Ringwood, New Jersey
This was a session I will NEVER forget — for more reasons than one! First of all, working with Monal and Andy was SUCH an amazing experience! Although they say they were super nervous for our session (and even brought a mixed drink to calm their nerves, just in case!) you would never know it by looking at their photos. I knew I liked them right off the bat — we were laughing and joking the whole time!
If you’ve never been to the New Jersey Botanical Garden, I highly recommend visiting. I had first been for an engagement session last summer, and it’s one of the most stunning locations I’ve been to in the area. Unfortunately, the garden closes at 6PM (instead of sunset) due to COVID, so we had to cut our time there a bit short. Luckily Monal and Andy were total troupers and were down to head to another location for their second outfit!
Much to my dismay, the two other state parks we tried were both closed early as well. Funny enough, the second park’s entrance was a beautiful little area and thankfully Monal and Andy trusted me that it would be a perfect spot for the rest of our session. The light was absolutely magical and we shot for another thirty minutes on the literal side of the road, but the end result was everything we could have dreamed of!
But here’s why I really will never forget this session — I should have also mentioned that my fiancé, Matt, and our beagle mix, Macie, were waiting in the car. I had brought them along, and boy am I glad I did. Macie had been super quiet and well behaved the whole time, but as we were walking back towards the car I heard her going nuts and barking like crazy. Then, I suddenly saw Matt hanging out the window of the car waving his arms.
Instantly, my first thought was Macie had gotten loose and was running away. But then, I heard Matt yelling, “JILL, JILL, THERE’S A BEAR!”
Monal, Andy, and I all froze in our tracks, but Matt kept making noise — and so did Macie — and waved us over to the car. We made it to the car and turned around just in time to see a fully grown black bear making its way back into the woods. I am SO thankful for Macie, who noticed the bear before Matt did, and I will most likely be bringing her along with me to all of my North Jersey sessions!
I’m very grateful that Monal and Andy trusted me to 1) deliver gorgeous photos from a strange location, and 2) not let us get eaten by a bear. This will certainly be a day that none of us soon forget! Congratulations to Monal and Andy, and I am so happy to have met them and capture these sweet moments for them to cherish forever.