Friday, August 31, 2012

Fall Activities for Everyone | Jackson, MI Family Photographer

This fall there are tons of local events going on that are great and don't cost too much money. I've made it easy on everyone and complied a list of just a few of those, feel free to add an event you know about in the comments! So get out there and enjoy the gorgeous weather while it lasts, winter is just around the corner.

Zombie Cult Classic Films
Tonight, Creep Theater and The Michigan Theatre present two cult classic zombie films AND a special screening of the short "zomedy" - 'Living Deadhead,' shot entirely in Jackson. The doors open at 6pm - Show starts at 7pm. Admission: $5.00

Cascade Falls End of Summer Fireworks
Saturday, September 1st Cascade Falls will be doing their End of Summer Fireworks Show with live entertainment by Wheatfield Soul, offering a variety of music from artists ranging from the Beatles to U2 and Kid Rock to Adele. 7:00 p.m. show. Admission is $6.00 per person; 10 & under free when accompanied by an adult. (Rain Date: Sunday, Sept. 2nd)

Michigan Renaissance Festival
Until September 30th the Michigan Renaissance Festival will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10a-7p. I go every year (usually I dress up in a full wenches dress!) and have an absolute blast! They've got amazing food and various handmade crafts. People come from all over the country to partake in the festival and dress up in some amazingly elaborate costumes. I was lucky enough to get a photo of the Queen from last year after the jousting match. Check out the detail in her dress!!
$20.95 adults
$11.95 kids (5-12)
$18.95 seniors 65+ and students w/college ID

Website - Facebook
12500 Dixie Highway
Holly, Michigan 48442

Fall Family Festival
The Fall Family Festival is happening September 21-23 behind the St. John Elementary/Jackson Catholic Middle School on Cooper St. The best part about it, is there's no admission fee, free parking, and TONS of fun to be had. Carnival rides, fireworks, and a car show are just some of the events going on that weekend. I've been in the past and had a great time, I definitely recommend going!

Meckley's Flavor Fruit Farm
Flavor Fruit Farms is open all week long from 9a-6p, and they have something for everyone to do. They open up their fall activities on September 17th from 12p-5p. Some of the fun includes a corn maze, hay rides, live farm, pumpkin patch, and so much more!

This year on September 29 & 30th they're going "purple" in support of Relay for Life and the weekend of October 12 & 13th they're going "pink" to support Making Strides. Two really great causes to help out while having fun with the family. Flavor Fruit Farms was even cool enough to turn the corn maze into the Relay for Life logo! Still not convinced? Maple Bacon Donuts...three little words that will change your life, how can anything get better than that?!

Photo courtesy of Meckley's Flavor Fruit Farms

Website - Facebook
11025 S. Jackson Rd.
Somerset Center, MI 49282

Free Children's Movies
Goodrich Theaters in Jackson are playing free movies for all ages every Saturday and Sunday at 9a & 10a for the next few months. So whether you're young in age or just young at heart, stop on by and enjoy a great movie. Plus, you can pick up some favorite movie snacks for a great price; kids size popcorn, candy, and 12oz pop is only $3.50 or you can get a kids size popcorn, healthy snack, and a water for $4.50. The schedule is as follows (they say the movie is possibly subject to change):
  • September 8 & 9 - Madagascar 3
  • September 15 & 16 - Journey 2: The Mystery Island
  • September 22 & 23 - Rio
  • September 29 & 30 - Mirror Mirror
  • October 6 & 7 - Rango
  • October 13 & 14 - The Lorax
  • October 20 & 21 - Ice Age 4: Continental Drift
  • October 27 & 28 - Paranorman
  • November 3 & 4 - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Zombie Walk
Did you know Jackson has it's own Zombie Walk?! Me either! It's happening on October 13th downtown Jackson, registration is $10 and will help support the March of Dimes. The registration for zombies will be at 4:30p at Biggby Coffee on Wisner. I couldn't find out too many details as their still working out the kinks, but I know I will be taking photos of everyone and their scary makeup as they hobble the streets of Jackson.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday | Fun & Casual Men

Switching things up again, usually my What to Wear Wednesday posts are geared towards women, but the guys need love in the wardrobe department too! This simple style tools were created by Maddygaddy on (LOVE that website for planning outfits). These are great tips to follow when planning what you're going to wear to your portrait session. Very simple, casual, laid back, and most importantly...comfy. I don't expect anyone to rush out and buy these items, but they're great for giving you ideas of how to put together a portrait wardrobe.

outfit guide for men(#1)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Woldumar Photo Walk | Jackson, MI Photographer

There's a photography Facebook group that I am a part of that and every now and again we get together to do a photo walk. If you don't know, photo walks are just walking around an area and taking photos of anything that catches your eye. I love these because it gets the creative juices flowing and helps with thinking outside of the box.

