Samantha Stokes
lake erie portrait moody pacific northwest photographer

my passion for photography came out of the blue...

 - I didn’t go looking for it, it honestly found me. My grandma is a photographer and growing up she would always give me her old cameras that I would play around with. I remember being up in my room as a young teenager when something life-altering would happen (you know, the usual: a bad break-up, a weekly fight with my best friend, my parents telling me I’m grounded) and I would prop my camera up, put it on self-timer and try to take photos that convey my emotions. But that’s not where my love for photography came; you see, I’m a true adventurer at heart, I will always go out of the way to chase the sunrise and sunset, and meeting new people set’s my heart on fire! The instant I realized I could do all of the things I love while capturing those moments in a frame of time I knew I was home.




The union that two people experience in marriage compares to nothing else. It’s both beautiful and chaotic, it brings out the best in you as well as the worst; love is like an ocean - it is vast, deep, and there is so much to discover. Being married is like a constant life-lesson that stretches you to move beyond yourself. Often times you have to give up you own desires and plans - some days it’s give and some days it’s take. Yet, at the end of time, I believe you will be able to look back and see that you had a purpose together that wouldn’t be fulfilled by being a apart, and that is what makes marriage all worth it. When it’s not about the marriage at all, but about the mark you both want to leave on this earth when you are here no longer - it’s about the legacy you will leave.

it’s not about the marriage at all ... it’s about the legacy you will leave

michigan city engagement session sunset-87.jpg

I don’t want you to look back on your wedding photos and think: “wow, those were great photos!” because great just isn’t good enough. Getting to know who you are as a couple leading up to your wedding is one of my favorite parts of the entire process. I want to know how you guys met, what it is about the other person that makes your heart skip a beat, I want to see the ear to ear smile as you talk about your love for one another. Making a deep and meaningful connection with you allows me to better visually capture your most intimate story - it creates an atmosphere where I’m no longer just capturing a great photo, it becomes so much more than that; it is the legacy that is being conceived out of your union. Your wedding day won’t be filled with awkward poses and you wondering if you’re doing this right or wrong. I want to allow you to soak in all of the emotions of your day and connect with the one you love - those are the raw, untouched moments I want to capture. Sure, I may give you a little guidance about where to stand and what not, but ultimately I’m here to embrace your true selves.




adventure + Travel


I’ve had a lot of experience with travel, like I said, it’s one of my absolute favorite things in life. There are so many places I still haven’t been because this earth is a VAST place - but with your help I’d love to make this list grow. Below is a list of 1) places I’ve already explored and traveled to and 2) the top of my “I need to travel here asap” list. Just a side note: if you and your loved one decide to get married at one of my favorite places in the world, I’d love nothing more than to chat with you about a possible discount so we can make this thing possible!

  • Places I’ve been: California: San Diego, Yosemite National Park, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park, San Francisco - Shenandoah National Park - Tennessee: Nashville, Gatlinburg, Smoky Mountains - North Carolina: the Outerbanks - South Carolina: Charleston - Louisiana: New Orleans - everywhere in Michigan (especially along the lakes) - Silver Lake Sand Dunes - Chicago - Southern France (I lived there for 3 months) - England: Manchester and London - Northwest Africa: Senegal

  • I need to go here ASAP:  Glacier National Park - Big Sur, California  - Acadia National Park - Scotland - Redwoods National Park - Victoria, British Comlumbia - Thailand - Banff National Park - Hawaii - Norway - take me to Italy and I'll love you forever