Sat. Aug 23, 2014 by Mary    Engagements

Yale Engagement: Amy & Sid

Happy Monday!

Today we are excited to share with you the engagement shoot of Amy & Sid! Oh these GUYS!! From the very first second they walked through our door, I absolutely fell in love with both of them. They just have such a way of putting everyone at ease and instantly making you feel like you've been best friends with them forever. They are the kind of people you want to hang out with as much as you can, and we are SO excited that we're going to get to again soon for their wedding later this month.

These guys are planning a FULL day wedding with two ceremonies, two First Looks, and two parties....which just makes sense, because these guys live every part of life so fully and with so much JOY that I can't imagine them doing anything halfway! Amy & Sid, we had the BEST time hanging out with you, sharing grapefruity drinks, coining new phrases, and bonding over our mutual love of truffle fries.

We can't WAIT to hug you again! For now, here are just a few of our favorites from our shoot!

Wed. Aug 20, 2014 by Mary    Weddings

Ashley & Kyle - Tidewater Inn Wedding

We are SO excited to share this wedding with you guys today!!

Ashley & Kyle got married at the absolutely BEAUTIFUL Tidewater Inn on the Eastern Shore this past weekend. And they had SUCH a gorgeous day! From their stunning pink, peach & gold details (I mean how amazing is that ruffled linen for their escort cards?!), to girls in long pink dresses and guys in all black tie (our favorite!), to the charming town of Easton and how gorgeous the inn is itself, to one of the most beautiful (inside AND out) couples we have ever had the honor to photograph....this whole wedding was just incredible!

Ashley & Kyle are two of the sweetest people you could ever meet, and as soon as we met both of their families we knew why....the whole crew was just amazing! And that includes one of the kindest (and most cooperative!) bridal parties we've ever met too. The weather was absolutely perfect that day and every single person who was there just loved this couple SO much!

Add to that, that we got to work with one of the nicest, most cool under pressure, top of her game coordinators ever in Melanie at The Tidewater Inn and the incredibly talented Monteray Farms for some of the prettiest flowers we've ever seen...and it just made for the perfect day!

Ashley & Kyle, there will never be enough words to tell you how much we adore the both of you & how grateful we are to have been your photographers and now friends! We love you guys! The world needs more people like you!

SO much love!

Fri. Aug 15, 2014 by Mary    Get Fired Up

The Secrets of Success

Yesterday we had an amazing, sweet photographer write to us because she is about to take her business full time. She had questions, she has BIG dreams, and she wanted to know how to make them happen. When it came right down to it, she wanted to know:

How did you get to where you are now and what advice can you give this photographer who is ready to take on the world? What is your secret to success?

We wrote back to her right away. For the first time in a long time, the words came easy. And I thought maybe it just might help someone here who is about to take the leap themselves. So I wanted to post it here as well.

"Hey {Photographer}!

Oh, thatís awesome!!! We wish you SO much luck!!!

As far as secrets to success, I think there are the staples: hard work and a lot of time for things to grow. Remember that in between the time of planting and the time of harvest, there is always this time in between while a lot happens just under the surface that the world canít see yet. But that doesn't mean that the most important work isn't happening right then. As Justin, always reminds me: slow growth equals strong roots. Don't be afraid to grow slow & steady over the long haul. Remember it's only the weeds that pop up over night.

But that being said, I also think there are things you can do to make sure what you're planting are always good things. Here are some things we've learned along the way.

The people you surround yourself with and making friends any chance you can get will grow you SO much more than ever trying to go it alone. Be a really good friend. Be incredibly committed and work really hard at always getting better in your craft. Never think that itís ďgood enoughĒ or that youíve arrived. You havenít. You wonít. We certainly haven't. If you do, hang up your camera and walk away for you have lost the love of it. Never, never stop learning. Consistency is key. Show up every day and do the work. Donít be afraid to ask. Don't get too big to answer. Never think that you will reach some place where youíve ďmade itĒ and suddenly youíll have permission to do what it is that you want. You have to be that permission for yourself right from the beginning. Shoot a ton, shoot for yourself. Get a workflow together now, one that allows you to turn things around in good time but with an even greater focus on quality. Remember these pictures are more than just a check mark on your to do list; they have to last a lifetime. Be personal and be real. No like actually real. There are a lot of fake ďrealĒ people out there. Do your own work. In everything you do act with integrity. Give credit where credit is due. Don't step on people to try to get where you're going. Instead, learn from other people. Learn like crazy from other people. Ask them questions. Ask them whatís working. Ask them what's not. Learn from their experience & mistakes. Speaking of, in our experience with mistakes donít spend a ton of money on bridal shows, preferred vendor lists, the latest camera gear or fancy clothes to feel like you fit in. Use your camera until itís the thing thatís holding YOU back (rather the other way around). And then and only then upgrade. Don't get caught up in that competition.The camera doesnít make the photographer, who you are and how you see the world does. Fall in love with light. With what it can do and how it breathes life into an image. And never, never stop chasing it.

Do what you say youíre going to do when you say youíre going to do it. Get images to your vendors. Be humble. Let your talent speak more than you do. Ask the planner before running off with the couple. And if one is extra good at her job & makes your life easier, send her flowers the following Monday. Serve others. Your gifts are exactly thatÖa gift. You were lucky enough to be given them, so make sure you donít leave this earth without using every last one of them to leave the world better than you found it. Tell stories that matter more than ones that get a lot of Instagram likes. Look at the big picture with your work and make pictures that will last the long haul. When in doubt, remember that classic never goes out of style and there are a lot of things you can do to your work, but that doesn't mean you should . Hold yourself to the standard of being the photographer that you want to be. So that when you are at the end of your life, you can look back on the body of work and the legacy that you leave behind and know that this work that you did...this work always mattered. And finally, trust me on this, sooner or later you ARE going to find yourself in need a Command 3M hook and/or super glue. Add them both to your bag right now.

