Frauenthal Theater Wedding – Muskegon, MI – M & W Sneak Peek

Frauenthal Theater Wedding – Muskegon, MI – M & W Sneak Peek

Frauenthal Theater Wedding  – Muskegon, MI

Sneak Peek of Marci and Walt’s epic day!

While we may have hardly left the building yesterday, we came away with an absolute plethora of images that certainly did not lack for variety.  The day was fun and full of love as family and friends settled in to the historic Frauenthal theater to watch Marci & Walt pledge to love each other forever.

All the details were perfectly planned and executed.  They had some amazing pros helping to make sure the day went off without a snag.  A big shout out to Rachel and her assistant Becky from White Dress Events, who were truly amazing and help me and my assistant through some curve balls that were thrown our way…and they made sure we were fed!

This is just a peek for now.  The rest will come later.  To catch the updates as they come, be sure to subscribe to the blog.  You can also sign up for Marci & Walt’s gallery.

Vendor Love (the team players that made the day happen!) – Thanks to all you helped make the day possible!

Frauenthal Theater– Venue (one of my favs)

White Dress Events – Planning (my heroes for the night)

Caela Scott – dress (such a gorgeous one!)

Desserts by Design – cake/cupcakes (so yummy!)

Chalet Floral – flowers/decor (fantastic as always)

Harris Hospitality – dinner (always delicious!)

Modern Entertainment – DJ (great team player and kept the party going)

Salon 297 – Bride/bridesmaids hair & makeup (simply perfect!)

Dan Anderson – Officiant extraordinaire


A New Adventure with a Newborn Photo Session

A New Adventure with a Newborn Photo Session

A Newborn Photo Session

A first for this Grand Haven Wedding Photographer

It’s always good to stretch yourself to be able to grow.  As  you know, my usual subjects are brides and grooms for either engagement photos or weddings.  But this sweet little one, beautifully named Raya, was the perfect reason for me to step outside the norm and stretch my skill set a bit. This sweet bundle happily snoozed for most of the time, though she did get a bit hungry from all the hard work of posing.  Nestled in her mother’s loving arms, she quickly settled down.  Thank you, Emily, for sharing her with me.  It was my honor to capture that fresh face.  <3


Wynn & Ellie – Upland, IN Wedding Sneak Peek

Wynn & Ellie – Upland, IN Wedding Sneak Peek

Wynn & Ellie –

Upland, Indiana Wedding – Sneak Peek

I wanted to get a few of those posted to share in the joy that we experienced yesterday.  I haven’t cried so much at a wedding in a long time.  These two people, surrounded by their family and friends, vowed before God to love each other for the rest of their lives.  There sweetness and tenderness with each other just overflows and anyone around them can’t help but notice and smile broadly in response.

Thank you, Wynn and Ellie for allowing me to be part of your day! To be notified when the full gallery goes live, please visit:  Coggin Wedding

Crockery Creek Natural Area – G & D

Crockery Creek Natural Area Engagement Session – Garrett & Danielle

Nunica, Mi

Being finally blessed with comfortable temperatures, it was pure bliss to photograph Garrett & Danielle on this lovely spring night.  We met at the Crockery Creek Natural Area and enjoyed being comfortable in shirt sleeves for one of the first warm days of spring.

These two fell easily into sync with each other as I posed them in front of the camera.  You could tell that they enjoyed being together and in each other’s arms.  They enjoy easy banter but also a sweet tenderness that cannot fully be described with words.  The photos do all the talking.  Looking at Garrett as he looked into the face of his future bride, you knew he had found the one.  Danielle’s easy laughter and sweet smile conveyed the abundance of joy she has when she is with Garrett.  These two have just begun their journey of a life together and I am honored to be a small part of it!  I will see you in 2018 at District 5 Schoolhouse!

Grand Ravines Park – Ottawa County – J & K

Grand Ravines Park – Ottawa County – J & K

Grand Ravines Park – North

Jenison, MI – Jeff & Kim

Ottawa County Michigan has such a wealth of locations for getting outdoors and enjoying our varied Michigan weather.  Grand Ravines is just one of the many wonderful options.  For Jeff and Kim’s engagement session, we opted for the North portion of the park and enjoyed the views of the river and the greenery that was bursting into life.

When I met with Jeff and Kim to plan their engagement session, there were a few things that I noticed.  Kim has an easy smile and looks at Jeff in a way that only one truly in love could.  Jeff has eyes that convey his smile and are especially bright when he’s chatting with Kim.  Together they are easy going and comfortable.

During their engagement session they were ready for anything that I threw at them.  We enjoyed some great laughs…especially when we realized that my instructions weren’t always as clear as I thought them to be!  Despite the temps in the 40s we enjoyed the warm light that the sun gave us and captured moments that I hope they will not soon forget.  One of my favorites was when they were dancing together and Kim looked at Jeff and commented , “I’ll dance with you anywhere.”.  Yep, that is why I do this.  Sweet tender moments like that.  Thank you, Kim and Jeff, for allowing me to come along on your date.  I will see you in June of 2018 at The Little Red Barn!

