Lorie & Michael – East Bridgewater Elopement

Michael and Lorie’s wedding was my last of 2017, and it was such a great note to end the year on! Their intimate ceremony featured only them and their closest family members on the green in East Bridgewater, and on December 30 it happened to be 18 degrees… but with the perfect light snowfall. We might have all liked it a little bit warmer, but it was SO pretty I’m going to go ahead and say it was worth it!

Michael and Lorie are such a fun couple to photograph, and with their classic style I could have taken tons more portraits with them. BUT 18 degrees is no joke, so we took as many as we could in a 30-minute window and then got in our cars to warm up before the ceremony! And man, did we kill it in those 30 minutes… I can wait to show more of these two!

Congrats Michael & Lorie! It was a pleasure to be your wedding photographer. 

Liz, 27 – Marathon Runner

Liz and I went into the woods in Sturbridge, MA on a rainy day in October for our shoot, and I left soaked down to my underpants, but with so much happy in my heart!

Liz is a lifelong athlete, collegiate track and field competitor – and soon to be Boston Marathon runner! She marks the sixth in the series, the first runner, and the first to also make incredible ceramic creations when she’s not busy training in preparation for April. 

She is beautiful inside and out, seriously one of the most kind and warm people you’ll ever meet, it’s no wonder that Boston Children’s Hospital chose her to run Boston on their behalf this year. While she is only required to raise $10K, she hopes to reach at least $15K for the hospital. Click HERE to donate!

Liz runs 3-4 days a week with Western Mass Distance Project (a competitive running team), in addition to her workouts at Amped Fitness 3-4 days a week. A self-proclaimed extrovert, she relies on her teammates to keep her motivated

“The age range of the women on WMDP goes from early 20’s to early 60’s and each of these women is STRONG and lighting fast! They are also always incredibly supportive of each other’s athletic pursuits and help each other through major life challenges. The Amped Fitness “Amped Nation” family is a newer part of my life and has already become so vital. Having amazing coaches and teammates to challenge me in the gym has really pushed me further than I would have on my own.”

For Liz, being active is a source of empowerment and confidence, a mood booster and anxiety killer.

“Oh man! If I didn’t work out I think I’d lose my mind. Any time I’ve been injured and can’t work out as much, I tend to get anxious and feel WAY less confident. Being active is so important for physical AND mental health.”

“Being a female athlete is so empowering!

We all have those moments where you’re picking yourself apart, but after working out or running, I feel my most beautiful (even when I’m all sweaty). I truly hope that all women take the opportunity prove to yourself that you’re a force to be reckoned with!” 

Running Boston is a dream come true for Liz.

“It’s such an iconic marathon. As a child I watched the marathon in Ashland every year with my family. I remember thinking “How can anyone run that far?!” As I got older and started running in middle school and high school, I think I gained even more respect for these runners.”

Even better that she’s running for Boston Children’s Hospital.

“I am a former BCH patient, and on my visits to the hospital, I saw so many children from all walks of life getting the care they needed. It’s incredible be a part of their team. A huge part of running for BCH is raising money for their continued support of children and their families.”

Here’s this pretty girl that donation link one more time! 

Liz is featured on my website and Facebook page under “We’re Not Here Just to Have Fun” and you can see more of her comments there!

Interested in being a part of the series? Contact me today.

Katie & Phil – Borderland State Park Engagement Session

Last Sunday I got to go back to Borderland State Park in Easton for this engagement with Katie & Phil and it was AWESOME! Not only did I take more pictures of a fun couple in front of those gorgeous wooden doors, Katie & Phil were so fun and easy going (as I’m sure you can tell). Katie would start laughing, which would make Phil start laughing and then I’d be cracking up behind my camera.

These two teachers tie the knot July 1 at Saphire Estates. That’s right, I get to shoot with them again in less than a year – score! Thanks you two for a great session! Katie said at the end “I really wasn’t looking forward to this, but it ended up being fun!” Best compliment. Normal people aren’t used to being in front of the camera, posing and being affectionate and that I helped make them comfortable and the session was enjoyable means I did my job. That’s what the engagement session is all about!

Enough blathering – on to the photos!

