Holland MI Garnett Family at Lake Michigan Sunset with O'Chung Photography

Colorful Fall Sunset Shoot with the Garnetts in Holland, MI

 

If there’s one thing I love, it’s sunsets. Especially in the fall.

There’s just something about glorious colors painted across the sunset sky, with fall leaves gently framing the edges, that brought me to tears as a child trying to capture the scene for others to enjoy. And as a photographer today, it was a fun evening indeed doing just that with a family we love!

With the Garnett Family’s two dogs in tow, we knew we’d need some help. My husband came armed with off-camera lighting, and some friends came along to keep the dogs’ attentions and just join in the fun. The team effort was worth it – we got incredible shots! Then again, it wasn’t hard. Check out the subjects! 🙂

We started at Prospect Park, one of my favorite places to shoot in the fall. The golden light streams perfectly through the trees, and there were plenty of dogs around to distract our subjects!

Garnett Family Funny Labradoodles Distracted Dogs in Fall Leaves at Prospect Park with O'Chung Photography

Come on, dogs, look at the camera! 😉

Eagle Crest Family at Golden Hour in Prospect Park with O'Chung Photography and Labradoodle Dogs in Colorful Fall Leaves: O'Chung Family Teen Photographer

That’s better… good thing we had such great helpers!

Prospect Park Garnett Family in Colorful Leaves at Golden Hour with Labradoodles: O'Chung Family Teen Photography in Holland MI

Prospect Park Family in Colorful Leaves with Labradoodles: O'Chung Family Teen Photography in Holland MI

Eagle Crest Academy Family at Prospect Park Collage Bench with Labradoodles Leaves and Red Frame with O'Chung Photography

Prospect Park Fall Family Shot on Bench with Labradoodles with O'Chung Family Photography in Holland MI

After some time playing in the leaves at Prospect Park, we hurried over to Lake Michigan to catch the sunset next to Big Red. We stopped along the path to catch this one…

O'Chung Family Photography's Big Red Sandy Sunset Sesion on Lake Michigan in the Fall with Labradoodles

…and then made it to the beach at just the right moment! What a beautiful family!
Breathtaking WOW Church Family Reflected Sunset over Lake Michigan with Labradoodles by O'Chung Family Photography

The dogs wanted their turn too… 😉
O'Chung Photography Lake Michigan Sunset with Holland MI Family's Labradoodles

…and so did the people!
Lake Michigan fall Sunset with Eagle Crest Family Garnetts and O'Chung Family Teen Photography

As the sunset disappeared over the horizon, and the light faded away, we took a few more fun pictures by the lighthouse in front of the gorgeous fall foliage before heading together to a fun, friend-filled dinner.
Big Red Folliage in the fall sunset with Eagle Crest Family Garnetts and Labradoodle Dogs

 

 

One of my favorite things about photographing new friends and old is helping people to find creative ways to share their favorite photos. I worry when people “simply” buy a CD of their images after their shoot. I know people have the best intentions, but all too often the time a family takes to organize, plan, and take fun pictures at their shoot simply never gets to be enjoyed when life gets busy, the CD gets lost, and/or images never end up printed. I’m more than happy to provide the CD for families as a backup, but my goal is to do the hard work for them and help get their precious memories up on their walls in creative ways to be seen and remembered, as the family deserves. In this case, the Garnett Family decided to display their sunset artwork as a gorgeous canvas on their wall where they can see it and smile every day, along with smaller professional artwork in holiday frames around their house to enjoy. Even their dogs have a great view of the family from their cages! 😉

We were honored to help create the perfect Christmas message for them along with their gorgeous pictures to share with family and friends in a card over the holidays, as well. So fun!

O'Chung Christmas Cards 2016 Fall Prospect Park Lake Michigan Sunset 1

O'Chung Christmas Cards 2016 Fall Prospect Park Lake Michigan Sunset 2

Thanks again, Garnetts, for the chance to help capture part of your family – fluffy members included! And many thanks to all the fabulous behind-the-scene helpers (Morgan, Eric, Sang Mark) who made the day a success. I just hope everyone had as much fun as I did! 😉

 

 

Love what you see? Don’t miss out, just give me a shout! O'Chung Photography Contact Me Buttonand we’ll put together the perfect customized session for your family to remember over a lifetime.
I can’t wait to hear from you!

 

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Senior Family O'Chung Photography Holland MI

Theo’s Holland High 2017 Senior + Family Session

Sometimes, the idea of a Senior Shoot just seems a little intimidating. It’s all you, just one person, trying to be yourself with a (granted, friendly and fun-loving) photographer you’ve met once or twice before in your pre-session consultations. Why not have your family jump in and have a few laughs along the way!? Especially when you’re shooting at the park you grew up playing in with your brothers, and even more so when your last family pictures were 12 years before?! In this case we combined two sessions into one, but other seniors have opted to do an add-on and take just a few shots with their family or a few friends.

