Sydney + Eric | Engagement October 28th, 2017 | Adventure Couples Session Rockwood MI

I've really started to move towards making my engagement sessions all about

WHO my couples are, what they like to do, hobbies, favorites dates, whatever!

It's all a part of the getting to know you experience with Catchfly Photography

I have to say that I am totally stoked Amanda with Amanda Groendyke: Photographer

referred these two to me! I love who they are and where they are getting married!!!

Camp Newaygo next year, fall.

I was pretty much SWAMPED the entire month of October, and Sydney had the most patience...

hoping and praying all the fall colors would stick around till the end of the month

and thank GOD, all the colors did. I would say this year peeked kind of late?!

That honestly makes me the happiest, that even though it was beyond my control

we were still able to incorporate PLENTY of fall colors into our couples adventure session!

SO....the morning of our session, I head out on my 2 hour drive towards Rockford, MI

I don't mind the drive though, I actually LOVE driving and will do just about ANYTHING for

some new travels! I love exploring and I love couples down for an adventure,

so that's what we did....

I met Sydney and Eric at their apartment and they

had so many outfits and shoes picked out, haha!

I don't really mind though. This is your time, make it all your own. It's a different story when

changing takes a long time, but when you're totally down to just change right in the

parking lot....BOOM! We're good! haha

We started Downtown Rockford...they spent the majority of their relationship here,

even sharing their first place together! They would take walks along the Rockford, dam.

Eventually moving around downtown in a circle, stopping at ALL the beautiful locations

AND (GUSH!!!) her RING, OMG! So unique...so I had to try a few spots out,

giving her ring the total spotlight! (Trust me...just wait till you see!!!!)

Next, was Townsend Park and then Pickerel Park

The funniest part, was stopping by Eric's parents house to get a few memorable photos.

His Dad was mowing the front yard with his ride on John Deere,

giving us all the weird, funny looks!! haha

Downtown Rockford, MI

First Home Shared

(See in the background!)

Kari + Jon | Wedding October 7th, 2017 Polo Fields Ann Arbor

I remember the day I first met Kari, at a local Tim Hortons! She was so sweet and bought me an

iced cap and muffins...when I wanted to do that for her!!

This part of the experience always has

me feeling bittersweet...kind of like the end of the beginning.

I like to think that it's not the end, but in fact the beginning of a great friendship!

First comes love...then comes marriage....then comes baby!

I hope I was everything and more for you Kari + Jon!

5R0A6133.jpg

In Loving Memory

of Kari's Father

Getting Ready

Ceremony

Portraits

Reception

Your wedding was such a happy, fun celebration of love!

I wish you both many years of happiness!

(I do not include immediate family portraits in my blogs out of respect for my brides and their families!)

Stephanie + Jaryd | Couples Session | Autumn + Nick Workshop | Mill Creek Park, Dexter Michigan

Finally, had the chance to meet with

Autumn Thornsberry with athornphoto

and

Nick Najduk with Nick Najduk Photography

Some Serious Talent, I swear!!

The evening started with Q and A, and ended with free reign

to shoot this couple (Paparazzi style!)

(PSST....they even brought their pup!!)

Match Made in the Garden | Lori + Chuck | Wedding August 27th, 2017 | Cafe Cortina Farmington Michigan

Success stories from Match REALLY do happen!

That is how Lori + Chuck met actually.

They are one of the few examples that actually make it through online dating!

(We won't even talk about all my experiences!!)

I met Lori through work.

We talked about her gorgeous garden (and wine!) themed wedding for monthssss!!!!

Cafe Cortina in Farmington Hills, Michigan

Located in an Italian countryside vineyard setting in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Elegant, simple and timeless setting surrounded by your closest friends and family.

Formerly an apple orchard, the grounds you see today host a garden which provides about

70% of all ingredients during the summer months.

I just knew this intimate wedding was going to be GORGEOUS,

.....and we're not just talking about the bride here!

Personally, I love greens, I love nature, and I love gardens so I was already inspired!

