robbie & deanna // married

Normanpp_MurphyWedding_0068a little over two weeks ago robbie and deanna tied the knot. their intimate ceremony was ideal as they were surrounded by their closest friends and family to celebrate their choice to become life partners. deanna got ready with her favorite girls and her mom while robbie worked to get himself his two little boys ready.

while they were busy putting themselves together stephanie and i were in downtown culpeper knocking on doors to ask for permission for a private first look. we were so lucky to find the cutest old house with a killer backyard to have the two meet up before their ceremony. the backyard had a koi pond, bridge, patio, lush greenery and brick walk ways. it was truly magical to see deanna walk across the lawn while robbie impatiently waited to turn around to see his bride.

i was smiling the entire time i was shooting their first look because the two of them were smitten with one another. robbie makes deanna laugh with the slightest touch of his hand or the tilt of his head. seeing that warms my heart knowing that they are perfect for each other.

their ceremony was held at tuscany hall, it was decorated with a number of DIY items that featured a tuscany feel with wine corks and glasses everywhere. deanna’s dad slowly walked her down the aisle as though to savor the last moments that she would only be his little girl and while they were making the journey down the aisle robbie had the biggest smile on his face. their pastor lead the ceremony that was crafted beautifully for them.

once they were announced mr and mrs. robbie murphy the fun really started. their reception was lively with great dance music but it also had great moments for the father/daughter and mother/son dances as well as the bouquet and garter toss. in between dancing, i was able to sneak them out to the field next to the venue to do some quiet and bucolic formals. i could gush all day about how in love these two were but you can see from the images.

their perfect day ended with a sparkler exit and an electric final kiss.

congratulations robbie and deanna – i’m wishing you 100 years of happiness!



byren’s lohri party | fords, new jersey

RENU&BOBBY_0005right after the new year i got connected with renu and bobby through my friend ayla. (she’s been featured on the blog before for various new york city trips and the summer solstice yoga celebration in times square.) renu and ayla work together for a social services company right in the city, together they are on the grind to protect and provide support for children in need.

toward the end of 2013 renu left work for maternity leave as she and bobby welcomed a beautiful, relaxed baby boy, bryen, into their lives. in january the new parents wanted to celebrate their latest addition with friends and family.

the timing was perfect for a traditional lorhi party, which in punjabi culture celebrates the winter solstice and the shortest day of the year. the party welcomes longer days with a bonfire; renu and bobby’s guests surrounded the fire and tossed handfuls and single kernels of popcorn onto the golden flames. dancing was initiated by a customary indian drummer who got a beat started for the deejay. within a few minutes almost all of the attendee’s with their colorful outfits, sparkling jewelry and bright smiles were all dancing. men and women alike were twisting, turning and clapping to the beat while the music changed and the lights pulsed colors.

byren was definitely the guest of honor as he was passed from family members to friends for hugs, kisses, a few dance steps and well wishes. you’ll see him throughout blog post as everyone was eager to meet him.

this party – by far – was one of the coolest things i’ve experienced as a photographer, not to mention personally. the vibrance of the culture with the colors, music, jewelry and energy had me smiling all night long (and a few times i caught my hips swaying to the beat).

congratulations renu and bobby on baby byren and thank you so very much for letting me experience such a magical party.

reagan emerson | newborn

REAGANVHOSPITAL_0012the volpe’s welcomed reagan emerson to their family on january 9, 2014 in the early morning hours. i stopped by the hospital after work to see their newest addition and to document their stay in the hospital.

rock star momma, becca, was all smiles and up and moving when i arrived. she delivered reagan all natural with no epidural – talk about a warrior woman. daren was a proud papa holding his second daughter while snuggling with all of his girls.

tiny reagan arrived with a full head of beautiful dark hair just like her mom. the entire time i was there she was so quiet and curious. she would reach out and grab fingers and look right up at you with big bright eyes. chloe was curious about her little sister and her new position in the family as the big sister. chloe would point and smile and say ‘bay-beh ray-gen.’ she was even brave enough to hold her for a little bit.

a week or so after the hospital visit, i was invited back over for a pancake breakfast (daren is quite the chef). chloe showed me all of her toys and a few of reagan’s in between dancing and singing country tunes. it’s amazing how quickly a family bonds with a baby in the house. chloe was the special helper and took her job seriously as big sis.

here are a few of those precious moments. congratulations volpe’s, you’ve got a beautiful family.


rebranding for brandilynn

BRANDILYNN_0003since embarking on this business adventure i’ve leaned on the networking skills i’ve acquired in my 9-5 to reach out to other photographers in the area for guidance, support and friendship. each month a group of talented and experienced photographers meet to share their dreams, swap stories, ask questions and to enjoy conversation with other creatives.

it is here that i’ve chatted with some of the area’s top photographers and intently listened to their start-up stories and current projects. it is also here that i’ve made new friends like brandilynn. i knew when i heard her laugh i wanted to meet her. it was boisterous coming from behind her dainty smile. we were able to connect at one of the meet-ups and we’ve been talking shop and sipping coffee together since.

brandilynn took her business to the next level this year, kicking off february with new branding, a new website and a new full-time business. she worked hard to bring together all of her favorite elements: boats, gold sparkles, red lipstick and water. i met her out in woodbridge at harbour view events to set the tone. it was fun working on the docks in between the boats with brandilynn and her husband (and business partner) deane.

brandilynn aines photography branding is now complete. go, right now, and check out her website, blog and facebook page to see her most recent work. she specializes in weddings and portraiture and is currently booking for 2014 and 2015. she and her husband are virginia based but are willing and ready to travel. brandilynn also has the studio lounge located in quaint haymarket. it is a beautiful natural light studio that offers local photographers a place to shoot indoors as well as a new space for photographer socials.

