South New Jersey Photographer | Memories by Maria Photography | Photo of the Year Contest 2020


Photo of the Year 2020 | Memories by Maria Photography | South New Jersey Photographer

South New Jersey Photographer. Photo of the Year 2020.  Wow…what a year!  I cannot thank my clients, family and friends enough.  Your support of my small photography business through this global pandemic was very appreciated!  In March, after my first big wedding of 2020, the world shut down.  Photography sessions were non-essential, and I truly began to worry that my year was going to be terribly slow.  I felt so much anxiety as what the future was going to hold.  I felt all the disappointment that my bridal couples were feeling as they tried to decide if they should continue their plans or hold off till next year.  I knew so many families that had to postpone their annual trips with their loved ones to the Jersey shore.

At the end of May beginning of June, things started to change.  Bridal couples were saying love wins and were planning micro-weddings with just their close family and zooming to their friends and extended family.  Families decided that their time together was worth the extra precautions it took to visit the shore.  I started to book like crazy and I had my busiest year to date!!  I loved capturing these special moments and enjoyed seeing families be together at the beach!

South New Jersey Photographer

Every year for the past 6 years I have had a Photo of the Year contest.  I enjoy going through all of the sessions and weddings every year reminiscing about all the locations I have been, families I have met and got to see again and capturing fabulous wedding moments.  I have a group of fellow friends and photographers that help me narrow down the entries for the contest.  I always have way too many favorites! They look at colors, composition, emotion, landscape…..I just look at them and say I just love this photo.  Ha-Ha.

Too many Favorites

This year was tough as I started out with way too many favorites.  I had 4 categories this year.  Families | Newborns | Seniors, The Shore, Engagements and Weddings.  The Shore had the most entries this year!  And this category ended up in a tie!!  It is only the second time I have had a tie in the contest.  So, there are 5 entries this year for PHOTO OF THE YEAR!


All of the sessions and weddings from this year were fantastic.  I had one of two images from each session that I just love!!


These are the photos that are in the running for PHOTO OF THE YEAR 2020


Category #1 Families | Newborns | Seniors

Winner:  Avery….Class of 2021 PHOTO #1

South New Jersey Photographer

Avery is a Senior at Crestwood High School in Mountain Top, PA.  I met her, her mom and sister in North Wildwood New Jersey for her Senior Session.  We chose one of my favorite locations in north Wildwood, NJ, The Hereford Lighthouse.  I love this location because it offers 2 different settings.  There are gorgeous gardens near the lighthouse, and it is just a short walk down the seawall, to the beach.  Avery is a beautiful young lady and just rocked her session!  We had the best light towards the end of her session.  I love this photo of her sitting in the ocean.

Category #2  The Shore

Winner: This category had a tie!  The Depew Family, PHOTO #2 and The Bouchard Family, PHOTO #3

South New Jersey Photographer

PHOTO #2  

The Depew Family met me bright and early at the beach in Ocean City, NJ this past July.  We chose the area by the fishing pier for their session which is near 14th Street.  I like this location for AM sessions because it offers a bit of shade.  Katie was excited to capture her 9 month old daughter’s first trip to the shore.  It was a great session with lots of laughs, smiles and toes touching the ocean for the first time!  I loved this moment!


South New Jersey Photographer


The Bouchard Family met me in Ocean City, NJ by the fishing pier for their session.  It was early September, and we had a beautiful evening. I loved the colors that Tara chose for her family’s outfits.  They coordinated so well and really popped against the colors of the sun set.  We had a gorgeous sun set and the sky just glowed.  I love this photo of them walking along the shore! The sky, the colors and the reflection were simply perfect.  We had a fun session that ended with Tara and her daughter in the ocean!


Category # 3 ENGAGEMENTS

Winner: Danielle and Jonathan  PHOTO #4

South New Jersey Enagement Photographer

Danielle and Jonathan had their session at one of my favorite places, Batsto State Park.  There is an historic village at the park that offers so many great photo settings.  It is also home of the famous blue door!  Check out the link to their engagegment session to see the blue door and their cute session.  The session was so much fun despite the rain!  Mother nature was not kind to us as we thought for sure we had a good hour or so to do the session before it would start raining. Well, we had about 30 mins before it not only rained but down poured! But that did not stop us from getting some great shots like this one!  They brought along their dog, Leo to the session and he was just perfect!  I love this photo of Leo looking at Jonathan.


Category #4 WEDDINGS

Winner: Tanae and Ian  PHOTO #5

South New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Tanae and Ian were married September 4, 2020. They had to switch their date, location, venue and reduce their guest list due to Covid-19.  They knew that they were going to get married despite all that was going on in the world.  They chose to get married at Holgate Beach.  This beach is at the south end of Long beach Island, NJ.  It was a beautiful day and I just loved getting to know these two. Check out their wedding story and photos from their wedding blog.  We had a bright sunny day except for during their beach ceremony when a dark cloud drifted over the beach. Right as they started to say their vows it started to rain. After about 5 minutes of sprinkles the rain stopped and the cloud drifted away.  This shot was taken just as the sun started to shine through the clouds.  It is one of my many favorites from their day.

Now it is your time to help vote for the Photo of the Year!!

In the comment section below please vote  for PHOTO OF THE YEAR!

PHOTO #1…Avery

PHOTO #2 The Depew Family

PHOTO #3 The Bouchard Family

PHOTO #4 Danielle and Jonathan

PHOTO #5 Tane and Ian

Emails are not collected or used for any other purpose but this contest!  They are only being used for the integrity of everyones vote in this contest. Only one vote per email. The voting will continue till Dec 30th, 6pm.  The winner will be announced December 31st, 12pm!  Votes will only be counted on this blog post.  Please share the link to this blog post or the Facebook post with the link included with family and friends.


