Namita and Niket heard of us through a mutual friend, and we’re glad to have connected with them. Sharing a love for adventure + good food is always a good way to bond in a relationship, and these two have seen quite a bit of the world as a couple. Best of all, they asked to bring their rescue pup Nikki along for a few photos. Although we’re not photographing their summer wedding in India, it was a real pleasure hanging out with this couple for their engagement session in Philadelphia, and thanks for the treat from The Franklin Fountain!
There’s a first time for everything. For starters, it was Dreamlite’s first opportunity to photograph a couple in the wonderful city of Boston. For Chris and Alissa, their location of choice was a homage to their first date. With a love story that traces its beginnings to Honduras, it goes without saying that this engagement session was particularly special for everybody.
Alissa and Chris first met while serving with Signs of Love, an incredible non-profit Deaf ministry situated in the coastal city of La Ceiba, Honduras. Though Jon partnered with the same ministry doing photography work back in 2011 + 2012, the three never had a chance to serve together in the years that followed. As the story goes, Alissa and Chris’ friendship carried over stateside, staying in touch as they lived their own lives in Massachussetts and Florida. Eventually, Alissa visited Chris in Boston, where she boldly challenged him with the question, “What am I doing here?” And so, their first date in Boston also marked the beginning of a new chapter in their story.
For their engagement session, we ventured through some spectacular areas in Boston. We began our session in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, a charming and historic part of town. Surrounded by sloping row homes and cobblestone streets, it certainly felt as if we had stepped back in time. From there, we wandered through Boston Commons, Commonwealth Avenue Mall, and topped off our session overlooking the Charles River.
Alissa and Chris: we cannot wait to photograph your wedding in Florida later this summer!
Helen and Carl are an incredibly unique + fun couple, and we’re so glad to be working with them. When they asked to have their engagement session at Boathouse Row, we thought, “Okay, sounds good. Historic part of Philadelphia.. picturesque.. staple Philly tourist destination… sounds like a solid idea.” Then we learned it wasn’t just photos near the historic Boathouse Row, but rather photos inside Boathouse Row. Being both a professional rower and a member of one of the boathouses, Helen’s membership made taking photos along the docks possible.
Before heading to Boathouse Row, Helen + Carl opted for a much more green location. With a shared love for the outdoors, we decided upon Wissahickon Valley Park, located not too far from Philadelphia. Afterwards, we ventured towards the Boathouse Row side of Philly. While the sun was still strong, we found some colorful spring blossoms for some really neat portraits. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but we did the photos right along Kelly Drive, all-the-while rush hour traffic was crawling on by.
We capped off our night with some incredible Mexican food (and a hefty portion of nachos), a much needed reprieve from an evening of photos.
Congratulations once again to Carl and Helen. We’re very much looking forward to celebrating your big day in Texas later this Autumn!
The funny thing about friendship is that you never know when you’ll encounter it. We’re not talking about how Teny + Enrique met, but rather, how Dreamlite met Teny + Enrique… on a double date!
Jon and his then-girlfriend (now fiancée), Ria, went on a double date with this lovely couple back in July of 2015. Ria wanted to introduce a dear friend of hers to Jon, seeing as they both shared a strong connection with Latin America. Their Pinkberry hangout turned into a late afternoon of chatting, laughing and fond story swapping. Enrique is a teacher by trade while Teny is a former Latin-America missionary turned corporate trainer for Army Navy Burger + Burritos in the Philippines. Beyond their work, they conjoinedly emit a heart warming presence. Their easy going personalities are matched only with their shared faith for God, as well as their love for each other.
Months later, the wonderful news broke the social media world: Teny and Enrique were getting married! Jon reached out to Teny + Enrique, and the four of them decided to celebrate their engagement in Tagaytay, a smooth two hours’ drive from Metro Manila. They chose to have their engagement session (known as ‘prenup photos’ in the Philippines) at the Pink Sisters Convent, an incredible campus containing a chapel, walking garden, and towering pine trees.
Officially, the Pink Sisters Convent is maintained by a catholic order known as the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, but due to their rose-colored religious attire, they are affectionately referred to by the former. The grounds at the convent were beautifully maintained, full of various flowers and trees. Although a bit crowded, which is expected for anything opened to the public in the Philippines, we managed to dodge much of the crowds during their portrait session. We wrapped up our session over lunch, alongside a caravan of family + friends, in the city of Tagaytay… the perfect way to cap off their photo session.
Thank you Enrique + Teny for your support of of Dreamlite Photography, and looking forward to many more life celebrations with you both!
Earlier this fall, Dreamlite joined Meghan and Brian to celebrate their engagement in Pittsburgh, PA. Home to the Steelers and rich with an abundance of American history, it is certainly a city we look forward to returning to.
