Martha’s Vineyard Engagement

Mary Dougherty

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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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In May I traveled for this Martha’s Vineyard engagement session with Allie + Joe. The beaches are pristine, the lobster rolls fresh and the ocean views endless. Most importantly, summer was right around the corner, but the island was still quiet. As a destination wedding photographer, I often meet my couples in their favorite locations. Therefore, while working in Boston I took the ferry to the island on a sunny day spring day. If you are planning a Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard wedding reach out here to learn about my offerings and explore the process of working together.

Martha’s Vineyard Engagement Session Planning

There were several locations that we visited for their shoot, with our base being in Edgartown. Harbor View Hotel is the perfect location to stay, right across from the lighthouse and with plenty of bikes to ride around town. After that we headed west to Chilmark for a stop at Larsen’s Fish Market for lobster rolls. Finally, we ended with champagne on the Menemsha beach as we watched the sun set.

The first idea Allie + Joe had for their engagement was not the one we went with. Originally we were headed to their alma mater, where their relationship began. As I lead them through my process we discovered that Martha’s Vineyard was an even better fit. Allie grew up vacationing on the island, and wanted to share those experiences with Joe. Returning to the island allowed them to add memories to this place and build a shared experience together.

riding bikes from Harbor View Hotel around Martha’s Vineyard

How to plan your engagement session

When thinking about your engagement session, my best advice is to plan it around something you already love. It could be sitting on the beach at sunset, getting dressed up for a day in the city, or as simple as enjoying a walk around your neighborhood. I hate to say it, but this time in your life will not last forever. You may move, have kids, change jobs and the whole idea of capturing life before your wedding is an effort to document exactly where you are. So as yourself : “What would we enjoy doing together? What memories would we look back on and want to step right in?”

Download a mood board to plan your shoot

It can take some time to come up with the session that is right for you. Therefore I lead my couples through a questionnaire to help define what experience they would enjoy. Next I create a mood board to give us a visual reference we can all look at and at agree on. The goal is to be real, candid, natural and enjoy the experience of being photographed.

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