How did you get into the wedding industry?
I started playing with cameras when I was in grade school (using my hot pink point and shoot to memorialize that fantastic 8th grade style!) Then, once I was in high school, I wanted to be in yearbook (or have the yearbook pass to wander the halls). Next, I was in college studying history and english. I used the art department as an excuse to get out of the academic world. I hate to admit that photography was one of those things that accidentally happened, it just kept following me. I discovered weddings…and it was no longer an accident. From that point on I could think of no better career for me: using art to hang out with happy people, travel the world, and capture memories. I still have an actual photo album for every year of my life from 8th grade through college. So it just seemed natural to be able to offer this to others!
How would you describe your style?
I’d say my style is as natural as possible, to bring out genuine beauty in people. The more natural a smile and pose, the better a photo. I like to capture the love and emotion that occurs (and not create it).
What is your favorite part of a wedding?
Can I say two parts…the first look (when the excitement is officially released because they are seeing each other for the first time. Couples seem to exhale the breath they’ve been holding all morning. My second is right after the ceremony when they can escape the crowds and again “exhale” because THEY DID IT! Both of these moments are kind of the same - being with the couple when its just them and me. The couples seem to relax the most and have fun!
What are some of your favorite trends from last wedding season?
The farm to table, shabby chic definitely!
Its been around for a bit but still a favorite is the Photo Booth - the traditional step inside and receive a strip!
What advice do you have for couples about choosing a photographer?
Number 1 - like the photographer! You spend more time with your photographer than anyone else. If the two (three) of you don’t “click” (hahah pun), it will show in the photos. No matter how fantastic the photos are you’ll always get a tinge of negativity thinking of “that jerk of a photographer."
How far in advance should a couple look into booking your services?
It depends on what time of year. If a couple is looking to book a weekend between June-September (yes even September) I’d say at least 12 months but, to be safe, 18 months. If its during the off season you can go with 6-8 months. My advice, if its a photographer you dream of having don’t wait!! A good photographer books fast! I’ve had a couple book me 2 years in advance before. If anything reach out and start the communication as soon as you know you like them!
What advice do you have for couples about the planning process?
HAVE FUN! Try not to stress the small stuff. Keep in mind that no matter how “perfect” you want the day to be, there are always things you can’t control. Also, hire professionals you like and trust, they should be your “stress-slayers” along the way!
What do you love about living and working in Northern Michigan?
Easy, I could write about this for days! Northern Michigan is this gorgeous little gem. It has the charm of New England, the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean, the outdoors environment of the west, and the culinary and artististic hipness of a big city! Yet we get it without the traffic, the crowds, the dirt, and the inflation. And don’t forget it also has the midwest kindness and hospitality!