We stated of in the clear tent in Cadillac square that was a holiday dream filled with cozy furniture, table games and fireplaces. And then strolled through Campus Martius having fun and taking engagement photos of the loving couple
If I would have to describe modern Detroit wedding - this one was it. From the couple getting ready at RenCen, to first look on the River walk, to creative photos around iconic Detroit places, to the wedding celebration at Waterview Loft at the Port of Detroit, to amazing fun filled matron of honor speech / song story of couples love in Motown songs. These kind of weddings is why I love being wedding photographer. Also check out their amazing engagement photos at DIA.
Waterview Loft at the Port of Detroit is one of my favorite venues. The lower level right on river walk of Detroit River is perfect with large garage door windows serves as ceremony space that gets transformed for cocktail hour and later dancing, and upper level host lovely reception space overlooking Detroit River.
I have been looking forward to this wedding from the time I met the couple and their amazing engagement photo shoot at DIA. And the big day was filled with laughter, love and joy.
What could me Detroit themed than having a wedding at Ford Museum / Greenfield Village. This venue is filled with gorgeous locations - we photographed couples first look in one of the courtyards and had beautiful ceremony and reception at Lovett Hall, as the celebration filled with live band, dancing and cartoonist drawing guests as well as the newlyweds.
Stunning wedding invitations from Minted were highlighted with gold foil and made a perfect background for beautiful wedding ring detail photo.
I love engagement photo shoots. I get to know the couple better before the big day, and quite often I get to meet their four legged friends.
If I could give one tip for couples who want to incorporate their pets, make sure you got some helping hands. Most of the time the pet is with a friend or the family member for part of the photo shoot. Sometimes the furry family member is at another location and we stop there for a bit. For this engagement photo session we started with just the couple at the park and concluded with stop at home where and adorable puggle joined us for some cute photos in the neighborhood and the yard.
Grosse Pointe Yacht Club is a beautiful venue with great architecture - perfect for a wedding. On this beautiful day filled with sunshine, bride and groom celebrated they big day with friends and family, and a lot of nieces and nephews and their dog. After the emotional first look, their beautiful German shepherd posed for wedding photos.
Being a wedding photographer I see such a great variety of wedding flowers. Grand bouquets with big center blooms, color coordinated to match the color themes of the wedding, classic roses and some bouquets are not flowers at all.
I love photographing flowers. I also have noticed quite a few challenges over the years of seeing wedding bouquets. Flowers are expensive. On on your special day you want them to add to the overall celebration aesthetic.
Since most of us don’t regularly handle flowers, seeking reputable florist is a great idea. They can advise you on blooms that are in season, blooms that will last though out your day as well as providing knowledge of assembling a great bouquet. However knowing some basics will set you up for a great start. In this article I’m focusing on fresh flowers
So here are my 5 tips to rock you wedding flowers.
Pick blooms that are in season - these flowers will usually be the freshest and have greatest availability.
Consider the wight of the bouquet - you will be carrying the flowers for quite some time. Also when consider boutineers and corsages - heaver blooms will tend to pull on fabrics and may be harder to attach. Stiffer stems also tend to break. (remember that boutineers will see some use as there will be quite a bit of hugging during the wedding day).
Pay attention to how bouquet is constructed - you will handle the flowers quite a bit throughout the day - make sure to talk to the florist about how delicate are some blooms and where they should be placed in the bouquet so they don’t break
Consider the climate/season and how long the flowers will be exposed to hot/ cold temperatures - tropical blooms may do better in summer, delicate blooms may start to wilt and droop when exposed to hours of heat or cold
Do your research ahead of time - look up the flowers that you like ans see how well they handle as cut blooms. Consider that the photos you may see online may be prepared specifically for a photo shoot, that they may be in a controlled temperatures.
When I photograph flowers at the wedding - I set a goal to get my shots in as early as possible - as soon as I arrive or as soon as florist delivers them. But likely flowers will be in photos throughout the day - at the ceremony, on the table at the reception.
As a quick common sense note - have a paper towel or a regular towel to be able to dab water from the steams when you remove your bouquet from the vase. I’ve encountered quite a bit of improvisation when bouquets drip and sometimes leave stains on wedding and bridesmaid dresses.
Indian Springs Metro Park is one of my favorite local Clarkston locations for photo sessions. We went exploring for this fun family photo session starting at Nature Discovery Center through paths in deep grass, up the hill and overlooking the beautiful area. The pond glistening behind us. This location has so much to offer when it comes to photography and it is a great place to take kids exploring and running, and having fun.
