Detroit Engagement Photography

Detroit Engagement Photography at George George Park and downtown Mount Clemens.  This couple is next married next summer and we did their engagement pictures close to home in and around Mount Clemens, MI.  We started at George George Park in the back on the walkway over the wetlands and moved towards the entrance shooting as we went.  We ended up at the fountain at the entrance.  The groom has a Harley, so we did some car to car, well minivan to motorcycle, and ended up in front of the post office




Clarkston Engagement Photography

Clarkston Engagement Photography in and around Depot Park.  Cathy and Ryan are getting married the summer after these engagement shots and this is part of their package.  I find the photographer and couple getting together for a shoot before the wedding helps so much on the wedding day.  I get a sense for how they are in front of the camera.  Are they some what nervous, a bit stiff, not sure what to do?  Or are they very comfortable getting their pictures taken and move well and interact with each other.  In any case I get to see how we work together.  For many people this is one of few times they work with a professional photographer.  They get to experience working with me and I get to share some of the things we will be doing on the wedding day.  For example, I will ask them to walk away from me and then towards me holding hands and talking with each other and then tell them this is one of  the situations I will ask them to on the wedding day.

Cathy and Ryan obviously care very much for each other and are naturals with each other and in front of the camera.  They are both from the Clarkston Michigan area, so they chose the downtown area for their shots.  We started at the steps and bridge behind the Mills building, went down to the creek for a bit and ended up in Depot Park.

Belle Isle Engagement photography

Belle Isle Engagement photography on a summer day.  Lindsey and Dan are getting married in the summer of 2017 and their wedding photography package with me includes engagement photographs.  As with all my packages, they get all the useable images with unlimited reproduction rights within two weeks of the shoot.  Don’t tell the couple, because it is a secret, but I bring a welcome book to the reception made of images from the engagement shoot.  I call it a Well Wishing Book where most of the page space is white for people to write nice things about the couple as they come into the reception.

We met at the Casino on Belle Isle for some simple portraits on the step and in the garden.   We later went to Scott Fountain and had downtown Detroit in the background.  They met at Olivet College and wanted to use the flag in some shots.  We went to the north side of the island and had downtown and The Belle Isle Bridge in the background.


Ann Arbor Engagement photography

Ann Arbor engagement photography on a bright fall weekend. We started with a wonderful breakfast where I had some wonderful eggs Benedict, but that is not part of the story.  The couple met at U of M where they both went to school.  We started in front of the Union where they both warmed up to getting their portraits taken and they got comfortable with me.  We moved on to a piece of sculpture I was not previously familiar with, the spinning Cube and the couple payed around there a bit.  We then went of the U of M Law Quad where there is a whole variety of great locations to shoot.  We then went to Angel Hall where the couple hung out in front of the majestic pillars.  We finished the day at Nichols Arboretum.

Same-sex engagement photography in Ann Arbor

Rob and Nick were in town this weekend and I was able to meet them in Ann Arbor, MI to photograph them for their same-sex engagement photographs.  We walked around downtown and then drove out to the stadium.  It was a joy to photograph two people that obviously care for each other as much as these two.

As we walked, we discussed the upcoming ceremony and reception at Cobblestone Farm in Ann Arbor coming up this summer.  It was a great time to review the timing of the day and discuss the day in general.  We found out that their plans for the day gave us plenty of time for all the elements I need to get them great photos.  Engagement sessions are also nice to let the couple work together some to make the shooting on the day better.

Greg proposes to Michelle – Marriage Proposal photography and video

My pal Greg proposed to his now finance Michelle a bit ago. He had it all planned. Set up dinner in one of the back rooms at The Woodshed in Clarkston, MI. He had the room reserved for “his birthday party” about an hour after the proposal. I went to the bar the day before and planned where to hide the camera with the very helpful staff. I got there an hour or so before the couple and the placement we had for the camera didn’t make any sense. We came with the idea to hide it behind one of the big screens with some Rube Goldberg rigging.



The couple came in, the curtains were closed, I came out from hiding and could see just a bit into the room through split in the curtains. Greg gave me the high sign, I started click with the radio remote.

She said YES!

