Mary Kate McKenna Photography

About Mary Kate

Mary Kate’s Role at Mary Kate McKenna Photography

  • Boss lady
  • Lead wedding photographer
  • Lifestyle, celebration and event photographer
  • Un-corporate headshot photographer

Hey there! I’m Mary Kate, but most people just call me MK.

In a high school darkroom in small town Indiana, I found my first true love- photography. I furthered my interest in photojournalism when I studied International Relations at American University in DC. I didn’t become a Japanese translator like I had planned, but I did get to travel the world and experience some amazing things. I started my business in 2004- in my dorm room. I began to photograph the kids I babysat. And then their parents told other parents. And not long after I was doing weddings and corporate events. I became addicted to capturing people and traditions and by my senior year I had made it nearly a full time gig. A year-long gig as a cubicle monkey for the government made it clear to me that owning my own business was the right path. And so here I am.

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is watching couples, families and businesses grow. I love when I meet an engaged couple and a few years later I’m photographing their babies. It’s truly an honor and I have a passion for documenting these milestones.

My Family

My husband Joe and I met in high school. We were speech and debate partners. Little did I know that 14+ years later we’d meet up for a beer and it would change everything. Six months after we began dating, Joe and I got married. I have to say, it was a pretty good decision. Side note: I made him the best man cave ever. (Don’t believe me? See it on CNN!)

My Pups

Animals have always been a huge part of my life. Rescuing, fostering, and adopting was something I grew up around. We now have four pups of our own- Gordon, Molly, Henry and Bety. Each has their own unique personality. And yes, it’s a zoo around here.

My Little Home

In 2011, Joe and I purchased our first house. It’s a tiny 1950’s brick rancher that we’re head over heels for. With lots of elbow grease, ideas, and paint (oh, so much paint!), we’re slowly making it our own.

My Town – Frederick, Maryland

Full of small, beautiful stores and creative businesses, we have made some wonderful connections here. Joe and I have planted our roots in this sweet town, and have been proud to call this place home for the last five years. I love it so much that I created a curated wedding resource for couples getting married in Frederick County with two of my best friends.

I am also a member of one of the local Rotary clubs (Rotary Club of Carroll Creek) and donate my time to several incredible non-profits.

I also did a year-long project last year documenting the beautiful Doors of Frederick.

My Travels

I caught the travel bug after visiting Ireland with my dad (playing golf, of course!) when I was in high school. Since then, I have been on a quest to visit as many countries as possible. My favorite places have been Zambia and Burma. I’m always planning my next trip, and my suitcase is always ready to go. (Check out some of my photos from Burma.)


Giving Back

Giving back has always been a huge part of who I am and what I do. I am honored to be a small part of so many wonderful organizations, some national, some international and some local. Big or small, every organization needs beautiful photographs to help share their message. I am thrilled when I am able to help!

I am a photographer for several great organizations including:

Mental Health Association

Religious Coalition

Jasmine's House

Children’s National

US Campaign for Burma

I make it a goal every year to spend 15% of my time working with non-profits. It's an honor to get to see fantastic organizations up close and personal, doing such amazing work for their community. I'm lucky to be a small part of it.