Mindy Leigh Photography – Grand Rapids & Holland Wedding & Portrait Photographer » Specializing in natural light wedding & portrait photography, serving West Michigan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Lakeshore, Holland, Hudsonville, Grand Haven, Rockford, Ada, Zeeland, Ludington, Traverse City, and everywhere in between. Available for travel throughout the Midwest, Country, & World.

Mindy Leigh Photography – Grand Rapids & Holland Wedding & Portrait Photographer bio picture
  • Hello, my name is Mindy, and thank you so much for visiting MindyLeigh.com! Right now I am unable to accommodate new clients, as I have dialed back my workload for personal reasons. However, I am maintaining this blog to show the work I do, as well as to have a place to share personal photos and thoughts.

    My focus is on lifestyle photography, mainly of babies, children, families, and maternity, and in all my work I strive to capture real moments and genuine emotions, with a style that is creative yet timeless. While I have photographed numerous engagements and weddings, please note that I have stepped away from this area of photography. I understand this is disappointing, as I continue to receive emails for engagement and wedding photography. I really wish I could say yes to everyone, but right now I need to say "yes" to my own family! Thank you for understanding!

First Day of School 2014

The First Day of School is here! Lucy and Henry are both in school full-time, which leaves me home with just Alice now. I am so proud of these two, they are such excellent students, and have huge hearts and huge imaginations. I hope this year is just awesome, I hope they are kind and are treated kindly, I hope they learn a ton and have fun. I hope they stay safe. Oh, I have so many hopes for them, but as they venture further out into the world every year, I understand that much of what happens to them is out of my hands. They have wonderful teachers who will love them… but I’ll always be thinking of them, and wondering if they are happy.

It’s so quiet in the house right now.

I did not tell Lucy to do this pose, but I hope she always follows this rule:

Hike at Pickerel Lake

Summer vacation is quickly coming to an end, which brings about mixed emotions. I’m sad the “carefree” (ha) days are over, and excited the big kids are going to be heading back to school! I’ve been looking back at how our time has been spent with quality vs quantity, with some regret for the wasted days… but looking back on some great memories, as well. I wish we would have filled more afternoons with hikes and picnics like this one. We often talked about going to Fred Meijer Nature Preserve again, because the last time we visited was almost exactly 10 years ago (September 4, 2004). Looking back at some of the photos I took during that hike with just the two of us, I see familiar trees and bridges, and the same plaid picnic blanket. Yesterday, we brought a second blanket, three kids, and a better camera. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time working on these photos, I just wanted to put them up, more of less just as they were. Not portraits, just snapshots of a family outing.

A few raindrops hit the windshield on our way there. There was a 70-something percent chance of rain. We beat the odds.
I lost count of how many little bugs and beaver-cut stumps we saw along our way around the lake. The kids had a great time making tiny discoveries.
Strollering over fairly smooth terrain, for now…
All that work for nothing. Sorry, Beav.
Erosion turned this into a bench built for giants.
I shook a “fresh” apple off the tree for them to sample.
Get that branch out of the way, please.
Lucy took a picture of Mom:
Ron wanted to kiss me, which Lucy saw, and then she said she wanted to take a picture of us. Maybe with another photographer in the family, I can be in more photos!
Oh, the turnstile gate!
Our beautiful little kids, and finally Alice is free from the confines of the stroller!
I hope to document our family’s life more than I have over the past few years. I just want to capture them being them. Yes, a few portraits will be taken too, but candid pictures like the ones in this post will ultimately mean more when they are grown up, which is happening too quickly already.

Summer 2014

This summer has been filled with a little too much “I’m booorrred.” and a little too much screen time. Not nearly enough splashing in waves or catching of fireflies. I am carrying some real guilt about this summer, like I don’t feel like we did enough. It just seems summer passed by so quickly, and I’m split between sadness that it’s almost over, and joy that school is about to resume and I’ll be able to get life “under control” once again. Ron worked a lot at the brewery, and soon he begins his 14th year as a high school teacher, and our second year as brewery owners. It’s a lot, and sometimes when given the opportunity, we chose to just sit and do nothing, go nowhere. Sometimes we put Alice in the playpen because she just won’t stop trying to open the fireplace doors. Sometimes we let the kids play Minecraft instead of taking them to a park or beach. If I could go back and do this summer over, I would probably do a few things differently. I would have made summertime fun more of a priority, and pushed through my fatigue or complacency. I will remember this for next year…

We live in an absolutely gorgeous part of the country with the most unique and wonderful geography, plenty of things to do right in our own community, or even just within an hour or two drive. What it all comes down to, I’ve determined (and maybe this is oversimplifying it), is how much time did they spend outside? For some reason, I have this in my head that it’s the benchmark of a successful summer. Fresh air, nature, no screens, no sitting around, just enjoying carefree days as kids. It sure felt like we were indoors quite a lot. I actually wish we could have gotten more out of this summer – maybe a couple more adventures can be fit in before it’s back to school time! Meanwhile, I decided to look back at some of my phone snapshots, from the first day of summer vacation to just a few days ago. I guess we didn’t do too badly. Between all the fun moments, however, we experienced our fair share of boredom and hanging out in pajamas all day (kids), and exhaustion and late nights watching Netflix (mom and dad). I need to give myself a break, there were even more fun times that weren’t captured by my phone.

My hope is for our kids to have many fond memories of summer vacation, to look back at boat rides and water skiing and tree climbing and sand-castle building and berry picking. I am sure those are the moments that stood out, in spite of the hours spent building digital worlds. I hope your summer was awesome, that you only watched The Lego Movie a half dozen times, that you got to do at least one new special thing. As I count down to the First Day of School, I can look back at summer with a smile – we made it!

 

Brittani & Jason | expecting

A little less than two years ago, I had the joy of photographing Brittani and Jason’s gorgeous, classic wedding in Grand Rapids. I loved working with them, and stayed friends with Brittani through Facebook. Over the past several months, I have witnessed just a tiny glimpse of their journey toward becoming parents, one that took an unexpected twist: it was a struggle. I read and commented, optimistic and hopeful for them as they pursued their options. Then, a few weeks ago, I received a message from Brittani with the exciting news that they were finally expecting! I was so thrilled to read that, and felt absolutely privileged and honored to have the opportunity to take these photos, some of which they recently used to announce their news to the social media world! And, to make their news twice as exciting, they are due sometime around the New Year with two precious babies! Twins! They have not found out yet whether the babies are girls or boys or one of each, but they are already so loved and celebrated! I am so very happy for Brittani and Jason, and wish them both the best as they prepare to have their lives turned upside-down in the best way. I wish Brittani and the babies a healthy, safe pregnancy, and Jason the wisdom to be the best supporter he can be over the coming months! Congratulations again to you and your families, enjoy this very special time in your lives!

We did this early maternity session for the purpose of their announcement, but look for more pictures of Brittani and Jason later this year (and I can’t wait to photograph those twins)!

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Ottawa Photographer, Black Lamb - These are beautiful maternity photos.

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