ellicottville engagement mary dougherty photo01 Ellicottville Engagement

The day was sunny and bright, a perfect reflection of the relationship between Eliza and Mark. On their own they are both wildly talented, easy going and down to earth in a way that will make you want to immediately find a way to be friends with them. Together they are even stronger, covering each others weaknesses and pushing each other to dream bigger. In the small village of Ellicottville, New York we met to take engagement photos. It was a short drive from Mark’s hometown of Olean, but a far cry from their current home in New Orleans. We had be planning the session around the few times they would be traveling back before the wedding and we couldn’t have picked a better weekend to do so. They would look good in any city, town or village but I can not wait to join Eliza and Mark in New Orleans for their wedding day next year. Until then enjoy these favorites from their session and stay in touch!

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daphne snow patagonia kids photo buffalo 1 the backyard

This is our backyard. It’s a huge space, made available because we live pretty far from everything. Since I work and travel most frequently in Rochester that is the area I associate with, but in fact I live down by Letchworth State Park. It’s not easy to live here. There is a lot of driving involved with going to the grocery store, a good coffee shop, etc… but I guess in some ways that simplifies things. Instead of being able to run out at any time our trips are more planned and intentional, because they have to be. We are surrounded by nature. There are waterfalls under bridges and open fields in every direction, and it’s an interesting thing to be surrounded by space. You can breath a bit deeper and slow down when you step outside. I’m grateful for that.

We had our first good snow on Monday and Matt took Daphne out to play. If there is one thing he is good at (and there are certainly quite a few things) outdoor recreation is at the top of the list. To be able to enjoy the outdoors and invite people to share it with you is a unique gift. I think he has the Adirondacks to thank for that. We squeezed Daphne into last year’s Patagonia snowsuit and put on her newly borrowed boots and they were off : building a snowman (and a snow baby – she loves babies these days), identifying tracks, checking on the newly built sledding hill and shaking the snow off of trees and on to each other.

I can probably attribute it to the snow, or last years Christmas turned sickhouse, but soon after November rolled around, I was ready to get into the spirit. I know, I’m not typically one of those people, but something made me come around starting Christmas early. I’m really just talking about being okay with Christmas music playing, slowly getting out decorations and preparing for the advent traditions our family will share and celebrate in the days leading up to Christmas. Everything goes by too fast these days anyway, so finding ways to slow things down and enjoy moments are at the top of my list. Share your ideas with me and if you are experiencing the crazy snow storm in Buffalo right now I’m thinking + praying for you!

daphne snow patagonia kids photo buffalo 3 the backyard

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  • November 19, 2014 - 2:36 pm

    Megan Zaranek - I love it–glad Daph could squeeze into the snowsuit :) what a cute picture of her. can’t wait to join you in the more rural living…soon I hope. so the snow storm in buff isn’t getting you??

fredonia wedding buffalo mary dougherty photo01 819x1024 Fall Fredonia Wedding | Ashley + Scott

There are days that you live for. Days that define the course of your life and change everything around you. These changes might be small but they have a big impact, and a wedding day is certainly one of them. Ashley and Scott’s fall Fredonia wedding was a perfect mix of emotion, pure joy and celebration. Gathering at her parent’s house Ashley prepared with her bridesmaids at her side little niece Ezra running around. Her starbucks sat nearby – picked up with a busy morning at the salon – and details from the day filled the house. Wood burned coasters with their wedding date, the card Scott gave her with a Tiffany necklace, and flowers in bright purples and greens. It was hard to believe the day had arrived, and yet they were undoubtedly ready.

Vintage cards waited to drive Ashley to the church, where she and Scott shared a first look and began the day together. From there, we enjoyed time photographing the bridal party and capturing portraits so the whole day has an easy going flow. I felt incredibly thankful to be a part of this day, and was so taken care of while photographing with them. I hope you enjoy this glimpse of their day at the Grandview of Ellington and once again, congratulations Ashley + Scott!

fredonia wedding buffalo mary dougherty photo02 Fall Fredonia Wedding | Ashley + Scott
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romantic woods candlelit leanto engagement session mary dougherty01 autumn woods engagement session
I know this story a bit better than most, because I was able to watch it from the beginning. The very first time I met Danielle she was visiting the college as a prospective runner for our team, and while she gave me the impression that she wasn’t that impressed, she joined us the next year as a freshman. I think Danielle can give a lot of people the same feeling, because she has discerning taste and plays her cards close. So, for Austin to win her heart was no small feat.

