MEF Photography Blog! bio picture
  • Hello, friend! :D

    Welcome, welcome! That's me over there. < -- I'm Molly, a San Francisco Bay Area-based photographer.

    I adore weddings, families and portraits, but my cat, food and house get a lot of my attention, too! I'm married to my very best friend, and we sing to each other a lot. I'm a mid-century modern home dweller. I'm always working, working, working to be better at life (a never-ending battle!). I get a kick out of simplicity, tea, bright colors, ice cream, cooking, sarcasm and books -- among other things.

    I love me some good, authentic, giggly love. And I love making people feel lovely in the midst of their good, authentic, giggly love. And if that's your thing, too, I'd love nothing more than to give you some good, authentic, giggly love photos. :)

                   

Mel + Shad | Engaged

I’ve been doing this job for over five years now, which means I’ve heard a lot of pretty great “How did you two meet?” stories, but I have to say, Mel + Shad’s takes the cake. First of all, though, full disclosure: I’ve known (and adored!) Mel for more years than I’ll say out loud. She’s one of the sweetest and smartest women I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. And she’s just as beautiful inside as out. BUT I SWEAR that hasn’t influenced why I love this story so much. Swear.

So, the story! Mel is a prosecutor in the District Attorney’s office, and Shad is a police officer. They met when… wait for it… Mel subpoenaed him for a case. He was quite literally bound by law to meet her. Real life Law & Order couple right here, guys. I mean, I feel like that’s the beginnings of a sitcom script, right? P.S. If you make a sitcom script out of this and make millions of dollars, buy me an ice cream cone as thanks, would ya? :D

At any rate, Mel + Shad are having themselves a wedding in a few weeks, so we got together in downtown Sacramento to take some “engagement” photos. (It’s in quotes because they already eloped! When I asked Mel why, she said, “We wanted to do something fun, just for us.” You love them now, too, don’t you?) Let’s share!

Man, I don’t know why, but lately I am into the prom photo, guys. Say “Hi, Mel + Shad!” :D

Oh, by the way, these are Shad’s three crazy fabulous daughters. From left to right: Shaina, Laura and Amanda!
Getting to spend your career watching people love each other is pretty dang special. But I have to say, watching it happen to someone you care about takes is something else entirely.

I love your love.

FAVORITE. Good lookin’ family, right here!

Inappropriate things may or may not have been said here. (Hint: They totally were.) ;)

As soon as I saw this one download, I knew it’d be my favorite. These are the faces of genuine happiness!

Oh, Mellie. Je t’aime.

Weird compliment time: Those are some gooood arms to be hugged by, am I right?

The thing is, before this day, I’d never met Shad, but I’d seen a LOT of photos of him—and in not a single one was he smiling with teeth. I told him I’d break him, and it was GENUINE. FAVORITE!

Mellie + Shad, thank you SO much for asking me to photograph your wedding in a few weeks. I am looking forward to celebrating your love with your nearest and dearest. It means the world to me to be invited into such an important time in your lives, and it truly tickles me pink to be witness to your happiness. Such love couldn’t have happened to a more kind and deserving couple. I predict great things in your future. :D See you soon! xo, M

Katie + Frank | Engaged

Have I hit the client jackpot this year, or what? I don’t know what I did, karmically speaking, to deserve all of these kind-hearted, loving souls around me who think I’m hilarious, but I will take it, and I will appreciate it and I will say thank you for it. Thank you and thank you and thank you!

I am especially thankful for Katie + Frank, who are a most perfect example of what I’m talking about. They cheerfully did all of the weird things I asked them to, and they thought basically everything I said was uproarious (or at least pitied me enough to pretend it was!). Plus, these two have been together for TEN YEARS (!) and they are just as sweet to and adoring of one another as if they’d started dating six months ago—just get a load of how they look at each other and it’s obvious what I’m talking about. But I just realized I’m rambling and my brain is not up for eloquence today, so let’s get to the pictures already, yeah?

Starting things off with a favorite, because I can! Hey, hot legs. :D

Just look at them. Those smiles! Those eyes! Can’t you tell they’re wonderful people?

Here I go with the light again! There’s a crinkle-nose smile in the right one, so you know it’s a favorite!

Did you know that posing like this on a crowded street can be awkward? Did you know I’ll make you do it anyway and you’ll probably like it? You do now! :D

I was holding the camera above my head with arms fully extended for this one. That it is so well composed and perfectly in focus is a miracle. That it is a favorite is just because I have good taste. :D (By the way, get ready for a close up of Katie’s INSANELY AMAZING eyelashes coming up!).

This might be in contention for one of my favorite photos of the year. I wish everyone, everywhere could be this happy all of the time. And have such awesome shoes.

THE EYELASHES! And the eyes, too, quite frankly. Katie, you stop my heart (and your big-smilin’ beau ain’t so bad, himself).

