Clicking Through Life » Real life wedding photography

Aly + Nick: A Royal Oak Farmer’s Market Wedding

It’s hard to imagine just a few days ago it was nearly 40 degrees warmer, and yesterday we wake up to more snow!  At least Mother Nature played nice for my “season opener” last weekend.  Nice spring temps in the 70s, perfectly diffused light from the overcast skies, and the crazy storm that came through with tornado like conditions ravaging my little town and knocking our power out stayed far far away from Aly and Nick’s wedding.

I’ve known Aly since the first year I started my photography business.  We met through a business networking group and while I was slightly intimated to meet this near famous Aly that everyone adored, the instant we met we became fast friends.  We’ve road tripped to convention together, supported, consoled and cheered each other on as we’ve grown our businesses.  But not only is she an amazing photographer, but she’s kind and generous and thoughtful and honest and sweet and fun.  I really could go on and on and those of us that are lucky enough to call her a friend know all of this.  I remember our conversation when she told me she had met Nick, I could hear it in the excitement in her voice that he was the one.  And Nick is one of the “good ones”.  He’s a true English Gentleman.  He has a sense of humor and can make everyone laugh.  He’s an awesome father to 2 very funny little boys, who must get their sense of humor from him.  He’s loyal and loving and I know that he will always take amazing care of Aly.  And last weekend I had the pure honor of documenting their love for each other…

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Aly found her wedding dress at A’doraBelle Bridal Boutique  and the instant she sent me a picture of it I was amazed at how perfect it was for her.  A Vintagy lacey design that matched her personality so well and with amazing style she coupled it with these sweet sparkly shoes from Anthropologie.

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Jerome from Blumz by JR Designs is a good friend of Aly’s and worked his magic styling and helping to make the entire day come together beautifully.  I loved the soft romantic hues throughout the day.  The bouquets had a gorgeous chic simplicity to them and the  fresh sprigs of rosemary in the boutonnieres were the perfect market touch!

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I love how Aly tied  her passion for photography throughout all of the details.  From vintage cameras and flash bulbs on the tables, their invitations were even crafted out of 35mm film canisters!

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Aly’s preparations took place Troy Marriott where she was surrounded in love by her family.

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Turns out tying a bow tie isn’t quite as easy as one might think, but with a little help YouTube they were able to figure it out.

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Aly & Nick chose a private first look at this adorable, quaint little antique store Heritage Co II Architectural Artifacts.  Although we never went indoors, from the outside it looks awesome.  I foresee a little shopping trip in my future….

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The other thing that’s fantastic about the bride being a fellow wedding photographer is the amount of time dedicated to portraits.  Choosing to have their first look private allowed for them to spend some quality time alone together on their wedding day, and plenty time to capture some amazing bridal portraits.  There’s so many that I loved, I had a hard time narrowing it down.

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Afterwards we met up with the rest of wedding party at the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market. They’re wedding party included their cherished family and friends, some of whom came all the way from England to stand by their sides.

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Nick’s 2 boys  were the Jr. Best Men and a ton of fun for portraits!

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The ceremony and reception took place inside the Farmer’s Market where Jerome and his team completely transformed the space in just a few hours after the market had closed and it was absolutely dreamy.

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Nick’s father is recently recovering from surgery and was unable to make the trip here from England, but he was able to be there via Skype to witness it.  Props to modern technology!

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 We thought it would be fun if I stashed my backup camera behind the curtains so Aly could surprise her guests with a picture of her own.  Even a wedding photographer can’t resist a photo op on their wedding day!

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The details were a perfect blend of rustic and vintage and I love how they incorporated Nick’s English heritage with the traditional wedding crackers.

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Dinner was quite an experience  with local food trucks doing the catering.  El Guapo provided the most delicious tacos I’ve ever tasted.

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And Rollin Stone Pizza made incredible brick oven pizzas right on the spot!

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Treat Dreams provided ice cream and sundaes and Baked Impressions made all of the yummy cupcakes.

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Their first dance as husband and wife was to “No Ones Gonna Love You” by Band of Horses and her friend and dance teacher Donna choreographed it beautifully.

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Derek of Mike Staff Productions provided the tunes for the evening.  He does crazy amazing things with music.  I could listen and watch him dj all night.  I love the way he mixes music and spins records right in.

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I love how much fun they had dancing with their parents.

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And one last favorite from the day.  Congratulations you guys!  I wish you both a lifetime of love and happiness.  You guys are amazing, your wedding was perfect and I am humbled to have been a part of it all.

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New Boudie Calls in the studio!

