Oh my goodness! I just received my very first shop items from Society6! They look SO GOOD in real life. I'm digging seeing my artwork "off my device, into my life." Have you ordered anything yet? Order here!
Oh, I have the best husband, you guys. For our one year anniversary, Marten got me a new lens (Canon L-series 50mm 1.2! ahh!), a fancy dinner at the Baldwin Saloon in The Dalles, Oregon (his hometown), an Anthropologie giftcard, annnnnd on a whim- we decided to get tattoos! Thank you to my fabulous in-laws for watching Whimsy. We had such a lovely day. Marten, you spoil me endlessly. Good heavens. YOU DA BEST.
Marten's tattoo: Marten has been wanting to get a wine goblet for the longest time to symbolize the Holy Spirit. Jesus turned water into wine at a marriage feast, and the Holy Spirit is often compared to wine. He decided to get a wooden goblet because the monks used to use them all the time for communion. I made him get the heart carved into it to symbolize me, and so that our tattoos would sort of match. hehe (PS- the photo below has two outlines on Marten's arm. He only got one, the second was just a trial for deciding where to put the final one)
My tattoo: First of all, no, I didn't get a cupcake to symbolize my logo. It just so happens that cupcakes are very important to me. God once told me to just "shut up and eat a cupcake" when I was really stressed out about life. I will write more about that story later. But that story kind of carried me through the last year when I was learning how to be a wife, choosing to quit work for 10 months, and of course, having a baby. The heart and bow symbolize my wedding ring! Marten had it custom made with a heart shaped diamond and a bow for a setting. So there you go! :)
Our wine & cupcake idea turned out to also be perfect to symboliza our marriage because when we go out, we have a deal: he gets a beer or a glas of wine, and I get dessert! :) Perfect.
I have three blog posts coming up related to this post: closeups on my wedding ring, our wedding photos, and my cupcake story! Excited to share!
*All photos taken on an iPhone 5, edited with Afterlight app for iPhone.
Oh my goodness. I had the best afternoon with these ladies. They braved the Portland cold in their leotards and pranced all around Downtown with me for this shoot. They dance for the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre and are seriously so talented. I hope these photos portray that! Thank you for giving me this opportunity, ladies! You are beautiful!
For the past year, I’ve been taking a break from business. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would ever return. What started as a passionate endeavor to run a business of out love for photography, turned into an obsession that negatively dictated how I viewed the world, and myself. So after four years of chasing my identity in money, popularity, and success in business, I quit so I could find it in Jesus. I was burnt out, bitter and frustrated. I needed to heal. So I shut down Glitter & Graphite Studios, and trusted God that everything was going to be okay. This was the best thing I could have ever done, because when I gave up on trying to be perfect on my own, I learned that perfection isn't dependent on my abilities, because it is already given through grace in Jesus. Discovering this truth has made me ready to work again. But first, I want to come clean.
Writing about my journey was a sticky decision. I’ve been through four brands in four years of business. There was a lot of drama around a particular brand of mine, and whether or not anyone cares about that or has even noticed is beside the point. I feel weird about it. And I want to start fresh. SO- if you’re only interested in working with professionals who have never made mistakes, close this blog out now and call it a day. I need to do this, even if it makes you think less of me. People are real and have real problems, even when their lives look perfect. The blissful thing is that we also have a perfect God who makes ALL things new. That truth is the very blood running through the veins of this new business. My past has not been pretty. I have chosen work over family, business over education, and nearly lost my best friend in the process because of my own pride. It has been yucky and gross, even though I’ve tried my best to keep it looking polished on the outside. What are our struggles & triumphs if we can’t share them to help others? God makes beauty from the ashes. These are my ashes.
I started my first photography business when I was 16: Mary Garvin Photography. A few months in, I switched to Mary Klaren, my first and middle name, for no particular reason. Just for funsies. But eventually I felt the itch to jump on the “vintage” bandwagon that was going on in the trend world, so I rebranded to Heritage Photography. I had a cameo logo, burlap and lace packaging, and over-edited-ahem, I mean “vintage” photos, and a cutesy website. I thought this would get me more business. It didn’t.