I was so excited when I woke up that morning because it had rained the day before and was supposed to rain the follwing day—the clouds were UNBELIEVABLE. And if you’ll recall from Laina + Chris’ engagement session a few weeks ago, I remarked how rare great clouds are for us around here. I was PUMPED all day for this. And when 6 p.m. rolled around? Yeah… this is what was left. But I worked it, and so did Katie + Frank! :D

Is every photo I took of you a favorite? Maybe. Just maybe. (They were craaaaaamed in this staircase, by the way, and they made it look gooooood.) :)

I’m posting this to show how quickly even the saddest cloud was disappearing. And also because these two are adorable.

Just before sunset, we drove like crazy up the hill to get some nature-y shots. Thank you, recent rains, for making the mustard greens bloom! :D

Ending with another favorite. :D

Katie. Frank. My loves. You are extraordinary. Being around your warmth, your humor and your devotion made my life better. And you also gave me the name of a new sushi place to eat at, so we’re basically best friends for life now, sorry. My fingers were crossed you’d hire me from the moment we met and I am so excited for your wedding this fall. I hope you love these photos and that you see your happiness pouring out of them, as I do. Now, let’s go get some pizza. ;) xo, M

 

 

Lara + Kevin | Engaged

First thing’s first, I cannot start out this blog post without saying: HI, KAELYN! I’m beyond flattered that you like my blog and my photos and I’m glad I get to put some people you know on it! I look forward to meeting you soon! :D

And now that I’ve taken care of that… ;) I struggled for a long time to figure out exactly what I do well in photography. Generally speaking, I think I can take a decent photo in any situation and I can capture candidness artfully (duh), but where I really excel is photographing two people, all on their lonesome. With one caveat—those people have got to be happy people. Let me put it another way: If in your relationship you don’t laugh easily or spend the majority of your waking hours trying to make your partner smile, well, a) Why not? and, b) My photos are probably going to disappoint you. Genuine happiness is my forté, guys. If that’s your thing, too, we’ll make a great pair. :D

SO SPEAKING OF GREAT PAIRS…Everybody say HI to Kaelyn’s friends Lara + Kevin! :D We met up a few weeks ago at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco (if you’ve never been there, it’s sort of a city staple—although to be honest, I couldn’t tell you what it’s actually for. A theater? A great place to watch ducks?). Springtime in the city is perfection.

See? Happy people. :D

I don’t know that you can photograph at the Palace of Fine Arts and avoid having columns in at least some of your shots. :D

Man alive, Lara. You’re too beautiful for words. :)

I’ve been challenging myself to look at light a little differently lately. Success, I think! Favorite!

Kudos to you if you can figure out what I photoshopped in this image (it’s significant!). I’ll never tell! ;) Favorite!

I’ll also never tell you what this area smelled like. Thanks for being troopers, guys. :)

I know I don’t usually post multiple images from the same scene, but these next two… I just couldn’t choose between them. :) For the curious, this “scene” was just inside the door of a garbage shed in the back alley (literally, it was us and like 12 garbage cans). Great light > everything.

Favorite, favorite, most favorite, favoritest! :D

Then we hopped in the car and drove over to Baker Beach, a place I’d never shot before, surprisingly enough. Lara used to live a couple of blocks from here, and after we finished they took me over to Robin Williams’ house (that overlooks the ocean). In case you were wondering. :)

Hey, Golden Gate!

Your love is perfect. :D

Does Kevin look like a celebrity to you? I feel like the answer is yes, but I can’t put my finger on who!

We had wrapped up and were walking back to the car when I turned around and saw this. If there hadn’t been signs telling me not to, I’d have made them hop that fence and go lay down in those beautiful shrubs. Such luscious jewely jewel tones! But they made a nice background instead!

Oh, Lara + Kevin. Guys. Seriously. I adore you. The genuine sweetness, caring and goofiness (just a bit!) that exists in your relationship is a pleasure to be around. Plus, Kevin, you like ducks, and that’s an A+ in my book any day. I had such a wonderful time exploring the edge of the city with you, learning your personalities and getting to know your lives and plans. Your wedding is going to be a great event, and one that I am excited and honored to participate in. I hope that you see your love in these images and that they make you as happy as they make me. Until September, sweets! xo, M

P.S. Kaelyn is a friend of Lara + Kevin who regularly reads my blog. L+K said she’d love an electronic tip-o’-the-hat, and since there are only about two or three people besides myself who check this blog on a regular basis (Hi, Debbie!), I was more than happy to oblige. :)

 

Meg + Greg + Baby Boys | Maternity

Those of you who have been following along for awhile will recognize these two from their engagement session and wedding back in 2012. If I’m being honest (and when am I not?), their wedding is still one of my favorites, both in memories and in photos. So imagine my joy when Meg + Greg announced not only that they were pregnant, but pregnant with TWINS! Twin boys, to be precise. And would I please photograph them? Uh, duh. YES. I literally squealed when I heard, because this blessing could not have been given to two more kind or deserving people. There is a love and comfort between them that thrills me. But photos show it better than I can explain it, so let’s get on with it!

