All photographs Copyright J. Mark Porter Photography 2014
|Baby Niece - 2009|
|Blue Mass Procession - 2012|
Love is often exhibited in how we honor our fellow man. Every year at my church, St. Patrick's, in Washington, DC, a "Blue Mass" is held to honor the previous year's fallen American law enforcement officers. The church is always filled with representatives from many states and various arms of the law, including Border Patrol, Secret Service, Sheriffs, local police, etc. Love is showing appreciation for those who earn it and showing solidarity for a shared purpose.
|Family Surf - 2013|
|Dominicana and Child - 2009|
|First-Time Mom - 2006|
I find it hard to think that the love between a mother and her child can be overstated. Here is a candid moment of a woman who is taking in the realization that her life is forever changed by this new life in her arms. As a first-time parent there must be a million things that pass through the mind, from thinking of simply how to keep her alive through the next few moments to what she might look like in her wedding dress. Pictured is my favorite sister-in-law Jennifer and my niece Alexandra in the summer of 2006. I remember holding my niece in that very same chair and thinking about things in this world that she would eventually have to face - such as a crazy dictator in North Korea launching missiles. While love comes with its own kind of heavenly peace, it certainly gives you a compass for what is truly important in this world.
|Family Fourth - 2011|
Far from the only species of animal to do this, but when we love, we want to impress. When we love, we give reasons for why we ought to be together. Basically, love is why we try. This photograph was taken from a patio of one of the US House office buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Fourth of July.
|Grandma's Birthday - 2014|
Love is in the moment. While we all hope that love lasts a lifetime, eventually we learn that all things change, and all things end. Love is not in a book or somewhere far away, but it is in the moments that can present themselves to us every day. Far from a grandparent's consciousness are the minute details of worry, and maybe even the frosting on the cake, but the simple joys of a life well lived during precious moments. Pictured is my godmother on her birthday with two of her grandchildren on her lap. Even with one child making a sour face and the other not even paying attention, in her eyes I see that everything is perfect.
|Inaugural Pride - 2009|
|Old Roses - 2013|
|Maverick and Goose -2010|
"Dear friends, if God loved us that much, we also should love each other. No one has ever seen God, but if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is made perfect in us." - 1 John 4:11-12
|Rest in Peace, Mr B - 2013|
Love hurts. While love can never precisely be measured in units, it is felt in grief when we reach an end. While endings result in sadness, true love lasts beyond our earthly bodies... or why else would we have funerals and cemeteries? Yes, love hurts, but it also endures from man to man and memory to memory. This photo was the only one I took during the funeral and burial of the father of a friend I have known since first grade.
|St Pancras Lovers - 2013|
Last, but not least, love captures our hearts and gives us hope. You may be thinking that I have neglected romantic love, and you may be right. First of all, I didn't want to embarrass anyone by putting their romantic relationship on display for millions to see. Secondly, what I know about romantic love is that it must be sought and it must be cherished. It is its own piece of art that becomes a constant in a sea of variables. It is what we find when we dare to journey, and it takes on a life of its own. Love inspires us to dream of what could be and gives us the strength to get there. This photograph shows Paul Day's "The Meeting Place" statue at one end of London's St. Pancras International Rail Station which welcomes many a traveler whilst exuding the pride of many a Londoner.