All posts by Lila Beavers

Capturing Eternal Love: Why Salem is the Perfect Place to Say “I DO”

Love is a tapestry woven with shared moments, laughter, and promises of forever. As a photographer, capturing these cherished memories is a big part of why I love my job. My hometown of Salem, Massachusetts has proven time and again to provide the perfect backdrop for immortalizing beautiful stories of love.

If you’re ready to say “I do,” read on to discover the enchantment and allure of Salem, a destination that beckons couples from near and far to create beautiful memories against its picturesque backdrop.


Preserve Love Amidst Enchanting Historical Sites

Let your love story unfold amidst the enchanting historical sites of downtown Salem. The iconic red-brick architecture serves a majestic backdrop, infusing your beautiful photographs with grandeur and significance. From there, you can take a walk to The Salem Maritime National Historic Site, which combines maritime charm with breathtaking waterfront views. Salem’s timeless architecture and rich narratives seamlessly merges the past with the present.



Beautiful Landscapes: A Natural Canvas for Love

Nature becomes the ultimate collaborator in Salem’s landscape, providing an enchanting canvas for your engagement session. Explore the vibrant gardens of the Ropes Mansion, where blooming flowers and lush greenery create a romantic and whimsical atmosphere. Venture to Winter Island, where the coastal beauty of sandy beaches, rocky shores, and sweeping ocean views evoke a sense of tranquility and serenity.



Top-Notch Venues: Where Dreams Come True

Salem is home to some remarkable wedding venues, each catering to the distinct vision and style of every couple. The Roof is a magnificent reception venue known for its breathtaking views and stylish atmosphere. The House of the Seven Gables stands out as a captivating wedding venue, exuding timeless beauty and captivating history. I can attest that the staff at these venues go above and beyond to provide you with a truly perfect and unforgettable wedding experience.



Embrace the Magic: Perfect Backdrops for Halloween Lovers

The mystical atmosphere of Salem adds an intriguing and magical touch to your photographs, crafting truly unforgettable memories. Immerse yourselves in our beautiful historic cemeteries and capture your love amidst the captivating allure of the infamous Hocus Pocus House. Salem is the perfect place to step into whimsical scenes that will showcase your adoration for all things Halloween. 



New to Salem? 

After a day of capturing love in Salem, indulge in the city’s culinary delights and unwind in its comfortable accommodations. 

Visit Finz or Turners to savor fresh seafood and immerse yourselves in the flavors of the sea. For a taste of Italy, Bella Verona and Settler offer exquisite Italian cuisine in romantic settings. 

When it comes to accommodations, the Salem Waterfront Hotel, The Morning Glory B&B, The Hotel Salem, The Merchant, and Hawthorne Hotel provide comfortable and charming options for a relaxing stay, ensuring your time in Salem is as memorable as your engagement session.

Get ready for your session with our favorite hair and makeup artist, Rouge Cosmetics, who will ensure that you look and feel your absolute best. Rouge specializes in creating stunning bridal looks that perfectly complement the enchanting atmosphere of Salem. From elegant updos to flawless makeup, her expertise will enhance your natural beauty and elevate your portraits to a whole new level.



Embrace the rich history, natural beauty, and captivating atmosphere of Salem as you embark on a journey to create photographs that will be cherished for a lifetime. Whether you’re planning a proposal, an engagement session, or a wedding, Salem beckons you with its charm, ensuring that your love story unfolds against a backdrop that is nothing short of magical. 


Schedule a virtual consultation with Mike and Louise to begin planning your Salem portrait session and prepare to capture your love in a place where enchantment knows no bounds.

Micro-Wedding Photography for Your Most Cherished Moments

wedding bride and groom by salem photographer louise michaud photographer at the house of the seven gables

As a photographer, I absolutely love specializing in micro-weddings!

When you hire a photographer for micro-wedding coverage, you get 1-4 hours behind the camera to capture all of the most cherished parts of your amazing day.

