Justin & Mary's Blog http://www.justinmarantz.com/ Justin & Mary's Blog en-us Chesapeake Engagement Shoot: Lauren & Matt http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1964 http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1964 Fri, 29 Aug 2014 14:12:00 GMT































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Yale Engagement: Amy & Sid http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1963 http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1963 Sat, 23 Aug 2014 18:14:00 GMT
Today we are excited to share with you the engagement shoot of Amy ... Sid! Oh these GUYS!! From the very first second they walked through our door, I absolutely fell in love with both of them. They just have such a way of putting everyone at ease and instantly making you feel like you've been best friends with them forever. They are the kind of people you want to hang out with as much as you can, and we are SO excited that we're going to get to again soon for their wedding later this month.

These guys are planning a FULL day wedding with two ceremonies, two First Looks, and two parties....which just makes sense, because these guys live every part of life so fully and with so much JOY that I can't imagine them doing anything halfway! Amy ... Sid, we had the BEST time hanging out with you, sharing grapefruity drinks, coining new phrases, and bonding over our mutual love of truffle fries.

We can't WAIT to hug you again! For now, here are just a few of our favorites from our shoot!
xo
M:)






















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Ashley & Kyle - Tidewater Inn Wedding http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1962 http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1962 Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:05:00 GMT
Ashley ... Kyle got married at the absolutely BEAUTIFUL Tidewater Inn on the Eastern Shore this past weekend. And they had SUCH a gorgeous day! From their stunning pink, peach ... gold details (I mean how amazing is that ruffled linen for their escort cards?!), to girls in long pink dresses and guys in all black tie (our favorite!), to the charming town of Easton and how gorgeous the inn is itself, to one of the most beautiful (inside AND out) couples we have ever had the honor to photograph....this whole wedding was just incredible!

Ashley ... Kyle are two of the sweetest people you could ever meet, and as soon as we met both of their families we knew why....the whole crew was just amazing! And that includes one of the kindest (and most cooperative!) bridal parties we've ever met too. The weather was absolutely perfect that day and every single person who was there just loved this couple SO much!

Add to that, that we got to work with one of the nicest, most cool under pressure, top of her game coordinators ever in Melanie at The Tidewater Inn and the incredibly talented Monteray Farms for some of the prettiest flowers we've ever seen...and it just made for the perfect day!

Ashley ... Kyle, there will never be enough words to tell you how much we adore the both of you ... how grateful we are to have been your photographers and now friends! We love you guys! The world needs more people like you!

SO much love!
J...M


































































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The Secrets of Success http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1961 http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1961 Fri, 15 Aug 2014 08:35:00 GMT
How did you get to where you are now and what advice can you give this photographer who is ready to take on the world? What is your secret to success?

We wrote back to her right away. For the first time in a long time, the words came easy. And I thought maybe it just might help someone here who is about to take the leap themselves. So I wanted to post it here as well.

"Hey {Photographer}!

Oh, that's awesome!!! We wish you SO much luck!!!

As far as secrets to success, I think there are the staples: hard work and a lot of time for things to grow. Remember that in between the time of planting and the time of harvest, there is always this time in between while a lot happens just under the surface that the world can't see yet. But that doesn't mean that the most important work isn't happening right then. As Justin, always reminds me: slow growth equals strong roots. Don't be afraid to grow slow ... steady over the long haul. Remember it's only the weeds that pop up over night.

But that being said, I also think there are things you can do to make sure what you're planting are always good things. Here are some things we've learned along the way.




