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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.

Laughter.

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 =)

xoxo

Cindy

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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!

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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!

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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

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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.

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“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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The highest compliment that I feel we can be given is when you let us know that we did justice to making tangible the way you feel through our images and films. I’ll never tire of the reaction that our clients have when they see themselves, their joyful selves, their loved selves, their actual selves in the body of our work. It’s relatively easy to make posed, stand here, look here, pretty pictures. What we love is making the not as simple, genuine, the real and even the vulnerable glimpses into yourself. Whether that self is quirky, silly, contemplative, serene, tense, excited, a love bug or all of the preceding, it’s pretty damn cool when you get to experience this typically not shared with the world look into the lives of people who just moments before were virtually strangers and now you feel like you know them, see them and see why they love each other. Being able to do this makes me beyond happy.

In the past I have often vacillated between making work that I know means something to the people we encounter vs. making work for the masses, the accolades, for publication or print or mere validation as if an award or an “as seen in” (insert over referenced wedding blog site or stylized magazine name) tagline will somehow preach or demonstrate a business’s value or success. In the end I am definitively of the camp that I wish I could get back all of those lost hours pursuing and at times winning awards, contests and publications, as seen in, stylized shoots or self promoting marketing gimmicks designed to establish some form of perceived or implied worth or level of success in the eyes of a potential client. I want that time back. It means nothing now. I wish I could trade all of those efforts and exchange them for a lifetime of doing what we can in our power to garner the type of gratitude and appreciation that we receive from our clients. This type of gratitude is intoxicating, It is an addiction that I will never be compelled to overcome.

Maybe it was the times that have changed or maybe it was me but I know one thing is for certain, change happened several years ago for me and the universe has a way of sometimes gently while sometimes overtly sending signals and reminders that the path I have chosen is the right one.

“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” -Henry David Thoreau

Sitting at that restaurant, the one that seemed to elude us. It took in a roundabout way 4 hours of random cab rides, paying it forward to a stumbling mall walker, an impromptu International Jazz day celebration, a perfectly poured stout, a stolen affirmation enticing coaster, walking then cabbing some more, just to end up where we were meant to be at the time we were meant to be there sitting next to two locals in an upscale polish restaurant and taking their recommendation for a beer. Mind you, this is after two days of adventuring, being open and getting tons of signs regarding the topic of making work that is not just beautiful but also meaningful to our clients.

The beer arrives and it is a glistening 500 ml bottle with condensation dripping down the outside of the bottle generating anticipation for a cold, crisp and satisfying mouth feel. I completely screw up the pour of the beer and there is way too much head. I have to wait a few moments for my glass to be drinkable so while I wait I read the writing on the bottle and I get it. I get the message. All roads always point to striving for whatever makes you happy. It’s different for each person. I’m amazed at the message staring at me. The beer is TYSKIE. A polish beer, hand crafted, the same recipe since 1629. Seriously! 1629!!!! Yup, a 385 year old recipe. A business that still exists after 385 years. What is their Philosophy and why did it intrigue me? Well, they state on the label that although they love the awards it is the Appreciation of beer lovers all over the world that matters most to them.

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I “get” you Tyskie! I totally “get” you. Thank you universe for always keeping me on track and thank you to our clients from all over this beautiful world of ours who allow us to “get” them. You can trade paper with anyone for services rendered. You can’t however pay someone to appreciate you or what you do. Thank you to our clients for choosing us for appreciating us for recognizing and appreciating the difference that we offer =)

Here are a few favorites of mine from Sara + Zach’s Be Loved {us} session at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. We had a blast exploring this unbelievable work of art and even wandered upon street art and a roving group practicing some acrobatic yoga art. Art surrounded us, she wrapped her arms around us in a big all encompassing bear hug, she squeezed and tread that line so well of how the perfect hug should feel… You know that feeling! The feeling when the warm embrace has the perfect amount of squeeze. It’s not strong enough to squeeze the air out of you or so weak and lackluster that it is annoying. Nope, it is just right and oh so very lovely. To see the full collection of sneaks you can check them out on our Page =) Don’t forget to like, comment, pin or share the happy!

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M o r e   i n f o
M o r e   i n f o