Oh my goodness!!! It has been way too long since my last post, my sincere apologies. It has been such a wonderful and busy summer, I can't believe it's July already. I promise that I have a really good reason for my absence, I have such exciting news...you may have already heard the rumors..but if not I promise I will be sharing the details very soon. Here is just a small preview of what I've been up to since my last post. I have had such an incredible honor to photograph so many adorable, kind, and genuinely in love couples! I may sound like a broken record but the truth is that I couldn't ask for better weddings. Every single wedding has been so beautiful and fun, and every couple has been not only so obviously in love but kindhearted souls that were truly a joy to photograph. It's such a shame I've been so behind in sharing all of their eye candy!!
Stephanie and Curt were just married this last Friday at the beautiful newly renovated Stonewater Country Club. Seriously, this was an exquisite event and Stephanie and Curt were such a delightful couple. Love and newly married excitement radiated from them throughout the entire day. Congrats to you both, you were such a pleasure to photograph. Thank you so much for sharing your day with me!
Caroline and Matt were married the last weekend in June, right on the shoreline at a beautiful private residence in Holland. It was one of those weddings where I just found myself caught up in such fun conversation with both Caroline and Matt that it was hard to leave for the evening. It was a pleasure getting to know you both, thank you letting me capture your special day!
Where do I begin with Amy and Wes?!! Amy is such a sweet person, we met a few years back during my first year in business as a wedding photographer. Amy was one of the bridesmaids, and after the wedding Amy sent me the most kind and encouraging email. Her words literally brought me to tears, I still have that email and even today brings such an overwhelming sense of encouragement. Amy, you have no idea how wonderful it was to receive that email, at the time I was so new in the industry and still trying to find myself and my niche. I appreciate you more then you will ever know! It was a few years later that Amy found herself engaged and planning her own wedding, I was so excited to hear from her again! I was incredibly flattered that Amy booked me with such confidence and certainty that I was the right photographer for her and Wes. They had a beautiful day, with an INCREDIBLY fun party at Canterbury Village in Lake Orion MI with the most INCREDIBLY talented band, Dave Bennett. Amy is a music teacher in Arizona, so music was definitely a highlight throughout the day with such talented musicians, I can't wait to share more of those images!
Kelly and Jeff had a gorgeous ceremony in Kindelberger Park in Parchment, MI and enjoyed an elegant evening with dinner and dancing at The Fountains. Their day was full of so much genuine emotion, fun people, and real joy! I was in tears during the speeches!! I had the pleasure of getting to know them during our engagement shoot last summer, I love being able to connect with a couple before the big day. I was so excited to see them again and be a part of what they've spent so much time and effort planning over the last year. Congrats to you both, Jeff and Kelly. You had a beautiful wedding...the crazy storms held off until late and the day turned out perfect. Thank you for having me, honestly you both made me feel so comfortable and as if I was part of the group, Congrats to you!
Lindsey and Josh are adorable, they booked me almost two years ago and Lindsey was sooo excited to be working with me. I have to say the feeling was definitely mutual! Thank you so much for having such trust and confidence in me, for giving me full artistic license, and having such passion for your wedding photography! They had a gorgeous ceremony and reception at Nikos Landing in Comstock MI. This was yet again one of those weddings where I found myself putting the camera away at the end of the evening and just hanging. That level of comfort and connection it truly a pleasure. Congratulations newly weds!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Here's the stunning Meg on the cover of the Lansing Bride Magazine, below is also her wedding featured in the Grand Rapids Bride Magazine. If you are a bride, definitely get a copy at any local Barnes and Nobles, Schulers, or here on their website. It is a plethora of wedding information and local vendors.
