Mini Sessions!

I am E.X.C.I.T.E.D!!!!! to do mini sessions again this year! The mini sessions will be held both in Oakland, CA and Reno, NV. Quite honestly I wanted to create a cute flyer on my blog with amazing graphics, a fabulous typeface & possibly some glitter if it was possible. The problem is that I don’t know how to do any of those things so YOUR job is to just pretend that this post has amazing graphics, a fabulous typeface & some glitter. Plus, I figure that my photos can speak for themselves. If you haven’t had a mini session done before, it’s a great way to have family photos taken at more than half the price. If you have done a mini session with me in the past, I hope to see you again this time around!

Here are the details:

Each mini session is $249, includes a 35 minute time slot & ALL of the high resolution images. You will receive a print release so you can print the images at your leisure, wherever you’d like. Heck, you can even print wallpaper with your photos if you want. You can pick your time slot & pay via paypal at the bottom of the post. After you’ve signed up for your mini session you will be entered to win a FREE custom designed coffee table book with your family photographs inside (valued at $350) if you simply share this link on Facebook. I will pick one winner & the winner will be announced the week of August 13th. I’m looking forward to all my mini sessions this year! Here are some of my favorites from my mini sessions last year…

Oakland Sessions

August 22nd – Oakland

August 23rd – Oakland

Reno Sessions

August 24th – Reno

August 26th – Reno

Wedding Giveaway.

Yep. You read that right. If you are one of my fabulous Bay Area brides of 2011, I have news for you…

I’m hosting a giveaway.’s.AWESOME.

My very talented & amazing friend Rachel is a fabulous videographer & is giving away a FREE videography package. Did you read that right? It’s FREE.

The package includes the following:

FIVE hours of wedding day coverage, edited HD video files (set to music of your choice) and three DVD’s. (can you say holysmokes?!?!?!)

So…if you don’t already have a videographer for your wedding (or didn’t hire one because they were out of your budget)-this is the perfect opportunity for you!

How do you enter???

Ask all your family & friends to “like” both of our facebook pages:

Rachel’s Facebook

Marielle’s Facebook

and have them write the name of the bride & groom (that would be YOU!!!) who they want to win on our facebook fan pages. They must also leave a comment on Rachel’s website with the name of the bride & groom who they want to win.

Please encourage your families & friends to vote for you-it will take just a couple of minutes & having a video of your wedding will be so fabulous. The winners will be announced next week on Tuesday on my blog.

Ready, set, GO! Good luck!

Mothers Day Giveaway!

I always thought I knew how much my mother did for me. Until I got married & had a baby. It was only THEN that I realized really how much my mother did for me growing up-everything from cleaning & cooking, driving me everywhere I needed to go & giving me wonderful advice about everything & everything. I am so grateful for my mother & I will be happy if I can become half of the mother that she is.

Since Mother’s Day is just around the corner, I’ve teamed up with Nicole from NovemberThirteen Jewelry to celebrate the fabulous women in our lives with not one but TWO GIVEAWAYS!!!!

Yes, you read that right. TWO GIVEAWAYS.

We will be giving away the following to two lucky winners

One 30 minute Portrait Session from yours truly…
Look at all these cute mamas with their kids. Seriously. Melts. My. Heart.

OR your choice of one pair of these earrings (white freshwater pearls with Swarovski rondelles) or (gold Swarovski crystal pearls with Swarovski rondelles) Can you say GORGEOUS?!?!?!

Here are the rules, y’all.

Please let us know why your mother (or someone you know who is a mother) deserves to win either the portrait session or the earrings. What things has that woman done to inspire, motivate or move you?

To enter the PORTRAIT giveaway, send your entry HERE

*portrait session must be in the San Francisco Bay Area or Reno/Sparks Area.

To enter the JEWELRY giveaway, send your entry HERE

We will be announcing the winners of the giveaways on May 3rd. Go ahead & enter yourself, your mama or someone who inspires you!!!!

And the Winner is….

The response I received from my giveaway was totally amazing. I had emails that made me smile all the way down to my toes & lots of emails that literally made tears stream down my face when I heard of things that are happening in people’s lives. I am grateful that I can do something soooooooo small for people who really deserve it. Seriously, you guys rule.

Let’s get to the winner pronto, shall we? Serious warning, though. This post is long.

Here’s the story of our winner. It should be pretty darn obvious why I’m choosing her not only to be the winner, but why I want to BE HER. She is strong, incredible & supportive.