Rosy Mound Engagement – A & A

Rosy Mound Engagement – A & A

Rosy Mound Natural Area Engagement

Grand Haven, MI

Aaron and Allison trekked from their Grand Rapids home out to Grand Haven’s Rosy Mound Natural Area for their engagement session.  The weather was…well…pretty much crud.  It was quite cold and drizzly and, to be honest, appeared gloomy.  However, as you can tell from the results, they didn’t let that hamper them.  These two are incredibly sweet together.  Sharing easy laughter and warm embraces we made our way through the trails together.  All the while we captured the joy they share just being together.  <3  Thank you, Aaron and Alli, for braving the elements.  I look forward to capturing your wedding in June of 2018 at the Boulder Creek Golf Club.  See you then!

Grand Haven Beach Engagement – J & G

Grand Haven Beach Engagement – J & G

Grand Haven Beach Engagement Session

Meeting at Fisherman’s Parking lot in beautiful Grand Haven, MI, Justine and Gabe braved the quite brisk temperatures of the evening to celebrate their engagement and upcoming 2018 wedding. They had carefully chosen clothing to compliment the color palette of the scene which is such a great way to add just a bit more polish to your portraits.   The night was warmed by their easy laughter and sweet smiles.  These two have fun together and it shows!  Thank you Gabe and Justine for allowing me to capture a glimpse into who you are as a couple.  The beach may have been cold that night, but you’d never know it from your smiles, laughter and genuine affection for one another.

Destiny – High School Senior

Destiny – High School Senior

This girls is heading places!  Heading off in the fall to study nursing, this beautiful girl allowed me to photograph her recently and, as you can tell, she appeared to be quite at ease in front of the camera.  Her terrific smile is something I know her sweet mama cherishes and will remember even while she is away at college.  Congratulations, Destiny!  May you reach your goals and be a great help to those that need you.

For Photographers – Color Processing Matters

For Photographers – Color Processing Matters

For Photographers – Color processing matters

Today I’m going to approach a subject that I want to be careful not to step on any photographer’s toes.  There are several approaches of processing photos and I have illustrated a few below.  The first image is pretty straightforward and nearly SOOC (straight out of camera).    The second is one of a popular “film” preset camp as well as the third.  The fourth is my processing.  One of my mantras when I meet with clients is that I don’t do popular “filters” or in photog language “presets”.  My mind-set is that what is popular now will often change in 3-5 years and, in my opinion, that will soon “date” your photos.  Remember the white vignette of years gone past?  If I were to use that now, it would make the photos look old.  That’s my same thought behind how I approach my processing.  Your hairstyle or the clothes you wear may “date” the photo, but my hope is that the processing will be timeless and classic.

That being said, photographers, you do you.  If the dark, moody film presets are your thing, then by all means, stick to it.  If the light airy, minty greens are more your speed and your clients love it, rock on, my friends.

For consumers

Take a look at the examples and find which style you love and find a photographer who delivers that style.  If you like the dark, moody look and you hire the photographer that produces the bright, light look, then you’ll both be frustrated.

Final note for photographers

Pick your style – Is your website filled with a variety of these types of styles?  Are you clean and classic on some, bright and airy on others and dark and moody in several selections?  My question to you will be one posed to me early on – How will your clients know what they’re going to get?  The argument posed to me was that it was just confusing to clients to look at the variety and know what they would be getting from their wedding or family photos.

What are your thoughts?  Agree?  Disagree?  I’d love to hear what you think.

**Side note** My “light and airy” version won’t look like most “light and airy” photographers stuff because my shooting style is different.  See the post on lighting to understand why.

Muskegon Wedding Photographer

For Photographers – Focal Length Matters

For Photographers – Focal Length Matters

Photographers – Lens Focal Length Matters

The two images below illustrate a very important lesson in regards to lens focal length.  The top image clearly makes the bride and groom look like they’re giants compared to the bridal party.  The bottom image makes them look far more proportional.  Camera distance didn’t change here.  The focal length changed.  According to the exif data, the first image was at 26 mm and you clearly see that reality is a bit distorted.  the bottom image’s exif shows that it was shot at 74m.

What you are seeing in the bottom image is called compression.  The lens has “compressed” the view and you see a much more pleasing result.  And actually is much closer to reality than the top image.

Some say “zoom with your feet”

When I first was studying photography, I heard the advice of “zoom with your feet” as a solution to a shorter lens.  However, zooming with your feet will not solve lens distortion or make a short lens compress the scene when like you can see below.  So the ever popular 35 mm lens that many photographers are jumping on the bandwagon to use for portraits, may simply not be the most flattering choice for portraits.  What’s closest to the camera will seem larger…imagine a face for a moment…you get my point.  If you can’t imagine it, here is a helpful gif to illustrate it.

Gif source:

Is it any wonder why some of us just can’t tolerate selfies?

More examples to follow but go ahead and do some testing of your own.  Now that you have been exposed to the thought of distortion and compression, my bet is that you’ll become much more aware.


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