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I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories

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Bridal Session in the Lake

This bridal session took place on a perfect late summer Adirondack evening. You don’t have to travel far outside of Lake Placid to find a stunning spot like this. Thankfully, I live here and this was less than a mile away.

This film portrait session on the lake is inspiring part of the 2021 Adirondack Wedding Workshop. If you are a photographer learn more about joining us and come create similar images August 9-11, 2021.

If we haven’t met, I’m Mary Dougherty. I’m a photographer creating beautiful and natural images for discerning clients. I’m based in the Adirondacks, above the Capital Region, the Catskills, the Hudson Valley and New York City. My wedding photography allows me to travel frequently to Vermont, New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and more. Therefore I’m inspired by the natural setting and real love stories.

What is a Bridal Session

This type of portrait session grew out of tradition. I actually only learned about them when I lived in Virginia (just one year in Harrisonburg). They take place before a wedding day (traditionally) and capture the bride in all her attire. It’s a beautiful idea but it has not carried over for most people.

Why shoot a bridal session?

In 2021, this editorial opportunity would be photographed to celebrate the beauty of a person. Outside of a wedding day there is much more flexibility. It is an opportunity to push boundaries. Locations can change as can details like hair and makeup. While you personally might not have felt like a work of art before, there is no reason not to. This is your opportunity to feel beautiful in the custom dress you have commissioned and create a sense of fashion.

Who should shoot a bridal session

The type of person that should shoot a bridal session is really anyone male or female who wants to celebrate their beauty. A wedding is one of the few cultural moments we encourage people to celebrate themselves. While I don’t believe you have to wait for a wedding to do so, it is a perfect opportunity. Likely you have custom clothes, have invested time to take care of your body and are ready to show up for yourself and in the world.

Adirondack Wedding Photographer Mary Dougherty

For this bridal session in the lake I used the Leanne Marshall dress I owned (you can see it in this California shoot here) and enlisted Ruby to model. With a bouquet by Little Farmhouse Flowers there was nothing more needed but to get in the water. Click the link to see the behind the scenes video from this shoot on Instagram.

What happens when you get a wedding dress wet

I love the mood of the images we created in the water. However I was worried about what would happen to our Leanne Marshall dress once it got wet. First of all, the fabric was heavy when wet and a little difficult to navigate in the water. After shooting we wrung it out and I hung it up to dry. It soon evaporated and was barely harmed. The structured bodice helped keep the shape of the top, and the soft gray skirt was already not white so we had a few things working in our favor. It is silk, which is light as a feather when dry and the most beautiful dress to move in, like all of LM dresses.

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