Mashia Family - Skaneateles Family Photos

The Mashia's met me at the Skaneateles Country Club on a bright summer's evening for a mini-lifestyle family portrait session. My sessions are very low pressure and unstructured, there is lots of playing, dancing, & even time for snacking (if the session feels like work for your kids the images will show it)! I love photography because it forces me to be present and to really observe situations, their 9-year-old showed me how quickly kids grow up...at times she was startlingly mature and then a few moments later she was enjoying a juice box while sneaking a cuddle from her mom! I feel grateful that I had this evening with the girls to capture them while they were still little girls (for the most part). My favorite part of the session came at dusk...the girl's reward for being awesome was getting to jump in the lake in their clothes!!!

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Delmonico Family - Skaneateles Family Photos

The Delmonicos' welcomed me into their home early one morning, the two oldest were still rubbing the sleep out of their eyes while the two youngest were still in bed when I started documenting their daily routine. I am so grateful they allowed me to start early because I love capturing the seemingly forgettable moments of life. It's rewarding when I transform something ordinary into a cherished family photograph. Thanks to the Delmonicos' for trusting me and allowing me to immerse myself into a typical day. Here are a few from our family lifestyle session...

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Sinclair Family - A Skaneateles Lifestyle Session

I spent a glorious fall morning with the Sinclair family running around their massive yard with their darling boys. I have to admit that I have shied away from family sessions in the past due to the the unpredictable nature of young kids, I never wanted to disappoint clients by not delivering the perfectly posed family portrait. What I have come to understand is that there is no such thing as the perfect family nor the perfect family portrait. I prefer to document real families as they are...messy, happy, pouty, loud, quiet, and playful! I would much rather see a kid's quarks and personality reflected an image than a forced grin, what do you prefer?

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Lynn Family Lifestyle Session

I spend a great deal of my time photographing life's grand moments but it's important to pause and capture the quiet little moments that make up our everyday lives. I adore working with families that aren't looking for the traditional family portrait, they opt for real laughter and life (which can sometimes be messy and grumpy). For the Lynn's session we spent a late summer day on Skaneateles lake where the family has gathered and made memories for generations. The last time I photographed the Lynn family was when William was a newborn, we had a great session in their home even in the middle of a CNY winter. There is nothing better than a genuine smile in a location that is dear to your heart, contact me today for your real-life family session!

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Sanibel Revisited - 2013

Charlotte and I were lucky enough to return to Sanibel to hang out with my family for most of April. It was a wonderful shot of summer; I drank in the sun, the bath-temp waters, the soul-soothing warm breezes, and a few dozen margaritas! There is so much life on the island--everywhere you look there are exotic plants and animals that are just begging for an impromptu portrait session. Here are a few of my favorite moments and memories from another wonderful trip.

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Happy Valentine's Day Card

I have never made too much of a fuss over Valentine's Day until my little Charlotte got a bit older and I was reminded of how much I loved stuffing little cards in decorated brown paper bags taped to our school desks. I want Charlotte to have as fond of memories as I do so here is this year's custom designed Valentine's Day greeting...

 Happy Valentine's Day from Mary Buttolph Photography

Happy Valentine's Day from Mary Buttolph Photography

Sanibel Island Vacation

Charlotte, Lee and I just got back from a very sunny and warm vacation to the lovely Sanibel Island on the gulf coast of Florida. The trip has become something of an annual tradition to visit Lee's parents, they know how to pick a good spot (they've been escaping to Sanibel for decades). This visit was full of eating, swimming, tennis, biking, birding, shelling and napping. Lee and I took advantage of the built-in babysitters and ate out a lot! We had three excellent meals at three very different restaurants on the island. The first night we chose to eat at Traders. We were both a little apprehensive since it had a gift shop attached but we were blown away by the great food and excellent service--the key lime pie is not to be missed! If you are looking for a tasty breakfast head to the Lighthouse Cafe, they boast "The World's Best Breakfast" and it's a great breakfast, just skip the grits and opt for the potatoes instead (they seem to have forgotten how to make grits in this neck of the woods). We saved the best for last, Il Cielo. It is truly an outstanding fine dining experience just be prepared for a bit of sticker shock when the check arrives! Other highlights that are not to be missed are the birds at J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, the awesome shelling (literally every beach offers amazing finds), the tropical bird show at the aviaries at Periwinkle Trailer Park, a beach sunrise, and set out to watch the wildlife and fisherman at the Point Ybel Lighthouse fishing pier.

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Welcome Baby William - Skaneateles Session

Tara & Marty have been busy lately! They've been keeping up with their darling 2-year-old daughter, renovating a new house, and a move all in preparation to welcome baby William to their expanding family. I had the pleasure of shooting in their new home where there was lots of great light and big sis, Dawson, felt comfortable. I often get asked if I have a studio and I have to explain that I do all of my sessions on location because I like to incorporate meaningful elements from my subjects and that is only accomplished by having my subjects choose the settings. In this case, we spent almost the entire time in the sun-washed and simple master bedroom. I am just delighted at how this lifestyle shoot turned out--we saw the total range of emotions from both kiddos and I loved capturing all the tears, curiosity, frustrations, sweetness, and love!

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Thanksgiving Portraits

This year we had Thanksgiving at my cousin's home just outside of DC. This was Chris & Kelly's first year hosting and they didn't shy away from the challenge, they served a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner to 17 people! The day was filled with busyness, at least for the ladies in attendance...most of the guys tended to the fire-pit and the tasty homemade wine that Chris' dad whips up every year from his own hobby vineyard. It was a beautiful day filled with laughter, sunshine, reconnecting, and a lot of teamwork to pull off a superb meal. I am already looking forward to Kelly's second Thanksgiving!

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Fall Weekends in Skaneateles

This is a glimpse into my life with Lee and Charlotte over the past few weeks. We celebrated fall's arrival by raking leaves, carving pumpkins & trick-or-treating. On lousy weather weekends we go swimming as a family, Charlotte and I go to the Skaneateles YMCA a lot during the week to get our swim on. I am trying to get her into any sport but ice hockey--I freeze in rinks with my southern blood!

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