Ellie's Portrait Session (ft. Arie)

When I went to meet up with Ellie, I was honestly so exhausted. I was still recovering from a long work week and had photographed and edited a session earlier that day.

I was really doubting my creativity and skills when we started taking photos. I felt like my pose ideas weren’t working out and the locations weren’t as interesting as they could be. After a little bit, I started to loosen up and things began to fall into place. Once I started editing, I felt like my confidence was restored. Not because these are the best photos, the best locations or poses, but because Ellie’s true beauty and elegance was shining!

She is radiant.

And then I remember, the photos are for her. She asked me to take these photos because she wanted to have some documentation of herself. She was looking back for a photo of herself and couldn’t find any after her high school senior portraits. She is a beautiful woman and deserves to look at photos of herself and feel that! We had a great time walking around and trying out poses even if they felt a little weird at first. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, either way we had so much fun taking them.

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After we relocated, I felt like the magic really began to happen! When I was feeling stuck, I decided to take some risks and practice some in-camera double exposure photos.

In the past, I’ve only ever played with this setting at home. I’ve seen it done beautifully by so many wedding photographers I follow on social media, but it has never been a go-to setting I use with a model or a client.

1/10 usually turn out alright for me, but Ellie and this beautiful skyline just clicked! After Arie joined us, I wanted to depict these beautiful gals and the wonderful city we all live in and have had the pleasure to all meet in. Sadly, the sun began to set quickly and we had to call it a wrap on the photos. I would definitely recommend roof top photo sessions at sunset. Also, I would recommend trying something different. Try something you aren’t comfortable with, there is no way you can predict the result.

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Devin, Damien, Autumn

This was a pretty special photo session to me for a few reasons. I met Devin when I was still in school, she was actually my graphic design for the illustrator Professor! At this time, I am still pursuing illustration in school but I was photographing in most of my free time. Photography was starting to become more than just a hobby for me. I began using my graphic design and marketing skills for my photos and less for my illustration… I suppose the thing you spend your free time doing is usually a good indicator of what you really love to do.

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After Devin saw my photos, she suggested I reach out to a friend for an opportunity to be a wedding photo intern. I ended up working for a wedding photographer for a summer and learning lots about the flow of a wedding day and what to expect day of. I now use this base for how I run the photos when I shoot my own weddings now :)

Post-grad Devin ended up hiring me as a nanny a few days a week after I had babysat here and there for her. Damien and Autumn have such strong and bad-ass personalities! I grew so much watching these kiddos this past spring, but ended up giving up nannying to be Devin’s design assistant for her business Hatch. I was able to help her accomplish some projects, take the lead on some designs, and offer photography for her through her business. I learned so much while I was working for her, and have taken everything along with me as I hustle my way into the world of freelance and entrepreneurship.

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This session was a celebration. A celebration for Devin being a single, bad-ass, mom boss. This woman kill s it! She runs Hatch Creative Services, Devin DuMond Fine Art, Women Who, and is raising these beautiful humans.

I knew we had to find an area to photograph that would highlight their fun, artistic, and rad style. We started right in my own neighborhood, Creston, Grand Rapids. Lions and Rabbit’s had recently hosted Creston After Dark where multiple artists were commissioned to paint murals in the area. These efforts are keeping true to the saying “Keep Creston Funky!”

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To go in hand with the fun black patterned outfits and funky murals, I wanted to capture the more quiet and soft side of this family. Devin’s home is BEAUTIFUL. I love the soft bright fabrics, dark and solid wood furniture, and classic windows. With so much natural and dramatic lighting, I didn’t even need to add any flash or artificial lighting.

I love these bedroom photos because they show the reality of a photo session with kids. They move. They cry. And sometimes the want to jump on the bed. These are just some of so many photos of the reality of parenthood and the goofy, wild nature of children. This is why they are probably my favorite subject to photograph. To be able to capture this pure joy is truly a gift!

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