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stephrhoades

Year in Photos

By Photography

We have nothing to lose and a world to see.

This year has been nothing short of incredible. I started the year off with two amazing and strong women that I consider sisters. I then traveled to Miami to escape the frigid Michigan winter, and soon after coming home, booked a flight to D.C. The year has been filled with travel, though not enough in my eyes. This coming year will be filled with even more hopefully, and more exotic places.

I spent the year with great friends, photographing the city, friends, and events. It was filled with protests, milestone life events, festivals and music, and jaw-dropping sunrises and sunsets. I was given the chance to photograph some of the strongest women I have ever known, and they gave me power to believe in myself.

The new year is almost upon us, and I cannot wait for it to start. I am excited to grow as a photographer, and as a human, and will share my journey with you all as I go along.

Happy New Year and may 2018 be filled with love, friends, and beautiful photos. 

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Hamtramck Yacht Club Canoe Race

By Photography

On the inner coastal waters of Hamtramck (aka Joseph Campau)…

Going on what I believe to be it’s seventh year of madness, the Hamtramck Yacht Club Canoe Race was hosted today during the Labor Day festivities in downtown Hamtramck. From infants to elderly, everyone came out to cheer on their favorite “boaters” and attack them with water balloons, water guns, and buckets of water.

A competition involving push-carts that look like canoes on wheels, the race pits patrons of different bars against each other in a race down Joseph Campau.

This is the first time I have attended the event, and I was left laughing the entire time, and so impressed by the competitors and organizers, as well as the bystanders. Everyone came together at the end of the races as well to clean up all of the debris before the victors were awarded their prize.

The Fowling Warehouse beat out Amicci’s Pizza for the coveted Hamtramck Ship’s Wheel, with their one-of-a-kind “canoe”. By far the prettiest canoe was Bon Bon Bon’s Boat Boat Boat, and the best costume had to go to Kelly’s Bar.

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Sun Up to Sun Down

By Chasing the Sun, Photography

Chase the Sun

Sometimes, you have to step back from life. From the day to day, and the despairing thoughts that run through your head. You have a moment where you either sink or swim. Those are the times when you have to look at everything around you, and just breathe.

Wake up before the sun, before the birds even. When the moon is still in the sky and not ready to give up the night. Find a beach, the woods, or even a rooftop, and take in the world that is still sleeping. Although you might feel alone in the stillness of the morning, you will be greeted by that first morning light, that spills onto the horizon with no abandon.

And when your day is coming to an end, and your body is telling your to rest, face west and watch the sun give up the sky for the moon and stars. Breathe in the vibrant colors just as the sun kisses the horizon goodnight.

The photos taken below were from a day in Port Austin, MI. From sunrise to sunset, and a vintage camper show in between.

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Sleep on the Floor

By Photography, Portraits

Pack yourself a toothbrush dear…

I have had The Lumineers “Cleopatra” album in my head since it was released in 2016. Ever since I heard Sleep on the Floor, I have had a vision for a photo shoot. Lainie jumped at the chance (quite literally) to come down to Detroit and lug around my dad’s old suitcase for it.

The album, which is based off of the life of a real woman who was the taxi driver of the lead singer. When I saw the videos, out of order, then in order, I was blown away and decided it was time to take my idea and put it into motion.

Lainie and I walked around with the suitcase, being honked at and looked at funny, daring ticks to latch onto us, and dodging seagulls. At the end of my part of the shoot, she saw my hula hoop in the backseat of my car (I had just moved and it was one of the last things that I still had to take out). She grabbed it and off she went, hula hooping at Belle Isle’s fountain for a good hour and some change, until the lights came on.

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A Detroit Summer

By Chasing the Sun, Photography

A Detroit Summer

Detroit summers are something amazing as the city comes alive from a long cold winter. But the island quickly becomes the spot to go to enjoy the summer breeze, ice cream trucks, and laying out in the sun while looking across the river at the iconic skyline. It almost feels like you are in another place. That this little slice of heaven isn’t part of a hustling city with a bad reputation. And when people tell me that they’ve never visited the island, or that this is their first time, I stand in shock.

