IMG 2535 getting here

This space has been missing something lately. It’s taken a back seat to the day to day of editing and shooting photos… and my personal life – while boring for the most part – has had enough changes in the past few months that sitting down to talk about life has not come as naturally. So, while I still brainstorm ideas throughout the day about what to write I have not been able to sit down and get any of them “on paper.” However, I refuse to let this space go untouched, so I’m writing late at night with not much to say besides hello! I have thousands of images I need to edit… and I’m craving fall and caramel apple cider (this caramel is one of my favorites, and yes you should try some and if you don’t like it send it over to me).

I didn’t think this year would be quite so busy, but it has turned out that way again. It’s strange though, because in New York weddings are either definitely winter or not. Well, it’s the other way around, but what I’m saying is that if you want a winter wedding, you plan for one specifically, but if not you generally hope for the best weather and avoid the 4-5 months there will be snow. So, it my season wides down dramatically in the fall but thankfully enough work in the rest of the year carries me through. So there is a lot of time unscheduled – some that I hope to fill with work – others that I plan to use to do my best to be inspired, create my own interesting projects and live this life with my family close by.

For now it’s been days of avoiding poison ivy, clinging to roots and trees to get to the location you see above… and sitting at my computer editing photos. I am so incredibly grateful to work with wonderful people, who have not only trusted me to document their lives but make what I do rewarding and meaningful. I’m not saying that to make any other photographers feel bad and start to evaluate their own lives and what they are missing – no don’t compare! I’m just saying that because there are times I just can’t believe how much fun it is to photograph people and am so grateful to work at something I love. (Yes there are the times I hate being at my computer because life’s not all perfect).

So, here’s to those adventurous days, when we are too busy living to instagram or lucky enough to have everyone by our side that they can see and experience what we are in person. Here’s to staying in touch and doing things that are challenging and not forgetting where we came from or what direction we want to go.

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woodland elopement mary dougherty new york photo01 Woodland Elopement | Mary Dougherty Photography

On a beautiful Friday afternoon Whitney got ready for her wedding day. There was a timeline, but it was flexible. There was a location, it was a large rock off the path near the woods of John’s house. There was a dress that she would get to wear a total of three times – once for the pictures for their secret announcement, today for the wedding, and later at the backyard reception. Today she and John would elope.

Since the time John proposed, they decided to keep it a secret and plan a woodland elopement. With their parent’s blessing and plan for a day as unique as the two of them they were married by their pastor and I was privileged to be the photographer and only witness. A few days after the ceremony family and friends would receive an invitation in the mail to join them – today – for a reception to celebrate. It was all of the love and excitement a wedding day should have with a fraction of the stress. It was simple, and beautiful and so completely right.

While many consider eloping at some stage in their wedding planning, few make it a reality.  For John and Whitney it was the perfect way to keep their day intimate and meaningful without getting lost in the sea of wedding dates and decision making. It’s not for everyone, but as I spent the afternoon with these two I was convinced that it was something more people should consider… or should I say I’d love photograph more of them. Take a look at the intimate ceremony and thoughtful portraits we were able to capture of this gorgeous day and congratulations once again Whitney + John – thank you for inviting me to join you!

woodland elopement mary dougherty new york photo02 Woodland Elopement | Mary Dougherty Photography
woodland elopement mary dougherty new york photo03 Woodland Elopement | Mary Dougherty Photography
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woodland elopement mary dougherty new york photo10 Woodland Elopement | Mary Dougherty Photography
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woodland elopement mary dougherty new york photo12 Woodland Elopement | Mary Dougherty Photography
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woodland elopement mary dougherty new york photo22 Woodland Elopement | Mary Dougherty Photography
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woodland elopement mary dougherty new york photo25 Woodland Elopement | Mary Dougherty Photography
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woodland elopement mary dougherty new york photo33 Woodland Elopement | Mary Dougherty Photography
woodland elopement mary dougherty new york photo34 Woodland Elopement | Mary Dougherty Photography
woodland elopement mary dougherty new york photo35 Woodland Elopement | Mary Dougherty Photography
woodland elopement mary dougherty new york photo36 Woodland Elopement | Mary Dougherty Photography
woodland elopement mary dougherty new york photo37 Woodland Elopement | Mary Dougherty Photography
woodland elopement mary dougherty new york photo38 Woodland Elopement | Mary Dougherty Photography
woodland elopement mary dougherty new york photo39 Woodland Elopement | Mary Dougherty Photography
woodland elopement mary dougherty new york photo40 Woodland Elopement | Mary Dougherty Photography

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  • August 30, 2014 - 4:01 pm

    Sarah Knight - These are so magical. Love how intimate this idea is! Love it all:)

indian wedding woodcliff rochester mary dougherty01 Woodcliff Hotel Wedding

There was vibrant color, sparkling jewels and the most lovely bride and groom. Surrounded by their family and friends in Rochester, New York, Sumaiya and Bobby hosted the last part of their traditional Bengali wedding at the Woodcliff Hotel. It was unlike any the space had ever seen. They celebrated with family and friends – many of whom had flown in from Long Island, Miami and other places across the world. They prepared separately and the arrival of Bobby at the Woodcliff marked the start of the day together. Sumaiya was upstairs finishing her detailed preparations and checking out the window to see if the light rain would stop or continue. Originally planned to be held outdoors, the decision was made to move the ceremony inside, but thankfully the weather cleared enough for us to take some beautiful portraits outdoors. With all of the guests seated and the music playing everything came together and Sumaiya walked down the aisle where she and Bobby pledged their vows and lives together.

