By Lauren Fair Photography

The Blog

I’m Jill, a wedding photographer based in New Jersey — and I’m so excited that you’re here! Follow along with the blog to get a glimpse into the heart behind my work.

Van Vorst Park Jersey City Engagement

Jersey City, New Jersey


Oh this northeast weather! We’ve been dealing with the rainiest weekends of all time so far this fall here in New Jersey, but thankfully the weekday weather has been holding up okay — until about two hours before Caroline and Neil’s Jersey City engagement session when the forecast called for nearly certain rainfall headed our way! We went ahead and took a chance still having the session, and thankfully luck was on our side and we only got a few drops of rain before the skies cleared to reveal beautiful, dreamy sunlight.

Caroline and Neil are the sweetest! These two first met back in August of 2016 at 13th South, or as Caroline tells it, “More affectionately known as the Cornell Law School Frat House. I remember spotting a blonde guy with a bottle of bourbon in his back pocket, but I was not introduced to him until later in the evening. It’s actually kind of a funny story, later that night his roommate was hitting on me and I was really not interested, and he called Neil over asking him to tell me that he was not a jerk. Neil’s response was, “Well that depends, what did you say to her?” From there Neil and I chatted the rest of the night and he walked me home which was conveniently only a few steps away from his apartment — campuses are small worlds.”

“From there, meeting him kind of just stuck with me. I had a bit of a crush on him, but I wasn’t sure if he liked me or not. We would see each other in passing between classes and I think it took maybe two weeks after we meet for him to ask me out. Our first date was quite fitting for two law students, a study session in the cubicles and a late night trip to Wegmans because Neil insisted on buying me these vitamins I never took, but my doctor insisted I needed. I never took the vitamins, but I still have them.”

Neil officially popped the question in June of 2022 on a trip to Boulder, Colorado! Caroline had been going to the same jeweler with her family since she was a little girl, and one of the only jewelers in Connecticut who carry Tacori rings. As Caroline tells it, “Tacori rings are sort of special because they are all handmade and no two are alike. Their factory is actually out in LA and if you have a ring designed by them, you can go visit and meet the actual people who made your ring and set the diamonds.”

“I went with my parents and tried on a bunch of styles and worked with the jeweler (Leslie) who has known me since I was a little girl. I then ranked the settings I liked best and left the rest up to them. Leslie and Neil then designed the ring together — they picked the setting I had ranked as my favorite and then selected the diamond together, etc. So it was a mix of being a surprise, and something I had some idea about. It was a really special process because it involved my parents and people I’ve known since I was a kid.”

Together Caroline and Neil are giant music junkies love driving around listening to music, as well as attending concerts together. They are also big nature people so enjoy hiking together, going on walks, and spending time outside with their dog, Ace. These two love to travel and try new things, one of their favorite trips being Jackson Hole, Paradise Valley, and Glacier where they hung out in nature and hiked for two full weeks. However, Caroline says that she can have just as much fun with Neil at home in sweats as they can out with all their friends. “I think we are both just thankful to have a best friend in each other as well.”

When we first started talking about engagement session locations, Caroline and Neil told me that Van Vorst Park is a special place to them. “Neil and I have spent a lot of time together, and separately, in Van Vorst. We both have always felt like it’s this little special oasis right in the heart of the city. Often times we’ll sit in front of the bird bath and just hang out to watch the birds, look at the plants, and be present. It’s always been a place where we could find calm and connection. We both would put it up there as one of our favorite sports in Jersey City.”

I am so excited to celebrate these two next October at Bear Brook Valley, it’s going to be a beautiful day!

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