The people you surround yourself with and making friends any chance you can get will grow you SO much more than ever trying to go it alone. Be a really good friend. Be incredibly committed and work really hard at always getting better in your craft. Never think that it's "good enough" or that you've arrived. You haven't. You won't. We certainly haven't. If you do, hang up your camera and walk away for you have lost the love of it. Never, never stop learning. Consistency is key. Show up every day and do the work. Don't be afraid to ask. Don't get too big to answer. Never think that you will reach some place where you've "made it" and suddenly you'll have permission to do what it is that you want. You have to be that permission for yourself right from the beginning. Shoot a ton, shoot for yourself. Get a workflow together now, one that allows you to turn things around in good time but with an even greater focus on quality. Remember these pictures are more than just a check mark on your to do list; they have to last a lifetime. Be personal and be real. No like actually real. There are a lot of fake "real" people out there. Do your own work. In everything you do act with integrity. Give credit where credit is due. Don't step on people to try to get where you're going. Instead, learn from other people. Learn like crazy from other people. Ask them questions. Ask them what's working. Ask them what's not. Learn from their experience ... mistakes. Speaking of, in our experience with mistakes don't spend a ton of money on bridal shows, preferred vendor lists, the latest camera gear or fancy clothes to feel like you fit in. Use your camera until it's the thing that's holding YOU back (rather the other way around). And then and only then upgrade. Don't get caught up in that competition.The camera doesn't make the photographer, who you are and how you see the world does. Fall in love with light. With what it can do and how it breathes life into an image. And never, never stop chasing it.

Do what you say you're going to do when you say you're going to do it. Get images to your vendors. Be humble. Let your talent speak more than you do. Ask the planner before running off with the couple. And if one is extra good at her job ... makes your life easier, send her flowers the following Monday. Serve others. Your gifts are exactly that…a gift. You were lucky enough to be given them, so make sure you don't leave this earth without using every last one of them to leave the world better than you found it. Tell stories that matter more than ones that get a lot of Instagram likes. Look at the big picture with your work and make pictures that will last the long haul. When in doubt, remember that classic never goes out of style and there are a lot of things you can do to your work, but that doesn't mean you should . Hold yourself to the standard of being the photographer that you want to be. So that when you are at the end of your life, you can look back on the body of work and the legacy that you leave behind and know that this work that you did...this work always mattered. And finally, trust me on this, sooner or later you ARE going to find yourself in need a Command 3M hook and/or super glue. Add them both to your bag right now.

But above all, here is the most important one: these goals that you listed like speaking at WPPI or being on Creative Live….those aren't really the dream. They only feel like the dream because that's what success happens to look like right now. Don't get me wrong, both of those things are amazing goals to go for ... I think you should!. I'm sure one day, we will see you get to do both. But my point is, when you base success on a checklist of what it looks like for everyone else at that particular point in time, that success will always, always be just beyond your grasp. And there will always be just one more thing to add to the list. So you will spend your life in the pursuit of More. More, more, more just to barely keep up. Instead, I'd rather see you as the one who invents a whole new version of success that no one has ever seen before. One for all of us to look up to. Step bravely out as a leader, the world needs more leaders. Don't just do what has already been done. Speak at the conferences, host the workshops if that's something you want to try. But let those just be this cool thing you got to do one time. In between going out and setting this whole world on fire (light it up, up, up), finding success for what YOU say it is, and always, always on your own terms.

This is it. Fight like Hell.
xo
M:)

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Taking a Blogging Sabbatical! http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1960 http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1960 Tue, 12 Aug 2014 14:42:00 GMT
Next month will mark seven years that I've been blogging pretty much every day Monday through Friday on here. And...that's a lot.

It's a lot to think of new posts. It's a lot to think of the words. It's a lot to put out there ... not really be sure if it's making quite the difference I want to be making in the world amidst all the noise. Because with Facebook, Instagram, and all the other news feeds out there...let's face it, there is definitely a LOT of noise these days.

And it's become kind of this grind. This thing I show up to every morning where just getting something up is more important than what I'm actually getting to say. The passion for it is gone. Me having time to write things that matter is gone. Because the next morning rolls around sooner than you think ... the whole process starts over again. I've seen that in our blog ... I've definitely seen it happening in our friends' blogs out there too. And the truth is, we just have some really big dreams ... some really big things happening for us that we want to be freed up to work on. We don't want to just keep doing it the same way because that's how we've always done them. The world is changing ... we are changing too. We leapt ... started this business in the first place because we didn't want to get caught up in the "supposed to's" of this life.

So it would be a real shame if we let ourselves get caught up in them now.

