5

Jordan + Monica

It's kind of the best when you get to know two of the best people in the world for years and years. Then you get to watch them fall in love, fall out of love and go on their own adventures, and then fall in love all over again and head toward marriage. Monica + Jordan's love is the kind of love that is so incredibly real and fun and makes you not be able to wipe a stupid grin off of your face when you're around them.

While I'm crazy bummed I was already booked for their wedding day, I'm just honored I could play a small part in the process. Meet the lovebirds below.

Kristina + Robb

You know, just one of those typical love stories that involves the shoe designer falling in love with the industrial designer and moving to Portland to do PNW stuff but returning to Michigan for your engagement photos on Belle Isle and your wedding at Cranbrook. One of those stories. I like those stories, and I like Kristina + Robb.

Dan + Cari

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Remember how warm and sunny it was back in September? I do. I long for this weather again. But until then, let's live vicariously through these images of Dan + Cari in Detroit. So unbelievably stoked to celebrate with them in just a couple months!

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The Kids

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I setup a makeshift studio in my living room a couple weeks back to photograph my twin nieces, their older sister, and my little guy in honor of the twins first birthday. This is what ensued.

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Rachel + Ted

Pair two of the coolest, most perfectly unique and in-love people I've had the honor of meeting, with such a rad, history-filled venue and you've pretty much got a match made in heaven. The Scarab Club was formed in 1907 as an informal association to have members meet regularly to talk art, eat dinner, and critique paintings. It's unique location right in the backyard of the Detroit Institute of Arts brought about an amazing society of artists and art-enthusiasts for costumed balls, art shows, and dinners. It still is active today as a beautiful art-space with artists-in-residence inside the original wood paneled walls. I've quite possibly never seen such a beautiful space and courtyard. Let's re-live this stunning day that was Rachel + Ted's wedding, shall we?

Detroit, MI :: 09.20.14

Preparation Venue :: The Inn on Ferry Street

Ceremony/Reception Venue :: The Scarab Club

Dessert :: Pinwheel Bakery

Lexie + Trevor

I've been sitting here with the cursor blinking at me for what seems like forever. Blink. Blink. Blink. Words still aren't coming to me. Below is a wedding that means to me way more than words can describe. I honestly wish I could just take all of you there, even if just for a few moments. Each and every wedding I photograph is so individually special and perfect and beautiful to me; but every so often a couple, and a venue, and a locale, and their friends and family will stop you dead in your tracks. This was that wedding. You probably remember Alexis and Trevor from our super short, but ridiculously beautiful Brooklyn engagement session a couple of months back. They were nervous as all get out, but I still made them take pictures with me, and I'm so glad we did. The wedding day rolls around, I had arrived in New Orleans just a couple of days earlier and had spent my time exploring with my little family, stuffing my face with beignets, and listening to street musicians in the French Quarter for what seemed like hours at a time. We had a touch of rain in the morning, no problem, I figured. Turns out, it wasn't. It stopped just minutes before we were to get off the bus to take some portraits. There's just so many bits and pieces I wish I could gush about this day for hours a time, but I guess I'll just have to save that for another time. We're talking beautiful sun peaking through the clouds, Spanish moss hanging off of seemingly every tree in sight, a gorgeous ceremony venue surrounded by ridiculously cool family members and friends. Then there was the reading. Rather than a poem or some scripture, Trevor and Alexis opted to have their friends read snippets of their GChat conversations from some six or seven years earlier, before they were even dating. People were rolling in their seats for a good ten minutes. It was so indescribably "them."

There was just so much here. So much to see. So much beauty. So much love and happiness. The music was in the air from three different extremely talented bands, and everyone was there to have as much fun as they could possibly muster. The "Second Line" through the streets following dinner en route to dancing was one of the most magical things I've had the opportunity to photograph (and just maybe caused me to shed a tear or twelve behind my camera...I mean...it was just humid?). Just so, so much goodness. My dreams. An additional defining moment in this beautiful art form I get to call a job.

So sit back, drink some coffee, and come along with me to the beautiful land known as NOLA. This post is a doozy, but I promise it'll be well worth it.

New Orleans, LA :: 10.11.14

Preparation Venue :: Roosevelt Hotel

Ceremony Venue :: Audubon Park

Dinner Venue :: Arnaud's and French75

Dancing Venue :: New Orleans House of Blues

Planning :: Mint Julep Productions

Brass Band :: Kinfolk Brass Band

Reception Band :: Ask the Thomas Bros.

Second Shooter :: Ben Hood

The Woodbeck's

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Goodness, this sweet little family means so much to me. A couple of years back I had the pleasure of shooting Jessica + Justin's Engagement Session and Wedding. I've since been honored to call them friends, and now got a chance to document their ever-growing, perfect little clan. That's what this job is all about.

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Kiara + Art

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One of the best parts about this job is connecting and reconnecting with people from both past and present portions of your life, and seeing them in a new light. Watching them light up spending time with their new family, or their young love, or the person they're going to spend the rest of their life with. Kiara, Art, and I all went to the same High School back in the day; were never really friends, but had the chance to re-connect in the hunt for someone to document their wedding; to tell their story. So here we are, new-found old friends, and I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to document this day. It's going to be good, real good.

