Dina and Hiral

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Photography | J&J Studios | @jjstudiosphiladelphia

Location | Race Street Pier | @delawareriverwaterfront

Location | Elfreth’s Alley | @elfrethsalley


This album tells the love story of Dina and Hiral, who uniquely share a long distance relationship on opposite coasts! Hiral is a San Francisco based software engineer and Dina is a pharmacist based in Camden. They met through friends, as is all too common, but nothing is common about the start of their relationship or how it blossomed into the fairytale romance it has become.


After meeting during a friend’s wedding, they spent months communicating through phone, skype and monthly trips coast to coast to visit each other. After many months of dating, Hiral invited Dina to Temecula to go to a wine tasting. It was beautiful–rolling mountains, sunshine, and bet yet Wine! But Hiral wanted to throw her a curveball so he didn’t do the proposal there. In secret, he had flown her family and friends out to CA where they had arranged 100 roses in front of a beautiful lighthouse. He got down on one knee and proposed and with tears streaming down her face, she said yes.

We pick up this photoshoot on one of Hiral’s monthly trips to the east coast to visit Dina. Dina is based in Philadelphia and works in Camden so we settled on the Delaware River Waterfront as the perfect location for an engagement shoot. The images are shot mostly at Race Street Pier, overlooking the Delaware River, with Camden visible on the opposite bank. This was done specifically to incorporate thematic elements related to Dina’s hometown. We also stopped at Elfreth’s Alley as Dina is in love with the cobblestone streets of Old City, Philadelphia. Elfreth’s Alley holds historical significance as the oldest residential street in the nation.


As a photographer, I wanted to capture their bubbling love and affection while incorporating Philadelphia landmarks and of course the Delaware Waterfront, which Dina commutes through every day for work. I chose a selection of tight crops to portray their emotion and tender affection and epic wide angle shots to show the environment and beauty of the city.