Detroit NACE February Meeting

February 20 I had the opportunity to not only attend but photograph one of Detroit’s biggest networking events in the Wedding Industry.  The Detroit NACE chapter hosted a meeting this month to highlight Wedding Trends for the upcoming season.  I was privileged to work with some of the leading vendors in the industry!

I hope that all of the attendees took the time to attend the shutterbooth as it was difficult to photograph everyone since there was such a great turn out!  I hope you enjoy the images of the venue and the beautiful work the vendors presented!  Please make sure to check out NACE’s Plus Site to see more images!


Flowers: Parsonage Events

Invitations: Top The Events!

DJ/EMCEE/Entertainment: Mike Staff Productions

Catering: Katherine’s Catering (hooray Ann Arbor!)

Fashion: Studio Bridesmaid and The White Dress

Sweets: The Buttercream Bakeshop

Chiavari Chairs: Uncle Buck’s Party Rental

Photobooth: Shutterbooth

Venue: The Reserve


Kate Duran 2013






Had a fabulous session with Katie, a senior from Livingston Christian School.  We majorly lucked out because she desperately wanted a snowy session and most of our snow melted but we managed to find a nice snowy park!  A big thank you too, to my awesome friend Kat Foley who let us use her awesome studio to warm up and take some snazzy indoor shots! blog

Lasting Love

Weddings are beautiful, fun and often intoxicating [no, not just the alcohol… I meant the mood!!].  It is soooo easy to get pulled into the mindset that everything depends

Enter shameless plug here for why it is a *great* idea to hire a day of coordinator [at the very least]. 😉

However, wedding planners are not my main reason for posting 🙂 The real reason I am posting is because in the end, it is only one day.  Yes, it can be a very magical day to remember and you can bet your bottom dollar I am going to capture some fantastic images to make those memories last a life time.

But that is just it… the most important thing is that you have a lifetime with your hunny to enjoy them!

As much as I love shooting weddings, it is not the actual event that I am fascinated with capturing but the relationship.

There are very few things in life that can compete with photographing raw emotion and a wedding day should be *filled* with some raw emotions.  You are pledging to spend the rest of your life with someone!! Regardless of how long you have been together, known each other or ‘had that feeling’ this is HUGE!  AND AWESOME! And a reason to CELEBRATE!  WOOO!

One of the things that meant a lot to me as Rico and I were planning our wedding was how real our loved ones were with us about marriage.

But just like all things that require work, if you put the effort in the rewards are unbelievable!

A gift someone gave us before we got married was The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  This book changed our lives!  There are some spiritual elements to it, so if that isn’t your cup of tea I challenge you to read it anyway, the information he shares far supersedes the spiritual aspect of it!  Because this book has been a huge foundation in our marriage I give it to each of the couples I meet.

I want each couple that is interested in AMP to know that I am not only 100% invested in their wedding day but I am invested in their marriage.

I mean sure, from a business aspect I would love to not only photograph your wedding but also your maternity, newborn, family, dog, sweet 16, etc…. 😉  But seriously, marriage is awesome, to be respected and I take it seriously.

Another cool bonus I started offering this year is anniversary sessions.  All AMP couples that booked me for a wedding (past included!!!) receive a *FREE* anniversary session within a month of their wedding date, every year so long as they travel to where my business is located!  How awesome would it be for your 25th or 50th wedding anniversary to have 25 years of professional photography documenting your life as your family grows, changes and matures!  One thing I have learned through photographing my own family is that when life throws you a curve ball it is imperative to have those photographs of memorable times.

As AMP begins to grow I strive to grow a client base built on loyalty and memories.  From new couples just starting out booking alongside families I have known from the beginning.

As Valentines Day 2013 comes a close I hope that your love is lasting and grows stronger every day!!  Can’t wait to see and hear all of the great love stories beginning tonight!!! ❤

jillian gordon michele

Winter…. Can be beautiful

I am a photographer.  I am a runner.  I am a mother.

Very few of those things encourage the love of winter.

Sure a long run in the sunny, snowy fields is beautiful- but rare (At least the sunshine part 😉 ) and often brutal with biting winds and results in wind burn to any exposed skin.  (Or if you’re lucky like me, sun burn AND wind burn!)

Occasional sessions in the snow photograph fabulously and often look fake if the snow is falling just right.  (but let’s be honest, that only happens 5% of the time!)

Sledding.  Enough said.  It is fun, however, getting  a toddler geared up to play in the snow is often more time consuming than the time actually SPENT in the snow.

AMP_4705(One beautiful photo session in the snow 🙂 )

ALL of that being said.  I experienced something last weekend that was just short of amazing.  the Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race: Winter Edition.   It was something the combined every aspect of me (Well maybe not the momma of a toddler… but team mate?) and then beat it to a bloody pulp.  It was one of the hardest (third to a marathon and giving birth!) but like the first two, one of the most encouraging things I have done.

photo-10Our Team 🙂

There is something to be said about braving the elements (well we weren’t REALLY out in the middle of nowhere.. it was unlikely we would have died.. but it was still treacherous 😉 )  working together as a team, pushing yourself further than you imagined and doing things you never though you would (ie: snow biking!?)

I know that I should cherish that we experience all four seasons, I felt like last year I did!! But we didn’t really have a real winter.  I think I spent more runs outside last winter than actually on the treadmill.  But something that hit me as I was crawling through 18 inches of snow last weekend.

If you love something, be crazy enough to do it- in whatever conditions life throws at you.

I am trying to live my life this year differently.  With abandon.  With conviction, with intention.  So I am going to love winter this year, (yes Rico, laugh and hold me accountable).  Because without winter, I could not fully enjoy spring- or summer for that matter.

And after all, winter… can be beautiful.


A big shout out to my team mates, Bruce Edwards and Dan and Monica Herman!!! I had a blast and I hope to do the summer edition!!! 😀