Theo and his family were a joy to photograph. They were fun, easy-going, and so photogenic! The light was perfect, too… a storm had rolled in right that afternoon, in typical Michigan fashion, but the light broke through just before their shoot.

Here are a few favorites from this sweet, welcoming, adventurous, Star Wars-loving family!

Senior Family O'Chung Photography Holland MI Fun

Senior Family O'Chung Photography Holland MI Sitting BW

Senior Family O'Chung Photography Holland MI Grad and Parents

O'Chung Senior Teen Family Photographer Holland High School Brothers Composite

Senior Family O'Chung Photography Holland MI

O'Chung Senior Teen Family Photography Mama and Sons Holland Public Schools

Senior Family O'Chung Photography Holland MI Sis

Aren’t “little sisters” great!? 😉

And then we focused on Theo. And he rocked his session!

Holland High School O'Chung Male Senior and Teen Sitting

Holland High School O'Chung Male Senior and Teen Brick

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Holland High School O'Chung Senior and Teen Photography Silhouette golden light collage

“In my experience, there is no such thing as luck.” “Do or do not – there is no try.” “Now, be brave and don’t look back. Don’t look back.” – Star Wars

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O'Chung Photography OChung Keychain Name

O’Chung Photography – or, What’s With The Name?

 

A lot of people have been asking where the “O’Chung” in O’Chung Photography comes from, so I thought I’d fill you all in on the story! 🙂

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It all began… well, in a lot of different places. Which is kind of the story of my life. About 4 years ago I was in Michigan visiting family and friends in-between stints teaching missionary kids with Wycliffe in East Africa. I took a trip up to Holland, MI to say goodbye to some good friends before heading back overseas, but when I got there, they had a surprise.

“So… there’s a guy coming tonight that wants to meet you… wouldn’t it be funny if you hit it off?” my friend asked.

“Seriously?” I was incredulous. “No way! I’m leaving in a week to teach in Tanzania for TWO YEARS!” I couldn’t imagine how anything good could come of this.

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Christmas in East Africa with K-2 Students

Turns out we did hit it off – and spent almost two hours that night talking about our faith. But despite this, I was leaving for Africa and really didn’t know if or when I’d be coming back to the States long term. It wouldn’t be fair to try to start something under the circumstances. And besides, I just knew this amazing guy would be snatched up long before I got back to American soil! So despite his kind, friendly and prayerful Facebook messages over the next 18 months, I pretty much ignored him and tried to focus on where I was.

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Unbeknownst to me, the guy had his own interesting back story. Several years before our ill-timed introduction, Sang Mark and his brother had moved to Seattle from Seoul, S. Korea to do a study-abroad program. When his family immigrated to Canada a few years later, the people translating their birth certificates got a bit confused and left it to the family to choose a single spelling for their last name. Although Jung would have been a lot more phonemically accurate, they settled on the popular spelling of Chung. (Who goes for accuracy when there’s a new culture to assimilate into, anyway?!)

Vancouver SM Family
SM and I visiting his family in Vancouver

Fast-forward a few years and over a couple continents. After those 18 months of learning more Swahili, teaching amazing kids and actively ignoring that friendly Korean who I’d met just before leaving, I realized that I’d most likely be heading back to the States permanently. I figured it might be time to see if said guy was still around and interested in talking. Turns out he was, so we started emailing, and texting… and then dating, once I was back on the continent. And eventually this sweet, patient guy with the last name of Chung asked me to marry him, and I said yes!

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Soon after announcing our engagement, my mom made a cool 3D-printed key chain for me as a gift with my soon-to-be last name. When she showed it to her middle school students, they all looked at her and asked, “Wait! Her new last name will be O’Chung?”

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Upon hearing the story, my now-husband SM and I laughed, and realized it was the perfect blend of his Korean heritage and my own European but almost non-existent Irishness. The name just seemed to stick, and when it came time to create a name for my photography business a few months into our marriage, the answer was obvious.

O'Chung Photography Logo Slogan

The name O’Chung encompassed not just a fun blend of last name mix-ups, but also the mixture of cultural experiences, international friends and multicultural lives that our marriage (and my passion for photography!) brought together. And just as we had both been welcomed in by families and individuals around the world when we were far from home, I hope that people from all languages and backgrounds will feel equally comfortable and completely themselves both in our home and in front of my camera.

