Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Vendor Spotlight: Maggie Conley Photography

So, we decided to share some secrets about some of the great vendors with which we work on a regular basis. Our first: Maggie Conley: Wedding Photographer Extraodin

The moment I laid eyes on Maggie {it was a blistering hot summer day as she was working her magic on a wedding} I just knew that she was someone that I needed know.  She moved about so effortlessly {she was SEVEN months pregnant at the time with precious little girl, Marigold!} capturing love in each and every shot. And, she was always smiling – always.

Recently, I was able to chat with Maggie and I learned a little bit more about her business -- and what makes her tick.  I always knew that she was fascinating – but my admiration expanded to new levels when hearing her stories.  Read on to start your woman-crush on Ms. Conley…

[GG]: Did you always know that you wanted to be a professional photographer?

[MC]: I suppose I did.
I began making photographs when I was 12.  My father gave me my first camera. My childhood heroine was Jane Goodall and I devoured National Geographic magazines and TV programs.  In college I worked on humanitarian projects in rural Pennsylvania and during summer travel in Central and South America.  This is when I settled on my documentary style of shooting in which I strive to make truthful and candid images about the lives people lead.  This is a beautiful way to photograph a wedding, just as it is, with no need to stage anything.  Focusing on the beauty and joy of life-- as it is, especially on a wedding day – and making images that reflect it, you can't help smiling inside and sharing in the emotion of the celebration.

[GG]: What do you draw inspiration from? 

[MC]: People, their feelings and good light.  It's that simple for me. There's a quote from Ansel Adams that, for me, is really on the mark: 

“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.”

[GG]: What is your favorite spot to shoot in the area?  

[MC]: I love the vineyards and Eolia Mansion. For engagement shoots, I head for pastures with giant haybales, to ivy-covered walls, to the shoreline and anywhere with fresh air and room to move.

[GG]: What’s your favorite moment of a wedding to photograph?  

[MC]: I like the moments of anticipation which are different for every couple and family.  When a bride or groom gets dressed, there is a lovely series of gestures, associations and expressions of shared experience.  I remember a mother helping her daughter on with her heels and then saying to herself, 'I remember doing this when you were a wee one.'  This is when the tears flow.

Another was when a mother zipped up her daughter's dress, hesitated just a second, and unzipped her so she could kiss the middle of her back. She didn't cry, but I did.

Once a groom and his brother left the cramped dressing room and went outside to play banjo and guitar. The joy in their faces-- this is what brings the smiling-inside kind of feeling I mentioned before.  They were celebrating and I was helping to celebrate them with the images.

And then there are the vows, toasts and dances! The minute a couple realizes they're really married, it’s magical-- and you can see it in their eyes. They rest in each other and it's a glorious thing to behold.

[GG]: How would you describe your creative process? 

[MC]: Hug the emotion.

[GG]: What word or words would you use to BEST describe yourself? 

I see myself as loyal, earthy, and faithful. My husband describes me in contrasts: salty and sweet, feisty and soft. At weddings, people have said I have a calming and nurturing presence.

[GG]: What's one of your favorite songs? 

[MC]: My husband and I love to sing; one of our favorites is “As Long as the Grass Shall Grow" by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.  It's about the intention to keep love fresh and alive for a lifetime.

As you can see – Maggie is one of those lucky few who was born to do something that she’s passionate about for a living.  Want to see more of Maggie’s work or contact her about shooting your wedding or family?  Visit her website and blog!

1 comment:

  1. mmmmmmm i might just have teared up reading this amazing interview! love!