Where oh where do I start??? Somehow I feel like Mary and I fit together like some song and dance act from my youth, like Laverne & Shirley or those sisters from White Christmas. At least that’s what I make up in my head. Seriously, from the first time I ran across their blog, to meeting them in person and to now to have them as dear friends, there is something about Mary that just sticks. And I ADORE her for that. I imagine if we lived closer to each other there would be random road trips, dance parties and enough smore’s and Reeses to feed an entire football team. And ya know what? I’m perfectly okay with that.
When I first found out that Mary was in fact going to join us in Georgia I literally squealed aloud. Well actually I stood in complete disbelief for a solid ten minutes and then squealed. But let’s get back to the story. Since that day I have counted down the days until I got to introduce Mary to all of you. I am certain that you know who she is, and if you don’t, you NEED to!!! But who I wanted to introduce to you was a girl who goes beyond the incredible photographer that she is, and show you the girl who has a heart of pure gold. Mary’s heart to love, serve and pour in to people is what attracted me to her in the first place. It’s absolutely contagious and I am SOOO excited for all of you to get to know her better!
Introducing… the Lovely Mary Marantz
What is your favorite thing to do on a free afternoon?
My hands down favorite thing to do on a free afternoon is to sneak away and hit up a movie matinee. Give me some popcorn, some junior mints and something entertaining on the screen, and you won’t find a happier girl.
Plus, since I’m secretly 90 years old inside, the matinees let out early enough to grab an early dinner and be home and in bed by 9:00pm.
If I couldn’t do that, I love to just sit on the front porch swing or lay out on a blanket under a tree. Or a hammock works. But whatever it is, I really just love to slow down and breathe.
What is a random fact about you?
Oh man, what ISN’T a random fact about me?? I grew up in a trailer in West Virginia and my dad is a logger, like the 8 generations of loggers in our family before him. I’m semi-double jointed in my wrist, which is really just pretty gross so I rarely break it out at parties anymore. I have a Harry Potter scar on my right arm from falling off a bike when I was 8 years old. I eat tomatoes whole like apples. I leave way too many glasses on the nightstand. But at least they’re not full of milk anymore. I’ve wanted a golden retriever since they got one on Full House. It took 13 years or so, but I finally got him. And I would rather watch reruns of old shows like Frasier and The Office on Netflix any day than keep up with something new. I just can’t get myself to tune in every week. I think it might be some sort of fear of commitment.
How did you get into Photography & Design?
I got into photography by falling in love with a photographer.
Justin & I met the summer after my first year of law school at Yale. He had just moved to the area, and all of my friends had left for the summer. We met on Match.com. Yes, Match.com. I know. And no, we have no plans for doing a commercial.
Neither of us had ever done the whole internet dating thing before, and to be honest I was pretty sketched out about it. When we agreed to meet for coffee, I got really worried about what I had gotten myself into. So I did what any red-blooded, savvy modern woman would do. I Googled him.
The results brought in gallery after gallery of Justin’s school projects full of the most beautiful pictures I had ever seen. And right then and there I decided if he could create something so beautiful…he probably wasn’t a serial killer
But that was pretty much it for us. In my heart, I knew I had found my soul mate. And in his work, I knew I had found my path in life. Since I was still in law school, for two years I strictly ran the business side of things (marketing, pricing, contracts) and never picked up a camera. But in 2006 when I graduated, I had to decide to take some very lucrative law firm offers or to hold on to Justin with all I had and take that leap together. We chose the leap. We chose Life Unordinary.
And we’ve never looked back.
What do you wish someone would’ve told you when you first started out?
To take everything that the “famous” photographers say with a grain of salt. Some of them are really honest and they truly care about helping people. Some don’t. So I wish someone would’ve told me that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
I get it. I do. It’s really hard to stand up in front of a room full of people and say you know what, I don’t have this all figured out. This didn’t come easy. And there are times to this day when we still struggle. It’s a lot easier to highlight the glamorous. The super high end. To pretend that celebrities are just knocking down your door to have you shoot their wedding. That you double your prices every year and have it together 110% of the time. And y’know… wake up with hair that looks like a Pantene commercial.
But I just have to keep reminding myself to run my own race, and make the decisions in my gut that seem to be best for us. Because I can never really know what’s going on behind the scenes of those other people I might listen and look up to. And at the end of the day, I know I have to be the one steering the ship.
What is your dream job or dream client to work with?
Ummm, I’m just going to put it out there…..when Taylor Swift gets engaged I’m totally calling dibsies! You all heard it! Boom.
What is your greatest fear?
I fear how quickly time is going by now and how many of the really BIG goals I haven’t even tried for yet. I want to be a writer. I want to write books. Words on paper in paragraph form. That’s what I want to do. And yet, I haven’t written the first sentence. Part of me always thought I would be this best selling novelist, with Matt Damon starring in the movie adaptations, by the time I was 35. Now I suppose it would be someone more like Zac Effron. Y’know the Disney tween guy. Life is moving really fast and some of my biggest dreams are still standing still. This scares me.
What is your favorite part about your job?
I think the greatest thing in the world about what we do is that it combines every single thing I ever wanted to do growing up into one dream, superjob (like superman, but without the cape). Growing up, at various different times, I wanted to be a writer, an advertising executive like Angela Bower, an interior designer, someone who gives speeches, and of course… a lawyer. On a daily basis, between our blog, our marketing, designing the themes for our Walk Through a Wedding Workshops, being a speaker, and using my mad legal jargon skills in contracts and such….I get to be all of these things. And so much more.
Plus, I get to wake up every single day and work side by side with my husband. Sometimes we’re waking up in places like Australia, England… Cincinnati. But wherever it is, we get to wake up and build this life. Together.
What drew you to be a part of the Pursuit 31 Conference?
There have been these moments in my life when I sort of felt like I went a little out of my own body, and I started doing these things without really knowing why. Those moments have led to the BEST things that have ever happened to me.
Like when I closed the LSAT book and said I wasn’t ready for law school, and that led me to spending a year in England. When I went on Match.com and submitted a profile….and ended up finding my best friend. When we bought this bio hazard of a foreclosed house that no one in their right minds would ever bid on, and ended up building a home that faces the water. The best moments in my life have grown out of someone else being at the wheel. I now of course realize that someone else was God.
And that’s how it was with the P31 Conference. I just woke up one day and wrote an email to Karen. And now I get to come hang out with all of you. See? That’s how the BEST things happen.
What excites you most about the Conference?
I’m really excited to be stretched. I have a feeling that this experience is really going to shape the next branch of my path. I think I’m going to be challenged, and there will be moments when I will feel very vulnerable and maybe out of place. And I think those experiences in life mold us to be better. I’m excited to be better.
Plus the s’mores. In my head there will be s’mores and campfires. And I’m really excited for that!
What are you excited to teach, share or experience with the women at the Conference?
I am so excited to sit around having those really deep conversations about dreams and fears and goals and balancing at all. The kind of conversations that turn into lifelong friendships. And if we can have those WHILE eating s’mores, I’m pretty much going to be the happiest girl on the planet. Plus, I’m just really excited for some girl time!
For your viewing enjoyment…. here is a video to help you get to know Mary and her oh so fab hubby Justin!
Stay in the loop with Justin & Mary by visiting
WOW!!!! Aren’t you just sooooo excited to spend 4 days getting to hang out with Mary! I know I am
we would LOOOOOOOVVVEEE to have you!
Want to know more about the First Ever Pursuit 31 Conference!?!?!
P.S. To everyone who is curious about the Scholarship, our Scholarship Finalists will be announced next week.
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