christensen family | vacation family photography | traverse city, michigan

This adorable family was planning to vacation in Traverse City this summer, and contacted me desiring a family session to document their time there. I thought it was such a clever idea! To approach something that you really desire, but might be stressful, and execute it while in relaxation mode on vacation! Andrea, you’re a genius. And it paid off, because we had so much fun running around on the beach and throwing rocks and shells in the water.

If I could do every session with this weather and this backdrop, I would. Thank you summer!

xo

amanda

elodie jo | newborn | traverse city, michigan

When I first met Jen, I had known of her for quite some time, but we never crossed paths. When a dear, mutual friend was getting married, we officially met in all the pre-wedding festivities and were instant friends. You know when you meet someone, and you feel like you've known them forever? That's Jen for me. So each time I've spent time with her since then, it feels like old friends reconnecting.

As you can imagine, when she asked me to capture her daughter as a newborn, I was over the moon. A chance to hang AND photograph Elodie? Yes please. 

One thing is for sure, these three belong in front of the camera. Thank you, Andersons, for the authenticity and joy you brought to this session. 

xo

amanda

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