Couples Session at the Jersey Shore

I meet a ton of people online. Social Media- despite the frenzy about how we risk becoming disconnected and mindless- has achieved a monumental task. Bringing together droves of individuals, many times with the same values and comparable experiences (at times the opposite) onto platforms that encourage interaction. Instagram's platform is has been a gift for me. It has been a way to reach people whom I would probably not have otherwise. In fact, I'd argue that it has been a ridiculously efficient way to build relationships with folks that care about certain things, and see the world in a particular way. 

I met Shabih on Instagram during a post I made reaching out to couples in the area. I value engagement from the community. I am a teacher after all and engagement in my mind counts as "participation." After a couple of FaceTime calls, we decided that we both fit each other's energy and vision and that we would shoot somewhere close.

We are New Jersey locals and decided that the Jersey shore would be where we would spend our afternoon. For me, the ocean has a certain allure. I grew up next to the ocean as a child in the Philippines, and the waves bring memories back- happy times, serious times- times of love and being present with the people that matter. The waves represent something constant- a consistent coming and going that is the rhythm of life; a give and take that is the nature of relationships and love.

Jose Melgarejo - New Jersey Shore Couples Photography

The Jersey shore is more complex than just beach and boardwalk. To the West it is wooded and forest; there are pebbles beaches as well as white sand; some parts are developed with boardwalks and others are preserved natural parks. For photography, the shore presents some pretty cool opportunities for a shoot- minimal backdrops and lush greens to the grays and gradients created by sand and concrete. We spent half our time at a local park and drove ten minutes to the shore nearby.

After our afternoon at the beach, I learned that Shabih herself is a photographer (little did I know that our shoot would be the start of my becoming a sort of photographer-of-photographers). I would later develop a habit of shooting photographers and the people they care about for reasons that photographers understand- being always behind the lens and never in front of it; having beautiful photographs of others and their loved ones and not many of them and their own. 

Here are our images. From the afternoon as light transitioned to night. And we all walked away with much more.