Not only did Heritage not get me more business, but it just didn’t fit who I was. I was trying to be a trend- and you know what trends do! They come and go. So when Heritage went, Glitter & Graphite Studios came.
G&G was supposed to be such an inspiring brand. And maybe it was, for a while. Every client was offered a styled shoot (glitter) and a traditional shoot (graphite). But our pricing was SO low, our brand was confusing, I was doing this while attending school, and to make matters worse, there was a HUGE falling out between myself and my very best friend, Michelle, who was running it with me.
I hate even writing about the G&G brand. It brings me so much guilt to talk about, but it needs to happen. Michelle deserves to have the truth told. I need a fresh start. I need to come clean. My “followers” need to know why I’ve gone through brands like they were outfits. It’s the least I can do.
Once I figured out Heritage wasn’t working for me, I decided to rebrand. I started talking to Michelle about it constantly, and before I knew it, we were creating a business together. And even though every decision-even the very name- was made with Michelle, it didn’t quite go through all the way in my head, and I thought she was more of a brainstorming partner, not a business partner. Obviously, she did not see things this way. And rightly so. I had majorly, majorly misled her. And I was being a tad delusional. I was really, really dumb to not realize what was happening.
And guess what? Once I realized that we were truly more in a partnership than it being all my show and she was just “helping” I freaked out. I had the nerve to tell her that she was the one that got the message wrong- “You’re just an intern. I’m the professional!”
It was the most hurtful thing I could have ever done to her. We fought hard and long and it was absolutely terrible. I’ve gone through experiences with suicidal family members, mental illness, really hard relationships, you name it… this was the worst. We went through this as roommates and while I was planning my wedding-with her as my maid of honor! Absolutely freaking terrible. I remember crying so hard every night for weeks, so hard I thought I would break. Marten would hold me so tight as if just to keep my bones from falling apart. Michelle thought I intentionally did this, that it was my plan all along. I couldn’t bare that thought, but it was hard to convince her otherwise. How can anyone be THAT dumb? To think that you can make every business decision with someone and still think it’s all your idea, not collaboration? Worst of all- she thought I didn’t care how much she was hurting. And I was so confused about the whole thing I couldn’t explain how we got there or what was happening, I just wanted out, for the arguing to be over. I wanted G&G all to myself not for the glory- but because I truly thought it was mine for the taking. I was so deceived.
With grace that surpasses all understanding, Michelle found it fit to completely forgive me and move on with life. We were able to get over ourselves. She showed maturity and love far beyond what I feel I will ever be able to possess and carried out her duties as my best friend, maid of honor and roommate like an absolute pro.
After the gigantic G&G falling out, I got married and all was well. During our honeymoon, Marten and I just really felt like we needed a vacation. A really good one. So we found this really cute place on craigslist on the Oregon coast and just went for it. There was some really tough stuff going on in my family, some really hard stuff going on in our church, and after the whole Michelle thing AND planning a wedding… good heavens, our hearts were tired.
Astoria, our tiny little coastal extended honeymoon turned into a long-term stay when we found out we were pregnant in mid January. This is where I stop and say that part two is scheduled soon, because this blog post is so long and I feel like you deserve an award for reading the whole thing. This next part is the redeeming part. The part that changed everything. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. I’m just going to go ahead and do this- even though it’s probably not part of blog etiquette. Leave a comment if this clarifies anything for you, if you’re somehow inspired by it, or just want to say something sweet. This is a very hard thing for me and encouragement is very welcomed :)
God is so good. I want you to know that. He’s a genius. I firmly believe I wouldn’t survive this stuff if it weren’t for him. My friendships would be dead. My heart would be so sad. I’m truly alive and happy because of him. I hear his voice, see his presence, and feel his embrace. I try my best to not shove what I believe "down peoples throats" but I also know what it's like to feel alone and question if you'd ever feel happy or hopeful again, and when I heard stories of hope, well, it gave me hope. That's why I share what I believe.
