Melissa & Scott

I was so excited when I heard Melissa and Scott were having their ceremony at the Hope Chapel in Shelby Township! I had done a wedding there a few years ago and completely fell in love with this historical little church from the late 1800’s. Doug and I both worked at Greenfield Village (also where we met!) and we have a deep appreciation for historical buildings like the Hope Chapel.

The day turned out beautiful, even though the forecast was threatening rain and thunderstorms. We arrived about an hour before the ceremony and took some portraits of Melissa with her bridesmaids and her immediate family. Just as we were finishing up with those portraits in the Heritage Gardens (on the grounds of the Chapel), it began to sprinkle. We all made it back to the Chapel just before it really started to rain.

After the ceremony, Melissa and Scott celebrated with their family and friends down the road at the VFW Hall. Many of the vendors were friends and family of the couple who stepped up to help give this Melissa and Scott a beautiful day. It was truly touching to see how much these two are loved! 

The hall was beautifully decorated with fresh flowers and candlelight! Melissa and Scott also placed little film disposable cameras on the tables for the guests! Doug and I completely adored this idea and it was so fun to see guests snapping pictures all night with film cameras instead of cell phones!

For the Anxious Bride or Groom

We all know weddings can be stressful–the planning and prepping, choosing and coordinating with all your vendors, dealing with family and friends who all bring aboard their own stress, issues, and agendas, and of course all the potential disasters big and small that could happen on your wedding day. It’s natural to feel some level of anxiety about your wedding, but what do you do when you already suffer from some kind of anxiety disorder or depression that affects your day-to-day functioning? How do you cope with the added stress a wedding brings? How can you avoid a panic attack when you’re being overloaded by well meaning family members or when a few unexpected guests show up at your reception and the venue doesn’t have enough chairs out?

First of all, I want to tell you if you suffer from anxiety, depression, bipolar, or PTSD, you are far from alone. I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety and depression myself, so I completely understand what you’re going through and as your wedding photographer, I will do everything in my power to support you and make sure your day goes as smoothly as possible! So what can we do as your photographers to minimize stress? Let’s take a look at three possible anxiety-busting ideas.

1. The First Look

Capture your fiance’s reaction to seeing you in your wedding dress!

Jen showing off her dress for Joshua.

You not only get beautiful reaction shots, but there’s usually some time for a few portraits.

First looks can be a fantastic way to have some alone time with your fiance before the ceremony! After a morning filled with the chaos of getting ready surrounded by your wedding party, parents, and other family members, if you’re like me, you’re ready for some space and breathing room. Start getting ready early enough and save yourself some time before your ceremony to do a first look. 

First looks don’t have to be just between you and your fiance. You could also choose to do a first look with your bridesmaids/wedding party. For this, I would recommend waiting to put your dress on until the last moment. Have everyone leave except a few close friends or family members who can help you into your dress and have your photographer standing by so they can capture you getting dressed and your reaction to seeing yourself as a bride! 

This gives you a chance to get out of the chaos of “where’s my shoes?!” and “Omg! My bridesmaid dress isn’t fitting!” that happens during the getting ready period. It gives you a chance to get away from any family drama and away from anyone who’s aggravating your anxiety because you have a valid reason to ask them to leave!

First look with the bridesmaids.

This portrait and the one following it were taken right after the bride put on her dress. It was just her, her aunt and me in the room making for some lovely intimate and relaxed portraits.

Jen’s reaction to seeing herself as a bride!

Katie had some time upon arriving at the church to take a few bridal portraits and they came out amazing.

Bridal portrait before the ceremony. Time to breathe and relax!

2. Tips for low stress portrait sessions

First looks are also great because they flow naturally into intimate portrait sessions with you and your fiance, so you can get a bunch of great shots together and have to spend less time after the ceremony when you’re likely going to be hungry and ready to get on to your reception.

You could even get your wedding party photos taken care of before the ceremony while everyone is still looking fresh and isn’t thinking about having a big slice of wedding cake. The key of course is to leave enough time and to start getting ready early. Don’t stress if you don’t get all the portraits you hoped for before your ceremony; there is usually plenty of time to get your portraits finished up before your reception!

Some light hearted portraits before the ceremony…

And some more after!

Before the ceremony…

And after!

Holly did all her portraits after the ceremony.

We had plenty of time to capture lots of fun photos.

Family portraits in my opinion are best done directly following the ceremony. Everyone is in one place and your ceremony site makes a great backdrop. Make sure you communicate ahead of time to your family members you want pictures with that they need to hang out after the ceremony to have their photos taken. Another thing that really makes a difference is to make a list, number it 1-10 and list ten groupings of family members you want photos with (ex. 1. Bride and Groom with Bride’s Parents, 2. B&G with Groom’s Parents, 3. B&G with grandparents, etc). Also list your family members’ names and make sure your photographer has your list. This will make family portraits go super fast because your photographer can just go through your list and call out the names needed for each photo!

Family portraits can still be stressful because of family drama, messy divorces, and family members who just don’t get along. Make your photographer aware of any potential issues and family members who may not want to be photographed together. We can work around that stuff to make things less awkward.

3.  Staying on Track and Going With the Flow

A good, experienced wedding photographer can help you stick to your wedding day timeline. We know the flow of a wedding, where things can get off track, and how to work with your other vendors to keep everything moving smoothly. We know how to move quickly through your family portraits and how to move you and your soon-to-be spouse through flattering and creative poses. We know what questions to ask you before your big day so we can be prepared as possible.

Through cake cuttings, first dances, bouquet and garter tosses, we’re here to help you keep to your timeline.

First Dance.

First Dance.

Bouquet toss

Garter Toss

Ok, so we all know things don’t always go just as planned. When that happens, you want a photographer who can go with the flow. We can and have adapted and made the best out of all sorts of crazy situations and mishaps. No matter what happens on your wedding day, you can be assured we will keep our cool, help you keep yours, and do whatever it takes to make sure you have stunning photos!

Finally, remember, as your photographers, Doug and I are well prepared and we got your back! I know what it feels like to have intense anxiety and depression, so I’m always happy to be an ear to listen to you, a shoulder to lean on or an excuse to get away from everyone and everything and take a few deep breaths. When you choose Doug and I as your wedding photographers, you’ve got two empathetic and understanding allies on your side. No matter what level of anxiety you have when it comes to your wedding, we got this!


Katie and Doug Photography

Grand Opening + Special Promotion for Wedding Photography!

Welcome to our blog! Doug and I are so excited to be going in to business together and we can’t wait to work with metro Detroit’s lovely brides and grooms.

Doug and I have known each other for three years now. We met working at Greenfield Village in Dearborn. Both of us had a crush on the other almost from the first moment we met, although it would take a year for one of us (me) to confess the crush. After that, we began dating and not too long after I became pregnant with our son, Phoenix.

One of the things that drew us together was a strong interest in art and photography. I have my B.F.A. in Photography and Intermedia from Western Michigan University and have experience shooting weddings. Doug has been honing his photography skills for over 30 years and has used a wide variety of cameras, both film and digital. We both have wanted to make a career out of photography and we decided to finally press the shutter (haha) and start Katie and Doug Photography. We can’t wait to see where this new chapter leads us!

And now for the promotion:

We want to shoot 7 weddings at a special discount price of $1,200. If you’re in the Metro Detroit area and are getting married this year or next year, we want to be your wedding photographers! For this special price you get:

8 hours of photographic coverage on your wedding day

2 photographers (myself and Doug)

Fully edited images with printing rights and the right to use on social media

An online gallery with an option to order prints

A 13”x11” 20 page wedding photo album

This offer is first come, first serve, so contact us soon! 

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