Thu. Jul 17, 2014 by Mary    Engagements

University of Chicago Engagement: Sheila & Jon

We got an email from Sheila last year & on the inquiry form where it said "On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you to have J&M shoot your wedding?"....she said it was a 20! :) That's when I first knew she definitely had to be a J&M bride.

We emailed back & forth in preparation for their engagement shoot & Sheila sent me a picture of the incredible navy Modcloth dress she was going to be wearing. She described it as a "poofy, retro-inspired, party dress." And that's when I knew she most definitely was our ideal J&M Bride.

But it was afterr the shoot, after we were on our way back home, when we got not one, but two emails- one from Sheila AND one from Jon thanking us for everything....that's when I knew that we had been lucky enough to book our ideal J&M COUPLE! The kind where we just connect so much with both of them, they are both so super kind & thoughtful, they have amazing, classic style, they are funny, they are both into planning the wedding, they both value photography, love the work and knew they wanted to work with us in particular, and they are the kind of people you just want to be friends with....the kind of people where you are the best version of yourself when you're around them. Now THAT'S our idea couple!

Earlier this week, we got together with Sheila & Jon to shoot all around the University of Chicago campus. As soon as we walked through our first stone archway & saw the ivy growing up the wall....it felt like we were home! And we thought....these are our people! :) I have to admit, I think the UC campus might even be a little prettier than the Yale Campus. And that's saying something! Everywhere you looked, there was some new amazing corner to shoot in! Let's just put it this way, it took us about a half an hour to walk twenty feet, we just kept seeing so much we loved! This is a classic photographer's DREAM backdrop and we were loving every minute of it!

I think this shoot was made even better because Sheila & Jon are both creatives themselves, so photography & art are really important to them. Jon is a designer & Sheila is actually photographer herself (she & Justin were at RIT at the same time!) who does a lot of editorial work in Chicago, so it was such a HUGE honor to be asked to be her photographer! We were joking that I think this must be the year of the photographer wedding because Sheila's will be our FIFTH photographer wedding of the year! Amazing!

Sheila & Jon we had the BEST time hanging out with you guys and seeing a part of Chicago we've never seen before! We loved every minute of getting to know you guys, hearing your story, and winding up the night in a pub together. It just got us SO excited for the wedding & now we can't wait until October to see you guys again! Until then, here are a few of our favorites from our time together!

So much love!
J&M













































































Wed. Jul 16, 2014 by Mary    The Latest

Featured: Walk Through on Style Me Pretty

Well today is a fun day! We woke up to an email that our latest Walk Through a Wedding Workshop is being featured on the Style Me Pretty Little Black Book blog today! They put together a beautiful feature and it was so cool going back through those images and seeing all of the INCREDIBLE details that the amazing creatives who came together to make that workshop happen had created! These were some of the prettiest flowers that we have ever seen created by the amazing Carrie Wilcox! And every single detail of the day was planned flawlessly by superwoman & powerhouse event designer Miss Stacie Shea Events!

And that just got me all the more excited that they are BOTH are already on board to come out with us next month to Nantucket to put on our next Walk Through a Wedding w/ J&M workshop out there! And from what they've been telling me, they are going to go ALL OUT for this one! I seriously can't WAIT to see what they come up with!

We are down to just our LAST few spots for Nantucket, so if you've been thinking about joining us be sure to grab your seat before they're all gone! And to make it even easier, we have set up a payment plan of three payments, which means that you can reserve your spot today for just $400!! We also have a hotel block for affordable accommodations on the island, so now there isn't a good reason not to come! :) With wedding season in FULL swing, wouldn't it be amazing to give yourself the gift of a few days away to rest, re-center, and get re-inspired for the rest of the season?? I think SO! :) We would love to see you there!

**To lock in your seat to the August 20-21st Nantucket Walk Through just head over HERE!













Tue. Jul 15, 2014 by Mary    The Latest

Featured: The Knot Magazine

We are so SO excited & honored to see Indhu & Greg's Miami wedding in the latest issue of The Knot! This was an incredible day, planned flawlessly by the amazing B.Belle Events & it makes my heart happy to see them in print!

Happy Tuesday!
M:)

















Mon. Jul 14, 2014 by Mary    The Latest

J&M Photo Recipes

The idea came to us this past weekend while we were at WDS (aka The World Domination Summit).

We got to hear the amazing Jadah Sellner, the co-founder of Simple Green Smoothies, talk about using your platform to love and serve others first. She talked with incredible & powerful passion about serving people not numbers. And to focus on service, not stats. Because the truth is, you can have all the "followers" in the world, but if you aren't finding a way to serve then they're just that....numbers.

