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Love146 Benefit Project


Lancaster, PA

Love146 Benefit Project

Lancaster, PA

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I was recently asked to do a project for our local chapter of Love146. If you do not know much about the issue of human trafficking and the work that Love146 and countless other organizations across the world are doing to combat this global crisis, take some time to do some of your own research and learn. While it has been a busy couple of months for me I was happy to do something like this and very excited about some of the ideas they had. The benefit was held around Valentine’s Day weekend and was called “Sweet Relief”. Last year Lauren and I performed background music for the evening and this year I was honored to be involved with this portion. In working with my neighbor and her three beautiful little girls we were able to complete a concept project about the life of a human trafficking victim. Each of these photos was on display the night of the event with a small write-up explaining the interpretation. I hope you guys enjoy!

For more information on human trafficking you can check out one of our dear friends websites who is a modern-day abolitionist and a singer/songwriter – he has been working tirelessly for years on his own to bring girls out of the sex-trade and into loving and caring homes adopted and adopted by local churches around the country. You can check out his music at www.PWGopal.com. Another local organization in Reading called FREE is headed up by our friend Bob Morrison and you can learn more about their organization at www.FreeFromHT.org.

“This could be the life story of a child who falls victim to domestic trafficking here in the United States. Proceeds tonight will go towards LOVE 146, which provides restoration for victims and prevention education for children who are at high risk of becoming exploited.”

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INNOCENCE | She starts out like every little girl…innocent and sweet.

 

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DREAMS | She has time to swing and time to dream…like being a princess in a fairy tale wedding.

 

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AN EMPTY SWING | She searches for safety but is repeatedly victimized. Believing she found hope, empty promises lure her away. She is only 12 years old.

 

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FAR FROM DREAMS | No one protects her, no one fights for her…so she believes the lies he tells her. Before she knows it, she is trapped.

 

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A DARK WORLD | She sees no way out. Still a child, our laws see her as a criminal. The world sees her as a prostitute. No one sees her as a victim.

 

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LOVE INTERVENES | They see her and don’t condemn her. The LOVE 146 community intervenes in her life. They support her with safety, encouragement, empowerment, and hope.

 

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A DREAM RESTORED | With the help of LOVE 146, she is a survivor. She is restored and feels safe enough to dream again.

 

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Greg + Nakia


Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum | Lancaster, PA Wedding Photographer

Greg + Nakia

Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum | Lancaster, PA Wedding Photographer

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This was a wedding we couldn’t wait to shoot in 2012. I can remember sitting down with Greg + Nakia the first time at the Coffee Company to talk about their wedding. It was kind of like love at first sight but not in a weird way. We definitely hit it off well and Lauren even got the chance to get to know Nakia as she was hired to help design and make the wedding day jewelry for Nakia and all her bridesmaids. We truly were honored to get to shoot their wedding and engagement session and spend one of the most important days of their lives with them. They had such an awesome wedding party and family, too. It was, without a doubt, one of our favorite weddings of the year. I can also say that I had some of my favorite email correspondence with a couple throughout the wedding planning process to date. Definitely laughed out loud at my desk more than once. We can’t wait to spend some more time with our new friends and hit some more breweries with them in the coming year!

This was my first time shooting at the Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum and I hope that they continue to host wedding receptions in the future because I would love to shoot their again. In the meantime, here are some of our favorites from their wedding day…

 

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Zach + Katie


Lancaster Marriot Convention Center | Lancaster, PA Wedding Photographer

Zach + Katie

Lancaster Marriot Convention Center | Lancaster, PA Wedding Photographer

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I love getting to shoot weddings for people I’ve known for a long time. Getting to spend their wedding day with them is an honor and privelage and capturing it is just icing on the cake. Zach and Katie were no exceptions. I can remember watching Zach play soccer with my brother on the Manheim Township Thunder when they were in middle school and then seeing zach become a stellar runner on the Cross Country team in HS. Always a class-act stand-up guy – same can be said about both his brothers, too. Even though Katie and I graduated in the same class, she was always my friend, Paul’s, little sister to me. Getting to watch these two marry after dating for so many years was awesome and everyone that witnessed the wedding day would agree.