Belle Isle calls to me like a siren that I can’t ignore. The sounds of the water against the shore, people laughing and playing, the smell of grilling food and fresh cut grass, and the feeling of complete peace the minute I cross the MacArthur Bridge all make it such an amazing spot. It amazes me that people have yet to experience it.

I’ve started my summer off with the usual sunset spots that I crave: going out into the water with my camera above my head to get low angle shots as the sun falls below the horizon, and as my friends watch from the shore. I’ve also spent weekends soaking up sun with friends, grilling and laughing about nothing in particular, while people watching and enjoying the company of “family”.

Nothing compares to it, and as I write this, I’m looking out my window at the sunset, wondering if I should go get one more shot from the island.

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Put a Ring On It

By Photography, Weddings

Put a Ring On It

I had a friend recently ask me to help photograph his proposal. I was beyond delighted and humbled that he would ask me to photograph such an important event. With a three-piece orchestra, a bouquet that weighed more than a small dog, and a beautiful view, he brought her in to her absolute shock. Congratulations to Doug and Hil, I can’t wait to see what is next for the two of you!

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Portraits in the Sun

By Photography, Portraits

Portraits in the Sun

Detroit is experiencing an early spring warm up. With temperatures hitting the 60’s in February, it is hard for all of us to not run around in tank tops and shorts enjoying the sun. I was able to take some portraits of Kate (@hautemesss) on one of these glorious days. She dealt with some strange requests like a champ and the resulting photos came out amazing.

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Gimme Shelter: Hamtramck Protest

By Photography

Protests in Hamtramck

As I’m sitting here starting to put together images from the protests today, Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter started playing in pure irony. Originally written and released about the political and social unrest from the war in Vietnam, it suits the unrest that is happening all over the world with this new presidency and the policies being put into effect.

Hundreds showed up to the Hamtramck City Hall to show support, peacefully protest and march, and let their voices be heard. The Metro-Detroit Political Action Network put the “Emergency Protest” on to stand in solidarity with Muslims. Hamtramck is considered a sanctuary city, and will continue to be considered one despite any policies put into place.

The protest, which was supposed to march around the block, ended up being too large and instead marched around the small park that sits across from the city hall building. It was truly inspiring to see different races, religions, and people of all ages marching in solidarity of fellow humans. As one speaker said

“We are a nation of nations.”

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Fresh Snow and a Red Dress

By Photography, Portraits

Fresh Snow and a Red Dress

There was fresh snow on Belle Isle in Detroit, well past our ankles. Trekking through the snow, getting it in our boots and squealing from the cold as it melted and made it’s way towards our toes, we made our way to a part of the island rarely seen by people now. Lainie is a trooper, even if she was in a dress and clothing not exactly suited for seven inches of fresh Michigan snow and cold temps.

After shooting on the island a bit, we decided to head to the historic Elmwood Cemetery not too far away. Elmwood is a beautiful cemetery, if one can get past the creepiness that it is indeed a cemetery. In winter, the tombs and mausoleums look even more spectacular and haunted with a layer of untouched snow on them. Lainie was a trooper as I had her running from spot to spot, switching coats, and even going barefoot.

Don’t forget, you can purchase prints in the Print Shop from this shoot!

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Baby it’s Cold in Detroit

By Photography

Baby it’s Cold in Detroit

The holidays are right around the corner, and Detroit is looking like a picturesque winter scene. From Campus Martius’ Christmas tree and horse drawn carriage rides, to Christmas lights strewn all along Woodward as heavy snow falls, it’s hard not to feel a little festive.

With a little more than a week left before Christmas, there is an urgency in city as people hurry to finish last minute shopping, get out of the cold, or just try to enjoy a night ice skating, drinking hot cocoa, and good food. Visiting Belle Isle to see the conservatory decorated with garland and lights, or going to the Edsel and Eleanor Ford Estate in Grosse Pointe to take a stroll along the ground and see the mile long path lit up, are just some of the other ways to enjoy the holidays this season.

Don’t forget, you can purchase prints in the Print Shop from this shoot!

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