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  • Welcome--feel free to grab your coffee and hang out for a while.  You'll get to see what goes on in front of my camera and behind the scenes here at Simply Life Photography.

    From newborns and children, to seniors and families, I love capturing the lives of my clients in the greater Grand Rapids area, West Michigan lakeshore areas and all across Michigan. Please contact me at the studio via phone (616.212.8800) or through the contact link above with any questions you may have or to schedule your session. Thanks for visiting!  ~ Mary Beth

Want some serious eye candy? Check out our Blog Carousel!

What is more fun than looking at a beautiful photograph from one photographer?  Checking out the amazing work of a bunch of super talented pro photographers, that’s what!  A group of photographers I am so blessed to know have created a monthly Blog Carousel.  Each month has a theme and we each link to the next photographer in the “circle”.  In each post you can follow the link to the next post and so on until you’ve traveled all the way around the carousel.  Have fun, feel free to leave comments of what you think along the way and just relax & enjoy!

The theme for this month is…

mon·o·chrome [mon-uh-krohm] 

1.  a painting or drawing in different shades of a single color.
2.  the art or technique of producing such a painting or drawing.
3.  the state or condition of being painted, decorated, etc., in shades of a single color.
Of course I had an amazing idea for creating a new photograph for this post, but it turns out I was overly ambitious considering this last week was off-the-charts-crazy-busy and the weather was often wet & dreary or super-de-duper windy.  So, deciding to use a past image, one stood out in my head.  It was just a matter of digging through the DVD’s in the fire safe to find it considering this one is almost an antique - vintage 2006 to be exact.  True, it is not as technically perfect as I would expect today, however it still stands out.  Not only is it monochromatic because it is in black and white, but I also love the way the paleness of her hair and clothing combined with her creamy, fair skin creates a soft feel.  Besides, her eyes are just stunning and draw me in every single time I look at this image. 

You are in for a treat!  Next stop (officially as of 9am EST on Monday, May 2nd), the blog of central California photographer, Lisa Maksoudian.  Enjoy! :)

Marmalade - I LOVE IT! Technically it’s magical!

Leah Profancik - This is simply stunning!

Julie - Really beautiful – the soft, light tones, the direct gaze…lovely!

Lisa m - Wow! This is truly gorgeous, MaryBeth. Those eyes..those lips…

Brandy Anderson - Such a beautiful and airy image. Love it.

Austin family photographer teri mason - She is gorgeous! Love her creamy skin and the overall soft feel.

Melody Hood - This image is absolutely breathtaking!

Anna-Karin - Beautiful!
Perfect choice for a monochromatic image.

Lauri - This is so beautiful! Technically, I think it’s wonderful. But even from “just” an artistic standpoint, this is stunning.

Simone Hanckel - Her eyes are amazing in this!! I love her expression :)

Danna - there is something so ethereal about this image… it!

PamN - I’ll bet this image is loved even more now. It is beautiful and timeless!

Dena Robles - This is such a beautiful portrait Mary Beth. It is a wonderful depiction of childhood innocence merging into preteen independence.

Hop on the Blog Carousel – May 2011 – Toronto newborn and children photographer | Heather Rivlin Photography - [...] see how another very talented photographer sees the world in monochrome, please visit Simply Life Photography with MaryBeth Vreugdenhil, her work is stunning, and you’ll be glad you did! Tweet This [...]

Samara - What a great photo, I love the expression on her face, makes her seem older yet I can still see her childhood. Love it!

Heather Rivlin - I agree her eyes are captivating! She looks like a young Uma Thurman! Beautiful work, as always MaryBeth!

Jim Davis - Great photo! Love her eyes here.

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twice the fun! | Saugatuck children’s photographer

These twins really were twice the fun.  Now I know their mom is laughing at me – because nothing seemed to go right during the session.  Skinned knees, classic brother-sister stuff, chocolate on a stick (to sooth the skinned knee of course!) that we prayed wouldn’t get on clothes…  What mom doesn’t know though is that I almost love sessions like that more sometimes.  I love knowing that in those little moments – the moments that matter in life are always the little ones – I was blessed enough to capture memories like this.  (just a sneak peek for now… more to come later)

PamN - Adorable kids – love their outfits – and their smiles!

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Mike & Rachel | beautiful summer wedding in Grand Rapids

Last weekend, we had so much fun photographing Mike and Rachel’s wedding and was it ever a gorgeous day!  Thankfully, the scattered thunderstorms that were predicted never showed.  This is my last wedding for the foreseeable future and it was a fabulous one to end with… a sweet, beautiful bride with an impeccable sense of style… a groom that adored his bride and happily put up with two photographers all day long… gorgeous flowers and details… lovely locations and a fun wedding party.  So ~ Rachel & Mike ~ I hope you are having a fabulous time on your honeymoon and enjoy looking at this little sneak peek!

