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I often surprise people when I tell them just how far I’ve traveled to photograph a wedding. New England certainly isn’t the farthest destination, but this year it was one of my bigger trips. Living south of Rochester, New York I am conveniently both close and far away from a lot of places. I guess close is relative, and I am just one of those people who likes to travel. I am honored to have each and every couple I work with trust me to document their wedding day, and especially so when they ask me to join them in a location with travel. I suppose it speaks to all those couples before them who have shared kind words and images online so that they could find me and get to know me enough to start this journey together.

Molly and Chris were married this past weekend in a place close to their hearts – Marion, Massachusetts – which is where Molly spent many summers with her family. It is home of the Kittansett Club, a gorgeous golf course and venue on the sea at the start of the cape. My connection to Molly and Chris was through Pittsburgh, and the people and weddings I have shot in that great city. Like all my Pittsburgh couples they are undeniably wonderful and fun – I’m not kidding! I can not wait until the day their friends get in touch with me and I have the chance to photograph another fabulous wedding and see them again.

After 12 hrs of photographing on Saturday I spent Sunday recovering and got up at 5am to fly to Detroit today. I’m in town for Lauren and Joe’s wedding and I simply can not wait to photograph every amazing part of the day. It has been a busy month, as I knew September would be, but I’m taking it one day at a time. Thanks to all of you who have been encouraging and to my amazing clients for being extra understanding as I try to have some balance during this busy season.

If you want to see more from Molly + Chris’s day stay tuned here for updates + thanks for stopping by!

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IMG 1626 watercolor ombre

Of the perfectly planned details at Katie + Billy’s day, the watercolor ombre might be my favorite. It appeared most notably in the place cards that were carefully set in to pieces of driftwood collected from the beach Billy proposed at. It also was in some of the pillows that created outdoor seating areas on the lawn of the Frog Pond B+B, the site of the wedding reception. It’s no surprise that each detail was thought through, Katie being a talented interior designer and Pratt alum.

In my opinion the details help tell the story of a wedding day. So, in addition to documenting the moments that unfold and all the emotions that are present, I look for the little things. This is not important to every photographer and it’s not important to every bride. It has become a defining factor of posts here not because it’s the only thing I photograph, but because the story I tell on this blog is usually one that centers around the couple: what did they include in the day, how did they feel and what was it like to be there? I try to choose photos that you would connect with, as a reader, whether you know the couple or not.

If you are interested in working together I invite you to get in touch and I’d love to share a full wedding gallery with you. I can’t wait to share a full post about Katie + Billy’s day, but you’ll have to be patient to see that. In addition to working on submitting it to be featured, I have decided to space out some of the wedding posts so that they get the time and attention they deserve. So stay tuned + and if you have any thoughts to share about photographing details or seeing them documented as a part of a wedding day leave a comment below!

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rhode island watch hill vacation002 Rhode Island Getaway

Rest can be one of those really hard things to make time for when you work for yourself. The work is literally never done, and there is always someone doing more and doing it better and faster. That’s one of the things that drives us, but it also means we don’t give yourselves the chance to take a break. The funny thing is, once you do, you realize how important rest and a change of pace can be.

This year was no exception. We didn’t have plans for a fun weekend away at the beach, but they fell into place serendipitously after deciding to combine the travel for a few weddings. I say weekend, because of course working on the weekend means that your days are all mixed up. So we spent a long weekend (or a few weekdays) in Rhode Island on the beach together and it was wonderful. I have to admit, it was not entirely vacation since I still worked 4 hours a day, but being able to spend time together as a family and escape to play in the sand and jump through waves took priority. Here is a peek at our mini vacation with a few of the snaps I captured on my phone!

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  • September 18, 2014 - 12:42 pm

    Megan Zaranek - this is the cutest. i LOVE it. good for you…so necessary. next time, i’m coming. k?

cazenovia engagement mary doughery photo Why engagement sessions?

Last Sunday, after leaving the Historic Barns of Nipmoose after documenting Brendan + Karen’s day, I stopped in Cazenovia. Ashley and Parker were back home from NYC for a wedding, and we took the chance to meet and capture engagement portraits.

It’s so different from the wedding day – not only because it is usually months in advance – but because it gives you a glimpse into normal, everyday life. The wedding day stands alone and can’t be touched or compared to – but the engagement session is the first step in building a library of images that really tell who you are. Most people are not photographed often, at least professionally, so it gives us a chance to introduce you to the process of working together and most importantly to begin building a relationship based on trust. When you trust me, communication flows more easily, worries are tossed aside and I become more than just a person with a camera on your wedding day. I am allowed to be that artist with a vision that I want to be, and you want me to be.

Dates are still open in 2015 and this fall I only have room to book engagement sessions for couples whose wedding day I am also photographing. Send me a message to get in touch and I’d love to hear from you!

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elegant syracuse wedding mary dougherty photo01 Elegant Syracuse Wedding

There was a simplicity to the day that is hard to replicate. Shay and Jeff’s elegant Syracuse wedding was close to perfection in my book. It flowed beautifully, from the time Shay sat in the makeup chair to when she and Jeff walked down the aisle as newly-wed as newlyweds can be. The day was theirs, and they were able to enjoy it together. After getting ready downtown at the Marriot, Jeff went over to Franklin Square Park and Shay followed soon after for their first look. It was bright and beautiful and a moment completely alone to start their wedding day together. When the bus returned with the bridal party and family we were off to Syracuse University to take family, bridal party and portrait photos before the day began. A first look is not for everyone, I know that, but if you don’t even consider it I think you’re making a mistake. I know it had something to do with how perfectly this day felt – it was all of the fun and none of the stress – and it let Shay and Jeff focus on experiencing everything they had planned with their family and friends.

I loved being there to document – not just because I love Shay’s style and if I could do it again would probably choose the exact same gold shoes and sparkling bracelets to wear – but because Shay and Jeff are genuine people who I had spent the last year getting to know. From their engagement session last fall to their actual wedding day, we stayed in touch and talked through plans to prepare. It always makes me a little sad once the wedding is over, since I know I won’t have as many reasons to check in and see how each of my couples are doing… but if anything goes the way I hope it does, there will be an anniversary session sometime in the future. I just love my couples, which makes me sound like a crazy person… but for those of you who have quietly confessed to following my work more closely than you think is acceptable… we’re a great fit for each other.

Enjoy all of the beauty Shay and Jeff planned for their day and the talented vendors that made it happen!

Flowers : Backyard Garden Florist  |  Hair + Makeup : Syracuse Makeup Artistry  |  Shoes + Jewelry : J Crew  |  Dress : Wtoo Mimi  bought at Juliana’s |  Bridesmaids Dresses : After Six |  Transportation : S+S Limousines  |  Event Planning : The Events Company

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  • September 11, 2014 - 7:53 pm

    julie - love love love love LOVE that dress! so simple, and so dramatic at the same time.