Tyler + Sydney | Winter Engagement Session in Upper MI

“We met in kindergarten and ‘dated’ until Tyler moved away for about ten years.” Sydney says. “Years later, I saw a guy with the same name on Facebook and wondered if it was the same Tyler I used to know in kindergarten. It turned out it was and ironically enough, he was now living in the same little town of Tapiola that I was and was only a few miles away from me. We decided to meet up on our bikes and have been inseparable from that day ever since.”

Ohmygoodness, if that’s not the cutest love story, I don’t know what is! I mean, come on - they even liked each other at 5 years old! Destiny, baby. Keep on scrollin’ to see Sydney and Tyler’s winter engagement session (where they froze their butts off like champs) and leave some love for them in the comments below!

I have a pretty solid belief that if our furry friends are our family, they should make it in at least a couple photos too. Lucky for me - my clients tend to agree. Tyler and Sydney brought their sweet pup along (who hundred percent got lots of pets from me).

I feel like you’re missing out if Lake Superior doesn’t make the cut for a photo session in the Upper Penninsula of MI. We grew up on it, in it and around it so naturally we headed to the beach for a few more photos to wrap up their photo session. Thank goodness for body heat that kept the two of them semi-warm.

Winter Travel Dates

I’m singing the song “I’ll be home for Christmas” over and over in my head as I write this because I’m so excited it’s actually accurate for me this year! It’s been a couple years since I’ve got to spend the holidays with my family (and even longer since all of my siblings have been together for Christmas) so we’ll be traveling to Upper Michigan December 15th-26th.

I only have 3/5 available dates still open for photo shoots while I’m in the Houghton, MI area so if you’re ready for new portraits, head over to the contact page right now to get the conversation started! Whether you want to update your business/branding photos, lifestyle family photos, need engagement/anniversary photos, or just want personal portraits - I’d love to plan a fun winter photoshoot with you! Heaven knows we’ve got enough snow in the U.P. to build some snowmen outside and then come in for hot cocoa and snuggles. If this sounds like fun, let’s talk!

These dates won’t last long and I’d love to get you in before Christmas Eve so we can both spend the holidays celebrating with our families! Click HERE to send me a message!

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Karen + Ethan | Georgetown Engagement

This engagement session was a very dear one to me. If you follow me on social media, you may remember my friend Karen as the first friend I made when I moved to WA. Well my friends, I am stoked to announce she recently got engaged and I got to capture just a peek into the love story of her and her fiancee Ethan. *cue the applause* Karen is also an extremely talented photographer so being asked to photograph their engagement + wedding photos was a huge honor.

Karen and Ethan met at a work event, chaperoning elementary children at Wild Waves/Enchanted Village. Between dates of hiking, biking and adventuring, they eventually fell in love. Karen says she knew she first loved Ethan while visiting his grandparents in Montana during their first Christmas together. Ethan says he knew he loved Karen while celebrating their first Valentines Day together, with a spaghetti picnic on her dorm bed. Fast forward a lot of fun times to January of this year when Ethan wrote Karen a sweet love letter and then proposed to her. Now the two lovebirds are planning their late summer wedding and toasting to the future. 

Guys, I cannot be more happy for you! Thank you for letting me photograph your love. I am so excited to see your love story continue to grow and for you to start this new chapter of your lives together! Cheers!

Tipsy Tuesday | How to Prep for my Photo Session

It's Tipsy Tuesday and today's tip is on feeling prepared for your photo session. While you should trust your photographer (if you've hired a professional you love) to help you to look your best, it's natural to still feel a little nervous and unprepared before your session. Here are 5 quick tips to help smash those jitters!

1. Bring an extra outfit, accessories, jewelry and easy-to-walk in shoes. Even if we don't end up using them, having options in the car is helpful in case you have a wardrobe malfunction, want to change up the feel of your photos or want to venture off the beaten path in something other than those adorable new heels you just bought.