When we first arrive, we are often jumping into the middle of everyone getting ready and love to capture all the activity.  Meet Rachel… I knew immediately that her beautiful, natural smile was going to make my day very easy!

Mike and Rachel exchanged letters…

… and little gifts.  One of Mike’s gifts cracked me up – but it did smell good.  Well, we certainly know what Rachel thinks of her groom! :)

I always love photographing the rings and the rings in the flowers is a classic shot for one reason – it is simply beautiful.

Of course, when I have a bride that has shoes like these – I consider it a license to have a little fun…

The church in Byron Center had these beautiful stained glass windows in the old part of the building.  It would have been a crime not to include them I think.

Time for Rachel & Mike to see each other for the first time!  We had them meet in the sanctuary… love the anticipation in this one!

how cute are they?!

Next we headed off to a beautiful home (belonging to a friend of the bride & groom) for some outdoor photographs.  While I like the energy of the wedding day, having fun with the entire wedding party and all of the events, my favorite time is always when I have the bride and groom to myself.  I think I am inspired by people much more than locations or events and when I get the chance to just connect with them (or capture their connection) – whether it is a child, family or a bride & groom – it doesn’t really get any better than that!

Comment below if you have an opinion on who Rachel looks like here.  I saw this and I though Rachel could pull off being her twin!

While there, we found out they had a vintage car.  Did we want them to bring it out?  YES PLEASE!  (i.e. photographer jumping up and down inside – haha)

and I couldn’t resist a quickie bouquet shot!

The wedding party joined us and we had to have a little contest to see who could get the most “air”.  You may debate the winner in the comments!

Jump #1

Jump #2

the ladies…

and the men… (love the suspenders!)

We went back to the church for family photographs and time for everyone to freshen up before the ceremony.  This table of photographs was set up in the foyer… all the wedding photographs from Mike & Rachel’s  parents and grandparents.  It was so special to see.  I wonder if one of the photographs from today will be on a similar table 25-35 years from now?

Time to get hitched! :)

beautiful church!

I told Rachel before the ceremony that if she wanted a good “first kiss” photograph… they’d better kiss like they mean it.  Not that I really needed to tell these two though!

LOVE it when the bride and groom make it down the isle, through the doors and just can’t wait to hug each other in celebration. 

It was almost time for the wedding party to hop on the bus to the reception – but you know that this child photographer will take any moment she can to photograph a little cutie – especially when that cutie is the ring bearer.

bubble practice!

to the bus!

This is Rachel’s little sister – what a stunning smile!

We took the bus through downtown Grand Rapids on the way to the reception and made two super-quick stops for a few photos…

I think I’m lucky to have the rest of the wedding photos as proof that I just didn’t hire these two for a model shoot…

off to a rustic little alley…  this was the very first image I pulled to edit – LOVE it.

Um – yeh – mmhmmm.  What else can I say?

Had to play with the shoes again… I knew I wanted a shot like this in the alley and almost forgot.  Good thing I asked Rachel to remind me earlier!

Coming up next… the party!

Rachel Wierenga - Mary Beth, I love, love, love them! You did an amazing job, so happy:)


Tricia - Mary – I don’t believe I have ever commented on your blog before even though I have looked at it many times. If this is to be your last wedding then I must tell you that I LOVE looking at your wedding pictures – you INSPIRE me!!! Oh and by the way, I think the picture of the bride looks like Courtney Love-Hewitt. :) BEAUTIFUL!!!

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just the way I like them | Grand Rapids newborn photographer

Only seven days old and as beautiful as could possibly be… sweet little rolls, all sleepy & bendy.  Have I mentioned how much I adore newborns?  What?  I have before? haha

OK, if you didn’t audibly say “awwww” after the one above – I think there just may be something wrong with you!

This one is actually from the beginning of the session where she was awake for a few.

Little S gets LOTS of love at home… her two big sisters were so sweet with her!

PamN - Yep, I said “awwww”! I love the ones of the baby, but the images with her sisters are absolutely priceless. How fun would it be to have that last one as a wall portrait displayed right in that same spot where it was taken? Custom art that saya “family”!

Jane Eaton Hamilton - Yup, got me. I totally said “aww.” How sweet is that baby? Beautiful captures, esp the one with the gorgeous plump cheeks.

tammy stewart - Awesome!!!!!

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