the kroupa family | traverse city, michigan

Guys. This family. 

I don't even want to talk about how the sky was the perfect color or how their outfits were on point or how the low hanging tree branches were picturesque or how Grace was the perfect little model. But yes, all true, as you'll see.

This family is dear to me and I'm honored to continue to photograph them year after year. They even let me design their Christmas card every year and trust me to make outfit and location decisions without blinking an eye {more families than just them, by the way, but this is a shout out to the Kroupas!}. They laugh with me {maybe sometimes at me? ;)} while I arrange them and offer them posing cues while we capture them right where they are at. 2018. Embracing this season of life and doing it really really well. 

That's all.

xo

amanda

amalya june | newborn | gross pointe, michigan

seriously guys. so many sweet babies. 

Since I've known Beth, she has looked forward to the days of motherhood. This little peanut was long awaited and is already so so loved by her sweet parents. 

The best part about this session was that it was actually two-- I got to meet Amalya when she was under 24 hours old and capture her sweet little face in the hospital! This was also my first time photographing a fresh babe in the hospital, and I loved every minute. 

Then, one week later, her newborn session took place at their home. This family of three was so inviting and cheery on what I know had been little rest. Amalya opened her eyes once or twice but mostly slept like an angel through the whole thing. 

Beth and Bill, well done. Thank you for inviting me in and letting me be a part of your first week as parents! Cheers to many more playdates in our future.

xo 

amanda

 

eowyn ember | newborn | detroit, michigan

10 days new, Wynnie is here!

almost two years ago now, when I first made the leap to start my business, Lincoln and Alana were among the first to let me to photograph them. I look back at their session, my first blogpost, and am so deeply grateful for their friendship and encouragement and trust over the years.

and now they have A BABY!

meet sweet Eowyn Ember.

after a casual walk down the street to mural photographs and a hot cup of coffee at Red Hook, Lincoln and Alana showed me their beautiful bed that had been decorated by their sweet friend. all the while, it was evident Eowyn was designed for them, and they for her, all thanks to our glorious Creator.

they fit together so perfectly. what a joy it was to photograph them as a family of three!

xo

amanda

clare | newborn | detroit, michigan

At just one week old, I met Clare. 

I'll keep this post light on words and heavy on pictures because choosing which images to share here on the blog was no easy task— so much to love. 

Rachel and Andrew, you created a beauty. I’m so happy that God made you Clare's parents. He couldn’t have picked a more loving duo to bring her into this world! Thanks for sharing her with me!

The Mahanic Family {Grosse Ile, Michigan}

You guys, I have some really fun sessions from this fall to share with you! The light and the people and the locations all collided into something beautiful. And, I'm on vacation {mom's house, yay!} and might just find extra time to do some blogging. 

The Mahanic Family was a joy to photograph! It was such a privilege to capture their family. Matt and Candace, Madeline and Annabelle, Mimi and Grandpa Jim-- thanks for trusting me and making this session so fun! 

I'd love for you to visit again here on the blog later this week to see more of my recent work! 

xo

Amanda

Eva Jean {Grosse Pointe Woods, MI}

Eva Jean was two weeks old when I visited her and her mom, dad, and pup Ozzie for her newborn session. I have a special place in my heart for sessions like these, with new parents and new life-- precious firsts I adore capturing for friends.

I feel compelled to throw out a little advice today, so take it or leave it:

Do you know anyone who just had a baby {or is going through any other traumatic/difficult/crazy event, really}? Love on them. That way you express that love may look different between individuals, but figure out what it is that they need and be there for them! Do they need more help around the house? More meals? More sleep? More space? Someone to cry to? To make them laugh? To dream with? To listen to their woes? Trust me, your efforts to love are accentuated when you take some time to figure out what it is they actually need-- whether it be physical or emotional. And you may not get it right at first! And that's okay.

