about us

Margaret James is a female-led photo and film team inspired by your extraordinary love story.

We capture your day in a way that encapsulates your love in the truest form. We pick up our cameras with the ambition to put our hearts into every wedding we are a part of so that your legacy can withstand the test of time.

Your photos and film should capture the true essence of your wedding day, reminding you of how you felt in every moment...

The significance of who you choose to stand with you on your wedding day is profound. From your wedding party to your wedding vendors, you will look back on those surrounding you with warmth, joy, and gratitude for making your day truly special.

Our philosophy is to go above and beyond so that you always feel heard and that your vision comes to life. We value and take notice of the intimate moments and details that are a part of the bigger picture of your wedding day. As you're celebrating your wedding, we’ll be making sure that even the smallest of details are taken care of. You’ll be left with tangible memories that tell your story.

We are not only photographers and filmmakers, we are storytellers with intention.

meet the mj team

Owner, Lead Photographer and Filmmaker, Margaret and James' Granddaughter

The reason I choose to document weddings is so very simple, but can be easily overlooked in favor of the fleeting. 

I launched Margaret James in 2019, on what would have been my grandma’s 92nd birthday. Their legacy is the invisible string that ties my business together, and wraps it in a love that cannot be confined to one lifetime. Their legacy lives in me now.

It’s in my distinct memories of making blueberry muffins in the kitchen with my grandma. It’s kept safe in the locket my grandfather James gifted her, delicately wrapped around my wedding bouquet as I walked down the aisle, and yes…it lives in the photographs of them that I treasure. 



Margaret James’ legacy is constantly expanding. It’s now shared with my husband Andy, and our two daughters, Palmer and Madelyn. And our energetic pup, Piper. We live in a small town outside the city of Pittsburgh. Spending time outside and running around together feels like a breath of fresh air, and a pause from everyday life. 

It’s grown to include wedding film in addition to photography. Your wedding video is a living heirloom that preserves your voices, your dance moves, and mannerisms in a way that a photograph simply can’t. It’s the spirit of your legacy.

It’s given me the freedom to build a life that would make Margaret and James, and my daughters, and whoever joins our legacy next, so very proud. 


Rebecca and Margaret, 1993

There were moments of our wedding day that I had no idea she was taking photos that

I now get to cherish forever.

There were moments of our wedding day that I had no idea she was taking photos that I now get to

cherish forever.

Photographer and Filmmaker

Maria has a knack for capturing moments, that turn into memories, that you didn’t know your heart needed. She thrives on authentic connections and relationships. Ever since Maria can remember, she’s always been compelled to create art. Her true passion ignited after her daughter was born; wanting to gift her tangible memories from her childhood in the form of photo albums. 

Maria believes there is truly no better feeling than holding a still photo in hand - looking at each little detail, rubbing the corners of the edges, pausing and reflecting on that one moment, frozen in time. But with video, it has a way of rushing warm emotions through your body and releasing them as you appreciate the scene before you. Both mediums, together, allow us to tell the bigger picture of your story; from wedding day to establishing your legacy. 

As a woman, wife, and mother, Maria sees immeasurable value in creating tangible memories so that they'll be enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for years to come. She strives to create heirlooms for clients that display genuine connection, stories, and experiences.

meet the mj team

meet the mj team

Assistant and Second Photographer

Jordan landed his start in photography due to happenstance. As Margaret and James' grandson, he takes great pride in not only the name he carries with him but what Margaret James represents.

Jordan holds the memories of Margaret and photos of, both, Margaret and James close to his heart. With only having seen them together in photographs, he can still feel the love the two of them shared. The type of love that can be felt through a photograph is something he wishes to recreate for each couple who entrusts MJ with their legacy.

Witnessing the raw, in between moments of the wedding day fuels Jordan with passion to capture lasting memories for each of our couples. Knowing that he is playing a small part in one of their most important days is something incredibly special.

Jordan's hope is that each couples love will be felt through the generations, leaving a tangible legacy - allowing them to reflect on old photos of their grandparents, just like he has been able to. 

Connect with Us

"Margaret James knocked my expectations out of the park. From the moment Rebecca arrived she was enthusiastic about the day and considerate of everyone’s emotions; she really makes you feel so special. Rebecca has such a creative mind and vision. You can feel her talent the way she directs your movements."

The summer of 1942, James Roy Burkey met a girl that forever changed his life. Margaret was fearless, genuine, and to James’ eye – every bit of beautiful. They grew up in the same town, minutes away from each other, never having met before that summer.
Margaret was fifteen, still a girl herself, but with no doubt an absolute lady. She carried herself gracefully, with a hint of sass, knowing exactly what she wanted in the world. Margaret had no idea she would meet the love of her life at such a young age. James was six years older than Margaret, nothing unheard of during the time. It took a bit for James to approach Margaret but when he did – her mind went blank, something that didn’t happen often. James was tall, dark and handsome – standing over 6’ tall, a dreamboat of a man. Some would have even considered him to be a gentle giant. They continued to spend every second that they could together, learning something new about each other with every moment that passed by. They fell in love.

their story

Six months had gone by since the attack on Pearl Harbor. With no end of the war in sight, James decided to enlist. As much as he loved Margaret, they need for him overseas was greater. He knew somehow, that he would make his way back to her.
For the next three years, James carried Margaret’s picture with him – never losing hope in the love they found years before. While Margaret carried a locket he gave to her, close to her heart, with their pictures placed carefully inside. The thought of Margaret was what got James through the war, with one glimpse of her picture he found what he needed to carry on another day while witnessing all the poverty and tragedy around him.
On September 2, 1945 World War II had ended. The next day in the Philippines, where James was stationed, Japanese forces surrendered to the Allies. It was over, James could make his way home to Margaret. James often feared that after only spending a summer together that Margaret may forget about him. Three months of memories to get them through three years of separation by world divide. When he arrived home, she was there.
On September 2, 1945 World War II had ended. The next day in the Philippines, where James was stationed, Japanese forces surrendered to the Allies. It was over, James could make his way home to Margaret. 

James often feared that after only spending a summer together that Margaret may forget about him. Three months of memories to get them through three years of separation by world divide. When he arrived home, she was there.
Less than a year later, they were married. Soon after, they welcomed a sweet baby girl, Linda, into the world. The next twenty years were spent raising their daughter and growing their relationship, continuing to love each other through every hill and valley life put in front of them. Having thought they were settled with one child, grown and out of the house, Margaret and James learned that they would be blessed with another daughter, Roiann, at the ages of thirty-nine and forty-five.
Margaret and James, although a bit older this time around, never skipped a beat. They gave all their love and energy, not having Roiann know anything different. When Margaret would get upset or go on a tangent, James would just sit back, listen, loving her through any situation. Their children knew nothing but love between the two of them – setting an example of love, one could ever hope to find someday.
A month after celebrating their daughter, Roiann’s tenth birthday, James suffered what Margaret thought to be a light stroke, leaving him ill and less like himself.

They went to the doctor unexpectant of the news they were about to receive. James was diagnosed with cancer. The cancer metastasized into tumors on the brain. Three months later, on his fifty-sixth birthday, Margaret lost the love of her life and James lost his short but strong battle.
Margaret went on to love James the best she knew how. They had made it through three years together with only three months of memories. She now had thirty-five years of love, memories, laughter shared and two daughters together. Margaret knew someday that they would meet again. And that, they did.















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extraordinary love story.

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