So after seven years, I've decided I'm giving myself a break! A chance to step back ... really think about what I want to say, what I want this blog to be ... stand for, a chance to get creative and write for me and shoot for us. A chance to free up 4-8 hours every day to live more of life, to get work done on the things that matter ... the big projects that fall by the wayside all while I stop everything to get a post up. To rest and breathe and feel passionate again. To fill the tank. To get some clarity on what the next steps look like for us and get excited again. To get FIRED UP again. To adapt. To innovate. To lead and not follow. To do what has not already been done. To just give ourselves space to be human and take off the superwoman cape. To not feel so BUSY every day and wear that like some sort of badge of honor (which let's get clear on this....it is NOT now nor will it ever be!) And instead, to slow down and be an artist again. To be a crafter of words and pictures. To be able to write the kinds of pieces that are really on my heart ... step out more as a writer. To do work that in every way matters and feeds my soul. Not just work that fills a checkmark.

So in pursuit of giving ourselves that space, we have decided to take a sabbatical of sorts for the rest of the Summer to test the waters, clean the slate, and take a step back to gain some perspective. For the next several weeks, I'm going to be blogging somewhere between 1-2 posts a week (or if I don't have anything to say, then zero!) and we will also be shaking up how we approach the posts (more on that once I figure it out! :) And honestly, just even writing these words was such a huge relief so I know it's going to be so great for us!

***In the mean time, you guys can REALLY help us out by taking part in a little survey of sorts in the comment box below. We would really appreciate it if you let us know if a) you prefer to just keep up with photographers on Facebook ... Instagram or if you enjoy coming over the blog/ are you reading photography blogs and b) what kinds of posts you get the most out of/most enjoy reading/ would want to see stay moving forward. It would be a HUGE help! Thanks in advance guys!

Thank you guys so much for being with us for the ride! I think it's only going to get better from here!
xo
M:)






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NYC Engagement Shoot: Natalie & Brad http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1959 http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1959 Mon, 11 Aug 2014 13:02:00 GMT
Ohhhh do we have the perfect way to start your week!! As soon as Natalie ... Brad hired us last year for their 2015 Branford House wedding, Natalie let us know that one of the things she was most looking forward to was the engagement shoot. She said she wanted to do something editorial, iconic, and outside of the norm. Natalie is actually an incredibly successful ... talented interior designer (the kind with celebrities for clients!) so she has impeccable taste! And that was like music to our ears because we LOVE when our couples think outside of the box for their engagement shoots! We love when they get really dressed up and pick an incredible location because that just gets us so fired up ... INSPIRED and it's really when we get our best work! Add to that, that we tend to get our best work when there's a) great architecture, b) a couple with an iconic, classic look, and c) amazing light for black ... white images.... and this session was pretty much the perfect storm of our ideal shoot!

A little known fact about Justin ... I is that when we're shooting, we tend to put our cameras in "monochrome" so that we can focus more on what the light is doing than distracting elements in the background (this comes in extra handy in the city). That mode shows you the image in black ... white, but it also creates the color RAW file so you have the choice later. But after seeing all of these in black ... white to begin with, I found myself one by one going through the RAW files of my faves and turning them back to black ... white. Until what I ended up with was an ALL black ... white blog post! And I have to be honest, I'm pretty much in love with that!!

We hope you enjoy!
M:)




































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J&M Summer Bucket List Update http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1958 http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1958 Fri, 08 Aug 2014 08:50:00 GMT
Can we just talk about how not only is it now August, but we're almost already 1/3 of the way through August at that! Whew! This summer sure has been flying by!

It makes me extra grateful that this year we decided to do our J...M Summer Bucket List to keep us accountable to actually having a summer for ourselves in the midst of busy season. It can be so tempting for photographers to just work, work, work their whole Summer ... Fall away, and then we find ourselves in December wondering where the year went! This year we wanted to be more focused on making memories for us rather than just sitting behind a computer ... I'm so glad we did!

Now that we're entering the home stretch of summer, we thought we should do an update on where we are on the list. So far, I'd say we're doing really good! We've gotten to do a TON of stuff, a lot of which we shared here on the blog like our trip to Maine, going to an O's game, sailing in Seattle, VooDoo Donuts in Portland, and our fun 4th of July. And then there were smaller adventures that didn't get a post of their own (but we posted over on Instagram), things like going to a speak easy while we were in Chicago, laying out on a blanket ... reading books, going to our own beach by us, kayaking a bunch, and cooking while pretending we're gourmet! :)

Thus far, we've marked 15 official things off the list!! But there are still 22 more left! {Insert that bug eyed emoji guy right here! Eeee!}

The good news is that August is our most bucket list packed month yet with trips to Ocean City, Assateague Island, Nantucket, Buttonwood Farms and Rhode Island planned. So we already have it planned to mark off a bunch more of them. We may not end up getting to ALL of the things on the list and you know what...that's ok. Because just having the list ... remembering to chase adventure was the prize in and of itself

But I sure do love marking off a list...so you never know, we may just get to all of them yet!

