A big thank you to my new and returning clients in the last year! After a busy and beautiful year, I’ve decided to solely focus on family portraits and senior portraits in 2024. If you need a headshot, just ask me to sneak it into the end of your family session! Check out more below for highlighted locations and available dates this spring and summer.
Family Portraits in 2024
I’m deeply grateful to have so many of you return year after year! In winter, I receive a lot of booking requests from vacationers heading to the lakeshore when it warms up. Before I make too many commitments to these new friends, I want to prioritize some fun spring and summer sessions (especially on weekends) for returning clients. I’ve got two special location options on the west side on my schedule for regular family (or extended family) session bookings. See details below for Pilgrim Haven (South Haven) in May and Poppy Fields (Fennville) in June! You can, of course, still book with me at another location during May and June, but date options will mostly be limited to weekdays.
Saginaw/Bay City clients: I’ve got Saturday, May 11th on the calendar just for you! These springtime sessions can take place on SVSU’s main campus, Discovery Preserve, or at the Bay City State Park. Reach out anytime to book for that date.
A quick note about session pricing: I know you know life seems to be getting more expensive by the day. I’ve raised my prices for family portraits by just $10 heading into 2024. Also, I will not be offering mini-sessions this year as my calendar is already promising to be full to the brim!
May at Pilgrim Haven
In May, we’ll head to one of my favorites: Pilgrim Haven Natural Area in South Haven! This is a public nature preserve with a mix of rocky beach and a forested creek area. It’s beautiful in the spring and quite a bit less busy than in summer. If you pick this location, try to plan on letting little ones (and you too, if you’re feeling adventurous!) get a bit wet and/or sandy towards the end of the session for some special shots. If you’re celebrating Mother’s Day this month, booking one of these sessions is the perfect gift! I’ve got three dates with two bookings available each date for May at this special spot. I’ll book these for families on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Friday, May 17th in the morning
Saturday, May 18th & Sunday, May 19th in the evening
June at Poppy Fields
In June, we’re going to make the most of the Pleasant Hill Farm Poppy field in Fennville! This is a private farm that Joan Donaldson and John Van Voorhees planted in memory of their son, Mateo. It’s beautiful in bloom (it’s a short window of time!) and they generously allow others to view it and be photographed by it. I’ve got three dates with a couple bookings available each date set aside for June at this special spot. I’ll book these for families on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Friday, June 14th in the morning
Tuesday, June 18th in the evening
Sunday, June 23rd in the evening
A Quick Note: Portraits of Your Kids
I’ve noticed a trend with kiddos of almost all ages that they feel most comfortable and cooperative having their portraits taken when we don’t ask them to look and smile for the camera first thing. Not all kids, but especially if you have school-age kids, this is my official appeal to let me give them prompts that capture their more serious side upfront! I’ll get them to laugh or smile (sometimes with your help) once we get acquainted (or re-acquainted) and I promise to deliver some portraits everyone is happy with! Look at these beautiful friends below and you’ll see what I mean. Less pressure at family portrait time always translates into more authentic-looking photos of everyone.
Thank You Seniors!
Your galleries will be available to you again from March 1st through June 1st. I’ve gotten feedback over the years that it’s helpful to have the gallery shop with your portraits available when you’re prepping for graduation parties, etc. so keep an eye out for that email notification around then! Also, If you or your parent refer any 2025 seniors to me, make sure they list you as the referring person so I can send you a special thank you gift!
2025 Seniors & Parents
I know it seems wild, but it’s time to start thinking about booking your portraits! Weekend summer bookings fill first in the Kalamazoo area, so if you think you’ll need a senior photographer for June-August, submit a booking form soon. Getting a date on the calendar is simple and checks one more thing off your to-do list. You don’t need to pick exact locations until it gets closer- but knowing you’ve got it taken care of will feel good- I promise!
Erin Decker (formerly Erin Denay), Photographer based in Kalamazoo, MI