Hart & Sol Photo in NYC and the San Francisco Bay Area!

Before we get to the Big News part of this post, I just want to take a time-out to say how thrilled and excited I am to get to write a post for Hart & Sol Photo. It might or might not be the case that I basically yelled these ladies until they gave in and started a photography business. But it’s definitely the case that Hart & Sol Photo started with essentially zero money and a whole lot of faith in APW sponsorship and you guys. And you repaid that trust over and over and over. But what has been truly amazing for me to see is how Hart & Sol Photo has repaid your trust in them with a tireless dedication to their artistic work and building their business in an organic and meaningful way. And now, a year later, their portfolio is totally different, and totally awesome. Their work is growing so fast you can’t quite figure out how it’s happening. And that’s amazing.

And heck. As you know, I like the women (Maddie & Monica) behind Hart & Sol Photo so much that I hired one of them to be my right-hand editor on APW. And, I’ve worked with them in real life. Maddie recently came with me to shoot my excellent hair stylest (Wes!) and when she gave me the pictures, I was totally blown away. Her work has grown so fast and so hard that I didn’t even know what hit me.

Which brings me to the big news. If you’ve been paying attention (even just to this post) you probably noticed that things were changing for Hart & Sol Photo. Up until now, Hart & Sol were a Tri-State Area based operation. But then in November, one half of H&S (Maddie) moved out here to San Francisco. Well! I’m delighted to be the one to get to announce that Hart & Sol is going bi-costal. That means that both the East and West Coasts can get the Hart & Sol artistry, humor, awesomeness, and affordable pricing. That. Is. Amazing. Bay Area: you’ve been warned. Awesome is now in your corner (and LA: Maddie will totally travel to you for the cost of a flight). Now, let’s talk details. (Oh! And the West and East photos are the photos taken by the respective West and East photographers, and you can roll over the pictures to see who took them.)

Hart & Sol West

From Maddie: When I first heard the news that my husband had gotten a job in California, my initial thought was, “OMG how am I going to tell Monica?!” (Which, by the way, is not the appropriate response when your husband has awesome news, FYI). Over the past year, we had worked so tirelessly to create an amazing brand, and you guys rallied so hard around what we were doing. You were excited about our vision, our art, and our partnership. And you made this company something awesome. So when we were faced with the challenge of splitting ourselves up over a few thousand miles, we felt it would be a complete injustice to the faith you put in our budding business to call it quits right then and there.

So we have exciting news.

Monica and I have decided to franchise our business and will now be offering services on the East and West Coast. Today marks the official launch of Hart & Sol West and Hart & Sol East, and we could not be more excited to share the news with APW first. And while we’ll technically be running our own mini Hart & Sols on either coast, we are still very much partners (there are weekly conference calls), and you still very much get the Hart & Sol experience when you hire one of us.

And, since we could never officially call ourselves separate, we are still available to shoot a select few weddings together if you book early!

About Maddie:
I’m not one of those people who has had a camera in her hands since forever. But I am the kind of person who was always looking to take pictures of people in love. Actually, my poor mother has this 24×36 print in her hallway of some random couple sitting in central park that I took my freshman year of college and gave to her for Christmas because I just LOOOOVED it so much. (You’re welcome, Mom). So. I’ve stopped pretending that I’m not an emotional person. I am. I mean, not disruptively so, but still. I care. A lot.

Because I’m so, ahem, in touch with my feelings (I’m a Cancer, I can’t help it) my goal as a photographer is to take whatever you’re feeling at a given moment during your wedding and translate that into a picture. Sometimes that means fuzzing things up a bit. Sometimes that means giving it to you straight. But I won’t be satisfied until you can look at a picture I took and be transported back to your wedding day. Because it’s like Meg says, “You’re not going to remember what your wedding looked like. You’re going to remember how you felt.”

Hart & Sol East

From Monica: When I think about our new business venture, I keep coming back to the idea of mitosis. We came together and created the brand that is now called Hart & Sol. And even though we’re now operating on separate coasts, and while we’re still obviously distinctly different people, we can’t help but carry the DNA of the other with us when we shoot. So, whether you’re booking Hart & Sol East in NYC or Hart & Sol West in San Francisco, you’re still kind of getting both of us. And we think that’s pretty awesome.

About Monica:
A few years after he passed, I was gifted my grandfather’s massive amateur photo archive. As a total photo nerd, I was in loss of words and feelings when it came to losing him. I sifted through about twenty boxes of color slides and unfolded an unbelievable photo-prologue to the couple who I would lovingly come to call, “Granddad and Grandma,” back when they were just William and Beverly.

The first couple of boxes held images William took while enlisted as an army cook during the Korean War. The photographs were not Time Life material by any means, but a slice of life as he lived it… rough, dirty, on the ocean, on edge, in the unknown, and… away from his new wife, my grandmother.

The second half chronicle his return, William and Beverly reunited, looking young and svelte. He traded his tattered uniform for a pair of fantastic horn-rimmed glasses and she wears a dress I am pretty sure I thrifted at the Salvy sixty years later. They are glamorous and hip, a pair of Madmen extras… and just as romanticized as I could continue to pine on, but I slowly realized that the William and Beverly in these photographs were real—the same grey haired miniature enthusiasts that smelled of coffee, expensive dryer sheets, and untreated lumber.

(So why am I telling you this story?)

I’ve never been a hopeless romantic, in fact, I’ve been rather realistic when it comes to love. So let’s get real: I want to create your photo-prologue. I want to supply you with a stress-free wedding vendor experience (Do those exist?) that leaves you with photographs that will usher your granddaughter into a whole new respect and love for you.

