Letters 11-30-2015

“Snapshots” of Islam Offensive  In his latest effort (Northern Express Nov. 23 - Nov. 29, 2015,) David Kachadurian provides a jumble of FYI disclosures pertaining to Islam and Muslim societies, and posing as if providing a public service announcement, he advises the readers to ponder their import and to “make of them what you will.”

Not Another War To these people who believe we need to be at war in the Middle East all the time: try thinking about getting the countries that are in the area to take care of these bad guys instead of us. We are almost in constant war and have been as long as most can remember...

The Unvaccinated Are Punished Pulling healthy children from school due to a so called “outbreak” of a mild childhood illness isn’t for the safety of the community, as we’re being led to believe. It’s to prove a point that the health department will follow through on their threats to exclude the unvaccinated from all school related events, whenever they see fit...

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The Wilkeys‘ Photography

Emily Manthei - January 21st, 2008
It was a fairy-tale wedding that only photos could describe: a beautiful winter bride, dressed in snow-white furs and surrounded by real snowflakes, caught up in the romance of a special day more than fifteen years in the making – yes, fifteen years. When Dan and Ruth Wilkey were finally married, their story was a tale of love, loss, and reconciliation that spanned more years than many modern marriages.
The wedding was an epic story and a picture-perfect occasion. Wedding photos began to circulate. Ruth became one of the few brides who actually watched her wedding video. So it was no surprise to many of their friends when Dan, a talented long-time hobby photographer, and Ruth, a musician, piano teacher, and artist herself, returned to weddings – this time as professional photographers.

For them, it started two years ago at Dan’s brother’s wedding, where he shot candid photos of the ceremony, displaying them via laptop at the reception. The “official” wedding photographer liked them so much she suggested Dan start doing professional wedding photography, and “Photography by Yosh” (Dan’s somewhat mysterious nickname) was born from Dan and Ruth’s bustling, artistic Petoskey cottage.
Ruth, who bases a number of musical enterprises under her Creative Cottage banner, explains.
“We’re both artists, with diverse male/female sensibilities. So our finished work portrays aspects that appeal to both the bride and the groom – romance and action,” she chuckles. “We also bring joy, remembering vividly our own wedding day. We love weddings.”
And what brings magic to this duo’s work is that empathetic enthusiasm for each client’s special day. Dan and Ruth’s separate impressions, plus memories from their own day, help them capture the diverse aspects of every ceremony. While Ruth follows the bride during the pre-ceremony preparation, Dan captures the action of the ceremony and the once-in-a-lifetime moments between the bride and groom.
They trade places, filling in all the details throughout the event, capturing dozens of moments. And once the guests are ready for socializing and dancing, they start a slide show of the ceremony’s photos in one corner of the room, fulfilling the whole party’s desire for immediately sharing memories of the event – one of their most unique offerings.
The only problem? Ruth can never decide which wedding she likes best. “Every time we shoot a wedding, we go home thinking ‘that was the best one ever!’”

While most of their photographed weddings take place within the Harbor Springs to Traverse City area, Dan and Ruth have travelled as far as Grosse Pointe and Mackinac Island for weddings, but consider their Petoskey base a special destination.
With the serenity of Little Traverse Bay, and grandiose venue options as diverse and beautiful as the Stafford hotels, Bay Harbor, and a wide range of churches, “We couldn’t ask for greater natural beauty and venues as a backdrop for lovely photos. We offer couples coming from downstate the advantage of knowing other vendors and venues in the area, and can assist them in their planning,” offers Ruth, who is just as excited about each and every bride’s special day.
In fact, she has started to co-ordinate with wedding planners to offer other creative services as well. Her newest musical venture, Creative Cottage Young Musicians, is a performance group made up of some of her most talented piano students, hired out for weddings and family events. Meanwhile, Dan finishes post-production on the photos just weeks after the ceremony, giving their business a much faster turnaround than most wedding photographers, an added incentive for their clients.

This is what puts Photography by Yosh in a bit of a different class than many other wedding photographers: each wedding party always feels like they’re being given something a little extra special, something a little more personal than what more generic wedding photographers offer. With both Ruth and Dan’s gregarious personalities and attention to detail, it seems more like having a close personal friend capture the most important day of your life – someone who uniquely knows you.
And besides great photos, you would be hard-pressed to find photographers who love weddings as much as these two do.
“We get to hear great messages and reminders about the gift of marriage – the magic and the commitment to love and respect each other even when it’s not easy.” Ruth smiles as she thinks back on her own winter wedding. “We have a very special story ourselves, and we get to remember it each time we work alongside another couple who are embarking on their adventure together.”
Photography by Yosh may be reached by calling the Creative Cottage call center at 231.838.2114 or by visiting Yosh’s online gallery at http://photo.net/photos/DanielWilkey. Some of their wedding photography work may also be viewed in this issue’s edition of Northern Seen (page 30)

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