A Giving Spirit // Spady Sunday

Over the past week, I’ve had the absolute joy of meeting tons of different photographers, some local and some from far away. Recently, Katelyn James wrote a great article about why our industry is so different from so many others, and it echoed exactly what I’ve been thinking about this whole week.

It has been a crazy week. I mean, absolutely insane. I’m typing this right now in the car on the way to Maryland for a wedding while my sweet husband drives so I can get some work done (and, in theory, sleep…ha!). I traveled to Charlottesville on Tuesday to attend a posing workshop by Justin and Mary, then drove to Virginia Beach on Thursday to meet Amanda Hedgepeth at a styled shoot and Q&A session. On Friday I shot a gig for Fox Hole Kingdom, and Saturday was a wedding. And I have SO many pictures to go through, edit, blog, and everything that goes along with that!

But as I think back on it, there’s not one single thing I wouldn’t have done. Meeting Justin & Mary, and Amanda, along with all the workshop attendees, was such a huge blessing. The photography industry can be so cutthroat. I’ve heard stories of big name photographers treating those who are new to the field in such an unkind way. Thankfully, I’ve met none of these people; in fact, I’ve had the OPPOSITE experience. I have just been absolutely blown away this week by how open other photographers have been. It’s a scary thing to share your business secrets, or your shooting style, or how to set up off-camera flash, or ANYTHING. And most of these photographers learned it through trial and error, and messing up a lot before they got it right.

I am truly blessed. I got to ask SO many photographers SO many questions this week, and not once did I receive a canned response or a cagey answer because they didn’t want me to know how they did it. I am owed absolutely nothing, and yet, I have been given so much. I have pages and pages of notes from this past week, a newfound confidence in my ability, and so much knowledge about how to be successful.

I just want to publicly acknowledge how thankful I am for each and every person I met this week. I wish I could name everyone in here but I honestly can’t remember everyone I talked to. So, to those who have helped me, thank you. To those who have answered questions, I am grateful. To those who have given me ‘industry secrets’ joyfully and without hesitation, I am indebted to you. I am excited and terrified to go on this journey of being a photographer, but it is because of the giving spirit of people like you that I’m able to step out in confidence. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Happy Sunday everyone!


Veritas Vineyard in Charlottesville, Virginia

Maria Grace Photography

My name is Maria, and I am a wedding and family photographer based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, but I am always excited about traveling. I love families who truly enjoy spending time with each other and living life together. I love couples that are looking forward to their wedding day because they are so excited to finally be married to.