Welcome to Watassa!

The big day is finally here--the launch of my new name and new brand! 

I am so excited to announce that Emily Alt Photography has officially become Watassa Wedding Photography, or just simply, Watassa.

I must give my biggest thank yous now to a few people--Erin Cooper of Cooper House for helping me sift through all my ideas and thoughts about what this new business should look like and encouraging me to go forward with this fantastic new design, Maddie of A Practical Wedding for her excessively helpful business consulting and hand holding when I needed encouragement.  But most importantly, I should thank my clients from the past two years--couples who believed in me and in my work and took a chance on me to shoot their weddings--I truly would not be in a position to relaunch or rebrand or even continue in this wonderful work were it not for them and for their trust and belief.  Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Those of you who know me well or are my family will be very familiar with this word, Watassa, and perhaps not at all surprised that I chose to go with this as my new name for my business.  But for those of you unfamiliar with Watassa, allow me to explain:

Watassa is originally a Native American word meaning "place of peace" or "Nirvana".  In the 1950s, my family purchased a hunting lodge in Northern Michigan and my grandmother named the place Watassa.  For a many years this home was the site of our family vacations, weddings, reunions and even a funeral or two.It's not even really possible to describe the home in all of its glory, but it truly was unlike any other.  Simply, Watassa was my favorite place in the entire world.  Going Up North for the weekend meant being in that huge house, surrounded by the memories and meanings of my family and my family's family and it was safe and comforting and lovely. It was far more than a house; it was a way of life and a way of living.  Though the home hasn't been in our family since 2004, there isn't a day that goes by when I don't think of it, dream of it or talk about it.  It is very much a part of me and helped shape me into the person I am today. 


When I decided to move forward with renaming my business, I wanted to develop a name that still had significant meaning to me and to the work I want to do--Emily Alt Photography, obviously, was a very personal name, so I felt strongly that my new name should also still be a personal piece of myself--after all, wedding photography is so personal and so intimate, it only makes sense to put a bit of myself out there for others.  

Further, I wanted to rebrand after moving back to Michigan this past year--when I started my business, we were based in Chicago, and while I am very grateful for the time I spent in the city, being home in Michigan is exactly where I am supposed to be--and it is where I want to do the majority of my work from here on out.

Watassa seemed like a perfect fit--it is personal, means a great deal to me, and represents the very best of what I think of when I think of Michigan, nature, the Big Lake, the silent woods, the rivers--this state truly is an amazing place to live and an even better place to work and to base my business.  

When I think of Watassa I think of the very best of my life--the happiest moments, the best spot, the most beautiful place, the place where I want to go when I die--and that is the type of photography work I want to do--the best, the happiest, the most beautiful, the moments you want to remember for your entire life.

Watassa Wedding Photography is about collecting memories from the day through my work and presenting all of them to my clients--the good, the fantastic, the beautiful and the emotional.  

Watassa is about allowing the wedding day to unfold and develop, not staging or re-creating photos.  Watassa is organic and authentic, real and honest.  

Watassa will be a business that is true to the client and true to the photojournalistic asthetic--it's about being natural and relaxed and unposed and beautiful, just as you are on this day, at this time, in this life, in this moment.  I'm a photographer who sees and loves the emotions and I do not, in any way, believe in shooting weddings to be featured on blogs. I believe in shooting weddings that will convey to anyone who had to miss the day that it was a knock down, drag out, real talk love fest complete with tears of joy, huge laughs and giant smiles.

While Emily Alt Photography was awesome, I truly hope that Watassa will be even more.  I hope that this new rebrand will give my business the specific direction I want to see it take--I hope this frees me up to really focus in on weddings that resonate with me and my love for Northern Michigan, rustic settings, smaller and more intimate affairs, and weddings that are authentically focused on the couple and their story. 

All this being said, this is only a soft launch--while the branding is complete and ready to roll, the website is still under development, so you'll see some changes over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, thank you so much to everyone who has helped so much over the past few weeks to get this off and flying--I couldn't have done it without you!