2. Dress accordingly to the weather and/or bring warm-up gear for breaks. Warm jackets and boots, hand warmers, dry socks and a thermos with a hot beverage. If we've made a day of it, feel free to bring snacks to ward off the hangry dragon.

3. Communicate clearly with your photographer in advance if you have a specific vision in mind that you want created in your photos.

4. Create a SOS bag with chapstick, bug spray, spf, lotion, safety pins, hairspray and a comb for quick touch-ups in between in case rain or weather gets you down.

5. Hire a professional stylist and hair and makeup artist if you can! This will help immensely when it comes to choosing colors and outfits that look good on you, as well has having photo-ready hair and makeup. Professionals can help your look to look killer and last longer. 

I hope these 5 tips help you feel a little more prepared before your upcoming photo session! As always, my online door is always open if you have any questions! 

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Zain + Umema | UW Engagement Session

From the first few minutes of meeting Zain and Umema in person, I could feel just how meant-to-be these two people were together. Zain was so gentle with and clearly adored his lady. Umema had a heart of gold. Sweet, patient and filled with joy each time she talked about Zain.

They told me the story of how they met, over 12 years ago on campus at UW. Umema was selling roses and Zain bought some just for the opportunity to talk to that cute girl he had his eye on. They spent a lot of their dates on campus, slowly falling in love after that over many walks, talks and good food. Then Umema moved to Chicago to further her education and they continued their love story over long distance. Eventually they were reunited again and Zain knew it was time to pop the big Q. He got a YES! Of course it was only fitting to have their engagement session on campus so that leads us to the session you're about to see below. They brought back the roses to re-inact those first special moments to them in the same exact spot! 

Oh and being the sweethearts they are, they gave me the bouquet of roses to keep at the end of the session. Made my night!

Scroll on friends and leave them some love in the comments!

Nadean + Mohamed | Seattle Engagement Session

Mohamed traveled from Florida to meet his beautiful fiancee Nadean in Seattle for a portrait session celebrating their engagement in her home state. We met up at a local park in the city for their photo shoot, where they shared a bit of their love story with me. Filled with excitement for their upcoming wedding, the happy couple laughed, danced and shared kisses with each other as we explored the park. It was so sweet, Mohamed gave Nadean the most stunning engagement ring and she couldn't stop smiling at it during their session. Engagement sessions are my favorite because I love capturing one of the happiest/most exciting parts of a couple's love story. 

Enough chat from me now. There's a super cute session waiting to be seen below so keep on scrollin'...

Alex and Amanda | MI Fall Engagement Session

Amanda and Alex are born and raised Michiganders. We connected online when Amanda reached out for wedding and engagement photography, saying she loved my style of shooting. We chatted a little, discovering we had many similar interests (essential oils, wine, dogs, love for the u.p. of mi, etc..) and I knew immediately they would be a great fit and I definitely wanted to travel and capture anything and everything photography related for these two lovebirds. 

A few weeks ago, I flew to Detroit to meet them for their engagement session. Fall in MI is incredible and if you've never been you really should schedule a trip. Cider mills open up all around, pressing fresh apple cider, making homemade donuts, apple picking in the orchards, wineries and so much more. The colors weren't fully in bloom on the trees yet, but a cider mill was definitely the next best option for a fall engagement session location. 

We seriously had the best time just having fun hanging out and chasing the sun around for photos all evening. I loved seeing what a fun loving relationship these two have together and how sweetly they treated each other.  

Thanks so much for having me you two! I cannot wait to come back for your wedding next year!

Shelby + Brett | Seattle, WA Engagement Session

"We are best friends and just the best team together."
Sounds like a two people who are meant to be together if you ask me! Shelby and Brett are high-school sweethearts who fell in love and decided to move from Arizona to the Pacific Northwest together after college. After planting roots in their home, starting new jobs and planning a wedding - they couldn't be more ready to tie the knot in the beautiful state of WA in just under a month. "We are so excited to get married because we feel like we have been talking about being married for years now and we can't believe it's finally happening."