Thank you to my husband who has helped carry me through all of this. Thank you, Marten, for not only being my advocate, but Michelle’s, too. Thank you for caring about my best friends heart more than I did sometimes. Thank you for not letting me give up on her. Thank you for your wisdom. Thank you for seeing problems and solutions when I don’t. Thank you for wanting the best for me and somehow always knowing what that would be. Thank you for encouraging me, guiding me, critiquing me, and loving me beyond any romance novel could have ever prepared me for. God has truly changed my life through you. You are my most treasured blessing. Thank you for giving me our daughter, Whimsy Bliss. I didn’t think it was possible to be this blessed.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
Today I had the joy of attending It's a Cupcake Christmas in Portland, an event set up by The Cupcake Girls Organization! It's an event showcasing local talent to benefit The Cupcake Girls' organization that serves women in the adult entertainment industry. A little more about the girls, from their website:
"For women working in the adult entertainment industry, non-judgmental support, consistent caring, and community resources are seldom, if ever, provided. In 2009, after a trip to Las Vegas opened our eyes to the needs of these women, we started knocking on doors of strip clubs with little more to offer than love and a box of cupcakes. Much to our surprise and delight we were not only invited in, we were invited back, and today we offer our unique brand of caring and support to women working in strip clubs in Las Vegas and Portland, and brothels in Nevada."
The event was beautiful and featured the following vendors:
Bag it Totes - http://www.bagittotes.com/
BellRose Station Soap Company- https://www.facebook.com/BellRoseStationSoapCo
Emerald Petals - http://emeraldpetalspdx.com/
Hammer+Vine - www.hammerandvine.com
Karina Dale Art Studios - www.karinadale.com
Lost & Found Vintage Goods
Miss Mouse Creations - www.missMcreations.com
Mud River Coffee Roasting - www.mudrivercoffee.com
New Purpose Jewelry - https://www.facebook.com/NewPurposeJewelry
Portland Beard Company - http://portlandbeardcompany.com/beards/
Sophie Reena - http://www.etsy.com/shop/SophieReena?ref=search_shop_redirect
Retro Modern Hats - https://www.etsy.com/shop/RetroModernHats?ref=si_shop
Tina Steinberg Designs - www.tinasteinberg.com
Tiny Adornments - http://www.etsy.com/shop/TinyAdornments
Some of the sweet Cupcake Girls! Don't they just look like they could be anyones best friend?! Maybe that's because their hearts are made of GOLD.
Golden Anthem is the artwork of one brilliant lady who hand makes leather bags & letterpress paper goods. She even prints her own fabric for the bags, can you believe it?!
Did you go to It's a Cupcake Christmas? What did ya get? Were you a vendor and saw your photos here? Comment with your e-mail and I'll send the high res images to you! :)
Today on the way home from It's a Cupcake Christmas in downtown Portland, a man shouted at me from down the street asking what time it was. I didn't reply. I lived in Brooklyn for a year and learned really quick that when anyone shouts at you on the street, to not listen and just keep going, for your own safety. Plus, my mother is in law enforcement and has been telling me my whole life allllllll about the ways potential criminals might try to get my attention. Who knows? He may just have really wanted to know the time. But, I was with my daughter and felt a little over protective, so I acted like I didn't hear him and kept walking. He must not have liked that, because as I walked away, he yelled "Whatever! Lose some weight!!"
I laughed and thought, "Oh good Lord. I just had a baby. I look awesome! I don't need to loose any weight."
What's ironic about this is that until he yelled at me, I felt I was in MAJOR need of losing weight, and had been beating myself up for eating so much and not going to the gym every night. But the minute this silly man who didn't even know me said something, I instinctively had so much grace and confidence. I KNEW he was wrong, it didn't even bother me.
Insecurity is not of Jesus. The only negativity that I could ever have doesn't come from Him, it doesn't even come from myself! It's totally of the enemy. And the enemy sounds a lot like a silly man on the street who doesn't even know me. This man may not have even been talking to me, who knows! But he taught me something very special today. Thanks, dude. I owe you a cupcake.
Guess what I just ordered myself? A snazzy iPhone case sporting my logo! Galaxy frosting? Yes please! Order yourself one here:
I had a wonderful shoot last week with two wonderful ballerinas! Can't wait to share!
