Posted by Jennifer Mayo, Jennifer Mayo Studios

From a photographer’s perspective, the landscape of Southwest Michigan offers an abundant variety of photographic opportunities.  Beach weddings along the shores of Lake Michigan provide for expansive views of long, romantic coastlines and nostalgic lighthouses.  From New Buffalo to Grand Haven, Lake Michigan is also home to numerous charming lakeside towns that provide the backdrop of urban architecture for wedding day images.  Take a drive just a few minutes inland and you’ll be surrounded by a picturesque countryside.


As a photographer who also frequently photographs Windy City weddings, photographing events in big cities often presents some logistical problems that require allotting larger spans of time for dedicated photo shoots on the Big Day.  The nice thing about photographing weddings in West Michigan is that so many different photo locations are in such close proximity to one another and traffic is usually not an issue, so you can often visit most of your favorite spots for pictures and still manage to finish cocktail hour with your guests.


While planning a three o’clock wedding might seem like a good idea, later is usually better… West Michigan is at the far end of the Eastern Time Zone pushing sunset back to as late as 9:30 pm in the middle of the summer.  Mid-day sun is the least favorable time to take photos at the beach.  The sun can create harsh, unflattering facial shadows when high in the sky and often causes squinting.  Evening is a much better option for photos at the beach.  Take advantage of Lake Michigan’s sunset coast and consider the possibility of taking a few minutes away from your reception if your venue is in close proximity to the beach to take a few pictures at sunset.  If the middle of the afternoon is the only possibility for achieving photos at the beach, parasols to create shade where it is otherwise unavailable also make adorable props at the beach and water resistant varieties are even available if you’d like them to double for your rain plan.


Regardless of the time of day, a photographer experienced at photographing weddings at the beach will be equipped with the techniques to capture beautiful images in a variety of lighting conditions.

Photos by Jennifer Mayo Studios