Eastern Market

Doug + Stacy

When your good friend, who has been the backbone of your photobooth company since its inception re-finds the love of his life (for the umpteenth time), and finally puts a ring on it; you celebrate. You take pictures, you gallivant Detroit, and you laugh your faces off for hours. Doug + Stacy are special kind of people, my kind of people and I can't even wait for this wedding day to roll around.

Taryn + Sam

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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.

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Angelo + Jamie

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Time-traveling back a few months to mid-April when the sunsets were just starting to get ridiculously gorgeous, but the sunlight still had that cold winter feel to it. Angelo, Jamie, and myself explored all over Detroit on that beautiful evening to create these images. I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

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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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Samantha + Billy

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Samantha + Billy. They were just made to be photographed in Detroit. They traveled all the way from Grand Rapids to come hang out with me in Eastern Market and on Belle Isle on an incredible spring night. I'm so thankful for clients like these, that get me excited about my job over and over and over again. Their September wedding can't come soon enough.

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Two-Thousand and Twelve x iPhone

Oh, 2012. What an incredible year in my life. I got married, I went to the Dominican Republic, Chicago (many times), Nashville, Grand Haven, Tawas, the U.P. and everywhere else in between. In this year, I truly discovered one of my favorite mediums for images: the iPhone. I downright fell in love with taking pictures with the one thing that is always with me. The ease, the portability, and its ability to go incognito. I fell in love with Instagram and editing with VSCO Cam. Most of all, I fell in love with the iPhone's ability to create easy, beautiful snapshots of this crazy life and the world around me. Looking back on these memories of a year gone by, spent with my amazing wife, our crazy dog Fletch and family by my side, has been and will be something that I'll always cherish. For now though, enjoy a year in the life of JDG via iPhone and look forward to a look back on my year in the real world of images really soon! All images shot with iPhone 4S and 5 using VSCO Cam. Follow me on Instagram!

Ryanne + Eric

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Ryanne + Eric. They did Detroit proud through and through. The photographs below should be proof enough of that. Not to mention, they had a Biggest Loser contestant officiate their ceremony, so there's that.

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Detroit, MI :: 03.10.12

Ceremony/Reception Venue :: The Masonic Temple of Detroit

Jessica + Justin

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.

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One of my favorite parts of my job is setting couples up in a given location that I think looks awesome, but then just letting them be themselves and not really posing or instructing them in any particular way. I put Jessica and Justin in front of this rad garage door and then just kind of stepped back and put the viewfinder up to my eye. This is what ensued:

Justin: What should we do? Jessica: Should we dance? Justin: Robot? Jessica + Justin: *immediate robot dance with included sound effects without hesitation or looking at each other*

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