Posts Tagged ‘wedding photographer’

Betys Finn photgraphed by Jeff Dachowski

Ann Arbor area photographer Betsy Finn keeps herself busy. She photographs, blogs, Facebooks, Twitters and continues to educate herself and others on photography.

I met with her recently in her Dexter, MI home-based studio. It is surrounded by a beautiful lake and plenty of trees. I could imagine all of the opportunities for outside shots. I found myself nodding as I walked to the front door. Yes, this is the kind of place where a photographer should live and work.

Betsy kindly shared some insight into planning the engagement photos. (For more information on finding the best photographer for your needs, read Dec. 08 blog post with DC based photographer Tony Richards.)

Betsy’s wedding packages all include engagement photos. The engagement photo shoot is a great chance for her to get to know the couple better and for everyone to feel comfortable together; this helps the wedding day photography to go more smoothly. She described it as a bit of a test – she can see how the couple interacts, what kinds of poses they enjoy, etc. This is also the perfect time to discuss any kinds of specific concerns (angles, fears, etc.)

I asked Betsy what kind of clothes she recommended couples wearing to the engagement photo shoot. She suggested a more casual look with solid colors (no stripes or Hawaiian shirts, please!) Solid colors never detract from people or expressions and create a more classic look. She suggested bringing more than one outfit, if you aren’t sure what will look best, and working closely with her to choose one or even change in the middle of the shoot. 

Engagement photos can take place in a studio, outside, or elsewhere, but Betsy suggests that the couple chooses a location that is important to them. One couple she worked with got engaged in the Ann Arbor Arboretum and they did their engagement photos there. If the couple chooses a more popular, outside location, she said that a certain amount of flexibility is necessary to deal with the pedestrian and car traffic. She related a story about shooting a couple at the Fleetwood Diner. She ended up climbing on the metal trash cans in order to be above the couple and find the right angle. Check out the engagement photo in the boat – the groom proposed to his bride in one of them!

She suggests adding anything that you think might help to make the pictures more personal and share a bit of your own story. One couple included their puppy in their photo shoot, but not until the end when they were all walking back to the car and Betsy noticed the puppy in the car. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and include anything – or anyone – who you think might help to show the camera your true self. 

Betsy's Photography - wedding

Betsy's Photography - engagement photoBetsy's Photography - detail

Betsy's Photography - engagement photo















A creative spirit, Betsy prefers the spontaneous moments that arise during a wedding. She keeps her eye open for laughter or unplanned kisses that share the couple’s love.  I love this picture of the shoes on the piano.

If you are a photographer, professional or aspiring, you may be interested in reading Betsy’s Learn with Betsy section. She has some great photography and business related advice here. I particularly enjoyed the post on simplifying your life to lead to inspiration.  

Unrelated to photography, Betsy has a cat that can open doors. I didn’t quite believe it until we went down to her studio and the closed door behind us opened to a cat standing on its hind legs. It was enough to make me want to pick up a camera.



Betsy is a certified photographer who has been photographing since she was a child. She remembered fondly a photograph of her at three with a camera in her hand. Betsy was named “Top 7 Photographer of 2008) by the Professional Photographers of Michigan, and runner-up for Detroit’s 2008 Photographer of the year (Detroit Professional Photographers Association), Betsy’s work has received local and national recognition. Betsy’s images were also featured in the 117th International Exhibition of Professional Photography; she will have additional pieces on display for the 118th International Exhibition as well.

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