 Think of all the things that you love the most about weddings- the intimate moments, the cake and champagne, music and dancing, and having a wonderful time with your loved ones as you celebrate new members of your family. All of these moments will be captured in time with micro-wedding coverage.

Let me give you an example of one of my recent micro-wedding shoots in historic Salem. While my session with the couple was short and sweet, it was one of the most memorable weddings I have attended as a photographer.

Hazel and Ken are a sweet couple from Salem who wanted to hire a local photographer for their wedding at the House of the Seven Gables. Hazel went to preschool there as a little girl, and they have a beautiful garden right by the pier.

They hired all local vendors for their celebration, from the remarkable florals to the delicious cake. They even had the Hot Tamale Brass Band come and provide fun and lively New Orleans jazz, since a few of their members are originally from Salem!

The day began with formal portraits at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, followed by the wedding ceremony in the garden at the House of the Seven Gables, atop the beautiful compass rose.

We took family portraits right after the ceremony in the garden, and then the band escorted us down the pier to take pictures by the family boat. This part was truly fun and memorable!

They had a small reception afterwards with all the traditions, from the first dance to the cutting of the cake. We got some amazing shots and captured the most memorable moments of the ceremony, all in just 3 hours!

It was so much fun getting to document and be a part of this sweet and memorable experience. If you are planning a wedding soon, I would highly recommend getting micro photography coverage to ensure that your most cherished moments go down in history.

You can contact our studio any time to plan out the photography logistics for your event, and we will walk you through the steps of making the process smooth, memorable, and a lot of fun!

A Proposal Story: Soulmates in Salem

Salem Ma. marriage surprise proposal and engagement session by Louise Michaud Photographer.

With the changing of the fall leaves and the cool air turning summer into autumn, I thought I would share a big change in two people’s lives that I recently got to be a part of.

Proposals might have to be one of my favorite types of portrait sessions, because they are so exciting! Not only do I get to document two people making a lifelong commitment to each other, but I get to be a part of the surprise.

Salem is known for it’s beautiful historic wonders and picturesque scenes, which attracts many young couples to celebrate the beginning of their love story.

I was delighted when a young man from Chicago came to us to document his commitment to the love of his life.

Salem Ma. marriage surprise proposal and engagement session by Louise Michaud Photographer.

Bryce and Ann have known each other since they were 10 years old. As they grew older they grew closer, and finally together as a couple. Bryce loves history, and Ann loves all things Halloween, which made Salem a perfect destination for their story to begin.

“We met when we were about ten in grade school we always had a few months at a time sporadically throughout growing up of being close, and then eventually after graduation we really hit it off! Bryce and I realized we’d love Salem because he has a love for history and I absolutely love Halloween. We took a trip to Salem last year and fell completely in love, and since then we’ve decided it’s definitely our place!”

Bryce planned the the location and chose the Ropes Mansion Garden as the perfect backdrop for their special day. It was an excellent choice; the flowers looked amazing even as summer was coming to a close.

Salem Ma. marriage surprise proposal and engagement session by Louise Michaud Photographer.

Mike loves proposals. He always has a great time working with the groom-to-be on how to surprise his love in the most special way. Mike and Bryce schemed out a plan for months… We bought a rose and planted it where we wanted him to get down on one knee for the perfect shot.

The plan worked out great and Ann’s reaction was priceless. She had no idea she was about to get the best surprise of her life.

Salem Ma. marriage surprise proposal and engagement session by Louise Michaud Photographer.  Man gives new fiance her ring.
Salem Ma. marriage surprise proposal and engagement session by Louise Michaud Photographer.

And of course, she said yes.

Salem Ma. marriage surprise proposal and engagement session by Louise Michaud Photographer.

We continued on to have a wonderful session in the garden, and then something special happened. Two Monarch butterflies fluttered around the couple and Ann remarked, “That’s my grandmother.” She said that monarchs have always been a symbol of her spirit, when she can feel her presence. It was so sweet to know that Ann felt a connection to her departed loved one on her happiest day yet.

