Amanda Armitage Photography » Amanda, of amanda armitage photography is a portrait photographer specializing in lifestyle photography of newborns, children and families. Her unique and fun approach to photographing families and children and has been featured in a variety on "The Freep", "Clickin Moms", and "Hummingbird Press" as well as numerous print publications in Grosse Pointe & Metro Detroit.

I had the extreme honor of being one of 4 photographers to participate in not one, but two Headshot Clinics for Changing the Face of Beauty  (CTFOB) this year. When a friend from my daughter’s preschool asked me if I would be interested, of course I had to say yes! Changing the Face of Beauty is a nonprofit corporation that is committed to equal representation of people with disabilities in advertising and media worldwide. I had the pleasure of meeting some beautiful and amazing kids at the Detroit Headshot Clinics and the images that I took will go into a database for CTFOB to use when approaching businesses and corporations about equal representation. Every single one of the amazing children that I met through CTFOB were so completely full of endless and unrequited love and joy. They filled my heart and made me so happy.

Amanda Armitage with Distinct Expressions serving Metro Detroit and Grosse Pointe creating fine art photography for newborns, infants, babies, children and families specializing in lifestyle photo sessions

Amanda Armitage with Distinct Expressions serving Metro Detroit and Grosse Pointe creating fine art photography for newborns, infants, babies, children and families specializing in lifestyle photo sessions

Amanda Armitage with Distinct Expressions serving Metro Detroit and Grosse Pointe creating fine art photography for newborns, infants, babies, children and families specializing in lifestyle photo sessions

Amanda Armitage with Distinct Expressions serving Metro Detroit and Grosse Pointe creating fine art photography for newborns, infants, babies, children and families specializing in lifestyle photo sessions

Amanda Armitage with Distinct Expressions serving Metro Detroit and Grosse Pointe creating fine art photography for newborns, infants, babies, children and families specializing in lifestyle photo sessions

Amanda Armitage with Distinct Expressions serving Metro Detroit and Grosse Pointe creating fine art photography for newborns, infants, babies, children and families specializing in lifestyle photo sessions

Amanda Armitage with Distinct Expressions serving Metro Detroit and Grosse Pointe creating fine art photography for newborns, infants, babies, children and families specializing in lifestyle photo sessions

Amanda Armitage with Distinct Expressions serving Metro Detroit and Grosse Pointe creating fine art photography for newborns, infants, babies, children and families specializing in lifestyle photo sessions

Amanda Armitage with Distinct Expressions serving Metro Detroit and Grosse Pointe creating fine art photography for newborns, infants, babies, children and families specializing in lifestyle photo sessions

Amanda Armitage with Distinct Expressions serving Metro Detroit and Grosse Pointe creating fine art photography for newborns, infants, babies, children and families specializing in lifestyle photo sessions

Amanda Armitage with Distinct Expressions serving Metro Detroit and Grosse Pointe creating fine art photography for newborns, infants, babies, children and families specializing in lifestyle photo sessions

Amanda Armitage with Distinct Expressions serving Metro Detroit and Grosse Pointe creating fine art photography for newborns, infants, babies, children and families specializing in lifestyle photo sessions

Amanda Armitage with Distinct Expressions serving Metro Detroit and Grosse Pointe creating fine art photography for newborns, infants, babies, children and families specializing in lifestyle photo sessions

Amanda Armitage with Distinct Expressions serving Metro Detroit and Grosse Pointe creating fine art photography for newborns, infants, babies, children and families specializing in lifestyle photo sessions

Amanda Armitage with Distinct Expressions serving Metro Detroit and Grosse Pointe creating fine art photography for newborns, infants, babies, children and families specializing in lifestyle photo sessions

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I’m really excited to be teaming up with an amazing Matilda Jane Trunk Keeper at the end of the month for some super fun and SUPER cute sessions! Come join us for a fun-filled adorable day with an exclusive styled mini photography session featuring the fall release of Matilda Jane Clothing’s new line: Once Upon a Time Styled by MJC trunk keeper Cressie and Amanda of Distinct Expressions Photography. Cressie will be premiering a new release and will have an assortment of styles and sizes ranging from 3 months to 14. You may also bring previously purchased Once Upon A Time pieces. Following your styling appointment, Amanda will be ready to begin your photo session. Photo sessions are available from 10-1 Time slots will be assigned when booking. $100 payment in full is required to hold your spot. Sessions Include • 15 minute sessions • 3 digital images • print release & online gallery • limited hair styling will be available • a $50 credit with Cressie on your fall MJ order• place a $100 MJ order with Cressie & enter to win a 1/2 off MJ item, a girls hair accessory, a $10 MJ giftcard or a fall or holiday session with Amanda! • place a $175 MJ order & be eligible to purchase an adorable exclusive backpackfor $25 – perfect for back to school!• no additional charge for sisters

Cressie will be donating her commission to a memorial for her daughter. Please consider supporting her!

