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A Thank You Letter: Celebrating 1 Year of Marriage

Yesterday, Jimmy and I talked about our first year of marriage and I was overcome by thankfulness. As I thought about writing this thank you post, I started with thinking I’d write an open thank you letter to my husband but I changed my mind.Don’t get me wrong, I have a LOT of thankful words to say to my husband but today, I am struck by a different thank you that I must write. So, here it goes.

Dear God,

As I sit here on the one year anniversary of my wedding day, there is so much thankfulness that comes to mind. I could thank my incredible husband for an unbelievable year and for loving me in a way that I don’t deserve. I could thank our families for helping make April 11, 2015 one of the most treasured days of my life. I could thank the countless numbers of people who pitched in to pull off an epic celebration without ever asking for a thing. I could thank so many…yet today, it is Your goodness that leaves me in awe.

I can still remember the days and years that I prayed for You to provide a man with whom I could share my life. Not just any man but someone who loved You more than He could ever love me. A man who had his eyes set on eternity and not on this world. There were some days that I doubted and struggled to see Your goodness. Yet, in the midst of that, You were always faithful and whispered words of truth to me. Then, in Your incredible kindness and in Your perfect timing, You brought me a man who exceeded my expectations and blew me away.

On this day, one year ago, I can remember standing behind the doors with my father, just waiting to walk down the aisle, and he said, ‘Mary, the Lord gives good gifts to the faithful. He has outdone Himself today.’ I began to weep (of course) and seconds later the doors opened and I started to walk to my groom. We stood underneath a big beautiful tree, surrounded by friends and began to vow our lives. At that moment, the sun poked out from the clouds and shone directly on us. It was as if You wanted to make a clear reminder that You are perfectly good, that Your ways are beyond our ways, and that Your steadfast love endures forever. I’ll never forget that moment.

In the last year, that goodness has only been made more evident. This first year of marriage has been one of the sweetest years of my life as I have seen You more clearly through the love of my husband and fallen more in love with the gospel. I am learning that marriage is an incredible gift but at its very core, it is meant to point us back to You. In our imperfect marriage, we are given a shadow of an understanding of what we have in You…unconditional love and the anticipation of the ultimate wedding celebration that is yet to come.

Thank You, Lord, for Your steadfast love in my life. In Your goodness, You gave me a man whom I respect more than anyone else. He loves You more than he loves me which makes him able to love me even better. He is wise, kind, passionate, diligent, patient, humble, fun and so much more. Best of all, he makes the best teammate as we seek to live on mission for You. You outdid Yourself.

So, today, as we celebrate one year of marriage, it is You that I desire to thank for Your steadfast love in my life continues to endure.

If you want to check out our wedding video to see our special day, click here! To see more of our amazing wedding photographs by Constance Higley Photography, click here.



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TMBT- The Cotton Eye Joe Fiasco of 2015


On this day, a year ago, I was just excited that my evening would include being a wedding GUEST at a dear friend’s wedding. For months, I had talked non-stop about how fun it would be to dress up, have my handsome date escort me and most importantly, DANCE the night away. I love to dance. Always have. In fact, if you are a past bride, you know this to be true because most likely I boogied with you (camera in hand) on your wedding day.

Well, it was a beautiful wedding and the reception had begun…the time had come to kick off my shoes and shake my tail feather. Yes, I just said that. I’m pretty sure I just given it all I had to ‘Uptown Funk’ when the DJ changed the tune and went for a more country vibe. The Cotton Eye Joe. A crowd favorite…or at least one that gets everyone on the dance floor. I was happily doing the ‘Kick Kick 123’ with a giddy grin when all of a sudden, it happened. Coming back on the left side of my left foot, I rolled my ankle and when I did, I could feel something go wrong. Thankfully the song was pretty much over and not wanting to embarrass myself, I quickly composed myself and held back the tears that were suddenly stinging my eyes. ‘I’m fine,’ I though to myself. NO BIG DEAL. Well, as I tried to hobble off the dance floor, I had to bite my lip so that I wouldn’t scream in pain. Sitting down in my chair, I calmly leaned over to my then fiancé and whispered, ‘Um, so I think I’m injured…’ The scene that followed that conversation was straight out of a RomCom movie with my cute soon-to-be hubby scooping me up and carrying me all ‘knight in shining armor’ like to the car. That part I didn’t mind!

