I live for authentic connection and telling a story through my photos. I love adventurous couples, outdoor weddings, natural light, unplugged moments, packed dance floors and clients who become friends. When I’m not exploring with rad couples or editing photos, I’m typically volunteering in our church, playing board games with our friends or heading outside to adventure with my husband and pup.
March 18, 2020
I got my first camera when I was in Middle School. It was a silver Canon Powershot, and man did I take that baby everywhere. I had moved from a small town in Northern Michigan to Manila, Philippines, and I became infatuated with the people, culture and new surroundings. It was the first time living in a third-world country and everywhere I looked their was beauty in simplicity. I wanted to take pictures of all of it because I knew someday I would want to share it with someone who wasn’t there with me.
I didn’t go to school for photography. At that time, YouTube wasn’t the educational sensation it is today so learning how to use my camera meant I had to read the manual, ask lots of questions and go shoot. But practice came easy, because I wanted to document everything.
While living in the Philippines, my parents spent years working with the homeless, providing jobs and a voice for the marginalized through a published street paper. My dad wrote stories and my mom took photos.
Now, more than a decade later and my love for photography and capturing peoples stories has only grown. Never in a million years would I have thought this would be my life at age 30. And three years ago when I decided to give this business thing a go, I never imagined it would bring me here: to a place of so much fulfillment, joy, inspiration and hope for the future. With each couple or wedding I get the honor of photographing I am reminded over again that this is my calling…to find the beauty of relationships, the beauty in people.
Yes, it’s been hard. OH MY GOSH, has it been hard. When I started my business I was starting from scratch. I googled things like “how to get a business license” or “what’s the difference an LLC, Sole Proprietor, S Corp & C Corp.” The first year brought lots of questions and in turn, lots of growth.
I learned early on that one of the best ways to really pivot and grow is by investing in myself through education. Things like Youtube tutorials, business webinars, online classes, in-person workshops and mentor sessions. There is so much to learn about running a business. Topics like finances, client experience, contracts, marketing, workflow, branding, social media… you name it, I’ve tried to study it. Yes, it’s not cheap, but the investment far outweighs the cost!
In the end, all of the hard work and education I’ve put into this business has made me a better photographer, yes. But more than that it’s taught me how to better show up for my couples and go above and beyond in my client experience. I love what I get to do and it’s because of the people and their stories that I keep doing it!
Here are some of the resources, educators & workshops that were influential in helping my business:
– workshops & educators: Evolve // WRKSHP // Monique Serra // Jenna Kutcher // Evelyn Rupp // Lindsey Roman // India Earl
– online resources: Honeybook // Creative Live // The Law Tog // SLR Lounge // The Rising Tide Society
Mary Lewis is an adventurous destination wedding & elopement photographed based in Northern California. She lives for adventurous couples, national park elopements, outdoor weddings, and telling a story through her images. Her style is raw, honest and filled with meaning and emotion. She is passionate about moments and believes that photographs are a timeless way to hold onto the memories we never want to forget.
Mary Lewis is a California-based wedding and portrait photographer, an entrepreneur and a go-getter creative that is obsessed with capturing honest love and your next adventure!