Purely Love: Jen & Brad

These two are getting married SATURDAY!  We took their pictures a few months ago (and I am using them as a TBT 😉 ) They really wanted rolling hills so we asked for permission to use a golf course during a slow time and they said yes!!! (we are so lucky!) The images turned out FANTASTIC! And we even had a ‘friend’ show up 🙂  I can’t wait to hang out with you guys at Waldenwoods Saturday! 🙂

I am in love with these silhouettes!!! ❤

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love the smiles here! ❤
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Those rollings hills!!
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Purely Love: Kevin & Sam

I love shooting engagement sessions because it makes me SO excited for the wedding!  It is a time when I can get to know the couple and they can see that being in front of the camera isn’t actually that terrible 😉

2016-02-09_0002 2016-02-09_0003I first met Kevin & Sam in high school through a mutual friend and reconnected when I photographed that same friend’s wedding a few years back!  2016-02-09_0004 2016-02-09_0005We decided to shoot in Depot Town and I am so glad we did! It has been awhile since I had shot there and it was amazing!   2016-02-09_0006 2016-02-09_0007Not only did we have amazing light but we managed a 50 degree day in January…. yes! 2016-02-09_0008 2016-02-09_0009 2016-02-09_0010 2016-02-09_0011 2016-02-09_0012 2016-02-09_0013And even though it wasn’t that cold we decided to ‘warm up’ at a Cultivate Tap House a newer coffee shop and tap house! It was delightful!  2016-02-09_0014 2016-02-09_0015 2016-02-09_0016 2016-02-09_0017 2016-02-09_0018 2016-02-09_0019Thanks so much for hanging out with me and for being awesome! I cannot wait to see you in a few months!

-run often, smile more

Amanda 🙂

Purely Love: Kyle and Sarah

I am super excited to be playing Blog catch up finally especially because I get to work with these two again THIS Saturday!   2015-07-27_0012 2015-07-27_0013I got to meet Kyle and Sarah through Ellen and Dan’s wedding from 2013!  I love working with client referrals but getting to work with their families again is a wonderful added bonus!  2015-07-27_0014 2015-07-27_0015 2015-07-27_0016We had a perfect summer morning walking around the Arb! 2015-07-27_0017 2015-07-27_0018 2015-07-27_0019 2015-07-27_0020 2015-07-27_0021 2015-07-27_0022 2015-07-27_0023 2015-07-27_0024 2015-07-27_0025Thanks for hanging out with me and I can’t wait to work with you in just a few days!!!

run often, smile more!
Amanda 🙂

11/52 Window Light: Seen Differently

Any photographer worth their weight in beans will of course tell you their love and passion for natural light.  Adding light is definitely a skill that is necessary to call oneself a professional but there is something so lovely and simple about natural light.

Personally I always look to use natural light and window light first when shooting indoors because frankly adding light takes physical effort (i.e. setting up light stands and putting my lights together 😉 ) but I also find most of my clients are much more *comfortable* with natural light.

But alas not all natural light is ‘perfect’ for an entire session.  For instance this photo is lit very naturally with the windows behind me (in front of Andrea and Chris) so that they are lit evenly with beautifully diffused light.  We really enjoyed recreating this fun shot from one of their past vacations.  2015-03-23_0004But this image in front of the fireplace  doesn’t lend itself to anything artistic.  Not a bad photo, not poorly lit… just not super interesting lighting wise and not something I would want to give my clients as a ‘finished’ project.  But instead of setting up my light stands yesterday I decided to try to use available light just differently! 2015-03-23_0005So I had Andrea and Chris move to the couch and took these images with windows in front of them at a 45 degree angle to give it a more interesting look and dimension.  2015-03-23_0002 2015-03-23_0003And then when I walked around in front of them I was able to capture this image

2015-03-23_0006 A nice bright image with more beautifully diffused light.  🙂

You can also use window light to take some detail shots to give a nice bright look and make diamonds look super sparkly 🙂 (or baby toes… or toddler smiles… 🙂 )

2015-03-23_0001So if you are ever feeling like your images are looking lit the same way over and over and over maybe try looking from a different angle.  Moving the subject closer to the window, further away or simply placing the light source in a different location! 🙂  It’s worth a shot! 🙂 😉 (pun intended! haha!


run often, smile more!
Amanda 🙂

10/52 Spring Light

So today’s 52 post is brought to you by SPRING!!!

You guys, it is REALLY here! (For now!)  And not only have I been enjoying it thoroughly with Lalo and the pups out walking and soaking up some much missed Vitamin D and fresh air but I have been SO blessed to have shoots planned for these GORGEOUS days!

