Styled Wedding Shoot

This is my first attempt at a styled wedding shoot.  It was a blast and I’m really happy with the images.  The couple are good friends getting married next summer so this was a bit of practice for them. The dress was one from my stock of wedding dresses, yes I have wedding dresses.

Thanks to Packard Proving Grounds for the use of their venue.  It was a very cold day and it was nice to have someplace warm dry and interesting to shoot.

Thanks to Mary Simmons Hair and Makeup for her hair and makeup and general styling help.

Thanks to Ching Tan of Design Quintessentials for bringing some gorgeous flowers and head pieces.

A styled shoot is a chance to get wedding vendors together to make images that promote our brands and gives us a chance to experiment with products, services and images.  I sent Ching a couple images of the bride and she put together 4 different bouquets and a couple different headpieces for us to play with.  Mary did the bride’s makeup at the studio and we all traveled to the venue to shoot.  The bride’s hair was not very long and Mary was able to do a bit of an updo for a different look.  All of the help gave me the ability to shoot many images for Mary and Ching ofr them to use in their marketing efforts and to play a bit to see what they might be able to add to their wedding services.

For me it was a chance to play a bit.  I tried out some new lighting techniques, test a wedding show banner lighting idea and even go to test a Petzval lens.  The lens needs a bit more testing it is unusual and difficult to use.  I considered this as a first try at a styled shoot to see what is takes to organize and produce.  I’m planning a 3 photographer, videographer, bunch o other vendors, multi location shoot in the spring.

Day After Wedding Photography

I was able to get a fall wedding couple to do Day After Wedding Photography this winter.  It was a few months later, but still a fun day with really nice images.  The bride had not put her dress away yet and the groom had purchased his suit, so we had all the wardrobe.  We got a stylist to come to my studio and did a bit of Hollywood glamor photography before heading out to a local golf course.  We just had a good snow the days before and it was snowing a bit as we shot to add to the mood.

The couple were real troopers.  The snow was just about a foot deep and it was pretty cold and breezy.  I can’t tell from the shots that they felt uncomfortable.  If you look closely you can see they are not wearing their best dress shoes, snow boots.  Thank you to Fountains Golf Course in Clarkston, MI for permission to shoot on the grounds.  I don’t think we got in anyones way.

Day after wedding photography is a bit of a new item for couples.  I believe it came from the somewhat failed Trash the Dress idea.  I was not able to find a bride that would want to ruin the dress – yet.  Anyone?  A typical day after would be, well, the day after.  We would bring a hair and makeup stylist or not if you prefer more casual to your home or hotel, get you looking your best after a good night’s rest after an awesome party and go shoot.  A couple of the nice thing about a Day After shoot is the pressure is off to get to the venue because guests and family are waiting, we can go to more locations and the time of day, weather and lighting might be different.  All of those differences can make for an additional set of wonderful images.

Spring Wedding Belle Isle Casino

A post of a spring wedding Belle Isle Casino.  We had a bright, clear, crisp, mid March day a the Belle Isle Casino on, you guessed it, Belle Isle in the Detroit River, in you guessed it Detroit MI.

The bride had one of the larger rooms upstairs to get ready, where she got dressed and we did some bridal portraits.  The windows in this old building make for wonderful natural lit portraits. The stairways, interior room and wonderful exterior arches, hallway, steps and views of the city make for a wonderful venue to photograph a wedding.  Being a bit chilly outside the ceremony was held indoors.  The bride walked down the stairs and down the aisle with her Dad.  I shot a couple panoramas of the ceremony. To do a panorama with convention a DSLR, I take a series of overlapping images and the use Photoshop software to stitch the images together.  It will sometimes give a bit of a bowed look that I don;’t mind.  In tight shooting situations it is often the only way to get the shot.  It was a lovely ceremony complete with the jumping the broom tradition.

We got outside for ONE shot of the entire bridal party.  It was a bit cold and I was moving as quickly as possible.  The bride and groom toughed it out for some additional romantics.  I probably did the bridal party and romantics in 12 minutes.  I usually like to have 60 to 90 minutes, but you make do with what you have.  Having a plan and experience certainly helps and I think the couple appreciated not being outside in the cold any longer than necessary. We were able to get some nice portraits, shots of them at the arches and shots of them with the city skyline in the background.  For the dancing portion of the evening the bride changed her dress and the party got started.

Indian Springs Wedding photography

Post of  Indian Springs Wedding photography White Lake, MI.  You can see their really cool engagement here.

It was a cool/cold May day that my pal Greg married his love Michelle.  The weather was unpredictable enough that they chose to have the ceremony indoors.  Our friend Trista was the other wedding photographer and covered the girls before the ceremony, so I do not have any shots of that.

I really like Indian Springs Metropark for a lot of reasons.  I love the variety of architectural, grassy hills, water, tunnels, playground and woods.  I often do family and individual portraits here.

Greg and Michelle chose to do a first look before the ceremony out on the boardwalk overlooking the pond.  It was very sweet.  We then did some bride and groom portraits on the boardwalk and then down in the tunnel and dome under the pond.  We brought the whole wedding party in to the dome for more shots.  There is a side hallway that has very peculiar green light.  It is a challenge to get color correct shot, but fun.  We got one outdoor bridal party shot with the guys and girls because it was so cold and windy.  Trista and I then took the couple up to the crest of the hill just to the south of the hall for some big vista tree shots.

There was a ceremony, dinner, cake and dancing.  Much fun had by all. Right as the sun was setting we took the couple out to a hill looking west and I played with adding gels to my off camera flash.  The shots I’m showing are ones where I added blue to the flash and had to add warm/orange adjustments to the whole image to make the blue lit skin tones look more natural.  That made the background unnaturally orange.  Adding orange to the flash would make the background bluer.