The next day at the Dr office, the X-ray tech was so amazed at my break that he let out a shriek of ‘WOAH’ from behind me. Made me feel reeeeall good. With 24 days until my own wedding and 3 months of needed healing time, it made for quite a story. I had to cancel two of the weddings I was contracted to photograph which was heartbreaking for me. (If you two are reading this, THANK YOU again for being so understanding). Not only that, but our Italian honeymoon had to be postponed for a year and most important in my mind was how it would affect my own wedding day. You might say I was a bit bummed.

The funny thing is that it was indeed a blessing in disguise. That broken foot showed me that even though I think that I am, I am indeed not invincible. Mostly though, it reminded me that the true joy of that season of my life was not to dance at my wedding, wear cute heels or even walk the beautiful streets of Italy. It was NOT to have a perfect wedding day. No, the true joy was to marry the love of my life and enter in to the God-honoring covenant of marriage. Broken foot or not, that was going to happen. (You can read more of my thoughts on this here where I wrote about ‘Giving Perfection the Boot..Literally.’)

As I look back on that day and the old ‘Cotton Eye Joe fiasco of 2015’, I smile. Believe me, it was NOT funny at the time and I had many moments of self-pity but now, a year later, I find myself being thankful. Thankful that God knew I needed a little bit of a broken foot to set my eyes on the right things.

In case you are wondering, we are getting to go to Italy in a couple months (whoo hoo!!!) and I still haven’t gotten up the guts to dance to the Cotton Eye Joe again…

So, in the name of broken feet and blessings in disguise,

I Say, Take Me Back!

**Just as an example of why I love photography, here is a shot of me dancing at that wedding the exact moment that my foot rolled and I snapped my metatarsal in two. Judging by my face, I was blissfully ignorant of what was about to happen. Oh photography, you sure do preserve memories forever! Shout out to Emily Davis Photography for the photo. Perfect timing!


Driver_0085 Driver_0087

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An Autumn Lakeside Park Engagement | Lindsey + Matthew

View More: http://maryfieldsphotography.pass.us/mallory-engagements-2015

I sure love when it is easy to see how couples love being together, especially when that comes through my lens. It’s just a testament to the love they have for one another and how they are at ease in each other’s presence. These two were exactly like that. We had never met before but that didn’t hinder them from being totally natural in front of my camera. It was a gorgeous fall day in Dallas and the leaves left me with my jaw on the ground. I had scouted out some good spots before getting started and so when I met up with Lindsey and Matthew, I told them to get excited because the colors of fall were going to make a beautiful backdrop for their session. We started out in Lakeside Park, a spot close to my heart (the park where I got engaged) and then we ventured to White Rock Lake for some sunset photos. I gave them my usual spiel…be yourselves in front of my camera and you will get photos that truly reflect you all as a couple. Sometime this takes a while for couples to figure out but for these two, they rocked it from the beginning. We laughed a lot and just enjoyed documenting this sweet season of life for them.

What I especially loved about these two was their willingness to be a little adventurous. I had found the coolest boulder off the beaten path that just happened to be on a steep hill…oh yeah and at the edge of a cliff overlooking the creek. Now, before you think I’m totally crazy, it wasn’t THAT dangerous! But if you could have seen the behind the scenes you would have probably laughed. Both Lindsey and I were in heeled boots so Matthew had his work cut out for him. At one point I was sitting/kneeling as I took their photos and almost bit it. Yep, you gotta do what you gotta do. These two just rolled with it which let’s just say, is my absolute favorite. Clients who willingly embrace my crazy. I think the shots were worth it.

They are planning a destination wedding but wanted some Dallas engagement photos and I was so happy that I got to be the one who got to take them. Lindsey and Matthew, you all a joy to work with and I can’t wait to see how your love story continues to unfold. I hope you will always be willing to take risks with one another, even riskier than that boulder on a cliff.

Enjoy some of my favs from their Dallas engagement session!

Happy Monday!
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TMBT | Behind the Scenes | My Amazing Team

BehindtheScenes_0086 I’m one lucky girl when it comes to the men and women who help make Mary Fields Photography possible. Seriously, not only do I have the best clients but I get to have the greatest people assist me and for that, I am so very grateful. They rarely get any recognition but without them, I’d get nothing done! So, today, I am going to show you a bit of the behind the scenes of the people who have made 2015 so wonderful.

First, I need to thank my amazing husband. This was the first year that he was officially a part of MFP, both as a loving supportive husband (cheering me on every step of the way) and also as an assistant photographer! Jimmy, I am a better photographer and business owner because of you. Thanks for always pushing me to be better, to challenge myself and to have confidence. With you in my corner, I feel like I can take on anything. Thanks also for the endless back rubs that are much-needed after a long wedding day!

