About (old)

217, many assume this number represents an address, birth date or anniversary, however 217 symbolizes so much more. Two-seventeen has long been in my wife, Dawn’s, family history. Here is her story:

The sentiment behind 217 originated over 55 years ago, when my mother, Shirley Haughton was a little girl. Shirley was the youngest of eight children, who idolized her older sister Ella May. Whenever Shirley told Ella May how much she loved her, Ella May responded jokingly “How much?” As little sisters often do, Shirley tried to impress Ella May by telling her the largest number she could think of, “Two Hundred and Seventeen.” This quickly became a game the two sisters played over and over again. Shirley would tell Ella May she loved her two hundred and seventeen meaning the largest amount known to her little heart. To this day, Shirley and Ella May who are in their sixties and seventies, respectfully, sign every card & letter and conclude every conversation with “I love you, 217”.

As far back as I can remember my mom has told my sister, Gina, and I that she loves us 217. I don’t think we ever questioned or asked what it meant. We knew intrinsically the weight 217 carried when our mom said it. 217 was the greatest amount of love possible and nothing could be more than that love she felt for us. We have continued 217 as a sentiment in our own lives and families. You will see 217 written on every birthday card, holiday card, and letter to family and close friends. Pete and I even have 217 engraved on our wedding bands. There is no better way for us to express respect, commitment and unconditional love than those three numbers.


The women of 217 are honored that it’s meaning lives on through Pete’s photography in capturing the images of unconditional love at it’s most intimate and celebrated moments. We are excited to incorporate the meaning of 217 into our family’s business. We hope to share our passion and love of photography with you and your family.



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