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Grand Rapids, Michigan Wedding and Portrait photographer. Specializing in capturing LGBT love in Michigan and beyond. Obsessed with everything non traditional and diverse!

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I knew Genna and Nolan in high school. If you would have asked me who was “most likely to get married” it would be them. If you would have asked me who was “most likely to become a Grand Rapids engagement photographer” I would have hoped it’d be me! Well I guess we both won because these two are finally tying the knot and I get to capture it! We picked an absolute perfect day for doing photos, and it was so fun catching up.

The Session

Genna and Nolan weren’t too sure where they wanted to do their photos. Understandable since there are so many amazing places! I asked them if they’d be willing to come up to Grand Rapids from Kalamazoo. They were totally down and we picked Provin Trails! This park is massive and full of amazing spots for photos. Plus it’s dog friendly, a plus for their sweet pup! When we first got there we walked into the park a bit before getting some photos with them and their furry family member. Once we got some good photos with Oliver he hung out in the car for a  little bit. Don’t worry, the air was on and he was jamming to his favorite music!

We walked a bit more and really got to go to the best places in the park. I was so happy they trusted me to be creative and pick some good spots. It’s been a fun season of life for me to see people I know getting married. In fact, most of my weddings for next year are friends! It makes my job super fun and easy because I already know so much about them! I think knowing your photographer can really help you open up and be more comfortable!

I’m so excited to get to work with these two in January! They will be my first wedding for next year and I’m pumped! And if you need a Grand Rapids engagement photographer hit me up! Booking season is right around the corner!

 

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Nicole and Andrew had the most gorgeous intimate wedding early this June! They needed a sunset elopement photographer and while I never thought I be so lucky, I got chosen to capture their big day! With only about 15 people in attendance, they wanted this evening to be simple and all about joining their family together. Hearing all about their plans got me so excited for this challenge! I’m so happy with how it turned out!

Their Story

After meeting online the two instantly had a connection. Nicole says that they didn’t sleep for the first few weeks. After their first date it was love at first sight and they haven’t left each other since. Andrew’s son is a huge part of their love story and Nicole is so happy to help raise him. During the ceremony there was a special gift for him, but you’ll have to read about that below! Even before meeting them I could tell how much they cared for each other.

The Wedding

This was my first time at Apple Blossom Chapel and Gardens in Fennville, Michigan. It’s a quaint little place nestled in amongst the trees and is perfect for weddings of all sizes. This elopement was held in the tiny chapel on the property. I never considered myself a sunset elopement photographer especially because before this year I didn’t had a ton of night time portrait experience. So I’m glad that I had the experience to make it the best it could be! Anyway, during their short and sweet ceremony Nicole surprised their son with an engraved watch. Seeing her take the time to make it special for him as well was a testament to her sweet nature. I don’t think there was a dry eye!

After the ceremony we snapped some family photos and then proceeded around the property to experiment and play with my lighting to get some portraits. I absolutely loved having so much time to spend with just the two of them. Normally I’m feeling restrained by a timeline so this was a real treat! I think it really turned out well!

I’m so happy that now I can say that I’m a sunset elopement photographer! These two were so gracious and sweet throughout the whole process. They are definitely stuck with me as their lifelong photographer now! Congrats again you two! I can’t wait to see you grow as a new family!

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  1. Nicole Aernie

    July 9th, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    You’re amazing Liv!! Thank you for making every second special.. we couldn’t have been blessed with a better photographer! <3

  2. olyszyk

    July 9th, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    It was the best day!! I’m so glad we connected! ❤️

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I knew from the first email that Erica send me that we were going to be a great fit. After looking through some other Michigan wedding photographers Erica was really drawn to my work, and I think it might have been the quickest someone has hired me! She told me of their vision of a simple backyard wedding in Nathan’s parent’s backyard! I was absolutely ecstatic since I LOVE intimate weddings, especially when the location has meaning. Getting to know the two of them throughout the planning process was so fun and the day of their wedding was a blast!

Their Story

Erica and Nathan met through mutual friends at a party! After feeling a bit of a spark started talking on the phone and chatting online. It took about a month for Nathan to ask her out on a date, but she says she had never been so excited for a date before. Clearly that spark never fizzled out and the rest is history! Their relationship spanned over 7 years but both of them say it was worth the wait and perfect timing for their relationship.

The Wedding

I loved the backyard where they got married had a beautiful line of pine trees, a rustic fence looking out on a farm, and a gorgeous deck! Basically a dream for Michigan wedding photographers. It was so fun using the space for photos. Nathan commented that the photos we took made him see it in such a new light. The morning ceremony took place under a gorgeous arbor, and the grass was even mowed in the shape of a heart. A sweet touch from his parent’s who did a great job making it feel cozy.

They had a short and sweet ceremony that celebrated their love for each other and God. We then went to The Laundry in Fenton, Michigan for a brunch reception! The casual day was perfect for Erica and Nathan, who wanted to keep the focus on family. They even had a small cake made for their grandparents, whose wedding anniversary is the same day!

It was a joy seeing these two say “I do”! I’m so glad that out of all of the Michigan wedding photographers they chose me to capture it! I know these two will have a lifetime of happiness!