We just got together on Wednesday at the Woldumar Nature Center in Lansing. It's funny, I had photographed a wedding there in 2010, so I didn't have time to explore too much, but the grounds are huge and there's tons of wooded trails. So beautiful!! It was definitely nice to get out and do what I love with other photographers and talk nerdy photo talk. Plus, meet some new people and finally meet some people who had only been Facebook friends.

Friday, August 24, 2012

2012 Relay for Life | Jackson, MI Photographer

Relay for Life came and went so quickly this year. It's hard to believe it blew by so fast, but it did. Yesterday we had our follow-up meeting/celebration and received our totals. Our tiny team of two managed to raise $498 and all together the Jackson Relay raised $338,000!! Teams have until the end of the month to turn money in, so the final count could eventually be higher. I'm proud to say that here in Jackson, we have the largest Relay event in the entire state of Michigan. We had over 600 survivors at our event which is phenomenal. 

We had an amazing moon that night, I couldn't resist stopping to take a photo of it!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday | Toddler Edition

These are some great combinations for the little man in your life. This simple style tools were created by Maddygaddy on (LOVE that website for planning outfits). Very simple, casual, laid back, and most importantly...comfy. The last things those little ones want is to be restricted by stuffy clothing, these options allow them to move around and still have fun, but look absolutely darling at the same time.

Now I don't expect anyone to rush out and buy these items, but they're great for giving you ideas of how to put together a portrait wardrobe.

Toddler photo shoot apparel options

Monday, August 20, 2012

Survey Says | Jackson, MI Photographer

It's always good to hear praises about your work and I'm absolutely flattered that I've had the privilege to work with the sweetest clients anyone could ask for. Here's just a few of the reviews that I've received:

I recently had the pleasure of working with Natty J. for my engagement and wedding photos. I couldn't be happier with the entire experience. She was professional, yet fun at the same time. She gave excellent direction and truly made my photos precisely what I wanted.
-Melissa & Jason

I had Natalie do my family photos as my mother's Christmas present this year. I couldn't have been happier. She took her time with us and showed great attention to detail. I frequently recommend her to friends and family.
- The Hashley Family

Natalie has done a few photo shoots for me and she is wonderful. Our family portraits turned out beautifully! I'll definitely come back to Natalie in the future, she is a very sweet and professional young lady and does exceptional work for a great price.
- The Register Family

Natalie was an incredible photographer and she priced so reasonably. We loved all of our photos -- she has such an artistic eye for angles. Bonus: She loves animals and was more than thrilled to capture our dog, Stoli, in all the shots for the rehearsal and wedding. LOVE HER!
- Erin & Topher

Friday, August 17, 2012

Wall Art | Jackson, MI Portrait Photographer

My mother always said, "Don't do as I do, do as I say," which of course I thought was the most unfair statement ever. I would much rather lead by example, so here it is. I am always preaching about buying large prints (wall art). An 8x10 is not considered wall art in my book, I'm talking about 11x14 and larger images printed to show off their beauty and display your family proudly. I've taken a few images of the wall art I've got displayed around my home.

First is an 18x24 gallery block of a sunset that I captured while I was on vacation in Traverse City, MI. I love the gallery blocks!! They have a slight metallic look to the print which makes the colors pop and a kind of plastic texture so it makes cleaning really easy. Plus, they come ready to hang! It doesn't get much easier than that, unwrap it, and hang that baby up for everyone to see. I get more compliments on this than of any other image I have in my house purely because of how unique the gallery blocks are.

The second image is a 20x30 on canvas. I love these canvases because they have the closed back unlike most that are open and they too come ready to hang. Mine isn't hanging, it's sitting on top of a short bookcase as shown below. It fits perfectly right there because the bookcase is the same width as the print. Another reason I like the canvas print is it's really light weight. Sometimes they tend to get heavy and I worry about them falling off the wall (especially since I don't ever hang things properly lol, I'm such a girl), but I don't worry with these at all.