Chelsea + Jesse | Engagement September 7th, 2017

I have a seasonal campsite, and that's where I know Randy...my neighbor!

Well...he happens to know Chelsea who happens to know Jesse...

See where I'm going with this!? haha

That is how I was introduced to Chelsea, who was about to have major surgery.

There was just something about her, as the weeks went by...

I made sure to check in with her every once in a while like we were old friends!

I love doing that though! I want my brides to feel special, appreciated, and well cared for!

I know if I were a bride, I would want that too! <3

Weeks and even months go by...we're still chatting and she is healing...

Both her and Jesse decide to book with me!!!!

(GAAAAH....Secretly does happy dance!! Okay....fine I think the neighbors saw me!!!)

We met at a Panera one day and talked about their love for music, how they value the photos and video the most, and how they are throwing one helluva party!

(Cause...oh yeah...they also booked my A-MAZING videographer friend Brandon Reeves)

with Escovision

Originally, we had planned to meet at Belle Isle and roam for their engagement session, but it was crazy windy, and raining (Pre-Irma) so we scratched that idea and waited in the car.

Scratching our heads, all of us frantically on Google looking for something that would fit their personality, Jesse comes up with Trappers Alley in Greektown...which is like DUH! So perfect, because every time they happen to be in Detroit, they stop here, get food and go to a little bakery!!

Bella is Jesse's daughter, and I love that she came along with us as well. We were like best friends by the time we all crammed into their car waiting for the rain to chill out! Wait till you see the love Chelsea has for Bella. Like no joke, looking at those photos, tears came to my eyes. Just the way she grips Chelsea, you can see all the love she has for her! I LOVE their close bond, and you can tell Chelsea is going to be the most PERFECT Mom, I just know it!!

I cannot wait for their wedding in March! I'm so ready to see how this party turns out!

 

 

Personal Hiking Adventure | Hocking Hills, Ohio

Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

I am not going to share all the details of my trip...mainly because this trip was for me!

For years, I have talked about just hitting the road and GOING!

I'm starting to make it more of a priority now.

I want to go back to to the day when I went to Ash Cave, Ohio.

When it was peaceful....but see, that is something I learned from this solo trip.

You can't keep looking into the past, you have to keep moving forward.

Try new things. See new places. EVERYDAY! That's how you find happiness.

That's how you find yourself. That's how you fix things when life has you feeling a little stuck.

 

However, I will share all the major hiking points from my trip!

You know where to find me if you want to know details, advice or tips!

Enjoy the view with me!!

Ash Cave

 
 
 
 

Lower Falls, Old Man's Cave Trail

 

Where should I go next?

Tell me in the comments below!

Lindsey + Kyle | Wedding Styled Shoot | Cuyahoga Valley National Park Ohio

Now you KNOW someone is down for an adventure if they wear hiking boots underneath their wedding dress! 

When I was in the planning stages, I tried asking around for advice and tips as to how the hike might be. After all we were already carrying a wedding dress and suit!

Some gave some really good advice and tips and I was able to pretty much paint a little picture of what to expect! I decided to keep my Wedding Styled Shoot simple.

I didn't want the hassle of renting furniture, hauling a cake, decor...nothing.

I wanted simple + nature + waterfall!

Originally, I had planned to pick flowers while driving to Ohio, but that didn't happen.

Little did I know at the time, that Lindsey is an active flower enthusiast!

She picked all the flowers while hiking back to Twin Sister Falls, and Kyle picked the ferns.

...and I thought it was PERFECT!! Not to mention, Lindsey and Kyle came from another wedding they attended the night before and brought some of those flowers, so we added to it!

Lindsey had always wanted to do a flower crown and I didn't mind, so I let her have full creative control with that one, and she did such a great job!

After some time at Twin Sister falls, we packed up and raced the sunset!

We had already had such a long day...2 hour couples session, hiking, makeup, more hiking...

...but we HAD to make the most important part, so we did a bit of speed hiking on the way back!

Kyle even hiked the whole way back in his suit just to save time!! haha

My favorite part and what I've been waiting for the whole trip!

