“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” ― Josh Billings

Anyone that has a dog knows that saying is so true! Today we are celebrating National Dog Day with our 13 year old ‘pup’ JJ. He is a miniature schnauzer that was adopted into our family around 5 years ago and we can’t imagine our lives without him. Alex wanted to spoil JJ with a custom bandana with his name in celebration of National Dog Day. We hope you are spoiling your dog today too!

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Becoming parents we heard so many people say, “time passes by so quickly, enjoy every moment of them being little.” Honestly, it’s true. It feels like we blinked and now Cordelia is eight months old today. She’s been our side kick, traveling all over the midwest with us for photography–all while smiling and enjoying the adventure. We have been lucky enough to both be home raising her, yet it still feels like it’s going by too quickly.

During a recent trip to Grand Rapids, MI for a wedding we reached out to Dionel from The MittenTog to capture updated family pictures (along with a few headshots) for us. We have admired her style for years and are so thankful she could squeeze us in. So we met up with her on Sunday afternoon near downtown Grand Rapids. The lush greens and urban setting really fit our style. We are so happy she knew of that location.

Dionel did an incredible job at capturing Cordelia’s sweet personality and adorable smile. The dress Cora is wearing was picked out by her ‘Mimi’ aka Grandma. She stated that it would bring out the blue in Cora’s eyes and we couldn’t agree more! We are narrowing down our favorites so we can order a canvas for our home (but there are too many great ones to choose).

Thanks again to The MittenTog for capturing these beautiful family photos for us. We will cherish them for years to come!

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These two are two peas in a pod.

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This picture is my absolute favorite. Her smile is so big her eyes are even smiling!

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Baby toes are seriously the best, no joke.

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She started crawling a few weeks ago and now it’s go, go, go while she is awake. It’s been quite the adventure in itself.

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We are so excited that we can finally release these family photos along with their big announcement–THEY ARE EXPECTING!! We are over the moon for them and loved capturing their family photos in their beautiful Rapid River home. You can read more below from Danielle’s point of view. Congrats again Danielle, Brian, Birdie, Vada, and little baby (due in February). Also, make sure to check out Danielle’s amazing etsy shop! We love her teething necklaces, dreamcatchers, and more.

“Jen and Alex are longtime friends of Brian and I. They also shot our engagement, boudoir, wedding, and rock the dress. When Jen offered to come to our home to take pictures of our family while they were in town one weekend, I of course squealed with excitement. I am a lover of photos, but especially good photos!

That being said, I was leery of lifestyle photos. For some reason, I have always loved the “perfect picture”. I trust Jen and Alex though and knew they would do a great job. Little did they know, we were also going to be asking them to shoot our birth announcement for baby number three.

I can not say enough about these images. I absolutely LOVE them! Jen and Alex once again made it so easy. They allowed us to be us. There were no stuffed animals or crazy dancing to make the girls look. It was just our family doing our thing. I appreciate them capturing our personalities in a way that I can treasure forever.

You can feel the bond between Birdie and her Daddy. You can also see how she has him wrapped around her finger. You can pick up on Vada’s easy disposition as well as admire her cheeky smile. You can sense how excited and nervous Brian and I are to be pregnant again. You can just tell how much we all love each other.

As our family grows and changes, it is so precious to me to capture all the different stages. They caught us playing, interacting, and parenting. They took photos of the details of our home and our lives that we have worked so hard to create. This session was priceless. Thank you Jen, Alex, and Cora for coming to our home and sharing our world!”

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Look at those little moccasins for their baby announcement!

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We are smitten with Ashley and Jake’s wedding in Marquette, MI. The navy blue, white, and green themed worked beautifully with the backdrop of Northern Michigan and Lake Superior’s shoreline. Jen met up with Ashley and her bridesmaids at her house. The gals looked stunning in their navy blue dresses as they helped Ashley into her gorgeous wedding gown. Alex joined Jake and his groomsmen near the ceremony location on Presque Isle. The guys were dapper in their gray suits and plaid blue ties. The location was perfect with all the trees surrounded the ceremony venue protecting it from the warm winds off the water.

During the ceremony Jake and Ashley had a love letter/wine box ceremony. That’s were they wrote each other a love note and put a bottle of wine in the box to seal during the ceremony. The goal is to open the box on their first anniversary, drink the wine, and read the notes–however if they face a hard day in their marriage they are to open the box then. Afterwards they should write new love notes, put a new bottle of wine in, and also include the first love notes. We think it’s a beautiful idea.

After they said, ‘I do’ we brought the newlyweds and their bridal party around the island for pictures, however the wind was a little too strong so we went in the woods near downtown for pictures. The green of the forest really popped with the colors of their wedding. The bridal party jumped back onto the party bus while the bride & groom finished their portraits. Afterwards the bridal party relaxed and enjoyed a beer at Ore Dock Brewery while their guest started to make their way into the reception just down the street at Marquette Regional History Museum.

The clean white walls, floor to ceiling glass, and beautiful decorations really worked well together. Ashley made all the desserts–yes the wedding cake, cupcakes, and cookies! She is incredible! After a delicious dinner it was time for dancing and oh what a celebration it was! Right before we left though we brought the happy couple down the road for a few sunset photos along Lake Superior. It was a great ending to a wonderful day!

Thanks again to Ashley and Jake for all the love, laughter, and for allowing us to capture all the fun! Enjoy!

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Ceremony: Presque Isle Bandshell

Reception: Marquette History Museum 

DJ: Double Trouble Dj’s 

Caterer: Coco’s 

Decorator: Panache Decorating

Transportation: Checker Transport

Hair & Makeup: Embrace Salon

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We have been looking forward to photographing Trent & Leann’s Northern Michigan wedding for quite some time now. We knew it was going to be an amazing day, after all Trent & Leann are such a fun couple, but it turned out better than we could have planned for. Leann and the girls got ready at the Country Inn and Suites in Marquette while Trent and the guys finished up getting ready at a house they rented for the weekend.

Trent & Leann met up hours before their ceremony for their reveal, which was one of our favorite memories of the day. That intimate moments was filled with tears, laughter, and lots of love. Shortly after the reveal the couple met up with their bridal party at Black Rocks on Presque Isle.  The ladies looked lovely in their blue dresses and the gentleman looked smooth in their gray suits with coral accents. The weather was so cooperative for portraits along Lake Superior. The sun was shining down and there wasn’t too many people gathered near Black Rocks. After finishing up with bridal party portraits it was time to head off to the ceremony.

The Bandshell on Presque Isle is a beautiful spot that truly captures Northern Michigan. The wooden structure sits in front of a lush green forest. The way the ‘pews’ are set up in front of the Bandshell gives the space the look of an outdoor church. After the newlyweds said ‘I Do!’ it was time to celebrate! Their reception was held at Northern Michigan University, which was very dear to the couple since they went to school and worked at NMU. Between the beautiful set up, great music, delicious food & drinks–it all made for one epic wedding reception. Shortly before we left we gathered the new husband and wife and brought them outside for a few last pictures. We loved capturing the interaction between Trent & Leann. From the twirls to the giggles, it was fantastic!

We want to thank Trent and Leann immensely for allowing us to capture their special day. We enjoyed every moment of it!

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Leann’s face in this picture is nothing but pure joy!

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Ceremony: Presque Isle Bandshell

Reception: University Center at Northern Michigan University

DJ: Double Trouble DJ’s

Decorator: Panache Decorating

Florist: Econo

Cake: Gopher’s Bakery

 

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