Mark Maya Photography Is Ready to Capture Your Wedding with Honesty, Vision, and Love

Mark Maya Photography Is Ready to Capture Your Wedding with Honesty, Vision, and Love

Along my journey, I've shared each and every detail about what I've learned with my clients, other photographers, friends, and family. The result has been the forming of an honest community of creative people that have used my stories and experiences to grow and create their own.

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Real Couples // Art-Inspired Wedding at The Levine Museum of the New South: Shavonne + Travis

Real Couples // Art-Inspired Wedding at The Levine Museum of the New South: Shavonne + Travis

I (Shavonne) planned a cabin trip in Gatlinburg for Travis' 28th birthday party. We were surrounded by long-time friends and a beautiful mountain scenery. According to Travis, it was the one time I wouldn’t suspect a proposal! 

Travis was praying for what I thought was dinner that night. The prayer quickly changed from the “gathering of family and friends” to words of endearment that shook my entire being, and then he proposed. It was beautiful, it was perfect, it was for us. I remember waking up that next morning feeling like I was in the best dream ever.

Originally we were thinking of a rustic style, but that changed when we picked a more modern venue. I had my gown made Mikaella from J Majors bridal. It wasn’t too fancy or heavy and I fell in love with it at first sight. Travis wore a midnight and navy tux. He was so handsome in it!

As for my favorite memories of the wedding day, I have so many! Turning the corner to see my husband standing at the altar, seeing the emotional bond between Travis and his sister as they danced, seeing our friends and family in fellowship, and my first look with my father.

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: 4 Years In

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: 4 Years In

I teamed up with a few other photographers and we came up with this awesome styled wedding. Using a real couple for models was very important. We wanted their love to be genuine. We wanted to capture the true essence of their love. Elliot and Tywanda Hansen were perfect! They had just celebrated their anniversary — 4 years of marriage! 

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Styled Shoot // Amber and Jaleesa's Colorful Asheville Glamping Elopement

Styled Shoot // Amber and Jaleesa's Colorful Asheville Glamping Elopement

This glamping styled shoot in Asheville was our way of shooting for us and our portfolios. It was a way for us to have a little fun behind the camera without the pressure of paying attention to clients’ expectations. I was so happy when I found Amber and Jaleesa via a model call I put out in The Queen Photographers on Facebook. They are such a lovely couple who are truly SO in love. It was a pleasure to photograph them for this shoot.

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Real Couple // Fun-Filled Carnival Love Session in Durham, NC: Brittany + Deon

Real Couple // Fun-Filled Carnival Love Session in Durham, NC: Brittany + Deon

Deon and I (Brittany) work at a North Carolina-based health insurance company, and are happily married with three kids.

We met at a high school football game (my school vs. his). I noticed him right away in his white Avirex jacket, black jeans and Diesel shoes. I thought he was staring at me all night (he disputes this!), so I sent my friend to get his number.

We talked on the phone for a few months, then we lost contact when I moved to Charlotte. I don’t quite remember how we got back in touch, but we did. We had a conversation about taking our relationship to the next level and have been inseparable ever since.

We told our photographer Nikia Williams that we wanted to do something different and have a background that we felt captured our personalities. A photo session at the carnival allowed us to re-live our high school days!

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Black BeauTEA Talk // 4 Picks for Summer Bridal Trends

Black BeauTEA Talk // 4 Picks for Summer Bridal Trends

It’s summer trends, but giving people a little cold shoulder action at your wedding is definitely a "Hell Yes," if you ask me. I have seen so many off-the-shoulder gowns lately and loved all of them. Everything from a fitted dress to a more beachy vibe, loose fitting off-the-shoulder is extremely beautiful and effortlessly sexy to me. Not to mention, Rihanna just released a new body glow product for Fenty Beauty, Body Lava, so just imagine having that glowing neckline exposed, yes girl!

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Real Couple // A Natural Setting Engagement Session in Mount Airy, NC: Ashley + Ruthie

Real Couple // A Natural Setting Engagement Session in Mount Airy, NC: Ashley + Ruthie

I'll never forget the moment my whole life changed. As I came down the escalator to the baggage claim, the woman of my dreams was waiting. She had my favorite flowers, hydrangeas, and the most heartfelt card in hand. Her legs were shaking as I approached her, kissing her before exchanging words. I've never lived a more romantic moment than that one. We really haven't been apart much since.

Two girls means two proposals! I asked first, on Elon day, right in front of her college dorm where she had a brick made with her name on it. She graduated there, under the oaks, and so did my dad when he went to Elon in 1972 (another thing that drew me to her). Elon is a special part of our story because it's part of what brought us to NC and allowed our paths to cross. I had flowers, a note, and a necklace with Ashley's married initials monogrammed waiting for her to find at the brick with her name.

The same words in my note she had engraved on the ring box she used to propose to me two days later at the airport where we first met (she's definitely the more romantic one). "Without pause, without a doubt, in a heartbeat, I'll keep choosing you."

