graffiti+humility+dirty alley+generosity+beautiful people

What if your favorite artist/photographer asked you to take her family photos? Would you be elated or terrified?

Yeah, both.

Maralise is the Art Director of Segullah and an experienced family and wedding photographer. She also creates layered masterpieces out of photos taken in her home in Vienna, Austria. You can check out her blog here (she’s a fantastic writer) and her gallery here. Be prepared to fall in love.

Last year, when I was planning/dreaming about our trip to Europe, Maralise offered her home in Vienna to my family (she was planning to be in Salt Lake at the time). It was one of the miracles that made our entire trip possible. And later, when my mother died, and I asked if my dad could stay there too she replied, “It would be a privilege.”

Her art-filled, funky, comfortable home was a refuge when we needed it most. Loaning your private space to someone isn’t like lending out a lawn mower; it invites the visitor into every corner of your life. It’s an amazing act of humility and generosity.

These photos were taken in downtown Salt Lake City just days after we came home from Europe.

He loves this kid. I love this photo.

Yes, Mara looks this good in every. single. shot. I don’t know if she even blinks.

I can’t claim credit for these brilliant locations.
Mara and her hubby had the vision; I just clicked the shutter.

I couldn’t stop humming the James Bond theme. He’s got the ‘look’ down, doesn’t he?
While working on these I told Mara that I felt a bit guilty staring at her husband’s face for so long.

loving the marriage symbolism of the outlet, the gate, the lock…

this is an action called milk & honey– I like it.

I love the way he’s looking at her here. Love it.

the last shot of the day and one of my favorites

Thanks for sharing your family with me Maralise; it was a privilege.
September 9, 2009
September 11, 2009



  1. Selwyn

    September 10, 2009

    = beautiful!

    You’ll take pictures of Team Oz when we come over, right? No way do I look anything like any of your subjects, but I’d love to see my boys through your lens!


  2. Shelah

    September 10, 2009

    Mara is hot! Look at those legs. These are gorgeous, Michelle. Both edgy and domestic– I love them!

  3. Stephen

    September 10, 2009

    Not a bad set of artistic pictures. Well worth being proud about.

  4. Kira

    September 11, 2009

    I think you did her justice. They are perfectly wonderful, as are you 🙂 I love the contrast of when she smiles and when she is not. She lights up the shot even more with the smile.

  5. jennie w.

    September 11, 2009

    Gosh, I can’t decide which one I like the best. They are all fantastic. Your photography + Mara’s beautiful family = gorgeous.

    (Although in that first shot in black and white I thought her husband had a mullet.)

  6. Reluctant Nomad

    September 11, 2009

    I guess I’ll have to FINALLY concede that hubby’s location idea DID actually work (the ones at the warehouse-type place were my fav). I’ll eat crow about that later.

    Thanks Michelle for spending so much time on these pictures. A true friend, dear. And that little blond one? Yeah, he’s mine. It makes me laugh that the only way to get the kids to cooperate was to give them that snake. That’s got to be symbolic of something…like the impending doom that is my future raising these rascals.

    Shelah–4 inch heels. They’ll make any flabby piece of flesh look good (case in point above).

    Jennie–even with a mullet, he’s still sexy as hell. 😉

  7. Linn

    September 11, 2009

    Now this has got to be one of my favorite posts ever! It isn’t everyday you get on a new friend’s blog and see amazing pictures of two of your high school friends who have married and have two darling boys! Mara and family are way too beautiful and these photos are incredible. Love them for sure!

    PS. Did hubby pack a tuxedo or does he keep one in Utah, you know, just in case? 🙂

  8. martha corinna

    September 11, 2009

    So fun and so gorgeous!

  9. Hadley Soffe

    September 11, 2009

    these are fabulous pics! Great job, they all look stunning! I also loved hearing about your son getting answered, O to be young!!

  10. Brooke

    September 20, 2009

    mara is so pretty. i love her hair.

  11. anh

    October 9, 2009

    beautiful picture!!! i love the tone of the picture. do you mind telling me where in salt lake downtown that u took these picture. i would love to go there one day thank you so much.

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