Everything had already exceeded my expectations at this point, but next....we posed up next to

Blue Hen Falls, Ohio

I got all my beautiful shots! I've always wanted to have a waterfall in the background!!

...then last minute, Lindsey said...

"Okay...let's get in the water"

JAW DROPS!!!!

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

They both got in the water, and I never took my shoes off so fast, so excited!!!!

What do you think?

Could you ever get in the water?

Would you ever get married by a waterfall??

I know I will one day! <3

 

Kari + Jon | Engagement | Mead Mill Ruins Northville, Michigan

It all started at Buffalo Wild Wings

Kari met Jon and the rest was history!

Meeting Kari in person, I could tell she was genuine.

I could feed off her amazing vibe and we talked like old friends!

It was a no brainier that I just HAD to photograph their wedding!

You're up next lady, and I can't wait!

For now, enjoy their engagement photos and I bet you smile when you see Charlie...

Lindsey + Kyle | Couples Session | Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Attention:

Please bring me ALL the most adventurous couples like Lindsey and Kyle

Couples so in love with each other and nature!

Ones that don't mind a little dirt....and will hike in a wedding dress and boots!

Friday, August 11th, 2017 Lindsey and Kyle actually attended a wedding in Grand Rapids.

They had planned to leave around 9PM that night, but ended up having too much fun!!

(leaving around 11PM)

Driving from Grand Rapids to Cuyahoga Valley took about 5 hours and arriving around 4:30AM

Seriously, though...that is what makes them such troopers though!!

I remember it actually surprising me though, expecting them to be there a little later,

giving Nick and I some time to explore (which we still did while they slept a little bit!)

Around 1:30PM that day, we all met up in the parking lot at Ledges Trail.

4 years ago, Lindsey and Kyle first saw each other at a dance club on Halloween.

Kyle was dressed as a life guard, which instantly attracted Lindsey, thinking "Wow, he's cute!"

...but they didn't officially meet that night! It wasn't until a few months later...

Lindsey had been Skyping with a mutual friend of theirs. Kyle happened to be hanging out with this mutual friend after Church and somehow he took over the laptop, and they started talking!

They hit it off almost instantly! He was so easy to talk to! (I could tell when I met him as well)

After a few months of talking, they decided to meet up for a REAL first date in Mackinaw City

(Talk about first date goals, right!? One where the guy actually...ya know...makes effort! GASP!)

They walked around to all the local shops by the water and enjoyed some ice cream together.

A few months after their first date, Kyle took Lindsey to Tahquamenon Falls and they spent the afternoon adventuring, hiking and enjoying nature! After a while Kyle walked Lindsey out into the middle of some shallow falls, and it was there, where he asked her if she wanted to be his girlfriend....WOW! Just WOW....serious props to you Kyle, so romantic!!!!

The rest was history!

They spent the majority of their relationship long distance, as their colleges were 4 hours apart,

but they were able to spend a summer in Haiti with the Hands and Feet Project and

one summer together at Spring Hill working as camp counselors.

Being apart was hard for them, but it taught them about good communication, which is an essential part of a strong relationship!

These two are seriously BEST FRIENDS! Totally comfortable with each other and goofballs!

Enjoy part one of my styled weekend in Cuyahoga Valley, Ohio

Everything I planned for this weekend, was everything and more!!

Cleaning off a dirty butt...haha

 

One of my favorite things about them....Goofballs just like me!

 

...and then I ask, "Whisper something dirty in her ear..." and Kyle says...

"Dirty...laundry...Dirty...dishes"

I would die laughing too!!! hahahahaha

 

I couldn't thank you both enough! Thank you SO MUCH Lindsey + Kyle!!

You two are goals, seriously!

 

 

 

 

Daneene + James Wedding | Taylor Conservatory, Taylor Michigan | July 17th, 2017

Weddings happen on Mondays too people, and the best kind....one that includes a taco buffet!

Such a beautiful day for an outdoor wedding, it was a hot one...but most definitely perfect!

Bold colors of orange, purples, and blacks

Pinata's and photo booths

Tacos, margaritas and a Mariachi band (Did someone say tequila?) 

