Photo Credit: Karrie Porter Photography

 

About me? Ok, lets see.. some stats.... I've been creating beautiful images for clients like you for for almost 10 years now with a solid focus on weddings for the past 5 and a half. By the end of 2017, I will have had the honor of capturing over 200 weddings. I am a proud member of the ISPWP  (International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers), PPA  (Professional Photographers of America), WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) Fearless Photographers and the Wedding Equality Alliance. Some of my work has been featured in such prestigious publications as the new Florida Keys Wedding Magazine, Brides Without Borders, Occasions Online, Love Inc., Equally Wed,  Borrowed and Blue, Wedding Wire, Studio Marie~Pierre's Blog and Wedding Gown Specialists blog with more big announcements coming later in 2017.  Happy clients are the reason I've received the Bride's Choice award from Wedding Wire for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 in the category of Wedding Photography in the Florida Keys.

Now, to get to know me a bit more personally, I encourage you to read on...

Give me palm trees and a tropical setting and I’m in my element, humidity and all. I grew up on a small island in SW Florida and could usually be found in or around the water at all times. My sport in school was the swim team. The ocean plays an enormous role in my life and just being near it centers my soul. Travel is important to me as I find experiencing unfamiliar sights, sounds, smells, tastes, textures and cultures invigorating and enlivening which helps to expand my creativity. Summer is my favorite season even though my hair disagrees and protests vehemently with massive frizz. (Thank you Keratin treatments!)  Ice cream and Skittles are my weakness. I’m extremely passionate about animals. I love them all and will go far out of my way to rescue one whether it’s cute and fuzzy or not and would have a farm full of them if we had room. Living in Key West dictates that I keep my furry family small and so I've only got my little 4 year old rescue dog, Higgins, who keeps me constantly entertained and is literally an attachment to me when I'm not shooting. In fact, if you see me out and about, or schedule a meeting with me, I'll most likely have my little buddy with me too. My husband, although not as furry, ;) he’s the reason the moon and stars shine so brightly in my world. I’m pretty sure he hung them. We’ve been together for as long as I can remember and can't imagine my life without him now. 

I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason, whether good or bad and everything I've been through in my life has prepared me to take this path. My professional career has not been a straight line, more like a bumble bee trail flying with purpose but taking turns as needed. After high school I began a career as a professional plus size model, gaining representation in 3 metropolitan markets and international clients ranging from Saks Group, Tommy Hilfiger and to Walmart. Working several seasons with Bonny Bridal and Precious Formals in their Atlanta and Las Vegas markets eventually led to me opening a bridal salon, which was successful until I could no longer resist the pull of the ocean with Key West calling my name.  

You might ask why any of my background is relevant and that is a fair question. It does seem like I'm off track here.  It is because in addition to doing whatever it takes to get the shot for my clients, which I also believe all good pros do, I can also bustle a gown with the best of them AND have even sewn more than a couple brides into their gowns when zippers have broken. Also, having a background in fashion gives me an advantage over some because I know what looks best and can help pose while making you comfortable in front of my lens even if you highly dislike having your portrait made.  It is sort of my super power, the ability to put people at ease, and while it may be a lame "super power" it certainly comes in handy when you've just met me for the first time on your wedding day and we are to spend the day together.  

While I enjoy all genres of this craft, Wedding photography is my true blue calling. Why? To me, there is no other significant event in a couple's lives more complex than a wedding with all of its working parts.  While most weddings inevitably share common traditions, still, each and every one is as individual and special as the couples themselves, which makes my job both challenging and interesting and keeps me coming back for more.

 

Anything else you’re curious about? I’m an open book and always ready for some wedding talk!

Give me a call: 305.433.1237 or e-mail me here: maryvealkw@gmail.com