I can now check "driving in NYC" off of my bucket list.

Well, I guess it was never actually on my bucket list but I did feel some sense of accomplishment as I parked in Brooklyn on Friday evening. I was just early enough to feel like a responsible person who left enough time in case of traffic, but not early enough to really venture around Chris and Nina's neighborhood before we were supposed to meet. But one thing I love about engagement sessions is that they are basically neighborhood explorations. 

Chris and Nina took me out to Red Hook - an area I had not previously explored - and we were able to enjoy the random 100 degree weather, the perfect golden light, and a relatively empty area of Brooklyn. I honestly didn't know there was such a place. We walked leisurely around the water, only ignored one trespassing sign, and found ourselves at a key lime nook where they claim they are one of two(?) places in the United States that actually use real key lime. You heard me. Apparently no one else does. 

How's that for a Friday evening? 


Meet two of my all-time favorite people: Clint and Jillian.

Or, as they're known around our house: Uncle Clint and Auntie Jillian. 

Jillian and I were both invited to a "girls' night" in Gettysburg a few years ago to watch a movie called Austenland. It's a weirdly amazing movie about a girl who is obsessed with all things Jane Austen and eventually makes her way to a vacation spot known as Austenland. She dresses up in period clothing, falls in love, etcetera etcetera. In a silent room of strangers, Jillian and I laughed at the exact same moments during this odd film and we were the only people eating all of the popcorn. 

Naturally, a friendship was born. 

Fast forward to now, and these two are some of our very best friends! And the proud godparents of our super cute baby. They asked me to take one quick photo for them so they could update the photo on their DiscipleMakers prayer card. I believe the proposed location was my porch. But that was a horrible idea and I decided to highjack the moment and plan an entire shoot! We ended up out at one of my favorite spots - the White Cliffs of Conoy - and ran around screaming about kissing and how gross it is. Because it's actually kind of weird to watch your besties kissing through a viewfinder. 



I love a good hiking engagement session for a few reasons:

(1) Hello, it's beautiful.
(2) I get to wear jeans, a rain jacket, and rain boots. I do not have to look pretty. Unlike these two who were hiking in some killer outfits. 
(3) I'm hiking as a job

Bryan and Becca met me in Ithaca so we could explore some of their favorite spots from when they were in college and falling in love. As I often do, I asked to hear all of their best stories from when they first started dating and I have to give Becca a round of applause. If we're being honest, she gets all of the credit for this impending wedding. As she said, "I figured I'd just kiss him and see if he was into it. "

He was into it. 


Meet Vinny and Jen. 

I really love working with high school sweethearts. I don't know why exactly, but the romantic in me adores the idea of finding your person so early in life and watching them grow and change into a proper spouse. So, as you can imagine, I was all heart-eyed while standing out on the New Jersey coastline listening to a story about how Vinny asked Jen to high school prom and how she said yes.

Then she said no. 

So I quickly went from heart-eyed to laughing hysterically while jumping across the rocks to get just the right angle for my next frame. That's right. Jen said yes and then she said no. It doesn't seem like Vinny was deterred by her refusal to his prom proposal, since she's now wearing an engagement ring from his marriage proposal. I say, when all things are considered, that the joke's on Jen. Because Vinny definitely won the war, even if he lost the high school battle. 

I'll be back in New Jersey for their November wedding and I cannot wait to celebrate with them. I think these photos have a lot of life in them, and after spending a couple of hours watching these two, I am excited to celebrate with them at what will most certainly be a party. Let's hear it for could-have-been-high-school-sweethearts!



If you haven't heard, my associate photographer, Kriste, is having a baby! Like any day now! Naturally, I cannot wait. Our babies are so close in age, I cannot wait to see the friendship between them unfold in the coming years. Also, Kriste and I can finally begin our little baby hangs without one of us being pregnant. If you've ever been pregnant, I think you'll remember how ready you are to deliver by the end of your experience. I hit that point in mid-December. I think Kriste is there now. 

And yet, look at how insanely beautiful she is in the photos below! We ventured out to Esbenshade's greenhouse a few weeks ago to peruse the green goods and take advantage of the picturesque backdrops. Kriste loves a good plant and I made jokes about all of the new life surrounding us, so it was an afternoon of chuckles and joy. While we talked about what she's most excited for regarding their new little son, I snapped a few frames to forever save this time for her and her husband, David. 

Baby J, welcome to our crew!