We didn’t get to see any wildlife this time, but I have seen bunnies and listened to lovely birds singing.
Depending on the season you choose to visit and explore the area, I suggest bringing bug spray in summer seasons, since the park has tall grass and several ponds… and , yes, quite a few mosquitoes.
So if you want fun photos, for family, seniors or engagements - Indian Springs Metro park is a great location if you are a Clarkston photographer
This photo shoot was so much fun - creating beautiful portraits in lovely locations.
Photo shoot is a great reason on to get hair and make up don and rock a lovely dress and leather jacket
At this Iranian American wedding on Detroit river drums and dancing filled the Ovation Yacht as the couple started their wedding journey.
We started on lake St Clair Beach with a first look and some bridal party photos and then headed onto Ovation Yacht. As the yacht departed the port drummers brought guests and bride to the deck for the grand entrance and the ceremony.
I love seeing cultural traditions at weddings as families blend and start new journeys.
As we approached Ambassador Bridge, couple started their first dance.
And the fun began with guests joining in festivities
Head-shots are often the photos we have to have. High school yearbook head-shot, photo for a website, employer id or an article.
And quite frequently as a head shot/ branding photographer I find that people feel as if it doesn’t matter that much if you love it or not - head shot is something you need for a particular reason.
I want to change that perspective - I want to create the head-shot that will show off your best self whether in print or on the web… A Portrait that you will love, that shows your personality and represents your brand.
So if you find yourself in need of a head shot or branding portrait, I am happy to help
This beautiful barn on Clarkston Rd is perfect for a wedding. There are actually three barns - the beautiful large two story barn with church stained glass windows had undergone recent rennovaiton and breaths history if the area that used to be a farm, as well as reminds of previous owner - sculptor and artist Paul Gonzalez.
But the property has a smaller red barn, as well as lovely gray barn.
This engagement photo shoot on Belle Isle was filled with laughter and love. The brides hair in long locks made me think of Rapunzel or Sansa from Game of Thrones. And the couple was so smitten and fun and made me love my job with every photo we took .
I love photographing on Belle Isle with ton of great locations around the park. Weeping willows create romantic setting as we explored the area near ponds and conservatory.
First look is my favorite moment at the wedding - first time the bride and groom see each other dressed and ready is one of those amazing moments when the rest of the world falls away. It doesn't matter when it happens - at the altar, or before the ceremony.
For this countdown I'll give my reasons for the First Look before the ceremony
1 Couple gets to have more of an intimate moment
Sometimes bride and groom want to share this moment in more intimate way. It helps to get "the nerves" out of the way and allows for longer more relaxed experience to appreciate each other. To have more time for just the two of them ( and a photographer)
2 Getting the photos out of the way ahead of ceremony
Having first look before the ceremony also allows the couple to schedule formals with the bridal party and family as well as creative couples photos right after, especially if the couple chooses to mingle with guests at the cocktail hour. This also allows more time flexibility for creative and formal photos in case there is large bridal party or couple is traveling to different reception site.
3 More creative freedom
Seeing each other for the first time without all of the guest, also allows for more fun in the moment. No one is is waiting to start the ceremony. Its just fun time to connect.
So here it is - my 3 reasons to have first look. I notice more and more couples choose the First Look instead of seeing each other for the first time at the altar for variety of reasons.
But no matter when bride and groom see each other first - it truly is a very special moment.
Lucas and Alexa had their lovely lakeside wedding at Twin Chimneys Independence Oaks County park. Having an outside wedding in Michigan can have its risks - from scorching heat to rain, but this day only few drops came down earlier in the day, and the breeze from the lake made for a lovely celebration of love.
The pavilion was decorated with string lights and rustic table center pieces and guests were treated to handmade soaps as favors.
The couple said their I Dos in front of the gazebo and the park gave great options for romantic wedding photos on the docks of the lake and around the park.
And So Cheers to the happy couple. May their life is filled with love and understanding.
This one is bit from the heart.
I spent a few weeks in Riga this July - I went back to visit family and city where I grew up. This has been a long time since I went for a visit all by myself. just a year ago we went as a family. But this one was different. This was a trip to visit my grandmothers - both of them still living. It was also a trip to to enjoy the city my way.
I am a city girl - I haven't lived in a big city in over 7 years now, but I miss it. I grew up in Riga, Latvia - the capital. While my early childhood was spent mostly in Ciekurkalns - older corner of the city with frequent visits to Mezaparks - large park and a Zoo near Kisezers Lake, my high-school years were spent in Imanta - newer apartment area, and frequent trips downtown Riga.