brandilynn thank you for being an excellent photographer and a good friend!

cael meade | newborn

CAELBROOKS_0022this was my first shoot of the new year and it was very special! sara and grant welcomed their first baby on christmas morning. how neat is that? the absolute best gift they could have given each other.

the holidays were just a bit brighter and a little longer for the brooks with cael around. they’ve enjoyed their time at home together and have begun to adjust to their role as parents. seeing them working together, starting a routine and loving their son was a blessing. in a way that was the real story behind these pictures, watching them figuring it out.

cael loved being swaddled and cuddled tight – especially by sara. he seemed to light up when grant was holding him, especially while grant deejayed the hip cool baby music. no really, it was cool – picture classic rock ‘n’ roll jams toned down to sooth babies and not drive parents absolutely bonkers.

as always thanks for letting me into your home, letting me capture these memories and letting me become a friend. sara and grant i’m wishing you the best of luck this year as a couple, as new parents and as a military family. grant thank you so much for serving our country. your bravery and commitment to this country is not undervalued or under appreciated. stay safe.

headshots, brooklyn style

ALLYSONPUZZO_0010this headshot session was the best way for me to close out my first year of business. i traveled to nyc to ring in the new year – which has slowly become a tradition of mine – and take headshots for allyson. allyson’s friendship snuck up on me, first by association through our mutual friend, but it wasn’t long before we were sharing jokes, stories, memories and secrets.

she has been a busy lady in 2013 working to start her own private therapy practice in new york. she has completed all of the necessary as well as impressive degrees and licensing not to mention real life experience. while completing and for a significant time after allyson worked in some of the toughest neighborhoods in the city providing mental health care to adolescents.

this year she will work to define her personal business and build a client base. she plans on continuing to help inner city youth by providing them with the care they need and deserve. if you’re in the new york area and are looking for a great psycho-therapist reach out to allyson – she’d be happy to meet you.

welcome home cooper

COOPERNEWBORN_0024i thought it was fitting to follow-up my last post by sharing a look into jenny and kevin’s new role as parents. having a few weeks at home with cooper these three have settled into a familiar routine and found normalcy – or as much as new parents can find.

everyday these new experiences make them better parents, so in a year this couple will be able to look back and see how much their little man has grown as well as how rich their lives have become. not to mention all of those silly things that happen when learning how to parent…like being prepared for accidents involving projectile number two when photographing your naked newborn. yup! those little things that other seasoned parents “forget” to share so you can forever remember that experience.

here’s to many more lessons in parenthood in the new year!

baby cooper’s story

COOPERHOSPITAL_0038i’ve been expecting baby cooper since march, knowing that at some point between thanksgiving and early december he would arrive.

i watched jenny’s belly grow, i watched the nursery come together and i watched kevin prepare for his son. on friday, november 29, 2013 jenny was induced early in the morning and waited for his arrival. kevin and her mom helped pass the time; after close to fifteen hours of labor the browers made the decision to have cooper delivered by c-section.

their picture story starts here, after their decision to officially evict baby cj. while their story is relatively short, the time passed slowly as the family and i waited for the party of three to return to their room. cooper james brower was delivered at 11:04pm at 7.1 pounds and was 21 inches long. kevin followed the nurse and watched over his son until jenny was able to reunite with them. innately, jenny was super strong, emotionally puzzled and joyously tearful. the expanded family took some time together after his birth to really connect and appreciate this defining moment.

soon after, late into the night and early the next morning, family and friends came to introduce themselves to cooper and congratulate the new parents. a few days passed with excellent care from fauquier hospital and the browers arrived home.

welcome to this big, bright world cooper, you have so many things to look forward too. remember to take your time, grow slow and always listen to your aunt krysta.

merry christmas eve | the giffords


i love, love, love these family photos. bringing together a young family, a few over-sized ornaments, an antique truck and a gravel road created a magical holiday feel.

i was inspired when carly posted a photo of her dad’s old truck on instagram and when she reached out for photos,  i was hoping we would be able to use it. turns out her dad and her brother were super helpful in getting it to us. it was so worth it.

charlotte is now almost 2 and has that spunky little personality that makes me laugh. she is so curious but so sure of herself at the same time. she was entertaining and simultaneously stunning – just like her momma! jonathan was patient and playful in the truck, showing charlotte how to honk the horn. she was so surprised of the sound and honked for almost 15 minutes just laughing.

curl up with hot chocolate and look at these holiday inspired photos with the giffords and have a very merry christmas with your family and friends!


ian & jackie | engaged!

JACKIE&IANENGAGED_0024in august i ran into ian and jackie at wedding i was shooting. it was easy to notice them, as a couple they were attractive and not in the physical sense, but in a way that was much more significant. please don’t misunderstand me; these two are very, very handsome and were quite snazzy at the wedding although what i found irresistible was their connection. together they shined – perfectly affectionate and attentive to one another in a way that wasn’t overstated. they never worked hard to make each other smile or laugh. they had that connection, that deep understanding of each other that comes from being in love with a best friend.

fast forward a few months and i heard through the grapevine that ian had asked jackie to be his wife! a few weeks after that we had scheduled a session toward the end of november. i had my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t be bitter cold, but virginia weather is so unpredictable.[ like today, it’s december 5th and currently 65 degrees] thankfully we scored a day that was fairly mild – warm enough when we started for light layers and just a little chilly for denim and sweaters to end.

they invited me to their favorite spot, a quiet lake behind ian’s parents house. they’ve spent an immeasurable amount of time there on the bank snuggling, talking, planning and fishing. it was here that ian popped the question making it an ideal spot for their session. take a look and see just how happy these two are together.

congratulations ian and jackie – keep on shining!