The next set of these that I order for home are going to be two prints of my dogs to hang above my head to make a kind of mock headboard. I have the perfect images all picked out that will match my room exactly.

Last, but not least is my collage wall display. This is where I've broken the rule, but it's okay because the images are part of a larger display. Here is two 8x10's and a 16x20 in the middle. The left side is my mothers side of the family and the right is my fathers; and of course my dogs and me in the middle. This is my favorite display hanging in my home since it's all about my family. And it just goes to show that no matter how big or small your family is, it's still important to hold on to those memories and get portraits done. Even though my family photo with my dogs was done this past winter, I am planning on updating it again in the fall once the leaves change, that's my favorite time of year.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The C Family | Jackson, MI Family Photographer

It's amazing how much children can change in just a year. Last year I had the privilege of photographing the C Family and they came back again this year to have their portraits done. I love the comparison of how much each of the little ones have changed. Their personalities are really starting to show now! I've posted an image of each of them from last year and this year below. Last session it was all about toy trucks and construction, but now we went on an adventure hunting for "mole holes." You've got to love their vivid imagination!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday | Teal and Baby Pink

I love this look it's very Spring-y, but I think it would still be amazing this time of year. This look was put together by DeannaSchroeter on, I love that she's added some basic makeup to the look, this would be amazing with a simple cat-eye and nude eyeshadow. When I imagine the session that this outfit would be in, I see a Shoots for a Cure session. A strong woman that just finished her final round of chemo, rocking her bald head with that fabulous hat; empowered knowing that you've gotten a second chance at life. If you're interested in learning more about a Shoots for a Cure portrait session, check out my blog post or give me a call, 517.499.9380

Now I don't expect anyone to rush out and buy these items, but they're great for giving you ideas of how to put together a portrait wardrobe.

Untitled #395

Monday, August 13, 2012

New Beginnings | Jackson, MI Portrait Photographer

I tend to shy away from putting personal things on my blog, but sometimes you've got to get things off your chest. So without getting into too much detail, this up-cycled art explains my life in the past year perfectly. The moment I saw it on The Reclaimed Canvas' Facebook, I knew I had to have it as a constant reminder to keep pushing forward no matter what life throws at me. I have pretty much started my life over and it's completely for the better. 

The first half of the year I was absent a lot from the online world. I put everything on the back burner to focus on my final semester of school. My graphic design degree required my full attention to finish projects on time and build up my portfolio for the Student Gala, which is a final public presentation of ourselves, our brand, and our work. Talk about stress! Coffee and I had an amazing relationship during all of that. So when school was finally over, I was able to focus more on my photography. I realized that after taking that much time off, there was some serious work that needed to be done on my business, on both the front end and behind the scenes. I used my new found knowledge to give Natty J Photography a makeover (still a work in progress, but it's getting there). Also, I updated all my paperwork which was a much bigger task than I had expected, but now that it's done it's smooth sailing!

About two months ago now, I started my journey to become a healthier me. I signed up for my first 5k along with my coworkers who are regularly active. I'll admit, I was more scared than excited in the beginning and I was convinced that I was going to fall over and die trying to do it. The Couch to 5k program gave me a shred of confidence that it could be done in the 9 weeks I had remaining until the run (the program is 10 weeks, but I didn't think one week would make or break me). I downloaded MyFitnessPal and the Nike Running app to help keep track of things. It was an eyeopener to see how much food I was consuming (gross!), but that was easy to get under control. I have never been an athletic person, pretty much to get me to run I had to be running for my life. But I psyched myself up and began running three times a week. I joined the YMCA and take part in the classes they have to offer such as yoga, TRX (here's a Youtube video that shows what it is, we never do anything past the "easy" level which is still rather hard for me), and workout Boot Camp. The instructors have been crucial to my success, knowing when to push me harder and teaching me how to modify for my strength level. It's been an amazing journey so far and I'm so incredibly thankful for having them around to help. I'm down 13.8lbs so far and counting. I know I'll get there, but it will be a marathon, not a sprint.

This is our team just after finishing The Color Run 5k. Photo courtesy of my dad.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Pepsi Mini-Sessions | Jackson, MI Photographer

First of all, many of you might be wondering, "What is a mini-session?" These are themed portrait sessions that are shorter than our typical session, each lasting roughly 30 minutes. This time the theme will be Pepsi. Sorry to all the Coke lovers, but I found the Pepsi props before the Coke ones. We'll have an adorable set-up outside at Ella Sharp Park near the Rotunda. They will take place on September 8th, but if the weather doesn't cooperate (*fingers crossed that it does*), then September 15th is the rain date.

