When Tim, Jackie, and I were supposed to meet it was a typical midweek day in Ann Arbor: beautiful, sunny, traffic and U of M students everywhere, and no open tables at Starbucks. As I awkwardly stood in Starbucks with my sample album and consultation folder, I weighed my options and my began to second guess my gut feeling. I hit “send” before I could even think it through. “Hey Jackie, Starbucks is packed. Want to swap a beer for the coffee and meet at Sidetracks in Depot Town? First round is on me.” Her response was perfect, “Absolutely! Beer is my my style anyway. Tim could use one after his day. See you soon.” Our consultation consisted of Irish Spring Rolls (a Sidetrack Classic), a round of brews, 10 minutes of photography talk, 10 minutes of wedding talk, and two hours of bonding. By the end, we stood up from our chairs knowing we would be seeing each other soon. Being an Italian, I sometimes have to restrain myself being affectionate with strangers; hugs are free and always offered. Jackie beat me to the punch as we stood up. “I am a hugger!” she exclaimed as she gave me a firm squeeze. Right there, we decided to have a U of M engagement session.
I knew walking away from our meeting that their engagement photos would embrace something special solely from the couple they are and the energy they bring to their relationship. The planning of their engagement session was as quick as the consultation. When I asked where in Ann Arbor they wanted to shoot, they told me, “We love Ann Arbor, so, wherever you think.” We spent the afternoon walking the campus, creating a gorgeous U of M engagement session. Every time I shoot at U of M, whether it is for a wedding, an engagement, of even myself, I find new and beautiful places to shoot. It is always inspiring.
We started our U of M engagement session at my favorite place on campus, The Law Quad.
I find myself spending more and more time in Detroit these days. With the revival of the city, there is a resurgence of energy and life. New restaurants, shops, stores, events, and even stadiums are bringing more and more people downtown. One of the best parts about this renaissance is the rediscovery of the gems that have always been there. With Cameron and Ianna, we visited some these gems – the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Public Library. With the first click of the shutter, I knew it was going to be a fun engagement session. Ianna burst into laughter as Cameron whispered something in her ear. Her laugh was infectious and her smiling warming. Throughout the entire shoot, I kept my distance and let them be them. The results were loving and authentic. Their Detroit Institute of Arts engagement session was perfect!
Matt and Sam were highschool sweethearts. Matt, a Spartan through and through, found his passion as a sports journalist. Ask this guy anything about any sport, he knows who is who, who is the upcoming high school star, who holds records…talking to him during the walks of our engagement shoot was like playing Jeopardy with Watson, inspiring and humbling. Sam works at the high school where they met. Being around a couple who has been with each other so long made for an easy and relaxed day of shooting. They were comfortable, open, and themselves in each other’s presence, as any couple should be. Wanting to represent their love for Michigan State, we decided to shoot on MSU’s campus. I should know known that a university that started out as a farmer’s college would have an area dedicated to beautiful gardens. After our shoot, we celebrated the evening with a stop at HopCat, where Matt and I realized that we too knew each other from a youth leadership conference we attend on a yearly basis. Cheers to old friends! Cheers to a MSU engagement session.