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    Photography is such an amazing job.  I get to help my clients hold on to some of the most precious memories of their life.   From once in a life time wedding photos and beyond.  I get to know each of my photo clients, and they all hold a special place in my heart.  I LOVE to get the “WE’RE EXPECTING!”  call that often comes after the wedding.  ( It’s so fun!! )  Maternity and newborn photos are priceless to me, a fleeting and amazing time in life.  And then, getting to watch kids and families grow throughout the years is just amazing!   Kids seem to grow in the blink of an eye, and I’m trilled to get to capture that amazing journey.  The D Family has been kind enough to let me photograph them every year for the last four years.  I SO look forward to seeing them each summer, seeing how big the kids have grown, and hanging out with such a fun family.    We talk about school, new television shows, and all of the other fun stuff they have been up to.  This year we decided to try a new venue, Greenmead Historical Park and it definitely did not disappoint!  So many cute buildings to use as backdrops, a nature trail, lots of lush greenery.  And the D family is always up for fun shots ( see their superhero pose) and we always break out some fun props for the kids.  One of my favorite things about family sessions is letting the kids run, play, and have fun.   While we do get posed photos too, my heart is drawn to the ones of them just being themselves!  And, we always end with a fun treat, I mean what better way is there to conclude a family session?!?  Check out some of my favorite poses, and thank you to the D family for letting me capture how beautiful you all are once again!!  xoxo Marlaina

    I mean, how fun is this?!?!?!

    I don’t think think two kids could be any more cute!!!

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    I was lucky enough to meet the Drake family at preschool this year.  Gavin and Jenna were in the same class, and I would see “Miss Monica” at pick up and drop off times.  I noticed from the beginning of the year how put together and fabulous Miss Monica always is ( I barely made it to school on time- let alone having cute outfits, hair and makeup done, but I digress).  As the year went on, we attended more events for the kids, and we got to become friends.  At a splash pad play date with the kids, Monica let me in on a big secret.  She is pregnant!!!! I could not contain my excitement and, I was really over the moon when she asked me to help with a pregnancy announcement photo!  We are both pinterest junkies, so we were on the lookout for good ideas.  Since Gavin loves all things superhero,  it was decided that it was only natural that we included that ( and his super-duper cute self ) into the pregnancy announcement.  And since his daddy (Joe) is a real life hero, retired from the military, it was perfect!  They also had the great idea that superhero Gavin could rescue “princess” Jenna in a photo.  I haven’t seen Jenna more excited in a looooonnng time!  Well, the Drake family totally rocked their session.  Monica, you always look like you could be in a magazine, and Joe and Gavin — are just so dang handsome!  You can easily see how incredibly beautiful they all are, and on top of all that, I don’t think you could meet a nicer family.  I can not wait to take maternity and newborn photos for them soon, and meet the newest addition to the Drake family in February.  Monica, Joe, and Gavin thanks again for letting me be a part of your big news, and for letting me capture your gorgeous family!

     

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    I had the privilege of having a photo session with the beautiful Miss Audrey Rose, or Audie as everyone knows her.   Oh my gosh…  the cuteness was almost too much to handle.  Her little expressions, super cute smiles, and her gorgeous red hair made our session so much fun.  She is just as sweet and precious as they come!  She is the great-niece of one of my very good friends, and her grammies and aunties keep her very, very well dressed  and accessorized to the nines too!  Thank you so much for letting me capture these beautiful memories!  Lots of love and Happy Birthday sweet girl!!

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    Well, it’s that time of year.  June.  Spring has finally come to Michigan.  Flowers are blooming, the grass is green.  It feels like new beginnings are all around.  Birds are chirping and chipmunks are nesting all over our yard ( including in our internet access wires box – but that is a story for another day ) Wedding season has begun ( it’s a season in the life of a photographer ) and it’s graduation time.  I remember how I felt graduating from high school and college.  That top of the world, no one can bring you down, feeling of elation.  I’m definitely dating myself, but the hot song at the time was Blur’s Song 2.  The main lyric was them singing Woo-Hoo over and over again,  I sang it loudly and off key for months.  Pure joy and happiness as I “rode the train” Quad City DJ’s style at graduation parties every weekend.  Ugh.  We were so cool.

    But now, I’m also learning what graduation time feels like from another perspective … as a parent.   My little girl has only two classes left of preschool, and her little “graduation” ceremony is this week.  It’s so exciting watching your kids grow and flourish each step of the way  At the same time it’s bittersweet watching your sweet little babies grow into independent young people – preparing to leave the nest.  I so want her to be well prepared to fly on her own, and yet I also want to wrap my arms around her and hold her so tightly that she will never ever leave.