Summer wedding photography for Dan and Lindsey

This is a post of Summer wedding photography for Dan and Lindsey.  This couple chose to have two photographers for their big day.  This is a perfect example for when to have two photographers.  The girls got ready at one location and were at the house for a while and the guys were at a hotel and we did a bit of photography there.  If there was only one photographer the couple would have gotten considerable less coverage for the pre-ceremony shots.  The couple also got the benefit of two different viewpoints for the ceremony, the bubble exit, bridal party shots and romantics.

My associate photographer Trista started at the bride’s home where there was much fun.  I started at the hotel with the guys.  the ceremony was at St Paul Lutheran Church in Northville, MI.  the church is a smallish,  lovely, traditional mid-western church.  One of the highlights before the ceremony was the bride and groom exchanging notes around a corner.  Many tears of joy.

After the ceremony we went to Plymouth Canton High School where the basketball coach opened up the gym for some hoops and pictures. I think the girls won.

Before we got the the reception, we went to the centra park in downtown Plymouth, MI.  We did some shots at the fountain, under the trees and the couple reenacted the proposal in the exact spot.  We then went to The Meeting House Grand Ballroom for the reception.  The room there is always well presented.  The hall had uplighting around the room to add to the beauty.  One of the best things I like about the room is the balcony just above the dance floor.  It allows for unique angle of dancing.  Just after sunset we went out onto the street (really just the crosswalk) for sunset street romantics.

Winter Addison Oaks wedding photography

This winter Addison Oaks wedding photography post is a wonderful example of one of the benefits of having your wedding near Christmas.  As you can see from the shots Addison Oaks in Leonard, MI the hall, rooms and exterior are beautifully decorated.

The dress shot is what photographers call a happy accident.  The dress was hanging between a couple window and I added some strobe for fill.  What I got is what I think is a very pretty image of a very pretty dress with a combination of warm tungsten light, blueish winter window light and a bit of strobe fill.  I loved it as soon as I saw it on the back of the camera.

The couple chose to do a first look, so we went under a covered area to get them out of the cold a bit.  We did it pretty quick to keep the bride as warm as possible, she did not want to wear her shawl.  We than had the guys outside because they had jackets and could take the cold a bit.  We even got a nice snow shower to add to the day.  The girls were not so keen on shooting outside so we did the bridal party shots indoors at the ceremony location.

The bride got her shawl on and we did some shots at the front entrance with holiday decorations.  It was pretty cold so we shot quickly and efficiently and then went inside.  Addison Oaks was beautifully decorated and we had a lot of choice for situations to put the bride and couple.  It was a relatively dark overcast day, so I had to use strobe as my primary and fill lighting.

A very nice day for a wonderful couple on a challenging shooting day.  They sure were troopers and I expect they will enjoy their photography as much as I did capturing it.


Pine Knob Mansion wedding photography

Another Pine Knob Mansion wedding photography project.  This was a wonderful summer day at one of the prettiest venues around.  The old home is at the top of a hill with the Pine Knob Carriage House just down the road and the ski hill at the top of the next hill.

The women had the run of the majority of the top floor/.  The best part is the sunroom that looks to the east out over the patio, the ceremony gazebo and down the hill with a great vista.  The room has been recently redecorated and looks very nice.  With all the windows it is a nice bright room perfect for getting ready pictures.  The guys sometimes have the use if the upstairs man cave, but they arrived too late to get shots of them up there.

The bride walked with her Dad out of the dance room onto the patio, made a left turn and walked the brick paver path the the ceremony the gazebo.  The guests are treated to one of the best views for a wedding ever.  It was a wonderful ceremony.

We then had the run of the place for a quick harried bridal party and romantics shoot.  Started with the bridal party at the brick wall by the stairs that lead to the patio and then to the front of the house with the guys on the top of the stone wall.  We excused the bridal party and concentrated just on the bride and groom.  There is a small pond, perfect for reflections, a gorgeous wall with brilliant fall trees, a stucco wall and sunset vistas looking to the west.

The dinner is in the rather congested dining room.  The dancing started outside where I backlit the trees for effect and then continued in the indoor dance room.

Belle Isle engagement photography

A mid fall session of Belle Isle engagement photography.  This couple got engaged on Belle Isle, Detroit, MI  and wanted to honor that occasion by doing their engagement shots at the same place.  We started at the Casino.  I really like the arches and banisters, it is such a grand building with great color.  We did some fun shots of them sitting on steps and on benches in front of the Casino.  I even did a shallow depth of field vertical panorama composite for fun.  It is quite striking.

For more Belle Isle engagement photography we then moved to Scott Fountain to shoot where the actual proposal happened.  The fountain had just been shut off for the season a few days before, but we still got some nice images.  The sun was really low in the sky and it made for some nice direct lit portraits.  We then went to the Detroit side of the island and used the Detroit skyline and the Belle Isle Bridge as backdrops.  They brought out the flag of the college they went to, Olivet, and used it as a wrap.

Fall Engagement photography

Some fall engagement photography for your viewing pleasure.  This is a couple working towards finishing up school and plan to get married in summer of 2020

We started our session at Independence Oaks in Clarkston MI.  The fall colors were about at the peak for this year so I had them walk under a few trees, go out on the dock and sit under the gazebo.  The obviously care deeply for each other and don’t mind PDA.  we later went to another area of the park where there is a covered path and long bridge.  We later went to one of the family’s icon fall dirt road spots and shot the couple some.


They each had a couple changes of clothes to switch things up a bit.  All good.

I’m really happy and I know the couple is really happy with the results.  I can’t wait to shoot their wedding in a couple years.