Many of you have been asking for Rainbow Jesus to be put on shirts- so ask and you shall receive! Available in mens, womens, kids, and onsies. More colors available, free shipping through monday!
In celebration of the immense blessing that is today- Launch Day, I've made a pretty little thing for your desktop. Click to download, rick click and save, and enjoy! I'd love to see how you use it. For your computer, your phone, or just printed by your workspace, take a photo on Instagram and use the hashtag #marysfreebies or tag me at @maryboydendotcom. Can't wait to see what you do!
Everything! Every single page on this site is brand new. (If you're viewing this on your mobile device- be sure to look on a computer as well to get the full effect!) The blog got a little facelift, but since the majority of the re-launch takes place on the individual pages, PLEASE take some time to look at each page. Here's a little overview!
ABOUT ME: You'll see who my biggest inspirations are, my goals in business, and why I have a cupcake as a logo even though well, I'm certainly not a baker.
PHOTOGRAPHY: You'll see a deeper discussion on each kind of shoot I offer and my strategy behind them. This goes deeper than a portfolio, folks. Each type of shoot has their own page: styles shoots, weddings, portraits, etc. check them out!
DESIGN: I'm now offering my services to small business owners! This is probably the most exciting thing for me. I can't wait to connect with people and truly make their brands pop. See how I'm a one-stop-shop for all your media needs here.
I'm also selling my work through Society6. iPhone cases, tote bags, even pillows! So fun! I'll soon also be introducing a custom wedding stationary line. Ooh lala!
BLOG: I'm new to Motherhood, Marriage, and Portland, so expect to see many posts on all of the above. I've already got free downloadable goodies for your devices set up to be posted for the next six months! Oh, yes, friends. I'm on top of stuff. You better believe it. In the next few weeks, check back for some very intimate posts on what God has shown me about business.
In the next few weeks, I'll be doing so many wonderful giveaways! Vena Di Amore Jewelry, Lily Crowder's new book, Lush Cosmetics... it's going to be SO fun. Follow me on my new instagram profile dedicated to all things business @maryboydendotcom for more info, and keep checking back on the blog!
Small businesses need support to survive. I can't do this on my own. As I said in my About page, everything I do is for my family. My goal is to support my family completely off of my business so my husband can pursue his dreams as a minister and feed orphans around the world. Running this business means I get to stay home and take care of my two month old baby girl, instead of putting her in day care and working a part time retail job or something. I honor women who do that and am so proud of their willingness to work to support their family (you go, momma!) but since I have a shot at not having to do that, I am taking it!
This is my first time to ever truly feel proud of a "brand." In the last few years, I changed brands like they were outfits. Mary Garvin Photography, Mary Klaren Photography, Heritage Photography, Glitter & Graphite Studios... bla bla bla. As you can see, none of them really stuck. I've ditched the whole branding gig and am just sticking to myself and all the things I love. Rainbows, bows, cupcakes and cameras. It may seem silly, but truly, I'm silly, so...they are perfect for me.
It's been a tough road, folks. But after taking nearly a year off, I am back. I am back with a vengance. I took a long hard look at who I was not only as a business owner, but as a person, and realized I needed to change. A lot. And to be honest- it was both the easiest and the hardest thing I've ever done. I'm going to be posting more about that soon. It will be a deep, long conversation I begin with you about what God has shown me about being a business owner. It will be an honest discussion of both my failures and my triumphs. I've found that if I'm going to do this whole business thing, I have to do it the way God leads me. I am so excited to share!
Please share us on your social media, send links to engaged friends or business owners that might need our services. Or just share with anyone who might like to follow along on our journey! Commenting on these posts is so encouraging, or simply hitting the little heart button (you don't have to log in) brings a smile to our hearts. Your support means so much to us.
Oh, I have a love affair with Sarah Seven dresses. Especially when someone as beautiful as Lacey wears them.
Oh, I love this shoot. Just a little practice shoot with some dear friends, exploring the fall in the beautiful NW.
I'm so happy to announce that I'll be opening a shop for my wedding stationary! Here's a little sample of what's to come, friends!
