Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Love Affair in North Carolina!

Sounds scandalous, I know! Mary and I popped up on the radar this morning in Bald Head Island, NC to hang out with some of our favorite people in the world and to model for the Love Affair Workshop. We had a beautiful day down here, despite the frigid wind (I thought we left Connecticut!) and had such a great time chillin on the other side of the lens. I can't wait to see all the amazing shots!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscar Night

I'm not usually one to watch the awards shows, but every once and a while they can be pretty entertaining... especially when we bet on it! Last night the wager was a night out at the movies: winner's choice, loser's wallet. It was a close race with each of us having 7 correct picks going into the Best Actor category, which would ultimately be the deciding category, (because we both picked the same movie for Best Film).

And the Academy Award for Best "Close your eyes, drop your pen on the ballot, and pick" Performance goes to... MARY :-(

I was hoping for U23D, but it looks like we'll be going to Enchanted instead.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Snow Day!

A snowman just ain't cool unless he has a pair of shades and a twin lens reflex!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mr. & Mrs. Marantz go to Washington!

The DC/Baltimore joint PUG meeting was crazy fun!! We had over 50 photographers there for a seriously packed house, and everybody had so many awesome questions. You could really tell that this was a group that's down with going above & beyond for their clients and finally building the kind of business they can love. Every single day, we get to wake up absolutely in love with what we do. Sure, like everybody else, we're gonna have those days where the world wants to tell us "No"... but that's exactly when we rely on that love for what we do to carry us and keep pushing us through to Yes. And when you get to say that you truly love what you do, believe me those Yes days come far more often than the No's. We met a lot of people in DC, and everywhere on the tour really, who are really struggling with some big choices for their businesses right now. We just wanted to say to all of you that we believe in you. Seriously...the "with our whole hearts" kind of believe in you. And we know that if you can find that love it will carry you to where you need to be. Thank you for sharing so much of yourselves. Just to have you trust us enough to listen is an amazing honor. We can't wait to hear about all the places that you go! Thank you again for touching our lives in so many ways. We hope to always call you friends!

So much love

We also wanted to thank Michael and Geoff of MBK & Associates for being such awesome hosts, for these great pics (which we stole from the DC PUG blog), and for helping us out of a HUGE jam...but more about that later!

oooh.. One more shout out to my lovely friend Hannele (RIT '03!!!) who came out to see us. (she's the one in the middle between Mary and I)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ask and Learn Wednesday

We just got home from DC and are officially off for the rest of the night :), but we just wanted to drop a quick note to tell you to clear some space in your schedules tomorrow to come hang out with us on the Pictage Forum's Ask & Learn Wednesday. The party starts at 7pm our time and goes until the questions stop! Hope to see you there!

Monday, February 18, 2008

It's President's Day...

so we're going to Washington!! In a little bit we're going to hit the road again to go down and hang out with the D.C. & Baltimore PUGs. We can't wait to see everybody!

photo credit: Carol Highsmith

Sunday, February 17, 2008


After hanging out with all the photographers at the Boston PUG meeting on Tuesday, I suprised Mary and Cooper with a little get-away to Vermont for Valentine's Day. It was SO nice just to do nothing! We hit up the Castle Hill Spa for a little R&R and got to swim OUTSIDE in the frigid cold (luckily the water was 88 degrees).

Friday, February 15, 2008

Spread the Love Update!!!!

We just got back from our trip (more on that to come!) to a great surprise!! We have gotten SUCH an awesome response to the Spread the Love Workshop and in just a day we are almost full!! There are just a couple spots left so if you want to get in make sure you go HERE to get signed up as soon as possible!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day is a day for....LOVE!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!! And since today is a day that's all about love (ok...and Hallmark!), we thought what better time to finally reveal what our little "Love" teaser was all about...


Spread the Love [spred thuh luhv]: 1.the act of giving what you are expected to give…which is everything.

Spread the love…three simple words that have changed everything. To give love is to hold nothing back of yourself, to share all that you have so that others will never have to make the same mistakes. It is to give everything- right down to the last drop- wake up and do it all over again.

