I met these amazing wedding photographers from Detroit- Matt and Ashley from Matt and Ashley Photography- at Mallory + Bora’s wedding at the Belle Isle Casino. Let’s back up…we actually met at The Detroit Foundation Hotel earlier that day for Mallory + Bora’s first look. It was so refreshing the way Matt and Ashley set up the first look. Bora’s back was to Mallory as she pulled up her dress and walked toward him. She tapped his shoulder and he turned around and you could just feel the emotion…the love they had for one another. The best part was Matt and Ashley let that moment play out and we were able to capture a solid 5 minutes of Mallory and Bora in love on their wedding day.
It was an intimate moment and the fact that Matt and Ashley let it play out that really impressed me. They didn’t try to direct, stage, or show the bride and groom how to hold each other. It’s those types of intimate moments that I love capturing and Matt and Ashley Photography stood along side us and we were all able to capture the organic, natural moment.
Wedding First Look at Detroit Foundation Hotel.
Throughout the rest of Mallory and Bora’s wedding day we stayed out of each other’s shots. Matt and Ashley were really considerate of us filming, knowing we had to get that moment for at least 3 seconds for it to be a usable shot. Photographers sometimes have it easy in that they’re able to capture a tenth of a second and check that off their list. ;)
It didn’t feel like a competition…wedding photographer vs wedding videographer. It was a team effort and the goal was to capture the beauty and love of Mallory and Bora’s wedding day. And that’s what I love about working with Matt and Ashley Photography. We’re on the same team and we’re there to build each other up!
Wedding Ceremony at Belle Isle Casino.
Alright enough about my behind the scenes stories of working with Matt and Ashley Photography. Here’s their story!
How did you get started in wedding photography?
We met studying photojournalism at Central Michigan, and we started photographing together at the student newspaper and on the sidelines of our university's football games.
After graduation, we realized we could harness our love of people + storytelling while documenting (+ genuinely being a part of) some of the best days people have. We are so grateful for our photojournalism background because it really shaped who we are both as photographers and as a team.
What is your approach to photographing and documenting weddings?
At our core, we have always been driven by storytelling. We believe documenting moments is the best way to weave together + preserve the story of a wedding day. We look for the big moments, but also the quiet ones our couples don't necessarily realize are happening. One of our biggest goals is to create images our couples can look back on in 20 years that will help them remember exactly how they felt on their wedding day.
A few years ago, we realized our own "why" for wedding photography. We had the revelation that the memories we so carefully capture are often heirlooms for our couples. They'll one day pass on these photographs to their grandkids, and they'll cherish the photos we take of their loved ones in the meantime. That responsibility is always at the forefront of our mind when we approach a wedding.
What is your favorite wedding memory?
We have quite a few, but one of our most memorable happened several years ago. We were months away from one of our bride + groom's big day when they asked us to call them as soon as possible. In the midst of the detailed planning process, they explained they lost sight of WHY they were getting married. They decided to plan a private elopement that following week and asked us to be their witnesses.
They got ready together at their apartment and video called their families. We headed to the Nichols Arboretum where they exchanged handwritten vows. (This in itself was one of our favorite memories... It was near the holiday season, and the park was quiet and dusted in snow.) We met an officiant at the University of Michigan Museum of Art where they were married. They ended the evening celebrating with dinner and a small cake cutting at Zola.
It was intimate, sentimental and truly perfect. We were blown away with gratitude they trusted us to document such a sweet moment for them.
What advice do you have for brides choosing vendors?
Especially with the vendors you will be closely working with on the day of, it is so important to establish a personal connection! You'll be spending some of your most intimate, cherished moments on your wedding day beside your photographers, videographers + planner... We promise you'll want someone beside you who you consider your friend!
Wedding Photo Session at Belle Isle Casino.
Why do you love working with 97 Films?
It is a dream to work beside 97 Films. Photographers + videographers both have the same goal on a wedding day - to document and stitch together a visual story for the couple to cherish forever. Visual professionals work so closely on wedding days, and it's nice when we have a similar vision and approach. Working with 97 Films feels like a natural collaboration rather than two separate, individually-minded teams.
Katie + her team are the epitome of composed and relaxed. They are prompt, professional, courteous and thoughtful in the way they approach a wedding. Matt + I take a very documentary, laid-back approach, but we also value timeliness and making sure the wedding day timeline runs as smoothly as possible for our couples. We are always grateful 97 Films shares this value as well.
Not only are they incredible in person, they produce gorgeous work. We genuinely love this team.
Check out Mallory + Bora’s Wedding Trailer to see what I mean about their first look!
Wedding Cinematography: 97 Films
Check out these wedding films: