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

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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!!



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.



We didn’t go far, no need for a “theme” for the shoot or a special location.. not to generalize but most Senior boys are not going to act THRILLED at having their photos taken, even if they are.  Dom was super relaxed, we walked around his yard and down by the river and it was fantastical.  Taking photos as a kid is moving from being a high schooler to going off and living on their own, it’s a very cool moment and I’m so happy to be capturing these moments.



familyriversession_0373The chances of having two littles, both independent spirits just like their parents, must be a rare thing, but Jen and Darin’s little girls are that, brilliant, independent and beautiful!  Their home on the river made an amazing backdrop (I always prefer shooting in the spaces we love) and the day couldn’t have been better.   Thank you Jen and Darrin for letting me photograph your bit of heaven.familyriversession_0365familyriversession_0366familyriversession_0367familyriversession_0368familyriversession_0369familyriversession_0370familyriversession_0371familyriversession_0372familyriversession_0374familyriversession_0377familyriversession_0375familyriversession_0376