vintage spring engagement : Josh + Michelle

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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It was the wedding of our dear friends Laura and Travis. College friends who were now scattered across the east gathered in Canada to celebrate and be a part of the festivities at a scenic bed and breakfast in cottage country outside of Ottawa. After starting things off with the rehearsal we headed up to the dinner in town and dined, toasted, and danced the night away. It was the start of a memorable weekend for all, but the beginning of Josh and Michelle’s relationship.

The party started to die down people drove back to their b+b’s or hotels, but Josh was staying at the Cove, adjacent to the restaurant where the dinner took place. He casually started a conversation with Michelle, who had spent the evening working at the party and invited her to go out with a group of people for a drink. She had spent several summers working at the Cove and seen many parties, cute guys, and invitations… but this time something was different. Was it the his sweet dance moves that caught her eye earlier in the night? Well, yes that was part of it, but there was something different and she accepted the invitation.

Their initial long conversation was enough to keep them talking after Josh went back to Philadelphia after the wedding and Michelle stayed in Canada. Their friendship grew and with a relationship on the horizon Josh drove up to visit. They juggled busy lives in grad school and working with their long distance relationship and it continued to grow. Just this winter when Michelle thought she was throwing Josh a surprise birthday party with his friends in Philly he surprised her with a proposal.

I couldn’t be more excited for these two, or for the fact that I’ll be able to attend and photograph their wedding. (It can be pretty tricky to attend a wedding for friends when you book the summer photographing them). We took some engagement photos recently and I think they fit their personality to a “t” but you tell me what you think. Enjoy the set and if you are interested in seeing more work please follow me here!

Josh did most of the planning for the session since it took place in his hometown. A spring picnic, reading books, eating strawberries and playing some guitar were a natural fit. He brought along his grandfather’s suitcase to carry everything and it was the perfect evening to enjoy time outside (okay honestly it was a little bit cold, but you can’t really tell).


I’ve run by this tree hundreds of times but I didn’t realize until we took these pictures how absolutely perfect it is for a swing. I had seen the swing there, but I mean really, that arc is so nice – and easy to climb!


the dedication below says “to my wife.” Husband and wife they will be, looking forward to documenting it!


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