Ali and Jake's Detroit engagement session was everything and more! We started in Shinola Hotel Parker's Alley and ended our session at The Monarch Club. Before their session I told them, like I do all of my couples, not to stress about their photographs. I mentioned that they would be constantly interacting with each other so it would be a fun and relaxed experience, rather than uptight and posed. I also asked them if there were any types of photographs they specifically wanted to be captured and Ali mentioned she loved my candidly playful and intimate photographs and that's exactly what she got!

I always encourage my couples to make their engagement session special and personal to them! Jake and Ali used to live in downtown Detroit so it was filled with lots of memories as we walked around and even checked out their old apartment building, well from afar at least. They also brought their adorable dog, Stella! She was so cute and every time I clicked my shutter, she looked directly into the camera. How perfect!?

While we were in Parker's Alley, they talked about their proposal story. It was hilarious and heartwarming to hear all of the fun experiences that night. I love listening to my couples' stories because it gives me a sense of who they are together! We continued to walk through the alley taking photographs on our way to The Metropolitan. When we arrived at The Metropolitan, we put on our masks. Ali and Jake's masks displayed The Monarch Club logo. They said that they will likely look back on planning their wedding during a pandemic as a unique experience and they are making the best of it!

Once we arrived to The Monarch Club, the best rooftop bar in Detroit, Ali and Jake were excited to grab a drink! They love whiskey and wine so we took some photographs at the bar before heading upstairs! They told me that they love visiting new bars specifically because they will sit at the bar and talk to the bartenders all night and they love hearing their stories! I thought that was so cool! Truly, it's the story that makes the experience.

Following drinks at the bar, we went upstairs to the Library. Ali and Jake did an amazing job going Vogue. They seriously looked like models. But it wasn't all serious, we had some fun too! There was a globe and I asked them to spin it and stop it with their finger. Wherever their finger landed, that's where they would be going next! Every time they put their finger down, it was some obscure place they didn't want to go so we ended up laughing and decided 2020 is no the year to travel, obviously.

And then, we finished their session on the Look Out patio. There was an absolutely beautiful sunset and we even celebrated with some champagne. In the end, they invited me to stay and have a glass of wine by the fire with me. We talked about wedding planning, life, and how excited we are for their wedding in 2021. When I document my couples it never feels like "work" but especially with Ali and Jake! We all agreed it felt like hanging out with an old friend.

So cheers to you, Ali and Jake! I cannot wait to shoot their wedding next year (hopefully with no masks!)

All my love,

Thinking about engagement photographs in Detroit, check out this blog for some more inspiration!

Do you like Shinola Alley and Shinola Hotel? Check out this Shinola hotel and downtown Detroit session!

Not sure about getting engagement photographs, read this blog to find out why you should, and tips for your engagement session! Interested in booking an engagement session? Say hello!


Nicole is a wedding and portrait photographer based out of the Metro Detroit area. Residing in Royal Oak, she photographs in Michigan and abroad. She began her career in 2012 and is now a published artist and professional photographer. Nicole started documenting weddings in 2014 and passionately pursues photography daily, teaching film and digital photography to high school students, and documenting life and love on the weekends. Specializing in Weddings, Portraiture, and Lifestyle photography, she is a diverse and creative artist. Does this sound like the photographer for you?

Heck yes, say hello!