They opted to do their maternity session in their home, which I absolutely love. The easiest way to personalize your photos is to take them somewhere meaningful to you—and what better place than this? :D

Seriously, Meg. I couldn’t love you and your crinkle-nose smile more. :)

So, I wanted to do some photos on the bed, and we got everyone into position before I fired off a few shots:

And not a moment later, their first baby came barging in and made herself comfortable. Hi, Khloe! :D

When I drove to Meg + Greg’s to drop off their wedding album awhile back, she gave me a tour of the place. She said this window seat was one of her favorite spots in the house, and I can see why. Those frames on the wall? FILLED with their wedding photos. Melted my heart. :D

But this angle is my favorite. :D

Meg, you are beautiful. Totally and completely beautiful.

They’ve already got the boys’ nursery set up, so we headed in to take some photos. Khloe is not one to be left out, and she had some other ideas for us. :)

So we made it work! Meg, I know already that these will be your favorites (she’s just as pet-obsessed as I am!). :D

Guys, you’re having twins. TWINS. Still blows my mind.

I LOVE photographing people at home.

We jetted outside to catch just the last few rays of sunlight that evening. The cherry trees were in full bloom. As was their cuteness. Favorite!
I mean, c’mon guys. :D

I’m only sharing this photo to tell the funny story that goes with it. Meg + Greg are both high school teachers. And Greg coaches basically every sport that has ever existed on planet earth. As such, he’s pretty well known around town. The street we’re sitting on here is not a quiet one, and every single time a car drove by, he buried his head in Meg’s shoulder to avoid being recognized. I hope these photos were worth the potential embarrassment, Greg! :D

You make pregnancy look goooood.

That photo on the left? Total favorite. Because it reminds me a lot of this image, which I know is one of Meg’s favorites from their wedding. Greg is so good at making her genuinely laugh, which is something that cannot be faked, and is one of the things I love about their relationship.

Oh, guys. I am so, so, so very excited for you and your future. Having spent time with your families, I know with complete confidence that the boys are being welcomed into infinite love and support. You will be lucky to have these babies, but rest assured they are lucky to have you, too. And even though your hands are about to be very full, I don’t know two people more up to the challenge than you are. Let’s just hope they like soccer! ;)

I cannot wait to meet these babies, learn their names and study their faces. I hope you love your photos, and that they help you—and some day your boys!—reminisce about this sweet season in your lives. They’ll be here before you know it! xo, M

Laina + Chris | Engaged

 

I only live about an hour and a half from where I grew up, but it didn’t occur to me until this session that I rarely photograph in that area. This year, however, I’m honored to have been asked by four different women with whom I went to high school to photograph their weddings, so I’ll be back often—and happily so! I was particularly excited to meet up in my hometown with Laina and Chris a few weeks ago because Northern California had finally gotten some much needed rain. And even though it was just a drop in the bucket and did basically nothing to alleviate the drought we’re currently suffering, it has caused every hill around us to begin to turn emerald green and every tree to blossom. It’s a welcome sight and made for a beautiful backdrop. See what I mean?:

Although, when you get a load of Laina + Chris, you realize very quickly that it wouldn’t have mattered what background I put them against—they look gorgeous no matter what. :D Also, the photo on the left was a total mistake, but I like it and I’m in charge around here, so I’m keeping it. :)

Laina never stops smiling! :D

I will never, ever, ever get tired of oak trees.

I love the way that people who are in love look at one another. Melts my heart. :) Also, isn’t that dress stunning?

I have to apologize to Chris once again for making him lay down for this shot. I always ask couples if they’re okay laying on the ground before I ask them to, but Chris didn’t tell me he’s allergic to grass and he was insanely itchy after he got up! Sorrysorrysorry! But I still like this photo. :)

Laina, you are so unbelievably beautiful.

See? Green!

We rarely get great clouds around here, so I took full advantage that day. This right here would make one heck of a great huge canvas. Favorite!

I knew this was my favorite image from the whole session as soon as I took at, and when I showed it to Laina on the back of my camera it made her tear up. Love is awesome, guys. A perfect ending to this post.

Laina + Chris, I know you didn’t do it just for me, but thank you for making the trek out from New Jersey to meet with me to take these photographs. It was a pleasure to spend time with you (and to finally meet Chrissy!), to look for wild animals with you (Chris is the only person I’ve ever met who gets as distracted by ducks as I do), and to learn about your lives.  You’ve already tackled a lifetime’s worth of hardships together and come out on top, and your relationship is all the more beautiful for it. I am so excited for your wedding and I hope you love these photos as much as I do! xo, M