WELCOME, meet Mary!

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HIIII! Oh my goodness, I am so excited to be posting my first BLOG post! YAAAAAAY! I have been waiting for this day for a few months now and I am SOOO pumped to be typing this right now for all of you to read! I thought it would be appropriate to have my first blog post talk all about Merry Character Photography and the Mary that operates it (hint* that's me)! It will just give you an idea where I came from as a business and who I am as a person! :D

First off, if you didn't know, I am a portrait and wedding photographer based in Havre, Montana. I LOVE to travel and am able to travel where ever my clients want to take me! I've photographed a wedding in Hawaii, an engagement session in Denver, portrait sessions in Spokane & all over Montana. I am always looking for a new adventure - no place is off limits!

I started my business originally as MCKaercher Photography in 2011. I was 19 at the time, a full-time college student, and had just bought my $300 Nikon DLSR camera on a whim for a vacation I was going to go on. The portrait photography started off with me photographing my younger sister, Anna, who was a high school senior at the time. Then I worked my way into photographing her friends, then their friends, and then their friends' friends & the ball has never stopped rolling since (thank you to everyone who let me photograph them!!!). In 2012 I decided to make a leap in my business and to go through a brand and business name change - and thus Merry Character Photography was born! If you haven't caught on yet, my business name is a play on my name, Mary Kaercher (care-ker). I thought I was being extremely clever when I came up with it and sometimes still giggle when I think about it and how confusing it can be. So if you ever thought my name was Merry or called me Merry, don't feel bad - 98% of people think that is my real name!

Before I started my business I had only taken one photography class. It was in high school with the wonderful Stacey Freier, and she taught me a lot about rule of thirds and how to replace faces of my friends with faces of celebrities in Photoshop, but by the time I decided to open a business most of what I learned had disapeared from my memory! I then became hungry to learn everything and anything about being a photographer. I read my camera's manual over 40x, youtubed a zillion videos, and stalked photographers on Facebook like crazy! On top of that I was still going to school. I graduated from Montana State University-Northern in May 2014 with a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies and a minor is Small Business Management. I was also trying to be educated elsewhere. Over the past five years I have taken multiple certification classes and have been mentored by several photographers whom I adore. I learned SO much from each of them and they really helped me find my style! I am currently enrolled with the International Academy of Wedding Photographers & I am going to be going to three different mentor sessions in the next few months. In my opinion you can NEVER learn too much! I am always striving to become better & to be able to provide the absolute BEST service to my clients. To this day it is still a lot of trial and error. You don't know what is going to work until you do it & either succeed or fail. Failure often leads to success!

Now just for fun, here just a few things about me:

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1. I have a Not-So-Miniature Pincher Poodle named Finnigan! 

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2. I have two really fabulous sisters, a wonderful brother-in-law, one awesome soon-to-be brother-in-law (not pictured), & really supportive and loving parents! 

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3. I competed in the Miss Montana Scholarship Program three times. I placed second runner up in 2015 & fourth runner up in 2014! (Below is after I was announced in 2015 - I was obsessed with my green gown)!

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4. I love to act, especially with Montana Actors Theatre! Here is when I played Sandy in Grease.

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5. I have had the same very best friend, Haley, since we were in sixth grade!

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6. I play cribbage with my 94 year old grandpa every week (he usually wins)!

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7. I have run two half marathons in Vegas and I am signed up to run it again in November with my sisters!

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8. I love all things glitter & anything that sparkles.

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9. I have my very own personal entertainment at all times - my very funny and very handsome boyfriend, Evan!2016 02 11 0021

10. I love to travel & would love to travel every day if I could! I have been to Spain, Mexico, Canada (does that even count?) and 24 States! I hope to see a lot more of the world in my lifetime!

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Thank you so much for visiting my blog! Check back tomorrow when I announce some BIG news about the #merrycharacters studio!

XO,

Mary