Goult, France

I basically went all the way to South of France for this cooking class. It took three days to get here and there were times the thought did enter my mind that God might not want this for me and that I led Him instead of Him leading me. I was being tested to trust and not for a moment to think that God is not good and didn’t care about me. So when my feet landed in Aix-en-Provence the evening of June 19, 2019,  I knew that this cooking class was a GIFT straight from heaven. The experience with Giuseppina Mabilia was more wonderful than I imagined; Giuseppina is a woman of vision and passion. I loved being there with my good friend, Claire, and five other people from Hong Kong. The day was like a dream and it will be one of the highlights in my entire life. I am beyond thankful.
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4France_20190620_MariaPeterson0013 France_20190620_MariaPeterson001120190627_untitled_0002 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0026France_20190620_MariaPeterson0023 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0045 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0075 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0029 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0110France_20190620_MariaPeterson0087 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0088 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0140 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0054 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0107 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0150France_20190620_MariaPeterson0168 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0170 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0187France_20190620_MariaPeterson0190 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0194 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0205 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0209 20190627_untitled_0001-2France_20190620_MariaPeterson0241 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0225 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0227France_20190620_MariaPeterson0237France_20190620_MariaPeterson0245France_20190620_MariaPeterson0255 France_20190620_MariaPeterson0252“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”
- Harriet van Horne -




Sometimes I’m in an uncomfortable place where I feel like I’m on an assignment but I don’t have all the details before me. When it comes to photography, there are a few situations where I feel like I’m “not done” or unable to put up a proper blog and questioning whether I’m just slacking or there’s more to the story…or there’s a deeper truth I’m supposed to wait for. This is the case with Christina and Kyle. I never felt settled about putting up a blog of their wedding 9 months ago in Austin, TX…but now I realized that the more precious story is this trip they made all the way to Panama to have an intimate wedding celebration where Abuelo/Grandpa Ramiro can join them. Sharing the traditional Panamanian wedding cake (Sopa Borracha) was something special to Grandpa’s heart and now they got to share that moment with him. This might be very ordinary to most people, but I feel so blessed and privileged that I was able to be the documentarian in this life-giving celebration and it makes my heart so full knowing that God appointed this special place and time for me. These are the things that make me feel alive and I am beyond thankful for the gift of photography. So being an artist is becoming less and less about the camera and  cranking out beautiful images and having people’s approval…but more about being fully present, truly engaging with people that I admire and love, and learning something. And in between those sacred things, I take some photos and hopefully tell the most sincere and beautiful story I know how.
P.S. And if you are reading this blog, how amazing is it that the wedding celebration for Christina+Kyle happened on Grandpa’s farm and the million dollar view is that of a lake that feeds into the Panama Canal which is known as the Bridge of the World and Center of the Universe?! The incredible things you learn when you travel. I love it!

Panama_20190526_MPeterson0007 20190612_untitled_0001-4 Panama_20190526_MPeterson000820190612_untitled_0003-2 20190612_untitled_0002-2 20190612_untitled_0004Panama_20190526_MPeterson0004 Panama_20190526_MPeterson000620190612_untitled_0001-3 20190525_MPeterson_0003 20190525_MP_0006Panama_20190525_MPeterson009420190612_untitled_0002Panama_20190525_MPeterson0104 Panama_20190525_MPeterson0064 Panama_20190525_MPeterson0085 Panama_20190525_MPeterson0073 Panama_20190525_MPeterson0074 Panama_20190525_MPeterson0071 Panama_20190525_MPeterson0044 Panama_20190525_MPeterson0040Panama_20190525_MPeterson0041 Panama_20190525_MPeterson0042 Panama_20190525_MPeterson0046 Panama_20190525_MPeterson0068Panama_20190525_MPeterson0028Panama_20190525_MPeterson0153 Panama_20190525_MPeterson0130Panama_20190525_MPeterson011520190612_untitled_0001 Panama_20190525_MPeterson0058Panama_20190525_MPeterson0107 Panama_20190525_MPeterson002420190612_untitled_0001-5Panama_20190525_MPeterson0321 20190612_untitled_0001-7 20190612_untitled_0002-3 Panama_20190525_MPeterson0360 20190612_untitled_0001-10Panama_20190525_MPeterson0357Panama_20190525_MPeterson0355Panama_20190525_MPeterson018820190612_untitled_0001-820190612_untitled_0001-9Panama_20190525_MPeterson0232Panama_20190525_MPeterson0231Panama_20190525_MPeterson0214 Panama_20190525_MPeterson0224 Panama_20190525_MPeterson0222

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched…they must be felt with the heart.”



Many thanks from the bottom of my heart to my friend, Valerie, for being my traveling buddy for this trip. There’s no way I could’ve done it without you, Val. Thank you for saying “Yes” to every moment…no matter how big or small. And most of all, thank you for driving me around on the smallest roads in the world. :)

Ireland_20190314_MPeterson0015 Ireland_20190314_MPeterson0010 20190429_MP_0001Ireland_20190314_MPeterson0027Ireland_20190314_MPeterson0043 20190429_MP_0001-3 20190429_MP_0002 Ireland_20190314_MPeterson0047Ireland_20190314_MPeterson0090 Ireland_20190314_MPeterson0092 20190429_MP_0001-4 Ireland_20190314_MPeterson0069 Ireland_20190314_MPeterson0075 Ireland_20190314_MPeterson0084 Ireland_20190314_MPeterson0099Ireland_20190314_MPeterson0094 20190429_MP_0002-2 20190429_MP_0001-520190429_MP_0001-6Ireland_20190316_MariaPeterson001820190429_untitled_0001 20190429_untitled_0002Ireland_20190316_MariaPeterson0193Ireland_20190316_MariaPeterson0051 Ireland_20190316_MariaPeterson0107

“May the dreams you hold dearest be those which come true and the kindness you spread keep returning to you.” – An Irish Blessing



It’s been a while since I’ve done an Editing image but I took this photo of the Cliffs of Moher just last month in Ireland and really love Lightroom for making editing wonderful for an image that was all over the place with exposure. It took maybe a minute to edit and I really love the end result; something I could totally enlarge and treasure if I want. This is the power of shooting in raw and know how to edit simply. :)


I largely trust my intuition and inspiration when I compose photos. I get inspired mainly by my desire to express something I feel, though I usually cannot tell exactly what that is. ~ Elena Shumilova


The Morton Arboretum {Winter}

We had snow, sleet, and rain last night in Chicago. The sun came out this morning and we  had the most gorgeous scenery at The Morton Arboretum. We basically had an ice show and it’s impossible to document the true beauty on camera. There are things in life that you’d have to experience to deeply understand. :)

MortonArboretum_20190213_MPeterson0017 MortonArboretum_20190213_MPeterson0020 MortonArboretum_20190213_MPeterson0030 MortonArboretum_20190213_MPeterson0043MortonArboretum_20190213_MPeterson0068 MortonArboretum_20190213_MPeterson0054MortonArboretum_20190213_MPeterson0036 MortonArboretum_20190213_MPeterson0052 MortonArboretum_20190213_MPeterson0081MortonArboretum_20190213_MPeterson0057MortonArboretum_20190213_MPeterson0045 MortonArboretum_20190213_MPeterson0082 MortonArboretum_20190213_MPeterson0072 MortonArboretum_20190213_MPeterson0076MortonArboretum_20190213_MPeterson0080

“May You find me GRATEFUL, God, wherever I set my feet.”