Emily & Candace

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As a photographer, like most photographers, I have a bucket list of places I dream of shooting. And iconic NYC locations have always been found near the top of my list, even though I'm no stranger to this wonderful place. This was my third professional shoot in The City (I lived in New England for three years, New York will always and forever be 'The City' to me), but I'm already ready to go back and do it again, in new places. There really is something magical about New York... it's no wonder 8 million people call this island home. Now, onto these two beautiful people. And I mean on the inside. (But yeah, they're pretty easy on the eyes, too...)

I was beyond thrilled to have Emily and Candace in front of my camera. I've actually been a fan of Emily's for a couple years now, not only following her incredible family photography, but her personal journey as well. She has been one of those brave, brave souls who is letting everyone know her story as it happens, which in my opinion, takes incredible courage. To summarize, about a year ago Emily was mostly-happily married to the man of her dreams. And while he might have been the man of her dreams, turns out the pea to Emily's pod is actually a woman. As if that's not enough of a story, they're also now totally best friends, including Scott's new gorgeous girlfriend, Gina. That's right, the FOUR of them. AND she and Scott still run Emily Burke Photography together. For real.

Here's a paragraph from Emily's blog that I especially love: We all need to trust that inner voice we have… what does our soul truly want? Can we create our own reality while trying to protect the ones we love as best we can? Can we live a life of truth while honoring our past? Can we find happiness in our own hearts without looking to other people to find it for us? In the end all we have is our own truth, and we want to look back at the life we lived and know that we lived it as best we could, with joy in our hearts, peace in our minds, and knowing that we did everything we could with as much love as possible.

SO MUCH YES. And you know what? It's really easy to post some inspirational quote to instagram about living a life full of peace and love and all that jazz, but these people are living their lives exactly how they preach it. (P.S. to Scott and Gina, I know I haven't met either of you, but if you're reading this: seriously, kudos to you guys. I wish more people lived their lives out of love like you do.)

I am so appreciative that my job allows me to get to know such amazing humans like these two. They're it people, the real-deal. They life their life with intention, love, and kindness. They embrace the oddities of life with open arms and turn life's so-called obstacles into a beautiful, page-turning chapter in the book of their lives.

And then! My favorite things! My camera. Two people in love. Location, location, location.

We started in the afternoon and met at Emily and Candace's favorite coffee spot near The High Line. They walk The High Line often, so it only made sense to start there. One of my favorite shots from this session was where they were photobombed by this super-stylish older couple sporting the infamous self-stick. I usually hate those things, but I mean come on, look at them. Perfect. Then, time for more coffee, and a cab to Soho.

As it turns out, Emily and I are both totally obsessed with cobblestone, so we of course went and found some. We just happened to be dropped off by the cab in front of this stunning 5000-square-foot restaurant inside of a greenhouse, the NoMo SoHo kitchen. They were kind enough to let us snag a few photos while we chatted over a glass of wine. After losing track of time a bit (shocking, I know), we ran out into the street to take as many pictures as we could while our Uber came to take us to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Ok, so, In case no one has told you, it's a pretty solid walk to the actual bridge part of the Brooklyn bridge path. Go early. Don't be like us. In fact, probably suck it up and go for sunrise. It was freezing, the sun was already behind the evening clouds, and we were all but sprinting to get to the top (only to pause when I just couldn't help myself and had to get a picture). You'll notice all of the other people in the pictures have on serious winter coats. Because that's how cold it was. These two powered through and kept each other warm, though. All-in-all, these shots were totally worth it, but a lesson was definitely learned.

One more thing... and this really made me feel a bit of that New York magic... The Brooklyn Bridge is PACKED at sunset. Apparently even if it's -486 degrees outside. Swarming. With. People. However, when the gals cozy'd up on the bridge with the rush hour traffic below us, and the skyline behind them, the people- all of them- started walking around me... leaving a gap so I could stand back to get my shots. I had anticipated shooting through them, but wow. Thank you to the (probably two or three hundred) people that weaved during those few short minutes. You made the end of this shoot really something extra special, if you ask me.

Thank you ladies for freezing your bums off for these shots. And readers, let's not feel too bad for them, because shortly after this wintery shoot the gals went to Mexico and exchanged vows on a warm tropical beach. Here's to an amazing life for you both, and the loving, unconventional little family you've created. <3

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A few sentences from Emily about our shoot:

"It was such an effortless experience working with Desiree. The three of us had so much fun as if it was just a hang out...and at the same time she was able to step back and let Candace and I have our own moments to connect with eachother which she was able to capture perfectly. Candace and I have so much love for eachother and for our little life here in NYC and I think that shines through Desirees images. I love seeing our love through her eyes... And I love having our beautiful city as the backdrop. I can't wait to hang them in our apartment."