Guest Post: Photographer Mary McHenry

Posted: June 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Blogging, Little Rhody, Mama Posse, Summer, Travel | 8 Comments »

I’ve been thinking a lot about my upcoming trip to Rhode Island. Every summer I seem to tack another week onto our visit there. It’s so heavenly with the beaches and the old friends and the small town vibe. Not to mention the love-fest between my dad and stepmother and my kids.

This year since Mark will be in London covering the Olympics and I’m not working, I decided the girls and I should just stay ’til I go to BlogHer. So we’ll be there for about five weeks, with some jaunts to Cape Cod, New Yawk, and a wedding in Virginia.

Yippee! We leave Saturday. I can already taste the Del’s lemonade.

As it turns out, some of my best friends in Oakland venture back East for a chunk of summer too. My crazy-talented photographer friend, Mary McHenry, is one of them.

Mary has a fabulous photo blog that’ll keep you up all night scrolling through to the next post. Mine, as you know, is all about words. It struck me that a guest post from Mary about her summers in Maine would be a real treat for you all.

Lucky for you, she agreed to do it.


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Do you have one of those places that you keep traveling back to, year after year? You know, like your personal Wailing Wall? Maine is my spot.

I was born in a little coastal town in Maine and lived there until I was 12, when we moved to… Miami!  I know, strange.  My mom learned to salsa dance and order Cuban food. I learned there are such things as “brand names” and “different religions.”  This strange world was surprising and fun and we made wonderful new friends.

But as soon as school ended in June, we would pack up our cats and go back to Maine.

An old summer house had been passed onto to us, which we share with a bunch of cousins. Imagine faded shingles, fine chipped china, no TV, and the same Newsweek in the bathroom since 1986.

Many years later, I still return every summer. I go through all sorts of life changes but the house and land I visit there doesn’t. There is something so deeply comforting about this.

These days I make this pilgrimage from Oakland, California with my own family. We grumble over the expensive tickets and the ten-plus hour flying days, and we arrive at the house bedraggled at around 1AM. But it doesn’t matter. It all falls away—in fact, the world falls away—and I am back.

My bones just feel right there. I see my children, now four and six, starting to form the same connection to the place. I want the smells and feelings of Maine to imprint in their little psyches so they too will have this strange calling to come back.











Mary McHenry is a documentary wedding and portrait photographer based in the Bay Area. To see more of her work visit You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


8 Comments on “Guest Post: Photographer Mary McHenry”

  1. 1 scott williams said at 9:10 am on June 25th, 2012:

    Great post and pictures… makes me want to travel to Maine!

  2. 2 kali said at 9:10 am on June 25th, 2012:

    Already scheming to somehow tuck myself into Mary’s luggage this summer! Gorgeous images made that much more beautiful by the context of the place.

  3. 3 SACHA said at 9:34 am on June 25th, 2012:

    Love this blog. As a 39 year Maine summer veteran I know exactly what Kristen and Mary are talking about. Without fail, every June I start fantasizing about the sweet pine smell in the air, the clanking of halyards on masts in the harbor, the salty/sweet taste of crab rolls…. There is something so magical about New England coastal towns. Thank you guys for this great blog.

  4. 4 kristen from motherload said at 9:44 am on June 25th, 2012:

    I know, Scott and Kali. Totally gorgeous. Though Mary could shoot a junk yard and make it look like a place I’d want to go and explore.

    Sacha: So poetically put! We need to cross-pollinate our Maine/RI trips soon. It’ll be like when Laverne and Shirley were on that one episode of Happy Days.

  5. 5 Mary said at 12:38 pm on June 27th, 2012:

    I can’t wait! 5 days! So much to get done before I go! Must stop using exclamation points! It’s stressing me out!

  6. 6 Megan Bibbo said at 10:34 pm on June 28th, 2012:

    I can feel “the calling” to Maine in my bones and I haven’t even been yet. Being a 4th generation Californian, my psyche is firmly planted in the ever adjusting tectonic plates of The West. I do, however, intend to sojourn East with you Ladies one of these summers – 4th of July in Rhode Island, clam bake on the coast of Maine, and lazy days on the porch of the Big House.
    I’m going to miss you K, M, & S.

  7. 7 christina mchenry said at 10:49 am on August 27th, 2012:

    Yes, it is a blessed migration….We all gather on the porch and swim with the seals and the loons. Then my Mary lets us live it all over again with her summer video. I laugh and sigh and thank the stars for my shining daughter.

  8. 8 Jenny J said at 5:07 pm on September 5th, 2012:

    Mary is the best!

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