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This January I found one of the prettiest gems of a place New Jersey has to offer and photographed an engagement session at Cross Estate Gardens in Bernardsville. The grounds were so gorgeous, but being a cold January evening not much was in bloom yet. I could only imagine how beautiful it would be one everything was blooming in the springtime. So when Nicole contacted me about getting some updated family photos, I knew exactly where I wanted to take them. And let me tell you, Cross Estate Gardens DID NOT disappoint. There was purple wisteria hanging from the wooden overhangs, greenery to die for, and big pink peonies that reminded me how I still wish I could have gotten married during peony season. But even better than the flowers? Nicole & Joe’s adorable son Benjamin. SO. STINKING. CUTE.

Nicole is one of my best friends from our middle school and high school years. I don’t often get to see her being that we live hundreds of miles away from each other, but when I do it’s like no time has passed at all. When she and Joe welcomed Benjamin just over a year ago, he was the very first baby I photographed. So he’ll always hold a special place in my heart. When we pulled up to the gardens last weekend I couldn’t get over how much he had grown and changed in a short 12 months. He is super smiley and cute, and y’all know I am a sucker for suspenders. It’s clear how much he adores Nicole & Joe, and I had so much fun capturing this little family of three.

I am sure next time I see Nicole and Joe I’ll once again be blown away about how much Benjamin has grown and changed. That’s the thing about little kids. No matter how much we will them to stay that way, they are constantly shifting and becoming something new. So hopefully these photos will always be a reminder of what one year liked look. How sweet it was, how cute it was, and how fleeting it can be.
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THE LOUGHLINS | CROSS ESTATE GARDENS

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