The price of the session is $50, this must be paid in advance to reserve your time slot. You will also receive 30% off the purchase of our prints and products for the promotion. At the time of your mini-session we will schedule a day and time for you to view and order your images; the photos take approximately 10-14 days to process.

We will only be offering 10 Pepsi mini-sessions slots, so book yours early to guarantee your spot!
517.499.9380 |

Available Time Slots
  1. 12-12:30p
  2. 12:40-1:10p
  3. 1:20-1:50p
  4. 2-2:30p
  5. 2:40-3:10p
  6. 3:20-3:50p
  7. 4-4:30p
  8. 4:40-5:10p
  9. 5:20-5:50
  10. 6-6:30p

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday | Not Your Typical Disney Princess

I was wandering through the wonderful world of once again, and stumbled across Trapped's page where she had all these AMAZING spins on the Disney Princess' outfits! The more I looked, the more I fell in love with them and HAD to share them for inspiration. I think these outfits would be incredible for senior portraits, especially since they could also signify the transformation from child to adult throughout the portrait session. My favorite of the series is Tiana's, I love the mustard color of her dress and the plum in the shoes, perfect for the fall! Or Pocahontas' look, very edgy and would be great in either an urban or forest setting.

Now, I don't expect anyone to rush out and buy these items, but they're great for giving you ideas of how to put together a portrait wardrobe.



Snow White


Cinderella by trapped featuring a brown vest

Monday, August 6, 2012

Wedding Registry | Jackson, MI Wedding Photographer

Long after the first kiss and the dancing and the food are all gone, photographs will tell your story and help you remember those precious moments like it was yesterday. We've made it easy for you and your partner to cherish every minute with our Wedding Registry. This allows you to register for the prints and products that you would like. 

So how does it work? When we meet with you for your wedding consultation & contract signing, together we will build your Wedding Registry. From there will will help you set up the registry and input all the information. Friends and family can choose to send a cash donation OR select one of our print/products that you've registered for. All transactions are taken care of through PayPal so it's safe and secure. You get the easy part, you just have to spread the word that you're registered with Natty J Photography and then sit back to plan the rest of your wedding.

If you have questions or would like to book a wedding consultation,
feel free to shoot us an email or give us a call.

Friday, August 3, 2012

2013 JHS Senior Rep | Jackson, MI Senior Photographer

It's that time of year again, we are looking for a 2013 senior to be the face of Natty J Photography. If you're chosen you will receive a free senior session ($150 value) and you will be featured in our ad for the 2013 Jackson High School yearbook. What's your end of the bargain? We'll give you rep cards to help spread the word about how much you love your senior photos and for every senior portrait session that brings the card back when they book with us, you will get a $50 print credit. So what are you waiting for? Fill out the rep application at the link below.

Fill out senior rep form here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Featured Vendor: Howard's Feed Store

Usually I post Featured Vendors that can be helpful for a session in some way, but today I decided to do things a little different. I've decided to feature Howard's Feed Store here in Jackson because they're a local family owned business. When I first moved to Jackson it was kind of hard to find food for my dogs since one is allergic to corn and I feed them specific food. There was one store that sold it, but it was quite a bit more than what I had been paying for it so I needed a new option. Just on a whim one day I stopped into Howard's to see what they carried, low-and-behold they carried the food and it was the cheapest I've ever saw it. I thought it might have been on sale or something, but nope, it was their everyday price!

The more I went in there to get dog food the more I loved it. The staff is always so friendly and they carry the bag of food out to your car for you. Plus, they have other things that are not so common in the other pet store here like leather leads, food grade diatomaceous earth (this is a fine white powder that is used as a natural defense against fleas, ticks, and internal parasites), and HUGE pigs ears. The only downfall is their hours are not so congruent with my schedule, but I will go out of my way to give them my business because of their amazing service. I know they close at 5:30p on the weekdays, noon on Saturday, and closed on Sunday.

If you'd like to check out Howard's Feed Store for yourself, the address and phone number are listed below.

206 West Louis Glick Highway
Jackson, MI 49201
(517) 789-6081


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