Meghan and Brian were incredible hosts to the city of Pittsburgh. We explored many different neighborhoods, saw some turn-of-the-century architecture, visited Meghan’s favorite running path along the river, and finished off our evening overlooking the city from Mount Washington. In between photos, our breaks included Pastrami sandwiches at the famous Primanti Brothers, a late afternoon brewery stop, and an incredible dinner at Church Brew Works, a former cathedral turned gastropub.
Below are some of our favorite images from our time together, and we look forward to photographing (and eating and drinking) to your marriage in the fall of 2016! Congratulations once again to Meghan and Brian.
We have photographed families long enough to know that there is no perfect formula to a good family photo session. Yet with a few unique locations, a toddler that’s still exploring the use of his limbs, and a laughter-inclined family, memorable images are pretty much guaranteed.
Jon spent one autumn afternoon with the Lai family, photographing their incredible family in a few central jersey locations, including a short trip to Norz Hill Farm’s pumpkin patch. For Jon personally, the highlight of the session was spending the afternoon with then entirety of the Lai family, which included the family’s german shepherd Zoe, whom Jon has known since she was a fluffy pup.
Making images at Starved Rock State Park has been a dream of ours for quite a few years now. Having been to Illinois on a few separate occasions, never have we had the opportunity to consider Starved Rock State Park until we started discussing potential engagement session locations with Saneta and Kensheen.
In mid-September, Jon had the chance to realize this dream. Arguably, the best part of this trip wasn’t exploring the majestical carved canyons in the middle of Illinois. Nor was the best part spending a few hours with this wonderful couple, getting to know their story a little better. Truth be told, it was finding out that they (especially Kensheen) loves Panda Express as much as Jon does.
Starved Rock State Park is certainly one of the most exciting places we have ever ventured to for an engagement session. Nearly nobody believes us when we try to describe the steep cliffs and narrow waterfalls that makeup this park in Central Illinois, as if we were on the television set for Doyle’s The Lost World.
After a few hours of venturing through the park, we ended our time together with an amazing Puerto Rican sandwich only found in Chicago. Think of a roast pork panini, but in place of bread, crispy deep-fried plantains crusted in minced garlic. That is a jibarito sandwich.
To Saneta and Kensheen, we look forward to photographing your wedding celebration in the spring of 2016, and we thank you allowing us to be a part of it all!
We are thrilled to be sharing photos from a surprise birthday event on the 4th of July.
For Martin’s surprise 50th birthday party, his sister reached out to Jon about documenting this once-in-a-lifetime event. Planned with the utmost secrecy, this surprise party involved dozens of loved ones flying in from all across the country. Everything from the decor to the food were chosen in great taste.
Have you ever heard of a privately catered event serving the best sous-vide tenderloin in all of New Jersey? In addition to that, freshly cooked lobsters piled as high as the eye can see? For this birthday surprise, those were just two of the many items on this evening’s clambake dinner menu, courtesy of Bryan and his team at Shore Catering.
Soon after Martin showed up for what was suppose to be a “little dinner gathering”, the entire house lit up, flowing of good memories, champagne, laughter, and plenty of hugs. Everyone from grade school teachers to friends and siblings arrived that evening to celebrate alongside Martin. It was certainly one of the most joyous and relaxing events that we’ve ever been asked to photograph, and we wouldn’t have traded it for the world.
Photography: Jon of Dreamlite Photography (http://www.facebook.com/Dreamlite Photography) || Catering: Shore Catering (http://www.shorecatering.com/clambakes-catering-nj) || Location: Private residence
Miriam and David celebrated their engagement in style. The engagement party took place at the Chart House in Hoboken, filled with hours of dancing, great food, and a hall packed with loved ones. Below are a few of our favorite images from that night… congrats again to David and Miriam (and another victory to long-distance love)!
While we’re not documenting wedding celebrations, we’re spending time with some amazing families. Many of the families we photograph are families we’ve been blessed to know over the last few years. This particular family has been in front of the Dreamlite cameras since early 2010. What began as a family of 3 has grown into an incredibly warm + joyful family of 5!
Background on the first photo seen below: Mom + Dad have a “no jumping on the bed” rule at home… but when the family photographer came by for an official photo visit, exceptions were happily made. Here are some of our favorite images from their session:
We met Mitchell and Justin at a wedding earlier this year, where they were given the responsibility to read scripture at the ceremony. When they reached out to us about an engagement session, we were excited to hear that they wanted to do it in Long Island City. Having never been to LIC before, we were eager to see what all the chatter was about.
Jon joined Mitchell + Justin one bright and early Saturday morning for their engagement session. They were the most easy-going of couples; very relaxed, warm, and knew how to make one another laugh. They are pretty much everything we hope for in a couple.
Enjoy the photos below, and congratulations to Mitchell + Justin (and thank you for braving the chilly morning weather for these photos)!