Luke and I met right after my junior year at Reno High had ended. From the moment I flirted with him, I fell in love. He was seriously the sweetest person I’ve ever met in my entire life. We dated all summer,and half way through my senior year we were blind sided with a medical emergency. Luke had a seizure while at work, and we found out he had an arteriovenous malformation–simply put, a bad connection between veins and arteries in the brain..the emergency doctor informed us that AVMs are rarely found in live patients because most rupture, cause internal bleeding and result in death. He emphasized how lucky Luke was and told us he would have to undergo emergency brain surgery in San Francisco. He also informed us that there was a very high chance of death, paralysis, mental retardation etc., but that if Luke made it through the surgery, we shouldn’t have any more problems in the future. For the week before his surgery, I was paralyzed with fear. I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that I might not spend the rest of my life with him. Yet, while I was being so selfish worrying about myself, Luke was the strongest person I’ve ever met in my entire life. I took a few weeks off from school and flew down to UCSF to stay with him through it all..needless to say, he made it out, strong as ever! We had to stay in the ICU & recovery unit for two weeks after his surgery. I remember, they didn’t have any rooms big enough for a rollaway bed, so I slept on the tile floor next to him for fourteen days–which is a HUGE accomplishment for this high maintenance girl : / It didn’t matter though, because even though we had only been together for ten months, I knew this was the man I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with, and I was SO grateful that God had still granted me that opportunity.
Luke and I wanted to get married as soon as I graduated from high school, but because of massive medical bills, we couldn’t afford it. So, we’ve lived each day together, working as a team to pay the bills while we waited….and finally!!–Luke proposed on December 31st, 2009 at midnight. We are newly engaged, and this June we will be celebrating our seven year anniversary, and the one year mark before our wedding! This gives me the greatest joy I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. I cannot tell you how lucky I feel to be able to have a second chance to spend my life with my Prince Charming. So, even if we aren’t granted with the opportunity to have you capture this time in our lives, I still consider us victorious. :]

Seriously. Nicole. I LOVE you. I LOVE your story. I LOVE that you slept on a nasty hospital floor for 2 whole weeks to be there with Luke. Your story is such a true love story & I am beyond excited to be able to document you guys in all your fabulousness together!




There is one more piece to the giveaway! It’s not over! I had such a hard time only being able to give away one free portrait session. So I am leaving it up to you, my fabulous blog friends to vote on one of the following 5 people whose entries have been fabulous, moving & funny. The entry with the most votes by YOU will ALSO win a FREE portrait session with yours truly. Please vote by using the poll at the bottom of this post. The poll will close Sunday, February 7th at midnight. Read over the stories below & vote for your favorite!

Here are their stories:

1. Megan & Alan.

Five years ago, I was married to the most amazing man on earth.  We had such a beautiful wedding…It was the a perfect day…except for one thing: photography. We hired a photographer who was supposed to be amazing. We saw his stuff and liked it. We took a million pictures in the freezing, falling snow and again at the reception. When we were done and it was time for the photographer to check out, he realized something was wrong with his camera. ALL of our pictures were lost. We have lots of pictures that family took while the photographer was at  work, all with scrunched faces and blinking eyes. It was an unexpected glitch, but the day was perfect with or without pictures. That being said, I have become obsessed with having a working camera with me at all special occasions just in case! I can never go back and capture those perfect moments from that most extraordinary day. What I can do is make sure to capture the perfect moments all along the way.  As it is our fifth anniversary this month, what better time to take family pictures and to get a glimpse of the wonderful things that have come to pass since that beautiful day.

2. Sarah & Ben.

Hi Marielle,
We love your aesthetic and think your work is beautiful.  Ben and I have been married for 3 years. We have NEVER had professional pictures taken of us. We didn’t have an engagement session or a professional photographer at our wedding. That’s something that we now totally regret. We didn’t have very much money when we got married because Ben had just been accepted to UC Berkley and we were saving all of our money for his education. We think it would be so much fun to work with you and finally get a much needed family session. We are not afraid to let you do your thing, and experiment, try new things or go crazy with us! We are all for it, and it doesn’t hurt that we are super hot. Trust me we would make great models. We don’t have any kids yet, and I would love the opportunity to have a session with just us two before we start our family. We think you are an amazing artist and it would be great if we could get our first professional session with you. Thanks. Team Reinhart.

3.Daphne & Jacob. (submitted by sister-in-law, Tiffany.)

