Allie and Justin’s engagement session

A few weeks ago, on a picture perfect early April day, I headed down to Jersey City, NJ to spend the afternoon with Allie and Justin, and their larger than life “best friend” Joey, exploring the streets of Jersey City, where they’re proud home owners, and Hoboken, just next door. And while we’d all met up at my place a month or two previously, Allie and I, in fact, go way back. Although I hadn’t seen her in many years, I’ve known her since she was a baby. Not only that, but I’d had the opportunity to photograph her many times when she was a little one.

Back “in the day”, when I was an advertising and magazine photographer with a studio in NYC, one of my long-time and most wonderful of clients was a kids’ fashion catalogue called Brights Creek. Allie’s dad and my good buddy Arnie was the Senior Product Manager and at its peak, we spent as many as forty days a year together taking pictures in the studio of the latest (in ’80’s) kids’ clothing. And while most of the kids were actually models, each of us managed to, at times, sneak in our own kids to the mix, including young and adorable Allie.

But enough about the past. A bit about Allie and Justin today, and how they first met. Allie’s best friend Andi went on the Birthright trip to Israel in July 2009. When she returned she told Allie that she met the perfect guy for her, that they had so much in common, both went to and loved Penn State, both were Jewish with close families, and that their personalities were extremely similar. Allie was finishing up her masters from Penn State, and Andi informed Allie that this “perfect guy” was going to be at the Penn State football game the last weekend of September. She gave Allie his number, she called and introduced herself, and asked him if he and his friends wanted to meet at a bar for a few drinks. They ended up doing just that, at a bar called “The G-Man”, and the two instantly clicked. They met a few times that same weekend at various bars and restaurants, and they’ve been together ever since. She would make the long drive from PSU to Jersey City, where Justin was already living, and he would make the same trip in reverse to see Allie. They were engaged on February 6th, 2010 on a skiing weekend at Hunter Mountain in Upstate New York and their wedding will be taking place on Memorial Day weekend 2011.

So while all my relationships with my brides and grooms is special and “personal” for me, once in awhile I have the unique opportunity to work with a couple with whom there’s already a long history, whether it was the fact that my dad had photographed their parents’ wedding, or that I’d had a personal long-standing friendship with the family, as in the case of Allie and hers. So its with great anticipation that I eagerly await the wedding of Allie and Justin next year and with great excitement that I share with you these pictures of our day spent on the streets of Jersey. Enjoy.

  • Steve DePino said:

    Love the one with the dog tied up and the red wall. Such a fun photo. Great Work on all of these Bruce!

  • I love when couples include their "fur-babies" in their most special pictures. Very fun pictures, Bruce.