This past weekend I had a gender reveal shoot (going to hit the blog this week!) AND an engagement session that thankfully we rescheduled due to sickness.  You see on the day we were supposed to do Anna and Mike’s session we had this beautifully softly falling snow and a ‘warm’ 32 degrees.  On that day I was bummed because for our winter that WAS a nice day!  But then, this happened.   2015-03-16_0001Seriously.  Not only was it a BALMY 55 degrees it was sunny.  And the angle of the sun in the spring here in Michigan is To.Die.For.  It is like the fall light.  But something about this amazing spring light is just so much more rewarding after our hard winter!  2015-03-16_0002So while I had an amazing couple! (Which I will do a more indepth blog with more images from this shoot soon!!)  I hope you can drool over this beautiful light with me.   2015-03-16_0004Because I can just not get enough! 🙂   2015-03-16_0006Soft light, warm air, a great couple… beautiful location!  I could have died and went to photographer heaven! 2015-03-16_0007 2015-03-16_0008 Hope you enjoyed this set as much as I did!! I couldn’t choose just one to show off the beautiful light we had yesterday!  More beautiful images from this shoot will be coming soon on Anna and Mike’s own blog post 🙂

Hope you all have a GREAT day and enjoy this 70 degrees we were promised today! EEK!

run often, smile more!
Amanda 🙂

Ready or not, here comes FALL!

I cannot believe that school registration is happening… right now! How is it that this entire summer seemed to wiz by in the blink of an eye?

I feel like this fall is particularly bittersweet for me on so many levels.  First and foremost because I am one of those people who continues to believe that summer this year was not truly summer.  (I am a desert creature and LIVE for the heat!) I am NOT ready for running tights and gloves and layers…!!! (didn’t we JUST put those away…!?)  Second, my Lalo Bear starts preschool this year and this mama is NOT ready.  Lastly, I was asked to teach a Spanish class to a homeschool coop… so now it is vaguely familiar to the August days of Professional Development, class room readiness and getting together with your teams… on an entirely different (much smaller) level of course 🙂  Normally the oppressive heat (mind you I LOVE this heat) leads you to long for fall and welcome it, but this fall is just SO different.

Aside from all of my grumbles there are so many things about fall that really do bring me immense joy!  Pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice lattes (I will get one September 1 and probably wait in line to get it!), pumpkin candles, pumpkin farms… (see a pattern here 😉 )  Hoodie weather, the smell of leaves as they crunch under your feet, the sound as the wind blows through the leaves, that crisp feeling when you get out of bed and shiver a little bit and then cozy up with layers like FLEECE PANTS!  Hot cocoa, chilly-nosed Eskimo kisses from a toddler (who is now a preschooler… wha?!) cross country (and crisp yet warm in the sun afternoon fall runs!)  Fall is beautiful.  Insanely beautiful, especially here in Michigan.  Which leads me to another thing I am looking forward to this fall, YUMMY FALL LIGHT!

Oddly my fall wedding load is pretty light this year which leaves some more room for something else I love,  fall portraits!!!! While weddings are one of my first passions capturing these special moments for Families, High School Seniors or Couples is so magical with Fall light and leaves!  Just like that magical time when the winter lets up and the spring breaks through offering a new hope, something about Fall promises warmth and laughter to store up for the coming cold months and something like closure on the beautiful season and memories in the rear view mirror.

The weatherman is calling for another cold, snowy winter so why don’t you warm your home with the beautiful colors and memories of fall portraits!?  I still have slots available for class of 2015 Seniors, Families and Couples!!! (Couples, if you haven’t had exclusive portraits together since your wedding day… let’s talk about that!! It is so important!!!) Give me a call or shoot me an email today! I can’t wait to get you on the books for this fall!

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Kari & Chris: Purely Love


Meet Chris and Kari!!!! Two beautiful and driven people who met at Kentwood Cat Clinic a few years ago!!! Since they first met they have run together, traveled together and of course, adopted a few cats together 🙂    2014-06-19_0030When we were planning their engagement session we were trying to find some places the represented them but also featured the beautiful area that surrounds them!!! (YEA GRAND RAPIDS!)  We settled on this adorable part of Cascade in East Grand Rapids!

2014-06-19_0029 2014-06-19_0028

We also swung by starbucks, because really, who doesn’t love a good coffee 🙂 2014-06-19_0027They both took me to this awesome park by Reeds Lake where they used to run together!

2014-06-19_0026 2014-06-19_0025And we cannot forget that the Cat Clinic, where they met 🙂  Where we met Harvey a very talented cat that Chris taught some awesome tricks 🙂

2014-06-19_0024 2014-06-19_0023 2014-06-19_0022I had such a blast you guys, thank you for letting my capture your engagement and I wish you the best with your upcoming wedding, its only a few weeks away!!!!!!!! 🙂  Enjoy it!


run often, smile more!

Amanda 🙂