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Heather and Kees! Nashville, Tennessee Downtown Engagement Session

August 16, 2016

“Adventure is worthwhile.” – Aesop

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Some of you know second shooter Ashley worked a few stints as a cruise ship photographer [if you didn’t know, it’s because you haven’t visited her website, which you should TOTALLY do HERE].  While she was on her first ship, she befriended Heather.  And while Heather and Kaas were in the US, and not out on ships, we were able to meet up with them in Nashville, Tennessee to photograph their engagement session!

I normally don’t have Ashley around to second shoot engagement sessions with me, so this engagement session had a lot to choose from.  But, I LOVE engagement sessions, add in another perspective, a different lens, or a different point of view, and this session was just LOVELY.

Heather and Kees met on the ship, and will be getting married in Amsterdam [close to Kees’ hometown], in March of next year [so jealous of the photographer who gets to shoot that awesome event!]  Eventually they will settle down in Nashville [where Heather’s family lives], when they’re done exploring the world and ship life.

So not only did this engagement photography session rock because Ashley shot with me, but it also rocked because we were in Nashville.  I’ve only been to Nashville, Tennessee once, and it was for a photography convention in February, and well… we really only saw the convention hall…. which was lovely… BUT, I had NO idea how cool Nashville was.  Before the session Heather e-mailed me a few different wall murals, and some cool places like the pedestrian bridge and the Nashville Parthenon.  And everything was AMAZING.

Luckily, we stayed in Nashville for the night, so when we got rained out of our evening session, we were able to catch up with an outfit change and all the cool downtown area’s early the next morning.

Speaking of being rained out.  There are two images below I ADORE.  They’re the ones were taken after being rained out, in the dark, with just the neon lights of the main Nashville drag [we didn’t have flashes with us].  Ashley and I both try to push ourselves to think outside of the box, and to try new things, so when Heather and Kees were up for some experimenting after the rain had tapered off, we played around a bit and I LOVE what we got.  They’re not really like the majority of our work, but it was so fun to try something new just for the heck of it.

So, I’ve written a bit much!  If you’ve stuck with me, thanks :).  Now you can scroll through the pretty engagement portraits!

Heather and Kees, thanks for hosting us!  We wish we could have stayed longer to explore your awesome city!  Best wishes for your upcoming wedding in Amsterdam!

~Maike [and Ashley]

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Katie & Owen! South Bend, Indiana Wedding Photography

August 9, 2016

“Have fun” – Everyone at the wedding [no but really, I asked probably three different people what their advice for either the bride, or the groom would be, and they looked over to Katie or Owen, and simply said, “Have fun”].

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What a great day!  I really do have all the best clients [how do I get so lucky?!?!].  Katie and Owen’s South Bend wedding was sooooo many things!  It was gorgeous, classy, colorful, emotional, full of laughter, smiles and love.

Ashley and I LOVED doing their day with them.  Being able to wander around South Bend and photograph each step of their wedding was awesome [we did this during the spring with less heat and less formal clothes ;), CLICK HERE if you missed their engagement session].

Katie is Catholic and Owen is Jewish [full discloser, this was my first Catholic/Jewish wedding], and their day was the most beautiful merging of both faiths.  The priest lead a beautiful ceremony in the afternoon, and later in the evening [after sunset] the Rabi talked about the different rituals in the Jewish ceremony part of the day.  I learned SO much!

Katie and Owen are also in the lead in M.Rinaye wedding photography for largest bridal party [I haven’t gone back and checked, but I’m 90% sure they’re currently winning].  And while there was a lot of them to get posed for photos, etc. they were all SOOO awesome and helpful and goodnatured and just wonderful.  I totally understand why Katie and Owen each ended up with 10+ attendants.  Because their bridesmaids and groomsmen were the coolest.