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Ginny + Jon

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Ginny + Jon. Two of the coolest cats I have the pleasure of spending some time with in 2015. They brought me down to take in their city alongside them (consequently one of my favorite cities, and favorite neighborhoods in the world), and it was downright perfect. I couldn't imagine a better way to spend a late summer evening; laughing and wandering with new friends.

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Lindsey + Brandon

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These two. Two of Cali and I's most awesome and dear friends. Ridiculously talented photographers too. They're joining the baby club somewhere around Christmas with a boy and we couldn't possibly be more stoked for them if we tried. They weren't completely sold on the idea of a maternity session, but felt like they should have something to document this amazing time in their lives. So naturally, they come to the guy that has like 2 maternity sessions under his belt, I race home from Detroit after a meeting, and we shoot for the final 20 minutes before we lost the sun. And you know what? It was just about as perfect as it could possibly be.

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Zachera + Ryan

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Goodness. These two. The absolute coolest couple and so ridiculously in love. Zachera is an awesome photographer in Chicago, and Ryan manages Boka, a ridiculously rad Michelin-Rated restaurant. Like I said, coolest couple award. Pair all of that with a foggy Chicago afternoon (in which we almost cancelled over fear of rain), and you've got yourself the makings of a perfect session. I know I say this all the time, but I freaking love my job.

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Evan + Valerie

My best friend and his best girl are engaged, and I couldn't be more stoked for them if I tried. I got to help him put together his ridiculously awesome proposal in a suite atop the Renaissance Center, and next year I get to ATTEND (and be a groomsman) their wedding, like, as a guest, with my wife, without a camera. These two are the very best, and I'm so thankful for them in my life. Meet Evan and Valerie, two of the best humans planet earth has got.

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Lexie + Trevor

These two. Some of the coolest cats I've gotten the chance to hang out with as of late. They're getting married today in New Orleans and I couldn't be happier to be here to celebrate with them. Thankfully, a couple of weeks ago I was in Brooklyn for another wedding and we got to meet up in-person and walk around their amazing DUMBO neighborhood for a quick 20-Minute engagement session. They were SO nervous, and in their years of dating have hardly any photos together. I had to show them they had nothing to worry about, and they completely rocked it. So Lexie + Trevor, huge freaking congratulations on this amazing day. Let's making some NOLA magic.

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The LaTarte Family

Gosh, it was so great to get to meet and hang out with the LaTarte family. I like to do family sessions a bit differently. I'm not all about the matching outfits in a random field somewhere. I want to document your family in a way that is real, in a way that is you. Whether this is in your home or at a different location, let's just do life together for a couple of hours. I got to meet Lauren, Brad and little Dean at their amazing home in Royal Oak and just go through a bit of the morning routine. Feedings, Nursery snuggles, and cuddling with their pup. After that, we hit the zoo! Lauren and Brad got married a few years ago at the Detroit Zoo, so it still holds a special place in their heart, especially now that they've got a baby to share it with.

LaTarte's; thank you for inviting me into your life for just a few hours. You guys are such a rad little family.

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This Summer

Summer of 2014. It was everything. It came and went like I've never seen a summer go before, but it was also one of the very best I've ever experienced. One that I won't ever forget. Early summer saw some absolutely amazing weddings hit the books. Ones I'll be sharing on this blog over the next few months. During those weddings, Cali's due date was fast approaching, which brought a bit of stress, finding backup shooters should she go into labor, etc. All was well when on a beautiful July Wednesday (with no wedding the following weekend), Henry Thomas came into our lives in most perfect fashion. Everyone says it, but our lives won't ever be the same. He brings so much joy, happiness, and fullness to our life together and we can't imagine the time before him. Cali is an absolute saint for all that she went through in that pregnancy and labor, and I continue to fall even more in love with her strength and ability to fall into this role as a Mom, every single day.

One of our greatest desires for this new life is to continue to travel. To continue to experience. And to take Henry there every chance we can. We want to build a sense of wonder into him, even at a young age. To always keep him dreaming and creating and longing to see more of this world's beauty. In just the exactly 11 weeks since he has joined us, we've attempted to do just that. Day trips and family outings, being dedicated at our church and hanging with friends. Turns out in the final weeks of summer I ended up having three weddings in a row in Northern Michigan, which allowed us to rent a little cottage on Grand Traverse Bay, and not leave Michigan's paradise for three whole weeks. It was one of the best things we've ever done as a couple, and certainly the best as a family. Though I was working during the week and shooting weddings on the weekend, the slow-paced time so close to so many natural wonders allowed us to see and do so much. To swim, to climb dunes, to explore everything that Traverse City, the Leelanau Peninsula, Charlevoix, Petoskey, Mackinac Island, St. Ignace, and the lower Upper Peninsula had to offer. We even got to have multiple family members and friends come up and join us for days at a time, which was perfect.

In the next 30 days, Henry will get to see Chicago and New Orleans. He won't remember a bit of it, but we don't care. Having this new little family unit with me every chance I get is one of the coolest, and greatest things I could imagine.

All this to say, whether you're a single person, a couple, a family of 10, young or old: get out there. Do something. Explore your surroundings and see it in a new light. It's good for the soul, and you'll find so many things you never knew existed. I promise, you won't regret it.