I’ve enjoyed getting to shoot at the Marriot in Lancaster this year and I look forward to more opportunities to come! Here are some of our favorites from the wedding day…

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Kauffman’s Interiors


Commercial | Reading, PA | Berks County Commercial Photographer

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A Look Back at 2012


Highlight Video & Blog

A Look Back at 2012

Highlight Video & Blog

2012 was no easy year – it was a complicated one. For years I had dreamed and talked about being a full-time photographer but just couldn’t get around to pulling the trigger. Lots of things kept stopping me but mostly it was doubt. Doubt that I could ever really do it or “make it” and doubt that I would be able to provide through those means for my growing family. And to a large degree I still suffer from those doubts today. I think about them every day when I wake up and every night when I go to bed.

The transition came like a mighty hurricane – one I couldn’t stop and one I wasn’t ready for. In July I was laid-off from my full-time job. It was a messy lay-off that resulted in a lot of internal emotional and professional struggles, but in the end, it was the best possible thing for me. That job, not the work I was doing, but the company culture and poor leadership was like a cancer eating away at me. I needed to be set free. God knew I wasn’t going to break the shackles; so He did.

Since July I picked up the pieces and began the balancing act with my time, focus, and energies – working to find that comfortable rhythm of life – not only with photography, but also with our music and freelance print and web design. I’m not there yet and I dont know when I will be. It’s the best thing and the most difficult thing all at the same time. Every day is filled with it’s own set of challenges and joys and I’m constantly learning, failing, and fortunately – succeeding.

In all of it, I couldn’t have made it through such a difficult transition without the support and encouragement of my incredible wife, parents, siblings, friends, and especially – my clients. I made this video more for me than for anyone else. I wanted to stare back into the eyes of a year that presented me with a terrifying and stressful life-changing challenge…and I wanted to smile right back in it’s face.

I am blessed in so many ways – This video is for all of those blessings – it features every one of them.

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Lauren Smith Jewelry & Crafts


Wedding Jewelry

Lauren Smith Jewelry & Crafts

Wedding Jewelry

As usual, I like to brag about how amazingly talented my wife is with her insane craftiness. I’m working on getting this wedding’s photo blog together, but in the meantime I wanted to share the work she did for one of 2012′s weddings that Dan Smith Photography covered.

Lauren was hired by our awesome friend, Nakia, to help design and make all the necklaces in the wedding, and, as usual, she did an outstanding job! The first image above was the Bride’s necklace, and below were the bridesmaids and mother’s necklaces. Here’s the final product – if you’re interested in having a custom touch to your wedding, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the creative genius herself!

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Brandon + Ashley


Long Island, NY Wedding Photography | OceanBleu | Second Shooting

Brandon + Ashley

Long Island, NY Wedding Photography | OceanBleu | Second Shooting

This post, and the previous two, are definitely a little late, but because they weren’t my weddings I put them on the backburner to focus on my clients for the year. Now that “off-season” has hit I can focus a little more on sharing some work from the past year that didn’t get out there.

I am a pretty blessed photographer – not only do I have the support of a great circle of photographers in Lancaster, I am blessed with the opportunity to second shoot and be mentored by a friend and photographer in the Northern New Jersey and New York City area – Andres Valenzuela. (http://www.andresvalenzuela.com). He and his wife, Kim, (and their beautiful daughter Anna-Sofia) have become great friends of ours over the years and I am always excited about second shooting with Andres. I’m always challenged and inspired by his work and am always amazed how amazing all of his clients are that I’ve gotten to work with. I also had the honor and privelage of getting to shoot along side an incredible videography team lead by the amazingly talented, Nino Gallego (http://www.ninogallego.com). There were also a number of other shooters that were not only also uh-mazingly talented but they were also a blast to work along side. Erik Motta (http://www.erikmotta.com/), Patrick Florescio (http://www.floresciofilms.com), and Ari Zapata (http://arianderik.com/). To check out the video they did for Brandon + Ashley, go here: http://vimeo.com/51726019

