Book now! Easter & Spring Mini Sessions 2016

Newsletter-Header

Easter & Spring Mini Sessions
Saturday, March 5, 2016

292 Center Street (Route 36)
Real Estate Rocks
Pembroke, MA 02359

$115
15 Minute Session
3 Edited High Quality Images Delivered via Online Gallery
5 (5X7) Magnets
Print Release

Spaces are limited!
Book your session now. $50 deposit secures your spot.
Email: marylouisepolleys@gmail.com
Phone: (781) 258-7846

A new challenge for a new year: Hockey Photography!

2 days, 2 sore ankles, 700 photos, and a new love! I took photos at the Mites X-Ice Tourney and as someone who had ZERO experience shooting inside a hockey arena, let alone on skates, I had so much fun, learned a ton, and got some great shots.

These little mites are age 8 max, but I was impressed by how well they played, how much intensity they brought, and, let’s be real, how darn cute they were. It was a mix of boys and girls playing, from towns all around Mass and RI. Two games going at once, the coaches and staff had a corridor in the middle of the ice, so I was able to be on-ice for the majority of the time – and though I could have stayed in my boots, found it a lot more stable to be on skates! So I crossed on-skates shooting off my bucket list (an item I added and crossed off at the same time), and got some action shots from on the ice. I never played hockey, but I was very active in sports from a young age, and I would love some photos from when I played sports – so I hope to capture some of those memories for kids and their families to look back on.

One little girl hockey player asked me if I was a figure skater (in my mind I was just pretty proud to stay upright), and I said “Nope, I’m just a photographer on skates, but I think it’s really awesome that you’re a hockey player.” Her smile could not have been bigger, and she literally made my day.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The action shots were really fun and challenging in their own right with low-light conditions, but I found myself loving the shots of their expressions behind the masks and catching that moment. Those ended up being some of my favorite shots.

Luckily, I’ll have a lot of opportunities to take more hockey and figure skating photos in my job with an ice sports company, because now that I have a pair of fingerless gloves, I can’t wait to get back in the arena.🙂

Scenes from Christmas 2015

Another Christmas in the books and I am so so thankful for my family – we had the best time celebrating the holiday together. It was the first time in quite a few years we could all just be together, unencumbered by distance or any other obligations. I hope everyone got to be with all (or at least a few!) or their favorite people for the holiday. There’s really nothing better.

With the weather so crazy warm, our evening included some grilling (on Christmas Eve in Massachusetts – seriously…), special cocktails by yours truly, lots of laughs, lots of puppy-spoiling, hungry hungry hippos, and a late night game of Cards Against Humanity.

After opening up so many toys and games, the topper was an envelope revealing a $20 bill inside, when my cousin Noah exclaimed “this is the best day ever!” Which cracked us all up. He’s pretty easy to please.🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Happiest Holidays to you and your family, from me and mine!🙂

Getting “ultra creative”

This is an in-camera double exposure of a colleague with fabulous hair and some flowers in a park in Boston.

This is an in-camera double exposure of a colleague with fabulous hair and some flowers in a park in Boston.

Back in September, I got an email invitation to join an “Ultra Creative” class at Firefly 53 Studio in Pembroke. I had been wanting to take a class to really open myself up and continue learning – and there’s really no better way than a collaborative-style class like this one turned out to be.

I’d the kind of photographer that typically likes crisp, clean, pretty, detailed kinds of photos. Usually taking photos of people, I like my subjects eyes to sparkle, their smile to be genuine, and their pose to be both natural and kind of like they could be in a magazine. In short – I’m a perfectionist. This class however, was not about perfectionism – and in that way it was perfect. I played with techniques that were brand new to me (in camera doubles) and took self-portraits (which I never do). The first time you try anything is never going to be perfect, but the experience of doing it and learning from it makes it worthwhile. Not only did I have my first try at something, each week I got to see my classmates’ first stab and I think we really all learned a lot from one another.

Each week, the question was: What did you do differently? At a time in my life when a lot of things were changing – reaching out into new photographic techniques and exploring a little imperfection ended up being the ideal creative outlet for a time when your future is in flux.

Engagement – Caitlin & Steve

DSC_3458
This session was SO much fun. I have a few stories to share about this couple and the day, but I’ll start with the romantic one.

We started off our session (a chilly but beautiful day in early November) at a special location in Pembroke, MA. When Caitlin and Steve met, neither was living in Pembroke, but discovered through casual conversation that they both had lived there growing up.

“Oh really, whereabouts?” I imagine Caitlin asking.

And it was then that they discovered that their families had lived in the same house in Pembroke at different times. ::cuethegoosebumps::

But wait! There’s more. Each with multiple siblings, Caitlin and Steve had both called the same bedroom their own! And now they’re engaged. That story gets me. Every. Time.

So we started with a few shots of these two in front of that house, where they both lived, at different times, without knowing that their new favorite person would be a part of that house, too.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After our stop in Pembroke, we headed to World’s End in Hingham, where lots of people were also taking in the beauty of the day.