Every time I go back for a visit I fall in love with this beautiful city I used to call home. In everyday life I had walked countless times past stunning buildings and centuries old churches. Now I breath in and take a moment to admire the Art Noveau architecture that flourishes all over town. The cobblestone streets make me think of centuries old tradition that has been preserved.
And I enjoyed all the moments of city - filled with life and culture... and also tourists and traffic. I felt like a tourist admiring architecture and meeting friends in cafe's I no monger were familiar with. I was reminded of life with no air conditioning ( and this was unusually hot summer) and no refills, and delicious food, and unique salads.... and amazing deserts.
While I did quite a bit of wondering in the city, this trip was also to spend some very needed time with family. One of my grandmothers is in her nineties and the hardest part is feeling so helpless - being so far away when her health is deteriorating. My other grandmother is in her late eighties and I got to spend a bit more time with her - remembering most of my childhood summers spent in her country home.
This trip was bittersweet. Its this unexplained feeling when I have built my life so far away. While technology helps bring as closer with Skype calls and photos, the longing of all things familiar, unique cultural habits and people who know you inside and out never really fades.
There is a part of me that feels like a nomad - unsettled, looking for new places and enjoying the travel, but there are also deep roots in the place I come from. And this trip was a reminder of how deep they are.
I belong to amazing group of creatives - Tuesdays Together Detroit ( part of the Rising Tide Society ) and out July meeting was at the Belle Isle Boathouse focusing our discussions on diversified and passive income.
This group has lead to friendships as well as business connections, and has offered some great insights on variety of topics relating to running a creative business. This month I had an opportunity to give back and offer a bit of an insight in my diversified and passive income life.
Running two businesses - Ilze Lucero Photography as well as Agate and Lace - stationery and design brand, made me define my creative goals as well as set time aside to each specific task.
Recently got to photograph with Stephanie on a beach. I love the light reflecting from the sand and how breeze moves the clothing.
We had a gorgeous bouquet. I have to thank Detroit Design Company for sourcing beautiful protea blooms.
I love photographing movement. Being on the beach and having a bit of a breeze catch the bridal cape was exactly what I was looking for. While it looks like we were on a quiet beach, people were sunbathing and enjoying the water at the Holly Recreation area. We just played with angles and looked for clearing.
But this beautiful cape stole the show. I'm a big fan of veils in bridal portraits. This flowing cape had the feel of long flowy veil, but held up in the wind ( the veils sometimes pul on the hair a bit too hard)
Wedding bouquet is one of those special bridal accessories that showcases brides style and wedding theme. I love photographing wedding flowers - well, I actually love photographing flowers, having flowers at home - potted as well as cut. I LOVE FLOWERS.
My flower love steams (pun intended) from my grandmother. Her flower garden started with snowdrops in early spring and ended with mums in late fall. She would spend hours weeding and planting and growing and it brought so much joy to her. Now I find that I plant the same blooms she used to have - peonies and roses, babies breath and poppies, lilies and mums, crocuses and tulips ( well I have hardly any tulips left from 150 I planted as they seem favorite of the deer and rabbits). My flower love also comes from my Latvian background. I grew up in Riga, and there are flower carts on street corners, and amazing flower market with gorgeous arrangements. Latvians give flowers for pretty much any occasion.
As a wedding photographer I love photographing flowers- bridal bouquets, centerpieces, crowns, garlands.
This beauty was created by Detroit florist from Blumz byJRDESIGNS
I am so glad that floral design has has so much to offer for brides and I get to photograph the fleeing beauty of wedding blooms.
FLOWERS FEED MY SOUL
The prom season is upon us. Girls in stunning dresses, beautiful make up and hair, guys in polished suits and tuxes.
This prom photo-shoot was for two exchange students studying in our are schools from Italy and Vietnam.
It was fun to create some great images to send home to the family as the senior year is wrapping up.
I love photographing these events as they freeze happy moments we will look back at.
Traditional weddings are always interesting to photogrph, as specific wedding traditions get passed down through generations, and sometimes integrated with modern life.
This Ukrainian wedding started with ceremony at the Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church in Hamtramack and reception celebration continues at the Cherry Creek Golf Club. We stopped by at the Stoney Creek Metro park for some creative photos as well. When it comes to the weddings with multiple locations, my best advise is to account for the driving times, so they day doesn’t seem rushed.