Category: Engagements | View All Posts
Ryan + Kristen

Ryan + Kristen

Detroit Engagement Photos
May 14, 2015
Detroit engagement photography around the city provided by Kellie Saunders, a top Detroit wedding and engagement photographer. Kristen and Ryan are leaving Detroit soon. Now don't worry, it's not a sad move, it's a very good thing. Kristen is beginning her life as a Doctor in Houston and Ryan snagged a great engineering job there as well. When they hired me as their wedding photographer, they stressed how important it is to them to capture their love for each other along with their love for their city. They live right dab smack downtown and before they started packing up their lives for Houston, they spent an afternoon with me in the city that they love. We had a few hiccups and when I say a few - I mean a ton. You see, Detroit wedding and engagement photography isn't always easy. This spring and summer the entire city is pretty much under construction. Woodward is torn up for the rail project and orange barrels are everywhere else in the city. The beautiful grass that I so love in front of the old train station has been cut down to nothing and the Town Pump vinery on the front of the building is covered with scaffolding. To top it off, at the time of their session Belle Isle was being set up for the Grand Prix so there were grandstands and barrels everywhere! What started out as a one hour session turned into a four hour tour of the city. I have to tell you though, I had the absolute BEST time with these two! When I think of a couple who can roll with the punches I am thinking of Kristen and Ryan. It didn't matter how many orange barrels we ran into or how many locations were baracaded off - they just smiled and said - oh well - let's just have fun! And you know what - that's what we did. We ended up still hitting the main spots - but we just took a different view photographically speaking. I still shot awhere I normally do - but because of the obstacles I was forced to really think about the light and think about the connection between Kristen and Ryan. Because of that I think we were able to get a bit more artistic than I usually have time for. The construction slowed us down in a good way! Join me in congratulating Kristen and Ryan on their engagement and wishing them safe travels to Houston. I am so excited for their wedding next year!
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Downtown Detroit Engagement Pictures

Downtown Detroit Engagement Pictures

Z Lot Rooftop Engagement FUN with Nikki + Pete
Mar 21, 2017
Z Lot Downtown Detroit Engagement Pictures with Nikki and Pete taken by Kellie Saunders, a leading Detroit wedding photographer. Now that the sun has FINALLY  arrived in our fine state of Michigan, it's time for some spring engagement session blogging! I wasn't able to blog everything last year as I did a lot of traveling with my family and a few destination weddings, but I'm happy that I have some time to catch up now. I was just finishing up Nikki and Pete's wedding album design and thought this would be a perfect time to revisit their engagement session, especially in case some other couples want to see how much fun you can have at the Z Lot in Detroit! Even though this session wasn't that long ago (technically only about a year), I've heard rumors that the Z Lot may require special permission or a permit these days. At the time of this engagement shoot they did not require a permit, but things are quickly changing in the city and the places we were once able to use for engagement photos are not always available. It's important that no matter who you are working with for your wedding and engagement photos you double check your locations in case permits or permission is required so you aren't disappointed if you get turned away. What I loved the most about Pete and Nikki was their fun spirit and ability to just go with the flow! They wanted to bring their cute pooch - who I LOVED by the way, but my advice is to always make sure you have a dog handler with you. The part of and engagement session with dogs is usually only a small portion of the entire session, so you'll need someone to hold onto the doggie while we are working on all of the other photos you need. Pete brought his best man with him to the session who was our "dog handler". He did a great job too! We started our photo session on the roof top of the Z Lot parking garage. The sun was out at full blast and I wanted to try out my new lights to see how much power I could draw from them. I had recently made the switch from Nikon speedlights to Godox and I can say I absolutely LOVE them. The reason for the switch (for any photographers reading this) was simply because Godox offers a wireless remote inside their flash unit for about a third of the price of Nikon units and they work flawlessly with their other lights. I only use Godox now. The first couple of photos were taken with one speedlight, bare bulb and I think it did a great job for me! The rest of the session was natural light which I prefer if possible, but I also like to jazz things up with light once in awhile. We stayed close to the Z lot since we had the pampered pooch with us but we still had a great time!!! I'll post photos from their wedding in the upcoming weeks so you can see what an amazing wedding day they had!!! Congrats Pete and Nikki!!!! Thanks so much for working with me and for the wine and chocolate! I absolutely loved it!!!!
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Winter Engagement Session in Detroit

