Lower Valley Farm – NJ Photographer in Montana

When we were in Montana in August, my mom mentioned they had plans to pick up chickens from a small family farm. They knew Jay, Mandy, and their three little boys from their stand at the farmers market. When my dad brought up the same family later, and added that they live in a yurt, I just knew I needed to photograph them.:)

I contacted Jay and Mandy and we e-mailed back and forth about a wonderful barter that will keep my parents kitchen stocked with farm-fresh veggies. Although they were in the midst of their busy season and weren’t sure they’d have time to spend with me, I encouraged them to let me come anyway to document their lives. No cleaning up or dressing up needed. I was excited by the prospect of truly capturing their life, and not a staged version of it.  When I arrived, it turned out that the day (and some extra early morning work) allowed them some time to slow down for a while to show me around their farm and to do things they enjoy doing together.

When I later thought about why I was so drawn to photograph this family, I actually discovered a deeper level of my own desire for my work and life’s purpose. Yes, I want to give families a beautiful way to remember what their life is like right now. I also want to help discover how incredibly beautiful their life is. And then there’s something even bigger. I want somehow to help people come realize what values are most important to them, to make those a priority, and to find ways to change their lives in a way that they are spending time being their true and best selves, doing things they are most passionate about, and really living out their true purpose. Meeting families that are doing this is an inspiration to me, and I want to show their lives to others to broaden the reach. When we see others following their dreams, it encourages the rest of us to do the same, to realize living our dreams is possible.

So that’s what this family has meant to me. Jay and Mandy realized what was important to them (time with family, improving the land for future generations, living a sustainable life, providing healthy food for their family and others), and they created a life in which those values are central and are honored.

Here is a glimpse into their life on Lower Valley Farm. Take some time and scroll slowly through the pictures. Notice what you see and what feelings develop. I hope you see the beauty and feel the inspiration that I do.


Jersey City Pregnancy Photographer

I knew from the first e-mail that I was going to like photographing this family. I love capturing authentic people who are comfortable being themselves, and who live with intention and joy. And those are things I see in this family. I’m so glad their second baby girl stayed in her mama’s belly long enough for us to have this photo shoot two days past her due date. And I was so happy to see them again following her birth. Here they are when they were expecting their new baby. Check back in a week or so for more!

Afternoon at Overpeck – NJ Pregnancy Photographer

I love to photograph families totally being themselves. Sometimes that means they wear matching Disney shirts and play on the playground. And I love that. Look how much fun these three are having together!

Very soon I’ll be photographing the birth of their baby, and in addition to being at the birth, it’s awesome to capture a family a few weeks before and after their baby is born, to help them always remember what life is like at this special time. Call it a pregnancy or maternity session and a newborn session if you like. I call them all family photo shoots. Because family is really what it’s all about.  :)

I love the pure joy in these pictures.


A Midwife’s Home Visit – NJ Birth Photographer

When this mom and I were scheduling a time for me to come over to talk about birth photography, she said she wasn’t available Thursday because her midwife would be there for her 37 week home visit. I said I could come Wednesday. Or…  :)

I loved being there to capture this. The comfort of home, the joy radiating from the whole family, the time and care the midwife gave to them, and the excitement we all felt knowing we will be together again soon for the birth. It was so beautiful and I left feeling incredibly blessed and happy to be a witness to and a part of such a special time.Home VisitHomebirth Midwife 1Homebirth 2Midwife AssistantIf you are interested in documentary family photography, please contact me on Facebook or at maegandougherty@gmail.com. I met with this family again the following week for some fun pictures at a park. Watch for the blog post tomorrow!

Mommy and Me – Mini Sessions in Wyckoff, NJ

I was so happy when this mom decided to do a Mommy and Me Mini Session with her second little boy. She and I had talked about things we’ve done differently with our first and second children and we agreed that this would be something special for her to do with her younger son, since she had taken a lot more pictures with his big brother. We met in a park on a beautiful afternoon, and mommy and baby were so sweet together.

Mommy and Me