Favorite parts of this wedding: the incorporations of why Katie and Owen wanted to marry each other in both the Catholic and the Jewish ceremonies [oh so so sweet and genuine], the beautiful reception details, the ‘Did You Know’ signs all over The Brick with the little known facts about the couple, the makeshift Chuppah inside, because of the rain outside, held up by groomsmen [but we got photos with the Chuppah when the rain stopped!], the crazy fraternity brothers chants, the DJ playing both ND and USC’s fight songs, and the amazing ENERGY right after the jewish celebration and the dancing [woah].

This was a hot wedding, but everyone involved were such troopers!  You can’t even tell we were all sweating buckets!

Katie and Owen, I’m so glad you hired me to photograph your wedding day.  I loved every second of it.  Hope your honeymoon was amazing!!!


ps: Second shooter Ashley shout out!  She rocked this wedding, heat and all [#sweatbabysweat].

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Hair : Sola SalonAshley White

Make Up : Sola Salon – Aimee

Florist : Poppies by Polly

Ceremony Venue : Little Flower Church

Reception Venue : The Brick

Sound/Lights : South Bend Premier Wedding and Event DJ

Cake : Country Bake Shoppe

Catering : Catering by Billie

Dress : Glamour Closet

Groom/Groomsmen Outfits : Louie’s Tux Shop

Bridesmaid Dresses : Azazie

bride & groom first dance : Whatever It Is, by Zac Brown Band
father & daughter dance : How Sweet It Is, by James Taylor
mother & son dance : It was a mix of MANY different awesome songs, to accompany the choreographed dance


Most memorable moment?

Katie: When we were introduced at the reception and I realized everyone in that room was there for us. The applause and cheers when we entered as Mr & Mrs Weissberg was amazing. I have never felt so much love before that moment.

Owen: Seeing Katie tear up as we took our vows truly made my heart melt and reaffirmed 10x over that this will be my best friend and life partner for eternity.  There was also something magical about our grand entrance. I have always playfully spun and dipped Katie, but getting to do it on the big stage of our special night was perfect.

Advice for future brides/grooms?

Katie: Take deep breaths throughout and remember to stay in the moment, it goes by fast!

Owen: Plan. Plan. Plan. Put in the hard work in the months leading to your big weekend so that you can soak up and enjoy every moment of your special day. Take some deep breathes, live in the moment, and don’t take a second for granted.

Funniest memory?

Katie: Dancing the hora with our chairs flying in the air.

Owen: It had to be seeing the nervousness on my best man’s face, much more so than my own, and priceless.

If you could do it all over would you change anything?

Katie: Nothing, it was perfect. I would relive the day a million times exactly as it took place.

Owen: Nothing.


We went to Kauai, HI for 1 week – it was magical.

Lastly, are there any other vendors that you LOVED and want to give a special shout out to?

Poppies by Polly – her flowers made it complete.

Meredith & Jeremy! South Bend, Indiana Engagement Session

August 2, 2016

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.” -Sylvia Plath, The Bell JarMJ-ENG-FAV023_WEB

I met up with Meredith and Jeremy for their South Bend engagement session and a beautifully cloudy Sunday morning. The night before had been stormy off and on, so I had prepared a list of indoor locations we could shoot at in case our Sunday morning engagement session was full of rain/heavy clouds/thunderstorms.

One of those options, was meeting up at their place and starting images there instead of a typical public location.  And you guys, I am SOOO glad we did.  Not only did I get some beautiful, comfy, cozy, romantic awesome images…. I also got to meet Puddles… the cat :).

Meredith told me when I got there that her mom had asked if it would be weird to ask me to their apartment to get some images with Puddles, so when we made the rain plans, it was PERFECT.  See the Puddles portraits below.

Meredith and Jeremy are nature lovers, so we incorporated as much nature into their session as we could.  Another one of their things, is Bananagrams.  Have you guys played this game?  I haven’t, yet… but after they explained how to play, I warned Ronald [my husband] we needed to go ahead and buy it.  I’m a big fan of scrabble, so I feel like Bananagrams is right up my ally.  Meredith and Jeremy take Bananagrams with them whenever their wandering, and then take a photo afterwards.  I love it when couples have their unique ‘things’.  Especially when they sort of just happen.  Which I’m guessing is what happened with the Bananagrams game.

