HELLO

LOVELY,

I am Yana, a European living in Michigan, crazy in love with the California coastline and zinfandels, ambient music and a good hearty pho. 

I am also a documentary photographer specializing in boutique weddings, adventure elopements and epic engagement sessions.

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There's something exhilarating about hiking the deadly summit of Angel's Landing in Zion and something subtly meditative about kayaking near Alaska's glaciers. Exploring the beauty of the outdoors gives me purpose. To sit on a top of the mountain in California's Joshua Tree, feeling the majestic power of nature and my own vulnerability is humbling and absolutely addicting at the same time. 

Before finding my niche in wedding photography, I studied extensively in the classical street photography style, which provides the foundation of my approach: capturing "the moment" and telling visual stories. I adore small intimate venues, quirky details and free spirited couples that are stoked to share their adventures together. I believe, that you two have the absolute right to celebrate your nuptials in a way that is your own and I will walk along with you to help you experience your dreamy vision of the day. 

With over two hundred weddings under my belt, I've shot all over the world - from the Austrian Alps, France, Czech Republic to Washington, D.C., California and Michigan. ​I believe in simplicity, so you will not find an overwhelming amount of images on this site. I periodically update my featured work, because I believe that a wedding photographer's vision and expression evolves while observing the quality of light, every delicate detail, fleeting touch and loving interaction at your wedding.

 
adventure wedding photographer michigan

THIS ISN'T YOUR CLASSIC, TRADITIONAL, STAGED WEDDING PHOTOSHOOT WITH OTHERS DICTATING YOUR DAY.

I capture authentic and raw moments for badass couples that dream up their unique wedding adventures and marry on their own terms.

Your day won't be filled with unnatural poses and forced smiles. I only have two tasks for you: to feel relaxed and free to frolic in front of the camera. My documentary style focuses on capturing you having the time of your life, rather than filling your day with mandatory photos. You two will be able to enjoy the present moment, deepen your connection and simply celebrate your wedding without unwanted distractions. 

I am sure you are inclined to share your day with a photographer you can connect with on a deeper level. Someone who gets you. For me as a documentary wedding and elopement photographer, the most important part of the shoot is to capture unposed candid moments of your interactions, the split second, when you forget someone is watching, the uninhibited laugh you share with your partner. This is what makes a photograph! 

pictured rocks upper peninsula michigan
adventure wedding photographer michigan
adventure wedding photographer michigan

FUN FACT

The camera in the photo above is crazy meaningful to me! It is called Flexaret and it was made in Czechoslovakia until the 70's! This one was given to me by my dad, along with another analog cameras - all functional. It symbolizes the deep friendship I share with my parents and it keeps me grounded in times I can’t physically see them - which is most of the year, living thousands of miles away from my family. 

The visual aesthetic of images from old film cameras influenced my style from the very beginning. I used to develop photos in a makeshift darkroom, because I loved the magical moments of excitement while waiting to see the image appear on the paper while immersed in miraculous emulsions. 

I regularly visit exhibits of street photographers that created black and white impressions of the environment they lived in all over the world.  I value them as charming snippets of pure life moments that will never repeat again.. 

ARE WE VIBING?

My STYLE is just what you imagined and you’re stoked to start planning an unforgettable wedding adventure focused on your connection and the things you share? FANTASTIC!

PHOTOGRAPHING

BOUTIQUE  WEDDINGS + ADVENTURE ELOPEMENTS

since 2012

ALEX + ARCHIE
katina + blake
JESSICA + BRIAN
KRISTINA + SASHA

Ann Arbor, Detroit, Michigan & Midwest boutique wedding photographer.
Traveling worldwide for adventurous weddings & intimate elopements.

WEDDINGS & ELOPEMENTS

WANDERING SINCE 2012

 2020  ©Yana Benjamin | Boutique Weddings + Adventure Elopements | All Rights Reserved