I grew up under the swaying palm trees and blue skies of Southwest Florida. So much of my childhood in that magical place has influenced how I capture the essence of families today. I grew up jumping into pools, climbing trees, making up dances, laughing around the dinner table like there was no tomorrow - with two goofball sisters, a stay-at-home saint of a dad, and hardworking, hard-loving mom.
Magical moments that radiate love, connection and joy.
I mean it when I say it was magic, and I see that magic in every single one of my clients. I see it in the giggles of your wild children. I see it in the way you snuggle your kids. And I see it in the way you play with them like you’re one too. And THAT is what we’ll capture in your session: magical moments that radiate love, connection and joy.
The MCP Experience
Family photos shouldn’t be stressful. They should be full of fun and laughter and joy. In my sessions, we play games. We hug. We kiss. We giggle. I make bad jokes. We chit chat like we’re old friends. I treat your kids like we’re best buds. I have a zero pressure mindset at my sessions. If you have a toddler who doesn’t want to participate, we’ll do what they want to do and we’ll still make magic. If you have a 5 year old who is giving us his best fake smile, I’ll tell the world’s worst jokes until we get a real smile. If Dad isn’t feeling the pose, we’ll pivot and make him feel comfortable. I like to guide, not force. I want your photos to be authentic and feel like YOU.
I want family photos to become a fun tradition that both you and the kids look forward to every year. I want to build a relationship with you and your kids, so I’m more like Aunt MC than the photographer lady. I want you to have beautiful photos, but I also want you to enjoy yourself!
I will always and forever choose candid shots over posed portraits. My goal is capture the personalities of your family in their TRUE light. That means creating space for authenticity. I do this by providing direction and fun prompts that lead to genuine moments unfolding in your family's own unique way.
My belief: embrace it. I've seen it all - wild toddlers, kids in meltdown-mode, newborns who are just having a bad day & so much more. We put pressure on ourselves for picture-perfect moments, but that can stand in the way of the beauty right in front of us. No matter the situation, I will always find beauty & meaning in your family's story (AND be patient with your kids! Life can be hard, man.)
Belly laughs, newborn smiles, uncontrollable giggles. Those are my favorite things to photograph. A true goofball at heart, I keep my sessions fun and light-hearted -- hopefully you laugh at my cheesy jokes and funny prompts. If you're a fellow goofy soul, I promise we'll make a great match.
How it Works
It’s time to relax and enjoy this time with your family. Leave the rest up to me!
For family sessions, we’ll play games, I’ll make some bad jokes, and I’ll have your kids smiling in no time. You get to just relax and let your kids love on you! I’ll handle the rest. Family sessions can take place in your home or at another outdoor location.
For newborn sessions, get ready to snuggle your new little love. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home! I’ll come to you and we’ll capture the moments that define those sweet early days. Worried about whether or not your home will photograph well? I can tell you without even seeing it: it will!
Lock in your ideal date and time by paying the session fee! Session fees range from $300-$450 depending on the type of session you book.
If you’ve taken a look around and love what you see, let’s chat! Just fill out the contact form to get all of the information about the Mary Catherine Photography experience, including collection options.
Within 2-3 weeks of your session, I will send over your gallery where you will be able to view all of your photos and pick your collection! Each collection includes a set amount of digital files plus a complimentary print credit to my print shop. Collections start at $550.
Once you’ve chosen your collection, you’ll have access to the gallery to download your digital images and spend your print credit on some gorgeous prints, framed images, or even a photo album!
Hooray! You’re booked! Now for the fun part: let’s plan your dream session! I am here to help you with everything from finding your ideal session location to picking out the perfect outfits for your family. As part of your booking documents, I will send over a simple questionnaire to learn more about you and your family, as well as your hopes and dreams for our session!
“The list of why we continue to work with her could go on forever. She is the most wonderful and personable human who immediately makes you feel so comfortable and confident. She takes moments that feel messy and chaotic and effortlessly shifts the tone to fun and loving. Pretty sure she is a toddler whisperer because she got my grumpy son to come out of his shell and the result was the most gorgeous pictures on earth. She is so playful, fun, and creative and it shows in every picture!”
“Mary Catherine is the real deal! She is genuine, fun and beyond talented. We have used multiple photographers in the DC area over the past 5 years and she is hands-down, the best of the best. Anyone who can get my 2 year old to focus for 45 minutes and even extract smiles deserves an award. I couldn't recommend her enough!”
“Taking pictures with kids is no easy feat! But Mary Catherine was FANTASTIC. She was playful with the kids so that they acted natural and their true personalities were represented in the pictures. She was helpful in the days leading up as to recommendations of what to wear, and ideas for the kids. She told us what she was looking for in the final product but let the family also " act natural" so the kids cooperated.”
“I love working with MC so much, that I wanted to give *another* 5 star review after yet another wonderful session. Mary Catherine is a dream to work with - easy to schedule and complete the contract; you receive clear directions about when and where to meet; my whole family feels super relaxed during the shoot and she is amazing at getting little kids to smile and laugh; and you get so many wonderful photos to choose from at the end.”
“Between a husband with a self-proclaimed terrible fake smile, a sometimes well-trained two year old retriever, and a perfect but mobile infant, I never thought I'd say taking family photos was relaxing and fun -- but with Mary Catherine it truly was! We loved every photo she took and as soon as we saw the preview, immediately ordered an album and got on her list for fall photos. She is so kind and talented. We couldn't recommend her more! If you are on the fence, all I can say is do it! You won't regret it.”
I will always remove unwanted temporary blemishes (pimples, scratches, bruises, etc.) but I will never alter the shape of your face or body. I’m a firm believer in embracing your body - beautiful flaws and all. For advanced editing (think: head swaps, adjustments to clothing, etc.), there will be an additional fee ranging from $2.50-$15 per photo, depending on size and scope of the edit.
Of course! Just let me know if you’d like me to refrain from sharing your photos publicly and I will gladly do so.
YES!! As long as the location where we’re shooting doesn’t have any restrictions around pets, I will never ever turn down the opportunity to work with a furry friend.
I recommend booking at least 4 months in advance. For fall sessions, I recommend reaching out 6 months in advance to be safe. For newborn sessions, please reach out at the beginning of your second trimester to ensure I can save you a spot on my calendar!
For family sessions, I recommend either an at-home session or an outdoor location (I have TONS of recommendations!) We will always do newborn sessions at your home. I PROMISE your home will be perfect for photos - so please don’t worry about that. If you’d like to do more than one location, that will require an additional fee.
Absolutely. Please let me know directly if you’d like to explore this option!
I would LOVE to!! Check out this blog post to learn more. I am SUCH a huge fan of this service – it’s seriously the easiest (and most fun) thing ever to use.
I TOTALLY understand that your kids may have a short attention span. If I were asking them to just look at me and smile for 60 minutes, I would absolutely agree with you. But that’s not how I run my sessions! My sessions are a fun, family-bonding experience: one filled with games and laughter and silliness. Your session time will include snack breaks if necessary AND we’ll tag certain family members in and out – so naturally not everyone will be “on” for the full 60-75 minutes.
Yes! In addition to your digital files, you will also receive a print credit that you can put towards a purchase from my print shop, which you will be able to access directly from your gallery. (No downloading from your gallery and then having to upload elsewhere!) You will be able to choose from a range of prints in various sizes, framed images, canvas prints, cards, albums and more!
I do! They are a perk reserved for past clients. If you’re a new client, you can book a full session now and then have lifetime access to all future mini sessions!
Email me at email@example.com
and I’d be happy to help!