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!

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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!

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!

XO,

Mary

Mark & Cecilia – Medford, MA Wedding

One thing that I’ve learned shooting weddings is that during the most important moments of the day, it’s never about the details. All the planning seems to fade away while you get to witness the looks, hear the words, and feel the love fill the room. I love that so much. It fills me up and makes a believer out of me every time.

Which brings me to Mark & Cecilia. A small, but warm community room. 10 of their closest family members. 2 dogs. FaceTime with Cecilia’s Dad. A pool table, draped in a tablecloth and covered in appetizers and champagne. An iPhone and speaker, scrolling through to find a good song for their first dance as husband and wife. Full of magic and happiness and love, created by Mark & Cecilia and the way they look at each other, their little touches, and their smiles. 

Here are some of my favorite photos from this most intimate ceremony and celebration. Congratulations Mark & Cecilia!

Charleigh & Sophia

Oh my heart. I had the privilege of shooting with Charleigh and her beautiful little nugget Sophia this week and it was good for my soul. Sophia just turned 1 and her grandma gave her two girls a session with me as a gift. Thank you so much for sharing your family with me and letting me be part of your “Little Corner of the World” for a little while. 

We started our session off by taking in some of the details of their life right now. Sophia in her high chair, their apartment, her crib, their protective but sweet pup Tobey, Charleigh feeding Sophia her veggies and getting her dressed (in the cutest outfit, ever). This is the first session like this I’ve done, and I’m calling it “My Little Corner of the World.” Any avid Gilmore Girls fans out there will know where it comes from, and these two were the perfect first session. I can’t wait to do more.

Once we were done at the apartment, we headed to a local park, with Sophia dressed like a little woodland fairy. Her first birthday party was fairy-themed! I’ll let you take in the adorable for yourself:

I loved shooting this mother-daughter duo. Happy first birthday, Sophia!

Vintage Inspired

A few weeks back I partnered up with Leah Astore of LPA Studio on a tennis-inspired fashion shoot. Molly Bello had approached her for a collaboration and it was really kind of funny the way it worked, because we all went to Bridgewater State and worked on the student newspaper together. Molly was a freshman when I was a senior and it was pretty cool to catch up and work together on something again! I hope the three of us can team up again soon. 

So without further delay, more from my first ever fashion shoot, featuring Leah Astore, Olivia Rodbell and Molly Bello – who styled the shoot with touches of modern mixed with her very own grandmother’s vintage clothes.

It was such a blast to shoot with these ladies and try something new! Thank you guys for asking me to be a part of it and sharing your talent with me.

Throw it Hard & Do it Well

Oh, Arizona. I’ll always think of you as a place where I found a piece of myself. A pretty little piece filled with adventure, independence, and new beginnings. Back in April I spent a week in Scottsdale and Sedona and between the AJ Workshop, the desert and the red rocks – a girl just isn’t the same after.

On Christmas Eve I decided to put myself on the waitlist for the AJ Workshop. I had been admiring (stalking) photography supercouple Amy & Jordan via social media for months, reading about the workshop groups before mine, learning tidbits from their weekly Monday Minute, and wishing for a way to learn more, do more, and take next steps with my photography.

Never underestimate the power of two days, friends. They can open up your world, make you a better person, make you better at what you do and give you the power to make changes in the rest of your life. The AJ workshop and the rest of my week in Arizona did all of those things for me and more.

Here are some of my photos from our incredible styled shoot and golden hour session in the desert! I’m so excited to finally be able to share these,  since they’ve been under wraps while Amy & Jordan waited for them to be published. Thanks to all of the incredible vendors (listed below) who helped make this gorgeousness happen!

One of the biggest take-aways for me was something that Jordan said at the very end of our two days together as a group. He told the story of David the shepherd boy, protecting his flock of sheep and slaying Goliath using only a stone. 

“In this life, you have one stone to throw,” he said. “Throw it hard and do it well.”

When I’m having one of those days full of doubt or second-guessing, wondering whether my efforts will pay off in the end, those words echo in my mind. Throw that stone as hard as you can.

Thank you eternally to Amy & Jordan Demos, and this incredible group of fellow photographers I was able to learn with and from.

 

EVENT DESIGN: EMILY SCHIESL • LVL WEDDINGS & EVENTS

VENUE: THE CLAYTON ON THE PARK

BRIDE’S GOWN: BHLDN • CAKE AND DESSERT: RUZE CAKE HOUSE • FLORAL DESIGN: AZ FLOWER BAR • HAIR AND MAKEUP: TOP KNOT BEAUTY • LINENS: LA TAVOLA FINE LINEN • MENSWEAR: BROTHERS TAILORS • PAPER GOODS:VEE CREATIVE • RENTALS: CLASSIC PARTY RENTALS • SPECIALTY RENTALS: FANCY LOU DESIGNS 

 

 

Photo Booths are a Girl’s Best Friend

So here’s a bit of a different one: I recently did my first Bachelorette Party Photo Booth. And who better to test the waters with than your very best friend in the world? She gets married to her second best (can’t well demote myself can I?) friend in two weeks and I couldn’t be happier for her. 

What’s better? Taking some exceedingly silly photos with all of your girl friends to remember the days before you became a Mrs.

The amount of fun we had really speaks for itself, so without further adieu: 

If you’re interested in having a photo booth at your event, contact me! I’ve already booked my second bachelorette and I can’t wait to see what those ladies have in store for me.

 

Sarah, Age 15 – First Singles

“ I feel like in a match, I can just put myself out there, play the sport, and focus on what I’m doing. I’m confident when I’m playing.” 

Guys, these sessions are THE BEST. I got to meet this incredible young woman, listen to that satisfying thunk of a tennis ball well-struck, and shoot a whopping 600+ shots in under an hour. Does it get any better?

Without further adieu – meet the third in my series: Sarah. A beautiful and intelligent girl who is incredibly talented and driven, and also just has a love for the game that is so obvious. Keep scrolling and you’ll see it, too. 

Sarah is as much of a natural in front of the camera as she is on the tennis court and she says she used to be really shy, but I’m not sure I believe it. This court was her stage and she absolutely rocked our session. It’s no wonder, really. This girl joined varsity as a freshman and was playing first singles in no time.

Sarah said one of the best parts of playing tennis was that it empowers her to connect with people. From coaches, to teammates, classmates and little kids who want to learn how to play tennis, she’s had so many more opportunities to meet and become friends with people she wouldn’t have met otherwise and come out of her shell. 

When she told me about how she feels when she’s playing a match – focused, confident, and like she can put herself out there – I completely understood. At her age, I felt the same exact way whenever I was playing basketball. Whatever else happened that day, it fell away with my first layup, and if nothing else, I knew I was good at it.

When we got into the action shots & game face portraits – I really wanted to capture that focus and intensity. This girl is happy, smiling & sweet, but don’t let that side of her fool you. She’s a force to be reckoned with. Just look for yourself:

Sarah 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!

Next up, look for my session with a softball pitcher named Becca! Interested in being a part of the series? Contact me today.