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This may have been my most favorite family session to date. Anne is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who teaches busy mamas how to reclaim their bodies, exude confidence and prioritize their health. Woah. When I first read that blurb about what Anne does I was definitely interested in reading more! She offers 1-1 health coaching, group programs, seminars, cooking classes and corporate consultation. She doesn’t teach a specific diet, rather focuses on the foods that are right for you, fully living your life and experiencing pleasure in all areas of health. Anne just launched a program called “Real Healthy Mom.” It’s a six week program, with three in-person meetings, three overarching topics (Food, Movement and Self Care), and a sisterhood of fabulous women supporting each other throughout. I signed up. What mom doesn’t want to exude confidence and prioritize their health?!

So Anne called me last month to do some headshots for her and to do a lifestyle photo session of her family which she wanted to use on her website and in her marketing materials. I was immediately excited. A TRUE lifestyle session! No holds barred. OK. So if you ask Anne, I’m sure she would admit to cleaning prior to my arrival, but the essence of what she wanted to capture was what her everyday family looks like, and that includes a little chaos and a little mess! I often tell clients that it’s always nice to have a beautiful image of everyone looking at the camera and smiling with beautiful expressions on their faces, however, if I were a betting woman, I would bet that my client’s favorite images are those more spontaneous ones where I’ve documented who they are as people, as a family and how they interact with one another. Those images are priceless because they are the ones that really peek into our lives and elicit memories years down the road.

Lifestyle photography isn’t for everyone, and I get that. If someone were to be coming into my home tomorrow to photograph my family I’m pretty sure I would be up all night scrubbing and cleaing in preparation. Sure I have hopes and dreams of one day having that perfect “Martha Stewart” home where everything is clean, organized and put away in it’s place but the reality is that my daughters dirty socks can be found under the couch, there are dirty dishes in the sink, a perpetual kids craft table which is virtually never completely tidied, dog foorprints by the side door, mail on the counter and at least a dozen or more toys strewn across the floor on any given day. …and that’s just my kitchen/family room. I didn’t even speak of the unmentionables which can be found upstairs! I digress. Back to the Mackays.

We had a lot of fun together reading books, playing games, snacking, cutting up vegetables and washing strawberried, changing clothes and diapers, carrying laundry and doing yoga… So. Much. Activity! We do SO many “mundane” things everyday with our children and we rarely stop to think about those relationships or memories that we are creating with them. Even those simple little things like helping mom wash strawberries in the sink and snacking on a few with her. Those can be powerful memories and sometimes so much more meaningful because they are everyday/routine. I remember helping my grandma wash and dry dishes and peel potatoes in her kitchen. Vividly. I don’t remember any specific conversation that I had with her while doing that, but I can still see her there in her apron, sitting on a stool to my left with the little light on above the sink. While I peeled the potatoes she would cut them and while she washed the dishes with soap, I would wash the soap off and dry them. We had a perfect system together. The Mackay family is most certainly going to have memories like this with their children and grandchildren and I am thrilled that I was able to capture some of it forever documenting it for them with these beautiful images. Take a look at their sneak peek and this gorgeous lifestyle session! If you think lifestyle photography might be something that you are interested in, please contact me!

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Yep. There they are. You know I had to photograph them! Adorable. Perfect. Little kid feet! Love them!!

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Wes escaped and wanted to climb on the family dog during his changing. Of course he did! #storyofamomslife

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Anne told me that she sweats when she has to change 10-month-old Wes’s diapers or get him dressed since he’s at that age of movement and beginning of independence. I’d be lying if these routine activities at this age didn’t stress me out from time to time. I’m still wrestling a 15-month-old! I feel your pain Anne. Millions of women do!

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

You know you’ve been there. Baby wants/needs to be held but you have chores to do around the house and therefore you turn on your “supermom” multitasking switch picking up baby and carrying him while balancing and juggling things like the laundry basket. I know I’ve done it a time or two! Though, admittedly, I might have just put the baby IN the laundry basket. 🙂

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

I love these sweet images of Mom teaching her son how to break an asparagus stalk.

