Portrait and Wedding Photographer catering to Clare, Mt Pleasant, and Midland, Michigan. Ready to travel.
Ryan Watkins Photography specializes in portrait and wedding photography catering to Clare, Mt Pleasant, and Midland, Michigan. Ready to travel anywhere in the state.
Graduate from the Hallmark Institute of Photography and Highest Academic Honor recipient.
Published in several magazines including Shutterbug, Digital Photo, Outdoor Photographer, and PDNedu.
I love Grand Rapids. I’m not a city person. Grand Rapids is one of the few cities I like to visit and have fun in. I briefly considered moving their, but ultimately ended up staying in Clare.
In 2018 I had a great wedding in Grand Rapids in a little Lutheran church near Calvin College. I showed up early. During the consultations we had decided to do some group shots prior to the wedding ceremony. We left plenty of time for getting ready shots as well as these group shots. Some of these images included the groom, his family, and groomsmen. We shot all of these and were about to start photographing the bride, her family, and bridesmaids. Then someone pointed out that the guys had forgot to put their boutonnieres on. Because we planned to have plenty of time prior to the ceremony for group shots, we were able to reshoot all of the guys images with boutineers on with time to spare.
I had a great time getting to photograph Justin and Alyssa Crawford’s wedding in Lake Isabella, Michigan! The wedding took place as the beautiful Little Flower Barn and the reception took place at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Mt Pleasant, Michigan. The couple and their families were great to work with!
Over the years I’ve had the privilege of working with tons of great and fascinating clients. I regularly get clients who don’t live locally. A few times I’ve even had clients from other countries, who spoke very little English.
The first instance of this was back in 2016. I was shooting a wedding in Farwell, Michigan. The clients had family fly in from all over. The bride had family coming in from down South as well as Detroit. The groom had family coming in from Puerto Rico. About half of the groom’s family didn’t speak much English. This made the group shots very difficult to coordinate.
Anytime I come across a difficulty during a wedding I try to find ways to solve it in the future. Since 2016 I’ve added a lengthy wedding worksheet that I go thru with clients prior to the wedding. I do this to figure out as much as possible about the wedding and clients before the wedding day. I also make a detailed list of the group shots.
In 2018 I got to work with some of the best wedding clients I’ve ever had. During early August I got to work with David and Rebecca who met while studying abroad in the Netherlands. Rebecca was from Au Gres, Michigan. David was from Germany. David’s family flew over from Germany to Michigan for the wedding. Despite the language barrier the wedding went great. We used non verbal communication, and plenty of prep work, to guarantee that the group shots, as well as other images requiring more communication, worked out great.
One of the funniest wedding stories comes from a wedding in 2014 in my hometown of Clare. The couple wanted to take two fish and poor them into one bowl showing unity during the wedding ceremony. While getting ready the fish died. One of the groomsmen had to run to a local pet store and buy two new fish. This is one of the reasons I recommend having someone to contact on the wedding day to take care of little issues like this.
I’m a strong believer in lifelong learning. Especially with photography you learn a lot by doing. Graduating from the Hallmark Institute of Photography in 2013 wasn’t the end of my photographic education, but just the beginning.
With wedding photography especially you learn a lot by the problems that arise on the wedding day. During the first wedding I did with my new second shooter, Nikki, we had beautiful weather during the rehearsal. The sun was out. The location looked gorgeous. During the wedding itself the weather changed to the complete opposite. The rain was horrible. From scouting the location the day before it was easy to move the group shots and first look inside and still get great shots. This shows how important the prep work is when going into a wedding. I have all my clients fill out a wedding worksheet with the details of the day. I also go to the rehearsal for all of the weddings I shoot. This gives me a good understanding of the location I’ll be shooting as well as the flow for the day. Do to this prep work, we still got great shots during the day despite the weather.
I had a great time photographing Jeff and Nicole’s beautiful wedding at First Presbyterian Church in Mt Pleasant, Michigan. The reception was held at the Rotunda Hall at CMU. During the reception we across the street to the gazebo for some more images of just the couple. Jeff and Nicole were some of the kindest clients I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
I’ve been procrastinating on shooting a new headshot for about a year now. It’s like they say the mechanic never fixes is own car. In the meanwhile here are some cringeworthy old self portraits I took way back when I was in high school and just started to learn about photography. Enjoy!