...but my favorite part about their day...

was the support James always gave his Daneene. It was almost like she wasn't complete without him around, like her soul would go into a panic, and that right there is true love!

I loved the vibe I felt around them, and their strong bond together!

Lindsey + Kyle | Weekend Trip | Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio | Wedding Styled Shoot

I now have an obsession with traveling to AMAZING locations for our shoots!

Like, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio for example!! OH-EM-GEE!! (Insert Heart Eyes!!)

A few months ago, a friend of mine had posted photos of her standing next to a waterfall.

I thought, "OMG! How GORGEOUS!!!"

I sent her a message and we started talking about her trip, and I felt so inspired!
I started thinking about doing a wedding styled shoot. I pictured a bride and groom right by the falls. In her wedding dress and he in his tux/suit!

Let me tell you (and those who know me would agree) I am not one for patience!

I have to have it NOW! haha

First, thing I did was skip a few steps in the planning process to find models for my shoot!

I remember reading this email, and I loved not only the story but how well written it was:

You should consider choosing us because we seem to be exactly the kind of couple you are looking for. Kyle and I are very adventurous. We love hiking, backpacking, camping, traveling and trying new things together. We love adventure so much that our hashtag for our wedding is #lesteradventures. We also love nature. Last summer, Kyle and I had internships at a non-profit organization in Haiti so we lived there for two months. We were lucky enough to be able to get some engagement photos done there with the mountains and greenery in the background. Our other engagement session was back in Michigan at a nature park, because Kyle and I wanted a shoot that would represent our love of nature. We were also both camp counselors at Spring Hill Camps so we both know a thing or two about nature. We love being silly and goofy together, and having fun. We plan to spend our lives loving each other and exploring the world together. If you choose us you won’t regret it!
— Lindsey

....and 100% I DO NOT regret choosing them!!!!

They were 100% down. Willing to use her GORGEOUS wedding dress and BONUUUSSS: He bought his suit. I thought in the beginning, when I first posted that I would just have to settle for a nice shirt and tie!! Hashtag: NOPE! (Might have literally happy danced when I found out!)

So....CHECK! Models secure. Let the planning begin!

I quickly put together a book with things listed like:

Florist, Rentals, Bakery, Hair and Makeup...

...but then quickly realized I most likely wouldn't need most of these because we would probably be hiking through the woods, up and down cliffs and hills and there was NO WAY I wanted to carry or go back and forth for all of that!!!! SCRATCH THAT, and I kept it simple...just the dress and suit! I bought a pop up changing tent so we could hike to our spot and they could change into everything there! I think for the most part, it worked well. I love that I will have it for future sessions as well!

Let me just pause and say that I have a new love for HIKING!! OMG!!!

I planned for a two night stay. I wanted to not only get away and have my first official adult vacation, but be well rested and nearby for the shoot. Plus, we had plenty of time to explore beforehand. I decided to ask my good friend, Nick to come with us! Not only to help split the hotel cost, but he is also adventurous and down for a thrill! I gotta say, that I am extremely thankful he came. He helped me get up and down cliffs, over trees, pushed my butt up when needed, my support in risky places, and just an extra hand! Even using his own shirt to wipe down my sweaty face (makeup and all haha...opps!) 'cause it was HOT but also perfect weather!!!

Anyways, last minute I asked Lindsey if her and Kyle would be down to do an engagement/couples shoot while we were there, and of course being the adventurous couple they are....they agreed! We picked outfits and decided to hike Ledges Trail. I wanted to make the absolute best of our time! 

Friday August 11th, 2017

I drove down to pickup Nick and we headed to our hotel. 3 hour drive one way

Checked in and literally as soon as we got there we went right out to explore!!

By the Ski resort Cuyahoga Valley National Park

I didn't even care if I wasn't "Hiking Ready" haha

Sandals and all, we went to explore Blue Hen Falls first (which was where my friend Ashley had posted a photo of her standing by the falls, which inspired the entire trip!!) Here is the video of Nick and I exploring. We were totally in awe and it was most definitely something to see!