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So no matter where you’re from or how YOU spell your last name, we look forward to welcoming you into our lives as both clients and soon-to-be friends! Until then,  I’ll be here editing pictures and practicing my pitiful Korean skills in a cool Irish accent… 😉

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The friends who brought us together 2 years before!

The Linda’s Adventurous Maternity Memories in Holland, MI

 

There are stages in everyone’s life that are both precious and that we wish could hurry up. Don’t we always look longingly at the next stage of life and almost miss the here and now? Graduating from HS, for instance. Meeting the man you’ll marry. I haven’t yet had my own children, but I can only imagine the joy, anticipation, and nervous impatience all wrapped into those 9 months of carrying your tiny child before they’re born!

I was honored to capture these maternity moments for the Linda couple/family. They may be excited to finally see the face of their new son, but they weren’t too busy looking forward to have fun together in the now! They were truly a blast to work with and we laughed the whole way through. I know sometimes photography sessions aren’t the most comfortable for guys, but this soon to be daddy took it all in stride and even seemed to enjoy the process. I loved his positive go with the flow attitude, the mama’s willingness to step out on rocks, and how neither hesitated to get their feet wet, clothes sandy, and be a little bit silly for some fun shots. By the end of the evening, we not only had way too many amazing pictures to choose from, but my assistant husband and I knew we had found some amazing new friends!

I’m eagerly awaiting the call to go meet their tiny son at the hospital to capture the next miraculous stage of their lives. But in the meantime, I’ll share some of our favorite shots from their super-fun maternity shoot.

It’s always fun when the very first shot of the day becomes one of your favorites. Isn’t she gorgeous?

Baby Bump on Brick Holland MI OChung Maternity

 

Then we brought dad into the picture.
boy oh boy airport collage 1 O'Chung Photography Maternity

 

…and the little one… 🙂
ultrasound collage O'Chung Maternity

 

I knew we were in for a great time when one of the first things the couple agreed to do was go walking with the Wright Brothers at the airport. They’re going to be such fun parents! 🙂
Walking with the Wright Brothers Holland Airport

 

When I learned that this daddy was just as much of a car guy as my husband, I knew we had to get some pictures with his car! One of these just might adorn their little guy’s room someday 🙂
audi collage ottawa county fairgrounds ochung maternity

 

Then we were off to the beach for some sand between our toes and more laughter along the way. This couple’s adventurous spirit made my job easy!

beach collage O'Chung Maternity Holland State Park
beach collage O'Chung Maternity Holland State Park

 

…and because dad didn’t want to be left out…
Linda - Low Res - (27)

 

From there we headed to the pier and took some gorgeous model shots of this soon-to-be mama!
pier collage model mama O'Chung Photography

 

…and we finished up with a couple of last-light shots of them just being themselves… both serious and fun! 🙂
O'Chung maternity photography Holland State Park

 

funny O'Chung maternity photography Holland State Park

 

Did I mention how great they’re going to be as parents?!

 

 

Just as with any shoot, we created some custom artwork for this couple. Except that with so many great shots, we couldn’t just choose one! So here they are 🙂

O'Chung Inspirational Artwork - once in a while life gives us a fairytale

O'Chung Inspirational Artwork - Even before we held you in our arms

 

 

Thanks again, Lindas, for allowing me to join you for this super-fun memory-filled evening, and for welcoming my husband and I as new friends. We can’t wait to meet your new little one in just a few days! 🙂

 

 

 

Love what you see?
Contact Crystal Chung O'Chung Photographywith questions or to book your own hand-crafted session!
Have a little one on the way? Ask about our First Year Package! 🙂

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VanRaalte Farm Family Lifestyle Photography Holland MI

Robertson Family Mother’s Day Session at Holland State Park and VanRaalte Farms

 

One of the things I love most about doing photography sessions is making new friends along the way. I think every family is unique, and that their sessions should reflect that. After all, shouldn’t their pictures speak to who they are in this season of life, reflect their personality, and make them smile every time they come in the door? Not using the cookie-cutter-posed-session approach means I get to connect with every family and/or individual before their session to find out what makes them uniquely… them! And as I listen to what they’re most excited about in this time of life, I end up getting to know their stories and some fun details along the way. And it’s even more fun when I can’t wait to connect with them again. That’s how it was with this family.

I got to meet the Robertson Family when Mr. R called requesting a gift session for his wife. (Mother’s Day present for the win!) Soon after scheduling, he handed me off to his wife to discuss details and so that I could learn more about their family. I loved hearing the story of how they met (Go GVSU Laker Navy!), got to hear about Little Miss O’s amazing dancing abilities, and was excited to help them capture some great memories as a family of three before a new little one arrived later this year!

I knew we had to include some reading time and swinging, as these were some of little O’s favorite things!