On the flip side-- did you just have a baby? {Or are you going through something else traumatic/difficult/crazy?} Don't be afraid to reach out and tell your loved ones how they are needed. Communicate. Let people in to love you. But also understand that all humans love differently and sometimes it's the effort that counts. 

Love, people.

Emilee, Andy, Eva, and Ozzie, thanks for inviting me into the delicate and special time you are in. It means the world to me and I hope your first weeks together can be looked back on with fondness!

The Mason Family {Traverse City, MI}

Today's blogpost is light on the words because some days you've just gotta GET STUFF DONE.  For me, in between caring for my littles and staying caffeinated, that's edit and laundry and pack and more laundry.  T-minus 3 days until family vacation!

Enjoy the Mason Family's photos and the beautiful fall colors! And if you want to see how much baby Luke has changed, check out his newborn shoot from January!

The Pyle Family {Ann Arbor, MI}

Taking a break from editing {and chasing around my littles} to bring you images of this sweet family.

Fall has always been my favorite time of year, mainly because of my birthday. But as I got older, it became more about the way hot coffee fit perfectly in my hand at all times of the day, the way the leaves change, and the sweaters. Oh, how I love sweaters! 

This year, it's the family photo sessions filling up my schedule that make fall my favorite. All the other things still apply. But this addition really takes the cake!

The Pyle Family just recently welcomed baby Justine into the family, and this sweet outdoor session with the new family of five was a lovely addition to my fall sessions. Now back to editing! 

The Francis Family {Royal Oak, MI}

Before you scroll down to see one of my latest sessions, I'd like to attempt to express my gratefulness to you, my reader, viewer, client, and/or friend. I'm in awe of your support of me and my business-- you guys, word of mouth is awesome and I'm so blessed with work because of you! So far, this fall has been THE BEST as I'm meeting new clients and sneaking in sessions with old friends. Seriously. Can I ask something of you? Keep it coming!

Thank you, again, because I love what I do and I get to do it because you are awesome.

Below, meet a family who I met through another family I photographed last year. Matthew, Tracy, and Josephine asked me to photograph their first family portraits and it turned out to be a beautiful day with perfect light. As you'll see, we laughed a lot; I really enjoyed this hour with new friends. Scroll away!

The Gray Family {Grosse Ile, MI}

The Gray Family is adorable. Enough said.

But of course I'll say more!

After lots and lots of rain we finally got a gorgeous day for this long awaited session, and we were so relieved! I've known Kristine since I was in college, and I witnessed her love and joy for children as an early childhood teacher. It was such a joy to see this love and joy spill out of her for her daughter Lucy. And Lucy is such a sweet, sweet 5 month old little lady.

Kristine and Tony wanted to include some other family members in this shoot and I felt that this gesture was very special, loving, and others-focused. What a pleasure it was to photograph this sweet little family! Enjoy!

The Parks Family {Seattle to Michigan}

Life can be oh so sweet.

I mean, quite often I get bogged down by chaos and turmoil and drama and crazy but then there are those times when I get to experience pure joy. And it tastes sweet to my soul. {I'm grateful, Jesus. I really am!}

Recently I had a much too short visit with a childhood friend who was visiting home from Seattle. She hired me weeks ago to capture her family photos, and I've been anticipating it ever since. It was such a privilege to be trusted with this task!

With two kids in 2.5 years, it's no surprise that Becca and Phil have a lot going on. But their calm and patience and joy as parents and to each other was such a treat to witness. The day grew even sweeter since our session took place at her grandparents' house on the street we both grew up on. I convinced my husband to join us with our two littles and it was so fun to all be together.

Becca and Phil-- you're girls are so gorgeous and sweet. You two rock. Thanks for the honor of capturing you all!

If we haven't connected yet about your fall photos, shoot me a note and we'll get it on the schedule!

Hannah {Detroit, MI}

Hannah.

Over the last nine months and during her senior year at Wayne State University, I had the privilege to get to know Hannah through our weekly coffee dates. The purpose was for her growth and support, but relationships are never one-sided. I learned a great deal through our time together. 