I'm officially obsessed!

Reaching for the falls at Blue Hen Falls Cuyahoga Falls Ohio

We went Geocaching a little and then picked up some food afterwards for the weekend to grill and what not and headed back to our room for the night! ;)

Geocaching

Nick found his first Geocache and wrote both our names.

Opps! I didn't see it when I went to write mine in next HAHA --->

Saturday August 12th, 2017

I woke up at 7am. I tossed and I turned but I was excited, nervous and ready for the day!

I tried waking Nick up, but PFFT.....he wasn't having it! haha Until, 2 hours later I was like,

"YO! GET UP!"

The night before I had showed him a YouTube video I found of this one guy who found a "secret waterfall" so of course we wanted to go and find it! We watched as we explored every step of the way and eventually found Twin Sister Falls. Here is a LIVE video from my page of us exploring:

Nick threw in some AWESOME ideas and I was inspired to bring my couple here, and we did!! We had to leave (when we didn't want too because it was absolutely gorgeous!) but I made a time commitment to meet Lindsey and Kyle at 1:30 at the Ledges Trail to do our "Engagement/Couples" Shoot! We hiked our way back, drove to the hotel, shoved some food in our face, and headed back out.

Waiting by my car, gearing up, I hear

"Julie?"

and I turn around (with a surprised look like what the...)

and its Lindsey in her beautiful dress! She's so young and beautiful, and I'm over here with no makeup. haha. Visiting Blue Hen Falls the night before, climbing up the falls got Nick and I a little wet....which naturally made all my mascara run down my face....so I swore off mascara for the whole day, Saturday!! This video is where we stood: he's such a daredevil...and I followed! #noregrets ;)

After all introductions and hugs were given we decided to start our hike. Small chit chat, laughs, and stories were shared. Ledges Trail was BEYOND words, just absolutely gorgeous! Each time we turned a corner, it was like a scene from some fantasy movie. Corners to hide away in, intimate spaces to share kisses, just WOW! Here is a behind the scene shot Nick did for me! I LOVE Behind the scene shots!!! This shows you a little just how beautiful this location is!! I'd totally travel here again for another session!

2 hours later, a bit of sore feet (poor Lindsey in sandals!) and lifetime memories later, our hike was over and I had well over 400 images to go through! I'm so happy and glad we did that! 

(SEE ENGAGEMENT/COUPLES SESSION HERE) <--Still Editing!

Nick and I headed back to the hotel, where I met with my good friend Laura Fudge with

Laura Fudge Makeup & Esthetics

and first we did some head shots for her. She totally deserved that and WAY more for driving 3 hours (ONE WAY!) Just to do my brides makeup for us! Afterwards, Lindsey and Kyle met back up with us in our room, and we did Lindsey's makeup. I could tell Lindsey was excited to meet with Laura. She looked so inspired and like she wanted to ask Laura so many questions. I'm so happy I introduced them! 6pm quickly rolled around and we were running out of daylight and fast!

We all drove to the parking lot by the train station, and hiked our way back towards Twin Sister Falls. When Nick and I first had gone there, we had to hike along side a VERY steep mountain hill, but on our way back found an easier shortcut to avoid all that, and I was thankful since I knew Lindsey and Kyle would be carrying a dress/suit and Nick the changing tent! Our hike down the creek seemed shorter, but I think it was because Nick and I stopped so many times the first time to explore, take photos and videos, and carve initials into tree stumps!

The entire hike there, our flower enthusiast (or part time hobbyist!!) Lindsey, was picking flowers along the way to fill out her bouquet. Friday night they had attended a wedding in Grand Rapids and then drove the 5'ish hours straight to their Air bnb near Cuyahoga! They arrived around 4:30am! That totally surprised me! Such troopers, I swear! At this wedding they were able to take some flowers with them, but by the time we were ready to use them, they looked a little sad...so we had to fill them out! Picking wild flowers and ferns, and to be honest...it turned out pretty nice! I gotta say, Lindsey has some talent for knowing her flower types and color schemes! 