I want to fix your dress or boutonnière if it’s lookin’ crooked, and keep you in full supply of Clean and Clear oil sheets on hand, in case you’re lookin’ shiny. I hate getting my picture taken, so I know where you’re coming from, but I promise you—you’re beautiful. Hart and Sol mitosis gives birth to H+S East, based in Brooklyn, but willing to travel. We will continue to use a mixture of digital and film to document your day as it unfolds. You can find us at the corner of Art and Schwank.


And before we go, I have one final Hart & Sol story for you. It pretty much sums up why I love them, why you will love them, and why they are the most APW photographers ever. It might, however, make you teary:

A note about this couple above: They were not our clients. We were shooting a wedding at city hall for a different client, and these ladies came up to us and told Monica that their witness had bailed and they weren’t going to be able to get married that day if they couldn’t get another witness. So two awesome things happened. First, our amazing clients (these lovely people):

agreed to let Monica leave their wedding to be witness to these women. And then of course Monica not only played witness to these ladies, but photographed them for free. Best. Day. Ever.


I know right? Maddie and Monica are your people. So I’m beyond proud to get to introduce the world to Hart & Sol West, serving the San Francisco Bay Area (but willing and ready to travel), and Hart & Sol East, serving the Tri-State Area (but totally willing to travel farther for you guys). You’re going to have an amazing time together. I know this, because I’ve talked to past Hart & Sol clients, and it’s nothing but love and more love….

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  • I think these ladies are sizzling hot and I can’t wait to see what they do this year. I hate getting my picture taken. Like really really hate it, but if I kind of really want want to be photographed by these ladies because I know that they would make me look beautiful and also like myself, and almost no one has ever been able to do either of those things in the history of me getting my picture taken. If only I didn’t live across an ocean!

  • I really don’t quite know how you did it, but a sponsored post just made me cry. If I weren’t already married (and if I lived in the US), I’d hire you two like a shot.

  • So when is Hart & Sol South coming? I kid, I kid.
    These photos are STUNNING, ladies! Where have you been hiding them?! I’m so excited for you two and your awesome new adventure!

  • Shannon S

    This post makes me beyond happy! I first stumbled across APW in my pre-engaged stage and came across the post on Hart & Sol, I scoped (or stalked if you really want to know) their blog every day knowing that they’re style was perfect for me and my now fiance!

    Probably the day after we were officially engaged I contacted Maddie and Monica (even though I did not have a wedding date or venue), and told them I needed them to be our wedding photographers. Since that moment (a little over a year ago), I have nothing but amazing things to say about them (I can not even mention my wedding without mentioning theses two amazing women (totally normal right?)).

    We had our “we’re in love” shoot with Maddie, before she moved, at our apartment in Brooklyn, and she seriously just made us feel so comfortable and at ease (having your picture taken is not easy), and both my fiance and I really felt like we were hanging out with an old friend.

    So thank you APW for 1.this amazing (real) blog and 2.leading me to Hart & Sol. I can’t believe my wedding is less than 6 months away, and I know we found the best photographers to take part in our day!!!

  • I recently had the pleasure of meeting Maddie (H+S West) over the holidays and then AGAIN, I got to actually work with her just last weekend!

    You guys, this girl is dynamic, funny, and loves sappy romantic comedies which is pretty much everything that I would be looking for in a wedding photographer.

    She took “boudoir” photos for me (which is something I’ve never done before) but she made me feel SO comfortable even if I was just sitting around in my underpants. Oh, and I LOVE my pictures. Seriously.

    I can only imagine that if Maddie is that awesome, Monica is probably just as cool! Do yourself a favor and look at their amazing websites and enjoy the pretty!

  • PA

    That story at the end just made it! And I love (love, LOVE) the around-the-hedge picture, and the skirt-swirl picture!

    I’m so glad your business is taking off!

  • melissa

    As a budding photographer (with plans to focus on wedding photography + family portraits), I’ve been endlessly inspired by Maddie + Monica this year. This post was such a wonderful way to learn even more about a pair I admire.

    And seriously, Monica, any chance you and your family would share some of your gpa’s photos? They sound wonderful, as do your grandparents.

  • So I STILL haven’t met Monica, but if she’s anything like Maddie, I’m sure she kicks all kinds of ass! Mads is seriously one of my favourite people, and chances are she’ll be one of your faves too!

  • OH MY GOODNESS! Their work! It is insane! I cannot get over how much these two have grown – business-wise AND artistically in the last year! LOOOOVE IT. xoxo

  • Alyssa

    Oh my gosh! That photo of Maddie’s, where the couple is in front of the ivy wall, under the fall leaves, with the brick building in the back? Call me crazy, but it that Gonzaga University?

    Gorgeous post, and gorgeous photos.

  • Huge, GIANT, high five to Monica and Maddie!!! You girls rule. I’m crossing my fingers that Monica does headshots, because I love pretty pictures of myself, and I love supporting local ladies kicking ass.

  • Robin

    So excited for Monica to shoot my wedding this summer! h & s rocks!

  • Tamara Van Horn

    Dammit, Monica and Maddie? You LEAVE someone else’s wedding so a couple without a WITNESS can get married?! Seriously?! As a women who got married at SF City Hall and wasn’t 100% about my witness )and had lost a photog two weeks prior), you two deserve a medal- your *booked* couple deserves a medal. Love rulez!!!