Kimberly & Dan – Cape Cod Engagement Session

You’re going to want to scroll all the way to the end of this one, maybe even with Hungry Eyes on in the background…

I met Kimberly & Dan on a foggy day on the Cape Cod Canal for their engagement session, but we actually go way back. Kimberly was my roommate our freshman year of college (we both ended up transferring to different schools) and our friendship has seen many phases from eating mozzarella sticks and watching Secret Life of the American Teenager in our dorm room on Monday nights, to sharing stories from across the state, and now I’M HER WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER! I am so excited and honored to be such a big part of her & Dan’s wedding.

Kimberly and Dan met through a mutual friend from college who thought they’d be perfect for each other (nice job Liz!), and together they are such a good match. Kind-hearted and supportive, fun and affectionate – they made my job easy, and then fed me lobster. What could be better? #photographerwin

I already really liked Dan, and then he suggested they crawl toward each other in the sand like in Dirty Dancing (!) and Kim agreed (!!) and then they created one of my favorite photography moments to date.

Now for the photos!

P.S. I hear it’s good luck if someone catches a fish during your session!

Kasey & Cory – East Bridgewater, MA Wedding

I am so excited to post about Kasey & Cory’s big day! The Cloutiers tied the knot on August 26, 2017 at The Villa at Ridder Country Club in East Bridgewater, MA – and it was a perfect day! From the clear and warm weather, to Kasey’s stunning gown, Cory’s portrait prowess, and their sweet families, it couldn’t have been a lovelier day. 

Kasey and Cory’s day was classic and elegant, with burgundy bridesmaids, with gold accents throughout, and Kasey had a moment before the ceremony with her Dad, putting a spin I absolutely love on the “First Look.”

They were quite a few surprises during the day. Cory wrote a special message on the bottom of Kasey’s wedding shoes, and Kasey had a special inscription put on the inside of Cory’s new watch. Cory surprised Kasey with a special additional wedding band, and they both surprised their guests with a killer first dance! So many sweet and fun moments during this day.

So, on to the photos! Congrats Kasey & Cory! Thank you so much for choosing me to be your wedding photographer.

Thanks to Matt from Last Row Sports for this one…

These two, the bridge at The Villa, and sunset = a portrait photographer’s dream.

Susan & John’s 50th Wedding Anniversary

What a weekend! Saturday was all about the air of excitement and beginnings at Kasey and Cory’s wedding at The Villa, and Sunday featured long-time friends and family filling the room with love celebrating Sue & John’s 50 years together.

Guests flipped through their wedding album, and members of the wedding party reminisced about their outfits and hair-dos. Sue was 19 and John 25 when they got married in 1967 and now 50 years later they’ve built a life full of family, faith and love.

A toast by the Best Man, and a blessing by the Reverend/cousin.

Yougest & oldest…

It was a beautiful day, so I took some family and the remaining members of the wedding party outside for some pictures – and we had a little fun with it…

Love birds ❤

And back inside for dancing & cake!

And a special serenade by the Groom!

Thank you to the Pennio family for having me along to share in this occasion! Congratulations on 50 years and counting!

Natalie & Mike – Borderland State Park Engagement Session

Today I get to tell you about an incredible couple and what is one of my favorite sessions to-date! Natalie & Mike showed up for their session ready to have fun and they made each other laugh the entire time. Self-proclaimed “goof-balls,” I was connected with these two by Brides Across America, and I’m so excited to be their wedding photographer in just two months!

It was nice and warm on Sunday evening during our session, with solid humidity levels, and I’ll admit it’s not my favorite type of weather. When I complimented Natalie and Mike on zero weather complaints toward the end of our session, Mike said “I’ll take this over the desert any day.”

Mike came home from Afghanistan just about a month ago, where he was serving as a DoD contractor after coming out of Active Duty. Both he and Natalie serve in the Army National Guard – so it’s no wonder they didn’t even break a sweat. They’re so happy to be together after so much time and distance.

I saw these doors over a year (maybe even two?!) ago just walking around the park, and wanted to put a couple in front of them so badly. Natalie & Mike picked Borderland for their session and I got my wish!

I mean, how cute are they?!

And, for a ring shot!

Thank you Natalie and Mike for a great session! I can’t wait to shoot your big day!