Second, thanks to my amazing twin sister, Beth, who both photographed a Mexico wedding with me this year (at 6 months pregnant) and who also helped manage my office, including countless administrative and marketing tasks. People say you should be careful about working with family but let me just tell you, there may not be anyone else who champions my business more than she has over the years and who knows more about it. She has been such an incredible asset to my company these last three years and I am anxious for her to return from maternity leave!

Next, I need to thank my long-time assistant, Julie. Julie has been shooting weddings with me for almost 4 years now and I have to say, she is an extension of myself. The girl knows what I need before I even need it. She gets to shoot about 90% of my weddings each year and for that I am grateful. She is my number one light tester, my ultimate bag carrier, my dance partner and one heck of a photographer! Thanks Jules for being a trooper for so many weddings and for putting up with a lot of my ridiculousness. I’ve loved all of our adventures together!

I also need to thank someone who is not pictured in any of these images, my oldest sister, Allison. You might be asking, is this an entirely family run business?! Well, it’s close. Allison started working with me about three years ago as well, managing my contracts, all of my billing and some marketing. She has the gift of organization, which let’s just say God did not see fit to give me such a skill. She keeps me on track with so many things logistical and I couldn’t function without her. Sister, thanks for being patient with me and for keeping MFP in working order!

Last, I did get the opportunity to work with quite a few other photographers this year as well as videographers. I’m always so privileged to collaborate with such talented professionals and to learn from them. Thanks to all of my assistant photographers for your hard work and thanks to all the videography teams for being so wonderful to work with!

Here are some of my fav behind the scene images of the team of people that I had the privilege of working with in 2015.

So, in the name of having the greatest team ever,

I Say, Take Me Back!

BehindtheScenes_0055 I had to start with this one of Julie because honestly, it’s the only normal photo you will see of her in this entire post!  BehindtheScenes_0056 BehindtheScenes_0057 Veil fluffing is serious business! BehindtheScenes_0058 Such a great team for one of my summer weddings! BehindtheScenes_0059 Mexico. Hot. All Day shooting. No sleep. 6 months pregnant. Y’all, she is the bomb.com.
BehindtheScenes_0060 BehindtheScenes_0061 May I introduce you to ‘the tape.’ You are going to see quite a bit of it in this blog. This kinesio tape is how Julie even manages to make it through a long wedding day. I even thought about giving it its own blog because it has become such a part of MFP. BehindtheScenes_0062 BehindtheScenes_0063 She doesn’t look happy with me in this photo.  BehindtheScenes_0064 BehindtheScenes_0065 BehindtheScenes_0066 BehindtheScenes_0067 Can’t tell if she is pointing up or saying ‘hold up, I’m not posing for you anymore.’ BehindtheScenes_0068 Some of the wonderful photographers I got to work with this year! BehindtheScenes_0069 BehindtheScenes_0070 I’d like to say I know what was going on here but I don’t.  BehindtheScenes_0071 Oh, that tape.  BehindtheScenes_0072 Maybe she is rating my entertainment ability here. Thumbs down, Mary. Thumbs down.  BehindtheScenes_0073 Oh, my handsome husband just got even handsomer when that camera went in his hand.  BehindtheScenes_0074 BehindtheScenes_0075 ‘Yeah, that’s right. I’m a photographer.’ BehindtheScenes_0076 BehindtheScenes_0077 The time that Julie needed to do ‘stem therapy’ on her shoulder before the ceremony. Photography is rough, guys.
BehindtheScenes_0078 We were hot and sweaty but we didn’t care. We were going on 4 hours of sleep, we were in Mexico and we had finished the wedding day. All was well.  BehindtheScenes_0079 Sweet Christine. So glad I got to work with you! BehindtheScenes_0080 BehindtheScenes_0081 BehindtheScenes_0082 We look nothing alike. Nothing. You would imagine that people got confused but the fact that she was 6 months pregnant sure helped.  BehindtheScenes_0083 I’ll close with these images because they make me smile. Such a great year behind the scenes with these incredible people! BehindtheScenes_0084

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Behind the Scenes with MFP


Ok, I can’t believe it is time for this post again. The year flew by but here we are…time for another installment of one of my favorite annual posts. Behind the Scenes with MFP.

All year long, I collect these from my weddings and portrait sessions and store them away for the end of the year. Some of them make me crack up laughing and some make me cringe! However, I love posting this side of things because it gives my readers an idea of what life is like on the other side of the lens. Not only that, but it’s a great way for me to relive the year from a perspective that I don’t even get to see. So, here you go. Feel free to laugh at me. I promise, I’m laughing too!