Thank you to everyone that voted in the different categories and thanks for your final vote!  Good luck to all the category winners.

  1. Maria Keegan says:


  2. Danielle Miele says:

    Photo #4 Danielle & Jonathan

  3. Dawn Kovalchik says:

    Avery #1

  4. Tina Salonick says:

    Photo #1 Avery

  5. Stephanie Stone says:

    Photo #2

  6. Tanae Lizzi says:


  7. Dawn Miller says:

    #1 Avery

  8. Abigail Gober says:

    Photo #1 Avery

  9. Elizabeth Faulkner says:

    Photo #4

  10. Jess Major says:


  11. Natosha says:

    PHOTO #5 Tane and Ian

  12. Erin Kozich says:

    Photo #1 Avery

  13. Gina says:

    Photo #3

  14. Denise bulgier says:

    Photo #5 Tanae and Ian

  15. Amanda K says:

    Photo #5!

  16. Viviana says:

    Photo #5

  17. Lawrence Abrahamson says:

    # 3

  18. Karen Hess says:

    Number 5!!!

  19. Julie Vandertie says:


  20. The Schmidts says:

    Number 5 –

  21. Cynthia Lizzi says:

    Photo #5 Tanae & Ian

  22. Sara Delgado says:

    Photo number 5 .. all are beautiful but this just is an amazing wedding photo! 💕

  23. Lidia T Hawryluk says:

    Photo #5 Tanae and Ian

  24. Denise Blain says:

    Photo #5 Tanae & Ian

  25. Lidia T Hawryluk says:

    Photo # 5 – Tanae and Ian

  26. Tracy Taylor says:

    Photo #5 !!

  27. Donna Kensler says:

    Definitely #5!

  28. Jessica says:

    Photo number 5

  29. Kimberly Price says:

    Photo #5

  30. Sabrina Kiley-Chang says:


  31. Micah says:

    Photo #5

  32. Tracey says:

    #5 Tanae and Ian

  33. Marcia Moore says:


  34. Cynthia Lizzi says:

    #5 Tanae & Ian

  35. Tara K says:

    Photo #4

  36. Katie says:

    #3 is my favorite

  37. Tara says:

    Photo 3!

  38. Nate Bouchard says:

    Photo 3!

  39. Nolan says:

    Photo 3

  40. Barry says:

    Photo #3

  41. Family Photo # 3 The Bouchard’s.

  42. Dae McNatt says:

    Photo #3

  43. Christine Idland says:

    # 5 Ian and Tanae!

  44. Lindsay says:

    Photo 3

  45. Becky says:

    Photo #3

  46. Stacy D. says:

    Photo #3

  47. Erin says:

    Photo #3, the Bouchard Family.

  48. Patty Sosa says:

    Photo number 2

  49. Sherrie says:

    Photo #3

  50. Kim Rex says:

    Photo #3

  51. Andrea says:

    Photo 3!

  52. Patricia Yemm says:

    Photo #3 – Bouchard Family

  53. Dave says:

    Photo 3

  54. Cheryl says:

    Photo 3

  55. Darlene Marten says:

    Photo #3

  56. Patsy says:


  57. Tarah says:

    Photo #3

  58. Amy says:

    Photo #3

  59. Kelly says:

    Photo 3

  60. GARY M PRESS says:

    Photo #3

  61. Jill says:

    Photo #5 Tanae and Ian

  62. Donald says:

    Photo #3

  63. Sherri says:

    Photo #3

  64. Shawna says:

    Photo 3!

  65. Ted. Reighard says:

    Photo 3. Beautiful.

  66. Imraan Juman says:

    Photo #3

  67. Kim Forbes says:

    Gorgeous photos! I love them all!

  68. This is such a cool idea!! And your work is gorgeous!!

  69. Josefin says:

    Oh my! This is not easy. I love picture #3 but I will put my vote for #5. It look so powerful and the gorgeous couple are stunning!

  70. Melissa says:


  71. Cathy Widener says:


  72. Libbie says:


  73. Kristy says:

    Photo #3 beautiful family picture

  74. Becky says:

    Photo #3 !

  75. Melanie Lafferty says:

    Photo #3- Bouchard fam

  76. Julia Folk says:


  77. Ian Lizzi says:

    Photo #5

  78. Alejandro King says:

    Tanae and Ian #5

  79. Talicia Tazewell says:

    #5 Tanae and Ian. Such a beautiful couple.

  80. Amy says:

    Photo #3

  81. Lillie says:

    # 5 Tanae and Ian
    Beautiful and In Love

  82. Troy Tucker says:

    #5 Tanae and Ian

  83. Fallon says:

    Avery 1

  84. Tara Bryk says:


  85. Margaret Pasone says:

    Avery #1

  86. AJ Kovalchik, Sr says:

    Avery #1

  87. Avery says:

    #1 avery💛

  88. John P Kovalchik says:

    Avery #1

  89. Anthony J Kovalchik, Jr says:

    Avery #1

  90. Brian Andrews, Sr says:

    Avery #1

  91. Rob Corba says:

    AVERY #1

  92. Tony Malandra says:

    Avery #1

  93. Tom Borum says:

    Avery #1

  94. Kyle Prelewicz says:

    Avery #1

  95. Allie Button says:

    #1 Avery

  96. Rene Aufiero says:

    Photo #1….AVERY❤

  97. Deborah says:

    Avery #1

  98. Mary D. Snyder says:

    #1. Avery

  99. Kelly Reighard says:

    Photo #3 Bouchard Family!

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