Through Hannah, I learned that the Holy Spirit leads with even the slightest of willingness on my part. I learned that I need Jesus more than I need myself, or anyone else. I learned that in order to give to others, I must seek Christ to fill me up.

Through Hannah, I experienced great joy. Things got messy, and we laughed and cried together.

Through Hannah, I was reminded that my limitations-- emotional, mental, physical, circumstantial -- are not limitations of the God Almighty. He reinforced over and over that in my weakness, He is strong. 

Also, did I mention she is beautiful?

Paul wrote to the Philippians something beautiful that resonates with me when I think of Hannah. "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." {Philippians 1:3-5}

My dear Hannah, the Lord has great plans for you. Thank you for letting me in on a tiny sliver of it.

The Nowaske Family {Birmingham, MI}

It’s spring! That means more sessions outdoors and that makes me really, really happy. Green grass and trees and new life blooming everywhere as the backdrop to portraits excites me. 

Carolyn and I became friends {through a dear friend} rather recently but I’d say we’ve quickly jumped into each others lives. When I had the opportunity to take photographs of her family, as usual, I was equally honored and nervous to attempt at this role for them. Honestly, I cannot get over how friends new and old continue to trust me with taking their photographs and I hope it never ends. As I am able {currently 32 weeks pregnant, and chasing around a toddler!}, Jesus continues to provide clients and new experiences that continue to bring me so much joy. I believe that work is GOOD. And I hope to never cease to recognize that all good things come from His gracious hands. 

With the light drastically more generous during this session than the others I’ve had recently, I felt much more free to capture candid moments without meticulously checking composition. It made for a very laid back session with the Carolyn, Jeff, Evan, and Joslyn, in which I gladly got to know them better as a family! 

Thank you Nowaskes for a lovely morning and for your friendship! 

And for those who continue to tune in to my photo sharing and personal thoughts about life currently {and those stopping by for the first time!}-- thanks a million. I'm genuinely open to feedback or encouragement or collaboration and I'd love to hear from you! Contact me here!

xo Amanda

 

Nicholas Ryan {Grosse Pointe, MI}

When I got the invitation to shoot this session with Stephanie, Ryan, and baby Niko, I was giddy, as always is the case when I get to do what I love. And let me tell you, I LOVE spending sweet time in a family's home, capturing them and their little one.

My favorite thing about this shoot was the thoughtfulness Stephanie put into it beforehand-- in a casual yet organized way, she knew what she wanted to include but let me take the reigns on just how that would happen. The heirloom crib was my favorite-- I mean, who has a crib that has been passed down in their family since the late 1800s? They do. And it was so special to capture little Niko in it, carrying on the tradition.

As you'll notice, there was a lot of baby yawns going on during this session...his parents assured me he isn't always this calm and relaxed, but what a perfect hour he chose! I hope they remember him this way. So much cuteness. Thank you Stephanie and Ryan for sharing your little one with me!

 

 

Baby Clio {Boston to Michigan}

Lately I've had a {very welcomed} upsurge of newborn sessions, and anticipate more in the future {yay!}. Little Clio and her parents were visiting family in Rochester, Michigan, from Boston. I'm thankful for good friends and connections like this that keep me doing what I love. What's more, I'm thankful for the individuals who continue to trust me behind the camera. Honored, really.

Clio is a precious babe with personality and the strongest neck I've ever seen on an eight week old. She was content and sweet and loved looking at her mama. As it should be. 

Towards the end of our mini-session, Clio made it clear she was tuckered out and needed to catnap. With a little soothing from mom, she dozed off; her sweet face was peaceful and still content as she dreamed.  

I had more laughs in this mini session than I've had in a while-- thank you baby Clio for being so sweet, making me laugh, and reminding me of the squishy newborn joy the babe growing inside me is going to bring in just a few short months. 