Lindsey and Kyle quickly got dressed into her dress/his suit and she wanted to wear a flower crown (and I didn't mind!) made by our flower enthusiast, Lindsey! 

Twin Sister Falls

After our shoot at Twin Sister Falls, we hiked back to our cars. Kyle decided to stay in his suit, and per his words, "Most definitely a different experience hiking in nice shoes and a suit" haha but he made it the whole time and it saved time. I would NEVER ask Lindsey to do that though! I loved her dress and didn't want it to snag on anything.

We drove straight to Blue Hen Falls with probably less than an hour of play time around the falls. We were losing sunlight and FAST! Here is my LIVE video at this point:

We all had an idea that maybe, just MAYBE towards the end of the day we would get in the water...and at the very last second, she decided..."Okay, lets do this!!!" SHE GOT IN THE WATER for me and so did Kyle. I can't even describe the excitement. The way the water splashed her face and made her giggle. The way he wiped her face clean and then kissed her was beyond words (Insert googly heart eyes!)

Her dress in the water is seriously so gorgeous and this entire weekend was everything and more! My inspiration came to LIFE thanks to Lindsey and Kyle!!

(SEE WEDDING STYLE PHOTOSHOOT HERE!) <--Still Editing!

....and that was pretty much a wrap, and we packed up and said Goodbye! I probably said Thank you to them way more than needed, but I am so grateful and happy with how everything turned out! Perfect weather, great people, fun adventure!

Sunday August 13th, 2017

Pretty much the boring pack up and leave (but don't want too) day

...and we didn't want too :(

Hoping Nick can come along with me every adventure! It just wouldn't be the same without him

 

(Some photos and videos uploaded from our cell phones)

 

 

Christopher's Annual "One Year Older" Photo!

This particular Sunday morning, I am feeling a bit emotional.

Not just because I am a woman and that's just what we do, but also because

I am a Mother!

Yesterday, I went on a little adventure to Island Park in Ann Arbor.

Looking at my absolute favorite photo of my son, Chris and I

(That's where the emotional part comes in)

I just love the mood the black and white image gives me

It shows me that I am a mother to a boy

a protector, a provider....

I have made it my new mission to get in front of the camera more and let me tell you...

doing it myself was SOOOO HARD! Reason #523,334....to hire a photographer! 

I had to bribe, not going to lie!

....but I was determined (as I always am!) to get at least ONE good shot together!!

( I can't stop staring at the photo!! )

Anyways, the second reason we were there was to (FINALLY) get his annual 8 year photo done.

Every year, I hand Chris a number and take an annual photo. I'm a month behind, but there was NO way I could break tradition. The only thing we decided to break was the environment. It was a debate for me, but I'm happy with my decision.

For Christopher's first 5 years, I was the "JcPenny Mom" ....me now would (GASP!) and all his photos were done in studio. The debate was IF I was going to continue that (of course still doing the photos myself)

I prefer and love natural lighting. I love to be outdoors, so we decided to change things up this year. Show growth. Show where we came from and where we are now. (Yes, I am making....err....asking him to do this till he is 18 (evil laugh!!))

Chris annual 8 year photo Island Park Ann Arbor

3 Reasons (Off the top of my head) to grab that camera, and PRACTICE!

I used to be, well pretty much still am...for lack of a better word....ashamed of where I live, but then I get to thinking about my everything that I DO have that most don't. I live in a mobile home park (THERE...I said it!) BUT...I am a mother that is single and I own this home, for 3 years now! I work a full time job and run a part time business. #BOOM! ....with all that said...the location is not the best when we go outside and I take some photos of Chris...but I have to stop thinking about that. It's not about my neighbor's mobile home thats a bit blurry in the background, but it's actually about a story. Our story. Later, down the road, when I sit down and look at all my prints of Chris...I will remember that Ninja Turtles Umbrella. I can remember his facial features because before I know it, he will have a beard and we are doing our first dance at his wedding (Sniffle)

1) For Practice

To be in different types of lighting, weather, locations, and scenarios really does help you improve! You might think in the back of your mind, "Oh that's probably pointless, I'll just wing it when the time comes." at least that was alwaysthe struggle in my head. Trust your struggle. Know it's leading you towards something GREAT! Work through the mistakes, try new things, new angles, new positions (haha FOCUS!) I didn't believe practice would help till I told my inner voice to "SHUT UP!" and I just geared up and went outside! The mistakes are the best part...it's where I learn the most.

