Ok excuse me, but where in the world did 2019 go?! Is anyone else out there completely blown away by how quickly this year went by? As a new year begins, I love to look back and reflect on all that has occurred in the year we are about to bid adieu. I must say, 2019 was a very blessed year. We had plenty of good news and so many wonderful things that have happened for our businesses and careers, as well as our personal lives.
We started January off right, with a much needed vacation for Brandon and I to the Bahamas. With all my workaholic tendencies, I needed to give myself a break from the hustle-and-bustle. Yes I travel A LOT, but 90% of everywhere I traveled in 2018 was for work, so a trip for just Brandon and I was in need. We came home more rested and connected than ever. We experienced pretty crappy weather while we were there: we had 3 excursions planned and all of them were cancelled due to tropical storms. We didn't mind, however, as we stayed in and played cards and sipped mai-tais. It was perfect. If you would like to read more about the trip, you can do so here.
February was a quiet month full of blogging and a couple weddings and lots of meetings. Nothing too exciting here!
March marks probably the best news our family got all year, or all decade. Back in September, my mom's doctors announced her officially in remission from Merkel Cell Carcinoma. Well, 6 months later in March she went in for her check up and the cancer was GONE. Talk about a miracle! Here she is ringing the cancer free bell. If you would like to read more about or family's journey dealing with cancer and how Immunotherapy saved her life, check out the blog post I wrote on it here.
While March may have been a joyous time for our family and my mom's battle with cancer, another family was suffering. One of our sweet brides and friends, Meghan Ferguson, had lost her fight against breast cancer. I attended college with Meghan, and she was always such a bright light and inspiration to those around her. We had lost touch, but she reached out to me to capture her wedding day to her sweet fiance Casey. She had been in remission for quite some time and finally was ready to walk down the aisle. They were married in July of 2017, and I was sad to hear after the wedding her cancer had returned. She passed in March and my heart just breaks for her family and husband. You will forever be remembered, Meghan.
In April Brandon and I decided to take a quick roadtrip to Phoenix before my busy season started. We went to see the opening day game at the Diamondback's stadium. We stayed in Tempe and I fell in love with this adorable town. So many cute restaurants and shops lined the main street, and the weather was perfect.
At the end of April, we photographed a shoot that we have been wanting to do for a while. We combined the two huge trends that have taken the photography industry by storm: Romantic, Light and Timeless with Moody and Trendy, to create a hybrid shoot full of prettiness. We were so excited to find out that Rocky Mountain Bride wanted to publish it! Check the publication out here!
With April showers bring May flowers! And May brought our favorite little bluebell, Hannah. Hannah has been out to New Mexico several times to intern with us, and we were more than excited to have her move out here from Florida to join our team full time. She is incredibly talented and just always a joy to be around. And while she does miss her family, don't ask her if she misses the beach, as the mountains have completely stolen her heart.
We hosted our first Spring workshop in May and it was a dream come true! I never would have imagined that I would be able to educate up and coming photographers about the ins and outs of the wedding business, and our workshops have truly blossomed and grown into something magical. We worked with A Beautiful Theme to create a GORGEOUS styled shoot for the attending photographers to build their portfolios with after a full day of education at our downtown studio.
Finally we wrapped up May with a trip home to visit my family. Brandon was able to come with me this time and we spent a full week at the lake. My happy place.
Oh June. In June we drowned a bit in work... but it was a FANTASTIC month! We started the month off with a trip out to Ashville, NC for Jessica and Josh's wedding. It rained, it poured, and then it poured some more. But what a BEAUTIFUL place! Hannah and I had the best time!
It was our trip home from Asheville that was an utter nightmare. On the way to the airport, we got a call that our flight had been cancelled due to weather. The weather in Asheville was finally sunny, go figure, so it had to be our connection in Dallas that was causing the cancellation. I immediately called the airline as we drove to the airport and was on hold for an entire hour. When someone finally picked up, she told us there were no flights until 7pm the next day. Hearing this, I pulled the car over and had Hannah hop on her phone and see if she could somehow book us out sooner. She was able to find a 6am flight departing the next morning. So we booked that one and hung up with the agent. We decided to get a room for the night in Greenville and treated ourselves to a nice dinner due to the stress. To make a long story short, we had 2 more cancellations and a flight delay, causing us to get stuck in 2 more cities. It was an adventure to say the least. Here is a photo of all our airline tickets and a view from our last dinner in South Carolina.
We welcomed a new member to the MJP family in June, Carter Bertels! Sara and Alex delivered this sweet little bundle of joy, and we couldn't be more smitten.
Our last wedding in June was probably the most unique location for a wedding we have ever shot. Our couple Danielle and Matt rented a train that traveled from Chama, New Mexico to Antonito, Colorado. We made several stops for photos along the way and paused at the border of Colorado for all of us to exit so they could get hitched on the back of the caboose. The views were breathtaking and the guests all truly enjoyed the unique experience.
Our spring workshop was featured on THE WEDDING CHICKS! It is always such an honor to have your work published by such renowned wedding blogs like Wedding Chicks. Check it out here!