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Washing and eating strawberries was also very fun. This photographer also thought that they tasted yummy!

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Doing yoga with two boys can be both very fun and very tricky. I’m not sure it was the relaxing workout mom wanted to have.

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

Grosse Pointe lifestyle family photo session documenting everyday life through photos with two boys doing yoga, playing, reading and preparing food

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I first met Kayla the weekend of my wedding 7.5 years ago. She came to a 4th of July party that my new husband and I were at. She didn’t stay long, but it wasn’t the last time we saw her. Since then we’ve gone to numerous Red Wings games, drank many a Guinness together and shared a love for sushi. In fact! She taught us how to make our own sushi! Kayla visited us in the hospital with our first born and has been our go-to baker for birthday and event cakes and cupcakes. Kayla is the sweetest girl who can drink beer with the best of them and can roll with the sarcasm when it is dished out. I was SO happy for her when she found Tobias (Tobi for short.) She spoke of him with such joy in her voice. Joy that you only have when you’ve fallen. In love that is. So, naturally, I was even more thrilled when their relationship got more serious and I think I may have squealed when she told me that he proposed. Like a giddy school girl. I couldn’t be more happy for Kayla to have found someone to spend the rest of her life with.

And. In nearly the same breath. She asked me to be her photographer. Most photographers would run for the hills if their best friend asked them to photograph their wedding. However, I knew that Kayla wasn’t going to be bridezilla and that this “business partnership” would not destroy our friendship. In fact, I was pretty stoked about it! I got to be able to do the two BEST things that I could be doing on the day of Kayla’s wedding: 1) spend the entire day with my dear friend, the bride and 2) photograph the entire day as I saw it and as Kayla wanted it.  So, obviously, I accepted!

The wedding was the most beautiful and unique that I have ever attended or photographed. Not only did Kayla and Tobi get married in a brewery — coolest idea ever! but the brewery was in German-esque Frankenmuth AND we gambled in a mini casino which was set up at the reception. If you hadn’t guessed already, Tobi is German. He’s lived here for quite a few years now working and going to school, but his entire family lives in Germany. The perfect setting (aside from Germany itself) for the wedding was Frankenmuth. And. If you know Kayla, the brewery was the absolute perfect venue. After an exhaustive search, they found a pastor who spoke German and performed parts of the ceremony in both English and German – for Tobi’s parents who don’t speak much English. The ceremony was also skyped live for family and friends viewing from Germany.

Kayla’s love for good beer, all things princess and fairytale and Las Vegas as well as Tobi’s German roots were the perfect recipe for an epic wedding.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

Even princesses need primping!

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

A girl’s gotta have shoe options!

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

Working for her beer. 🙂

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

After the ceremony, Kayla and Tobi sawed a log. No. They didn’t take a nap at the reception. It’s an old German wedding custom. The tradition of cutting a log represents the first obstacle that the couple must overcome in their marriage. They must work together to “overcome the obstacle” by sawing through the log as a team. Using a large, long two-handled saw, the couple demonstrates their teamwork to all of their family and friends as well as their willingness and ability to master the difficulties that inevitably arise in a marriage. I personally was not familiar with this custom, but was, of course, really excited to be able to witness and document it!

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

From Brighton, MI an American and German couple marries in bar pub brewery in Frankenmuth, Metro Detroit.

Kayla, a huge Disney lover and princess – yes, every girl is a princess, especially on her wedding day! finally got her happily ever after and all of her friends and family couldn’t be more delighted for her.

glücklich und zufrieden = happily. ever. after.

 

If you liked this post, please leave a comment below telling me so! Thank you!

 

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  • January 20, 2015 - 2:12 pm

    Kath Tennant - Great job Amanda and Kayla looks so lovely. The setting is perfect for the both of them!!!!!!ReplyCancel

Many people have a time of year where they become reflective; on the past, on where they’ve been, on what they’ve accomplished and on what lies ahead in the future. For me, that day is today; Veterans Day.

Those who know me are already aware that I served our country in the United States Navy. As a college sophomore at Grand Valley State University, I wasn’t performing up to my full potential, so I enlisted in the Navy in 2002 and served five years active duty. In that time I learned how to do more things than I could’ve ever imagined or accomplished had I not been an enlisted sailor.

