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Better Together | Michigan Documentary Photographer

Comforting hugs, radiant smiles, nuanced facial expressions, and the simple act of physical touch are just a few of the precious things we missed during the pandemic. Many of us experienced profound losses - loved ones, jobs, and a sense of normalcy. Above all, perhaps what we missed the most was the fundamental essence of our humanity - human connection.

As Thomas Merton beautifully said, "Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another."

Nothing puts this in perspective more than expecting a baby.

A pregnant woman and her husband standing under a pink cherry blossom tree
A pregnant woman and her husband under a pink cherry blossom tree
close up photo of hands on a pregnant belly
A maternity photo of a pregnant woman framed by cherry tree blossoms in April
pink Japanese cherry tree blossoms in bloom

As I stood beneath the breathtaking Japanese Cherry Blossom Tree, its delicate pink blooms contrasting against the cold April air in Michigan, I began to capture the love story of Garrett and Bonita.

A couple about to kiss under a cherry blossom tree

Garrett and Bonita were married in April 2020, when the world was shutting down due to Covid-19. They made the decision to leave New York City and head to Garrett's childhood home in Alabama, determined to celebrate their union and love while their close friends and family watched their wedding being streamed online. The theme of their wedding was Better Together.

a pregnant woman holding her belly

Now, three years later, Garrett and Bonita are expecting their first child. Since they missed the opportunity to celebrate their wedding day with their loved ones in 2020, they decided to host an intimate gathering while on tour in Michigan and asked me to photograph the occasion.


Family and friends flew in from all over the world to celebrate...

a collage of a wedding party together
Groomsmen smiling at the camera
Groomsmen laughing and joking
Bridesmaids smiling candidly under a pink cherry blossom tree
Wedding Party Standing Together for a Group Photo

We started off the day with group pictures and from there, we let the afternoon unfold. I couldn't help but smile as I documented...

Man singing to a group of people

singing...

Bride and groom running under family and friends hands that are making a tunnel
A collage of people dancing at a party

dancing...

Guests at a party laughing and giving speeches

laughter...

and impressive acrobatics...


As the laughter faded, heartfelt speeches painted a vivid picture of cherished memories, taking us back to the origins of the relationships in the room. These speeches reminded us of the profound power of human connection to nourish and sustain our bonds. From chance encounters at Barnes and Noble orientation, to college friendships that have stood the test of time, and family ties that run deep, these relationships serve as a good reminder that it's okay (and necessary) to...

Woman leaning on her husband's shoulder at a wedding reception

lean on each other

People hugging eachother
Two couples hugging each other at a wedding after speeches
People giving toasts and speeches at a celebration dinner
woman hugging each other while a man gives a speech at a wedding

hold each other tight...

Woman crying tears of joy at a wedding celebration

and cry...


tears of remembrance...


tears of empathy...


tears of joy...


and tears of gratitude.


Because although life can be uncertain and challenging, it's not meant to be lived alone. By sharing our lives with others, we are able to find strength, hope and meaning in this life. We are better together.

 

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As a Michigan documentary photographer, I shoot sessions in Michigan but also travel for special sessions. Preview more sessions on My blog


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