About Us

About Darren

Hello!  Photography has been my passion and primary hobby for the past 17 years. I am continually fascinated by great pictures, and looking for ways to find or create them. The main thing that drew me to photography when I was in college was working in the darkroom. Time seemed to stop while I worked in the dim red glow. While my darkroom has changed to editing software on my computer, time still seems to stop when I am creating pictures.

Before photographing weddings, I worked as a newspaper photojournalist. I covered a wide range of assignments like U2’s concert at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, fires, athletic events, court room assignments, portraits, and other news stories along the way. I was blessed to be able to see such a wide variety of human experience during my time as a news photographer. I learned that the most important thing a photograph can do is create an emotional reaction. I received my training from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where I earned my Master’s Degree in Photojournalism.

Besides my identity as a photographer, I am a Christian, husband, and father. I am fortunate to be the husband of my beautiful wife, Mandy (who also assists me at weddings), and the proud father of our two adorable little girls. We live in the beautiful city of Grand Haven, Michigan, a hidden gem along the shores of Lake Michigan. However, I grew up in Chicago, Illinois and have a deep appreciation for the much lighter traffic here and throughout West Michigan and the Grand Rapids area.

Recently, I’ve developed an interest in vegetable gardening. For some reason, all the work of growing my own vegetables makes them taste so much better than the same vegetable bought from the store. I am looking forward to this next summer of gardening between weddings and photography sessions.

At a wedding, I try as much as possible to photograph things as they happen, instead of staging things. I look for amazing and memorable pictures instead of trying to set up perfect pictures. I do this because my goal is to record the story of what happened and show the many emotions experienced on your wedding day. Whenever I am not doing official portraits, I try to blend into the background.

Even though my goal is to witness and record as many authentic moments as possible, I still think it is important with weddings to create portraits of the bride and groom, the wedding party, and the family. I try to keep the energy high and to make the portraits flow as quickly as possible. It is much easier to look happy when you are happy!

The wedding day comes quickly, and then flies by at what feels like warp speed. Most of the items that make your day special don’t last long (flowers, cake, decorations, etc.), but your photographs will. Your photographs become your visual link to one of the happiest days of your life. I challenge myself creatively at every wedding to make unique photographs for you and your family to treasure for a very long time. I am honored when I am chosen to be the wedding photographer, and I understand the responsibility of which I am being entrusted.

About Mandy

Hi! I am privileged to call Darren my husband, best friend, and the father of my children. It is a blessing that I also get to work with him on the wedding days of his awesome couples and behind the scenes with bookkeeping and social media. 

I also enjoy helping our couples with unexpected needs that arise on the wedding day. So far, I’ve downloaded the bride’s processional music onto my phone, fixed a tire on the getaway car, made lemonade, picked up sandwiches for the bridesmaids, and pinned a number of dresses. I love that I can serve both my husband and the couples with small acts of kindness.

When I’m not working for Darren’s photo business, I get to spend time with our little girls, write,  read, and manage our family’s household. For fun, I like coloring, listening to and playing music, learning more about photography, cooking, and dreaming about home improvement projects. 

At a wedding, my primary responsibilities are to carry, set up, or maintain equipment for Darren so that he can concentrate on catching and recording the moments of your special day. The other responsibilities are to gather, assemble, and coordinate the family and wedding party for portraits, make sure he drinks enough water, and be his extra eye for detail from a woman’s perspective. Sometimes I’ll grab a camera and capture a few photos from a distance. My job is to keep everything running as smoothly as possible, while coordinating with the other vendors of your wedding day.

To learn more about the experience of Darren Breen Photography at your wedding, visit HERE.