I just noticed that I’m blogging two wedding photographer’s weddings in a row. And now I just realized that we photographed three wedding photographer weddings this fall (Danielle Brady in New York, Tsone Boyo in Ottawa and now Rachel Smaller in Detroit). What an absolutely incredible yet, let’s be real… quiiiite intense fall we’ve had. Phew. Holy wow to that!
I can’t even begin to tell you how honored I am, even with allll of the changes in my life over the past few years, that so many industry professionals are still entrusting me with their memories. I’m beyond proud of the resilience of my business. Thank you blog readers, supporters, clients, friends, etc for still loving and trusting me through it all and for welcoming Megan with open arms.
Annnnwayyyy… enough about that… onward to the amazingness!
If you don’t already know Rachel or know of Rachel…boy oh boy are you in for a treat! She’s ambitious, bona fide, beautiful, loves with her whole heart, fiercely loyal and she’s a passionate perfectionist. If you’ve had the honor of meeting Rachel, even once, you’ll never forget her.
I think that because Rachel and I are so alike (both in the positive and not so positive 😉 ) it’s easy for me to see why Robbie is exactly the perfect person for her. He’s laid back yet confident, honest yet sincere, logical yet pragmatic. You know, after writing all of that out I’m now realizing that, on paper, Robbie is just like my Stephen. 😎
Rachel is the kind of person who is amazing at anything she chooses to be amazing at. She’s one of the most determined and driven humans I’ve ever met. For example, she did her own makeup, and if you didn’t know any better you’d think she hired the best makeup artist in Detroit! I’ve seen the makeup she does on her friends and let me tell you, she actually may BE the best makeup artist in Detroit!
Rachel’s mom and Robbie’s stepmom hanging the dresses for a photo.
Can we talk about Rachel’s mom’s muscles for a second?! I know this photo doesn’t really show it but I can tell you this… Kathy is RIPPED! Later in the evening I told her how impressed I was with her physique and her response, “thank you so much, I work very hard for this.”
My favorite kind of women are those that own their hard work and accomplishments rather than diminish them. We, as women, tend to shy away from compliments and praise. Our natural response to hearing a compliment is to, shake our heads no and dismissively respond with something like, “nooo… stoppp… thank you though…”
STOP DOING THAT! My 2¢: if someone says something nice, thank them with a smile and don’t dismiss it. Diminishing a compliment is both a bit disrespectful to the person who said it and to yourself, dammit! YOUUU AAAARE BEAUUUUUTIFULLLL!!!! And while I’m on the subject, if you have a nice thought about someone, share it! Too many of our good thoughts go to waste!
Alllll of that to say, high fives Kathy, you’re my kind of girl!
About their first look…
From Rachel: “I remember walking out and telling him to turn around and seeing Rob cry and I’ve never been happier. It was such an awesome moment.”
From Robbie: “There was so much anticipation leading up to this day… so much planning and coordinating and when I finally saw her in that dress i feel like that’s the moment I felt it all come together. She looked like her…. but the best and most happiest version of her I’d ever seen.”
When Meg$$$ and I were photo scouting the day before, this mural was the only mural I insisted on! Though, let’s be real… Detroit is Bobbi photo location HEAVEN! But of allllll of the murals in that beautifully color-rich city, this one was my favorite. Luckily it was only like half a mile from where they got ready so it worked out perrrrfectly!
RAAAAACHEL?!!!!! AAAARE YOU KIDDDDDDING ME WITH THAT BEAUTY?!?!?!!! Also, those bridesmaids?! AHHHH!!!! GORRRRGEOUSSSS!!!!
She worked so insanely hard all year to be in the best shape of her life for the day. Mission accomplished!
…but can we talk about Robbie for a second?! Hugo Boss should be thanking you for making his suit look so damn good. Hey Hugo, you’re welcome.
I kept referring to Robbie’s stepbrother Justin (on the far left) as “The Mayor” because doesn’t he just look like a young and handsome politician with perfect hair and physique?! The answer: yes.
Such a beautiful day!
I sent Rachel a few sneak peeks and she posted a few on her Instagram from the ceremony with this caption: “My wedding photos look like something out of a movie… or a magazine ad. I’m swooning. The day is just rushing back to me and I’m a mess of tears and face hurting smiles. I haven’t even gotten the entire gallery yet and I’m out of this world happy with every single photo I’ve gotten to see so far. It really was the best day of our lives. I’m so lucky to have these images. Im so lucky to be his. I’m so lucky to have a badass photographer in my corner who rocked the sh*t out of my wedding. Look at this! How did she do it? I didn’t even notice them during the ceremony… not even once… they’re magical photo ninjas, ninjas I tell you.”
As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, one of Megan and I’s favorite things to observe with families is when family members have the same quirks, body language, facial expressions, stance, reactions, etc. When I was going through the images after Megan already had and came across the one below… “MEGAN! Did you notice this!? Look at mom’s hand!”