Meredith and Jeremy met at Purdue, and are getting married there in just a couple short months!  And while wedding planning and whatnot seems like a lot right now, Meredith, I assure you, you’ll get to the wedding day and it will feel like it all went crazy fast.

I loved hanging out with these two wandering around South Bend!  So excited to meet your friends/party with them and your family on your wedding day!



Erin & Jake! Janesville, Wisconsin Wedding Photography

July 26, 2016

“I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)I am never without it (anywhere
I go you go,my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling)
I fear no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet)I want no world (for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)”-E.E. Cummings


Back in June, Ronald [the husband], and I traveled up to Wisconsin [Janesville, to be exact], where we were able to hang out with a bunch of awesome family and celebrate my cousin Erin, and her guy Jake exchanging vows and become husband and wife!

And after the year we’ve had [my Tillen family], it was SO GOOD to be celebrating their marriage.  See, in the 12 months prior to their wedding, we have had three of the matriarchs of our family pass away.  And the first one was enough [it was my grandmother, and that was SUPER hard], but then to have two more beloved wonderful women die this past year.  Sheesh.  It was almost too much for my soul to take.

So being able to come together and dance, and drink, and eat pie, and just ENJOY being around each other for a happy event was wonderful.  Oh so very wonderful.

My family is pretty big [my grandmother had 15 grandkids], and we all hail initially from New Mexico, so while there were some folks missing, we ended up with a pretty big pack of family around for Jake and Erin’s wedding.  The cousins all danced through the night, and it made me wonder why we hadn’t all gone out dancing together before [it’s now officially on the to-do list; which is tricky because we now cover 5 states and are spread miles and miles apart, but IT’S ON THE LIST!]

Their wedding was in Janesville at this camp Jake grew up wandering around, right off the water.  And while it was hot, and we all sweat buckets, it was SO dreamy!  Their ceremony was held looking out on the water, and then the reception was in a tent just a short walk away from the lake.

So, it doesn’t happen often, BUT, this wedding I was actually invited to as a guest!  As any good photographer knows though, I just couldn’t NOT bring my camera with me.  Plus, I just bought a new Sigma lens, so it was the perfect opportunity to wander around with it, and test it out, without the stress and go-go-go-ness of a wedding I was hired to shoot.

So here are some images of my cousin and her love…. and Wisconsin… and the beautiful lake…. and my family.

I’m really grateful for the family I grew up in.  It could not have been more perfect for me.

I hope you guys also have had great celebrations this summer, and that you love your family well because they wont always be around.


ps: Best parts of this wedding: dancing [duh], my family [obvi], the flower girls literally scooping out big huge handfuls of flowers down the aisle, my cousin Jordan’s awesome band that played for the ceremony and the reception, the incorporation of important people in Erin’s veil [those matriarchs I talked about, ya… I had tears in my eyes when she explained the awesome patches that remembered those three and more], the awesome processional dance down the aisle after they were officially pronounced husband and wife, and the gorgeous sunset and fireworks on the lake.

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Brittany & Justin! South Bend, Indiana Wedding Photography

July 19, 2016

“And I see colors in a different way
You make what doesn’t matter fade to grey
Life is good and that’s the way it should be.” – Echosmith


Brittany and Justin’s wedding day blog is HERE!  Yay!

And as far as weddings go, theirs was so super lovely.  Filled with smiles, tears, laughter and fun.  Their wedding party was awesome and so helpful [shout out to Katie, who was the bridesmaid go-to girl for anything that needed to be done; you were a wedding day helpful rockstar!]