Salem Ma. marriage surprise proposal and engagement session by Louise Michaud Photographer.

It brings me so much joy to witness these moments, ones we will never forget, and to freeze them in portraiture- the emotions, the excitement, and the overflowing love.

Salem Ma. marriage surprise proposal and engagement session by Louise Michaud Photographer.

After the garden we took a stroll to The Roof Salem for their engagement session finale.

In the end, it was the perfect time in the perfect place for their perfect day, and the results were absolutely beautiful. Bryce’s choice of location allowed us to capture both of their personalities, interests, and their love for each other all at once.

Salem Ma. marriage surprise proposal and engagement session by Louise Michaud Photographer.

If you love the Salem area and are ready to ask your soulmate the final question,  I would highly recommend checking out any of the places mentioned above or in previous blogs for your picture perfect day.

Salem Ma. marriage surprise proposal and engagement session by Louise Michaud Photographer.

Are you ready to say I Do?

Call us any time to start planning your perfect proposal

The Dog Days of Summer


As the dog days of summer come to a close, we are left reflecting on sunny memories of travels, relaxing days, and visits with close friends and family which will warm our hearts even as the chilling winds of fall come rolling through.

Looking back on my fun-filled summer, I wanted to share one of my favorite sessions with a man who decided to capture his memories in portraiture with his three greatest blessings: his dogs Bear, Clovis, and Cosette.

The most important thing to remember about our loved ones (and pets) is that our time with them is precious. Portraits give us the gift of capturing their youthful spirit and all the joy they bring to our hearts.

Jack Kabrel wanted to do just that.



Jack is a creative guy in his own right. He has a strong appreciation for Film and black and white photography. At our very first meeting, I knew that this was going to be an incredibly fun and creative session.

At our planning session, we decided to incorporate My Hasselblad 2 ¼ film camera along with my Canon Digital SLR. This gave us a wide range of artistic expression when capturing Jack’s relationship with his best friends. After looking at the final shots, we agreed that the black and white look was the way to go- delivering strong character, emotion and detail.

While the the final portraits he picked looked similar to Mike and I, Jack found that each portrait presented different sides of the dogs’ characters. When you have a pet, you know their many facial expressions and what they mean- all the sweet ways that they communicate with you!



Bear is Jack’s oldest dog – a 15.5 year old Pomeranian, and is still ornery at his age; Clovis is a 12.9 year old Yorkshire Terrier, blind and mostly deaf but still a good boy; and Cosette is the only girl, a sweet and gentle 12.3 year old Shitzu.

They spent all their lives walking, sniffing and cavorting around with dog friends as well as thousands of neighbors and guests at the Wharf in Salem. This made the perfect location for their photo session: a beautiful home and playground. It was easy to capture their true spirit and personalities in their favorite spot.



We photographed Jack with each dog individually and all together, and he even brought his friend Will along to participate in the session!

Will is a close friend of Jack’s and loves all three of his dogs dearly, but has a special affection for Clovis.



It was remarkable to capture the bonds between both 2 and 4 legged friends at the same time. One of my favorite images from the Hasselblad was of Jack and Will sitting on a wall holding the dogs, with two bare trees behind them. We felt that the trees stood as metaphors for their friendship, which gave the image a special meaning.



Truthfully, we came out with so many great images in this session that Jack ordered a beautiful photo album – enough for a lifetime of memories. I absolutely loved the design he chose.

Of course, there had to be a favorite: one portrait that would live on Jack’s wall and bring a smile to his face every day. Jack chose a beautiful panorama on canvas of Bear, Clovis and Cosette to hang in his living room.



I was so honored to be able to capture such a sweet and profound bond on camera, in such a creative way! Mike and I both had a wonderful time working with Jack and his fur babies, and his feedback from our session completely melted my heart.