As I was taking photos of Caitlin’s gorgeous engagement ring on the stem of a little pumpkin, a mom with a baby carriage and a little girl walked by.

“Why is she taking pictures of that pumpkin?” the little girl asked.
“I think she just asked that pumpkin to marry her,” the mom replied, smiling at me.

It was the best reply, ever.

flower posies4

Burlington, MA Wedding – Jen & Scott

I was one of the lucky people who got to witness Jen & Scott get married in Mary Cummings Park in Burlington, MA on a crisp fall day in October. The day was relaxed, fun, heartfelt, intimate, and full of love, and I was honored to be asked to photograph it! We all literally met in the park, and Jen had arranged for a JP to follow as we walked through trails in the woods to the spot where they would exchange vows. Before we got to the spot that Jen and her son Jack had found on previous adventures, we came to a clearing with beautiful grass and surrounded by trees that just felt right, so we all stopped and the ceremony commenced.

It was so special to watch as Jen & Scott exchanged vows, because it was clear that nothing else mattered. It definitely didn’t have to be perfect – Jen even ended up with burrs on the bottom of her dress, but she didn’t care –  they were going to be happy no matter what. I admire that kind of love!

And of course, a true mom, as soon as the ceremony was over, Jen was pulling up Jack’s pants and securing them so his minion underpants wouldn’t be showing.🙂

Sneak Peek: Jennifer & Scott’s Wedding at Mary Cummings Park

Don’t you just love fall foliage and happy couples? Oh wait, maybe that’s just me.🙂 While I’m busy editing the rest of Jennifer & Scott’s photos and yesterday’s World’s End engagement session, I thought I’d share a just a few photos in a sneak peek! Two weeks ago, on a beautiful fall afternoon, I joined Jennifer & Scott and their closest family at Mary Cummings Park in Burlington, MA for their simple, intimate, and relaxed ceremony.





Falling in love with wedding photography

I’m one of those people who follows, likes, pins, and generally seeks out and admires wedding photography. I have liked so many wedding photographers on Facebook, my feed is practically consumed by them – from all over the U.S. I see the sneak peeks photographers post in the days after the celebration and eagerly click through their albums, loving every minute of it.

One of those photographers is Caroline Winn – who I reached out to via email and was super nice and took time out to meet me for coffee and tell me about her journey. This past Saturday, she let me come along and assist/second shoot Peter & Danielle’s wedding at the Exchange Conference Center in Boston. It was my first experience with wedding photography, and let me just say…..LOVE! It was a busy, long, tiring, on-your-feet all day kind of day, but one of the ones where when you get home you can’t go to sleep because you’re still jazzed!

The day started out in Charlestown, where Caroline had me take another angle on the first look. After that we did portraits at Monument Park, and later headed to the ECC for the ceremony, where I shot down the aisle following Danielle’s entrance.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I learned so much thanks to Caroline, and Danielle & Peter who were so happy and in love – thank you for letting me be a part of your wedding day!

It’s so exciting to see such a special day come to life in photographs that will be family keepsakes. I can’t wait for my next opportunity!

Before & After – Lightroom editing progress

In March 2014, I did my sister’s engagement photos. It was one of my very first “gigs” as a photographer and I was very excited, nervous, and super new to the whole thing. I had literally *just* purchased adobe lightroom 4 and obviously didn’t have much experience with the editing thing, either.

On top of that, I had just finished a photography course at Firefly53 and was shooting in full-on manual for the first time.

I managed to get some good shots and at the time was pretty happy with what I was able to do. Now when I look back at all the shots I took (485!!!) I see so many things I would do differently: under-exposures, over-exposures, blown-out backgrounds, inexplicably high ISO when I was in sunny Houston, Texas, bad poses because I wasn’t giving my subjects enough direction – and finally, some horrible newbie editing on my part. Since this is the only thing I can change now, to some extent, I decided to take another stab at some photos that I edited then, reset, and re-edit them, knowing what I know now. Here’s an example!

SOOC:

SOOC Web-0327This sucker is straight of the camera, and aside from the background being completely blown out, it’s not too bad. They’re cute, the picnic table idea I borrowed from Pinterest, and with some editing, it’s a keeper.

2014 Edit:

Web-0327Yikes. I’m honest when I say I’m not sure what I was thinking with this one. Black and white? No. I jacked up the clarity, which makes the dark parts of this photo look harsh and you can literally see the spots on her legs where I use the adjustment brush. Woof.

2015 Edit:

Web-0327My approach this time is simplicity. I kept the photo in color to accentuate their natural skin tones, upped the contrast a little to make the colors pop, and used a little noise reduction – because once again I had the ISO way too high! There isn’t a huge difference from the SOOC version, other than it’s a little more polished, and it’s definitely less harsh than my first edit.

There are a lot of things I would do differently with this shoot if I were doing it now, but luckily I still got some great shots that we all love, they are my family and have to love me anyway, and thankfully, I’ve come a long way since then!