You guys, summer in Indiana can be ROUGH.  Like, sweating is definitely part of my job, but in the summers, I regularly bring a completely [and I mean COMPLETELY], new outfit to change into before the reception because: sweat.  So when we signed up for shooting Brittany and Justin’s wedding at the awesome Red Barn at St Patricks Park in South Bend, in July, I was anticipating the HEAT [because outdoor ceremony and no air conditioning].  BUT, holy cow!  The weather was absolutely amazing!  Their ceremony was outdoors, and then the reception was in the Red Barn, and it could not have been a more PERFECT summer day for a wedding.  There were beautiful clouds, there was a breeze, and we were all just hanging out [not sweating much], in the beautiful St Patricks Park!

It was glorious.

I loved this wedding.  I loved how beautiful Brittany looked.  I loved her and her dad’s unique first dance [uhm, talk about tears!]  I loved how fun Justin was on the dance floor.  I love how smitten the two of them are with each other.  I loved the bridal party helping to blow bubbles on the couple when we took some gorgeous portraits.  I loved how giggly and happy Brittany was when the bubbles were completely engulfing her and Justin.

Yes please.

Speaking of who else was a rockstar, Brittany’s dad usually coasts around in a wheel chair, but he walked his beautiful daughter down the aisle like a champ!  And I already mentioned the first dance.  One of their favorite things to do [Brittany and her dad], is to sit on the beach and drink some Corona.  So for their first dance, they brought out a kiddy pool, filled it with sand, walked around it, put some lawn chairs in it, and were given some Corona to drink.  Their song of course featured Jimmy Buffet.  Not a dry eye in the house, you guys!!!  When they were given the Corona’s, Brittany’s sisters smiled the biggest smiles I’d seen from them all day, one fist pumped the air and the groomsmen all did the ‘clap’ [you know the one, where they look down, clap, nod, smile, and just recognize that THIS is a moment that is awesome.

Golly.  Just writing about it now makes me all teary eyed.

Brittany and Justin, I’m SO glad you found and hired M.Rinaye!  I have loved getting to know you and work with you and I hope these images bring you back to all the happiness of your wedding day!


ps: Special thanks to Ashley for second shooting!  If you are in the fountain square area this month, go check out her travel photos at New Day!



Hair : Sola Salon – Kelli Haines [bride’s], Pam Olson [bridesmaids’]

Make Up : Jennifer Leach at Bare Minerals

Florist : Martin’s Supermarket

Ceremony/Reception Venue : The Red Barn at St. Patrick’s County Park

Sound/Lights : Sensational Sounds

Cake : Martin’s Supermarket

Catering : Allie’s Cafe and Catering

Dress : Greta’s Bridal

Shoes : Stephenson’s of Elkhart

Bridesmaid Dresses : Greta’s Bridal [Bill Levkoff dresses]

bride & groom first dance : Bright, by Echosmith
father & daughter dance : Knee Deep, by Zac Brown Band feat. Jimmy Buffett
mother & son dance : A Mother’s Prayer, Short Country Version


Most memorable moment?

Brittany: Walking down the aisle toward Justin!

Justin: Brittany walking down the aisle.

Advice for future brides/grooms?

Brittany: Elope! : ) But really, don’t sweat the details. It all comes together, and once the day arrives it’s not worth the stress and worry to do anything but just enjoy it. [MAIKES NOTE: If you do choose to elope, HIRE A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOG!!! ;)]

Justin: Have a small wedding.

Funniest memory?

Brittany: Seeing some of our guests go to town on the dance floor! We had a lot of people just having fun during the reception.

Justin: Nothing I can say publicly.

If you could do it all over would you change anything?

Brittany: Honestly I thought the day was just perfect. I might’ve given guests a clearer timeline for the reception so they could’ve known to stick around for the big exit, but it wasn’t really problem. I also would’ve liked to find more time for photos.

Justin: Have a smaller wedding.


Yes! To St. Petersburg, Florida. We stayed in a little cottage rented on Airbnb. It was a fantastic week. Lots of sunshine, beaches and good food.

Lastly, are there any other vendors that you LOVED and want to give a special shout out to?

The bartender, Town Club Catering (Kevin Hogan), was great to work with and very responsive to our requests. Jen Leach who did my makeup and the mother of the groom’s was just great and went out of her way to help us out on the big day.