This was not just a beautiful day to document, but it was the first Bengali wedding that I have photographed. Everyone was so incredibly welcoming and kind and even more so – eager to be photographed. Sometimes we have the problem of unfriendly guests who like to avoid our camera and decline the chance to be included in the images from the day, but this was certainly not the case. I’m so thankful for Jake – who second shot with me – as we spent a large part of the day documenting separate events and there was a lot to document in the two days we spent photographing. Enjoy some of my favorites and open the post to see a more complete look at the day!

indian wedding woodcliff rochester mary dougherty02 Woodcliff Hotel Wedding
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indian wedding woodcliff rochester mary dougherty09 Woodcliff Hotel Wedding

When Sumaiya was getting ready and laying out her necklaces I asked which she would be wearing and the answer was “all of them.” Haha I felt so silly, and while I am used to seeing brides with minimal jewelry in this case more is more and Sumaiya was incrediably stunning in both the red wedding dress and gold reception dresses she wore (also the skirt on the red dress weighed 15 lbs and I’m not joking).

indian wedding woodcliff rochester mary dougherty10 Woodcliff Hotel Wedding
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indian wedding woodcliff rochester mary dougherty12 Woodcliff Hotel Wedding
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indian wedding woodcliff rochester mary dougherty34 Woodcliff Hotel Wedding
indian wedding woodcliff rochester mary dougherty35 Woodcliff Hotel Wedding

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  • August 30, 2014 - 4:02 pm

    Sarah Knight - Wow. What a gorgeous bride. Love looking at something a little different every once and awhile. Love the story about the necklaces, haha.

heirloom print box hh boogie 1 heirloom print box | hh boogie

I started to dream. I thought of the things that I would absolutely love to have as a keepsake from my wedding day and then decided to give them to everyone. It’s taken quite a long time, but I’ve come to a point where I want everyone I work with to walk away with something unbelievably beautiful. I want to make the decision because I know the process of wedding planning takes all of the decision making capabilities out of a person. After the day if you are faced with one more thing to buy or invest in you just wait and five years later you still don’t have anything to tell the story of the day you were married.

So starting in 2015 all of my wedding couples will receive a handmade wooden box which I like to call the heirloom print box. It’s crafted in Ohio by the artisans behind HH Boogie and absolutely beautiful, in my opinion. With a space for both 4×6 prints, small keepsakes / a flash drive and three tiny vials it does a good job of telling more of your story than you thought possible. Include handwritten notes, additional images and fill the vials with sand from your honeymoon or a small piece of lace from your grandmothers dress. I’ll share more about the inside soon, but I wanted to fill all of you in on the direction I’m taking things.

Print boxes can be included with portrait sessions so that prints from each family session can be added as your lives are documented. I love that these boxes give you the ability to add to the story of your life and easily share it. Rotate prints through frames, write personal notes on the back of each image and remember to get all of them out and look through them when you need a reminder of the joy of life.

For those of you who feel left out and want to add a heirloom print box to your wedding collection this year, you can do so for 50% off the offered price so contact me for details!

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travel dates marydougherty upcoming travel

Travel is one of my favorite parts of this job. It’s funny because sometimes people contact me about photographing their wedding and are worried that a place like Auburn will be too far for me to come. It’s definitely not. Sure, it costs me more time and money to travel but I would rather work with the right people than stay in the same place so I try to make travel charges reasonable. Besides, while I identify most often in the Rochester, New York area… it’s not actually where I live. I’m way out in the country near Letchworth State Park and travel has been a necessary part of my business from the beginning. So, I embraced it. See a few of my farthest adventures :

Florida  |  South Carolina  |  Montana  |  Sydney  |  Ottawa  |  Vermont  |  Pennsylvania Lake Placid  Virginia

This fall I have several trips planned and I would love to hear from you if you want to try and schedule a shoot, meet for coffee at your favorite spot or collaborate on something fun. So, send me a message at hello@marydougherty.com and let’s talk. Since I’ll be traveling for weddings my schedule is only somewhat open. However, my trips to Michigan + Utah (details still being worked out) are not wedding related and I’m really interested in finding some models for a Utah shoot. Anyone want to elope out there? Take engagement photos? Let’s do it.

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