Adventurous couples are the best to photograph. Better yet, when you’re also friends with the couple (and have known them for quite a few years), things can get pretty
risque risky on the day of 🙂 . We opted for a morning engagement session at the very last week of September, and met up at the beautiful Rutgers Gardens. This couple was tough enough to take the quarter mile hike into the forest in their sunday’s best, and were such great sports the entire time. On the return hike, we ventured off the path and found a great little nook to take photos by the river. We wrapped up our session at the main garden area, including a successful climb up a stunning + very Goliath-like tree. Congratulations once again to Theo + Esther, and I can’t wait to stand alongside you guys in your wedding celebration this December. -Jon
We’re ecstatic to share with you these images from Vivian and Anthony’s engagement session from Austin, TX. We all met up for an awesome pre-session dinner at the incredible Rio’s Brazilian Cafe Monday night, Jon went off on his own for an entire day of scouting locations on Tuesday, followed by an unbelievably engagement session that Wednesday. We journeyed all throughout Austin, experiencing everything that you could think of — Austin summer heat, Texas humidity, sun showers, extreme fog, and just the right amount of clouds. A very special thanks goes out to this couple for enduring all of the elements, hiking up rocky cliffsides in elegant attire, and journeying throughout bushy creek beds for these images. Also, a special thanks to Luisa for helping with hair/make-up the day-of! We can’t wait to celebrate with Anthony + Vivian on their wedding day in Nicaragua this coming winter!!
When Mary + David suggested to have their engagement photos taken in Peekskill, NY, we initially drew a blank as to where that town was. After some research, we realized it was situated in our favorite area in the State of New York: the Hudson Valley.
The entirety of the Hudson Valley is filled with charming, old-school communities and brimming with history. Located a train ride away from NYC, towns such as Peekskill are known for their historic downtowns and scenic views of the majestic Hudson River.
Taking a trip to Peekskill was a welcomed escape for all of us. Although we scheduled the engagement session in late July, the slightly cooler weather of the Hudson Valley made our visit a whole lot more manageable. We ventured around town with David + Mary, took some photos, all the while getting to hear a little bit more about their story.
Congratulations again to Mary + David, and we look forward to your wedding later this summer.
Fresh on our blog is another incredible wedding story…
Last Friday, Roland + Louisa joined their loved ones in celebrating their marriage covenant in Philly. Their love story began in NJ, moved its way to Chicago, and has since transplanted itself in the city of brotherly love (for now.) Jon has personally known this couple for a long time, having met the bride in middle school + having shared many mutual friends throughout their college years. In more ways than one, documenting their wedding day was much more than a job.
Sprinkled throughout their busy wedding day schedule were so many hints of love + thankfulness + joy. As outside observers, we photographers get a pretty good glimpse of the big picture when it comes to weddings. We see what couples focus on, what they leave out, and where they pour their hearts into. For Louisa + Roland, it was clear that their celebration was much more than a milestone event with big fancy outfits… it was their way of joining together and celebrating a Love so much bigger than them.
Photography-wise, many thanks to the couple for creating such a spacious and well-thought-out wedding day schedule. Having an abundance of hours for wedding day coverage can be a blessing in disguise, paving the way for equal measures of risk and creativity and daring possibilities.
A very special congratulations to the newlyweds!
Giving credit where credit is due:
Jon of Dreamlite Photography (Main Photographer) || Priscilla of Priscilla De Castro Photography (2nd Photographer) || Le Meridien Philadelphia (Hotel)
Vie of the Cescaphe Event Group (Ceremony/Reception/Catering/Cake) || Pastor Dwight of Renewal Presbyterian Church (Officiant) || Bachelor Boys Band (Live Band)
Anthony Tsao (Ceremony Programs) || Cindy Cheung + Vivian Mah (Event decoration, Centerpieces) | Fei Huang (Sound System) || Leah Zhang (Hair, Make-up, Bouquets, Corsages)
Seah and Robert’s incredible wedding celebration is finally on the blog! A few short days ago, these wonderful couple tied the knot and officially became husband and wife.
Vibrant colors and cultural traditions flowed throughout this day, and we sincerely wished the day hadn’t ended. The bride and groom crafted such a nice wedding day schedule (read: well-planned with lots of time devoted to photography) in order to accommodate plenty of time for portraits. We had a brief morning photo session all throughout the grounds of the World of Wings… perhaps most spectacularly, we visited the Atrium that contained a live butterfly exhibit. Afterwards, we continued on to a late afternoon ceremony at The Church of the Atonement in Tenafly, NJ. The rest of the evening including a beautiful Korean tea ceremony and topped off the evening with a grand reception at the World of Wings.
A very special thanks to fellow photographer Paul Kim of Bōm Photography for second shooting / assisting in translations for this one!
