flygirl, Photography
About This Project

I’ve only known Andrew for a few years. He was going through a hard divorce, complete with young daughters in the mix. He hired me to come shoot the Seaway Run in Muskegon. We became friends after that.


Fast forward life to now, Andrew is working in education, got his first daughter graduated and off to college on a soccer scholarship in the fall, qualified for the Boston Marathon and has helped me manage the growth of Team Stellafly, all kinds of things. Most importantly, though, he found Andie, and love, and more kids to embrace too.


I was honored to be asked to photograph their private, intimate ceremony in Rockford, Michigan. I don’t typically shoot weddings, but when my friends ask me to do it, I always do. I had no idea what to expect, which is always the most fun when you are asked to shoot something like this. You just go with the flow of things.


Andrew has two daughters. Andie has a daughter and two sons (and one girlfriend.) Not soon after I got there, the kids let their guard down with me. I clearly send some sort of signal claiming that it’s not my first rodeo with kids their age. What I observed was seven different personalities, none the same, all complimentary of one another forming a crazy and perfect union. The kids that were sincerely happy to see each parent happy.


Take away: I saw how their blended family mirrored my own in so many ways — a reminder of how blessings can and do come from divorce. Life is a journey, for sure and I was lucky to witness such a beautiful and real day.  I wish the Buikema’s all my very best.