And the truth is, that is something that has been on our hearts for a long time & we've been trying to think of more & more ways to use the different platforms we have (this blog, Facebook, Instagram, in person!) to make them about something bigger than us. But it wasn't until we heard Jadah speak that this latest idea hit us like a ton of bricks with one big incredible DUH moment! :)

You see, Jadah & the Simple Green Smoothies team send daily recipes for healthy smoothies to their followers. It's that, well....simple. But it's turned into a really powerful thing. It turns out that one small daily improvement, that one small focused action....can turn into really BIG results over time. And they are helping every single person who follows them come closer to reaching their goals on a daily basis. Talk about a powerful use of platforms!

So we thought....how can we do the same thing with our community? And just like that, the idea of J&M Photo Recipes was born!

Basically, once a day during the week, we are going to be posting one of these recipes over on my Instagram page. Sometimes it will be about the lighting set up, sometimes the posing, sometimes the behind the scenes that went into it. And then we'll always try to include our settings on each image. We chose Instagram because we liked that we could a) update it daily b) everyone who follows along can be sure to see it (unlike Facebook) and c) we can hashtag it #jmphotorecipes so it creates a searchable archive of them that people can always go back through & find them all in one place. So that's it! The J&M Photo Recipes are born! If you would like to keep up with all of them, just be sure to head over HERE & follow along!

Happy Monday friends!
xo
M:)















Fri. Jul 11, 2014 by Mary    Get Fired Up

On Sweaty Palms & Stepping into the Arena

Happy Friday friends!

We are just wrapping up an incredible week in Seattle (but not before one last adventure to take the Bainbridge Ferry & channel my inner Grey's Anatomy!), and then we're headed down to Portland to attend the World Domination Summit! The WDS was actually the original reason for this trip out west & we signed up for it about a year ago. Every time we tell people that's where we're going, they ask us if it has something to do with Mussolini or Dr. Evil, lol! But it is actually this incredible conference put on by Chris Guillebeau, the author of The Art of Nonconformity & The $100 Start Up, and every year it sells out in a matter of minutes! And we were two of the lucky few who got seats!! So yea, we're pretty pumped!

I'm in this really interesting season of my life where everything could just not be going more amazingly with the business & photography and all of these BIG amazing things keep happening. We honestly could not ask for more & I feel so incredibly thankful and grateful and just don't believe most of it has actually happened most of the time, actually! Like I said, we couldn't ask for more....and yet at the same time, I'm in this season where I feel like I'm being called to more.



See for me, the dream always started out with writing. I was that weird kid who would walk around thinking in her own narrative ("She picked up the toy & walked through the yard.") And I'm lucky in that I get to do a good bit of that here on this blog and through things like The Guide. But I'm definitely walking into a season where I'm feeling called to have a part of my life where the writing stands on its own two feet, not necessarily photography specific. In truth, I think that part of the dream is to write business and/or motivation books and then to get to go around and talk to people about them. To look at them face to face and hear what's going on in their lives. I want to give a Ted Talk. I want to have people read or hear my words and know that in, at least some small way, those words and that work helped somebody and made their lives at least just a little bit better. Basically, people like Brene Brown and Gretchen Rubin and Jon Acuff and Christine Caine are my heroes. And I'm feeling the call to take at least the tiniest "toe in the water" step into that arena. Whew. That just got real, really fast you guys. I'm sweating over here putting that out for the world to see! Talk about listing out some big ole' hairy AUDACIOUS goals! Yikes! :)

Anyway, the WDS for me is the chance to get away for three days, not have the pressure of speaking at the conference ourselves, and just let people who've been there & are living the dream pour into our tanks for a while. It's kind of a chance for me to take this dream of mine "to the mattresses" (not to go all Godfather on you) and see if it has legs to stand on. My hope is to do a lot of dreaming. And a lot of thinking. And come out of it with at least a vision for where to go from here.

Dreaming is scary you guys. Putting it out there & saying what you want for your life is super uncomfortable. It's that sweaty palms, pit in your stomach, "who am I to say I want this" icky mire that all of the dreamers out there have to take their own turns wading through. Like molasses. It's slow going and a lot of times it feels like you go it alone. But just know that you are not alone. If you are out there & there is a dream in your heart that kind of makes you want to throw up a little....just know that I'm right there with you. And honestly, I think those moments in life where we have the sweaty palms and the shaking hands and we want to throw up a little....those times when we stand right on the edge of the arena and then take that step....those are the times when we are most alive.

Let's do this!
M:)










 
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