To see more of our images, be sure to stop by our facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/DreamlitePhotography
For Dreamlite Photography‘s first visit to Texas, we could not have asked for a more fantastic couple to work with. Ben and Sam spent the afternoon with Jon as they ventured throughout Central Houston for engagement photos. The sunny Texan weather was a nice break from the gloom hovering over New Jersey that week. In between photos, we stopped by Cloud 10 Creamery for incredibly delicious and handmade ice cream (they happen to also be friends with the owner), and grabbed a quick bite to eat at Torchy’s Tacos. We finished off our session in the Bayou City neighborhood of Houston, at the famous “We Love Houston” sign. Minutes before taking the last photo below, we ended up bumping into David Adickes, the well-known Houston sculpture behind this artwork.
Thank you Sam + Ben for the opportunity to take your engagement photos!
Last week, Ellen + Chris kindly met up with Jon for some adventurous nighttime portraits. Although the cherry blossoms had just begun to bloom, we managed to find some incredible spots to work with. Below is one of Jon’s favorite frames from that evening.
Thank you both for the opportunity!
Be sure to follow us on facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/DreamlitePhotography ) to see our latest work.
Certainly don’t miss this fun engagement session from Philadelphia.
Louisa + Roland’s session took us all over the city of brotherly love. From world-famous mural art pieces to picturesque museum terrain, we spent the afternoon hanging out, taking portraits + catching up, all while helping Jon see some of the less ventured sides of Philly. We topped off our session the best way possible; dinner at Han Dynasty in the Old City part of Philly. If you had to ask us, we’d give it an 9/10 for it’s modern and bold take on Szechuan cuisine.
We look forward to celebrating your wedding later this year at The Vie!
Jon’s first official tour of the University of Pennsylvania’s campus also happened to be for Moses + Tiff’s engagement session. We zig-zagged our way through campus, passing libraries, dorms, CHOP, beautiful architecture, and even took a visit to the “Dueling Tampons” . While Dreamlite won’t be there officially for their wedding celebration in the spring, Jon is extremely honored to be there as a groomsman.
Thanks again Moses + Tiff for getting engaged! 🙂
To see more of our work, visit our facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/DreamlitePhotography
Remember Vince + Jen’s surprise proposal story from New Orleans? Well, here they are again, featured on our blog with their official engagement session.
After pulling some personal strings, we were fortunate enough to get access to the Rutgers Football Stadium. Home of the Scarlet Knights, the state university’s stadium is a place to behold. The last time I (Jon) was in the stadium was actually with Vince. It was my first (and last) football game as a Rutgers student– back when football game admission was as simple + free as a RU student I.D. swipe.
We spent the early morning hours photographing inside the stadium. We moved to Rutgers Gardens for a few awesome shots, then ended our morning at the park with Vince, Jen, and a motorcycle.
Enjoy the photos below!
If you like what you see, contact us for your engagement session here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to follow us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DreamlitePhotography
While James and Mandi’s love story really began some 7 years ago, their new life together as husband and wife started this past Sunday… and I (Jon) had the privilege of documenting their wedding celebration.
Many months ago, Mandi had shared with me her wedding day vision. “I’m picturing this as a really upscale picnic,” she wrote in an email, “with really great food. Nothing stuffy about it.” It’s safe to say Mandi + James hit the bullseye on this one. Their wedding was certainly anything but traditional. The bride opted for “real” pushups to relieve her stress instead of bubbly mimosas, church bells were replaced by the cool summer breeze swooping off the Delaware River, and the standard hotel reception was nixed in favor of a more historic setting– a four-story Grist Mill dating back to the 1870’s. Topping it all off, Mandi + James were simply incredible to work with.
From their love of cycling to honoring the loved ones in attendance, they made it a point to incorporate all the things (and people) they loved into their wedding celebration. It was far from an “all about me” kind of day– and that’s really what made their day memorable. (and yes, special shoutout to the Mexican Coca Cola the bride + groom chose as their dinner beverage of choice.)
Special thanks to Cherie and Lisa of On This Day Weddings for coordinating the event, and the videography team led by Adam Nawrot for being so professional + cooperative to work with. Wedding ceremony + venue took place at the historic Prallsville Mill along the Delaware River in Stockton, NJ.
Last but not least, congratulations to the newlyweds Mandi + James.
To see more images from their wedding day, check out the photos on our Facebook page.
Their Wedding Day Video can be seen here. Credit to Adam Nawrot (assisted by Spencer T. and Carrie.)
Mike and Jenn braved the summer heat for this July engagement session. With all of us juggling extremely busy summer schedules, it was a miracle that we could meet up for this! Fortunately, this lovely couple worked through the heat, sweat & humidity without a single complaint. We ventured around Central Park– under bridges, behind fountains, on top of boulders, and even to one of my favorite (secret) spots– and we have the images to prove it.
Congratulations once again to Mike and Jenn on their engagement, and we wish you two the very best in your new future together.