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This gorgeous Cog Hill Country Club Wedding in the Chicago Area was the perfect way to jump into my main wedding photography season! Davis and Matt told me about their vision for an elegant travel themed wedding and I was so excited to see their vision come to life! These two met on a dating site after Matt read Davis’ bio saying “Talk to me about pizza and traveling.” Flash forward to January 7th, 2016 where Matt met Davis for a slice of pizza in Lakeview. One slice of pizza turned into two beers and four hours of wonderful conversation.

Their Love Story

When I asked about their proposal they said “Our first international trip together was to Iceland in 2017! On the first day, we hopped in our car and drove to Vik, Iceland.  The main attractions were the black sand beaches (look them up!) and we were so excited to be on the trip we had been planning for months! We were walking around the beach taking pictures, looking at the beautiful black rock formations, listening to the waves, and just enjoying the moment. Davis saw a big rock down the beach, pointed to it, and said, ‘Let’s go climb that!’ After scrambling to the top, she started taking photos. She was turning from side-to-side with her back to Matt. And when she finally turned around, he was down on one knee!!”

She said yes.

Their Wedding Day

When I arrived where Davis was getting ready I could just feel the love surrounding her. The sweet first looks with her parents and bridesmaids brought tears to everyone’s eyes, including mine! The day was filled with so many stories of their love and connection, hearing their vows really captured exactly how excited they were to be married! After a delicious dinner the whole wedding tore it up on the dance floor! Their DJ, a family friend, kept everyone moving and grooving until it was time for their international flag send off! Perfect as they were jetting off for their European Honeymoon!

I’m so thankful for the chance to be a part of this gorgeous Cog Hill Country Club Wedding! It was so perfect and captured the essence of Davis and Matt! Congrats you two!

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One of the best things about having friends who are also photographers is getting to do fun little projects! This shoot was basically me just tagging along with Sydney Marie Photography while she worked with my other friend Chloee for a shoot. It was so refreshing not having to create images for anyone but myself and it’s something I definitely want to make time for more this year. I played around with some editing and focus that I don’t normally do and I’ll be honest I LOVE it! Y’all might see some more grainy black and whites this year. Anyway, here are some of my favorites!

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Winnie and Eric are adventurers through and through! They met at MSU and wanted to go back to the place that held so many memories for their engagement photos. When Winnie told me how much time they spent hanging out on parking garages I knew we were going to get along (it was my favorite high school activity in Kalamazoo). During our time together we walked a big chunk of Michigan State campus, might have only slightly trespassed, and got some awesome shots on their bikes. Biking is another huge part of their love, I mean they spent months biking out to California and back. I’m so happy I was able to capture them in their element and will have these photos as they enter this exciting chapter of their lives together.

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  1. Patty

    May 24th, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    These are so beautiful. It’s like a blast from the past for them!

  2. olyszyk

    May 24th, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    I was so happy to have a place that meant so much for them to work with!

  3. Amanda

    May 30th, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Fun! I love the bike riding!!

  4. olyszyk

    May 30th, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    They are pros! I would never be able to bike in that much hustle and bustle haha

  5. Heather Neilson

    May 30th, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    These are stunning and there’s so much variety here! Especially love the ones on the bikes!

  6. olyszyk

    May 30th, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    It gave us a ton to work with! Such a fun location!

  7. Michelle Collis

    May 30th, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    What a fun loving couple! Great captures! My beloved Grandmother’s name was Winnie..so this brought a smile to my face today! <3

  8. olyszyk

    May 30th, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    I love that name! So glad you were able to smile about it 😊

  9. Mary McLean

    May 30th, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    I love these images and that you captured their love – and their love of cycling! What a fun session!

  10. olyszyk

    May 30th, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    It was such a fun time! They rocked it!

  11. seraphine

    May 30th, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    These are beautiful you captured such a great variety. Beautiful session.

  12. olyszyk

    May 30th, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks for the sweet words!

  13. Linda Mann

    May 30th, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    I love that they went back! That’s so sweet and the bikes made this so playful!

  14. olyszyk

    May 30th, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    I love when couples use a meaningful location!

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Jade and Kevin wanted a mix of modern and elegant for their spring engagement photos! These two are tying the knot in October and this session got me so excited to work with them. Initially worried about not being comfortable in front of the camera, they warmed right up and were a dream to photograph. It’s always the people who are worried that seem to do the best! The GRAM provided a neutral and modern backdrop that they really wanted, it’s one of my favorite places to photograph in Downtown Grand Rapids. For the second half of the session we went to Riverside park, a gorgeous a huge park that offers a ton of variety for photos. I’m so happy with these and cannot wait to work with Jade and Kevin later this year!

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Emily and Ang’s epic love story was 10 years in the making. When these two reached out and told me about themselves I immediately wanted to work with them, and quickly became friends with the pair! Their simple church ceremony held at St John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven, Michigan was filled with a beautiful sermon about the meaning of love and marriage. With a few qitty jokes peppered in, the program included so many little details that celebrated Emily and Ang’s love. After the ceremony the wedding headed to the Century Club Ballroom in Muskegon, Michigan. Despite the impending ice storm everyone kept warm in the book and fantasy themed space. Emily spent a good chunk of time crafting the paper flower centerpieces with friends at a bar and the attention to detail was perfect.

