We had the good fortune of connecting with Mary McHenry and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mary, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
When I graduated college, I had an elementary school teaching degree. I taught elementary school for 7 years before switching to photography. Even while I was a teacher, I was always taking photographs, building darkrooms in tiny closets, and taking trips to art museums. The desire to be a photographer and be in the arts community was always part of me -I just needed a chance to try it out. At the close of one teaching year, my then-boyfriend and I moved cities and I had a little money saved up so I didn’t take a new teaching job right away. I thought I’d give photography a shot! See if I could pay the bills, and all that. Luckily it worked out and many years later I am still at it. One of the reasons I pursued a creative career is that the process of learning and growing is ever on-going. I have a very curious mind and love the process of learning -which one of the reasons I did really enjoy being a teacher! I also love creating images for people that touch them deeply. It is a hugely satisfying job to be able to make people happy through your art.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been a portrait and wedding photographer for 17 wonderful years. It is my true joy to create images that show your individual personality, your spirit, and your connection to the people you love. This focus is what sets me apart from other photographers. I love a beautiful image, but if it doesn’t have personality to it, it’s not a photo that you will care deeply for years from now.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would start with breakfast on Pearl St. at Foolish Craigs. Then stroll around, visiting the shops and bookstores. Trident in case we need another cup of coffee. Then off to a hike in one on one of the many trails in Boulder! Lunch at Avanti or Pizza Locale. Fancy dinner at Oak and 14th or rooftop at Avanti if we didn’t go there for lunch! I also love getting in a stroll through the Mapleton neighborhood of Boulder and oohhing at the beautiful old homes.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I need to give a shout out to the Fearless Photographers organization! They have been hugely instrumental in my growth as a photographer and given me a wonderful community of supportive friends.
Other: Google reviews: https://tinyurl.com/5dt6hrt5