Stay tuned!
xo
M:)


*Go to Assateague Island ... see the ponies
*Got to Ocean City, MD ... eat blue crab
*Attend a clambake
*Go to a speakeasy ... get a signature drink
*Go berry or peach picking
*Oysters at the Matunuck Oyster Bar ... sit out on the deck
*drive around Charlestown ... Misquamicut
*Movie or jazz on the green
*Project a movie in our backyard
*Go to a drive in
*Go to Voo Doo donuts in Portland
*Go sailing in Seattle
*Go wine tasting on Long Island (look for the Graysons :)
*Check out the Montauk lighthouse/ walk around Montauk
*Play bocce ... badminton
*Go somewhere fun for the fireworks on the 4th
*Spend a day exploring Kennebunkport
*Lobster ... popovers in Bar Harbor
*Brunch in Portland, ME
*Eat almond joy ice cream in Watch Hill
*Have dinner/drinks/go to an event at the Ocean House
*Go back to Nantucket
*Spend a few days on Martha's Vineyard
*Spend a few days on the beach in Stone Harbor or Ocean City, NJ
*Ride bikes at Hammonasset
*Kayak a few different fun places
*Grill out good food....act like we're gourmet! :)
*lay out on a blanket ... read books
*spend a bunch of days at our own beach
*rent a house on a lake ... take Cooper swimming
*Go to the Mystic aquarium
*Go see an O's game ... walk around the Inner Harbor
*Justin to get a hot lather shave at the Quintessential Gentleman in B'more
*Go to lunch/dinner at the Golden Lamb Buttery farm
*Go to the Buttonwood sunflower fields in August
*Go to an amusement park
*Eat clam chowder on a rain day

**And a HUGE congrats to the winner of our "Wifey for Lifey" giveaway, Miss Erin Sennett!!! Just shoot us an email Erin ... we'll get you all set up!

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7 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Portfolio http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1957 http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1957 Thu, 07 Aug 2014 11:51:00 GMT
As Justin ... I are closing in on our new brand, one of the most important decisions we've been having to make is which images are going to make it into our new galleries on our site. We want them to stand for what we want to shoot, the style we want to be known for, and attract our most ideal clients. That's a lot to ask of just 20-30 images! And it's been SO tough to narrow them down!

One of the things that we always do in our J...M Mentoring Sessions ... on the second day of our Walk Through a Wedding workshop is to go through each person's website, i.e. their "online portfolio." Because that's what the website really is, it's a way of saying "this is my best work, this is who I am as an artist and a person, this is what you can expect from me if you hire me."

And over the course of time through doing a LOT of these mentoring sessions and workshops, we have noticed a pretty common theme of mistakes that almost everyone makes with their portfolio. We've identified 7 of them in fact! And we are going to be sending them out to our newsletter community this afternoon!

We've included one below to get you started, but if you want to read about all 7 then be sure to click HERE to get signed up for our newsletter to receive this one ... all of our future free tips ... tricks newsletters to come!

Have an amazing day friends!
xo
M:)


1. Try not to show too many images from the same wedding, especially in a row It's ok to have a featured gallery of images from one wedding that is off by itself. But in your more general galleries, try not to put in too many images from the same wedding especially if you have them in there in a row side by side. The biggest problem with doing this, is that it can start to make it feel like maybe you haven't shot that many weddings and that can really scare off potential brides. If you have plenty of weddings to draw from ... it's been a while since you've updated your gallery, then just go in and swap out some newer work where you have too many images from one wedding. If it's the case that you ARE just getting started ... don't have a ton of weddings to draw from yet, then just make sure you scatter them up in the gallery which will keep it more interesting ... make sure the viewer stays more engaged in what's coming next. And as you shoot more, just make sure you're adding new weddings to that gallery as soon as you can!