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Of course, when spending time on the beach, getting sand in your fingers and toes is always a must.

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Sand Collage

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…and so is getting some high-flyin’ fun on the boardwalk!

After getting sandy, the super-patient Robertson family threaded their way through Holland, MI’s construction and stand-still traffic to VanRaalte Farms. I can’t believe I didn’t know this place existed before now! We loved the old barn, the sunshine, and all that GRASS!

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grass collage

As soon as I heard that Little Miss O LOVES to dance to the “Hot Dog” song from Mickey Mouse Club, I knew we had to play it! I grabbed my phone on the way to the farm (thanks Google!) and found the YouTube version. O was a little confused at first with no screen to be seen, but she (and her parents!) soon got into the swing! Check out these great moves! 🙂

robertson hotdog dance time collage

Since mom and dad met at GVSU and rowed together all through college, we knew we had to get some GVSU love into the memory books. On went the T-shirts!

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And their custom inspirational 8×10 or 16×20 artwork design, which comes complementary with every O’Chung Photography Session.

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We were getting tired and ready to call it a day, but when they realized they’d forgotten Puppy in the car, we made sure to grab a few last shots with him before they went on their way!

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Thanks, fabulous Robertson Family, for giving me the honor of capturing your family of 3 in action! I can’t wait to meet the 4th member of your family when he/she arrives! 🙂

 

 

 

Love what you see? Contact Crystal Chung O'Chung Photographyand we’ll bring a customized session of your own family to life!

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Anticipating the Celebration – 4th of July with the Tillard Family at Holland’s Kollen Park

Some nights are made for staying up late. December 31 and July 4, near polar opposites on the calendar, are two of those nights. One marks new beginnings, a new year, and looking forward towards the future. The other, a celebration of those who have gone before us, fighting for freedoms we often take for granted.

My husband and I were lucky enough to spend time with good friends over the long 4th of July weekend, including our dear friends the Tillards. I’m so thankful for the ways that this girl put up with me through three loonnnnnggg years of college, and for the way her husband has become best friends with mine! I’m also so glad that after nearly 10 years away from Holland, we could pick right back up where we left off when I returned to this lovely place!

But their kids. Oh my, can I say cute? I officially brought my camera to the firework show Monday night to, well, capture the fireworks. But really, I just wanted to capture these adorable faces!

firework faces holland kollen park kid photography

Because sometimes, the anticipation of what’s to come is just too.stinking.much to hold inside. Can you believe this little mouse?

And then there was his brother… taking selfies with dad and jumping for joy of the coming fireworks in his own way.

firework faces holland mi family photographyThe lights continued to dim… the crowd grew restless… and watches all over the field lit up as parents checked the time. And then, with a boom, the brilliant night-flowers filled center stage.

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Happy (belated) 4th of July!!

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J’s Quinceañera Reception in Holland’s Baker Lofts and Kollen Park

 

“A daughter is a miracle that never ceases to be miraculous… full of beauty and forever beautiful… loving and caring and truly amazing.” – Deanna Beisser

 

It was J’s special day, and the backdrop for the quinceañera (or quince, for short) reception was nothing short of perfect. (If you missed part one of J’s quince blog, click here to check it out!)

quinceañera quince decorations baker lofts sweet 15

quince decorations baker lofts collage 2

The damas and chambelanes came in, followed by the princess of the day!

damas and chambelanes entrance quinceanera quince sweet 15 baker lofts holland

quince entrance west michigan photographer baker lofts

quinceanera party baker lofts west michigan

Then they all settled down at the head table… and grabbed their phones. These are teens, after all!

quinceanera quince party cell phones head tableNext came the traditional choreographed quince party dance – they did a gorgeous job, and had a blast while doing it!

quince dancing at Holland MI's Baker Lofts

Quince dance damas and chambelanes West Michigan

Some speeches recognizing the important people in J’s life…

Jade's Quince - Low-Res (113)

quince baker lofts speeches west michigan photography

Jade's Quince - Low-Res (123)

…and then the piñata – a staple at any Hispanic birthday, including, of course, a sweet 15 quince. 🙂

quince pinata west michigan baker

quince piñata sweet 15 birthday

Watch out!

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Every quince party needs some cake… and a cell phone close by… 😉

quince cake cupcakes phone baker lofts west michigan

And kids with candy ready to rock the dance floor!

quince piñata dancing kids

quince kids dancing baker lofts dance floor photography

To finish off the formal reception, there was one last dance with her daddy, her abuelo, and all those uncles. 🙂

tios uncles father papa abuelo grandpa dancing quince

 

Happy Happy Sweet 15 quince, J! Thanks for allowing me to capture your night!!