A Real Valentine

posted in: Personal 4

Right now, everyone is running around looking for gifts or dinner ideas for their special someone. I can tell you, after 8 years of marriage, you learn really fast that chocolates wrapped in cellophane barely sum up the amount of ground a relationship covers. So here goes…

My wife and I met while I was a singer at a local restaurant. She was unlike any girl I’d met so far. Stubborn, independent, and witty, I immediately realized that I probably didn’t want to date her. I know it sounds horrible, but really it meant that she was completely different from what I was programmed to believe a compatible partner for me would be. However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that because of her characteristics, if I were to date her, it would make for a very interesting relationship.

After a few years, we were married. Not long after I proposed, we found out we were going to have our first child. Scared, yes. Still in college, without a fulltime job, I was terrified trying to scrounge some sort of career to support my upcoming family. Jumping headlong into wedding photography was a gamble to say the least. About 6 months after our daughter was born, we had a small wedding ceremony with family and friends. However, I didn’t regret it for a second… and I’m not talking about weddings, I’m talking about getting my girlfriend pregnant.

Completely unorthodox, it somehow reflected our unusual traits as a couple. Always going against the grain, playing for the underdog, my wife and I learned that we were pretty much alone as a couple. Our friends were no where near the age of starting a family, nor did any of our daughter’s classmates have parents as young as us. Isolated, my wife and I had a hard time working through our problems because we really didn’t have anyone to turn to for advice. We only had each other.

And this is the bulwark of our marriage. After the recent birth of our second child, I look at our lives and realize we have quite a unique family. As young parents with children that are almost eight years apart, there’s really not a category you can fit us into.

And that’s the point. My wife is my life, the creator of my children, the hand in the fog, and the anchor in the storm. As you can see, she and I don’t always know where we’re headed. But as long as I’m going there with her and my kids, I don’t need to know.

I love you, Sophia. Happy Valentine’s Day :)


*image above taken by me just days before we found out we were having our first child.

4 Responses

  1. Elaine

    So sweet and heartfelt and beautiful Dustin. Thanks for sharing it with all of us – your story and your heart. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your beautiful wife and family. xo

  2. Mel Cole

    I love this,every bit of it. Love is raw…love is real, that’s the true beauty. What a sweet sweet post. Happy Valentine’s day to your family!

  3. Nate St. Pierre

    LOVE that picture. And yes, as long as you’re going there with her, it’s alllll good. :)

  4. Jano Lavalle

    Hi Dustin!

    Love your work!

    I’m a aspiring wedding photographer here in Lima, Peru. Just begining.

    I would love to hear and would be really useful what do you have to say about my work.

    Here are some links:



    Thanks and greetings from Peru!