I create emotional, couple-driven films and photos. My ideal clients are wildly, ridiculously in-love and have a deep appreciation for art.
Serving All of North Carolina
I’m a Durham-based filmmaker and photographer who has lived a life of service and adventure. Durham, my current base and home, is where about half of my couples live and where I’ve built lifelong relationships with North Carolina’s best elopement vendors. My favorite thing about Durham is the Eno River State Park. I spend a lot of time there creating, playing, and meditating. I grew up a few hours away, in the Boone, NC area, and the Blue Ridge Mountains are another place I call home. It’s a spiritual area that has a lot of history, and when I’m there, I’m inspired to create and am so grateful that I get to capture elopements there every year.
I’ve been able to explore the world, in part through my service in the Marine Corps, but my favorite destination was Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I met my two nieces there for the first time while supporting my brother through the adoption process. Ethiopians are some of the coolest people in the world and their food is ridiculously good. I spent a lot of time in Ethiopian coffee ceremonies getting to know the locals and building friendships plus tons of traveling to ancient places.
Another favorite place to visit is Tulum, Mexico, where I spend my winter months. 8 years ago, I mentored another photographer and she started a successful business in Tulum, before it became a popular wedding destination. She also went there to heal, and following her journey, I saw all the beauty, amazing people, and good energy that Tulum had to offer – I felt called to create there. After living in Tulum for months I call it my second home. There I’ve produced my most creative wedding films and photo stories for couples. Along my journey, I’ve made lifelong friends in the Tulum wedding industry and look forward to creating for more couples there.
I also spent over a decade teaching art, and it’s been an emotional journey saying goodbye to teaching filmmaking and photography to teenagers. But when Covid hit, I left and never looked back, completely focused on creating masterpieces for couples. Teaching my art form before I went full-time has been invaluable. At every wedding, I use something that I learned teaching. Whether it’s understanding how to shoot a whole wedding by myself (photo + video) or live-streaming a ceremony from my drone. When I left, I was fully ready and fully equipped to serve my couples, without having to go through a learning curve like most do. I was able to hit the ground running and offer professional work that my couples and I would be proud of. I cry every time I make a wedding film. I’m actually a super sensitive person who will cry at the drop of a dime if I feel magic. I pour every bit of myself into the work I create for my couples and I feel that during the process.
A: Mark Maya, Owner
Q: What’s a fun fact about yourself?
A: I was a public school teacher for ten years
Q: What is your favorite thing about elopements?
A: Helping couples think outside the box!
Q: Is there a wedding detail on your bucket list?
A: A bouquet of snakes
Q: Tell us about your favorite elopement!
A: A couple hired me to capture their elopement in two parts. One, at a backyard park in Durham, NC and then two, at their Outer Banks honeymoon suite only accessible by boat.
“There are a lot of important decisions that go into the planning of a wedding…for us, the decision of a photographer/videographer was the most important. Furthermore finding the right photographer who supports and love the LGBTQ+ community was KEY.
Mark Maya was beyond the perfect photographer. His eye and style captured our day in the most stunning way imaginable. His ability to capture every little moment in both photography and video allows us to relive that day and share it with loved ones who couldn’t join us. Mark was more than our photographer, he became a part of our family celebration and I can’t imagine having hired anyone else.
If you’re looking to have your wedding captured in a unique, powerful way…Mark Maya is your guy! Plus he travels so he’s your guy wherever you are!” Sarah and Diana, 2021