Doors of Frederick collage. Photos by Mary Kate Battles.

Photographing the Doors of Frederick

08/25/2017
By Preservation Maryland

Frederick-based photographer, Mary Kate Battles, challenged herself to document the doors of Frederick – and succeed with her A Door A Day project on Instagram. She hopes to turn the beautiful images into a book in the future. In the mean time find out more about who’s knocking:

WHO’s KNOCKING?

Doors of Frederick is a  personal project by photographer Mary Kate Battles sharing and celebrating the beautiful doors in our beloved historic city. After several years of admiring all the doors, Mary Kate (MK) decided to start documenting them. This small site is a way to share her project with others. MK moved to Frederick in 2008 and instantly fell in love with the people and homes of Downtown Frederick. MK is a full time professional photographer who focuses on wedding, event and lifestyle imagery with her company Mary Kate McKenna Photography. Her work can be seen in national wedding magazines, on corporate materials, and, her favorite place, on the walls of hundreds of happy clients. When MK isn’t photographing clients or Downtown Frederick, you can find her browsing the shops on Market and Patrick Streets with her husband Joe and her weenie dog, Henry.

INTERVIEW WITH MK

Tell us a little about yourself. Are you a lifelong resident of Frederick, Maryland?

I’m originally from the Chicago area and moved to Washington, DC for school. After ten years in the district, I moved to Frederick in 2008 with my then boyfriend, now husband Joe. At first I missed the hustle and bustle of DC, but quickly fell in love with Frederick – all the charm of the Midwest with a vibrant history and downtown.

Obviously photography is a real passion for you – when did that start?

I’ve loved photography since I started doing it in 4-H at 10 years old. While I went to college for international studies, I was still doing photography on the side – in fact I started my business in my dorm room. After graduation, I continued to photograph events, families and weddings on the weekends. After two years in a government position, I went full time with my photography business and I’ve never looked back!

In a nutshell, what was your front door project all about?

Doors of Frederick began as a challenge to myself to see if I could actually complete a year-long photo project. But a few weeks in, when I really started to get a following, and there were so many wonderful residents chiming in about my photos, I realized it was much more than that. It was about seeing the place you live, places you drive and walk by every single day, from a different perspective. To pay attention to the little details that make historic downtown Frederick so great.

There’s lots of great things about Frederick, why focus on the doors?

You’re so right- there are many amazing things about Frederick. I have always loved doors and admired them in every city I’ve traveled. As a storyteller, there’s just something about them- they share the history of the people who have lived there. And I just think that’s so special and unique.

You developed a pretty significant Instagram following over the past year – how did you do it?

I began sharing the information for @DoorsOfFrederick on all my photography channels and started with a base. Those 100 or so helpers/followers did a lot of sharing to get things kicked off. Visit Frederick City & County and Downtown Frederick Partnership also shared, which gave me a huge boost. I also searched popular hashtags for doors – doors are a well-loved subject on Instagram! – and of course Frederick hashtags as well. Last but not least, I believe posting every single day, at the same time, also really helped.

What’s next for the front door project – another year of posts?

Much to dismay of the die-hard Doors of Frederick followers, there will not be another year of doors, at least not on a consistent basis. I’ll share when I find a great new doors, but the focus this year is getting our poster, cards and prints designed and also working on a book. I’ve teamed up with Meredith, the owner of the Downtown Frederick-based interior design firm Tuscan Blue Design, to collaborate on a book about the doors of our beloved city and the architectural history. It’s going to be a beautifully designed coffee table book and I’m so excited about it.

Should we expect to see you focus on a different aspect of Frederick’s architecture in the future?

I’d love to say yes, but the answer is – I’m not sure. Doors of Frederick is such a great project, but it takes up a lot of time and my focus in 2017 is a bit different than it was in 2016. You should expect to see some updated images over the year of Frederick and all the beauty that surrounds our downtown on my social media channels and some updates about our book and other exciting items. Thanks for coming on the journey!

Doors of Frederick Website

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