“Professional. Creative. Passionate. These are but three – of a dozen or more – adjectives that come flooding into my brain when I recall my photo shoot with Louise.

I chose Louise from several other photographers for no other reason than her proximity to my home. Wanting a photo shoot of myself and my dogs with a nearness to their environs for an outdoor session was important. This decision was fortuitous.

By the way, the other skill that Louise posses, if I haven’t mentioned it, is a unique talent for understanding what the customer wants. She knew exactly what I wanted from her after only minutes in her office. Her photographic eye for detail, unique angles, and symmetry in her shots was astounding. I ordered 95% of all the photos shot that day including a series of portraits and a panoramic of my three dogs before a backdrop of Salem Wharf.

Luck was on my side that day I randomly walked into Louise studio. The memories of my dogs are beautifully preserved because of the magnificent talent of an unassuming artist with an innate ability to sense exactly what I wanted. Thanks Louise!”

– Jack Kabrel


Put the Spotlight on Your Business with Great Personal Branding


When was the last time you felt inspired to connect with a particular brand or service provider? Maybe you saw an ad on social media, or a beautifully built website. What was it about the brand’s messaging that spoke to you?

In the visual and digital culture in which we live, visual branding is what drives the mind of the consumer. Personal Branding gives you the opportunity to influence future customers by visually communicating the quality, loyalty, and authenticity of your services in a way that makes you stand out in a sea of countless offers.

At the heart of great branding, it makes choosing you and your business an easy decision for your client.



No matter what field of business you are in, whether you are a business owner, entrepreneur, or employee, it’s important to invest in your personal branding so that you can be recognized for the great service that you provide, and in other words, your reputation.

Since the majority of our culture is driven by beautiful imagery, the most important aspect of personal branding is photography. A great selection of personal branding photographs can help you achieve your professional goals by presenting you in the position where you want to be, and letting the world see you as you want to be seen.

Here is a fantastic example of a real estate agent who took the initiative to invest in her personal brand with a customized portrait session, and the amazing the results that came from it.



Jill Michaud is a trusted Real Estate Advisor on the NorthShore of Boston. She is closely connected with her community and provides a high standard of excellence to all her clients.

Jill came to us with the amazing opportunity to be featured in NorthShore Magazine in an Agent Spotlight for Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty. All her hard work as a fantastic real estate agent had paid off in the form of well-deserved recognition; we were so thrilled for her!

Before submitting her information for the feature, Jill wanted to create some top-notch personal brand photos in order to make the most of this amazing opportunity for public brand awareness.

Needless to say, we were ready to help!

Louise walked Jill through all of her options for her session – from props and setting to posing, as well as style in a complimentary home clothing consultation. When taking portraits for your brand, it can be tricky to find the balance between professionalism and personal style. With the help of Louise, Jill’s look and style were perfect for the occasion.



We helped her set the perfect scene for her photos which would communicate the elegance and esteem of the service she provides, as well as her welcoming personality.

With perfect planning and great personal connection, Jill’s personal branding session went seamlessly, and the results were beautiful!



We were so excited to get our copy of NorthShore Magazine with Jill’s fantastic feature. Her beautiful photos made her stand with a touch of elegance, affirming all the wonderful things written of her in the article. We are so proud of Jill and the work she does, and are honored to have helped in the process of making her Agent Spotlight shine.



Now, if you are wondering whether or not your personal branding is promoting your business in the best way possible, take a look at your online presence and ask yourself, “If I knew nothing about me or my business, would I hire me?”

Most of your potential clients will find you digitally before they decide to trust you and the great services you provide. The question is, will your photographs communicate all the excellence your business has to offer?

If your personal branding photography doesn’t inspire personal connection, loyalty, dedication and expertise, we can help you change that. With a quick consultation, you will be on the fast track to having plentiful personal branding assets that make your business stand out, and bring in more clients who are excited to work with you.

Contact us today to get started!