This week’s featured member is the one and only Maggie J of Maggie J Photography from Orefield, Pa!
What is your favorite part of a wedding?
Hmmm…This is a hard question to answer because every wedding is different. I actually connect emotionally with different parts of the day at every wedding. But overall, I absolutely love the emotional moments: the mom or dad hugging their daughter with tears in their eyes, the groom being overwhelmed with feelings when seeing his bride for the first time at their pre-ceremony reveal, the pure joy at the end of the ceremony after their first kiss as a married couple, or the fun of the reception.
How did you get started in this business?
By chance…which was definitely meant to be because I can’t imagine doing anything else. I don’t recall precisely the moment, or why I even thought of possibly doing photography as a business, but back in 2007 (in-between jobs) I had an idea that I could take a few pictures here and there. Before I say more, let me preface by saying that I was always drawn to black and white photography as an art form. The most obvious, Ansel Adams, being my favorite photographer. I loved landscapes and travel photography. So back to 2007…I decided to take pictures of my friends’ kids etc. I did several shoots and loved the way kids behaved; so free and ready for fun with no care in the world. That experience led me to set up my business and hire a marketing company called The Welcome Wagon, to send out a mass mailing. I think it was something crazy like 5,000 post cards. ONE person called me. Melissa is now a friend and a client. She met Robert. They fell in love and knew they wanted to be together. Because their relationship was so new, they only wanted to have a few pictures taken of the two of them together. This was December 2007. In January of 2008, Melissa called me again excited to tell me that Robert proposed, and they were getting married in December. I was so happy for them! Would I be their wedding photographer? Not thinking twice about it, I said yes. Little did I know how that would change my life. Their wedding day was so full of emotions and happiness. Personally, I fell in love with their reception. (There is another, even longer, story as to why.) It was during their reception that I decided this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
What is your favorite movie and/or book genre?
I love movies! For this answer, I have to say The Princess Bride. For books, I am currently into the dystopian novels, but my all time favorite series are the books with Agent Pendergast by Preston and Child.
What does the perfect day look like to you?
Once again…I could give so many answers, but the one that comes to mind immediately is a crisp fall or cold winter day and being curled up on the couch with my three dogs reading a book.
What brought you to the Lehigh Valley?
My parents and I were political refugees from a communist Poland in 1985. We first escaped to Germany. At that time, some of the countries had sponsor programs set up for political immigrants, and we were approved to come and live in the US. Our sponsors lived in Hellertown, and we loved the area so we stayed in the Lehigh Valley.
What is your best advice for a couple planning their wedding?
Do as much of the planning as possible early in the process so that you can relax and enjoy the days leading up to your big day. I was printing ceremony programs the night before my wedding, and I wish I had had that time to celebrate and hang out with my family and friends.
What is your fondest wedding memory-either from your wedding, if you are married, or from a wedding you attended?
Oh wow! That’s another hard one because there are so many. I think it must be that moment just after the “I do” and the first kiss when you realize, “WOW! We are now married! We did it!” There is a glow of happiness to everyone’s face.
What is a common mistake you see couples make while planning a wedding?
It must be stressing about all the little things and the day being perfect. Don’t get me wrong, I want their day to be perfect and their vision to become a reality. There are, however, some things you can’t foresee or control. Just enjoy the process of planning. Enjoy the time of your engagement. Just like your wedding day happening just once, your engaged time happens only once. Bask in it. Have fun.
What is your favorite season and why?
It’s all about the way the air smells. Weird, but I am sure some will agree. The early spring has that sweet hint of summer that I love. The early fall has that crisp smell of winter warmed by the sun and a touch of the changing leaves.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Play and snuggle time with my dogs, and yes, you guessed it, read.
Do you have an embarrassing wedding moment? That happened to you/or that you observed?
My weddings are pretty chill, but at one wedding, the groomsmen were urging one of the groomsmen to jump on the other’s back. He did, and his pants split all up the seat seam.
What are some of your favorite aspects of your business?
I love the wedding day and documenting everything. I love meeting and having a connection with my couples. I love hearing back about how much their photos mean to everyone, especially when they say they allow them to re-live their wedding day. I also love going through the weddings when I am getting ready to edit them and tearing up and laughing.
What is the best way for a couple to prepare to meet with you?
They don’t need to do anything really. Whether we meet in person or through FaceTime, I want to hear about them, how they met, how did the proposal happen, what is their vision for their big day.