Waterview Loft Dock Mystery!

Waterview Loft Dock Mystery

Honesty, I did NOT think I was doing anything wrong or asking my clients to do anything illegal. But a picture’s worth a thousand words, right?!

Waterview Loft Restricted Dock For Photo

Every time I’ve photographed a wedding at the Waterview Loft in Detroit, the venue has built into the timeline a time to go out of their dock in front of this lovely waterfront Detroit, Michigan wedding venue. I do this all the time. It was originally the wedding venue’s suggestion! Pretty sure some of those image are what attracted this particular bride to book me.

Bridesmaids stroll on the dock at the Waterview Loft during an earlier wedding.

It’s always helpful to have a staff member come along to make sure anyone walking along the waterfront doesn’t follow us in. Sometimes we’ve taken the whole wedding party out for a fun photo with the Waterview Loft in the background. Like this photo from a few years ago.

Wedding party photo on the docks in front of the Waterview Loft in downtown Detroit, Michigan.

So I hadn’t been back to a wedding at the Waterview Loft since the Pandemic started. But I told the Manager as soon as I arrived that I planned to take the couple out for a nice sunset photo on the dock and wanted to know who could let us out there. He said any staff member could do that for me. Great! So right before I got the couple out for photos, I went and asked a wait staffer outside if he had the key to unlock the chain around the barriers blocking off the dock. “Oh.” he said, “Those aren’t actually locked. They just look like it. Just tug on them and you can slip in. But please pull them closed behind you so no one follows you out there”. Yay. So I grabbed the couple and we approached the gates.

And they were locked. Not budging. What to do? How to solve this problem? Before I could ask the couple for options, the groom was sailing over the barrier. Okay! But the gorgeous chick in the super tight white dress? Before I could open my mouth to ask she was climbing!

The bride and groom hop over the barriers to the restricted area for the docks in front of the Waterview Loft where I have photographed multiple couples. It's a Waterview Loft Dock Mystery.

So now I have to jump the barrier too. I do yoga, I’m in great shape, but I also have all my equipment on me. Just then I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn around and a nice Detroit police officer (and two backups) are standing there asking what I think I’m doing. So I explain that we’re going out on the Waterview Loft’s dock for sunset photos. He says it is not their dock and it’s not allowed. He points the the “Restricted Area” sign. You can’t go there for some photo op. “But I do this at all the Waterview Loft weddings I photograph.” I say. Well, you can’t be here. “But they know I’m here and told me it was open.” But it’s clearly locked, he says. I ask someone over his shoulder to please go get the manager so they can clear this up.

And the officer takes a look at the bride and groom already over the barrier and tells me he’s taking a 4 minute walk and I better not be there when he gets back.

So we take a few very quick photos;

The bride and groom on the docks in front of the Waterview Loft in downtown Detroit, Michigan.The bride and groom on the docks in front of the Waterview Loft in downtown Detroit, Michigan.The bride and groom on the docks in front of the Waterview Loft in downtown Detroit, Michigan.

After I ungracefully clamor back over the barrier and the bride looks gorgeous on her climb and the groom gazelles over it like this;

The bride and groom hop over the barriers to the restricted area for the docks in front of the Waterview Loft where I have photographed multiple couples.

And then I spot the Manager of the Waterview Loft. Ah! Now I can be vindicated as two new police officers look on. “What?” he says. “You went out there?”. “You’re not allowed out there! Why did you think you could go out THERE?!?”. And so we have a mystery about the docks at Waterview Loft.

Were these earlier photos illegal? Is it really off limits now??

Wedding party photo on the docks in front of the Waterview Loft in downtown Detroit, Michigan.

Bride waves to guests back at the Waterivew Loft wedding venue in Detroit.

Bride and groom smooch on the docks at the Waterview Loft in Detroit.

Waterview Loft bride and groom visit a vessel.

And so the mystery of the Waterview Loft wedding venue dock continues. The good news is that none of us got arrested.

The bad new is that this might be the last time I take photos at the dock. Thanks Detroit Police Department for letting us do this.

We appreciate it!

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