Recent Posts by John Ransom

milestone barn wedding john ransomBrooke and Burke were married on July 14th, with a ceremony and reception at the Milestone Barn in Bannister, Michigan.

These two met during ROTC at Central Michigan University and have seen each other through tours with the Army before getting engaged on December 22nd last year. What a great early Christmas present!

Molly and I arrived on a beautiful Michigan day at Milestone Barn a little earlier than we expected, but that ended up being perfect. We were able to walk around the grounds and spot a few places for excellent photography opportunities, and that also meant that we started out with a more relaxed pace—it’s always better to go into a wedding feeling like you’re not rushed.

Brooke and her girlfriends were already deep into makeup and hair prep when we arrived, and Burke was having a good time with his groomsmen. We were able to photograph the details—like Brooke’s necklace, which belonged to Burke’s grandmother—while a few early guests explored the barn ahead of the ceremony.

Once everyone was ready, we staged a first look between Brooke and her father, which was my favorite part of the whole day. The raw emotion in Brooke’s father’s expression when he saw her for the first time in her dress was breathtaking—and it carried through as he walked her down the aisle in the ceremony itself as well.

Burke also had a great moment with his father and grandfather celebrating three generations of Burke Cueny men. It was clear to everyone who saw them that family came first.

The view as the bride and groom said their vows to each other was awesome. Burke’s cousin, Michael, officiated the wedding, giving the whole thing an intimate feeling and a personal flair.

The barbecue reception immediately followed the ceremony, and the DJ had the guests dancing all night. It was exactly what a barn wedding should be—full of life, joy, and celebrations.

Thank you, Brooke & Burke, for asking us to be your wedding photographers. We were truly honored to share in your special day and have the opportunity to capture your wedding memories.

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Friday Night Lights: Divisional Playoffs

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On November 3rd, I arrived at Fenton High School excited for the grudge match of Fenton versus Flushing High School for the divisional playoffs.

Since Flushing High School is my alma mater--I graduated from there in 1984--this was a personal match for me. I have lived in Fenton for 20 years, and both of my children graduated from Fenton.  I know kids and parents on both sides of the game, so the emotional stakes were high. Add in the fact that this was the first divisional playoff appearance for Flushing, and you could feel the excitement in the air.

The game kept everyone on their toes. It started off in favor of the Flushing High School Raiders, who went up early, but the Fenton Tigers came back to tie the game in the second half. There were just 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter when Flushing sealed the game, scoring the game-winning touchdown. It was the first time Flushing beat Fenton since 1997, so it was a huge deal for the team.

Here is what the local news had to say about the victory:

In the postseason, the Raiders have grown into giant killers.

Flushing took down its second powerhouse program in two weeks, stunning Fenton 28-21 to capture the Division 2 district championship in what has swiftly become a memorable playoff run.

"This was a total team victory," Flushing coach Robert Oginsky said. "It was hard-fought, all four quarters."

I was able to capture the catch and the moment they reached over the goal line for the win--my two favorite images of the night. This is the reason I love sports photography: a single moment like that makes all the difference, and I’m able to capture that forever on film.

In addition to the game itself, I loved getting to see Fenton’s band at the halftime show. They played a medley of favorite pop songs that the crowd all loved. My son played in the marching band under Andy Perkins, the director, who is also a friend of mine, so it was great to see that the band is still just as amazing.

I also enjoyed getting to see some friends from high school that had come out for the game. A lot of them had kids on the football team. A few of my kids’ friends and other parents I knew from their high school years were there as well, adding a personal element to the photography I thoroughly enjoyed.

I love shooting high school sports. The kids pour their heart and soul into it--from the practices to the game. They play for the love of the game and for their school, and I am always thrilled to be able to capture those moments. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience to follow these kids’ careers through high school and beyond--both athletically and academically. They’ll remember these victories for a lifetime, and I’m so proud to play a small part in that.

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clarkston family session john ransom

I was so excited to meet up with the Perkaj family for a family photography session on October 7th at Independence Oaks Park in Clarkston, Michigan.

This family is particularly special to me because of the personal connection that we share. Megan is the stepdaughter of my wife’s best friend from high school (Diana). She and her husband, Alfred, were high school sweethearts and have been together ever since they were teenagers. Now, they have two kids: Johnny, who is 6 years old, and Frankie, who is 8.

Two years ago, I was able to do family photographs for the four of them, so I was absolutely flattered when they asked me if I would be willing to do it again. It’s always an honor when a family wants to come back, because it speaks to their trust in me as well as their satisfaction with the work I’ve done. I never take that for granted. But with Megan, I was particularly touched, because she told me outright, “You capture my family so well, I wouldn’t use anyone else.”

The day of the session was one of those beautiful autumn days in Michigan. The light was that perfect autumn gold as it filtered through the changing leaves. Lucky for us, an hour later, the skies opened up and it poured. We managed to sneak our session in between the raindrops.

These two boys are little hams in front of the camera, so I had a hard time narrowing down the photos for the ones I wanted to use for this blog. Johnny in particular is like a little GQ model; I don’t think I could take a bad photo of him if I tried.

The whole session was fun, and I always have a blast with this family, but one of my favorite images of the whole day was of Megan and Alfred. Although the kids were the center of the fun, I loved I was able to get time with just the two of them to be relaxed and in love and to show off their genuine connection.

Perkaj family, thank you for asking me to photograph the four of you again. I loved getting to see you all and spend the day with you!

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clarkston senior session john ransom

I met up with Avery on August 31st for a senior session in downtown Clarkston.

This was a special session for me, because I know Avery’s father, Thom. It meant a lot to me that my friend trusted me enough to ask me to photograph his daughter’s senior session. I take that trust very seriously.

Avery is a senior at Lakeland High School and is looking forward to graduation, though she still isn’t sure where she will go to college. She was a little shy when we started the session, but after I had shown her a couple photos from the back of my camera, she smiled and said, “Yes, I like those.”

Later in the session, after I showed Thom a photo from the camera, he said, “I’ve never seen my daughter more beautiful.”

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I was stunned—and completely flattered—by the sincere compliment to my work. Of course, I only did part of the work: Avery is simply a beautiful model.

This session was also the first time I had met Avery’s mother, Carrie, and I was so impressed with how much Thom and Carrie pitched in to help Avery be comfortable and have the best session possible. Carrie was such a good sport to help me out by becoming my portable light stand, holding the light and reflector where and when I asked her too. She also helped Avery out with her hair and threw out some posing ideas as we worked. I love it when the parents get involved in sessions like that!

We were able to get some great images around the downtown area, including one by a mural at the back of a new Clarkston restaurant, but one of my favorites was at the very end of the day. It was a spur of the moment kind of decision when we decide to go for the sunset image, and I love the way it turned out.

Thom & Carrie, thank you for trusting me to take Avery’s senior photos. You have an amazing daughter and a beautiful family, and I honestly enjoyed spending the day with you.

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