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The secret to making a relationship last. ~ Dana + Dwayne {us}

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The sun is setting on a gorgeous Philadelphia spring day and as the last of the rays ping off of the top of the wall surrounding the roof deck lounge that Dana & Dwayne are snuggling up at, we chat for a moment about relationships and people.  We have finished our {us} session and now as the sun sets we talk for a few moments about how every single person who you make contact with in your life has a very distinctive personality and way of engaging socially.  Some people are quiet and introverted yet bloom when you shower them with your affection, humor and love.  Others are outgoing and extroverted and touch everyone in their path with their aura.

I look at Dwayne and he is smiling that smile towards Dana that I have seen for the past several hours.  He cracks a joke and she bursts out laughing, it is a scene that I have seen many times today.  He tells me that when he is with Dana, he just wants to make her happy, to put a smile on her face.  It’s a job he takes very seriously and I can see that.  He says that her smile is something he loves to see and that making her feel good makes him feel good…

I firmly believe that some of the biggest challenges in entering into and maintaining a relationship comes when you go in search of finding someone or something that can make you feel a certain way.  Many times in my past when something would come to an end I would ask myself what it was that I lacked.  Was I not smart enough, pretty enough, tall enough, thin enough, fun enough, quiet enough?  I’m sure we all have toiled over such things from time to time.  As my experiences have molded my opinions I discovered the secret to making any kind of relationship last.   It’s very simple but all parties have to be on board.  Whether it is a friendship, family or love interest this works!!!

When you seek a relationship to validate yourself and search for someone to fill a void or complete you, you aren’t bringing your best self.  The only sure fire way to make a relationship last is if you treat that connection as a place that you come to GIVE and not a place that you go to TAKE.  It really is that simple.  If everyone would just engage with others and give more of themselves and anyone who receives would just give back, well, this world we call home would be a better home.

Too often we may give way too much energy to people and situations that only depletes our Happy, ya know?  Don’t feed those relationships, feed the relationships that fuel you.

Thank you to Dana & Dwayne for fueling each other and for making a space for each other, for giving!  You make it easy for me to stand in front of you, push a button and know the realness of your giggles, thoughts and tears.

PS… It doesn’t hurt when you look so fierce together, especially in that dress Dana!

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Don’t forget to Spread the Love by commenting, pinning, sharing or liking =)  Visit our Page for more pics.

He is surely smiling down on you ~ a Philadelphia be loved {we} session with Marcel & Vern

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I’ve made it my business to study people. The way they talk, what they say, how they engage with others. To say that human behavior intrigues me would be an understatement. I’ve made it my goal to snatch and grab at the moments that I think will matter to the people whose paths we cross based on my observations. Sometimes my heart swells and sometimes it bleeds but know that when it swells it swells with you and when it bleeds it bleeds for you…

A beautiful baby girl has graced us =) I see the adoration and pride in her fathers eyes. It is a look that uncontrollably emanates from you when you are bursting with love and pride. I saw it the night Marcel danced with her father on her wedding day, his love lit up the room. I see it now in the way Vern can’t help but smile and gaze at his sweet & perfect little bundle. There is a saying that when a baby smiles or laughs in their sleep that an angel is talking to them. Well, baby girl, he is surely smiling down on you and probably whispering sweetness into your ears on the daily.

Congrats to Marcel and Vern and big brother Chaz on the newest addition to your family! May you love her and guide her and protect her and teach her all the best ways to love, just like you were taught. With Mother’s day already past and Father’s day quickly approaching, now would be a good time to spread some Happy to your Daddy’s. Go do it now. Days pass by and life makes no promises.

May this next chapter in your lives Marcel & Vern be filled to the brim with as much care, strength and love that you so easily share. I count my lucky stars to have met you. xoxoxo

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To view a wee bit more from this session feel free to visit The Be {loved}

Be so {happy} that when others look at you they will be happy too ~ a {we} session

While sitting and having coffee with Nina as we planned her family {we} session and story I felt and heard a recurring theme evolving. You see, Madison, Nina & Kevin’s daughter is at an age right now where the best words to describe her (and these don’t do her justice at all ) are Happy, Independent, fun & loving. I could see that all too familiar look in Nina’s eyes as she spoke of Madison. It’s the unmistakeable look of parental adoration and love. It’s that shine or gleam in your eyes and the upward curve of your lips as you smile, it’s this sense of pride and of joy and the wonder that your heart could even expand this much for another living being. Being in Nina’s presence reminded me of how easy life is to celebrate and how effortless love should be. I knew in that very moment what was most import to depict in our session and I know as a mother how valued those little things are.

A smile.

A giggle.

A cuddle.

A show of Independence.

A connection.

Unconditional Love.


An afternoon in their life.

These moments I captured on that ridiculously gorgeous day of this incredibly captivating child and her adoring parents are some of my favorites this year. It’s not that it was perfect from beginning to end because anyone with a toddler knows that second by second emotions change, it is however the beautiful in between nuggets! These little gems, slices of time, moments are now frozen in time and I’m honored to be the one chosen to be a part of making them.

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Thank you Nina, Kevin, Madison and big brother Simba for giving me such beauty to work on today! Here are a few of my favorites. To view the full collection of sneak peeks head on over to my page and don’t forget to spread the love and like, share, pin or comment. Happy Monday Everyone =)



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A few from sessions in our edit queue – be loved {us & we} sessions & stories

Welcome sweet little baby sister.  Welcome to the world.  I will look after you always.  Congrats to Marcel and Vern and big bro Chaz on the beautiful little love bug addition to their family!  More to come soon!

Welcome Miss M

He makes her smile very effortlessly, she loves the way he makes people feel so welcome.  Here is sneak from their Philadelphia {us} session.  Love, love is in the air for these two cuties!


Man oh man oh man!  We are completed excited to shoot and explore the grounds of their wedding but until then, strolling around Ellicot City finding sweet spots like this will do just fine!  Here is just one from Chris and Kristen


It’s all about the “we” ~ Mel + Dwayne {a 10 Year Vow Renewal} Iberostar ~ Jamaica

Make a wish, an intention for the ones we are here for and close your eyes, really take this wish into your mind, your thoughts, your imagination.  Wish them well, wish them love, wish for them your hopes and dreams and as the fire propels the lantern towards the stars, do it.  Do it now, wish that wish and release the lantern, let it carry with the wind.  Let it carry higher and further than we can see.

I saw her close her eyes and as her lashes touched her cheek the upward tilt of the corners of her mouth gave way to a grin, a smile, a hope, a wish, a laugh.  I heard her laugh, although it was more of a chuckle.  The kind of chuckle elicited from excitement and wonder and as she took her hand and gently guided the lantern, coaxing it upwards, he turned and his head lifted towards the sky as they followed the travels of their wish as their lantern joined others that raced towards fulfillment up and away, far, far away.


“It is believed that the longer and higher the lanterns float, the more likely the deities will receive your requests. The sky lantern ceremony has come to represent the releasing of one’s deepest fears and desires. It is a symbolic cleansing, a letting go of everything that troubles you. It also the beginning of a new, enlightened you, with the light illuminating the path of knowledge and righteousness.”

I watched each of these lanterns that were released, each and every one of these wish lanterns, as they at first floated then seemed to race each other quickly disappearing into the star filled sky above the beautiful Caribbean Sea.   I took this moment in.  I knew it when I saw it.  I knew that for me, this was THE MOMENT!  The moment that the universe comes into perfect clarity.  The moment that every single person that you can see – they are all filled with the same exact thoughts, thoughts filled with hope and love and well wishes.  So many moments on this trip have given me the warm fuzzies. This trip, this family, these friends, the way that Mel and Dwayne make you feel like a lifelong friend…  They have overwhelmed me with their outpouring of love and I’m a woman on the edge!  My heart can’t take much more of this.  They have opened their hearts and their trust so many times and I am for a change, speechless.

Carmela and Dwayne were married 10 years ago and today they renew their vows and celebrate amongst their friends and family.  Their children play a huge role in this celebration and from the first moment I meet them  I can see so much of the positive interaction, love, attention and parenting that they shower on little Dwayne and Dinae.  There is so much I want to write but I will save it for when I post the highlight film.  I think that having audio and motion will do better justice to certain memories that tugged so severely at my heartstrings.

It’s all about the “we”.  They are the We.  They are a team.  A super awesome Family… I have one single wish for you both and your family.  It is my wish that you always follow your hearts.  It has brought you here to these moments.  You were always meant to be together.  Every path you have taken, every choice you have made has lead you to each other and to this day.

Here are just some of my faves, check out our page for the full collection.



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M o r e   i n f o