Serving Grand Ledge, Lansing, MI And Surrounding Areas
Owner / Lead Photographer
Mr. Chris Holmes
I know how fortunate I am to not only be doing what I absolutely love (photography) but to also have known from such a young age that I would be a professional photographer. Inspired by my father's black and white photos from the Korean War and the great magazines; National Geographic and Life Magazine, I knew this was what I had to do for the rest of my life. Like many professional photographers I began as a H.S. yearbook and newspaper photographer. During high school and after much research, including speaking with hometown National Geographic photographer William Albert Allard (Bill), I decided the fastest and most adventurous pathway to a career in photography was enlisting in the U.S. Navy as a photographer. I will never forget the advice Bill gave me as I contemplated my education and the Navy. He said college is great but as a Navy Photographer you will learn about not only "real life" but other cultures and customs as well which will make you a better photographer. "To be a great photographer you have to have empathy for your subjects. You have to truly care and by doing so your subjects will let you into their lives and only then will you get meaningful images". Traveling the world as a Navy photographer / photojournalist took me literally around the world to places like Antarctica (McMurdo Station and the South Pole), Cuba, New Zealand and various European nations including Italy. While stationed in California (as a Navy Aircrew Photographer) I replied to an advertisement for a wedding photography part time job and after much training was hired to photograph weddings throughout Southern California during my weekends off from the Navy. During this time I also began volunteering my photography services to the Special Olympics, something I still do to this day. The studio's training system we used was developed by one of the great wedding photographers of the time, Rocky Gunn, and it was there that using dramatic lighting and elegant posing elevated my expectations of what great wedding photography could be. From 1981 I began shooting weddings and portraits on the side to hone my skills and because it was tremendously fun for me. After returning from deployment to Antarctica in 1983 I submitted a portfolio (another suggestion by Bill Allard) and was selected for one of the 6 spots to attend the Military's Photojournalism course at Syracuse University. This was a program developed between the Navy and Syracuse U. to produce LIfe magazine-quality photojournalists who (due to their access to the front lines) could capture historic images of battle and warfare that documented places no civilian photographer could go at the time. After Syracuse University I was stationed at the Public Affairs Center in Norfolk, Va. and (never happy to just have one full-time photography job) started freelancing nights and weekends for one of the best newspapers in the country, The Virginian Pilot / Ledger Star. Some of the best photojournalists in the country worked there and I was fortunate to learn from these great photographers, some of which went on to work for National Geographic and other world-class publications. Once again on the advice of Bill Allard I put together a portfolio of my work and I entered the Military Photographer of the Year contest (open to all branches of the military any where in the world). The first year I won some awards but not the overall title. Visiting former winners of the title who now worked at the Washington Times, their review of my work and tips helped me create a much better body of work and I then managed to win the award two years in a row. It was a hard decision but at that time I realized it was time to leave the military for the world of civilian photojournalism to take my work to the next level. Our team of photographers at the Lansing State Journal created numerous national award-winning projects and special reports. We had great editors and a desire to do outstanding photography and more importantly we were given the time and resources to do so. I rose to the rank of Chief Photographer at the Lansing State Journal and helped transition the newspaper to digital photography before following another dream of mine in 2005 which was owning my own photography studio. For the nine years in the Navy and 18 years at the LSJ I had continued doing weddings and senior and family portraits as my personal projects because I knew eventually that would be my true calling and photographing fun and happy occasions was a welcome relief from the hard-news assignments (Car crashes, house fires, crime scenes etc.) of photojournalism. With the help of friends, family and many contractors we renovated an historic church building in downtown Grand Ledge, MI that was built in 1903 into what is now the Bridge Street Wedding Chapel and Holmes Photography Studio LLC. We now focus almost exclusively on weddings, portraits (seniors, executives and families) and corporate events and advertising. We've been blessed to see our business continue to grow and expand so that we now photograph throughout all of lower Michigan and other parts of the Midwest. We've been voted favorite local photographer and studio by newspaper readers and having our wedding chapel (Bridge Street Wedding Chapel) win the Lansing Bridal Association's 2014 Business of the Year has been one of our highest honors as it was a direct reflection of our clients' opinions of us as a business and our customer service. Almost all photographers will tell you that they "truly love what they do" and it's almost become cliche'. What I love is the look in our customers eyes (sometimes with tears of joy and emotion) when they see photos of themselves or loved ones and are amazed at the results. That's what makes this so much more than a profession or a job could ever be and why I will never retire from photography.
Wedding Couple's Reaction to Music Snafu
The bride cracks up laughing as her groom grabs his heart after very loud feedback from the speakers surprised everyone.
Thanks again for coming out on short notice! It would good to spend some time with you and your family. Thanks again for the wonderful photos!
- Jonathan Hopkins. 0/6/2020
Great photographer, would recommend!
- Evan Kay. 5/24/2019
We chose Chris and his wife to take a few posed photos of us with our immediate family and then to capture our document-signing, ceremony and reception just as it all happened. With some sort of magic they did this without our being aware they were even in the room (except, of course, when they were taking the posed photos before the 100 guests arrived). They provided just what we wanted. The photos are beautiful. We would highly recommend them for their compatability and professional work.
- Pat Foreman. 10/14/2018
I want to thank Chris and his staff for volunteering their time for the polar plunge to support Special Olympics. Your artistic creativity seem to capture every moment of the plunger jumping into the freezing water in February. Your dedication of over 13 years is deeply appreciated. Thank you
- Val Suszko. 9/19/2018
From the first time I spoke with Chris, I knew he was the photographer I wanted to capture my son's senior photos. My son can be a little too laid back about important life's moments and Chris let my son set the pace and had him smiling for the pictures like he hasn't smiled for pictures in years. The photos are exactly what I wanted and more important, my son loves the pictures that will remind him of Grand Ledge. We are having a hard time deciding which pictures we want for the larger sizes. Chris truly goes above and beyond. From traveling to get a background for a picture to re-creating a Mom/Son picture from when my son was 3. I could go on and on about how happy we are with everything!! Thank you Chris!
- Gina Rosendall-Saucedo, MS. 9/12/2018
Chris does excellent work! He is wonderful to work with and we are very pleased with how our son's senior pictures turned out. I would recommend his services to everyone!
- Julie Pozega. 9/13/2017
My husband and I could not be happier with the decisions we made to not only have our wedding at The Bridge Street Wedding Chapel, but also with hiring Chris and Mary to capture the photos of our big day!
We had a request, that some photographers would not accept, that Chris and Mary executed masterfully. We have an 8 year old boxer, she is my baby, that I had to have in our engagement photos. Well they worked wonderfully with her and she is quite fond of them now. Much to my surprise she was also able to walk as a flower girl in our wedding at The chapel.
We are beyond grateful to have found the Chapel as well as Holmes Photography. Looking forward to working with them again in the future!
- A Google User. 7/15/2017
Gorgeous venue, exceptional service and amazing photography! Highly recommend!
- Google User. 7/11/2017
Would highly recommend Holmes Photography. They are personable and friendly. We felt comfortable with them taking pictures of us all day. Engagement and wedding pictures turned out better than expected. They were very flexible and accommodating to our schedule. They were even patient and managed to get great pictures of our constantly moving hyper dog! I would recommend them for any of your photography needs.
- Leanne H. 11/12/2016
Chris is very easy to work with. He is very accommodating to quick scheduling and does excellent work. I would recommend him to anyone!