Summer Detroit Engagement Photography

I photographed this lovely couple in and around downtown to midtown Detroit.  We started in the wharehouse district on Franklin Street, and later moved to the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Summer Engagement photography

I met Kelly and Tim at Heritage Park in Farmington Hills for their engagement photographs before their wedding.  As always an engagement session is a great time for the couple to get to know their photographer.  It can make working together much smoother on the wedding day.

Winter Engagement Session

While reviewing some engagement photographs I realized I have shot quite a few session in the dead of winter.  I typically think of engagements in the summer or fall.  If winter is the best time of year for your engagement session, below are some examples of what I have had the pleasure of photographing.  In all of these shots, the temperature was well below freezing.  Our biggest challenge will be keeping you warm and not letting your noses get too red.

How does the Engagement Photography Session work?

There are many benefits to an engagement session, you can review them in an earlier post.  Here I will tell more about how the session will go.

What will you do with the photos? – Do you have any specific needs for the photos?  Are you making prints, a book, save the date?  Share what you plan to do with them.  It will help you photographer with the way they shoot.

George George fountain Clinton Twp

Where do we shoot?  – The possibilities are almost endless.  If the weather and season allow, outdoors is alway nice, if not you will need to go indoors.  I like to give couples a few things to think about when choosing a location.  Is there a favorite place you have, where did you first meet, where was your first date, are you fond of city and urban, do you prefer open country or water, is there a favorite or shared activity, how about shooting at the ceremony or reception venue?  These are all things to think about and discuss with your photographer.  The photographer should listen to your concerns and desires and help you choose the location(s)that best suit you and will work well for lighting.  I think the photos are more about the couple and less about the location.  The location can act as a graphic backdrop for the loving couple or help set the mood for the images.  Watch out for locations were you might not be able to get permission.  I know Meadowbrook Hall in Rochester, Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills and Mill Race Village in Northville can be very restrictive.

Couple at a stone wall Meadowbrook Hall

When do we shoot? – If the shoot is outdoors, I prefer the Golden Hour.  The Golden Hour is the 60 minutes just before sunset or just after sunrise.  I find the light to be most striking when the sun is low in the sky.  Golden Hour also give a nice warm color to the photos.  The most challenging time of day to shoot and get attractive lighting is when the sun is highest in the sky. If the day is overcast or you are near tall buildings, getting pleasing light is much easier.

Detroit skyline couple

What about wardrobe, hair and makeup? – I always ask the couple to bring at least two outfits, one more dressy, one more casual.  You should certainly wear what is comfortable and what you think you look your best in.  You might look your best in a suit or formal dress.  You might look your best in camo.  I like to have the wardrobe compliment the couple and not steal the show.  I like more muted colors, simpler patterns or stripes.  Think about where you will change, sometimes the only option is your vehicle. The ladies can use the engagement session as a trial run for wedding day hair and makeup.  A little more makeup always looks better in photos.  In any case I find the best results are when the lady has her hair and makeup done at a salon.  You might have you hair up for one look and then simply take it down for another look.  For the guys it is pretty simple.  Watch shaving or trimming and if you are getting a haircut, get it a few days before the shoot and leave bulky pocket items in the car.  I have a “face repair kit” to cover basic makeup, lip gloss and shine issues
falling leaves Stoney Creek Stoney Creek gazebo

How about props or pets or children? – Yes, yes  and yes.  Please bring anything with you that helps tell us who you are.  As long as the prop is not the sole reason for the shot, giving people something to interact with or something to hold makes for more natural looking photos.

Downtown Mt Clemens

What if we are not so good in front of the camera?  – That is why you are hiring a professional.   I (and any good professional) have spent our career working with everyday people that don’t spend their lives in front of a camera.  We know when to direct, when guide, when to just let it happen and we have the wisdom and experience to know the difference.  Typically the first part of the session I will be more instructional and then as the two of you get used to having a camera in your face and we work and play together some, you will feel much more comfortable and look much more natural.  You are having you engagement photos taken for you to show the love and connection with your future spouse.  If you hold that, you are going to look fantastic.  I promise.

Detroit skyline couple

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