Shonda Michelson Photography


YAYY!! You’re booked!! Thank you so much for choosing me as your photographer for this important chapter in your story! I am so excited to get to know you better and preserve these moments in beautiful photos for you! We’re going to have the best time together!

I am so excited to be your wedding photographer! I know this is a big day for you, and I want to make sure it’s perfect. That’s why I’ve put together this welcome guide to help you get started.

Let’s get started…

what to expect


In the months leading up to your wedding, I’ll be here to help you every step of the way.
Here’s what to expect:
  • Initial Consultation. The initial consultation is to discuss your wedding vision and get to know each other better.
  • Engagement Session. The next step to think about is your engagement session. We’ll pick a date, time, and a location to capture some beautiful photos of you and your partner. This is also a great opportunity for us to hang out and to “practice” before the big day and get to know how I work!
  • Timeline Planning. I’ll help you create a timeline for your wedding day so that we can make sure to capture all of the important moments and have a plan for your group portraits, so you won’t have to worry about your photos at all on the day of.
  • Pre-wedding Communication. We’ll communicate to go over the details of your wedding day and make sure we’re on the same page. If you have any exciting things come up (like saying YES to the dress, booking a vendor, etc.) be sure to let me know! I love hearing about these things!
  • Paying the Remaining Balance. Your remaining balance due is due 30 days before your wedding date. I will send a reminder about 4 weeks prior. Remember, you can make payments in any amount at any time as along as the balance is paid in full 30 days before your date.

Say hey!

You are welcome to email me anytime with questions, exciting news, updates, or just to say “hey!”.

I try to respond to all messages within 48 hours. 🙂

What to Expect on Your Wedding Day

On your wedding day, I’ll be there to capture all of the special moments in a non-obtrusive way, so you can relax and just enjoy yourselves!

I’ll capture candid moments, as well as some posed portraits with you and your guests.

Before I leave, I’ll check in with you to see if you have any last-minute requests or need anything else.

Frequently asked questions

It’s up to you whether you want to see each other before your ceremony, but if you do, I will help plan the perfect location and guide you both through it. A first look has many benefits! See the section below.

My advice is to go with it and embrace it- your wedding day is still special and worthy of celebrating even if Mother Nature throws a curveball! No matter what time of year you’re getting married here in Northern Michigan, plan for unexpected weather. Rain doesn’t bother me or affect my ability to produce beautiful photos. In fact, when it’s overcast and moody the lighting is amazing and very flattering! In the worst case scenario I will find places indoors or under shelter to do photos. And clear umbrellas are always an option, too!

My arrival time depends on your photography timeline, which I will start crafting with you after you’ve filled out my pre-wedding questionnaire.

You actually won’t have to worry about this at all. My style is candid and natural, and I’m great at using lighting and angles that flatter. I’m not one for stiff, awkward posed photos, and instead offer easy and fun prompts and directions. If you are someone who typically hates the way they look and is very critical of your body, my advice is to make sure you have your dress/attire professionally fitted, choose items and styling that flatters you, and try to just relax and trust that I’m going to do the best job I can. If this is something you highly struggle with, know that it isn’t that uncommon!

what exactly is a

first look?

A first look is a pre-ceremony meeting between the two of you, where you see each other for the first time on your wedding day. It’s a beautiful and intimate moment, and it’s a great way to relax and connect before the big ceremony.

A first look can help to reduce pre-wedding jitters, gives you and your partner more time to take photos together, and can create a more relaxed and intimate atmosphere for your ceremony. Many couples also decide to read personalized vows, exchange gifts, or do their group family photos after the first look to get them out of the way and free up time after the ceremony for hugs & mingling.

If you’re considering having a first look, I can help you plan the perfect first look, and can capture the moment in a way that you’ll cherish forever.

Wedding day tips

  • Leave room to relax. It’s important not to cram events together on your wedding day. It’s normal for things to run behind and things to not go exactly as planned. Leaving yourself some room between events will give you space to not feel rushed or stressed on your day.
  • Clear up the clutter when getting ready. Your photos will turn out so much better if you can clear the space you’re getting ready in before I arrive. I love natural light, so don’t be surprised if I turn off the lights for part or all of these photos. Trust me, it will be worth it!
  • Lay out the sentimental items you’d like photos of. Because I am a documentary-style photographer, I don’t focus so much on staged photos of your dress, invitations, shoes, etc. But if there is anything important you would like me to photograph, have it ready for me and let me know. 
  • Relax and enjoy yourself. Your wedding day should be a fun and memorable experience. Don’t stress out about the little things. Just relax and be in the moment!
what to expect


Now that the big day is over, you get to look forward to a lifetime of love & adventure.
Here’s what to expect from me:
  • Sneak Peek. I will deliver a small selection of edited photos for you to enjoy while you wait for the rest.
  • Delivery. You will receive the link to your online gallery which has all of your photos within 6 to 8 weeks after your wedding date.
  • Wedding Album. If you ordered an album I will create the first design and then you’ll be able to proof it and request up to 3 revisions at no cost.
  • Gallery Expiration. Your gallery will remain online for one year and then will expire, so be sure to download all of your photos and order any prints or other products before then.


I can’t wait to celebrate your love and capture your wedding day memories. Thank you for choosing me to be your wedding photographer!

with love, Shonda