Along with her husband, Justin, Mary Marantz is one half of an internationally renowned wedding photography duo, named among 15 of the most influential wedding photographers in the world by Prophoto and one of the top 100 wedding photographers in the country by BrandSmash. Together, they travel the globe shooting weddings, teaching, & inspiring other small business owners.
They have put on their “Walk Through a Wedding” Workshops worldwide including London, Australia, Germany & The Netherlands, took their “What’s Next Tour” all across the country on their own tour bus, authored their first book- The Guide, presented at international conferences including WPPI and The Dutch Wedding Congress, have been featured in Martha Stewart, Style Me Pretty & Inside Weddings, and most recently co-founded twin wedding blogs The Black Tie Bride & The Well Groomed Groom.
Mary was raised in poor living conditions, but her parents worked hard to give her a chance to break the family cycle and move on to become successful and to serve others.
“They didn’t do it just so I could be successful, they did it so that my life can be significant by serving others” (3:10)
Mary says that she and Justin are able to balance each other out in life and business, and give value by serving in different ways (5:59).
She started her journey leaving the community she grew up in, and received her undergraduate degree at WVU. Mary then entered her pre law program, and studied a year in England. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in political science and philosophy, followed by a master’s in philosophy, before moving on to law school. (7:35)
“I still had a lot of that fear in my head of the dumb kid from the dirt floor trailer in West Virginia who has no business applying to some of these top schools” (8:05)
When talking about how the Internet can portray people in an unreal way, Mary says we tend to compare ourselves against other people that are successful, and try to imitate what we learn from them (10:25).
“We’re so afraid that if we are not doing something remarkable then we are not doing something with our life; we are running away from that fear but we forget to run towards our life.” (13:52)
Mary’s brand has changed over the years because people change. As this happened, Mary and Justin personally grew and so did their business. She shares that rebranding their website was an important step to take for the company, and to help in making sure that they were attracting the right type of client (17:00).
While planning to attend her 10-year reunion for Yale, Mary thought about how everyone would be doing “lawyer stuff” and she had gone from law to wedding photography. Mary had the realization that she didn’t need others’ approval in order to be or feel successful (20:17).
“There is nothing like the wisdom that comes with time” (22:22)
She notes that you have to feel good about your life and what you stand for before you start putting yourself online, and then you can touch other peoples’ lives and have significance in what you’re sharing (25:42).
When it comes to boundaries, Mary and Justin have learned to have a cut off time. At 6:30pm, they both shut down work and close their offices. She adds that things like cooking dinner and planning a movie will help fill the available time. (26:29).
“Actually having a routine that tells your brain to it’s time to turn off is really key.” (27:16)
For people that are just getting started in business and are trying to define what success looks like for them, she believes that they shouldn’t just think about how their following is growing, but to also think about the legacy that their social media can and the impact they can have on others (30:19).
For Mary, reaching milestones is great but hitting them often comes with a feeling of no change at all.
“The problem with more is that there is never enough.” (31:35)
When Mary first started, she felt that she wasn’t where she wanted to be, but she felt an energy in the air that something good was happening (40:51).