Emily, 27 – Mindful Fighter

Emily is the fifth in the series, and what an incredible and dynamic addition she makes! Here’s the back of her baseball card:

Health & Fitness Blogger
Soon-to-be Mt. Kilimanjaro Climber

It’s hard to pick a title that fully encompasses Emily, but Mindful Fighter feels perfect. She’s kickass while also bringing the most calming nature along with her wherever she goes. She’s happy in the most mindful and realistic way, and courageous – seemingly unafraid to jump in to take on challenges. I mean, Mt. Kilimanjaro?! There’s nothing this girl can’t do.

Emily is an instructor – Zumba, Yoga & Boxing – and she leads her classes in hopes that each person is leaving having gotten what they came to get.

“First and foremost, I want people to have fun in class. Then, I want them to feel strong when they leave class. I want them to feel powerful when they leave class. And, I want people to feel happier — or lighter — when they leave class. To accomplish that, I try to help my dancers, yogis, and boxers identify why they come to class. I prompt them to ask themselves why they fight, why they flow, why they come to class, what they hope to get out of class — and then we work to accomplish that together.”

Interestingly enough, Emily didn’t always consider herself an athlete…

“When I was younger, I never considered myself an athlete. I played soccer (a little) and danced (a lot), but I didn’t associate that with “athleticism.” When I entered adulthood, I started to become really grateful for exercise, dance, and the athletic activities by body was capable of.

Sweat, sore muscles, and the mood-boost that comes with being active makes me feel like a bad*ss, powerful, strong woman. The strength and power combined with my calm, compassionate nature, translates into other areas of my life, allowing me to show up for my friends, family, co-workers, and clients.”

She discovered her passion for fitness in college, and now as a woman in her 20’s she finds herself in a unique position to help and inspire those around her.

“When I started to become really active in college and began teaching fitness classes at the University of Massachusetts Campus Recreation Center, I realized that a lot of my peers were drawn to — and even craved — some level of physical activity to balance the academic and social stresses of college. When I entered the Boston fitness scene, I noticed this was true for this community as well. People move to feel better mentally, physically, and emotionally. I teach fitness and movement so that others can get what they need. Being an athlete at my age allows me to motivate those older than me (like my parents), and those younger than me (like my siblings and their friends). I love that.”

At first it seems like yoga, dancing and boxing might not be complimentary disciplines or movements, but then you consider that each one requires a grace and poise – and that each can bring that grace and clarity in a different form:

“I’m often asked what style of fitness I like best — yoga, dance, boxing, running, etc. It’s a hard question to answer because I can get what I need out of each of those. During each activity, I’m able to enter this meditative state where the rest of the world melts away and I’m completely focused on the task at hand. This is so therapeutic for me. I need it to be my best self. During yoga, we link the breath to the movement and get lost in the flow. In boxing, the music is loud and we are focused on punch combos, exhaling with each punch, and getting in the zone to win the fight. In dance, we groove to the music and get lost in the movement. Each of these activities brings me joy, mental clarity, and strength in their own way.”

“Fitness makes me feel more confident in many different aspects of my life.  It makes me feel confident in my body. It makes my skin glow. And, under the surface, I reach an amazing level of mental clarity that makes me feel confident in other areas of my life — work, relationships, decision-making.”

This shoot was a photographer’s dream. At one point a passerby asked if we were shooting for a fashion magazine – that’s how well Emily owned it.

Oh, and we had ice cream for dinner afterwards.

Keep killing it, Em. I know you’ll surmount any and all challenges that come your way, next up Mt. Kili. 

Emily is featured on my website and Facebook page under “We’re Not Here Just to Have Fun” and you can see more of her comments there!

Interested in being a part of the series? Contact me today.

Class of 2018

It’s time for the Class of 2018 to start scheduling their Senior Portraits! I had such a great time with my 2017 Seniors, that I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings. I did beach shoots, found myself in the woods of a nature preserve I’d never been to, and in the middle of a field in Duxbury – all with incredible, happy, fun subjects in front of my lens. What could be better?

So let’s see you Class of 2018! Book your session now for May-August and don’t let that yearbook deadline sneak up on you.

$200 includes:

  • A totally psyched photographer ready to capture who YOU are!
  • 1 location (rural or urban), 1 outfit change, 1 hour session

  • All proofs (lightly edited, with watermarks) of the session delivered via digital album within 14 days

  • Up to 10 final, retouched images (without watermark) delivered via digital album within 14 days of making your choices. (Additional editing requests welcome at $5 per photo.)