Andres and I shot this wedding the day after Leroy + Carla’s in October. We spent the night near Newark and then drove out to West Hampton Beach on Long Island the following Sunday morning. This wedding was one of my favorite weddings to be a part of since I’ve become a wedding photographer. I’m not entirely sure why, but something about the day was amazing to me. Brandon + Ashley had planned for their wedding day to be right on the beach next to the ocean, but due to the weather it had to be moved under a tent at OceanBleu. What was amazing was how they didn’t let this effect their attitudes  - they both knew that by the end of the day they would be married – and that’s what mattered most. We ended up able to get some shots on the walkway leading to the beach and the following morning we went back out for a beautiful morning shoot right on the water. The other part of the day that was so awesome was the kindness of the bride and groom. They were genuinely kind, appreciative and gracious to everyone on their wedding day…everyone. I was honored to get to be a part of their wedding day. There were so many photos I took from this day that I liked so much that I just decided to post  all of my favorites – all 90 of them.

Don’t miss my favorite of all of these which is the sequence shot of their first look. We set a tripod up at the right angle and captured the sequence of their first look. Was awesome.

I hope you guys enjoy this wedding as much as I did. Here are some of my favorites.

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Leroy + Carla


Newark, NJ Wedding Photography | Second Shooting

Leroy + Carla

Newark, NJ Wedding Photography | Second Shooting

This post, the next one, and the previous one are a little late, but because they weren’t my weddings I put them on the backburner to focus on my clients for the year. Now that “off-season” has hit I can focus a little more on sharing some work from the past year that didn’t get out there.

I am a pretty blessed photographer – not only do I have the support of a great circle of photographers in Lancaster, I am blessed with the opportunity to second shoot and be mentored by a friend and photographer in the Northern New Jersey and New York City area – Andres Valenzuela. (http://www.andresvalenzuela.com). He and his wife, Kim, (and their beautiful daughter Anna-Sofia) have become great friends of ours over the years and I am always excited about second shooting with Andres. I’m always challenged and inspired by his work and am always amazed how amazing all of his clients are that I’ve gotten to work with.

Leroy + Carla were a blast to work with. I think what I really enjoyed about Leroy and his wedding party was simply how much they all loved one another as friends and as family. Leroy was so excited about his wedding day (so was Carla, but I spent most of the day with Leroy so I’ll focus on him). Everyone’s attitude was so phenomenal throughout the day – great spirits, joyful, excited to be a part of an important day for two people they love. It was a great day to be a part of. We got to take photos at a park overlooking Manhattan and the reception was at The Newark Club in downtown Newark. It was pretty much the best view for a reception I’ve ever seen.

I hope you guys enjoy this wedding as much as I did. Here are some of my favorites.

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Joe + Emily


Morristown, NJ Wedding Photography | Second Shooting

Joe + Emily

Morristown, NJ Wedding Photography | Second Shooting

These next three posts are a little late, but because they weren’t my weddings I put them on the backburner to focus on my clients for the year. Now that “off-season” has hit I can focus a little more on sharing some work from the past year that didn’t get out there.

I am a pretty blessed photographer – not only do I have the support of a great circle of photographers in Lancaster, I am blessed with the opportunity to second shoot and be mentored by a friend and photographer in the Northern New Jersey and New York City area – Andres Valenzuela. (http://www.andresvalenzuela.com). He and his wife, Kim, (and their beautiful daughter Anna-Sofia) have become great friends of ours over the years and I am always excited about second shooting with Andres. I’m always challenged and inspired by his work and am always amazed how amazing all of his clients are that I’ve gotten to work with.

Joe and Emily were no exception. I spent the afternoon with Joe and his groomsmen and had a great time getting to know them and capturing some great candid moments with them. Emily was a beautiful bride and the day’s lighting was absolutely perfect so the result was some of my favorite photos I’ve taken all year.

I hope you guys enjoy this wedding as much as I did. Here are some of my favorites.

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Kurt + Kylee


Phoenixville Foundry | Phoenixville, PA Wedding Photography