preston family olean photographer1 Preston FamilyJust a few weeks ago I photographed the winners of my portrait session giveaway! I love hosting a good giveaway and it totally makes someones day when they find out they are the recipient. That was the case with this family, who were in fact called by family members to let them know if they had seen the news. It was a completely random selection – thanks to rafflecopter – and the winners were the Prestons, a family of three with the most adorable two year old girl. Before this snow melted we went out to capture this winter scene and create a lasting memory of their family at this time.

Photography is certainly an investment but how many times do you look back and say “I can’t believe we took the time to take those pictures?” I don’t think I ever do. This is the year you make pictures happen. Planning for a shoot every 1-3 years just makes sense when your family is growing and changing and you want to remember the stages. Here are a few of my favorites from the shoot + I hope you enjoy!

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jasper Jasper

Jasper says it’s cold out there… but really anything is cold when he’s not snuggled under his blanket. He doesn’t last long when we go for a walk, but if we go for a run in snowshoes and bring him + Lexi along they will happily hop from hole to hole on a trail in the woods for hours. He’s a funny dog, but I suppose they all are in different ways.

When Jasper first joined the family we named him Leo for the first 5 hours. Matt and I went for a run and while we were out it I decided I liked the name Jasper too much to not use it. It was one of those preemptive conversations on baby names that you are never ready for until it’s the real thing. At the time Matt thought the name Jasper was too out of the box but now that we are trying to narrow down the names for a second time we have joked once again about changing Jasper’s name back. Don’t worry, we won’t be “those crazy people who named their baby after their dog – or how does the story go again?” but seriously, picking a name is hard. Send me all of your favorites so I can steal them. Also kidding, I don’t want to do that. No one help me!

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  • December 16, 2014 - 7:16 pm

    julie - we didn’t name fiona until 5-ish hours after she was born…totally unprepared. names are hard! definitely not sharing the ideas i have. :)

rochester lombard conservatory winter wedding photo mary dougherty01 Rochester Winter Wedding There was a fluttering in the air. Snowflakes drifted down in unison; confetti which celebrated the wedding day of Sarah and Kevin. The months leading up to the wedding were thoughtful. Things were chosen with care, not over analyzed, and came together in beautiful way they often do for two people in love. While it was perhaps expected to be a fall wedding in November, Sarah and Kevin were given a Rochester winter wedding with one of the first snows of the year. It was a beautiful mix of seasons and as family and friends gathered to celebrate the lives of these two wonderful people they witness two changes of season : that in the weather and in relationship.

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As with most winter weddings, light is a factor that has to be considered when planning the timeline and photos of the day. Sarah and Kevin chose to include a first look, which I think was the best possible choice for their day. It allowed us to document freely and use the Lombard Conservatory in Highland Park for a warm indoor location. They were able to start the day together, relish the time with their bridal party, and look their best all while enjoying the beautiful natural light. Afterwards we headed to the church for the ceremony and the reception followed right after!

I loved joining these two – and their family and friends – to document this special occasion and I hope you enjoy a few of my favorites!

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mary dougherty second trimester Second Trimester Favorites

In my opinion, the second trimester is the most fun of the three. Hopefully and sickness or hungry pains that rule your world have passed, and you have entered the unique stage that everyone thinks of when they picture a pregnant woman : cute, happy and not too pregnant. People comment that “you look so cute” which is awesome, because in a few months the comments will switch to “are you sure you aren’t having twins?” and “are you going to fit in a booth if we seat you there?” So while I’m eager to refute their compliment, I know I should enjoy it. Seriously, everyone gets big at the end… except for those people we all secretly hate. I take that back, because if “all about that bass” has taught me anything it’s that every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top – even while pregnant.

The weeks keep passing by, and I am well into my third tri, but this picture takes us back three months ago to our fun family adventure at the beach in Rhode Island. I was enjoy the middle phase of baby growing, which fits perfectly as today I’m sharing my second trimester favorites. This follows up my first post in the series and you can expect a few more if you are interested in staying tuned! read the full post»

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  • December 9, 2014 - 12:41 pm

    Sarah Knight - how cute is this!? Made me laugh out loud! I just saw you and I don’t think anyone will be asking about twins anytime soon! You look great!

  • December 11, 2014 - 11:04 am

    Tierney - I’ve been eyeing up a pair of the Minnie maternity pants from J. Crew! They actually sell them in a petite size, which is nothing short of miraculous. I think I need to go ahead and take the plunge- I’ve been wearing the same one pair of leggings for way too long. Anyone who sees me on a regular basis would thank me, haha!

 

mary dougherty hold fast gear hold fast gearA new piece of gear can change the way you shoot and make or break the 8-10 hours you spend photographing a wedding day. One the products I added to my bag this year is Hold Fast Gear, and it has become a favorite. I upgraded my single Black Rapid Strap for the handmade leather “moneymaker” and the ability to carry two cameras at once. I knew I wanted to have access to two cameras so that I could shoot with two different prime lenses without switching them on and off, and I preferred the leather over the nylon webbing of my previous strap. So after spotting it first on Instagram I spent some time researching and purchased it halfway through the year. So, here are a few more thoughts on the product…

advantages : holds two cameras, looks good (I’ve been complimented every wedding on it), breaks in over time and gets more comfortable, distributes weight well so you use your back and not just shoulders

disadvantages : only two screws included so switching to a third camera take a bit of time (you can buy extra clips though), hair can get pulled if it’s down, you really have to wear two cameras to make the strap effective

Even though the first time I put it on I felt like I was getting suited up for an equestrian event, it became a topic of conversation with guests at a wedding. I’m all for natural ice-breakers, since it makes taking pictures even easier! It was very convenient to wear two cameras, however to go down to just one I would either get out my other strap or just put all of them away and hold it for the remainder of the day. This usually happens during the reception when I’m shooting with off camera flash and just one camera set up. Overall, I love it, and thought you would too!

What have been your favorite new products – or have changed the way you shoot? It’s time to start making a plan for next year so we can all do what we love once again and do it even better.

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  • December 8, 2014 - 3:11 pm

    Mary C. Neumann - Love this, Mary!!! (Plus, you’re looking pretty adorable with that bump!!) xo