Paddle Your Own Canoe

Last week I got to spend a few precious days up in Maine – Balch Lake (Pond), Shady Nook, West Newfield. It was so refreshing to be out of the city, listening to loons & the gentle waves, feeling a fresh breeze on my face. We kayaked, read on the dock (me), did some fishing (BF), jumped from the monkey swing, sat by the fire pit and enjoyed a few mid-afternoon cocktails. It felt SO good to be outside so much & I definitely did not want to come home to my stuffy Quincy apartment. I’m trying to head up again for a weekend this Fall!

Now that I have a back up camera, I was more comfortable taking one out on the water with me this year – so some of these are from my kayak or from a canoe while someone else paddled. 🙂

At one point I got soo lucky, because a loon literally popped up right in front of my kayak. It was awesome.


Borderland State Park

Last Friday I had a family shoot in Sharon, MA and since I have explored nearby parks lately, I looked up the nearest one for me to check out afterwards – and it was Borderland!

It’s a beautiful park, clearly well-maintained, with marked pathways & plenty of open space to wander. I took the “swamp path” down to the lake where there was a ton of overhead tree covering – no sunburns for me!

It would be a great place for portraits or an engagement session. Landscaped archways, small decks overlooking the lake, the architecture of the Ames Mansion, and areas of nice filtered natural light.

It was a great way to start the 4th of July weekend. I’m already planning a trip back for a round of disc golf. 🙂

Some photos from my walk. I was a little pre-occupied with the vegetation and capturing some close-up details.

Middlesex Fells Reservation

Medford, MA – This was a fun one! This is a regular stop for my sister and her two pups, but was totally new to me. We visited for a walk/hike on a very over-cast Saturday, spending more than 2 hours wandering the grounds. I’ve been really savoring any time spent outside lately, and this walk in particular felt almost therapeutic!

The Fells features heavily wooded areas, as wells as open fields and water (not for swimming, it’s a water supply). After walking all around, we stopped and sat by the water and watched some baby ducks. A great way to spend a Saturday!

Stodder’s Neck

My sister’s pups are swimmers. Especially Layton, the irish wolfhound mix, loves the water and will swim toward a tennis ball any day of the week. So one Sunday afternoon I joined them at Stodder’s Neck dog park in Hingham. It’s a beautiful park & I love playing with the pups! My sister took some photos of me for my website and caught a couple shots of me during silly laughs post-inappropriate jokes.

Diving In



So this guy looks like he’s about to take off, but really he’s just flapping his wings and getting ready to dive under water. A loon at Balch Lake, West Newfield, ME.

Gorgeous weather in Boston has me in summer mode. Can’t wait to spend some time on the lake in August!

What is your advice when it comes to fulfilling your dreams?

Today a college student emailed me to ask a series of questions about my life after graduation.

One of which was: What is your advice when it comes to fulfilling your dreams?

Here is what I said, super-imposed over a picture to make it seem very official and wise:

For the Bloggy Blog

What advice would you have given about fulfilling your college dream?

Photography 101 – Assignment #1

I recently started a beginner’s digital photography class right here in Pembroke via Firefly53 Studio. I’ve been taking photos with my Nikon D3000 for more than 5 years, and I’ve learned a lot just from trial and error. I picked up a few tips from a 4-hour one day class I got through Groupon, and I very successfully took lots of photos for the newspapers I worked for with just very few basics. I recently got more serious about taking pictures and I wanted to have a really solid foundation – and I think I picked a great class for it! I didn’t expect to learn much on the first day because I’d been using my camera for so long, reading manuals & other books by photographers, I figured I’d be getting a review. But no! I learned a ton of useful information that has already started making my photos better.

In each of the six weeks of the course, we get an assignment. This weeks assignment was to use the camera in Manual Mode, adjusting our own aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to result in the right exposure! Additionally, we had to use one basic rule of composition: The rule of thirds. Basically, imagine each image divided into 9 equal parts by two equally spaced lines horizontally and two vertically. The subject of the photo should be approximately along one of these lines because it is more pleasing to the eye, creates tension in the photo (not sure what that means, but maybe I will figure it out), than if the subject was dead center. I can definitely see that the photos I’ve taken are improved by following this guideline and many times previously I was doing it naturally without even knowing it was a thing. I think our eyes tend to gravitate towards it after viewing photos we like and using our cameras for a long time.

Here’s what I submitted for class discussion this week, I had a blast taking them. Can’t wait to see what our instructor can tell me what to improve upon with them. What do you think?

DSC_0377 DSC_0332

DSC_0323 DSC_0298

© 2014 Mary Polleys