Hi, I’m Heather Kanillopoolos (Pronounced “cantaloup-all-us” …and, yes, I order my pizza with my maiden name, haha)!
By now you know that I’m a wedding photographer in Mid-Michigan who loves to create fun and gorgeous photographs. Maybe you read on the Welcome page all about my relaxed style; and I’m sure you got to browse through my latest work and even read my post about my shooting philosophy.
But maybe you want to get to know me a little better! Well, I could tell you all kinds of random things about me- from my love of Stargate and Dr.Who, to my inexplicable inability to do any kind of math problem that happens to contain the number 7. But something tells me you’re looking for something a bit deeper than my Harvest Moon video game collection. Let me tell you about my family, and a little on how I became a photographer in the first place!
Landon and I have been married three years now, and we still do that silly thing where we fight about who loves who more (for the record, it’s me). Although every day is a learning experience (I STILL cannot get the man to hang up a towel, haha), I love him so dearly and I simply can’t imagine life without him. He is an incredibly humble and patient man, always ready with a laugh and a hug.
He’s my center, keeping me balanced and happy- and making sure I get to bed at a somewhat reasonable time even though I try to insist that I just need to finish editing this ooooooone last file.
I adore having someone I can test my cooking on, argue about the real-world application of science fiction inventions with, and depend on to love me even when I’m grumpy. Landon is a wonderful artist in his own right, creating gorgeous cartoon work on his blog, www.muddyparasol.com, in the hopes of one day being a children’s book illustrator! <3
We are thrilled to be living in gorgeous, historic Grand Ledge, and adore being surrounded by wide open fields again (while still being only five minutes from a Biggby’s! SCORE!!). We both love to travel, often going to Northern Michigan / the UP.
Landon and I feel strongly that our marriage is a true partnership. When the world is just a little too much to deal with, we are each other’s safe place. We are always happier when we are doing things together! Our current guilty pleasure? Minecraft! We are an amazing mining and greifing team. (he is the “patient, calculating trap-setting master”, and I am the risk-taking “stupidly good at finding things randomly” one)
A year ago, we rescued a kitten that we named Max and immediately fell in love with. She makes us laugh every day! (as a kitten, for example, she would gallop over to watch us flush the toilet whenever she got the chance- she was mesmerized by the spinning water and would often wait, meowing outside the bathroom door, for us to let her in so she wouldn’t miss it).
A little over a month ago, a new kitty joined our family. Pocoyo had been lost for some time, and after the family that found him was unable to find his old home, we decided to take him in. It’s been a bumpy road as we all learn about each other and get settled in- but we’re very glad to be able to have more family to love. <3 Max is glad to have a roughhousing partner… they’ve become quite the little frenemies haha!
I became a photographer in much the same way many others did- I had a camera, and didn’t know any better.
I don’t remember when, specifically, I realized that I wanted to be a professional photographer. But I do remember when it began to actually happen: I shot my first wedding after having just graduated out of high school. The couple, knowing that I was inexperienced to the extreme, accepted the risk and paid my expenses.
I shot that first wedding with a healthy fear and a LOT of excitement. It was an amazing experience- and I knew from that first time that I was hooked.
The more I grew in my love for photography, the more I reached beyond what I knew and strove to learn from the amazing photographers the internet had brought me close to. I worked backwards: seeing something I wanted to do, and then learning how to do it. I poured over photography websites, asked thousands of questions in forums of professional photographers, and continued shooting as much as possible. I felt both extremes: I’ve cried over complicated technical manuals, and I’ve inwardly cheered as a photograph finally happens exactly as I imagined in my head. Over the years, I have honed my craft and begun focusing on weddings almost exclusively. The technical parts have become a second nature to me, allowing the artistic part to take over my thoughts when I’m shooting.
The last two years have really opened my world- I have been privileged to be a part of so many amazing love stories! I have laughed with kids as they show off crazy dance moves, cried with the father of the groom as he gives away his little girl, and felt the swelling of emotion as a bride and groom hold each other for the first time as husband and wife.
Ultimately, being a photographer is much more than knowing how to use a camera; I also had to learn to be a business woman. I always make it my priority to be responsible and professional- someone who earns the trust and respect of my peers and clients.
More than that, I have learned that I am happiest when I can help a wedding day be happier, less stressful, and more fun. I focus on working with couples that are madly in love, and who simply want to celebrate that love without the stress and pressure. People who are maybe a little camera shy, and definitely a little crazy (in the good way). People who want that amazing wedding experience captured as it happened, in all its beautiful, crazy glory.
I would love to hear from you! Please contact me with your plans, thoughts, and questions. I would love to hear your story and what you are looking for from your photographs! <3