justin + jenna + alyvia | traverse city, michigan

It's no secret that photographing friends, new and old, is one of my favorite pastimes. So far, photographing families, babies, couples, seniors, and events has gone with me all over the United States-- Idaho, Arkansas, Florida, Wyoming, Illinois and of course Michigan. Living in Detroit happens to be super cool for many things, and photographing people is no exception. But honestly, my favorite place in the state for sessions is not Detroit-- drive a lot further north and everywhere between Buckley and Northport is where I'd like to be all summer snapping away. 

This spring, I had a full weekend of sessions in the Traverse City area. Chilly was expected, even a little snow, but not to the volume that was found. It happened to be a beautiful weekend (high 50s!) but the snow was so abundant that even after days of this warm up, the snow remained. So, we went with it! Sandals and snow? Sure! If you are reading this and you are from Michigan, you understand. 50 degrees warrants sandals every. single. spring. Am I right?!

This family had the best attitude about the melting snow, high sun, and mild temps that weekend. We had a blast walking around Traverse City, finding good light and catching up. 

Thanks for keeping me busy, Jenna! Can't wait till I get to photograph your sweet family again :)

xo

amanda

 

traveling to kenya | africa through my portrait lens

Recently, my husband Drew and I traveled to Kenya with group of incredible humans represented by Kids Alive International. 

sunrise from the safari jeep | msasai mara national reserve

sunrise from the safari jeep | msasai mara national reserve

We went as guests of our friends + mentors who encouraged us to join them-- a married couple 30 years our senior, who have experienced life with beauty and love, trial and imperfection, and now exude wisdom and understanding into our life like no one else has. They are invaluable to us. We knew this trip would be good, solely because of being with them! 

sheri + tom | our friends + mentors | nature walk on aberdare national reserve

sheri + tom | our friends + mentors | nature walk on aberdare national reserve

What we didn't know, was, that we would see another part of this world that we immediately loved. We didn't know we'd meet so many incredible, God fearing people, on our team and nationals to Kenya. That we would experience first hand an organization doing so much good, in Jesus' name, rescuing children from poverty, fostering change in individual lives and culture alike. That we'd be amidst so much hope. That we'd leave inspired and encouraged. We didn't know!

We also didn't have any idea what we were in for on our three day safari (!!!). It was incredible. I'm talking, jaw dropping landscape, wildlife for miles and miles and miles, elephants for days, rivers filled with hippos (okay, one river. but it was FULL of hippos!) Guys. It was so amazing! 

There's just too much to tell in a single blog post. But as I do with most life experiences, I'm going to attempt to describe it through photographs. And I encourage you, if you are curious to learn more about Kids Alive, Kenya, or traveling in general, just ask! I love to share and connect through my experiences.

I hope you enjoy Africa through my lens!

{sidenote, I was so drawn to the above tree, and photographed it many times. It's called Crown of Thorns-- the type of tree used for Christ's crown of thorns placed on his head when he was mocked by the Jews, later to be crucified, buried, and rise again.}

thanks for sticking around till the end! 

xo

amanda

 

 

ellie ray | 10 weeks new | driggs, idaho

I think Idaho is the furthest I've traveled for a photo shoot? 

It may not have been why I went {it wasn't}. But I couldn't be around this cuteness and not document it. 

I was in Idaho this July was because I found myself within four hours {SLC with other dear friends!} of my dear friend Norah and I could not pass up the opportunity to spend 24 hours with her and her family, and to meet Ellie. So we took advantage of the situation and planned it. Being with them = pure joy. Our shared experiences go back to preschool, and now they include motherhood. Read: happy heart.

You may remember I photographed Norah and her new baby bump last Thanksgiving... here she is now with Ellie Ray, the sweetest little peanut who is the closest thing to a niece to me without actually being related. 

Ellie dear, I love you. Till the next time I get to kiss your cheeks and hug your mama, dear one.

xo

amanda

Mountains and Wildflowers {Casper, WY}

Sometimes, I take spontaneous vacations.

Most recently, I traveled alone with my two children {2.5 yrs and 2.5 months} to Casper, WY, to spend time with my mom, stepdad, brother, sister-in-law, and niece. I had been wanting to go visit them since my son was born, but didn't feel as though I had the courage to do it. One day, with some encouragement from my husband, I worked up the courage and bought the tickets to depart the following week. I went! And I survived! Mind you, I felt like I was losing my mind from all of the stares I got with two children in tow in the airport, but a screaming toddler kept me focused.

This trip was pure gold. Mainly because it meant unlimited time with my mom to do whatever we felt like most days. But also because I got to see a little sliver of life out west for my family and it reminded me that home is where the people you love are, and that can be in more than one place. 

Behind the camera is my happy place, and I enjoyed being able to capture nature and my kiddos candidly. I hope you enjoy this view, too. 

{Somehow not pictured are my sweet brother and his beautiful wife. Gah! Next time!}

My fall has booked right up and sessions are very limited-- if you haven't booked yours yet, do it today