2) For the Memories

As a photographer, we stress how important it is to get in front of the camera. That what we do is worth it, and it gives you a chance to be IN the photos with your children and spouse....but sometimes as photographers we forget to get IN front of the camera as well. I personally, am going to work on taking my camera with me more often. I might even start bringing it with me to the store! I can already tell that my son loves it. He sees how much I LOVE photography and its something that we bond with! (Secretly he loves all the funny poses) I am most likely going to invest in a better remote. I need to be in the photos as well!

3) To tell a story

My style is evolving more into a lifestyle feel. I want my photos to tell a story. Even if some of these photos mean "meh" to you...I know personally as his Mother, I will remember how obsessed he was with this Ninja Turtles Umbrella and every time a grey cloud was hanging over our home, he immediately went into a panic, would run back into the house, and absolutely insist that he will need his umbrella. (Slow eye roll) ...but ya' gotta love him!

"Oh Chris...it's just water!"

I, no joke, laid IN a puddle just to get some of these shots.

I have a mirror phone selfie, but my bathroom is dirty haha (I'm serious!) 

I'm messing a little more in Lightroom with "Camera Calibration" sliders

I learned and see NOW, that my images are a bit green, but easy fix!

Does that make this reason #4?

Practice makes perfect....and thats my goal! I will NEVER quit!

 

Valerie + Mike | Engagement Session | Kensington Metropark Milford, Michigan

I CANNOT wait to photograph these two in my VERY FIRST Destination Wedding in Jamaica!! 

First year business GOALS for sure!!!! (Err....hashtag right?!)

All their photographs during our 4 night all inclusive stay will be GORGEOUS!!!

....but until then, enjoy some engagement lovin'

My First Feature | Walnut Photo Box + USB Product Photo

For something so small to someone else, means so much to someone like me!

Quiet a few months ago (Maybe even a year+ longer??) I found Hanging Branch

I fell in love with their style and loved all their products!

I literally remember the day I clicked on their USB tab on their website

scroll just a little bit.....

and.....

my jaw (NO JOKE) dropped to the floor, and right then and there I was like,

"YUP! That is what I want to offer my clients right there!!"

I found the CUTEST little USB. It has a cork top and its a little glass bottle

It gave me the impression like it was a "Message in a bottle"

Which are your digital files of course. We live in a digital age after all right?

(JUST PRINT YOUR IMAGES AND WE'RE GOOD!!!!) haha

I thought they would look SO CUTE stuffed with moss and or other organic type materials

What do you think?

Anyways....

Hanging Branch LOVED my product images!

They asked to feature one of them on Instagram!

You can find it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BW81yflh9_1/?taken-by=hanging_branch

HOW COOL IS THAT!?!! I'm sure it will be the first of many!! ;)

I have the best front porch for photos like these

NEWBORNS IN NATURE | Natural Newborn Photography | A NEW way to Photograph Newborns with Catchfly Photography

June was the last time I used the studio space in Waterford. Although, I loved having a professional space, I just wasn't booking any clients. I had my fair share of model calls and plenty of practice, but something had to change. I was throwing away money. 

As a business owner, you are constantly trying to improve. Whether it be with research, skill, technique, strategy....and in a VERY saturated industry....try to be different. I started to think...

"What can I do different?"

"What can I do that will help my clients, and make things easier for them?"

This is, however, a SERVICE industry to YOU!!!! I am here to make you happy!

I asked a few previous clients if they would have prefered their session be done in their homes, where baby, Mom and Dad might feel a little more comfortable?

Quite a few agreed that it would be better! (Wheels continue to spin...)