Baby Luke {Williamsburg, MI}

I've been anticipating the month of January for quite some time.  Awaiting the arrival of several babies-- those of friends, family, and clients alike, has been exciting and kept me checking my phone often. Then, three newborns arrived in the matter of four days! When I got the call that Luke had arrived, I couldn't wait to make the drive up north to photograph his squishy, newborn self and his adorable family.

I find it extremely special when a family invites me into their home-- especially so when it is to photograph their newest member. These lifestyle sessions are equally relaxed and fun and challenging for me. I've found as of late that beautiful pictures can be found indoors, too.

I decided to share these photos in all black and white. I'd love to hear feedback of what you think about this style/choice! 

Alicia, Jeff, and Ben, thank you for sharing baby Luke with me! I hope these have photos captured a time in your life that you'll cherish for years to come. {oh, and Go Blue!}



In Waiting for Baby Youker {Michigan + Wyoming}

I've been withholding these photographs, thinking I would share them collectively when Baby Girl Youker arrived. But in waiting for her arrival, I've decided to share them here in an effort to share my excitement that her due date is arriving and she really could be here anytime! From talking with my brother and his wife, I get the feeling that maybe they are in this tension between "come on, baby girl!" and "wait, are we ready to be parents?!". I have a very familiar understanding for this confusing place in time.

Even though they live in Wyoming, I've been able to photograph my beautiful sister and her growing belly three times throughout her pregnancy. I offered these sessions to her in hopes that she would be able to look back on the moments we captured and cherish the miracle of carrying her little one all these months, especially near the end now when I'm sure she'd rather be holding her in her arms.

To Andrew and Trisha-- you are going to be wonderful parents. And keep in mind wonderful does not equal perfect. While we can't offer perfection to our children, your efforts to love and nurture this baby is what will make you wonderful. I have no doubt you will take on this role like champs. My advice to you-- you need Jesus and you need each other. He is the source of love that will get you through everything! From those who offer help-- take it. From those who offer food-- eat it. From me {and many others} who offer support and love--  know you are loved and supported and reach out for anything {and I mean anything!}, anytime. 

Until she comes, here's the cutest expecting couple you ever did see!

{14 weeks}

{26 weeks}

{33 weeks}


The Kroupa Family {Traverse City, MI}

Remember that time in November when it snowed? It was definitely 60 degrees this weekend and it's the middle of December. I'm not sure what is going on with Mother Nature but it's the weirdest. Ok, I actually love it. But a teeny tiny part of me keeps thinking, this is just not right!  I mean, it's Michigan!

This year I've truly enjoyed being entrusted to capture beautiful memories for so many families. It has been fun, rich, and I've learned so much. I had the opportunity to be behind the camera twice for the Kroupa Family-- one this summer and one in the {only} fresh snow a few weeks ago. They have been so supportive of me and my business; I adore them. 

Meet the Kroupas and all their mini-session cuteness! 


Greta {Lansing, MI}

This weekend's hangout included a casual maternity session. With the football game on and our husbands, dogs, and kiddo hanging in the room next door, I had the opportunity to spend some time hearing about the excitement of a very loved little boy on the way.

Greta is stunning. She had a vision for indoor photos, which was meaningful and sweet. Thankful for the natural light shining in, I posed her near windows and was happy with the results. These photos seemed to be really special to this mommy-to-be. But later, as I saw the sun going down and its glow seeping through the windows, I convinced her to come outdoors with me for a few poses-- and it was so worth it. 

I've notice lately that when I get behind the camera, I can't help but be energized-- in a giddy, can't stop smiling kind of way. While it may sound silly, in this season of thankfulness, I feel the need to say that I am thankful for the individuals who trust me to be behind the camera. Being here brings me joy in a way that I never thought possible. I'm trying my best to love others through this God given blessing; I'm so grateful. 

To Greta-- My hope is that these photos will have captured this moment in time so you remember how content you were, waiting for little Rock, preparing for his arrival with patience and love. It was so special to me to be a part of-- thank you!