About Michael & Dawn
The Short Version:
Hello! We are Michael & Dawn Mitchell, a husband and wife wedding photography team and we love photographing weddings, who wouldn’t; there’s love, laughter, and a party at the end of it all, what’s not to love about that?!
Michael and I spend a lot of time getting to know our couples before the wedding so we can get your true expressions captured as the day’s events unfold and your story is told. We both will be with you every step of the way, from the girls getting their hair and makeup done to the guys putting on their tuxes through the ceremony, and ending with the last call at the reception (that is usually when the “fun” pictures tend to happen anyway). Besides, who doesn’t love a good ol’ Piano Man serenade to end the evening?
When we shoot weddings, it’s important for us to be very engaging with our bridal parties and their guests. It’s our nature to be that way anyway, but it makes everyone more at ease whenever the cameras are around and by the end of the night, they’re asking us to take special pictures of family and friendships that we may not have known about otherwise. Everyone seems to enjoy this; as we often get complimented throughout the day.
When we are not photographing, Michael coaches ice hockey, mostly high school now but has coached college, AAA, and travel teams of all ages. He is a gadget junkie who loves anything that uses electricity and he loves technology (collecting far too many than we have room for) especially his iPod which contains mostly podcasts of more technology, photography, and science programs. Friends, my husband is stuck in the 80s.. really, “Earth below us, drifting, falling….”. Music like Men at Work, John Mellencamp, Prince and of course his beloved Monkees and thanks to me, he even knows who Van Halen and Stevie Ray Vaughn are (Yes ladies, he is all mine!). He has moved into this century and is a big fan of Megan Trainor’s “All About The Bass.” I think it’s the video to be honest, he is always thinking about which set to build next in the studio with our former brides.
When I am not photographing weddings, I love going to and photographing NHRA drag racing, what girl doesn’t, right? I also love to cook, mainly to use all of my cooking gadgets (I might, mind you, have too many of those gadgets). I used to love to sew, make crafts and scrapbook, but I find I have less and less time for that these days, so instead I just add those things to my Pinterest boards (which I may have too many of those too). My iPod is full of all genres in stark contrast to my hubby’s; I have Ozzy, JLO, Big and Rich, White Snake, and somehow, I also have some Monkees…
As opposite as our music collections are, our love of doing anything together makes us extremely happy. Turns out, we love “doing” weddings together. Just a couple of photographers having fun photographing fun weddings, TOGETHER!
The Long Version:
Hello, we’re Michael & Dawn Mitchell, a husband and wife wedding photography team. We love photographing weddings, who wouldn’t; there’s love, laughter, emotions, crying and a party at the end of it all, what is not to love about a wedding?!
We didn’t always photograph weddings, we started out as hockey photographers, yes ice hockey…a fast moving, exciting and a cold sport! I–Michael that is–would drag Dawn to the cold ice arena for the high school games I coached and, to keep her from getting too bored there, I had her photograph the games and that lead us to weddings. Um ya, there is a logical connection between hockey and weddings: One of my graduated players was shipping out with the Marines and it was best for him and his girlfriend to get married before he left, so Dawn and I got a call from his mother one night while we’re at Logan’s Steak House (we just love that place, probably because we can throw peanut shells on the ground) and I could tell she was frantic by the sound in her voice. She asked if we could photograph her son’s wedding, that she loved our hockey pictures and knew we would do a great job. I told her that we had never photographed a wedding before and she quickly added that she could not find another photographer that they were all booked up and she was a little desperate. I put my hand over the phone and told Dawn and she said; “well, I guess so, why not?” So I told the mother that we would do it and she was elated. Then I asked when the wedding was, to which she replied: “in six days!” I quickly replied; “This coming Saturday?!” she said “yes.” “Um, OK we will be there bright and early to help you set up and cover the day.” And that is how it all began. We just kind of got pulled into it. And we loved it, every minute of it! We must have done a good job at it as we kept getting referrals from it, so many that after a while we decided to photograph weddings professionally.
I have been a photographer since I was ten and got my first camera and have been self taught most of my life. When I got to high school I took my first official photography class along with a dark room developing class, and I was more hooked. When I got to college I took more photography classes even though my major was business. After graduating and getting a job outside of photography, I never stopped photographing. Most of my work was in slide film, so everything required a projector to view. I now have started scanning my old slides into digital format so I can go back and edit some of them, and also better archive them. I must say there are a lot of slides!
Dawn started photographing after college and after we started dating. (Did I mention we met at the University of Notre Dame’s ice rink? Yes we did, when you meet with us ask us how that happened!) She caught the scrapbooking/cropping fad and was taking a lot of pictures and making some very intricate albums. I, being the critic, did not like the quality of the images from the point and click that she was using so I purchased our first digital camera for her. From then on she took more and more, and better and better pictures. So, by the time I started making her take pictures at the high school hockey games I was coaching, she was pretty good at using her digital camera.
Many of our fellow photographers refuse to do weddings, but we love them, we love interacting with the bridal party and engaging with all the guest. The nice thing about having a husband and wife wedding team is that Dawn can go with the girls and I can go with the guys. (Hmm, for some reason Dawn never lets me go with the girls!) Between the two of us we start capturing the “moments of the day” from the very start. Actually it starts long before that; Dawn and I like to get to know our brides and grooms, and yes, you are affectionately “ours.” We want to hear your story of how you met and fell in love, we want to know your thoughts for the wedding, and especially your desires for your wedding photos. We always include an engagement session, whether you need one or not, because we want you to have some quality time in front of our cameras and in front of (and with) us. We want to break the ice and get to know each other so that you are comfortable with us and we know how you react to us photographing you. We do this because during the wedding we want you to think of us as not the wedding photographers, but rather as just “Michael and Dawn with a camera.” We try to become part of the wedding party because the interactions become much more real and genuine, and that makes for perfect pictures.
We really do get a lot of compliments from the guests about how fun, engaged and interactive we were with them. Again, it is a reception what is not fun about that?! Dawn and I are generally the first ones to hit the dance floor, with cameras in hand, to start the dancing off and entice the other guests to “come on in the waters fine.” Then as the guests start feel that it is safe to join in we peel off and start photographing them now that we have become “one of them” on the dance floor.
We always make it a point to take what we call “table portraits” of your guest. We divide and conquer where Dawn takes one half of the room and I the other and we take individual shots of all the couples, or singles at the tables. We always make it a point to have fun with them and tease them about something, especially the “singles” (more about them later), again so they become at ease and their true and natural smiles come out.
It was good fortune that Dawn and I met at the Notre Dame ice rink and that we are big ND fans otherwise we might really be at odds. You see, Dawn graduated from Purdue and I from Indiana, so she is a Boilermaker and I am Hoosier; that makes us rivals and a “House Divided,” but we put that rivalry aside and, to keep the peace, jointly root for Notre Dame except when they are playing our alma maters, well most of the time anyway.
Back to those “singles” at the tables; throughout the reception we’ve been known to play matchmaker and match up the singles together, that’s how we develop new wedding business; wink, wink.