Boudoir Girls’ Night Out!

I’ve been planning this one for a while, and I’m so excited to tell you about it!  I’ve partnered up with Ashlee Ann On Location to bring you Boudoir Girls’ Night Out!

Boudoir Girls' Night Out

Head off to a bachelorette party with your hair and makeup looking great (and pictures with your friends BEFORE you hit the bar!), or just have a great girls’ night in for no particular reason at all besides looking gorgeous and having fun.  For $90 a person – just the cost of professional hair and makeup – you get a beauty day tailored to you and individual and group portraits taken of you and your friends.  A week or two later we’ll get together to order your favorites.  So bring some wine, spend some time with your girlfriends, and get glamorous portraits that you’ll be happy to hang on the wall.  What a great way to celebrate the bond that women have with each other.
Call me to get more details or to book your date!

Documenting is not living

Recently, I’ve seen this commercial from Universal Orlando. It’s been on tv a lot. This is after seeing a similar commercial from Apple over the holidays.  This may come as a surprise coming from a photographer, but documenting your life is not the same as living it.  These commercials bother me because of the truth behind them.  I know many people, not just teens, who are more concerned with documenting their life than living it.  They are more concerned with what their life looks like on Facebook than what it actually is.  I think usually it happens gradually and subconsciously, but it happens a lot.  These commercials are perfect illustrations of this phenomenon.

When I throw parties I often forget to take any pictures.  Friends tease me about it all the time.  Maybe it’s “pinterest-worthy”.  Maybe I spent weeks figuring out just the right decorations or the right recipes.  Maybe I even poured over our closets coming up with perfect outfits.  But when a party starts, I’m living my life.  I’m serving food, starting activities, laughing with my friends, playing with my children.  I’m worried that if I pick up a camera I’ll go into Photographer Mode and I’ll spend the day documenting my life in lieu of living it.  I’ve always thought that happened to me because I’m a photographer and it’s been a huge part of who I am since I was 13.  Now though, I’m wondering if there are greater forces at work.

There are some who take pictures and make movies to make their lives seem more exciting than it is.  There are also those who plan things to do just to be able to show it off on Facebook.  In the end, Facebook is a website.  Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest… they aren’t real life.  Eventually, it will most likely be gone.  Our lives cannot only exist virtually.  If it isn’t online, did it really happen?  YES!  IT DID!

Pictures are important.  They are time machines.  They can take you back to a moment in a way that very few things can.  They can remind you of that goofy haircut you had, or the way that your childrens’ faces looked when they still had their baby teeth.  They can show the dynamics of a family.  There is a time for pictures.  There is a place for pictures.  Take them, hire professionals to take great ones, document your lives.  It’s all about moderation.  Just try to remember to put experiencing life above showing off your life.

A vacation can’t be the “Best Vacation Ever!” if all you saw is the screen on your phone.


What do you think?  Let us know in the comments below!

You’ll never hear me say, “Say ‘cheese’!”  It leads to forced, faked smiles.  I just don’t think it works well.  What never ceases to amaze me, however, is how much children love to smile when they’re told not too.  It’s almost impossible for them not to.  Here’s what happened when I told my 3.5 year old son not to smile.

O’Dea Family Christmas

Two days after Christmas, I met the O’Dea family in the Embassy Suites Livonia hotel to take pictures of the family in the atrium.  Being late December, it was a bit chilly outside to take pictures with several small children, so we made the best of the plants inside the building.  Altogether, there were 31 of them.  They are normally spread around the country, so they wanted to capture a time when they had everyone together.

ODeaBlogpost1 ODeaBlogpost2

What do you think about these images?  Let us know in the comments below!


Baby Lucas – 10 days old

My friend Gabi had a baby 10 days ago, and I was able to meet him today.  He was an instant snuggler, and melted right into me.  He had that new baby smell and that new baby sweetness.  I think he also has her gorgeous eyes.  Maybe the next time I see him he’ll open them up for the camera.  Here are a few pictures I took while I was visiting him today.