    Each year as parents bring their new and soon-to-be high school seniors to me for graduation photographs, I high five the students on their accomplishments and big goals for the future.  Then I hug their mamas, and tell them I can only imagine how they feel, and that we will make the most beautiful memories and photos for them to freeze this little moment in time.  They all look at me with the same wistful look in their eyes, and now I understand my mom’s happy tears ( but tears none the less ) on my graduation days.

    I want to give a big big CONGRATULATIONS to the class of 2015, to the students who have worked so hard, and to all of the parents who support them every step of the way.  I was lucky enough to capture many beautiful memories for some seniors this year, and I’ll share a few here.   I’m starting to book 2016 seniors now too, so if you or someone you know is getting ready to become a senior, I’ll be happy to help you make those memories too!

    xoxo  Marlaina

    The gorgeous Mia poses for  her outdoor senior photos

    The gorgeous  Miss Mia poses for her outdoor senior photos.  An amazing model, so sweet, and fabulous to work with!  Congratulations Mia!

    Handsome Kyle poses for  his outdoor senior photos

    So handsome, a natural in front of the camera — Kyle poses for his outdoor senior photos.  Congratulations Kyle!!

    Handsome football player Dylan poses for  his outdoor senior photos

    Handsome football player Dylan poses for his outdoor senior photos!  Congratulations Dylan!

    Handsome Anthony poses for  his outdoor senior photos.  He was voted valedictorian of his senior class!  Congratulations Anthony!

    So kind, sweet and patient,  Anthony poses for his outdoor senior photos. He was voted valedictorian of his senior class.   You will make a great doctor someday Anthony!  Congratulations!!!!

    The beautiful Andie poses for her outdoor senior session.  An award winning musician and great girl!

    The beautiful Miss Andie poses for her outdoor senior session. An award winning musician and great girl!

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    I’ve been working on this blog post for a while now.  Every wedding I photograph has a special place in my heart, but Lauren and Adam’s wedding was especially special for me.  At the pre-wedding consultation we figured out that I’ve known the Laenen family for 20 years now.  I babysat Lauren ( and her siblings Bobby and Kayla ) when they were little.  I danced and worked at Lauren’s mom’s dance studio, and worked as a receptionist for Lauren’s dad’s construction supply business while I was in college.  Not only were they my bosses and friends, but the Laenen family has a way of completely making you feel like you are part of their family.  So, I was absolutely honored when they asked me to photograph Lauren and Adam’s wedding.   I could tell from the first minute of our consultation that this would be an amazing day.  The girls got ready at Lauren’s parent’s house.   They did hair, makeup, and all things glam, while listening to music and lounging by the pool.  It was a gorgeous morning!

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    The ceremony was held at Lauren’s grandmother’s house on Lake St. Clair.  Gorgeous doesn’t even begin to describe it.  The weather was absolutely perfect too.  Not too hot, not too cold, beautiful white puffy clouds over the water.  If I could schedule weather for my wedding couples — this is the kind of weather I would pick every. single. time.  Lauren and Adam didn’t see each other before the ceremony,  so the guys took photos together before the ceremony.

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    This house has been in Lauren’s family for generations.  It doesn’t get any more beautiful.  I can’t even…..

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    So handsome!!!  Lauren and the girls finished getting ready at Grandma Laenen’s house.  How cool is it to finish your wedding makeup in your great-grandmother’s bedroom?!?!

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    Lauren got a sneak peek at the ceremony set up!  And then one of my favorite parts of any wedding day happened.  Lauren’s dad got to see her for the first time.  The love, and just pure raw emotion of the whole Laenen family makes me tear up a little still, sitting at my computer after all is said and done.  They are just incredible people!!

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    The ceremony was absolutely breath taking.

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    And then the whole family got into the fun of photographs, and getting ready for the reception.  The Laenen family owns The Island Bar and Grill: https://www.facebook.com/theislandbarandgrillemichigan and it was the perfect setting for an super-fun reception!

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    Once it got dark, the happy couple and their family set paper wish lanterns into the sky, it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!!  Then the dancing began.  Trust me if there is something that the Laenen family knows a thing or two about — it’s dancing, music, and having a great party.  Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this most special day.  Hugs and kisses to all of you, and tons of love to your growing family!!  xoxo

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