Meet Jes Wood, co founder of maewood photography

hello friend!

I'm Jes. A desert girl with a heart that will always partially reside in Maryland. I am stoked that you landed on this tiny space of the world wide web, and I hope that you stick around a bit! Since you stopped on in to get to know me, I will hop right to it. I am a mamma, wife, and story teller with a general obsession for puppies and crispy bacon. I started this journey of photography looking through old photo albums with my grandmother and playing with the hundreds of disposable cameras we had. Even though it has always been a passion of mine, photography wasn't my first career. With a background in education, I come to every wedding day with a teacher's heart. Compassion, patience, guidance, education, management, love, & fun (plus the occasional ninja move)!

you might not know...

I was a special education teacher in my previous career. I will always give back by working with, advocating for, and supporting individuals with differing abilities! 

I may or may not be obsessed with drinking my calories through any and all forms of juice!

I am allergic to mangoes, which happens to be my favorite food.

I love bacon, but only when it breaks as you touch it!

My Weakness: Puppies

My puppy is an eight-year-old boxer, Moo Moo.

I love being creative in all forms including painting, singing, drawing, coloring, and "attempting" to design my home.

My greatest accomplishment is being a mom. My life is full of deep, non-blood related relationships, and my favorite is with my daughter, Katlyn, who became my everything the moment she walked into my life. 
Born 2004  I   Family Est. 2009  I  Adopted 2012

I know, I know... everyone is obsessed with Joanna Gaines, but I am one of them for sure. Thanks, HGTV!

My favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip, without the chocolate chips!

I notice I address my love for food a lot, but I think that says something about me. Another favorite, sushi! Did you know at the Sushi Station sushi comes around to your table on a conveyor belt?!

My alter ego (stage name) is Lady J, and I am in a band named Lady J and the Useful Idiots! Right now, we are on a much needed hiatus, but I also join in with my dad's band sometimes, Last Call. 

I've been to England, Scotland, and China. Next up: Italy, Greece, Alaska, and Australia.

I've lived in Maryland, Pennsylvania, California, and now Arizona.

Our story

getting to know jes & her family

Being in the business of lifestyle and wedding photography means being a part of other people's lives, our clients' lives. In order for our MWP family members to trust us to be a part of such meaningful seasons in their lives, we must allow them into our own stories. Giving our clients the chance to get to know us personally and become best friends for life is not only important in our business, but one of our favorite parts of the entire process! This is where you can begin to know Jes. You can check out Meg's story on her side of the site! 

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chapter one

we fell in love at the gym

I always wanted this fairy tale love that only seemed possible in movies. I wanted a guy to twirl me around and make the rest of the world just disappear. Well, at just 19 years old, I found him... at the gym. When my family was visting the gym one day for a tour, Michael was working out in the free weights. I looked over at him, giggled, and and announced to everyone I would marry that man one day. A few weeks later, Michael started flirting and making excuses to come to my desk. I knew immediately I would spend the rest of my life with him. 

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of Jes' Story

chapter one

we fell in love at the gym

I always wanted this fairy tale love that only seemed possible in movies. I wanted a guy to twirl me around and make the rest of the world just disappear. Well, at just 19 years old, I found him... at the gym. When my family was visting the gym one day for a tour, Michael was working out in the free weights. I looked over at him, giggled, and and announced to everyone I would marry that man one day. A few weeks later, Michael started flirting and making excuses to come to my desk. I knew immediately I would spend the rest of my life with him. 

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chapter two

and then there were three

One of the many things I fell in love with, was how amazing of a daddy Michael was and still is to our little girl. When I met Michael, he was a single dad, and he would bring his little girl, Katlyn Natalia, into the day care of the gym. As quickly as I fell in love with Michael, I fell head over heels for her. We bonded immediately and have been inseparable ever since. Our mother-daughter love is indestructible and even now at the age of 14, she is my super slow side kick, my best friend, and my snuggle bug. She is my greatest accomplishment. 

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of Jes' Story

chapter two

and then there were three

One of the many things I fell in love with, was how amazing of a daddy Michael was and still is to our little girl. When I met Michael, he was a single dad, and he would bring his little girl, Katlyn Natalia, into the day care of the gym. As quickly as I fell in love with Michael, I fell head over heels for her. We bonded immediately and have been inseparable ever since. Our mother-daughter love is indestructible and even now at the age of 14, she is my super slow side kick, my best friend, and my snuggle bug. She is my greatest accomplishment. 

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chapter three

all kinds of out of order

Christmas morning, 2010, I walked up to our beautiful Christmas tree, filled with homemade decorations and a lot of craft projects, and I picked up a bag. It was my turn to open a present, and when I did, I couldn't believe what I saw. It was my engagement ring, and when I looked up, Michael asked me to be his wife and Katlyn asked me to be her mommy. It was the sweetest thing and perfect for our little family. We always joke because we were never a traditional couple or family. We started dating with a little munchkin, then he proposed, and then...

