Bright blue Reeds Lake, striking orange trees in East Town … ugh … Grand Rapids never looked so good. Also – I have the babest of all babe clients in the world. Allison + Jason ya’ll. Their wedding is going to be the best.
Okay, I will admit. I just wrote a really long blog post about these two and how much I loved shooting their engagement session … and then my Firefox quit on me and it deleted. So – this time I am going to be brief. I am so thankful that my weddings for the year have completed so I can focus on showcasing the amazing couples that I have been spending my late summer/fall with. I am so blessed to have such amazing clients who trust me, let me play with their pups (in this case at least) and then let me into their lives to capture their wedding day. After every shoot I call my Mom (yeah – she’s my best friend okay?) and say something along the lines of “you won’t believe how great the couple I just met up with is! they are so nice/amazing/cute/perfect and I can’t wait to shoot their wedding.” I have the best job in the world. I don’t think many other people call their Mom after work to tell them how amazing their day was. I’m just thankful that I do.
Chelsea and Broc … is it March yet?! I cannot wait for your wedding.
Happy Tuesday ya’ll! I am sitting here doing work from my couch with my Christmas tree to my right! I love this season and I love working with all of the lights off except for the Christmas lights. Somehow it makes things seem a little bit more magical.I have my last wedding of the year this weekend in Milwaukee. I am not looking forward to the drive, but I’m armed with new snow tires and I’m ready to capture Jackie and Andrew’s magical holiday wedding. But for right now, as I catch up on the last of my editing inbetween Christmas shopping I’ve decided to step a few months back and blog some of these weddings I have been to busy to share!
This one is a real winner. First of all, I don’t know if I’ve ever been more tired at the end of a wedding. Matt and Claire’s wedding was in Minneapolis and it was my first wedding that I had to fly to get to. Meaning – I didn’t have a car. Which also means I was with Claire from the beginning of her hair appointment all the way until the last shuttle left the reception. It was a long but amazing day. Claire and Matt got married in the ever-beautiful St. Paul Cathedral. I felt like I was in Europe. I felt like Claire was a princess. It was so incredibly elegant. The weather was on and off raining … which I won’t lie – made me pretty nervous but somehow we were able to capture some beautiful images. The grey sky with the sun peaking through might be my new favorite type of weather.
I met Claire in college during dance. We were placed together our first year in a piece and we quickly became friends. (Shoutout to Sandra for casting us!) She is a witty, smart, sometimes sarcastic, but incredibly caring lady. Claire was always known as the “ballerina” of the dancing group. You’ll be able to tell when you look at these photos (and how drop dead gorgeous she looks in her dress) that this girl was once a ballerina. And probably could still spins circles around a lot of young dancers. She is the definition of elegant and I still can’t get over how amazing her dress was. And then there’s Matt … I had heard of Matt almost ever since I met Claire. It wasn’t until a few years later that we finally met … and he is the perfect fit for her. During the day Matt was constantly making sure that everyone was having a good time, and that things were going well. He is so incredibly kind and not to mention really funny. They both are incredibly witty and it’s impossible not to smile when you’re around them. These two make me so happy and looking back at these photos reminded me of how lucky I am yet again to do this job. Claire and I were never best friends, but the fact that I was able to be there for one of her most important days … is absolutely unreal. I am so darn lucky.
Oh and, they finished off their wedding day with a reception at the Minneapolis Zoo. And yes … drumroll … there was a sloth. A SLOTH. If that isn’t the best thing you’ve ever heard then I don’t know what is. So — if you want me to capture your wedding day but you think you live too far away … that is absolutely not true. I will fly/drive/sail to wherever it is to capture your wedding! Just let me know.
Happy Small Business Saturday ya’ll! Coming off of an amazing weekend I am filled with thoughts of thankfulness. I am thankful that I can call myself a small business … and for all of the incredible human beings I have had a chance to meet this year because of that fact. My life is so full because of all of you.
Earlier this fall I was dying to shoot something other than a wedding just for fun. So, I chatted with Bob and Jill … the owners of Buffalo Bob’s in Grand Haven. BB is a skate/snowboard shop that also has impeccable fashion and some of the coolest threads in the town. From Free People … to Burton … to Poler Stuff this store is my absolute favorite. I can always find something to wear there, and their small-town vibe is my favorite kind of place to shop. Bob and Jill have been in the business for a long time … they make you feel welcome at their store and they learn your name so that the next time you come in … you don’t feel like a stranger.
Their clothes are so incredible that I wanted to give them the chance to showcase some of their fall finds. So … I contacted Maisy (who I photographed with her family here ) and told her to find some friends that could model the clothes. Little did I know she would find high schoolers that I swear look 18x better than I did when I was in high school. These guys rocked the shoot and I had SO much fun.
