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 intimate weddings, adventure elopements and epic engagement sessions.

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

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

Being a wedding and elopement photographer has been a deeply rewarding, emotional and life-changing experience. I had a chance to work with the sweetest couples in breathtaking landscapes, in elegant art deco palaces, simple barns, industrial warehouses, in places quirky, unique and wild. Fusing my love for providing services of a boutique photography studio and my passion for the wild outdoors, I craft one-of-a-kind experiences that go beyond standard traditions and societal ideas of how a wedding should look. I want to empower you to follow your own unique path, be true to yourself and celebrate your love in a way that reflects you.

Your day won't be filled with unnatural poses and forced smiles - my documentary style focuses on capturing you having the time of your life, rather than filling your day with mandatory photos. You will be able to enjoy the present moment, deepen your connection and simply celebrate your wedding without unwanted distractions or judgements. 

I am sure you are inclined to share your day with a wedding 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! 

"THE MOMENT"

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 intimate boutique weddings and elopements, 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.

 

In the past decade, I have been working to create an inclusive brand that elevates diversity, cherishes unorthodox styles and values experiences over things. It is deeply satisfying to create meaningful, authentic, timeless imagery for couples I connect with on a personal level. Having the opportunity to be so closely involved in passionate expressions of love (whatever that might look like) creates unspeakable value and happiness in my life. 

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

FUN FACT

The camera in the photo on the left 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. As a classically trained street photographer, 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. 

amboy desert roy's photoshoot

Get in touch

or Fill out this form, so we can get you on your journey to an unforgettable experience.

 I can't wait to get to know you two!  I absolutely love reading initial

e-mails, because they tell me so much about you. I want to know your passions, your love story, and your dreams for your wedding. I do my very best to create a deep connection with you from the start, and taking the time to thoughtfully fill out this contact form really helps.


I will get in touch with you within 48 hours and we can then set a time for a free consultation. We will get to know each other over a coffee, drink or a simple phone call. To give my best to everyone, I limit the number of weddings I book every year and I am  so excited to witness the love stories this year will bring!

I can't wait to hear from you!

-

 

PHOTOGRAPHING

BOUTIQUE  WEDDINGS + ADVENTURE ELOPEMENTS

since 2012

michigan elopement photographer
ALEX + ARCHIE
JAYME + PETER
JESSICA + BRIAN
KRISTINA + SASHA

Serving Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Northern Michigan, Upper Peninsula

The Great Lakes region, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan

& Midwest, California, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii
Traveling worldwide for intimate weddings & adventure elopements.

MICHIGAN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER SPECIALIZING IN ELOPEMENTS, SMALL WEDDINGS & MICRO WEDDINGS

WANDERING SINCE 2012

green wedding shoes preferred artist
wandering weddings preferred michigan photographer

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published on junebug weddings
the knot best of weddings 2021

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