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Move the Decimal Point http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1956 http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1956 Wed, 06 Aug 2014 10:26:00 GMT The Black Tie Bride ... The Well Groomed Groom (the two wedding blogs we started at the beginning of this year for those of you who are new around here!)

Last week we went up and met with our accountant ... our financial planner for about four hours (it was a marathon!), but when it was done we had officially started our second business ever ... I'm so excited to say "The Black Tie Media Group" was born!

Now we're not planning on leaving our first business (Justin ... Mary Photography) behind at all, it's just that both of the blogs have really blown up ... taken on a life of their own. And it became really clear really fast that they needed to be their own business! So last week we made that happen!

While we were meeting with our accountant, she said something that she always reminds us of when we're with her. She said, "Everybody has the same things they have to think about with their money, everybody has the same choices. It's just a matter of where you put the decimal point."

And I LOVE that because it's so true. It's such a great reminder that in so many ways we are all in this together and dealing with the same kind of things. When we were first starting our business, our decimal was in one place and now it's in another. But that doesn't mean that we don't have to still keep being smart with our money. And making good choices. And working a budget. I think that younger version of us would have thought that if we could ever "just get to that place" where the decimal point changed then we would never have to worry about any of that stuff again. And it's just not true.

It's the same with starting a business. When we're first starting or a few years into it, it's so tempting to think "oh if I could just get to where So ... So is then I'll have made it. I'll have arrived. And I won't have to work so hard at it anymore." But the fact is, it's just not true. There will always be work to be done. And hustle. And stress. Fear and failures and triumphs. And small victories along the way that push you forward. There is no "arrived."

There's only "we've come this far, let's see where the road leads next."


Something that we've definitely learned over the years is that whether you are just getting started in a dream or you are years into it- something that at the moment we find ourselves standing with a foot in each place: an established photography business of almost 8 years and a brand new baby of a business only a few days old- either way, we all have way more in common than we have different:

*We have fears and doubts and "what ifs"
*But we also have all of the heart racing, up all night, can't keep from talking about it of what it could look like if it works
*We have email. Lots and lots and lots of email.
*We're so busy building a dream that we go out in public unshowered in yoga pants and a messy hair bun and run into someone we know.
*We work FAR longer hours than that corporate job we left or turned down to chase a dream with more life balance. But somehow we don't mind it at all.
*We sketch out logos and web layouts on notebooks in Starbucks. Even though our drawing skills leave much to the imagination.
*We leap, believing that the net will appear.
*We pray that what we build stands for something, makes a difference, makes a change, leaves something behind, and that it pulls us closer to the plan God has for our lives.
*We get overwhelmed.
*We make color coded to do lists.
*We find people who can help bring the dream one step closer.
*We get brave. We send the email, we make the call, we reach out with the chance they just might say no.
*We're told no.
*But along the way, we find a lot more yes's in places we didn't expect them.
*We're criticized for breaking the lines, for not staying where we're supposed to stay. But we would rather be criticized than ever let the world put us in a box it has with our names on it.
*We create for ourselves. Because it makes us happy. Because it speaks to us and we believe in what we're making. And like Beyonce says, " I don't have to prove anything to anyone. I only have to follow my heart."
*We look up inspiring quotes from Beyonce.
*We look too much ahead at where other people are and forget to look back at the path behind us. To see how far WE have already come.
*One day we feel knocked down. One day we feel like we're soaring. Either way, every day we get up and go about the work of building a dream.
*We get our hands dirty.
*We put our hearts on the line.
*We give more. We try harder, We believe for bigger.
*And above all, we dream. We sleep less, so we can dream more.

And whether it's 1 year or 10 years, I just never want to lose that. I always want to have that same heart, that same hunger as we did on Day 1. Where the only thing that's changed is time.

Just move the decimal point.

Rock it out!
M:)

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Sneak Peek: Natalie & Brad in NYC http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1955 http://www.justinmarantz.com/index.cfm?postID=1955 Tue, 05 Aug 2014 12:18:00 GMT glorious friends!

Can't wait to share more, but for now here's a little sneak peek!

xo
M:)


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