est. 2008

Marfa Engagement Session

Mary Dougherty

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ABOUT mary

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





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You can’t turn down an invitation to Marfa. At least that’s what I thought when I proposed to Liz that she and John join me for a Marfa engagement session. Being a New York and Texas couple I thought it would be a perfect fit, and compliment the images we capture this fall in Rochester, New York well. Marfa, Texas is a place you need to experience, and adventure waiting to be discovered.

Liz + John agreed and we all met on the dusty west Texas roads that converge in Marfa. To get there, you drive, then feel like you will never make it, then drive another hour, and then you only have one hour left. I went out for a workshop with Clayton Austin and extended my trip because I knew it would be worth it to capture these images.

It was so totally worth it.

We walked around the Capri (which is a part of Thunderbird Hotel Marfa) and stopped in for a drink, shot outside of the old Highland Service station, and then headed over to Ballroom Marfa and used the gorgeous light surrounding the building. Having spent a few days in the town I was familiar with the surroundings and loved incorporating the scenery to create my own vision of the place.

I know in my 8+ years as Mary Dougherty Photography that one of the best things I can bring to any picture I take is my vision. It’s the combination of everything that makes an artist who they are, and I’m so glad I spent time exploring that during my trip to Marfa. I shot this session entirely on film, working with both my Contax 645 and Canon E0S 3 and Kodak Portra 160+800 and Hp5.


Liz and John are the best kind of people. They confessed their fears (like everyone else I work with) of doing a good job in their photos and then went right to work looking amazing. It’s a combination of direction and un-direction that makes this successful, and I can attribute it mostly to the relationship I build with each couple. We spent our time taking pictures, telling stories about how they met, learning about John’s cameo on Breaking Bad and their long distance relationship which will become a bit closer when Liz moves to Texas.

While the stars aligned to make this Marfa engagement session happen easily, I hope it isn’t the last time I’m there. Like everyone who visits, it becomes a special place that you dream about going back to soon after you leave.

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