I'm really not good at writing or sharing much on a personal level, the truth is that I'm kinda shy and a little nervous about sharing. I don't even know if most people actually read photography blogs...we all know you come for the pictures right? ...but I have felt directed into sharing a little about my story and journey as a wedding photographer especially with some of the new exciting things that have happened. Yes, it is exciting to share news such as getting featured on a cover, but I really feel it's important to give credit where due and share where I've come from to understand why this is such a special accomplishment. This really has been such a incredible journey, sometimes I have to pinch myself just to check and make sure it's all real. I believe that my experiences these last few years are such a strong testimony of God's personal love. In the beginning of this whole journey I struggled with trusting and following God, but I kept my faith in him, I prayed a lot, and confessed my struggles. In return he blessed me far beyond anything I could have imagined for myself. It wasn't long ago that I was working at Home Depot, stressing through college, living on macaroni and cheese, and just hoping and praying that someday I would finally graduate with my photography degree and find a job, any job, just not Home Depot. No offense Home Depot, you were good to me, you paid my tuition and kept a roof over my head, but through those long seven years I had dreams and hopes of doing something more, something I loved, something I have worked so hard and so long for....photography. Sometimes when you are in that moment of just wanting something else, or wanting to be somewhere else, wanting to do something else, it is so hard to see God working. I didn't trust him, I didn't think he heard my prayers, or that he even cared about my ambitions or career dreams. After I graduated I felt like all of my peers moved on so quickly to new and excited careers, successful, happy, doing what they loved... and here I was still at Home Depot....honestly I felt like a college graduate loser. I can't deny it, that horrible soul rotting emotion of envy consumed me. I couldn't see God working and frankly I didn't want to, I was so consumed with disappointment and jealousy in my own situation that I didn't try to see what God was doing. At that moment I was a college graduate, still working at Home Depot, hating my job, wanting and wishing to have something else, jealous of my successful working photographer friends, and just plain unhappy. "Why not me, God, why not me, why can't I be doing what I love, why can't I feel successful, why did I go to school just to end up at Home Depot forever". Looking back all I can do is just shake my head at myself. I had just graduated, I was newly engaged, planning my own wedding, and starting my business. God had amazing things planned for me but I was too consumed by everything and everyone else that I just couldn't see his plan and what he was doing in my life. Thankfully I had my husband (fiance at the time) to bring me back to earth, "Phrene" he said, "be thankful for where you are what you are doing right now. You need to enjoy your OWN wedding and be grateful that you have a job. God didn't bring you all the way to Kendall and through school, just to abandon you and leave you at Home Depot forever." As hard as it was to hear that, he was right. I just needed to be content with me, and where I was, and what God was doing and TRUST him. So I continued working the job I hated, and began my business with big hopes and few dreams, but expecting to be disappointed because, me, the worrier and pessimist, just knew years later I would still be at Home Depot and struggling to be a successful wedding photographer, my dreams and ambitions dashed to pieces.
At the time my biggest dream was just to get a website up, find brides who loved my work (which when you are a nobody is not easy), and maybe, just maybe get an image or two featured somewhere amongst the pages of any bridal magazine. I figured those dreams would be challenge enough, so I worked hard and prayed a lot. I asked God to direct me, give me wisdom in running a business, help me see where he was taking me, and most of all stop worrying and trust him.
Fast forward just a year to March 2009, for some reason God blessed me (times a thousand) with 30 weddings on the calendar... then I got the incredible news. "Congrats" the email said, "we have chosen one of your images to be featured on our cover of the Lansing Bride magazine 2009 issue". What! You are kidding me, I didn't believe it. I thought I'd get a phone call at any minute saying, "sorry we made a mistake it wasn't actually your image after all."
At that moment I knew it in my heart, God was telling me it was time to quit Home Depot and make the leap into being a full time photographer. "But what if I don't stay busy enough, what if I don't make enough money to pay the bills, what if, what if, what if."
I could hear God, he said it simply and clearly, "trust me Phrené". I remember that even now, I have to repeat it to myself when I start worrying or stressing about life, business, work, anything...."Phrené, trust me".Today, I am so honored to say that I have received 3 covers just in this last year, my work has been featured and used for a variety of events and promotions, I have a full featured wedding spread in the GR Magazine, and an amazing array of brides who put their trust in me with the incredible honor of capturing their special day... all of this in one year. That feels amazing, but what is really amazing is where God has brought me. Two years ago this was not my world, the idea of a cover was one of those laughable dreams where you think, yeah that would be awesome but it will never happen to me. Despite my doubts, my worry, my struggles, God has showed his grace and love. He has provided and blessed me more then I could have ever imagined. I can't thank him enough, or thank my amazing clients. I feel that any and all accomplishments really must go to you...family, friends, fans, clients, blog readers that love and share my work...you have all been an answer to prayer and my dreams come true, thank you. I can only hope that God has more amazing things in store and that he continues to help me grow as a photographer, a business owner, a wife, a woman.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
A while back....yes, sorry guys I'm not on top of blogging yet. Anyways, a while back I had the opportunity to shoot Katie and Joe for their engagement session. I was so excited because I had all these fun ideas to try, the forecast was great, which for Michigan in early May is a super big plus...what could go wrong. Wouldn't you know, literally 5 minutes before we started shooting the skies darkened, the rain started spitting, the temperature dropped, and the wind picked up, seriously picked up. Sometimes you just have to love Michigan's spontaneity... it keeps me on me toes :) Regardless, Katie and Joe were great, we rolled with the weather and turned out a fab shoot. I'm so fortunate to have a mom whose LOVES finding fun new props and taking any shopping challenge I throw her way...love you mommy! Last summer I sent her on a mission to find these vintage frames, I had a vision of apple blossoms and vintage frames so I was dying to finally get the chance to try it. Thanks guys for working with my vision and nailing it! Though the weather didn't work out like we had expected, we really got cool rain clouds and such beautiful color that last few minutes of sun peeking out before sunset. Thanks so much, you guys did so great and are so cute together, it's going to be a great wedding.
I just love how you guys laugh and smile together, ahhh love, it's beautiful and perfection.
After the excitement of rain and storm clouds we actually had a few minutes of sun! So we enjoyed the little bit of sunset we got :)
ah, purple blossoms....you know I love purple!
ah, purple blossoms....you know I love purple!
see amazing sunset colors for the last few moment of light, it was a mini gift from heaven that evening.