Being in our thirties, we both feel like we've waited a long time for the right one. We're thrilled to start our lives together, make our own traditions, get through school these next two years, and work on growing our family. We look forward to the depth of companionship that time will bring to our relationship, knowing that things won't always be perfect or easy, but that we are a team and we will love each other through any storm we may weather.

We chose to have our pictures done in a natural setting because we wanted the focus to be on us and our connection. We are often told that "we look so in love" and wanted that to come across in our pictures without distraction from a busy background.

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Styled Shoot // Hip Engagement Inspiration in Asheville, North Carolina

Styled Shoot // Hip Engagement Inspiration in Asheville, North Carolina

For this styled shoot my goal was to take two models into an environment that was aesthetically less than ideal, and create a stylish, artistic vibe that captured a diverse couple. The two locations were a tennis court and an old archery range surrounded by burlap drapes. 

I wanted Jasmine and Chris to give off a hip, casual, urban vibe while simulating a comfortable connection between the two models so I asked them to wear black to give off that feeling and energy. I envisioned this mixing well with the unique, unorthodox setting. 

During the shoot I wanted Jasmine to represent the traditional "male" role which was a challenge but because of the height difference in both the models it ended up working out through experimenting with switching the "norms" of how a male/female couple should interact. 

I chose to capture this shoot using two different formats: film and digital. I felt this would add to the different urban feel that I was going for.

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Real Couples // 47 Years of Amazing in Raleigh, NC: Amber Robinson's Parents Wanda + Marvin

Real Couples // 47 Years of Amazing in Raleigh, NC: Amber Robinson's Parents Wanda + Marvin

When Amber Robinson showed us the photos from a glam "just because love session" she did with her parents, I knew we had to show them to you. I asked Amber to interview her parents, too, and she mixed in her own questions with some of mine. Here is their interview, and these incredible photos.

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Determined

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Determined

I was on the verge of crying the entire event because I just KNEW I blew my once in a lifetime chance to have ISSA RAE in my memory card!! But I kept pushing and snapped so many pictures I hopes that ONE came out good and in focus! It did and I'll never forget that moment.

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Black BeauTEA Talk // Selfish Self Care

Black BeauTEA Talk // Selfish Self Care

I think that people have romanticized the idea of self care; we don’t talk about what it really means to take care of self. What I want you to do when thinking about self care is to keep in mind those things that you need so badly. This includes the physical, mental, emotional, and financial. What is it going to take you to get to the place you need to be in these areas?

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Real Couples *Video* // A Magical Farm Wedding in Asheville: Amy + Lindsay

Real Couples *Video* // A Magical Farm Wedding in Asheville: Amy + Lindsay

Amy and I met at the hair salon! Let’s just say she gave me a haircut that changed my life. Literally. We had a mutual friend who went to Amy for really awesome haircuts, and she had told me to go see Amy. It took me almost a year to walk in that salon, but I was so glad that I did. She had me mesmerized: she was beautiful and absolutely stunning! Plus she gave me the most awesome haircut ever. The sparks were flying and I had not felt this way before.

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Real Couples // A Fun Private Estate Wedding in Boone, NC: German + Laura

Real Couples // A Fun Private Estate Wedding in Boone, NC: German + Laura

We met back in 2011. He was definitely the last person in mind to fall in love with! We both were dating other people, but we developed a great friendship and respect for each other. As time passed and our other relationships ended, we looked at each other in a “this can actually be a thing” kind of way.

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Evergreen Era Films Creates Wedding Films with Authenticity

Evergreen Era Films Creates Wedding Films with Authenticity

One of the things I love most about my films are the honest interactions I'm usually able to capture from my couples. My favorite moments are the unscripted ones, and I've found that if I keep my gear simple and unobtrusive I am able to fade into the background enough for them to feel comfortable to be themselves — so important for my filmmaking process!

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Real Couples // Multicultural Ballroom Wedding in North Carolina: Liz + Pedro

Real Couples // Multicultural Ballroom Wedding in North Carolina: Liz + Pedro

We both work at Best Buy. I was fairly new to the store, and he had just transferred from Ohio. We instantly became friends and grew that friendship for almost two years before we decided to start dating. We got engaged when I surprised him with a birthday weekend with all his best friends from Ohio. He made a proposal video, and played it at his birthday party, and we celebrated the next two days with all of our closet friends.

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Black BeauTEA Talk // Shopfe-line + Black Woman-Owned Business

Black BeauTEA Talk // Shopfe-line + Black Woman-Owned Business

Hey beauties, it seems like this has been a long-ass month, or am I tripping? Either way I have been waiting to come chat again; did ya miss me? I’m sipping some Teavana tea; it’s a winterberry blend, and it is amazing!! Seriously you all have to google it and order some and then let me know how you love it?! It is a loose tea and has like grapefruit and strawberry flavors; it tastes so good so if you’re into tea, then grab some! Onto the tea you’re all here for. This month I am doing another interview and actually trying something new! I want to add some “spotlight articles” where I will interview a business owned by a black woman that caters to black women. So this month I am putting the spotlight on my girl Felicia. She is the owner of Shopfe-line, a brand that if you follow me you are very familiar with, as I do makeup for her product shoots! So let’s see how the interview went with this bossbabe, shall we?!

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