I literally don’t think there’s any greater gift to me as a photographer to rekindle old friendships and document the many life milestones of people I’ve known for decades. And Ashleigh and Justin’s maternity session at Laurelwood Arboretum in Wayne, NJ gave me the opportunity to do just that.
In high school, I was ALWAYS the girl with the camera, and I met Ashleigh during my Junior year of high school when she was a freshman on our girl’s ski team. We became FAST friends almost instantly on our first ski trip up to Stratton Vermont. Her dad was the high school athletic trainer, and he and I were super close my entire high school career (since I was always hurt) and so naturally, I’d be close with his amazing daughter too!
Fast forward about ten years, and I found myself with an email from Ashleigh that she had met the love of her life Justin, and wanted nothing more than for me to photograph their spring wedding in South Jersey.
Fast forward again, and I had the honor of celebrating their micro ceremony with them in 2020. As we all know, COVID had other plans for the wedding industry, and Ashleigh and Justin had to make many MANY adjustments to their wedding plans. Through it all, they were such troopers and they got to have an incredible day surrounded by their closest family and friends both in person and virtually.
They had intended to have the big – full wedding this May (2021) but… SURPRISE! They’re having a baby in April!
Ashleigh and Justin were very eager to begin their family together – Ashleigh is already the amazing step-mom to Justin’s two incredible kids – Jackson and Bella, and now, they get to bring their own little girl into the world this April.
I was so excited to have them come up to my neck of the woods for their maternity session at Laurelwood Arboretum! Laurelwood is right next to my house and is where I walk literally any time I go on a walk. It’s proved to be a beautiful backdrop for portraits time and again and when I suggested this as the location for their session I was thrilled that they said yes!! The little bit of snow we had left, and that sweet and beautifully golden winter light made the perfect backdrop for their photos!
I was so excited that Jackson and Bella were also part of the session, and we got to combine a few family portraits into the mix with the maternity photos. All 4 of them (and all the grandparents!) are absolutely THRILLED to be welcoming their baby girl SO SOON and every one of them is just radiating joy over this little blessing!
Since we didn’t get to have the big wedding as planned, I’ll have the honor of photographing all of these sweet families milestones over the next year and I cannot WAIT to meet this sweet little girl in a few short weeks!!
Ashleigh and Justin – I love you guys and I am SOO SOOOO happy for you!! I cannot wait to meet your beautiful baby girl so soon!!