Engagement Photoshoot in Downtown Detroit, MI

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Samantha Michalak


After finding my passion for unique lighting as a wedding photographer, I wanted to be able to carry the interesting, powerful imagery for my portrait clients. Family, maternity, and newborn portraits don't have to be boring. They can be full of power and emotion leaving you blown away.

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Hi, I'm Sammy


A documentary style engagement photoshoot – for the in-love.

julia and drew look in opposite directions during their engagement photoshoot
julia and drew look in opposite directions during their engagement photoshoot

Julia and Drew’s Romantic + Elegant Engagement Photoshoot

This engagement photoshoot was extra special to this engagement photographer. Julia happens to be my cousin, and it is honestly a huge honor to be able to photograph family. Julia and Drew have been together for a very long time and watching them grow into their relationship over the years has been a boundless privilege.

When I first started photography, Julia and Drew would model for me in all kinds of random photoshoots. They have been behind my lens so many times as I explored my wild ideas, so taking them on an adventure through downtown Detroit to fulfill Julia’s vision felt so natural.

It’s funny looking back at photos of Julia and I in our childhood and comparing them to now as adults. It is a really cool, full circle moment to be able to do this for my baby cousin. She is SO beautiful, seeing her get all dressed up and moving through our poses was heart warming.

julia and drew sit at the apparatus room bar during thei engagement photoshoot
julia and drew laugh during the flash portion of their shoot with michigan engagement photographer
drew presses a kiss to a laughing julia's neck by the elevator at the detroit foundation hotel

The Detroit Foundation Hotel + The Apparatus Room Bar Engagement Photoshoot

Julia shared a very specific vision with me during our consultation. She wanted the photos to be very elegant, very romantic. She was picturing candids from inside a bar in a documentary style.

I helped to guide them on outfit ideas that would look really sexy and fit the cocktail bar/elegance vibe. I recommended a silk slip dress for Julia and a suit for Drew and they SHOWED UP. Julia’s silky corset dress really solidified the entire look. The pair looked stunning wandering the Detroit sidewalks. ❤️‍🔥

There aren’t tons of places in Detroit where you can go and photograph inside as far as bars or other restaurants go. The Detroit Foundation Hotel was so friendly to us as people who wanted to photograph in their space. They were so amazing and accommodating. The Apparatus Room Bar inside the hotel was the perfect space to carry out Julia’s vision.

We called ahead to make sure they they were okay with us coming, to which they said “Absolutely!”. So, we went on a Saturday when the Apparatus Room would be opened during the day to get natural light photos and order some drinks from the bar for some candid shots in line with Julia’s vision.

julia looks back at her fiancee as they walk across the downtown detroit street during their engagement photoshoot
julia and drew hold hands in the middle of a downtown detroit street

Downtown Detroit Engagement Photos

The colors and the bar and all of the details meshed so perfectly together just for them. We OF COURSE had so much fun because I love them both dearly and because engagement photoshoots are always a fun time for couples to connect. They were able to act so naturally together because it was kind of like we were all just hanging out (except that I was snapping photos like the paparazzi).

You can really feel their love and joy. In the laughs and the smiles and those little looks at each other.

I love this engagement gallery so much. It was obviously so meaningful to me to capture and I just love how all of the details came together and turned into this elegant, romantic magic. 🥂

drew laughs while looking at julia during their detroit engagement photos
julia and drew sit at a wood table with their drinks during their engagement photoshoot
julia holds a glass of wine with a hand on drew's face in this filmy engagement photo
julia sits in a stool as drew leans in towards her during their engagement photoshoot
julia leans against drew during their engagement photoshoot

Michigan Engagement Photographer

Julia’s “cocktail bar downtown elegance” vision for her engagement photoshoot was a marvelous success. It really feels like them. Julia and Drew’s personality and love really shines through in their gallery.

Let’s uncover your vision and make it a reality. Bring your fiancee along for your adventurous (or cozy or minimalist or whatever floats your boat) engagement photoshoot to celebrate your love and prepare for your day. Explore some other engagement photoshoots and check out all my blogs for your photoshoot inspiration! Then, book your consultation and we will iron out all of those details.

julia and drew kiss as she holds her wine glass during their engagement photoshoot
drew rests his hand on julia's leg during their detroit engagement photos
julia and drew hold their drinks in these classy, elegant engagement portraits
julia and drew kiss during their engagement photoshoot
drew carries a laughing julia through the street in their downtown engagement photos

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