I’d love to get into more of these kind of fashion/editorial shoots … so if any other small business are in need of something like this … please let me know! It absolutely inspires me and helps remind me about how much I love my job.
So … if you haven’t already go to Buffalo Bobs!!! You can check out their Facebook page here and their website here. I promise you that you will find something you love there and you will be constantly coming back … sooo see ya later guys while I head there today to do some Christmas shopping! and thanks again Bob and Jill for being so incredibly great … and models … uhhh you guys rock.
As I sit here and stare at this blinking cursor I’m finding that it’s really hard to explain the trip that I took a week ago. People ask me where I was, and when I answer, no one knows where this place is. The only reason I knew about it, is because my friend Katie has been living there on and off for the past few years. (When she’s not sailing on a boat … which I wrote about here). It’s a little town called Lee Vining. In 2010 it had a population of 220. My friend Lundy grew up there and I’m so thankful he did … because now I can say I’ve been to this quiet little mountain town.
If you haven’t noticed already … life moves really fast. I spend a good amount of my daily time on the internet. Whether it’s for the purpose of work … or just wasting time, I’m on there a lot. I expect an email back within a few hours and a text within a few seconds. If I leave my phone at home while I head out I come home to a mass amount of things to do. Things to reply to. People to answer. We make ourselves so incredibly available. I wanted this week to be a little bit of a reset for me. And yes, I instagrammed. And yes I texted my Mom to say hi … but for the most part, it felt very quiet and very peaceful. We didn’t go out to eat, or go to bars. We made bacon and eggs in the morning and hot toddys at night. We went over to people’s houses and ate duck that was shot that morning and cooked it over a campfire. (Yep, I ate duck, and yep it was awesome). We watched a few movies, we played some games. We were outside from the time the sun rose to the time the sun set. We hiked with four dogs at once. We went fishing. We went off roading in a truck. And we listened to country music the whole time. I bought an awesome fleece that cost me one dollar at a thrift shop. I then spent $20 on a touristy sweatshirt from Yosemite. I slept on a couch and watched the sun rise over the mountains every morning. It was everything I could have asked for … and I already miss the silence, the peacefulness and the calm.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in doing things. Always going out to eat, always going out to bars, always panicking if there is nothing to do. When sometimes … nothing is something. (Sounds deep right?) But really … maybe when I’m bored and upset that I can’t get a hold of anyone, I should just take my dog outside and walk through the woods. I did that there, and considered it to be one of the most fun things I’ve done in awhile … why can’t I do that in my own state? It got me thinking about what is really important in life. And sometimes, those important things are making a delicious dinner with friends and drinking whiskey while doing it. Or, waking up (even though you’re exhausted) to hike and watch the sun rise. Chances are, I’m going to remember those moments more than sleeping in and watching Netflix in bed.
Every time that I visit Katie I am reminded that less is more. We don’t do elaborate things when I visit her. We do regular day activities and they somehow seem more perfect than ever. I can’t help but laugh when I think about all of the places and cities she has lived and all the adventures I have been lucky enough to go on because of her. I’ve been to San Diego, San Francisco, Tahoe, Mexico, Florida and now Lee Vining with her and Reggie (her dog). Hell, that dog has lived and traveled to more places than I have. I sometimes start to think that I have to be in Michigan forever. I have to live here, and work every day, and live a normal life. But that’s not always true. We have the ability to do WHATEVER we want in life. We only get to do this thing once. So no, I’m not going to move away by myself to some strange town tomorrow … but I am going to remember that life is what you make it.
These aren’t my best photos. I didn’t bring my best lenses with me. I used the 40mm pancake lens the entire time for the ease of carrying my camera with me. I didn’t try to take the most creative photos and I didn’t try to make my friends model (for the most part). I played tourist and quickly snapped photos of the things that I saw around me. And when I look at these pictures, they remind me of those slow and perfect days. I get so caught up in the process of being a photographer, telling myself that I need to always be taking the BEST photos. The perfect composition, and editing to match. But really, isn’t the whole point of the pictures to remember things that I might forget someday? That was my mindset for this week. And no, I’m not super proud of them … but they are mine and because of that they are perfect for me.
Katie had a great quote written on one of her traveling boxes. I loved it so much, and tried to think about it anytime we were doing things that week.
“What you have to decide … is how you want your life to be. If your forever was ending tomorrow would this be how you’d would want to have spent it? Listen, the truth is nothing is guaranteed. You know that more than anybody. So don’t be afraid. Be alive.”