Metro Detroit Engagement Shoot

Photographers worst nightmare: thunder and lightening an hour before your 8am shoot is scheduled. 

Yup. I would be lying if I didn't say that I was kind of nervous for this shoot. It was scheduled at 8am at the Ford Yacht Club on Grosse Ile in Michigan. At about 5am and then again at 6am I woke up from the sound of thunder roaring through my window. Great.

As I got up and looked out side, I noticed that the ground was soaked. So Great. Well... it's time like this where you really become a professional photographer and you just have to make it work. The rain stopped, but became this misty wetness in the air, aka a hair nightmare. Good lighting is everything... or so they say. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

It worked. I met Erica and Terry shortly after 8am and the rain had (for the most part) stopped. We immediately starting shooting at the beach front of the Ford Yacht Club. Cute Fact: Erica and Terry met here, so it is a very symbolic place for them. I love when couples add their own personal touches like this to the engagement shoots. There are no signs or props, but just a place. This to me is the best way to really love and connect with your photos. Can you tell I'm not a fan of props?

Fun BTS (Behind the Scenes) fact #1: It was almost rained out. Fun BTS Fact #2: There was Goose poop everywhere. When I say everywhere. I mean e v e r y w h e r e. Romantic, right? As Erica and Terry got into their first outfits I went over to the beach and literally moved sand around with my feet to clear a spot for them to stand and move a little bit. You don't see it in the photos because that is editing magic. Big props to Erica and Terry for being such troopers. Without their good humor and spirits, this would have been a lot harder. New Lightroom ad campaign: Remove Goose Poop and Much, Much More! New RD Photography campaign: I literally will remove Goose Shit for you.

Anyway, back to the not-so-gross stuff. Erica and Terry's beach outfit is a great example of how you can still wear patterns in photos as long as both outfits are cohesive. I absolutely hate photos where everyone is wearing khaki pants and a white tee shirt. You do not have to match completely. The colors just need to work together.

This is also a great example of using your space. GET CREATIVE. This space was not big. The beach itself was only about 15 feet wide. So minus the goose poop area, we only had about 4 feet to work with. As a photographer, move around your subjects. Take it from all different angles to add variety to the shots. This makes 4ft radius sans goose poop look bigger and more interesting. We moved over again and I had them stand on a rock because it was the only part not covered in poop. IT WORKS. The best part of digital photography is that you can take a lot of photos and just delete the ones that don't work. 

Overall, this shoot challenged me to be creative and work with what I've got. This is the key to all photo shoots and it's great to have this struggle every now and then to remember how to adapt. If I can do it, you can too.

Retro Summer Shoot with Tori Radday

I finally took a break from editing all of my weddings and engagement images to do a shoot with Tori Radday. Tori and I have been working together for a while now and she is always one of my favorite people to photograph. As a blogger, you really should know the importance of good photography. If you want to make your blog look profession, it has to have quality images. 

Tori and I work together once or twice a month doing about 2 or 3 outfits every time. This is a great way to optimize time and your money with a photographer. She also switches out different glasses for looks which really creates a nice diversity in her Instagram posts while wearing the same outfit.

This is one of my favorite looks she has done. It is such a retro and frankly, a much more sexy look, than I am used to shooting. She rocks it too. I always say my job would be too shoot for Free People or Urban... or really any female-based brand. I think these last few images really show that off. 

 

Model/Stylist - Tori Radday

Photographer - Me! Rachel Dwyer

 

Michelle and Kevin's Windsor, Ontario Engagement Shoot

This was my first international (if you can call it that? My mom is from Canada. When I'm back on Grosse Ile, we go all of the time. International sounds fancy, so I'm going to use it... but honestly I think most people assume that I mean far away, when I mean 35 minutes from my parent's house in the USA) photoshoot. I have known Michelle for a while now. I used to go to Canada to get my hair cut and colored because she did a great job and charged the right price. She moved to Toronto a few years ago and studied hair and makeup at a really well known school. She works on TV shows, weddings, and anything you can think of that needs hair or makeup. 

It is so easy to shoot a couple that is passionately in love. Michelle lives in Toronto and Kevin lives somewhere in Indiana. It's notable feature is that it is an hour away from Chicago. Just kidding, I'm sure it has other notable features... But I was very impressed by Kevin. He owns two (or three?) stores that create hearing aids. He also works for the corporate office in Phoenix. So basically he lives on a plane between Indiana and Phoenix, Phoenix and Toronto, Toronto and Indiana. Because of this, Michelle and Kevin don't get to see each other as half as much as they want to.

Michelle drove in from Toronto for this shoot and Kevin flew in from Phoenix the night before. I'm so honored to have photographed this shoot after all of the traveling to make it happen. Michelle grew up in Windsor and wanted to go to Reaume Park. I had never been and the gardens were amazing. We got there around 6:30/7pm and the lighting was perfect. This a great place and it's FREE! It's a public park and absolutely beautiful. 

Next we went to Riverside and Parent streets and pulled into the park there to get the photos of the Detroit skyline at sunset. This is kind of a special picture features both an American and a Canadian, while standing on Canadian soil before they get married and move over to the US. 