::takes a closer look::
“Wow! Robbie is doing the EXACT same thing with his hand! How did I miss that?!” -Megan
“Ohhh how I love families!” -Bobbi
Rachel wanted to have something at the ceremony that honored her dad’s memory. It was a no brainer; his custom Detroit Redwings jersey. I remembered her mentioning it on her Instagram a year ago. Here’s what she said about it then, “I feel so lucky to have this, it will be hanging on a chair in the front row on the day I say I do.”
Wellllll… fast forward to the day of… Rachel and wedding party are back in the waiting area about 15 minutes before the ceremony when all of a sudden Rachel exclaims in a panic, “S***! THE JERSEY! I FORGOT THE JERSEY! I HAVE TO HAVE IT HERE! I’M NOT WALKING DOWN THE AISLE WITHOUT IT HERE! Who can go get it? Who hasn’t left? Who lives near Sterling Heights?!?! Someone call someone, anyone! Please help!” I’m paraphrasing but it was pretttttty close to that. The wedding planner, knowing that Sterling Heights wasn’t close, tried to convince her to that placing a photo frame on the chair would work and that we would be okay without. But to Rachel, not having it there was a non-option. Her mom was even out telling people “sorry but the kid ain’t walking down that aisle without that jersey here!”
I looked at her (with a plunger in my hand no less!)* and said, “I can power through the photos after the ceremony to make sure you’re at the reception on time.” Finally one of the bridesmaids was able to get in touch with her brother-in-law who lived near-ish there and was able to get in (side note, the code on their lock box wasn’t working and the jersey being there was so important that she asked the brother to break the window. Riiiiight before he was about to break a window at their house Robbie suggested a different code. IT WORRRRRKED! Phewwwww! There’s even more to write about this little section of the day but I have to move on.
In my follow up interview (for the questions at the end of every blog post) I always ask, “If you could do it all over, would you change anything?” Her answer: “I would have not forgotten my dad’s jersey so our ceremony wouldn’t start an hour late… however it was a really awesome story from the day.”
I love this part of their day. Well, actually… I loved every second of their day; but you get the idea.
*The ONLY toilet in the venue was clogged. I, being the only one not wearing dress clothes (unless you call a Hillary Clinton pant suit dress clothes), went to WORK on it. Living alone has made me quite the handy woman; I’m YouTube certified! 😉 Thaaaaat said, I wasn’t successful that day in my plunging duties. Or should I say doodies? A-YO!
“[The image of us with Val] is one of my favorite photographs of ALL TIME. Not just from my wedding… but out of all of the photographs I’ve ever seen in my entire life. The excitement I have that this image exists…. I can’t even explain it. I can’t wait to print it…. I’m going to print it a thousand times… in every size… so I can hang it in every room. Possible on every wall. Holy **** I’m so happy about it.”
People often ask me if I shoot details because I don’t show many on my blog.
The reason I rarely blog them: I never want any of my brides to feel that their wedding was less amazing than anyone else’s. I, unlike most wedding photographers, shoot a wiiiiide range of wedding budgets. For example, in 2015 I went from shooting a million dollar wedding one weekend to a wedding where the reception was held in the church gymnasium with red solo cups the very next weekend. Both events were equally incredible, just in a different way. Back when I used to blog more details I would often have brides apologize when I showed up, “I’m sorry my wedding isn’t as fancy as what you’re used to!” NO NO NO NO NO! SHUSH! Your wedding is perfect in every way because, at the end of this day… you’ll be married to the love of your life.
Also, there’s nothing wrong with those that do blog details… It’s just that I’m the rare photographer who shoots vastly different weddings every weekend. Jusssst sayin’
So, yes to answer your question: Megan and I do shoot details. 😉 Our theory, “if you paid for it or made it, we take a photo of it.”
Rachel’s mom’s toast was perfection, truuuuly perfection! I shot that photo of Rachel through mom’s arms.
Robbie’s dad Andy danced. All. Night. Long. His wife Kim clearly seemed impressed by his dance moves! 😉
Robbie’s stepbrother (AKA the Mayor) dancing with Robbie’s mom. I love a blended family who gets along as well as this family does.
behind the scenes
Love these two photos so much. 1) Yes, Robbie is wearing a “Lord of the Rings” cape. 😉 2) I originally met Rachel when she attended my photography workshop in 2014. There were two other guests who also are Bobbi Photo workshop alumni. My only regret is that Rachel isn’t in that photo!
I don’t think I’ve written so much on a wedding blog post… well… ever. So if you actually read ALLLL those words, thank you. And if you didn’t, I forgive you. Howeverrrr, I do expect you to come back when you have more time and read it. There will be a quiz later, you’ve been warned.
Rachel and Robbie, I adore you both. Thanks for being you and for loving me, no matter what. 🙂
Much love friends!