and Matt were living in Florida, so we weren’t able to meet in person like I usually do for an initial consultation. Instead, I called them and they took it on speaker phone in the car and it was just wonderful. In that hour, I was so glad that October 12 was open and that I’d get to work with these two.
After moving back to Michigan and becoming east-siders, they decided to embrace all things Detroit and have a mostly Eastern Market engagement session. I had been wanting to shoot at Eastern Market for some time…I like going down on market days with Josh during the summer and fall…so they agreed and off we went!
This session was rescheduled TWICE — once because April dealt us the WORST weather known to mankind and another because they overslept – LOL. No matter. We had the place mostly to ourselves and no people is the best in my book.
Heather and Matt are hilariously goofy together and I included some of their finer moments in this sampling from their session. My goal as a photographer is to get people to relax and just be themselves in front of the camera. I think these two had no trouble doing so. I think I laughed more than they did during the session and left the evening with a smile on my face, glad that we had stayed until the lights of the city came on and I could attempt something new.
By the time we got to Belle Isle for what I was hoping would be golden hour (yeah nope thanks April weather), they were warmed up and the images we made were KILLER. The intimacy mixed with silly moments made me go OMG when I was editing.
I am BEYOND excited to shoot their October wedding and know that it’ll be SO MUCH FUN.