Daphne was the girl that won my brother’s heart in their early years of high school. I was so excited when they got engaged a few years later because they were what I had always thought a couple should be: respectful, loving, and understanding. A few months before their wedding date, something happened that changed their whole life plans—Daphne got pregnant. This was not at all something bad that happened to them; it just changed things up quite a bit. The money that was supposed to be spent on the many parts of a wedding was suddenly transformed into money needed for the newest addition to the family. We all chipped in to give them the best low-budget wedding we could make, but a lot of things got cut out of the mix. A real photographer was out of the question because of the cost, as we only spent $3,000 total for the whole wedding. Instead, Daphne had a family friend snap some pictures here and there, and we placed disposable cameras on the tables. They had many pictures, but had no real photographs that captured perfectly what that day was all about. As I mentioned before, Daphne is my idol, my best friend, and my sister. She has taught me many things by just being the person that she is. Daphne and Jacob as a couple are my idea of an ultimate love story. They are what I hope to have later on in life with my soon-to-be husband. I write this because they deserve their moment where we all wait by the computer to view their photographs online. I write this because I think I owe Daphne for a years of guidance and friendship. And finally, I write this mainly because I just love them all so much.

4.Mina & Nic.

Nic and I got engaged in December of 2008 (after many years of me pursuing him, he finally gave in!)  When we got engaged, we decided that October 2009 would be the perfect time to get married…beautiful fall colors, nice cool temperatures…what else could we ask for??? The only downside to that was that it left us with only nine months to plan. During the past two years, we have had 5 different friends get married. I am such a “picture person” that I had my camera for EVERY event at each wedding.  I was the one who took pictures of everything…I was the “unofficial” photographer — just because I like to have those special moments on film.  When it came time to participate in my own pre-wedding/wedding events — I obviously wasn’t able to be the one taking all of the pictures.  Unfortunately, none of my friends are as diligent as I am about capturing those moments. However, that’s not the real let down. We hired a photographer who happened to be a family friend. His specialty is taking pictures of the outdoors — and he does an absolutely fantastic job…, we thought, “Hey!  Let’s ask him to be our photographer!”  We made the (disappointing) assumption that he would be able to take (just as) amazing photographs of us on our wedding day as he does of the outdoors…we were wrong.  When we got the photographs back from him, we noticed so many disappointing aspects, but one truly stood out:  There was no photo (portrait) of Nic and me ALONE outside on the golf course after our ceremony. We have no wedding portrait!

5. Mike & Meghan.

My family and I would love to have a photo session with you.  You know every thing that Meagan has gone through with her cancer and we have not had family portraits since her hair has come back. We were actually just down in San Fran yesterday and tuesday to have her follow up scans from the radiation that she had in Dec. The scans turned out great, which we obviously are very excited about.  She has been after me for some time to get family pics done and I have just been pushing it off.  Either because of bad timing or I had a zit. And my face is clear for now so I might as well do it.  But the real reason is I love my family very much and I would do anything for Meagan.  She has gone through so much and I could only stand back and watch.  Sure I rubbed her back when she was sore and stood by her side when she was sick, but I never really knew what she was going through.  I know this is something very small compared to what she has gone through, but I also know it is something she would love to do. Hopefully you’ll think about us.

Because I LOVE YOU!!!! {it’s a giveaway, y’all!}


In honor of the month that celebrates all things LOVE, I am having a photography session GIVEAWAY! Yippeee! You read that right! I’m giving away one portrait/family/engagement/just because you are awesome photography session for FREE! Not even a truckload of conversation hearts could be as sweet as this giveaway! Trust me. I know these kinds of things.

I want to hear from you about why you should win the giveaway. Maybe you just got engaged…maybe you want to show the world how cute your family is…maybe you are a fabulous husband who knows his wife would love this for Valentines Day….maybe it’s because you are totally fabulous & want to flaunt it for the camera. Whatever the reason, let me know! Feel free to nominate yourself or someone else! Tell me why you (or someone else) should be the lucky ones to have a photo shoot for FREE! Be creative, fun & honest with your answers!

You have between now and February 4th at midnight to email me at photos(at)mariellehayes(dot)com to enter. I will be announcing the winner on Friday, February 5th.

The winner will receive:

-a 2 hour photo shoot with yours truly

-a cd with images from the photo shoot that can be printed to 4×6 images

-you MUST be a fan of Marielle Hayes Photography on Facebook to enter. If you aren’t my fan yet, getcha self signed up!
-the photo shoot must be in the San Francisco Bay Area (if you don’t live in the area, come on over for a weekend getaway!)
-the nominations must be submitted via email to: photos(at)mariellehayes(dot)com
-you must be willing to allow me to put your story on my blog as well as the resulting photos from the photo shoot!

Get in touch with me!