I was a little pressed for time too (so it felt) I was moving everything back into my home, when the point was to move OUT because I was slowly turning my entire home into studio space! I still have most of my props tucked away in my shed, but I want my newborn sessions to be a bit more simple. Simple and natural!

It wasn't until I had my best friend over for dinner a few weeks ago. We were catching up, drinking some wine, laughing, talking about guys, work, and just some much deserved GIRL TALK

I don't remember how it came about (I blame the wine!) but somehow we started talking about my business (which really is NO surprise, I am always talking/thinking about my business!) and I asked something along the lines of how she would prefer her newborn sessions to be like? The second.....I mean seriously, THE SECOND....she started talking about how she loved a more...

NATURAL

look, a light bulb went off. I felt so inspired, so motivated to try something new. When she looks back at her baby photos, she sees photos of more natural like poses...Mom holding baby, parents feeding her, holding her, kissing her.....

It inspired an idea!!! It answered SO MANY questions I had!!! Thank you best friend!!!

Natural would fit more my style. Natural would fit more into my branding. I love the nature like elements I would add too my previous newborn sessions, but I wanted to take it a step further....

AND....

Newborns in Nature was BORN! (Pun intended!)

I wanted something done in nature. Mom to wear a pretty dress. Natural like poses in a beautiful setting! I wanted to create something that IS more convenient for the new, busy mom. When you do research looking for your newborn photographer...how many stress the importance of photographing baby within the first two weeks? I will admit, even I would....but it never sat right with me. I never like it. I always accepted the challenge of an older baby. A friend of mine came to me once and told me that photographers would actually TURN HER AWAY because her baby was "too old". Gosh, that made me so sad!! (Wheels are still turning) How nice would it be for new moms not to worry about photos during the first two weeks? Instead, you could focus on getting a schedule down, figuring out the best routine, learning your baby's cues, and getting used to each other? I want to take that one stress away from Mom because we ALL deserve beautiful moments with our babies! It shouldn't matter about age! Age is just a number right?

Anyways, the next order of business was to secure a model. Find someone who not only just had a baby (Duh, right haha!) but was beautiful and willing to buy a beautiful new floral dress (I have one just like this one, but blue. I wore it to my cousin's wedding back in June!) My friend Kristie recommended a friend, her name is Katie and she is gorgeous!!! She found the most prefect dress too, and if I had only received my pop up changing tent in time, we would have changed into another beautiful dress she bought for herself and the shoot as well (Curse you Amazon!) 

Then I had to set out and find a location! I turned to Google and decided to take the camera and just go on a random adventure. I ended up finding a BEAUTIFUL little waterfall area, and I just about fell in LOVE!!!!! This is now my spot. I picture so many family sessions here....newborns, children.....pfft even bride/groom if we happen to be nearby! I am obsessed with nature and waterfalls....just wait till my styled wedding shoot in August! 

SO....why am I no longer doing studio sessions, and offering newborns in nature??

GREAT question!!!   ....because:

1) Natural takes less time than in studio posing, which means newborn session fees are now $150 ($100 savings!!!) spending 3+ hours in a studio can be a bit draining on everyone, and I don't want that for anyone! I want a happy baby!

2) Baby is calmer! Unless, baby is hungry he/she will be much calmer safe in Mom and Dads arms. It is so much easier to feed baby in your arms too. Breastfeeding photos are so beautiful, and of course I always ask permission before I snap away! (Trust me, you will want me too!!)

3) More natural. Did you know baby girl, Vayda here is a month old!? See!! Age doesn't matter AND all poses are more natural. Babies are only so squishy UP TO 2 weeks for all those bendy, cute poses....but no worries now right? I will NEVER turn babies away because of age!

4) Newborn in Nature sessions can be done with other family members like Dad and siblings. It's included and SO BEAUTIFUL!

5) Less time, lower session fees mean MORE MONEY for you to spend on prints, products, and USB! Printing is the whole point, and seeing them all over your walls is the goal!

So, what do you think? As a mother, how do YOU envision your newborn in nature session?