Location: Windsor, Ontario

Couple: Michelle and Kevin

Photographer: ME! Rachel Dwyer

 

Boho Inspired Fashion Shoot

After my trip to Georgia and Michigan, I got together with Richmond's own Tori Radday. When she first sent me a picture of this dress, I immediately thought of this pink... I want to say barn door? but that's not right.. this big pink door, whatever its nature may be. After taking some full length shots at this location we just walked around Church Hill, RVA. 

Pro tip for bloggers: Same outfit, different glasses or accessories. This can go a long way in creating diversity throughout your shoot, especially if you only get one outfit with the photographer. Photos are expensive, so make all of them count! This little bit of variety is great for Instagram feeds. They change just enough to make the photos new and interesting. Another great tip is to scout out a few different locations within walking distance. Changing the background and accessories can make it look like a whole new outfit or a completely different day in which you shot this "new" look.

 

Model: Tori Radday

Photographer: Me! Rachel Dwyer

 

Editorial at High School

On Memorial Day weekend I went home to visit my parents on Grosse Ile. I reached out to Alba (Instagram - @albaslyf) via Instagram to see if she wanted to collaborate on a shoot while I was there. She was down and we decided to meet up at my old high school. Lately I've been feeling very uninspired and feeling like my shoots have been very similar. The only images that I could find that I found interesting were at a tennis court. I'm not usually one for chainlink fences, but I'm very happy with the results.

I graduated from this high school in 2008 and I really haven't been to the property since. I'm happy to see that not much has changed and that I was able to remember where to go for these separate locations. With such a sporty location, we wanted to go for more a relaxed look. We did not want to use gym clothes, but we wanted the attire to look appropriate in the location. Alba woke up early and ran to Target and bought the clothes. She kept the tags on so she could return them after. LOL

I had originally planned the shoot to be around 9:30am, but it didn't start until about 11:00am. This made it extremely difficult to shoot. The light was almost directly above us so I had to make sure she was turned away from the light in a lot of the photos to get the right lighting. Always shoot in the morning or at night. Even 11:00am in late May is too harsh. (Yeah, I know, I can put the model in the shadows, but it's way more fun to play with the light)

  • Location: Grosse Ile High School
  • Model: Abla 
    • Instagram - @Albaslyf
    • Gmail - albaslyf@gmail.com
  • Photographer: Me! Rachel Dwyer
    • Instagram - @rrrachel08
    • Website - www.racheldwyer-photography.com
    • Gmail - rrracheldwyer@gmail.com
  • Clothing: Target
    • Website: www.target.com

 

Valentine's Day Fashion Blog Shoot with LiveAmongChic

So I know Valentine's Day was... well let's see here, 3 months ago? Oh well, better late than never.

Here are the photos from a shoot with LiveAmongChic. I work with them to provide content for their website, blog, and social media pages. Sun and Selene provided pieces of their jewelry to be featured. 

Sun & Selene Instagram - @sunandselene

LiveAmongChic Instagram - @liveamongchic

Rachel Dwyer Photography - @rrrachel08

Tropical Editorial Shoot with Tori Radday

It is almost June and that means summer shoots are in full swing. I absolutely love this look styled by Tori Radday. Her use of color, texture, and pattern is always a joy to photograph. 

Tori Radday Instagram - @toriradday

Rachel Dwyer Instagram - @rrrachel08

 

Grunge Editorial Shoot with Elissa

I've met so many people through Instagram since I've moved to Richmond, VA. Thankfully everyone has been awesome to work with and I easy to photograph. This time I teamed up with Elissa Rumford. Elissa is talented model as well as experimental photographer. Check out her work on Instagram.

Elissa's Instagram - @elissarummy

Rachel Dwyer Photography's Instagram - rrrachel08

Dee from LiveAmongChic

Fun collab with Dee Hayala from LiveAmongChic in Richmond, VA. This shoot was challenging because of the super bright sun in the early afternoon. Shooting RAW always helps bring back the background.

Blog Instagram - @liveamongchic 

Personal Instagram - @deyalalaa

Rachel Dwyer Photography  Instagram - @rrrachel08

Belle Isle Conservatory Engagement

Belle Isle Conservatory Engagement

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Vintage Fashion Shoot in Carytown. Richmond, Va.

I teamed up with Tori Radday from Fashion Trends & More to collaborate on a fashion inspired photoshoot. This was my first real shoot in Richmond, VA so I was very excited to see what Tori had in mind. She suggested that we meet up in Carytown. This was such a great idea. Carytown is filled with murals and colorful walls that make the perfect backdrop for any fashion shoot. 

Tori was so great to work with and I'm so excited to work with her again on future shoots. She has such an inviting personality and feels very comfortable in front of the camera. I believe our styles blended perfectly together. 

Detroit Institute of the Arts Engagement Session - Slavica and Cedo

Detroit Institute of the Arts Engagement Session - Slavica and Cedo

DIA engagement photos.

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 I am in love with Instagram and having the "look away" photos is a must. However, when you're having a professional photographer take photos of you, how do you tell them what you are looking for? What do you wear? 

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Lauren and Cody's Detroit Engagement Shoot

Lauren is a cheerleader for the Detroit Tiger's and wanted a unique Detroit photoshoot. We went on the top of a parking structure for the first part of the day and then moved to the colorful wall mural. Lastly, we headed to Hammtramck for a few more shots.