This workshop is for anyone who is just starting out or looking to start over - to see their business though new eyes. This is for anyone who is tired of feeling stuck, lost in the day to day, consumed by just getting by and never once moving forward. For anyone who has ever dreamed big dreams but never found the time to chase them, and everyone who has ever felt trapped in the pitfalls of paying their dues …it’s time to run your business again and stop letting it run you. Do something that will make you fall in love with what you do again…and will make your clients love you all the more for it. Finally learn what it means to be the experience of YOU so that you can draw out the beauty of those that surround you. Go ahead, you know it’s time…put a little love in it.

Three photographers, two days, one mission: Spread the Love

On April 22-24 in Chicago, IL, Justin & I will be teaming up with the amazing Sarah Barlow (and one very awesome secret guest speaker) to bring you the Spread the Love Workshop. Space is extremely limited as we only opened up 10 spots and we've already had some of those fill up from the newsletter yesterday. The admission for this workshop is only $500 because we wanted to make sure that people who are just starting out would be able to come too. We're filling spots on a purely first come, first serve basis so make sure to head on over now to SIGN UP HERE and secure your spot! Just send us a note in the contact form that you want to get signed up and we'll send you all the sign up information.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Sometimes you want to go..."

"where everybody knows your name" :) Last night's meeting at the Boston PUG was the biggest turnout we've had yet! It was a packed house, but we're still not sure if it was us or the sweet "wine & chocolate" theme that brought everyone out! Special thanks to Matt & Enna for being such wonderful leaders and hosts and to our dear friends Paul, Krystal, Amy & the newest Bostonian, Shyla for coming out and helping us spread the love.

This PUG tour has been by far one of the coolest things we've ever done...just how many awesome people that we get to meet makes all this crazy traveling so worth while. So thank you guys for always giving us such a warm welcome and being such great friends. We've just added 4 more cities to the tour, so we've updated the schedule and you can always check for our most up to date schedule by clicking HERE or on the tour banner in the sidebar!

Right now we're walking out the door (we tend to do that a LOT these days!) for a couple of days away from the world!! J has it all planned out for Valentine's Day and I'm not sure where we're going except that he told me to pack warm! And speaking of LOVE, we just sent out a note to everyone on our newsletter revealing what the "Love" teaser was all about. We'll be announcing it here tomorrow morning, so stay tuned for the mean time go get signed up on our mailing list so you're always the first to know!


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

TN Recap

We're back safe & sound from TN, and actually about to walk out the door to go up to Boston to hang out with our good friends Matt & Enna Grazier, Shyla, and the rest of the Boston PUG! But first, here's a little recap from our time down South:

Our first night we hung out with the Nashville & Chattanooga PUGs. I was SO excited! :)

Justin during some down time Q&A

Awesome questions from our new friends: Jody, Zach & Chris

Meet Tracy! She and her friend Tara flew all the way down from Ohio to see us! How awesome is that!? They are such sweet, amazing people and I'm so glad we got to see them! You guys seriously amaze us!! Thank you so much for everything!

After that we headed to this Italian place called Mafiaozas for dinner. Somehow I think I ordered too much...

*** Pictures courtesy of Whitney Carlson!

More new friends: Us, Chris, and Sean & Melanie McLellan (who are AMAZING photographers! Make sure to check em out when you get a chance!!)

The next morning we headed off to the Pancake Pantry where all the country stars eat with Peter & Whitney...sadly there was no Keith Urban to be found. But we did have some *awesome* pancakes so we were still pretty happy as we headed off to Knoxville. The Knoxville PUG was such a great group! There were a lot of people just starting out so there were a ton of great questions. Special thanks to Jamie Weiss for being such an awesome host!

After the Knoxville PUG we headed down to Chattanooga to hang out with our good friends Nathan & Amber Holritz and their cutie petutie kiddos, Austin & Addison who showed us all around town! First up was the aquarium and we were all pretty beat after that...

...but then it was time for SUSHI so we all perked up! These are cases of chopsticks for all of the regular visitors of the restaurant. Very cool!

After we stuffed ourselves on plate after plate of chef's choice sushi, we decided to walk off some of dinner by checking out downtown Chattanooga and the coffee shop Nathan & Amber used to hang out in back in college.