We took a little getaway with Brandon's side of the family to Red River for the 4th. I had never heard of this town! It is adorable. It's like a hipster ski mountain village meets the quiet rustic countryside. We celebrated the Fourth of July with hiking, fishing and fireworks over the lake. Anyone want to get married here? The views are breathtaking!
Girls trip! A beautiful wedding in Boulder and a girls trip to Denver. Hannah had never been to Colorado, so we decided to make the trip to Boulder for a wedding a little longer and rented an Airbnb in Denver for a quick getaway. Seriously was the best time. We also ran in to one of my best friends from high school, Crystal! She had moved to Boulder recently and we took a little hike around the lake by her house with her dogs. The following day Brittany and Mike, our sweet Colorado couple, were married on the top of a mountain overlooking the city. It was definitely one for the record books.
Also in August, one of our team members, Veronica, was married! Woohoo! We are so happy for her and Mike! They were married in beautiful Santa Fe, and even though it poured all day, this sweet duo couldn't have been more excited to get hitched. Congrats again, lovebirds.
September was the BEST month of the year. Not only did Brandon and I celebrate 5 years together, we also traveled around Italy. We started the month off with photos in downtown Santa Fe taken by Hannah at the locations Brandon and I met and dated. It truly was a stroll down memory lane. The photo on the left is the balcony we met on in college while we were both waiting tables. On the right is outside St. Francis hotel where we shared many date nights.
Then off we went to beautiful Italy! We started our trip in Venice where we toured the famous St. Marks Square and crossed the Rialto Bridge and, of course, took a gondola ride through the canals.
We took a bullet train that traveled 200 MPH (crazy, the US needs one,) to Florence, my favorite of the cities we visited. From the art and the food to the drop dead gorgeous countryside of Tuscany, I could see myself moving right in.
And we finished our trip in historic Rome. Where we of course toured the Colosseum and walked from the Trevi Fountain to the Pantheon and visited the Vatican. However, the trip wouldn't have been complete without an anniversary photoshoot at all these beautiful historic spots. I found an amazing local photographer, Irina Odoardi, who led us through beautiful Rome, documenting this moment for us. A full blog post on Italy coming soon!
Upon returning to the States, we learned that Maura Jane Photography won Best Photographer in New Mexico courtesy of the Perfect Wedding Guide! We are just so honored and gracious to all the amazing couples who helped make this happen for us. We truly love our jobs so much!
With all this great news for my business, Brandon also has some great news of his own. He accepted a new position in Santa Fe at Christus St. Vincent. He is now the clinic manager of 2 clinics! I am so proud of him.
While Brandon and I celebrated 5 years married in September, Maura Jane Photography celebrated 5 years in business in October! I married the love of my life, quit my job, and took my business full time all within a month! It sure was a rollercoaster, and I can not believe it has already been 5 years! We have grown so much and I have this awesome team to thank for it!
October was our busiest month this year for weddings. We had 7 weddings, one of which was out of town in beautiful Durango. The aspens were incredible! We wrapped up the year for weddings as well in October, so I just HAD to share them, as it was such a great month to get married!
We hosted our second fall workshop at the beginning of the month, and it turned out to be the biggest yet! Our sweet couple Allison and James modeled for us and some of the best vendors in town contributed their amazing work for our students to photograph.
One word. United. Hannah and I (with fellow photog friend Briana,) hit the road to Tempe, Arizona for a huge photography conference in the warm sun. This was one of the best conferences I have ever been too. Not only were the biggest leaders in the industry there giving talks, there were styled photoshoots, mixers and even a black tie gala. We learned so much and had the time of our lives. I had to share the photos taken below of me out in the Arizona desert. The one the left is from Brandon and my's roadtrip in April, and on the right is of the girls' trip out to United. Same location, same outfit, same camera in hand. Basic Much?
Sadly, in November we also bid adieu to Sara after 2 years of her working with us. She is ready to go back to school, and we couldn't be more excited for where life will take her! You will be missed, Sara, but we know you will do great things!
We were inducted into The Knot Hall of Fame! Since we have won The Knot Best of Weddings for over 3 years, they gave us this amazing award. Thank you to the Knot!
December was a month full of family. My mom came out for Thanksgiving and stayed through the beginning of December. We were snowed in and forced to have Thanksgiving at my home, which we were not prepared for what-so-ever, but we made it work! We even built a snowman!
As soon as my mom left, not a week later I was traveling home to PA to visit my sisters (and of course my mom again.) We took a photo together, and we rarely ever get pictures together. My sister Kimberly has lost over 80 pounds and I am so proud of her. She looks fantastic. And thank you to my brother-in-law for snapping this pic!
My little sister Jaime and I took a bus to New York City to see it at Christmas time. Wow, does NYC do Christmas right! We saw the Rockettes and walked all over, seeing the decorations from Saks Fifth Ave to Rockefeller Center. They deck every corner! It may have rained, but we had the best time, crappy weather and all.
And thats a wrap on 2019! I can not wait to see what 2020 brings! If its anything like how 2019 blessed us, I know it will be a good one!
Happy New Year!