But above all, here is the most important one: these goals that you listed like speaking at WPPI or being on Creative LiveÖ.those arenít really the dream. They only feel like the dream because thatís what success happens to look like right now. Donít get me wrong, both of those things are amazing goals to go for & I think you should!. Iím sure one day, we will see you get to do both. But my point is, when you base success on a checklist of what it looks like for everyone else at that particular point in time, that success will always, always be just beyond your grasp. And there will always be just one more thing to add to the list. So you will spend your life in the pursuit of More. More, more, more just to barely keep up. Instead, I'd rather see you as the one who invents a whole new version of success that no one has ever seen before. One for all of us to look up to. Step bravely out as a leader, the world needs more leaders. Donít just do what has already been done. Speak at the conferences, host the workshops if that's something you want to try. But let those just be this cool thing you got to do one time. In between going out and setting this whole world on fire (light it up, up, up), finding success for what YOU say it is, and always, always on your own terms.

This is it. Fight like Hell.

Tue. Aug 12, 2014 by Mary    The Latest

Taking a Blogging Sabbatical!

Sooooooo. I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

Next month will mark seven years that I've been blogging pretty much every day Monday through Friday on here. And...that's a lot.

It's a lot to think of new posts. It's a lot to think of the words. It's a lot to put out there & not really be sure if it's making quite the difference I want to be making in the world amidst all the noise. Because with Facebook, Instagram, and all the other news feeds out there...let's face it, there is definitely a LOT of noise these days.

And it's become kind of this grind. This thing I show up to every morning where just getting something up is more important than what I'm actually getting to say. The passion for it is gone. Me having time to write things that matter is gone. Because the next morning rolls around sooner than you think & the whole process starts over again. I've seen that in our blog & I've definitely seen it happening in our friends' blogs out there too. And the truth is, we just have some really big dreams & some really big things happening for us that we want to be freed up to work on. We don't want to just keep doing it the same way because that's how we've always done them. The world is changing & we are changing too. We leapt & started this business in the first place because we didn't want to get caught up in the "supposed to's" of this life.

So it would be a real shame if we let ourselves get caught up in them now.

So after seven years, I've decided I'm giving myself a break! A chance to step back & really think about what I want to say, what I want this blog to be & stand for, a chance to get creative and write for me and shoot for us. A chance to free up 4-8 hours every day to live more of life, to get work done on the things that matter & the big projects that fall by the wayside all while I stop everything to get a post up. To rest and breathe and feel passionate again. To fill the tank. To get some clarity on what the next steps look like for us and get excited again. To get FIRED UP again. To adapt. To innovate. To lead and not follow. To do what has not already been done. To just give ourselves space to be human and take off the superwoman cape. To not feel so BUSY every day and wear that like some sort of badge of honor (which let's get clear on is NOT now nor will it ever be!) And instead, to slow down and be an artist again. To be a crafter of words and pictures. To be able to write the kinds of pieces that are really on my heart & step out more as a writer. To do work that in every way matters and feeds my soul. Not just work that fills a checkmark.

So in pursuit of giving ourselves that space, we have decided to take a sabbatical of sorts for the rest of the Summer to test the waters, clean the slate, and take a step back to gain some perspective. For the next several weeks, I'm going to be blogging somewhere between 1-2 posts a week (or if I don't have anything to say, then zero!) and we will also be shaking up how we approach the posts (more on that once I figure it out! :) And honestly, just even writing these words was such a huge relief so I know it's going to be so great for us!

***In the mean time, you guys can REALLY help us out by taking part in a little survey of sorts in the comment box below. We would really appreciate it if you let us know if a) you prefer to just keep up with photographers on Facebook & Instagram or if you enjoy coming over the blog/ are you reading photography blogs and b) what kinds of posts you get the most out of/most enjoy reading/ would want to see stay moving forward. It would be a HUGE help! Thanks in advance guys!

Thank you guys so much for being with us for the ride! I think it's only going to get better from here!

Mon. Aug 11, 2014 by Mary    Engagements

NYC Engagement Shoot: Natalie & Brad

Happy Monday friends!!

Ohhhh do we have the perfect way to start your week!! As soon as Natalie & Brad hired us last year for their 2015 Branford House wedding, Natalie let us know that one of the things she was most looking forward to was the engagement shoot. She said she wanted to do something editorial, iconic, and outside of the norm. Natalie is actually an incredibly successful & talented interior designer (the kind with celebrities for clients!) so she has impeccable taste! And that was like music to our ears because we LOVE when our couples think outside of the box for their engagement shoots! We love when they get really dressed up and pick an incredible location because that just gets us so fired up & INSPIRED and it's really when we get our best work! Add to that, that we tend to get our best work when there's a) great architecture, b) a couple with an iconic, classic look, and c) amazing light for black & white images.... and this session was pretty much the perfect storm of our ideal shoot!

A little known fact about Justin & I is that when we're shooting, we tend to put our cameras in "monochrome" so that we can focus more on what the light is doing than distracting elements in the background (this comes in extra handy in the city). That mode shows you the image in black & white, but it also creates the color RAW file so you have the choice later. But after seeing all of these in black & white to begin with, I found myself one by one going through the RAW files of my faves and turning them back to black & white. Until what I ended up with was an ALL black & white blog post! And I have to be honest, I'm pretty much in love with that!!

We hope you enjoy!

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