Here's a very cool winding walkway in the art district of Chattanooga

Thanks so much to all of you guys who made our trip such a blast! We can't wait to see you again!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Forest Fire!

Forest Fire!, originally uploaded by justinmarantz.

Crazy! We just drove right through a forest fire. It was right up to the road and there was smoke everywhere. There are 50mph wind gusts so that can't be good!

Friday, February 08, 2008

WPPI Mentoring Auction to Benefit Thirst Relief

Ok, this is so awesome!! Mary & I have been asked to be mentors at WPPI for the Thirst Relief Auction, which basically means that we can volunteer some of our time in Vegas helping other photographers, and it’ll help save lives all over the world! Thirst Relief is such an awesome, awesome organization and so of course we jumped at the chance to help out. And what I really love about this program in particular is that it’s also about photographers helping each other.

Mary & I have always believed in mentoring as one of the absolute BEST ways to grow our business, and over the past couple years we’ve had some incredible opportunities through Thirst Relief to sit down with people like Mike Colon, Nathan & Amber Holritz, Dane Sanders, Robert Evans and Chris & Katie Humphreys. And I can’t even begin to tell you the difference it’s made in our business...basically, it’s made all the difference for us. So to be able to now turn around and pay some of that forward to someone else makes us so happy!! And also a little nervous because we know there are SO many awesome mentors on board that we’ll have to make ours really good to get some bids!! :-) So to sweeten the pot, we’ll also be including the following:

1) Lunch at a shi-shi Vegas restaurant to be selected by the winner, over which we will answer any and all the questions you can throw at us. We can do a portfolio review, talk about your branding, or anything else that you want to talk about!

2) Our “Loyalty Beyond Reason” goodie bag including some of our favorite client gifts and a few of of our absolute favorite business books on the topic of selling the experience of YOU!

3) And this is the big one...tuition paid in full (a $500 value) for a really cool "LOVE" event we’re co-hosting in Chicago this April.

***NOTE THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE GOING TO WPPI TO WIN!! If you want to bid on us but don't think you'll be able to make it to WPPI, go bid anyway and we'll work it out! We'll either try to meet up or we can always talk over the phone. Thirst Relief is such a great cause so we want to make sure anyone who wants to donate can!

So head on over to the auction site to get pre-registered. The auction starts tomorrow and goes until somebody wins! We'll post an update when the auction goes live with a link to where you can bid on us.

Here's the important info you need to know:

*Mentoring sessions will go up for bid on an auction at . The site will have a Thirst Relief banner that you can click on that will take you directly to the auction site.

*The auctions will not be visible until they go live on February 9th at 10am EST. All times listed through out the auction are based on Eastern Standard Time.

* You will need to register in order to place a bid on your mentoring session. Each mentoring auction has a different ending time. However, when the auction is supposed to close, if there is a bidding war happening over a particular mentoring session that you want, then the auction will STAY OPEN until the bidding war ends.

*The auction will take place for three days from February 9-February 12th. Auctions will end on the 12th (unless there is a bidding war…in which case the auction will end when people stop bidding). Bidders need to read the entire auction, including payment information very carefully. Auctions will end at different times, so you'll will want to make sure you know when the one you want ends.

*Once the auction ends you will be responsible for getting in touch with one another to schedule your mentoring time.

*Mentoring sessions are an opportunity to have your website reviewed, talk about your marketing, pricing, or have your work critiqued, etc etc.

*Even if you don't think you can bid on a session, think about becoming active in the cause of Thirst Relief by becoming a monthly $5 donor. Five dollars saves a life. It would be an amazing gift and a visionary movement if every photographer helped save one life a month for one year.


Nashville, TN!

We're down here in the South for the TN part of the tour, and last night we had the Nashville & Chattanooga PUGs in the house! It was so great making new friends and hanging out with old ones (well, not that THEY'RE old...but you know what I mean! :) We're going to have much more on this a bit later, complete with pictures, but first we have to go buy a new card reader because ours just croaked! So stay tuned for that. But right now we're off to grab pancakes with Peter & Whitney. Supposedly all the country stars eat at the place we're going to, so I'm really hoping I get to split some pancakes with Keith Urban! yum! :)


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Ready to Barack 'n Roll

Today, Mary and I rocked the vote and headed out to the polls to cast our ballot. And by doing so, I think we became one small part of history. Ok, I know that sounds really dramatic and the overall consensus is to believe that one vote (or in our case two) doesn't really do too much in the grand scheme of things...but the fact is we are living in times of great change. Regardless of which candidate (or party) you support, this election stands for the kind of hope and difference that I don't think this country has seen for nearly 50 years. And we just want to be part of it when it happens. "Yes we can!"