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of Jes' Story

chapter three

all kinds of out of order

Christmas morning, 2010, I walked up to our beautiful Christmas tree, filled with homemade decorations and a lot of craft projects, and I picked up a bag. It was my turn to open a present, and when I did, I couldn't believe what I saw. It was my engagement ring, and when I looked up, Michael asked me to be his wife and Katlyn asked me to be her mommy. It was the sweetest thing and perfect for our little family. We always joke because we were never a traditional couple or family. We started dating with a little munchkin, then he proposed, and then exactly year before our planned wedding date, we decided to get married so that I could officially adopt my mini-me. We wen't over to the court in York County, PA, and filed for a Quaker Marriage, where we were married within twenty-four hours of two witnesses signing our marriage licence. Each of out maternal grandmothers signed our license, and we immediately filed for the adoption! Oh, and Michael got me a boxer puppy that year and Katlyn named her Moo Moo Sunshine Spot with a Snowball on Top! 

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chapter three cont.

all kinds of out of order

exactly year before our planned wedding date, we decided to get married so that I could officially adopt my mini-me. We wen't over to the court in York County, PA, and filed for a Quaker Marriage, where we were married within twenty-four hours of two witnesses signing our marriage licence. Each of out maternal grandmothers signed our license, and we immediately filed for the adoption! Oh, and Michael got me a boxer puppy that year and Katlyn named her Moo Moo Sunshine Spot with a Snowball on Top! 

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of Jes' Story

chapter four

College Graduation

In 2012, just one month before our wedding day, I graduated with my degree in elementary and special education. I was ready to do what I was born to do, teach. I taught 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade during my student teaching, and then went on to work as a special educator in the field of transition for five years. I worked with individuals with differing abilities as they transitioned from high school to life after school. During that five years, I went back to school and finished my graduate program as a teacher and leader in the Autism Spectrum Community.

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chapter four

College Graduation

In 2012, just one month before our wedding day, I graduated with my degree in elementary and special education. I was ready to do what I was born to do, teach. I taught 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade during my student teaching, and then went on to work as a special educator in the field of transition for five years. I worked with individuals with differing abilities as they transitioned from high school to life after school. During that five years, I went back to school and finished my graduate program as a teacher and leader in the Autism Spectrum Community.

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chapter five

Our Wedding Day

On June 9, 2012, Michael, Katlyn, and I stood in front of our family and friends and vowed to always leave sticky notes all over the house with messages of love, respect Michael's love of Star Wars, and go on adventures together, and most importantly push each other to grow, but always come back and grow together. 
I have learned so much as a wedding photographer since that day, and one of my goals is to help our MWP Brides avoid some of the mistakes we made, but when it came down to the reason we were there and the fun we had, it could never be topped. 

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chapter five

Our Wedding Day

On June 9, 2012, Michael, Katlyn, and I stood in front of our family and friends and vowed to always leave sticky notes all over the house with messages of love, respect Michael's love of Star Wars, and go on adventures together, and most importantly push each other to grow, but always come back and grow together.
I have learned so much as a wedding photographer since that day, and one of my goals is to help our MWP Brides avoid some of the mistakes we made, but when it came down to the reason we were there and the fun we had, it could never be topped. 

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chapter six

The Start of MWP

Meg and I have both loved taking pictures. I had just gotten a brand new camera to take my photography to the next level, and Meg had been photographing for her cousin's blog, Shoptini. We both worked together in the special education department and became best friends right away. Long story short, Meg's husband, Dave, was actually my tenth grade English teacher, and she was a first year teacher during my senior year! Anyway, one day Meg asked if I would like to come photograph her cousin with her, and we continue to photograph as many sessions together as we can! A mutual acquaintance came to us about two months in to our journey and asked us to photograph his wedding and suggested that we become a legit business. We decided to give it a go! That night, we went home and started planning logos, websites, and picking out a name! Meg's neices couldn't pronounce the "g" in her name, so they call her Aunt Mae, and my last name is Wood. Together, we make MaeWood Photography.

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of Jes' Story

chapter six

The Start of MWP

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Meg and I have both loved taking pictures. I had just gotten a brand new camera to take my photography to the next level, and Meg had been photographing for her cousin's blog, Shoptini. We both worked together in the special education department and became best friends right away. Long story short, Meg's husband, Dave, was actually my tenth grade English teacher, and she was a first year teacher during my senior year! Anyway, one day Meg asked if I would like to come photograph her cousin with her, and we continue to photograph as many sessions together as we can! A mutual acquaintance came to us about two months in to our journey and asked us to photograph his wedding and suggested that we become a legit business. We decided to give it a go! That night, we went home and started planning logos, websites, and picking out a name! Meg's neices couldn't pronounce the "g" in her name, so they call her Aunt Mae, and my last name is Wood. Together, we make MaeWood Photography.

chapter seven

We Moved to the West Coast

A handful of years ago, my husband, Michael, decided to use his previous experience in the Marine Corp, as Sergeant in the police department, and his criminal justice degree to focus on public education and police reform, requiring him to travel all over the country, but mostly to the west coast. We decided as a family that it would be best for us to temporarily move to LA so he could do the work he felt called to do. However, this meant we had to leave our home with our three chickens, our family and friends, and my job (my dream job). I had no idea what life would look like or if I would ever find another teaching experience that made me feel as fulfilled is this one did.

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of Jes' Story

chapter seven

We moved to the West Coast

A handful of years ago, my husband, Michael, decided to use his previous experience in the Marine Corp, as Sergeant in the police department, and his criminal justice degree to focus on public education and police reform, requiring him to travel all over the country, but mostly to the west coast. We decided as a family that it would be best for us to temporarily move to LA so he could do the work he felt called to do. However, this meant we had to leave our home with our three chickens, our family and friends, and my job (my dream job). I had no idea what life would look like or if I would ever find another teaching experience that made me feel as fulfilled is this one did.

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chapter eight

MWP Went Full-Time

I could never replace the experience I had with my students in Harford County Public Schools. For a long time, I felt lost and I struggled not identifying as a teacher. I wanted to change lives and bring joy to people in a way that made a difference. As we lived in California, we started photographing more weddings, boudoir, births, newborns, etc... and I realized that I was changing lives and bringing joys to others, just in a different way. I now had the opportunity to be a part of some of the most beautiful seasons of our clients' lives and I not only witnessed these special moments but allowed them to freeze for all time, as a beautiful memory to look back on for years to come. I may no longer be a teacher in a classroom, but I am still spreading joy and now I am telling stories. 

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of Jes' Story

chapter eight

MWP Went Full-Time

I could never replace the experience I had with my students in Harford County Public Schools. For a long time, I felt lost and I struggled not identifying as a teacher. I wanted to change lives and bring joy to people in a way that made a difference. As we lived in California, we started photographing more weddings, boudoir, births, newborns, etc... and I realized that I was changing lives and bringing joys to others, just in a different way. I now had the opportunity to be a part of some of the most beautiful seasons of our clients' lives and I not only witnessed these special moments but allowed them to freeze for all time, as a beautiful memory to look back on for years to come. I may no longer be a teacher in a classroom, but I am still spreading joy and now I am telling stories. 

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chapter nine

Current Stop: Arizona

We enjoyed a beautiful nine months in Los Angeles. We met new friends and had a beautifully supportive community, but it was time for us to move on. We wanted to experience a whole new place for a fresh start, a place we could settled down and really build our lives together. After a quick internet search, google told us the best place to live was Phoenix, AZ and within weeks our Uhaul truck was packed and we were moving to the next state over.  Although I will always long to be with my family and friends back home, I have found peace in the mountains and a love for the desert. We just bought a new home together, and I am having way too much fun styling it with my inner Joanna Gaines! 

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chapter nine

We moved to the West Coast

We enjoyed a beautiful nine months in Los Angeles. We met new friends and had a beautifully supportive community, but it was time for us to move on. We wanted to experience a whole new place for a fresh start, a place we could settled down and really build our lives together. After a quick internet search, google told us the best place to live was Phoenix, AZ and within weeks our Uhaul truck was packed and we were moving to the next state over. Although I will always long to be with my family and friends back home, I have found peace in the mountains and a love for the desert. We just bought a new home together, and I am having way too much fun styling it with my inner Joanna Gaines! 

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chapter ten

Real Talk: Breaking the Mold

It hasn't always been easy, in fact there have been moments where we just weren't sure which way was up anymore, but our love and our friendship pulled us through. Our family legacy doesn't have a reputation for everlasting love, but I know our little family of three will break that mold, and I couldn't imagine a life without these two amazingly supportive individuals in it. This is why I love to photograph love. To give brides and families memories they cannot only see but feel with every part of their body, as they look back on their special moments with the people they love the most in this world. Here is to making beautiful memories, being real, and capturing the love and relationships people share in this world. 

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of Jes' Story

Real Talk: Breaking the Mold

It hasn't always been easy, in fact there have been moments where we just weren't sure which way was up anymore, but our love and our friendship pulled us through. Our family legacy doesn't have a reputation for everlasting love, but I know our little family of three will break that mold, and I couldn't imagine a life without these two amazingly supportive individuals in it. This is why I love to photograph love. To give brides and families memories they cannot only see but feel with every part of their body, as they look back on their special moments with the people they love the most in this world. Here is to making beautiful memories, being real, and capturing the love and relationships people share in this world.

of Jes' Story

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