new jersey

Rachel + Ethan = a darling kind of perfect

As we hiked through the high grass last Friday, I laughingly commented that I've known Ethan since he was born. We all smiled, but I quickly realized how much time has passed since then and that it might now finally be official: I'm getting a little old! 

The passage of time is a funny thing. I'm not breaking new ground when I say this, but as we get older the months and weeks seem to grow shorter and time becomes something that you dread just a bit vs. something that you're constantly trying to get ahead of. 

The fact that I can remember when Ethan was born doesn't really mean that I'm old - it just means that I'm old enough. And while I spent so much of my time as a pre-teen trying to "get older", it's almost as though I never fully realized that it just kept happening. Every day. At lightning speed. 

And time is what has brought Rachel and Ethan together now. They've had the past five years to grow closer to one another, grow as individuals, grow in their faith. 
Who they have grown to become is beautiful - and if it's any indication of where they're headed, I can't wait to watch and see. 

Rachel + Ethan - thank you so much for allowing me to be even a small part of this moment in your lives. Savor every second; this is the beginning of everything to come, and it's looking pretty dang spectacular. 

Photographed in Branchburg and Neshanic, New Jersey

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.