  • Print release provided so the images may be shared or reproduced at the will of the senior and their family.

  • A feature on my blog at www.marypolleysphotography.com.




What else?

  • Bring props! Sports equipment, musical instruments, hobbies, etc. We’ll work them into the session to really bring out your personality and interests.

  • Want to combine your session with a friend, cousin or family member? Tight-knit group of friends or teammates? We’ll book your sessions back-to-back so we can take shots of you together, while still getting that yearbook shot.

  • Interested in having your hair & makeup done for the shoot? I partner with a makeup artist & hairdresser to offer the total package… all you have to do is show up! Email me for pricing.

The “First Look”

One of the MANY decisions engaged couples have to make about their wedding day:

Should we do a “First Look?”

What is a first look exactly? What are the benefits of doing a first look? What are the downsides? How do we decide??? Don’t worry, I’m here to help!

What is a first look?

It’s more of a recent thing that modern couples do with their photographer, where they set up a private moment before the trip down the aisle with just the bride, groom and their photographer to capture the moment they see each other for the first time on their wedding day.

Usually the photographer will face the groom away from where the bride will be approaching to start and take photos of the groom anxiously waiting. The bride will approach, tap him on the shoulder and the photographer will capture his reaction as he turns around and sees the bride for the first time and their interactions as an almost married couple. Hugs, kisses, high-fives, tears, jokes and usually lots of compliments about how amazing they both look!

What are the benefits of doing a first look?

1.  Nerves. On such a big, eventful day with a lot of people around, sometimes the nerves can get the best of you, and seeing your favorite person in the world is the only way to calm those nerves. Doing a first look can bolster you because you get a quiet minute (mostly) alone before the vows and celebrations.

2. Timeline. Photographers like first looks because it gives them an extra chance to take photos of just the two of you. Often after the ceremony, with celebrations waiting and antsy family members on-deck, the time for portraits is rushed or cut short. With the opportunity for a first look, we’ve already got at least a dozen keepers of just the two of you where we weren’t trying to wrangle family members at the same time. We’ll even have a little more time to expand on poses after the ceremony!

3. Memories. While it’s a departure from the tradition, a first look can add another special memory to your day. Moments go by so quickly, and this can be an instance when time stops for a minute.

4. Daylight. Depending on the time of the year and the time of your ceremony, we may be competing with the sun to get your portraits in! Doing a first look ensures that even as the sun is going down, we’ve got all the shots we want and takes the pressure off. You want to be able to relax and enjoy yourselves as a married couple. The least amount of stress in that process, the better.

5. You’re freshly dolled up. The first look happens literally right after you’re finished with hair, makeup, and in the dress. Your man is freshly ironed, groomed, shaved, and cologned. Why not see each other and take pictures while every hair is actually still in place? No one’s had a chance to even start sweating!

6. Convincing your Groom. Surprisingly, it’s usually not the Bride who opposes the idea of a First Look… it’s the Groom! He envisioned the “watching his bride coming down the aisle” moment and is attached to the tradition of it, which I totally get. But a couple points that may sway him? The more pictures you have done earlier in the day, the faster your post-ceremony portraits are… the sooner you’re on to eating (!), drinking (!!), cutting loose and having so much fun you forget your photographer is even there! And, you still get that walking down the aisle moment, just with fewer nerves and a better chance of soaking it all in.

Still not convinced? First looks don’t always have to be the Bride & Groom. A first look with the Bride and her Dad is a great idea (and usually make me cry), or anyone who she’s close to that isn’t in the room helping her get ready. I really like the idea of a first look with the Bride and her twin brother, so if anyone out there is ready to make that happen, let me know! 

Another way to “be with” each other before the ceremony is to write each other a letter. They can find a quiet moment to read it before the ceremony, reading words you wrote for them to make them smile and feel your love without you even having to be there. These letters make great mementos and have that vintage, old school feel.

 Perry was SO nervous. Until the moment Zoe made him laugh.

Perry was SO nervous. Until the moment Zoe made him laugh.

Whatever you decide, it will be beautiful and unique to you two as a couple. Remember there’s no wrong way, so go with your gut and do what feels right!