Winter Engagement Session in Detroit

Erin + Stefan
Mar 20, 2017
Engagement photography services at the historic Belle Isle Casino and was provided by Detroit wedding photographer Kellie Saunders. Erin and Stefan's wedding was being held at the Casino so they had permission to shoot there. Please note that Belle Isle currently requires permits for professional photography. Check out their wedding photos HERE Have you ever dreamed of the perfect winter engagement session? You know the one where the snow is slowly falling, gently landing on your heads as you gazy into each others eyes. YES you know this snow. It's called magic snow. There's no breeze when it falls. It just falls so gently - almost whispering your names. Well, I have to tell you something. That snow rarely happens. It's time to stop dreaming of it. When it does happen and by chance it's during either a photo session or a wedding, it's actually rare. I've been lucky enough to catpure it once or twice in my ten years of photographing weddings, but it is rare. Come on guys, this is Michigan. Need I say more? Since Mother nature in our great state is such a fickle little beast, I wanted to share one last winter engagement session to share how the sessions really go down. I made a rule a few years back to not shoot engagement sessions in the winter solely for the reason that MOST of the time it's just too darn windy and cold. For example, we might be able to shoot for a solid fifteen minutes, but then your nose starts to turn red, my fingers want to fall off, you can't hear my directions because the wind is blowing so hard, your hair is flying away and the list goes on and on. I don't do this to punish my clients. Rather the opposite. I want to be a good stewart to my clients photography budget. I want to make sure I give them the absolute best that I can. The absolute best I can for the money they are paying me. Of course I do! On the wedding day we have no chances to reschedule due to rain, snow, ice, hail or whatever. We have to go with it. You will get what you get. But for your engagement session, I have a bit more control. If the weather and light is just not working out, we can reschedule for a better day. I found that sessions scheduled in the winter months almost always ended up being rescheduled due to weather issues and when they weren't we could only shoot for a limited amount of time before everyone turned into an ice cube. When the weather is nice and warmer, we can shoot longer, my clients can interact more, and at the end of the day I'm able to deliver photos that are more impactful. So with that said, I don't want you to look at this session below and think I didn't love it. Quite the opposite. I actually LOVED this session. But these clients were two people who could really go with the flow under in any kind of weather and were okay with WHATEVER happened. Erin and Stefan both work in emergency medicine. I say that because to be honest, my clients who work in medicine are typically very realistic and understanding. They see the bigger picture in everything. They understand that life happens and little things that may not go as planned will not kill them so they are able to just relax and laugh it off. Some clients are not as easy going and are looking for something more refined. So my advice before considering a winter engagement session is to really take a look at the photos you want and what you can and can't accept should the weather turn bad. Would you be disappointed if you only recieved 15 photos vs. 50? Would you be disappointed if your hair was a bit wacky from the wind in a few shots? Would you be upset if you had to wear gloves or the rain started slamming down on your face? Think of these things as you schedule your engagement session with whoever is photographing your wedding. So back to this session. Erin + Stefan = two of my more favorite people EVER! When the word cool was invented I'm pretty sure they had this couple in mind. I just loved them, all their friends and family as well. They are so in love and so down to earth that they knew they could handle this crappy weather during their engagement session. Now true to form, we met at Belle Isle on a day when the worst winter storm ever was about to hit. We spent about ten minutes on the island - really just staying where there was shelter and then we made a run for it and headed over to the DIA. Just as we arrived there the hail started and we had very little time to make some magic. But Erin and Stefan took charge and helped make my job super easy! We had such a good time, laughing and enjoying being smacked in the face by the hail. Oh it was sideways hail by the way. LOL We all ended up with a good story to tell and I was able to get them a few lovely photos! At the end of the day I think we would all agree that shooting in the spring would have been better, but we had a great time and I couldn't imagine going through a winter hail storm with any other couple! Make sure to check out their wedding photos by clicking the link above.
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BELLE ISLE ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

BELLE ISLE ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

MEGAN + MIKE | DETROIT WEDDINGS
Mar 19, 2017
Detroit, MI engagement photos on Belle Isle provided by Kellie Saunders, a top Detroit wedding and engagement photographer. It's FINALLY spring in Michigan! March 20, 2017 is the first official day of spring and I couldn't be more excited! I'm reviewing all of my upcoming weddings this year and I came across Megan and Mike's wedding on my calendar. Their wedding is fast approaching in April and oh my goodness, it's going to be a good one! They love the city and they love each other and I wanted to share their engagement session photos to help celebrate the beginning of spring and also the beginning of their lives together as husband and wife (starting in April that is). I had an amazing time working with them during their engagement session last year. We shot on Belle Isle which is a favorite location for many of my clients. What I love the most about Belle Isle for engagement portraits is the variety that the island offers. We can be in the middle of a crowd one moment and then disappear and be lost in the woods the next. When the light is right and the wind isn't too strong (gosh it does get windy on that island sometimes) it's so perfect! Although we did have to work super fast as a storm was fast approaching, I think we did a great job! I can't wait for their wedding this April! Congrats to Megan and Mike! See you guys very soon!
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WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

MICHELLE + MITCH, DETROIT ENGAGEMENT PICTURES
Feb 25, 2017
Detroit, MI engagement photos at Wayne State University Campus and Belle Isle provided by Kellie Saunders, a top Detroit wedding and engagement photographer. It was a wee bit chilly on this day in Detroit, but Michelle and Mitch were down for anything and ready to ignore the wind and chill factor. They just wanted to have fun, and let me tell you - a good time was had by all this day! They started their session on an old street in mid-town that still has the original cobblestone. From there we went to Wayne State's campus to officially start their engagement session. I loved walking around campus a bit and shooting in places I don't normally have the opportunity to shoot. If you are considering a location that I believe is a hidden gem, Wayne State is a great spot for your engagement pictures. Just be aware that you need to make sure you're not shooting at a busy time on campus. But it's a good spot to consider. Stay tuned for a future blog post showcasing Michelle and Mitch's gorgeous wedding at the Waterview Loft in Detroit.
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