I was fortunate enough to land, what is arguably one of the best jobs in the military – a photographer and journalist. I went to school and trained to be a journalist tapping in to my high school days when I worked on the newspaper staff. When I left my training school in Fort Meade, Maryland I was stationed on the USS Iwo Jima LHd-7, an amphibious assault ship which, at 831 feet long, is the second largest ship in the Navy carrying over 2,000 Marines and 1,200 Sailors at capacity. It was on the IWO that I went on an eight month extended deployment in 2003. LHD-7 was the first ship to deploy Marines into Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. We didn’t get much liberty call on that deployment as we were at a state of war so it was a very trying time, but one that I learned and grew from.

I did have some very fun jobs and duty stations as a photographer and journalist in the Navy. I helped to produce and publish a weekly newspaper on board the ship. I’ve taken photos out of the side of the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter hovering over the Atlantic Ocean. I’ve served as the Atlantic Fleet Admiral’s personal photographer meeting many foreign dignitaries and ambassadors. I even helped to navigate my ship through the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea on the borders of Egypt. I also got to do a little bit of traveling. The Navy helped me see Italy, Spain, Malta, Crete, and Jebel Ali.

I learned a lot. I grew a lot, I accomplished a lot and I developed a great sense of pride, honor, courage and commitment. The military helped me to grow up and become an adult and a very passionate and dedicated photographer.

Not only am I so fortunate to have been able to serve our country and to learn and grow so much for my service but I’m very fortunate that my service taught me so many things especially photography. I have since taken what I learned in photography, expanded upon and developed my business which I am ever so thankful for. I’m also lucky to have met my wonderful husband while serving! (Can’t leave that part out! 😉  )

So today I am very reflective on where I’ve been and how far I have come, I not only think about my past, but about all those who served our country before me and put their lives on the line so that we could have safety peace and freedom here at home. Lastly, I think about and salute those that are currently serving.

I leave you with some of my favorite images from my Navy Days. 🙂

**disclaimer: MANY of the images below are not my photos, but the beautiful and talented work of the fine photographers that I served with onboard USS IWO JIMA. I do NOT claim to be the woman behind the lens nor am I trying to take credit for someone else’s work, just the admirer of a fine photo which help me to remember some of the great adventures I went on.**

Malta was such a fun port that we visited twice! Though the first time we didn’t get much liberty. They liked us in Malta. Brad Pitt was there at the time filming Troy. Sadly, I didn’t meet him, though some of my friends did.

The Suez Canal and Egypt’s northern borders.

Yep. That’s me right there   ** V V V V V ** standing at the top of that FLOATING scaffolding painting the side of the ship in Rota, Spain.

Rota was our last port call before coming home. There were lots of great things to see and do there but my favorite was visiting the Tio Pepe winery and vineyard.

While doing an ammunition offload post deployment in New Jersey, it snowed. A LOT! And we had to shovel it all off of the ship before we could get underway to go back home. It made me feel like I was home in Michigan. 😉

Fleet Week in NYC is one of the most outrageously fun things that a sailor can be a part of. We were lucky to have the chance to go in 2004. It was a kind of “Thank You!” to us for having spent 8 months away from home overseas during the beginning of the war. Fox News set up shop on the flight deck of the ship and the NYC USO troop came aboard. Geraldo also came aboard to do a spot for his show. He was a little nutso – true to the hype. It was a privilege to be able to be a part of these live news events broadcast from our ship!

I’m still friends with those awesome USO girls to this day! 🙂

Below, you see that I got the “smack laid down on me” as I was getting shown how to take someone down in hand to hand defense. Yep. I trained to be on our Ship Self Defense Force (SSDF) team. And, it was being on that team that led me to meeting my hubby! 🙂

There he is. Dear old hubby. He hates this photo so I’m sure to hear about it, but I like it. We only have a handful of photos of us together in uniform and this was during Fleet Week in Ft. Lauderdale when he turned 21 (yah, he’s a baby. I not only outranked him, but I’m older than him as well!) and when I was promoted to 3rd Class Petty Officer. And yes. That is a boa constrictor. I think I paid a man something ridiculous like $10 just to hold the snake. Hubby was impressed I think especially since he loathes snakes. 😉

Best chief I ever served under is standing with me right below. He’s still serving! He’s from Detroit and the most avid Red Wings fanatic you will ever meet. He would move mountains to get the Red Wings games aired on our ship’s CCTV (onboard tv). The Red Wings lost in the playoffs the year we were on deployment. Chief was in a pissy mood for at least a week after that, but was ready to route for them again come fall.

There I am! All decorated. This was taken a few months before I got out of active duty in 2007.  Thank you to all veterans past and present for all of your hard work, courage, commitment and dedication in protecting our nation’s freedom. Happy Veterans Day!!

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