If you haven't seen this video be sure to check it out! Very cool!

Today is SuperTuesday with 24 different states holding primaries. If you live in one of these states make sure to hit up the polls before they close tonight!

Loyalty Beyond Reason Can Be Created Anywhere!

Yesterday, as Justin & I were picking up our second batch of dry cleaning in a week ( yea we have a lot of clothes!), I really started thinking about this new dry cleaners we're using (which funny enough, is called The New Dry Cleanery). Now this store isn't particularly pretty or well decorated by any means (I have to say the 1980s poster on the wall that says "Dry cleaning makes you feel springtime fresh" is my personal favorite piece of decor). It also isn't particularly close to us or naturally on the way to anything, so we always have to go out of our way to get there. And parking is ALWAYS an issue. But yet, we keep going back and we do it with all the anticipation of kids about to embark on a candy store. So, why do we do it?

We do it because even though yesterday was only the third time the dry cleaning lady had ever seen us in her life, she called us by our names and busily went about collecting every stitch of clothing without ever once looking at a ticket (I know that because we had once again lost it!). Because they stuff pink tissue paper in the sleeves of shirts and hoods of jackets...I have no idea what that actually does, but I know it makes me feel all warm & fuzzy inside. Because they're somehow able to get all the little fuzzy things off of sweaters that even an industrial strength sweater shaver would've choked on. Because they then put each of those neatly folded sweaters in its own little sweater bag with the snap button on the back, and stack them neatly in a boutique bag. And then as they hand us that bag they tell us, not have a nice day, but have a GREAT week Mr. & Mrs Marantz!

Yea...we'll be back.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Our home has had an incredible football season ending with a Fiesta Bowl win for our WV Mountaineers in the beginning of January and now a SUPERBOWL win for our NY Giants! Both underdogs, both fighters, both champions! Gotta love a year like that!

Check out the awesome #10 Eli Manning Superbowl XLII jersey that my amazing wife surprised me with before the game! I have to think that somehow helped in the win ;-)

Taren & Brian

Yesterday we had such a blast hanging out with Taren & Brian for their first engagement shoot of the series. As you can see, these guys are total rock stars!! Ok...commercials are off... back to the game!

Check out all the fun!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Dawn Kelly from Soiree Floral & Event Design

"We're family now!" She said it as she grabbed both my hands and gave them a squeeze. And somehow, I just knew she meant it with her whole heart. Because that's just how she does everything in life...with her *whole* heart. And what a good heart it is.

On Thursday we got to have dinner with the truly amazing Dawn Kelly from Soiree Floral (who could quite possibly be one of the sweetest and most adorable people ever born!!) and her wonderful husband, Brian. We did a wedding with Dawn back in October-which she totally ROCKED- and we finally got a chance to sit down & catch up with them over sushi at the very cool Kazu in South Norwalk. Let me tell you, these two are nothing short of absolutely amazing... they listen like every word counts and talk as if you can do anything. They believe in you before you even really know what it means to believe in yourself. They inspire you, and cheer for you, and before you know it you're walking back to your frosty car wondering how it is you've known them for anything less than a lifetime. The world needs more whole heart people like them.

Right before we left Dawn surprised us with this incredible gift!! Her work is amazing!

Seriously, how awesome is that tag?!

Good times, GREAT friends!

Thank you guys so much for everything! I only hope you know what a blessing you are to us!

Friday, February 01, 2008

PUG Prom!!

January 25th marked the one year anniversary of our PUG, so how else could we possibly celebrate something as momentous as that, than with a cheesy prom party?! Makes sense to me! Check out all the fun we had at Nikki Nicole's studio, back where it all got started just one year ago: