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Jen + Michael = Rory. a {beloved} we story

We are strolling around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, casually chatting about how they met, the things they love and their plans for their wedding day.  I snap a few images,  every so often stopping as I see the change in light and as inspiration strikes.  We walk and soak in some of the spaces and places that have meaning to them.  We visit the very spot where Michael proposed to Jen and from a distance I document this beautiful interaction, they look so happy.   We climb hills.  They swing in swings. We blow dandelions into the wind. We crawl into a secret little tunnel within a row of small trees and bushes. ( Why yes, we do climb trees, crawl in bushes, hike hills and so much more over here at CG studios.  It’s always an adventure!) We visit their home on the waterfront and as the sun sets we finish our session with a beautiful chat about the fun that we had that day and how much they were looking forward to the images that we will create on their wedding day.

I remember the drive home from Baltimore that night and thinking about the ease of the session.  By ease I mean the authentic and organic feeling of the session.  I felt like I was in the company of two really sweet and adorably in love with each other people.  You know, “Those People”… Ha, ha!  You know that I know that you know what I’m talking about!  Those people, the ones that you see in the streets, in stores, on television, in magazines…  The ones that seem to have found the perfect partner, one who balances them.  The ones who everyone loves and rightfully so because “those people” are generally the ones that make it easy to build genuine lasting friendships because they are so likable.  So,  yup.  I’m gonna say that I felt very at ease with them and I feet so very lucky to consistently attract the types of clients who just blow my mind  in such a good way.  Seeing the way that Michaels’  eyes light up when he looks at Jen.  The look is full of happiness and kindness and strength and all the things that you would want to see in a gaze.  There is also the way that Jen fits so perfectly and looks so safe and comfortable in his embrace. Then there’s the sincerity and beautiful spirits that they both share as characteristics. So many things that afternoon that I learned about them.

Being emotionally & mentally present and invested in building a relationship with those around me is the backbone of my success as a photographer.  Hearing your stories and getting this inside scoop into the how and why of you as a couple helps me to be in tune on the wedding day and mentally available to document moments both as they occur and those that I anticipate.  I remember feeling excited to get back to the studio and edit the collection. I also felt a strong sense of duty to not let them down after hearing their excitement about the session and seeing the lovely interactions between them.  In my mind I know we made some beautiful images but it’s always nerve racking until the cards are loaded and edited.  In all of the years that I’ve been shooting, that particular feeling never goes away.  That feeling of always wanting to live up to and to exceed the expectations of those that place their faith and trust in my studio.  Consequently, several of the images we made that day are in my favorites of all time folder.  It was a day that started our journey and one that has spawned so many connections with their friends, families and guests with which I have been fortunate to have become the photographer and at times filmmaker as well.

Fast forward to the wedding day, we have canvassed the city of Philadelphia from day into night shooting at various locations.  Everyone that day is so helpful, the Bridal Party are individually and collectively amazing and act like they are there for the sole purpose of  assisting the bride and groom in any way and to celebrate with them. Yeah, I was pretty excited to discover that their friends and families were just as friendly, down to earth and fun, just like they are!!!   I hit the mutha freakin load!!!  How could this be?  A Beautiful couple inside and out and an entire bridal party who were helpful, fun, did not complain or try to steal the show, were closely connected to each other and later demonstrated some pretty bad-ass dance moves =)  There was a beautiful and emotional ceremony followed by an equally emotional and super fun reception at The Ballroom at the Ben.  I have a 24×36 canvas from their day hanging in my studio.  Yes, easy…

Fast forward several more years.  I run into them while shooting a wedding…  not just any wedding.  The lovely Alex and Tabatha’s wedding (you will see them in a blog post soon enough), they are friends of Jen and Michael.  Let’s just say that there is a certain little glow that someone who is expecting has and Jen had it =)  I spy them from the corner of my eye and we hug and chat for a few.  A few months later we were planning their Newborn Beloved Cinema “we” session.  A session that will fluidly combine still photography and video to create a keepsake that will capture not just the beautiful stills of your family session but also showcase the way that you felt using audio and video to create a film that is edited in a cinematic style, a short film.

Loading my car with all of our gear, myself and my cinema team, we travel to meet the little man.  We are off to the burbs of Baltimore =)  I road rage for most of the ride.  I’m sure that I probably made the guys feel sick at least 10 times.  I’m not exactly sure why it is that in Maryland on that stretch of road and on that day the fast lane was the slow lane and the slow lane was best used as the passing lane!?!?!? weird… Anyways, after my road rage incident(s) we exit off the highway and it’s smooth sailing from there.  Seeing Michael and Jen as new parents really made me feel special to be witnessing such a private and new moment.  The timidness of first time parents mixed with the indescribable sense that by the way they look at, talk to and cradle Rory, anyone can see the excitement, love and pride that they have for their new addition to the family.  Here are a few images from that day.  We will be working on their trailer soon for the film and trust me, that’s not something that you will want to miss.  Thank you Jen and Michael!  You both inspire me and I wish you so much joy with Rory.  He doesn’t know it now but one day he will know how simply wonderful his parents are…

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