Hawaii! Maui, Hawaii Sabbatical Images Part 1

July 12, 2016

“Hawaii is not a state of mind, but a state of grace.” Paul Theroux


Some of you diligent followers on instagram [oh, you do the instagram too, but haven’t followed me yet?  You can do that HERE and HERE] figured out I spent some time on the beautiful island of Maui, in Hawaii back in February.

Three cheers for traveling and hooray for amazing friends to adventure with!

You see, I have this amazingly generous wonderful friend Jill who loves people SOOO well.  After years and years being on the receiving end of her generosity a few of us got together and schemed up a plan. Then, for her birthday in January, we surprised her with a free trip to Hawaii!!!  It was one of the best surprises ever.  I loved every minute of planning it!  There was confusion when she was given a bunch of Hawaii themed gifts before the reveal [coconut water, bathing suit, sun glasses, sun screen, etc], excitement as she realized what had just happened, and then tears and ‘oh my gosh’-es as it sunk in and she hugged and then re-hugged all the people who were a part of this awesome surprise.  It was magnificent.

Our other friend from Drury University, Bonni and her husband and little girl were living in Hawaii for a year long work contract, so we got to bunk at their place, got the DL from people who live there, rent a sweet convertible [thanks credit card points! Huzzah!], and wander around the island taking in beaches, sunsets, snorkeling, whale watching, hiking, zip-lining… it was magnificent.  And for the midwestern girls who barely made it out of Chicago before a blizzard hit, it was a welcome reprieve from winter.

We LOVED our week there, and as you can imagine, even though I wasn’t officially ‘working’, I did come home with a slew of images: a breeching whale, beautiful flowers, amazing blue of the breath taking beaches, and many many more.

I didn’t have anything up on the line up for this weeks blog entry, so I thought I’d share some favorite images from our trip.  I know Hawaii is known for it’s beautiful beaches, but part one features the non-water images [part two will all feature the H2O, stay tuned for that].

If you haven’t been to Hawaii and it isn’t on your bucket list, I HIGHLY recommend adding it.


HI-2016-FAVs042_WEB HI-2016-FAVs043_WEB HI-2016-FAVs044_WEBHI-2016-FAVs022_WEB HI-2016-FAVs053_WEB *above are our beautiful hosts!  Jake, Bonni and sweet little Alayna in the middle!HI-2016-FAVs054_WEB*hiking in the bamboo forest = LOVEHI-2016-FAVs029_WEB HI-2016-FAVs030_WEBHI-2016-FAVs096_WEBHI-2016-FAVs033_WEB HI-2016-FAVs070_WEB*can you believe the above photo is the SAME place as the previous ones?  I can’t get over how many different looks Hawaii has.HI-2016-FAVs023-2_WEB

*my lovely travel companion Jill!HI-2016-FAVs027_WEB HI-2016-FAVs040_WEBHI-2016-FAVs041_WEB*Aunt Maike, doing some yoga together with the little one!  She’s the cutest copy cat ever.HI-2016-FAVs036_WEB

Whitney! Indianapolis, Indiana Head Shot Session

June 21, 2016

“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” -Henry FordW-HS-FAV006_WEB Do you guys have BFF’s?

Well, I decided to share THESE images of my BFF ;).  This is Whit [or those of you that aren’t her friends: Whitney].

We met freshman year at college [go DU!!!], traveled Europe together, moved to Indy together and have been friends for over a decade [woah!!!]

She’s studying to get her doctorate degree from Wisconsin University [smarty pants].  BUT squeezed in a fabulous visit last month to Indy, where we were able to do Indianapolis type things, like wander Broad Ripple, go for a run on the Monon, eat Yats and go salsa dancing.

ANNNDDDD, we took some professional head shots for her eventual website.  She’s studying the rhetoric of homelessness, and will be searching for a job soon [please let a job be open in Indy, or Bloomington, or South Bend…please please please!!!!].

Anyway, she’s a favorite, and good head shots are important, so I thought I’d share!



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