I was looking forward to Julie and Andy’s wedding. Julie is a program chair at the college where I teach and asked me to be their wedding photographer in Royal Oak. I was delighted! This couple is really funny and cracking jokes made the long day of photography much more pleasurable. They have an interesting story. They met on an online dating site (which seems to be quite normal nowadays) but there’s a twist: it was Julie’s sister who actually connected first with Andy – on behalf of her sister. Julie is a fashion diva and a seamstress while Andy loves golfing and poker. So it was no surprise that their reception was at a golf course. And there’s a story behind that, too. Red Run Golf Club is where Andy spent his teenage years as a caddy. How cool is that! It was a very nice venue. The church where they got married was even nicer; beautiful St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Royal Oak.
What was supposed to be a nice cool mid-June day turned out to be a sweltering and humid one. I felt so bad for the bride who must have been dying under that big heavy dress and her makeup melting. It was a touching moment when we stopped at the hospital to say hi and take photos with the groom’s grandmother (who unfortunately passed away a couple of weeks after).
We also stopped by Mr. B’s bar and restaurant in Royal Oak since that’s where this couple had their first date. The reception party was a blast. Andy’s family are huge Central Michigan fans (and alumni) while Julie’s side roots for Michigan State So it was only natural for both sides to sing CMU’s and MSU’s fight songs.
Here are some of the photos I had the pleasure of taking at their wedding in Royal Oak.
So far, most of the people who have hired me to be their wedding photographer have done so from word of mouth. Klajd liked the engagement and wedding photography services I provided for his cousin and hired me to take his wedding photos, too. Whenever I’m hired as a wedding photographer I insist on doing an engagement session (a.k.a. e-session) so I can get to know the couple a little better and break the ice. I’ve known Klajd from before but I hadn’t met Jillian. This e-session in Shelby Twp went very well. The groom-to-be is a funny guy and it shows in some of the photos. This couple chose Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Twp for their engagement photos. I wasn’t familiar with this park but we were able to find some nice hidden places to take their photos. They surprised me when they wore matching Tom Brady shirts. I guess as the old saying goes “Couples who watch Tom Brady play football together, stay together”. It looks like the couple was happy with the end result – the bride-to-be even printed out an album to give it as a gift to her grandmother. What more can a photographer ask for?
Here are some of the photos I took that nice Summer afternoon:
I was invited to show some of my photos last night at the annual Fine Arts night at Orion Oaks Elementary school, a 600+ pupils school. I did not know what to expect but I was happy I participated. There were 33 artists of different genres, from African dance, to clay figures and pottery, music performances, storytelling, fashion, painting – and even recycled robot art. There was also a student art show with beautiful work from the children who attend Orion Oaks Elementary. Hallways and classrooms were packed. It was great to see all these young children (and their parents) get exposed to arts. Hopefully many of them will be inspired and become artists in the near future.
I recently had the pleasure of taking e-session photos of Vjola and Ardit. They live in Troy but we shot their engagement photos in Bloomfield Hills. The weather that day was a typical Michigan November cold but we were glad it was sunny. I was lucky because some of the posing ideas came from the bride-to-be. They haven’t known each-other for too long, but you could feel the love they share. And, of course, the beautiful Michigan fall foliage at Cranbrook Gardens made this engagement session even more romantic. Vjola was a bit shy – actually now that I think about it, they both were – but in the end ended up being carried away by her soon to be husband.
Matilda and Mike are friends of mine that I’ve known for several years and this made the session much easier as there was no need for any ice-breaking. They are getting married next year in Albania since they have more family there but wanted to have their engagement photography session here in Michigan. It was a beautiful fall day and we selected to take their engagement photos in Bloomfield Hills at Cranbrook Park.I was lucky, again, as this couple are both good looking so that makes my photos look even better Mikael and Maltida both went to Wayne State University and that’s where they met years ago. I could’ve spent hours taking photos during this e-session in Bloomfield Hills but the sun set quickly and we had to leave the park.
Here’s a sneak peak from their engagement pictures:
A couple of months after I shot their engagement photos, it was time to be Becky and Lirjon’s wedding photographer as well. The weather was fantastic this wedding. After the ceremony at their church in Detroit, we spent a couple of hours taking bridal and wedding party photos at a park in Grosse Pointe. This was the largest wedding party I’ve had to shoot so far (8 couples, plus the groom and bride, plus flower girl and ring boy) but I was happy with the results. Bride and groom looked fantastic, as if they’re models for a wedding magazine. During our engagement photo session, I had mentioned to the bride it would be a cool idea to bring some umbrellas as a prop – and she did. That was a surprise to me – especially since they were purple, her favorite color. Lirjon had brought some “props” for his groom’s men as well: aviator sunglasses. After that, they had a half American-half Albanian wedding reception at the Royalty House in Warren. There was plenty of dancing and fun till the wee hours – and even the bride learned how to dance Albanian style!
Enrique and Alessandro are two nice brothers and I had the pleasure of being their high school senior photographer in Rochester Hills, MI. These boys were quite different from each-other. Alessandro, the older one, was very quiet and reserved, while Enrique was the opposite. Since they live in Rochester Hills, we took some of their senior pictures in their backyard as well as downtown Rochester, MI. I had a good time during this photo shoot. Which reminds me I need to advertise some more to make people aware I do take high school senior pictures. Here are some of the senior photos I took that day:
I had a great time taking engagement photos of Becky and Lirjon – not only because they’re such a good-looking couple but because I connected with them very quickly and they made my job much easier. This couple met in mid-town Detroit (the Woodbridge neighborhood) so, naturally, they wanted to take some photos there, as well as other places around Detroit and Wayne State University where they both studied. Christian faith plays a big role in their life so I tried to show that through some of the photos I took. Lirjon is very passionate about soccer (although him and I are not fans of the same team:) ) and Becky supports it. We also went to Belle Isle in Detroit where we were able to take some great sunset and silhouette photos for their engagement session. At first Lirjon was a bit shy about kissing his bride-to-be in front of me but soon his love for her took over.