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Reflections: Katharine Rose Witt

As we enter 2023, not only are we looking ahead to the Mackinac Island season to come we are also looking back at seasons past. We’ve reached out to some...

As we enter 2023, not only are we looking ahead to the Mackinac Island season to come we are also looking back at seasons past. We’ve reached out to some of the incredibly talented visual storytellers who were able to capture Mackinac Island through their own unique perspective. This is Mackinac Reflections, an opportunity to look back at the magical moments in time that will continue to spark joy and nostalgia for years to come.

Our first photographer spotlight is island resident Katharine Rose Witt of Katharine Rose Photography. Her growing photography business captures Mackinac Island visitors with their friends and family for priceless memory making. Follow along with us as we explore Katharine’s connection to Mackinac and her rich backstory:

How did you first get into photography?

For as long as I can remember my mom was always taking photos of me and my family. Today, being able to look back through those photos is something I’ll always cherish. That’s why I love photography so much, it allows you to capture priceless memories that one day you’ll share with your children and grandchildren. I’ve always had a creative side and loved snapping photos on my phone ever since I was little. In 2018 I got my first professional camera and fell in love! Now I have the honor of capturing Mackinac memories that will last forever.


Where do you call home?

Mackinac Island, Michigan


What was your first Mackinac Island experience?

At just 6 months old my family brought me to Mackinac Island on my very first trip and I’ve been in love ever since. As a child I’d vacation to the island every year and always dreamed of one day working on Mackinac. In 2015 after my freshman year at CMU I had the opportunity to come to Mackinac and work for a season. I worked for what used to be Martha’s Sweet Shop, The Leather Coral, and I waitressed evenings at The Mustang Lounge. After that season I truly thought that I’d never be back to Mackinac again other than for a vacation. A few months after returning to CMU my mom, Rose, whose always dreamed of living and working on Mackinac got offered a job and my dad retired early and they made the move to Mackinac to run a B&B. While they were on Mackinac, I visited any chance I got. In 2018 I graduated from CMU with BAA in Public Relations and started doing some freelance social media work. During this time I’d visit my parents and decided I was totally missing out on living an incredible life on Mackinac. In 2019 and 2020 I worked alongside my parents running two B&B’s on the island and started doing social media and photography work on the side. During this time I not only fell in love with Mackinac living, but I also started talking to an island boy and I completely fell in love. In 2020 I unfortunately had a horrible bike accident and had to put my photography and social media work on the back burner while I recovered. At the end of the 2020 season I was feeling great again and I couldn’t fathom leaving Mackinac or my boyfriend for the winter so I ended up staying. My first winter on Mackinac was beyond magical and I knew this was now the place I’d forever call home. At the beginning of 2021 my mom made a move and started working at the incredible Bicycle Street Inn. With my parents and boyfriends support I was able to pursue my dream of doing photography and social media work full time. In February of 2021 I started Katharine Rose Photography and it completely took off, like I mean better than I could’ve ever imagined. Now I’m blessed to be a full time resident in a community that I love and doing what I love every single day. I get the opportunity to walk out my doorstep and capture all the beauty Mackinac has to offer and share it with all of you. To anyone out there debating if they should work on Mackinac, I couldn’t say better things or recommend it enough. It’s a lot of work and comes with its challenges, but so worth it! Mackinac has truly changed my life and I’m so blessed and honored to call Mackinac my home. 


What do you remember most from your time spent on the island?

It’s so crazy to look back and think about the days before I was a full time resident. It’s crazy to see photos of me when I was little on the island and now I call it home. Some of my favorite memories though are coming to the island with my grandparents. They would make each visit so magical. My favorite memory would be when I was probably 10 years old and they took me on a carriage ride to a fancy dinner at the Woods. My favorite memory today would be just enjoying Mackinac with my parents when they are here, watching my triplet nieces fall in love with the island, and meeting the love of my life here.


What do you most enjoy about photographing Mackinac?

EVERYTHING! The island is truly like nothing else. Each day I am blessed to wake up and have unlimited beautiful views to capture. There isn’t a spot on this island that would look bad in a photo. Even the simplest of things are magical here. My absolute favorite thing to capture though is the horses! 


What do you wish first time visitors would take away from the Mackinac experience?

I hope that when people leave they are in love with the island just like I am. I hope they’ve seen beautiful views, ate wonderful fudge and food, and just had an all around great experience. I also hope they learned the history of our little island and that they want to come back in the future. 


What do you think is Mackinac Island’s best kept secret?

100% the middle of the island! My biggest tip is to book a private carriage tour while here. They will show you areas you’ve never seen and teach you so much about the island. After your tour, rent bikes or go out on a hike and get out of downtown and explore. So many people think all Mackinac has to offer is on Main Street and that’s not true at all. You could spend days exploring all our trails here. Make sure to check out the General Store in the Village too while you’re out exploring!


Follow along with Katharine here:







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