This is us: The Schuler Family, dressed to the nines in my home studio as I click the button on the remote trigger and remind the kids to look at the camera. (They did AMAZING by the way, and it was actually way more fun than any of us expected! Check out more family photos at the end!)
I've always been inspired by "Vanity Fair" style portraiture and have dreamed of doing my own family photo this way but never got around to it. So since I had already arranged a day to have my hair & makeup done to photograph my own new headshots, the idea popped into my head to turn it into a family affair.
"THAT'S A CRAZY IDEA! IT WOULD NEVER WORK FOR US!" was the next thought that popped into my head. Would my kids be up for it?? Would they cooperate enough to make it worth all the trouble and result in a beautiful photo? Or would it end in total chaos, grumpy moods, bribes, and tears all around? And likewise, would my husband put up with what seemed like could be quite an ordeal? I decided to go for it.
It was such an honor to meet Claire's family and work with this beautiful young lady. I can't even begin to imagine the challenges they faced over this past year as she was diagnosed with and treated for cancer. But seeing someone who has overcome such a struggle to now be so full of JOY & LIFE was a huge inspiration to me. It's clear that she's a SURVIVOR in every way!
I'd love to share this quote from Claire with you:
It's such a joy to see this sweet girl every fall and catch up with her dear parents! I've probably told the story before how our lives crossed paths during the adoption process, but I just I adore this family! Here are a few of my favorites from Miss Eva's fall photos as she turns SIX!
It couldn't have been a more perfect October day for Sven & Cindy's wedding in Rochester Hills, Michigan! The sun was shining, the vibrant purple & orange decor set the tone for a beautiful & festive fall event, and - best of all - their closest friends & family were gathered together to celebrate this wonderful union that was 11+ years in the making! Read on to see the highlights from their joyous wedding day!
What an exciting season for these two & their families! My brother Joel & his lovely wife Caroline are expecting a baby boy around Thanksgiving time and we are all eager to meet him! This photo was taken in the same field where I photographed their engagement session two years ago and it's so beautiful to see their marriage blossom into new life! Scroll to see my favorites from this fall maternity session AND highlights from a delightful baby shower!
It was a bright & beautiful September weekend in Michigan when Todd & Amy tied the knot! Their ceremony was held at St. Kieran Catholic Church in Shelby Township, and the wedding reception took place in the grand ballroom at MacRay Harbor overlooking the bay. The steel blue bridesmaids dresses were a perfect match with the panoramic views of the water! And because this couple loves to explore the Metroparks, we made a stop along the way at the scenic Lake St. Clair Metropark for some bridal party photos. (If you missed Todd & Amy's Engagement Photos at Stony Creek, click here or check out the link below). Keep scrolling to see the highlights from their lovely wedding day AND the dance party that followed!
This gorgeous couple had a glorious wedding day full of beauty, laughs, and happy tears. Rachel had everything organized down to the last detail and did a fabulous job making her dream wedding come to life! The bridal party was a great group of family & friends and everyone looked amazing in their navy blue gowns & grey suits... especially when the guys added their sunglasses on this bright fall day. I can't wait to share these moments with you, and I couldn't help but get caught up in Rachel's emotions as she walked down the aisle, listened to the speeches & toasts, danced with her dad, AND squealed with excitement when the DJ played her favorite song and she bounced to the dance floor.
What a handsome little dog!! Rachel's pet Maltese wasn't going to be able to participate in the ceremony or reception but he still needed to be a part of the wedding party in his cute black bow tie, so we scheduled a portrait session at my home studio for some bridal portraits and "Best Dog" photos. Rachel framed a few images to display at the reception on a table that included personalized treat bags for guests to take home to their pups, courtesy of Winston. If you love his furry face you can follow him on his own Instagram, @hairywinston! Now scroll through a few adorable photos, along with some shots of this beautiful bride!! I can't decide if she reminds me more of Carrie Underwood or Barbie. Or perhaps a Carrie Underwood Barbie?! So pretty!
It's time to get to know the girl behind the camera! I took myself way out of my comfort zone when I stepped in front of the lens for my own photo shoot, and even more so now as I share with you my thoughts during this whole process & why it was important to me. Bare with me as I share some deep, some shallow, and many random thoughts... or just scan the photos and move on, I won't mind!
I'm even sharing my "Before & After" photo, and a special guest appearance by my amazingly handsome husband!
But wait, THERE'S MORE! Stay tuned to see the second half of this session when I reveal the most spectacular part of this day with FOUR more special guests!!! If you know me you might be able to guess who they were, and believe me you're in for a real treat!
It was such an honor to join this family at their intimate beach wedding on Lake Michigan. They've always loved to travel to the Grand Haven & Muskegon area to spend time at the beach with their sweet dog, Bry, so it was the perfect choice for a small destination wedding. Shelby expressed to me that the photos were the most important element of this event as she was so happy to have her parents, siblings, kids, and grandkids there as we captured these moments!
As the wedding hour approached we were working on a back-up plan due to some heavy rain & storms moving through. But the clouds parted just in time for the celebration to begin and the night ended with an amazing sunset on the lake! The following morning the family rejoined for a reception brunch at Jack's Waterfront Bistro at the Grand Haven Holiday Inn. Here are some of the highlights of this beautiful weekend!
Nikki Schuler specializes in wedding photography and portraits and is the owner of Awakened Light Photography, LLC. She has traveled to over 40 countries using creative arts as a ministry and resides with her husband & 4 children in a cozy vintage farmhouse in Oxford, Michigan.