Today I’m super excited to share some pictures from my new Boudoir Studio!   I recently shared some images from the newborn area of the studio, but the main purpose for my space is for boudoir sessions.  I wanted to create a space that was easy to shoot in and comfortable and sexy for clients.  I want them to be excited about their session from the moment they entered.  I scoured Pinterest for ideas on how to repurpose some of my  furniture and for ideas on making headboards.  My husband helped hang a backdrop system and I turned the closet into a dressing room!  I have a feeling it’s going to be ever evolving, but I’m loving it right now!  Last month I officially started photographing sessions here with the launch we were super busy with over 15 sessions that took place here!  I’m so incredibly honored that these courageous women have trusted me to take these intimate portraits.  While I cannot share pictures from all of those sessions here, there are a few that have given me permission to share.  Here’s a few that I love from Ms. M’s session….

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Yes, we have this much fun during a shoot!

Considering a session of your own or looking for more information about our sessions and policies?  Make sure to check out our Boudoir website at www.ctlafterhours.com or contact me to schedule a Boudie Call of your own!

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Michelle + Mark: Belle Isle Engagement Session

It was barely 20 degrees out and although the sun was shining, the winds were whipping and we were freezing. Even my freshly charged camera batteries were loosing juice fast. But Michelle & Mark toughed it out and were complete rockstars during their Engagement session at Belle Isle last month. Here’s a few of my favorites from our time together.

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A new studio and a newborn baby!

While this winter has been the snowiest, coldest and longest we’ve had in a long time, I took advantage of being snowed in and put a ton of work into the new studio. I created a special area just for newborns and this little guy had the honor of being the first newborn photographed here.

Meet Levi. I’ve been photographing the Conger family for years now and this handsome little guy is the newest member to join this awesome family. Levi’s session may have been the easiest newborn session I’ve photographed yet! I’m not sure if it’s the new studio, or how chill Levi is. Probably a combination of both. I’m loving the control of shooting in a studio and Levi slept through almost the entire session!

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Working through the “slow season”

Alright, I’m trying to come back after a long break from blogging now that my 2013 wedding season is all wrapped up. I even signed up for a 4 week writing course that starts in February to help me along.  I do like blogging, and I hope that this class will help me continue to write posts about my weddings and sessions, business and randomness without sounding stale and stagnant.  I want to keep things fresh and inspiring on here, and I really felt that I was straying away from that in the business of last season.  And now that we’re in the winter months, it’s something I’m excited to work on.  People often say to me, “this is your slow season right”?  And I know in their minds they’re thinking that I and other wedding photographers – like teachers in the summer months – are laying on the couch, watching tv and eating bon bons all day.  I know it’s not true of teachers, and this is soooo not me either.  For one, I’m not one to ever sit still and my tv is rarely on and when it is, usually on the news for background noise, it often turns itself off after so much time of not being used.  But if you toss me some bon bons, and you betcha I’ll be eating those while I sit hunched over my computer.  :-)

Yes, it’s true.  This is my slow shooting season.  Not many people choose to get married in the cold winter months here in Michigan.  Although I sometimes think they’re missing out. Winter here is extraordinary.  Maybe a little cold this year and with the “Polar Vortex” and all, but all of that white stuff can make for beautiful backdrops awesome natural reflectors and the grey skies everyone hates diffuse the light perfectly when it comes to your pictures. Just saying’!

But just because I’m not shooting a ton right now, doesn’t mean there isn’t work getting done.  In the midst of a big move and photographing 31 weddings and over 50 sessions in 3 different states in 2013, there wasn’t much time to look at my business.  Those important things like marketing, advertising, networking and planning get set to the side.  Thoughts of education and learning get pushed away, because really I’m focusing on what I know and trying to incorporate big new techniques in the chaos of a wedding day would be insane (to me).

While all of my fellow Michiganders are heading up north on the weekends or going on summer vacations, I’m busy working.  And I honestly don’t mind one bit.   I’m learning to block a weekend or two a summer off for me, but I love spending my weekends at weddings, I love being a part of them and I love photographing and documenting them.  In exchange for working all spring, summer and fall, I get to vacation to nice warm places in the winter while everyone else is tucked in their homes or complaining about the weather.  I don’t think it’s all that bad of a deal really.  5 days in Jamaica in a couple of weeks, yes please!

Even though I’m not shooting a ton, there’s still lots of big projects I’m working on right now (which believe me, sometimes I’d rather be editing and would definitely rather be shooting).  Here’s some of the unglamorous, yet extremely necessary tasks that are keeping me busy this right now…

Year end bookkeeping and 2013 taxes – oh the joy

Updating all of my marketing materials for “planning and bridal show” season

Creating a 2014 business plan to include my new studio!

Updating my advertising plan and creating a 2014 marketing strategy.

All new Boudoir and Portrait pricing, collections and products!

Finishing the studio – it’s almost ready to open!

There’s also plans for a new website in the works

 

So if anyone wants to break my monotony with a snowy session, I’ll happily take it!  In the mean time, here’s my favorite winter model.  At least someone’s enjoying the weather!

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