It was during marathon training, as Danielle was getting ready for her final track season that she and Austin started running together. She had finished second at the national meet the year before and had her sights on winning – which she ended up doing in a time of 2:48. Austin was new to the marathon, and while I haven’t confirmed if his interests coincided or not – he was able to pursue both the marathon and Danielle at the same time. The runs began, and they got to know each other over long runs and bus rides with the team. If there is one thing I can say about relationships, friendship is at the center. Whether that happens before you fall in love or at the same time doesn’t matter as much as the fact that it happens, and you arrive at a place where you can be your more real and honest self with the other person.

In the year that followed graduating and Danielle and Austin pursued that friendship more. A year of long distance and being there through thick and thin finally led Austin to Danielle’s doorstep one freezing cold and rainy night to propose. I love engagement stories, and having a rainy one of my own, I appreciate those less than perfect moments when true love shines through. I couldn’t be more thrilled for Danielle and Austin and look forward to not only their wedding next spring, but seeing their marriage grow in the years to come.

We captured some engagement photos in the Houghton woods and the surrounding area only a cold but lovely day. They are a special place to a lot of people and I loved the chance to shoot here. I convinced Danielle that buying around 100 candles and setting up a lean-to with a romantic scene would be the perfect way to end the night, and I’m so glad she agreed to my crazy idea. You can see those images at the bottom of this post, and feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think!

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Oh, yes. There’s Daphne eating a banana. She came with Matt and Austin to help set up the lean-to and loved playing in the woods and sitting by the fire. It’s fitting because she’s going to be the flower girl for Danielle + Austin. Is it weird that I felt some sort of accomplishment when they asked her to be in the wedding? probably. I’ll have to practice being at the front taking pictures and coaxing her down the aisle… but I think she’ll do great. back to Danielle + Austin

romantic woods candlelit leanto engagement session mary dougherty12 autumn woods engagement session
romantic woods candlelit leanto engagement session mary dougherty13 autumn woods engagement session
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romantic woods candlelit leanto engagement session mary dougherty17 autumn woods engagement session
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romantic woods candlelit leanto engagement session mary dougherty20 autumn woods engagement session
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romantic woods candlelit leanto engagement session mary dougherty32 autumn woods engagement session

A romantic candlelight scene in the woods would not have been pulled off without the help of my husband – so thanks again Matt for being there for me! Danielle and Austin, we are all so thrilled for you. Congratulations.

romantic woods candlelit leanto engagement session mary dougherty33 autumn woods engagement session

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  • November 13, 2014 - 8:52 am

    Alyssa - Danielle you are stunning! So happy for you and Austin! Mary, these are great and I loved reading the story! :)

  • November 13, 2014 - 3:59 pm

    Sarah Knight - These are amazing! Danielle sure knew how to work that camera! Great job!

  • November 13, 2014 - 10:13 pm

    Danielle Brenon - Mary, these are truly stunning! Thank you for everything. Can’t wait for Daphne as our flower girl!

heirloom album box unbound album hh boogie a tangible memory

You spend a lot of time wedding planning. There are a lot of details, after all, and whether or not it’s a day you’ve been dreaming about for years you still find yourself wanting to create something memorable. So you put in hours learning how to write your own calligraphy / letterpress / fold origami or maybe you get all of your friends together and make your own chair garland / streamer backdrop / signage. Perhaps instead of crafting on your own, you hire a professional to do it and you create a day that is magic. Really, there is nothing quite like a wedding day. When it’s all said and done and the exit confetti is swept up and you drive off on your tandem bike / vintage car / or stay to keep dancing the night away… you are left with memories. Those memories are the very thing you’ll pass down to your children, relive with friends and cherish when you lose a beloved family member.

How will you preserve those memories, and tell that story to future generations? With handwritten love notes, pieces of your grandmother’s veil that you used to make your own, sand from the beach that you walked on at your honeymoon? Will it be told in printed pictures that are rotated through frames, passed around at Christmas, gently handled and labeled with dates and names?

As a wedding photographer in the business of documenting and memory making, I love to capture those moments. I love to give people the opportunity to go back and feel the wave of emotion that swept over them when they look through their pictures… and be able to hold them in their hand. There is something about the tangible that can’t be replaced by technology. The touch of soft leather, the smell of hand oiled wood, the weight of a fine art paper… these are all found in my heirloom wedding boxes from H.H.Boogie. They are the highest quality I could find, not to make it the most expensive, but to make the absolute best product possible. Made by hand, crafted thoughtfully and ready to hold the story that is written with more than just images and words.

So, I hope you consider the way in which you’ll tell your story. To let me share you with the most beautiful wedding heirloom I could find or to inspire you to create your own… because your story should be told.

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