This series is called ‘The Many Faces Of MFP.’ To be honest, I never really thought of myself as an expressive person until about a year ago when I few of my friends told me that I undoubtedly was the most expressive person they knew. Then, as I was scrolling through these photos…I became convinced. Not all of them are pretty…in fact MOST aren’t so I can’t believe I’m showing them but here goes.

BehindtheScenes_0001 BehindtheScenes_0002 BehindtheScenes_0003 BehindtheScenes_0004 BehindtheScenes_0005 BehindtheScenes_0006 BehindtheScenes_0007 BehindtheScenes_0008 BehindtheScenes_0009 BehindtheScenes_0010 Yes, it looks like I fell asleep on the job on the one below…while standing at the front of the sanctuary. Nice, Mary, nice.  BehindtheScenes_0011 I have no idea… BehindtheScenes_0012 This is quite possibly one of the WORST photos of me but I had to post it. I was giving my sister lessons on focus and framing and well…this was the result. Oh dear. Talk about double chins and ginormous eyes!! Oh, and apparently I need to carry three hair bands with me at all times. Someone help me.
BehindtheScenes_0013 BehindtheScenes_0014 This series is called, ‘Short Girl Probz.’ I do this series every year because it’s hilarious. I just need a few extra inches so I find a way to make it happen. Do I look a little ridiculous in the process? Of course, but all worth it.  BehindtheScenes_0015 This is my trusty stool. In fact, I think I’ll name him Trusty. Yep, that fits. I take him everywhere and I’ve only run over him twice.  BehindtheScenes_0016 BehindtheScenes_0017 Yes, that is a child’s stool. When it’s a destination wedding and your ‘trusty’ stool is left at home, you make do.
BehindtheScenes_0018 BehindtheScenes_0019 This series is labeled, ‘Miss Bossy Pants.’ No explanation needed.  BehindtheScenes_0020 What do their expressions say about how they feel about me and what I asked them to do? The groom looks like he is saying, ‘Did I hear you correctly?’ BehindtheScenes_0021 If you all will just all come up here… BehindtheScenes_0022 Love their expressions. Such a mix of confusion, boredom and day dreaming.  BehindtheScenes_0023 Oh, how many times have I explained cake cutting?! At least they are intently listening! A shoutout to the amazing Candlelight Films! They are incredible and you should hire them.  BehindtheScenes_0024 BehindtheScenes_0025 You’re going to stand RIGHT here.  BehindtheScenes_0026 Again, the expressions are telling of how entertaining I am.  BehindtheScenes_0027 Is it just me, or does it look like I’ve majorly confused them? BehindtheScenes_0028 This last series is called, ‘Over My Shoulder’ and gives you just a good look at the behind the scenes on a MFP wedding day.  BehindtheScenes_0029 I’ll do just about anything for a good shot. Including walking through a VERY muddy flower field.  BehindtheScenes_0030 Baby whisperer? Hmmmm not really.  BehindtheScenes_0031 BehindtheScenes_0032 BehindtheScenes_0033 Now, I know it looks like I’m about to drink on the job but I assure you, I’m not!
BehindtheScenes_0034 Y’all, I don’t know what I’m saying here but it is obviously eliciting some funny faces from my clients!  BehindtheScenes_0035 I’ve decided that I use the thumbs up way too often. It’s my way of giving encouragement but I fear it’s a little overly enthusiastic.  BehindtheScenes_0036 BehindtheScenes_0037 Again, I have no idea what I said but it seems to be confusing.  BehindtheScenes_0038

You’ve got to be willing to stand alone as a wedding photographer, as demonstrated here.  BehindtheScenes_0039 BehindtheScenes_0040 This is why I have back problems.  BehindtheScenes_0041 Oh. My. Word. Someone please tell me to never stand like this again.  BehindtheScenes_0042 On the run.  BehindtheScenes_0043 Oh, the many skills I have accumulated.  BehindtheScenes_0044 BehindtheScenes_0045 On the run again.
BehindtheScenes_0046 I like to think that this picture proves that I’m funny.  BehindtheScenes_0047 BehindtheScenes_0048 BehindtheScenes_0049 BehindtheScenes_0050 Mirrors are sometimes my friend but most often they are my enemy.  BehindtheScenes_0051 I’ll leave you with these two images as they prep for my next blog post that expresses great gratitude to both my team and my wonderful clients! Again, I’m a little overly expressive… BehindtheScenes_0052 BehindtheScenes_0053

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