My dad is a photographer, and has been his whole adult life. He taught me from a verrrrry very young age how to use a camera- or course, starting with film! I owe my love of photography completely to him. All of my cameras, until I went pro and bought my own equipment, were from my dad. Most of them being film cameras :) the last one he gave me broke shortly after my year at Pratt Institute, and I have been missing shooting film ever since. This week, Marten and I decided to just bite the bullet and invest in a film camera! It's a Canon Elan 7 and I am in loooooove. So glad I remember what my dad taught me (I went to art school in NY for photo, but I still feel like I learned more from my dad. Go figure), because film can be risky and tricky. But our return to film was a success. We've been so frustrated by our Cannon 5D mk ii lately, making so much trouble correcting the white balance and straining to get crisp photos. But with film? We had NO problem. I am SO impressed. I'm shooting a styled shoot this weekend entirely with film and I couldn't be more stoked. Be looking out on the Photo Blog (link in upright corner) in the next week for it.
P.S. We're moving to Portland in a few days! woo!
Whimsy and I went on our first walk last Friday- to see Marten, of course! She slept through the whole thing- nearly a mile of uphill, downhill, gravely, bumpiness and she never woke up. She fussed a little at the beginning, but I put Benjamin Dunn's latest album on and set my phone in the stroller and it calmed her right down! :) she already has great taste in music. Enjoy!
Last year I flew all the way to Seattle from Texas to do a styled shoot with some wonderful folks, and today, our hard work paid off! Our shoot was published at Rock 'n Roll Bride! Thank you so much to everyone involved. I hope this gets some business for all the wonderful vendors, they worked so hard and waited so long! Thank you for trusting me to photograph this shoot!
This is my first time to ever be featured anywhere. Rock N Roll Bride is an alternative wedding inspiration site based out of the UK, so I'm hoping that everyone involved will get exposure world wide that benefits their business. I am SO thankful. God is so good and has such perfect timing. We waited almost exactly a YEAR to be published! I was still working under Glitter & Graphite when we shot this. So thankful for the business changes I've made, and I feel like this is a way God is honoring them... like a little reward for patience and, well, patience. haha
OffWhite Beauty Boutique
Hold Steady Clothing Co.
See the full feature here! http://www.rocknrollbride.com/2013/09/cooking-calamity-engagement-shoot-shaughnessy-kyle/
Whimsy is three days late! My mom is here to wait with us, so we are occupying ourselves by seeing all the beautiful Astoria sights. Oh whimsy, come soon!
Oh- I love this video! My very first stop motion from a few years ago with my best friend, Michelle.
I am very excited to be having a baby. When I share this excitement with moms, I am often treated as naive and silly. I get the "just wait! You're excited now, but won't be when..." Since when does sharing hardships with a new, excited mother do anything but spread sadness? I know these moms must think they're being funny or even doing me a favor, but hear me, you're not. If you catch yourself speaking to a mom like this, make sure it's in the setting of her asking you "what it's really like" or asking for advice. Not when she's sharing her joy of becoming a mom.
Yesterday, I went into labor, and the next day, labor stopped. Completely. It was real labor, not false labor. I was contracting every 3 minutes, for longer than a minute, for 3 almost 4 hours. I was 1 CM dilated, which is not enough to establish "active" labor, so I was sent home. The next day, I had some contractions, but mostly had stopped "laboring." I went to the hospital again to see if I had dilated any. Not only did I not progress, but the nurse couldn't even feel my cervix it was so far back. I was sent home. I cried my heart out and was filled with anger. It was like a mean trick. Sitting in the maternity ward after a whole day of labor, I wanted nothing more to just HOLD my baby. I heard other babies being born and crying and I felt the true meaning of jealousy. I would take her late nights, poopy diapers, and all the "just wait" scenarios any day over not having my baby.
Feeling the sadness of her being healthy but just not HERE yet has me thinking of all the mothers who struggle with infertility and makes me furious when mothers talk about their "hardships" like a Medal of Honor or war story or worse- as a way of trying to "warn" me that motherhood isn't all it's cracked up to be. If your life as a mother is so stressful that you feel the need to warn others about being a mom, or it's so "not what you expected" in the happiness scale, I challenge you to take a hard look at your life, do some analyzing, and problem solving. Figure out what's making you feel the need to tell everyone about your issues and FIX THEM. You deserve better, and so does your family, and the rest of us who have to hear about how hard your life is or how bad your kids are when we simply compliment your adorable children at the coffee shop.