Lucas - 10 days old


What do you think about these images?  Let us know in the comments below!

Best Friend Boudoir

Recently I had the joy of working with two really great friends.  We met at one of the girl’s apartment and played, posed, and had a lot of fun.  Here I’m showing you some of their tamest images, but one of my favorite moments (which I can’t post), was when they had a pillow fight in matching lingerie!  I really love shooting beauty and boudoir.  I’m thinking about putting together a package for bachelorette parties.  Hair, makeup, and photos with the bride and some of her best friends, individually and together.  I think it would be a great way to get ready for a night out!  Everyone would leave feeling and looking fabulous, and have pictures with their best friends.  What do you think?

Personally, I’m a bit jealous now that I don’t have a great picture of me with my own best friends to hang on my wall, like this one (although for my own wall, I’d probably do it with a shirt on, but I LOVE the confidence these ladies have!):


Here are some of my favorite images of each girl from our session.



What do you think about these images?  Let us know in the comments below!


Miles – Newborn Shoot – Livonia, MI

It feels like just yesterday it was Election Day and my cousin Frannie called and told me that she was expecting (you may have seen my earlier posts with her maternity shoot, and later some images from his Bris). She didn’t find out if it was a boy or a girl, so I was very excited to find out when he arrived that he was a boy!  There weren’t any boy kids on that side of the family except for mine.  Time has just flown by, and we are so excited to have Miles join our family!  He is so sweet and precious.  He has gorgeous big brown eyes, which he mostly kept closed during our shoot, and absolutely amazing little lips.

Welcome to the family, little Miles!


What do you think about these images?  Let us know in the comments below!

Fiona One Year – Canton, MI

This past weekend my niece, Fiona, turned 1 year old.  I went to see her on her birthday.  Even though she wasn’t prepared for a real “shoot”, I wanted to snap some pictures of her on her actual birthday.  So we grabbed a little chair and I took about 10 pictures.  Here are my favorites.


What do you think about these images?  Let us know in the comments below!

Bris Milah – West Bloomfield, MI

Today I had the honor of attending my baby cousin’s Bris Milah.  I got a little teary, as we welcomed him into this world with songs and prayers that have been shared through many generations.  You may have seen my post a couple of weeks ago with the maternity pictures I took with my cousin.  I’ve been so happy to finally meet baby Miles.  He’s also one of the cutest newborns I’ve ever seen!  Not that I’m biased, or anything.  You can see for yourself.  I was very pleased to be able to take a picture of 4 generations.  There is one with Miles’ Great Great Aunt Charlotte, his Bubbe (grandma), his mom and him.

(Thanks to momma Frannie for taking the pictures at the end of me holding Miles.  I really wanted a picture of me with him, and I’m always behind the camera.)

MilesBrisBlog1 MilesBrisBlog2 MilesBrisBlog3 MilesBrisBlog4


What do you think about these images?  Let us know in the comments below!


To Tell the Truth – Maternity shoot -Royal Oak

My cousin Frannie is due any day now to have her very first baby.  She’s a very creative person.  She’s an actress and director, and has co-founded a theater company, Magenta Giraffe.  When she heard that I was interested in shooting a maternity shoot that was more “real life”, she jumped at the chance.  I’m calling this one a “To Tell the Truth” shoot.  We discussed some of the things about her pregnancy that have stood out…things that are different from usual.  Some of these were a sore back, sore and swollen feet, going to the bathroom constantly, spending lots of time on her couch with her cats, taking a ton of supplements, always feeling hot, craving Dunkin’ Donuts double-chocolate donuts, falling asleep when trying to work, and having a hard time getting comfortable in bed.

Here’s our “real life” take on maternity pictures!

FrannieMatBlog1-1-2 FrannieMatBlog1-2-2 FrannieMatBlog1-3 FrannieMatBlog2-1 FrannieMatBlog2-2 FrannieMatBlog2-3What do you think about these images?  Let us know in the comments below!

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