» detroit, ann arbor, toledo . fine art wedding and portrait photographer melissa squires day to day blog companion

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This last year when I look back at it, I can see my focus was on people, their interactions, their emotions… catching the thought as it flickers across a face, a laugh before it’s stifled, the tear before it’s wiped away.  People when their guard is down and they forget I’m there, or for a moment just don’t care anymore, boom, that’s when I want to click, and looking back at 2014 I can see my heart was shooting for me and I love it for that.  I also photographed more portrait sessions in 2014 then I have in any past year (even when I was JUST doing portrait sessions my first couple years) and I learned a lot from it, what I want to pursue and how to communicate it better.  I also tried remembering to have my camera in hand at home.  Not worrying about getting the “perfect” photo of my son and husband but capturing them in the “wild” so to speak, not caring if my cushions weren’t tidy or Ares room is obviously so messy in the background.  He’s going to be eleven tomorrow and I have to say every image, every portrait, every iPhone snap are going to get more precious as he grows older.  I’m thankful to have them.  In September I traveled to London and Paris, dreams of mine since I was 9 years old and the trip was brilliant; places I’d read about for years became physical and paintings I’d only seen in books were there in real life and they spoke to me.   choosing for this post was tricky, so many things I’m proud of, so many people I love. I’ve photographed some people all year long (Mabel) and some I only got to meet once, but each human contributes to who I am as a person and artist and I thank each of them for that!   Some of these I’ve not shared before.  Thanks for looking and here’s to what 2015 will bring!

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  • Smalldogs - Wonderful look at your year, Melissa. How crazy is this that Ares is 11?!! You’re always an inspiration; I’m so glad I know you. xoJanuary 28, 2015 – 8:34 pm


We didn’t start out at Marvins Marvelous Museum we stopped on the way at the lake and explored a bit.  It was chilly but not cold (well 45 maybe, balmy for December in Michigan) and it felt so nice to be able to go outside for a bit.  Then we headed over to the Museum and explored, met Marvin who was himself marvelous, rode the carousel and I loved every moment!  It wasn’t just because the place was cool that it was chosen for photos, it’s wherethey hung out in high school.  laughs and romance, nothing better!!  Happy engagement Sally and Sandy, I can not WAIT for the wedding!!!!


joust winter games 2014

Portrait sessions, family sessions, the number one thing to create a happy experience is expectations.  If we are going for a more posed shot, one where all family members are sitting with clothes styled and all eyes on me we can do that,   the results can be amazing, if we go into the session looking for that kind of shot, we plan ahead of time, we know that with little children it takes time and patience and maybe some practice before hand!! If we are going for more creative, more whimsical or “artistic” kind of things, bubbles, face paint, themes, that takes the same thing, conversations ahead of time, planning, maybe some practice or even a stylist!  The sessions that flow most naturally for me, and the sessions most people come for even if they aren’t sure of what they are called are “lifestyle” sessions… We shoot in your home, or some special place, you and your family do something and I’m there to capture it.  This doesn’t mean we don’t get everyone together for that “family shot” (we can and we do) but it means it happens organically.  It might mean someones hair is blowing, or there are leaves in your sweater or there is motion in some of the images but that imperfection is actually perfectly beautiful and real.   It means that there is a bit of trust and intimacy, the planning isn’t in the “set” or the “style” or the “pose” but it’s in where and why.    A great example of this kind of session recently is with Alice’s family!  I’ve photographed her since she was a wee bairn and as she’s a bit older now her parents thought it would be a GREAT idea to photograph at their family property just a bit North of the city.  A beautiful fall day, a family walk on land Alice’s dad has been coming to since he was her age.  Perfect.    And we just walked.  And played and once in a while we stopped to admire the view or to sit together (them while I took photos) and Alice got tired once or twice and we had snacks, and we stopped to rest and then we walked a bit more…. These sessions are a bit more organic but they are my favorite because they speak to more intimate and “real” moments.. as much as can be with someone following you about with a camera….

Here are some frames from my last family session of the year with Alice and her mom and dad, before the snow, celebrating family, and tradition and Michigan.  Alice has a sister on the way too, and I’m so excited to meet her and capture as she get’s older her family growing around her as she grows up!


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  • Kiran - These are so beautiful, Melissa! I’m a huge fan of your lifestyle sessions and need to book one soon for our little guy!!!December 11, 2014 – 6:41 pm


Beautiful and glamorous don’t have to be staged, or stuffy, or posed.  Tina and David prove that.  They are silly and fun and spontaneous but not one bit of their glamorous beauty is diminished by their whimsy.  Their wedding, planned and designed by Two Food Creative with Bill Hamilton at the Henry Ford Museum shows that.  What a perfect day.   Both Tina and David are pilots and their wedding reflected that, we got to photograph at the Ann Arbor Airport and then explore and play in the Museum while the guests were treated to a private IMAX screening.  Beyond wonderful.  Here are a few images!!


  • minta - Luv these : the theme…the reception decor…the warm dreamy post processing :)January 29, 2015 – 9:31 am


Liz and Mikes wedding was the ultimate example of family love and tradition!  It was held at Liz’s family farm, and Mikes family farm was just around the corner.  The bride got ready in her old room and her dress was made from antique gowns and will be donated to the historical society!  Mom watered the geese before guests arrived and Dad kept the dogs from running around crazily in the house and every little thing was intimate, lovely and fresh.  It was all about fun and love.  I love shooting photojournalistically and this wedding was all about just document what was happening and trying to capture a bit of the magic.  Congratulations Liz and Mike.