I met them at Discovery Park in Seattle for their engagement session, where we laughed, danced, played and soaked in a setting sun. The best part is, they get to do it again as husband and wife in less than a month! Can't wait to celebrate with you two! Congrats!

For a small peek into their little love story, keep on scrollin'! 

Abbey + Jacob | Upper MI Engagement

Abbey and Jacob met in Nebraska years ago. Jacob fell for Abbey immediately, telling her he was going to marry her someday. Abbey just laughed at him, not knowing that soon she would be dating him and falling head over heels in love with him. She didn't know yet that she'd say yes to his proposal and plan a wedding with him. When Abbey first met Jacob, she didn't know that she was going to be his forever person and that he would be hers. Love is full of wonderful surprises, am-i-right? 

Can't wait for your wedding you two! Now scroll on to see more from their U.P. Mich engagement session: 

How to Prep for a Photo Session

You just realized you scheduled your anniversary photos to be taken this weekend and you're so unprepared! What will you wear? Should you bring anything? How should I do my hair? Fear not my friends! I'm going to help you out with a few tips to remember before your next photo op. 

1. Don't stress. Put your confidence in the photographer you hand selected and trust their vision. Let go of control and listen to their recommendations for better locations, lighting, posing. Take a deep breath and relax.

2. Avoid alcohol the night before the shoot. Alcohol bloats, dehydrates, and dulls your skin out. Hungover bloodshot eyes are not sexy. Pump extra water into your system! Take care of your skin by moisturizing any skin showing in the photos and keep chapstick handy for dry lips.

3. The same goes for foods, if you don't want to feel bloated or sluggish during your session, avoid McDonalds greasy burgers for lunch and opt for leafy greens, nuts and proteins which are beneficial for the skin.

4. If you can hire someone to professionally do your hair and makeup - do it! It will save you alot of stress and give you a confidence boost. If you can't swing one, the other or both, watch a couple tutorials on YouTube, have the ladies at the Ulta or Sephora help you find the correct shade of foundation, and blend well! It's tricky to balance a very bronzed face with a forgotten pale neck in Photoshop. If you're going to tan or spray tan pre-session - try to avoid doing this the night before. Burnt or super orange-y skin won't flatter you in the best way.

5. If you're having a hard time deciding what to wear, remember neutral colors photograph best! Matchy-matchy (classic all white tees and blue jeans) is out and mix and matching is in! Patterns are fun, but be sure only one of you is wearing a bold print while your S/O rocks a more neutral look. When in doubt, head to Pinterest for inspiration (check out my board titled Engagement Inspiration), send a couple photos of the outfits to your photographer to help decide, or enlist the help of a fashion associate at a retail store if you need something new! Make sure whatever you're wearing is comfortable or your feeling of uneasiness may show up in your photos (constantly pulling at a too-tight shirt, red skin from an itchy material, etc). 

6. Only bring props to your session if it's something that makes sense to the subject, for example: Don't bring a tandem bike to pose on if you normally dislike biking. Do bring your favorite beverage to pour into your favorite mugs if you and your S/O share a love for coffee. Do bring your family pet. Get out on your paddle board if it's you and your wife's favorite hobby. You get the idea.

7. Have fun with it! Leave your phones behind, laugh and play with each other. Be fluid and feel free to move around. Tickle him, spin her around, and don't focus too hard on the camera. If you're a bit awkward like some of us, let your photographer guide you.

Kimberly & Craig | Houghton, MI Engagement

I first met Kim and Craig for coffee (how most great first dates begin) in Marquette, MI to get to know a little about the two of them and their relationship together. As they described what they had in mind for their engagement photos, I knew right away we were going to be a great fit. First of all, they put in the work and told me they already checked out my photography and loved my style. Secondly, they wanted to hike to some waterfalls and do a little shooting + exploring with me. Hello soulmates! Because they love the fall, we planned the session right when the leaves were beginning to change and got some great pops of color!

Kim and Craig, I'm so excited for you guys to get married and spend forever exploring together and making each other laugh like you did during your session. You're awesome; congrats again!