What do you get when you throw two car designers together that are ridiculously in love? You get Taryn and Sam. You get their fabulous Mid Century Home in Detroit with all of the details of a Dwell spread. You get a secret BMW 2002 hiding in the garage that I make them bring out (it's still a bit of a project car). You get chasing the sunset and runs through the city we all love so much. This is what dreams are made of, and why this job continues to push me and inspire me day in and day out. This is what it's all about. They get married on Belle Isle in just a couple of weeks, and I couldn't be more excited.
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!
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.
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.
This one has got to be right up there at the top as one of my favorite engagement sessions. We laughed and walked and got to know each other better and dang near shot until dark. These two are simply the coolest, and if they didn't live in Conneticut, I'd probably spend way too much time hanging out with them. Meet Charlotte and Joe. They're getting married in Detroit this fall, and they're pretty awesome humans.
Gosh, these two are so fun together. Winter is the time that I get to look back on all the fun I had in the Spring/Summer/Fall prior, and then get depressed that I don't get to hang out with my amazing clients quite as much as I'd like to. You guys are the best.
Given that we were attempting to shoot Taylor's Senior session in April, she wins the personal record for most reschedules on account of crappy weather (8 I believe between the 2 separate parts), but luckily the days we did shoot on, we had the most ridiculously amazing weather Michigan could offer us. I know I say this every time, but Seniors are simply the coolest. If you're looking to do something different, not at the same studio as everyone else in your class with the same dangling your feet in the fake pond or staring out the fake window, let's chat. It'll be awesome, promise.
Nichole and Chris showed up at my studio less than 24 hours ago to start their engagement session. We set out, we made memories, we trekked across what seemed like all of Belle Isle, and they absolutely nailed the session that they were so worried about. Let the record show that this couple is not awkward in front of a camera as they previously figured they would be. Goodness, I love these two. Summer, and documenting the stories of some of the most amazing couples I've ever known can't come soon enough.
Jordan + Detroit. I'll take this radness any day. (Probably not a word, not worried about it.)
A few months back, MammothReach had the opportunity to work with an amazing new client out of Detroit, called Detroit Denim Co. We were commissioned to create an entire online identity for this new startup that was making the commitment to making incredible, selvedge denim jeans and leather goods, all within the city of Detroit using 100% US-Sourced materials. The mission of this company was inspiring, and we are so stoked to play just a small part in it. Everything from branding, to the website, to all of the photos were accomplished in just a matter of months. Since launch, Detroit Denim Co. and owner Eric Yelsma have seen tremendous growth as they expand to stores and online sales not only within Michigan, but across the country as well. I was tasked with documenting everything about the process. From sketching and designing, to stitching and piecing together, to stamping the final patch on the back of the jeans. All done in a way that tells a story. This isn't another big-box retailer or products that are pieced together by robots; each pair of these jeans and every bag that comes out of their little factory in Corktown Detroit is handmade with incredible craftsmanship and needed to be documented as such. The products were all shot on the floor of the factory using natural light and the images for Detroit Denim's very first lookbook were all taken within 5 minutes of there. It's an incredible feeling to be a part of something like this. Something that is more than just dollars or pumping out products or selling the most jeans. It's about the process, it's about the city of Detroit and it's people, and it's about the love of the craft.
Following the launch we were lucky enough to be recognized by one of our favorite companies on the web, Visual Supply Co. They did a short write-up and interview with Eric and MammothReach about the process behind the website and the images that coincided. You can read more about that here.
Nothing feels or looks as good as Detroit on a warm late-summer night. Quinn made that quite clear.
My camera just loves seniors, it's as simple as that. Jordan was just a special addition to the class of 2013 that has been rocking my camera so far this fall. Seriously guys, this girl dances, sings, acts, and excels at all of the above. She's incredible. Not to mention simply a blast to hang out with and both her and her Mom kept me laughing the whole evening. That's why my "job" is never a job, it's people like this that keep me coming back for more.
Part 2 ::
There comes a time in my year when I'm slowly weaning off of my 2011 weddings and starting to look toward the future. It's a sad time and a happy time all rolled up into one big ball of tears and though I'd love to keep going on the journey with them forever, I thrive on those new interactions and meeting new people while in turn, getting the chance documenting their love. The thing that can really make that transition a heck of a lot easier though is when I find the couple that just gets it. Plain and simple. They know what they're looking for and they find my work and cling to it. They don't shop around to a million different photographers just to get the best deal. From the get-go they completely trust me to document their day and do it in the way that only I could. They're excited beyond belief for their journey and to have me tell their story. Jessica and Justin just GET IT. They GET ME and why I do what I do. And I have to say, I love them for that very reason. When I first saw Jessica and Justin walk in to Starbucks to meet with me a couple of months before this shoot, I knew it was game-over. They weren't even talking to me yet and she was already smiling and laughing with him. As we talked through their journey so far and where they've been and where they were headed, I knew I wanted to play a small role in whatever they had up their sleeves. I was completely enamored to be honest. They're simply that cool.
Fast forward a little bit to their engagement session. It's an incredibly beautiful and warm October night and we decided to meet at their great little home in Royal Oak. I was already a bit worried about how much time we'd have to actually shoot their photos as it was beginning to get dark so much earlier and we were getting a bit of a late start on our evening. My worries turned to fear when we got on the highway to go from Royal Oak to Detroit and traffic was at a dead stand-still. Naturally, if we didn't get a chance to shoot the photos it wouldn't be the end of the world, we could simply hit it another day. But it was seriously a PERFECT night for pictures and the weather was just going to go downhill after that, I just knew it. So here we are, completely stopped in traffic with seemingly nowhere to go and no pictures being taken. I left out one minor detail though, Justin is a Detroit Police Officer who really knows his way around the entire area. Before I knew it he had slapped a laminated paper in the window stating he was on "Official Police Business", told me to hang on, grabbed Jessica's hand and we were flying down the shoulder of the road. Great progress was made as we swerved in and out of traffic, down the shoulder, and down some sorely-neglected back streets with some angry fingers and cigarette butts thrown at the car all along the way. Needless to say, we were in Eastern Market for part 1 of the shoot sooner than I ever thought possible given the situation. No harm done and an even more exciting blog post to boot.
Before I knew it they were completely rocking my camera to a level I never expected. We gave Eastern Market a run for its money before hitting Belle Isle and the harbor for the Detroit Police Station for some awesome once-in-a-lifetime photo opps. Seriously, that place was teeming with opportunities for photos and that could be the first and last time I'll ever be allowed to shoot there. But I'm okay with that, because Jessica and Justin took every single location we hit and blew it up to the next level while having the most fun and sharing some of the most genuine love I've ever seen a couple share. If you can't tell, I was dang excited about this session. Just one of those ones that reminded me over and over again why I love my job so very much.