ten fingers :: ten toes

I have known Amanda for quite some time. She is a welcome and much loved remnant from my days working political campaigns (which I did for quite some years before I decided to ditch partisan politics for pixels - say that three times fast).

We originally met back in 2001 on a gubernatorial race in New Jersey and were fast friends then. In 2004, we combined (extreme) efforts working with a grassroots campaign which took us seamlessly into another gubernatorial campaign. Long hours, late nights, endless miniature york peppermint patties, and lots and LOTS of volunteers to keep busy and happy - Amanda and I had each others' backs. We were there when the campaign was just the two of us in a small corner office in Jersey City that had drafty rattling windows and a less than ideal bathroom situation.

When we moved to larger and more luxurious offices in the suburbs, we no longer sat three feet from one another at rickety desks, but she was always just an intercom buzz away to grab coffee with, bemoan campaign woes with, or to spell check with. :)

Amanda comes from a big family, just like me, and when I left the political world to pursue more artistic ventures, we talked at least a half dozen times about me coming up to New Jersey to do family portraits with them. Time passed, Amanda got married, her younger siblings grew up and some even moved away to other far off places... and those photos never became a reality.

Then came a phone call last fall with the news that she was expecting the start of her own family come spring time. I immediately began the thought process of newborn photos for Amanda! And as fate would have it, little Francesca arrived exactly a week before I was due to be up in New Jersey for a cousin's wedding. Fate had family photos planned for quite some time - just not exactly in the way that we originally thought - and I couldn't be happier for it.

World, meet Francesca Luisa DePalma; she could not be any sweeter. What a perfect, alert, and lively little girl she already is - no surprise given the stock from which she comes! And yes, I counted - ten perfect little fingers, with ten perfect little toes to match.

Congratulations, Nick and Amanda! Can't wait to take family photos with you guys for years to come.


philadelphia is for lovers

Every now and again I get to shoot a wedding for someone who is more than just a client. It's a grand opportunity to turn my camera on those blessed souls that are so dear to my heart and capture some pretty tender moments that every now and again draw a tear to my eye. Ahhh... yes, I can be sappy sometimes. More so with each passing year (getting old kind of  has this unique way of softening a person - at least in my case it does).  

This past weekend, I drove up to my former city, Philadelphia, to celebrate with my wonderfully good friend Jessica as she tied the knot with her loving bestie, Mike. While I wasn't the official photographer (I was one of the bridesmaids), I had the honor of snapping photographs before the ceremony with Jess and also after during the dance party reception at Circle of Hope at Broad Street and Washington in South Philly.

What a blast we all had! Anticipation for the big day was so palpable as anyone who knows Jess well knows that it has been a day 34 years in the making as she has (most of the time) patiently waited for God to bring the perfect teammate into her life.

The day was perfect - sunny and warm with all the lovely details perfectly put together. From bright pink peony bouquets, to mint green painted toenails, to craft beer lovingly brewed by those close to the couple, and adorable rootbeer floats for dessert.

Jessica - you're lovely and fantastic. So glad that you have found a helpmeet in Mike and that God has brought the two of you together so perfectly. And also: thanks for the 80s dance party that followed; I've been missing that in my life.


Wedding Gown: Galina for David's Bridal. Hair: Plume, Girard Avenue in Philadelphia. Make-up: Amanda Pargas (NJ). Venue: Circle of Hope, Broad & Washington. DJ: Ian McGlynn (NJ).

Had to include this one of me and the Deejay (and good friend), Ian McGlynn!