When asked about how they met Emily writes “We met online through a text-based role-playing game in 2006. (We tended to write as brothers. Yeah, that’s kind of weird now) Ang is from Australia and I’m from Michigan, so time zones were a mess but we both love hockey & books & so regularly chatted for a few years over AOL instant messenger (RIP). In 2008, Ang did the Australian thing and took a big trip around North America. I invited her to stay with me in Lansing, Michigan for a week. She came, we went to a Red Wings playoff game, and she’s been coming back every year ever since. (Probably because of the hockey!) We became best friends and had planned to spend our lives together even though we thought our relationship was platonic at first. Spoiler: it wasn’t”.

With Emily living in Michigan during their relationship and Ang living in Brisbane Australia the pair looks forward to finally getting to be part of each other’s every day lives in a practical way – to be able to give hugs or make dinner or bring each other coffee. Also being able to have each others’ back without worrying that there’s a 21 hour plane trip in between us if something goes wrong. And being able to share a house and make a home! It’s clear already that the two of them are just smitten in their new home in Australia and we all look forward to seeing how much they blossom on this new journey!

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  1. Sydney

    June 6th, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    What a gorgeous love story! You captured their wedding day perfectly, from the ceremony in Grand Haven to the reception in Muskegon! Just gorgeous Liv!

  2. Andrea

    June 6th, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    It is amazing these days how people can meet online, countries apart, and come together. So interesting!

  3. Rachael

    June 6th, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    These are such beautiful images!!! You did a lovely job!

  4. Shawndelle

    June 6th, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    These are great images

  5. Michelle

    June 6th, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Wonderful work! Such a love filled day and you did a great job! 🙂

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Emily and Ang have quite the epic love story, and while I won’t give it all away (that’s for their wedding blog post) the emotions and connection these two have is electric. After 10 years of growth, thousands of miles apart, and lots of love, these two are tying the knot! This session was quite unique because this session was photographed 4 days before their wedding! With Ang flying in from Australia it made the schedule a bit tight, but that just means I get to spend a whole week with them. So be on the lookout for their wedding photos coming super soon! In the meantime, enjoy this sweet engagement session at PJ Hoffmaster State Park, and how cute is their sweet pup?! LGBTQ Same Sex Engagement Session Grand Rapids Michigan Photographer LGBTQ Same Sex Engagement Session Grand Rapids Michigan Photographer LGBTQ Same Sex Engagement Session Grand Rapids Michigan Photographer LGBTQ Same Sex Engagement Session Grand Rapids Michigan Photographer LGBTQ Same Sex Engagement Session Grand Rapids Michigan Photographer LGBTQ Same Sex Engagement Session Grand Rapids Michigan Photographer LGBTQ Same Sex Engagement Session Grand Rapids Michigan Photographer LGBTQ Same Sex Engagement Session Grand Rapids Michigan Photographer LGBTQ Same Sex Engagement Session Grand Rapids Michigan Photographer LGBTQ Same Sex Engagement Session Grand Rapids Michigan Photographer LGBTQ Same Sex Engagement Session Grand Rapids Michigan Photographer LGBTQ Same Sex Engagement Session Grand Rapids Michigan Photographer LGBTQ Same Sex Engagement Session Grand Rapids Michigan Photographer LGBTQ Same Sex Engagement Session Grand Rapids Michigan Photographer LGBTQ Same Sex Engagement Session Grand Rapids Michigan Photographer

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Tracey and Nathan headed back to the beginning, where their relationship started. Their wedding venue, the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, MI, was only steps away from where they went on their first date. Now a lot has changed since then, they’ve fallen in love, are now expecting their first child, and are coming back this time, to seal the deal. Tracey and Nathan, along with their closest friends and family celebrated in the hotels conservatory space. A beautiful glass structure that allowed us all to feel like we were outside, but not having to bundle up in the February chill.

The day started with Tracey reading the notes her new spouse wrote on the bottom of her shoes. It was such a sweet detail and got Tracey even more excited to walk down the aisle. Nathan and his two best men were getting ready across the hotel and it was fun getting some photographs of him looking at the window where she was putting her finishing touches on. The sweet ceremony included hand written vows that brought everyone to tears. Their excitement radiated and it was such a joy filled and hopeful time. After snagging the couple and their attendants for photos they celebrated into the night and enjoyed the company of those who have helped them get to where they are now. I’m so honored to have participated in the day and look forward to seeing their family and love grow! Congrats to the new Mr. and Mrs. Angona!

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  1. Nicola

    March 20th, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    You did such an lovely job documenting Tracey and Nathan’s wedding, Liv! Their photos are beautiful <3 I love their smiles in the photo of them entering the reception!

  2. olyszyk

    March 20th, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    Thank you so much! It was so so so fun and I’m glad I was able to capture all of the incredibly honest emotions throughout the day ❤️

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Liv Lyszyk Photography

"Creating images that celebrate a strong marriage, not just a beautiful day."