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Welcome to the Emmy & Ollie Photography Blog!

woman stands agains black wall in floral jumpsuit, looks down to the ground at studiostudio in ann arbor michigan

Hi! I’m new here! You’re new here! We’re all new here!

I’m Emily your friendly neighborhood photographer! I wanted to start this blog to share my experiences as a photographer, suggestions for making your session perfect, fun info for other photographers, and *hopefully* share my expertise as a professional and entrepreneur.

black and white image of emily, photographer behind emmy & ollie photography

First I want to spend some time on my background and how I got here. I have always loved photography, all the way back to when I was a small goober running around with a disposable camera. Were those photos good? No, no they were not. I think that has more to do with the camera than with my artistic abilities as a child.

Toddler girl sits on father's lap holding toy in vintage photo

I spent my childhood just outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan on 40 acres with no other houses, or even roads, in sight. Our neighbors farmed some of the land, but the rest was just woods and swamp. My siblings are all a lot older than me so I basically was an only child by the age of 7. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time on my own searching for something to do. Most of the time that ended up being something creative.

My mom was a crafter and made a lot of my clothes growing up. She eventually even made my wedding dress! (It was beautiful and perfect. Thanks, Mom!) My grandpa was a woodcarver, always whittling away. My dad was always taking photos. My brother was a painter and went to art school at Eastern Michigan University when I was 5. So, basically, I was set up for a creative lifestyle from the get go.

I painted. I drew. I sculpted. I knit. I dabbled. I took little photo hikes around our property in the summer, in the winter, in the fall, and spring. I would always get excited to go process the film (this was before digital photography) and would quickly flip through the photos to find my favorites.

Time passed and landed me in yearbook class in high school. I ended up the photography editor because my teacher, Mr. Hill, saw that I had an eye for framing and in camera editing. My photos didn’t need to be cropped and I always found a good angle. It’s thanks to him that I decided I wanted to go into photo journalism as a career.

Now, this was just as digital photography started to take off and I quickly realized that not only was photo journalism EXTREMELY competitive, it was fast becoming a thing of the past. Everyone could take good photos suddenly. I felt deflated a bit, but luckily I hadn’t put all of my eggs into one basket. I was still painting, drawing, and doing anything else creative I could get my hands on, so I applied to and got into the art program of my choice at the University of Michigan School of Art & Design.

I loved my time in college and learned so many new skills, made so many friendships, and had the time of my life. Somehow I fell in with the film kids at Michigan and ended up becoming a set decorator for a few years at the height of the Michigan Film Tax Incentive when lots of productions were filming here. I soon realized that although I was good at what I was doing, I didn’t enjoy it. Cue my exit from film.

The next few years I dabbled in this or that, but really just focused on living my early twenties life. Then the absolute opportunity of a lifetime presented itself and I flew off to Maine to spend my summer at one of the most idyllic places in the world. I was the painting counselor and spent the majority of my time designing and creating the backdrops for the camp’s 3 productions (yes, 3 productions in a 7 week span). I spent 6 summers in all trekking up to Maine and don’t regret a single moment.

During this time I also fell in with a group of painters in Ann Arbor now called the Brush Monkeys. I jumped in during the holidays to brighten up the town by painting winter scenes on businesses all over the city and surrounding areas. So I was spending my summers painting, and my winters too. You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned photography in a bit. That’ll come into play soon.

At this point I realized that I wanted to do something creative with my life, but did not have the ability to just up and leave my stable 9-5. I focused more on my personal life at this point. I got married in 2017 to my now husband Ryan. We’ve known each other since high school, but specifically kept in touch on August 20th since it’s both of our birthdays! So now I share my birthday with my best friend and it couldn’t be more fun! Since 2017 we have had two kids. Oliver in 2019, the Ollie represented in my photo business name, and Violet in 2022, the flower represented in my logo.

Stay with me here. *LUCKILY* the world flew into chaos in 2020 and I had to leave my cushy 9-5 to take care of Oliver because we had lost our child care. This is where it gets good. Not only did I get to spend more time with my son which I had been wishing for since my 12 weeks of maternity leave were up, but I got more time to spend on my creative endeavors! Eventually this led to the founding of my photography business!

I had been sporadically taking photos for friends and family ever since college, sometimes even for some kind of compensation, and I had been thinking about starting a photography business for years but never had the push. Well, weirdly, that push came from a global pandemic. I’m slowly adding to my equipment pile and definitely still learning, but I don’t think that ever stops for an artist. There’s always some new technology, new process, new technique we want to try.

I’m very excited for what is to come on my photography journey, and I’m so glad you’re here to experience with me! Now as for this blog, I’m still figuring out how I want this to go. With two littles I don’t know how frequently I’ll be on here, but hopefully frequently enough to keep you entertained. If there’s something you want to know about me, my business, photography in general, let me know! Maybe I’ll make a whole post about it, who knows?!

woman sits on white couch and looks off to left of frame in mostly white image at studiostudio in ann arbor, michigan

Catch you on the flip side!

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Hi I'm Emily! The Ann Arbor, Michigan based photographer behind Emmy & Ollie Photography, mama to two littles Oliver & Violet, and lifelong partner to my husband Ryan. I'm here to share about my life, my photo journey, beautiful moments, and tips to help you have the best photo session!

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I'm your Ann Arbor native, family lifestyle photographer ready to make your photo dreams come true! If you're wondering what I'm all about, how to book a session, or anything else really (I'm an open book) click the link below!

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I'm Emily.