Having hardships and feeling the need to vent to a close friend is normal. Telling an expectant mother when she asks "What's it really like?" and telling her something along the lines of "there are hard days, but they are far outweighed by the joy," is normal. Laughing at a mother because she's excited to have a baby? Not normal. Telling a mom to expect her second child to be awful because her first one was "easy"? Not normal. Telling a mom she'll never sleep again, gain a bunch of weight, be stressed all the time, and have a "harder" marriage after children? Not normal.
And if any of this is normal- I feel sorry for you. But I also have hope for you. I truly believe your situation can get better. Why? No, not because I'm naive (much like some mothers think I am), but because Jesus has promised us a life of going from Glory to Glory. Because of this truth, I know that my life, which is so good and glorious right now, could not POSSIBLY be less-glorious because I become a mother.
"But we all are being transformed into the image of God and going from glory to glory, just as the Lord. " -2 Corinthians 3:18
Being one week away from my due date, this is my final statement about what I expect to experience as a mother.
- I believe I will be a happy mother who, despite all the "hardships", will always speak hope about motherhood.
- I believe I will not be overwhelmed by motherhood.
- I believe I will always be overjoyed to be a mom.
- I believe I will be a beautiful, confident mother who will not let herself go because having kids "is so stressful" that I will "never have time" to look nice.
- I believe my marriage will flourish as we become parents.
- I believe my relationship with God will be blown out of the water and taken to new heights I didn't know existed before being a mom.
- I believe I will be HAPPY.
Because of the strength I've found in Jesus, I now know all these things are possible. And not just possible, but dare I say it, guaranteed. But how can you be so confident? That sounds foolish and arrogant!
"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I received help. My heart rejoices, and I give thanks to him with my song. " Psalm 28:7
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. " Isaiah 40:28
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7
"Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them." Mark 11:24
I don't have time to worry about if I sound arrogant or foolish. I don't have time to ask "What if?" After all he's done for me, my heart doesn't have enough room to doubt God. If I didn't have the understanding of His love, oh man, I'd be scared out of my wits to be a mom considering all the nasty things I have heard about it. NOT BECAUSE I think it's impossible for someone to feel happy about being a mom even if they don't believe in God, but because I would be. Me. Personally. It's a miracle that I'm not only okay with being a mom, but passionate about one. I was not like that before Jesus did some work on me. But I have him, so I have hope.
My hope is not in my own abilities, so I can have all the confidence in the world that motherhood will be happy for me. Not the kind of happy that is talked of AFTER being "honest" about the hardships, but just downright happy.
No, I am not naive. No, I'm not arrogant. I have found hope in something greater than my fears. So I am hopeful.
If you are a mother and feel the same way, speak of the hope you've found, from wherever you've found it, with others. And if you read this and realized you might be one of those moms that that the "just wait" comments was funny/caring/a warning but now realizes it's not, it's okay. Just make a change. Leave sarcasm for other conversations, and please, for the love of God, quit telling us to "just wait..." You make being a mom sound horrible, and you make yourself sound sad. You don't have to be negative to be honest.
Whimsy, I sure am glad that you are healthy and baking away in my belly, and I know your due date isn't until the 21st, but we are really excited to meet you. So. Hurry up. Love, Mom and Dad.
Oh, only two more weeks. Or less. Or more. Who knows. This waiting process is not fun. This morning, Marten woke up and said in a very stern (but joking) voice, "WHERE'S WHIMSY? WHY ISN'T SHE HERE YET?"
Yeah, we know she'll come when the time is right. We are just oh so excited to meet her, though!
I've had such a good pregnancy. Very little morning sickness and no other complications. None. Marten has provided such a good environment for us too during this pregnancy. He's worked hard to pay the bills so I don't have to work and is always joyful to do so. I've been able to sleep as much as I needed and prepare however I needed. I'm so thankful for him. Whimsy, we're ready for you. Come on sweet girl!