filed in

Fall Anniversary Session Verona Park | Jessah & Jason

Their Session: Verona Park, NJ

Jessah & Jason’s anniversary session at Verona Park was a BLAST! I’m so excited about all the fun photos we captured! Jessah is a friend of mine, and fellow photographer (check out her website here!), which made this session extra fun! It’s always such an honor when I get to photograph a fellow photographer. <3 I’m so pumped about all these photos, and can’t wait to share some of my faves with you! But first you have got to hear about Jessah & Jason’s love story. Jessah & Jason have made a tradition of taking anniversary photos every year. I love that tradition, and am so grateful to have done this session for them to commemorate another year of marriage. I can’t wait to share some of my favorites, but first, these two have the cutest love story! It’s a must-read. 🙂

Their Love Story

When I asked Jessah & Jason to share one thing they love about each other, Jessah said, “I love that I always feel safe and heard with Jason and I trust him with my life.” Jason said, “I love that I don’t have to play games with her and I feel like Jessah is the one person I can let my guard down and be myself around.”

How They Met

Okay this is a GOOD one and Jessah tells it best so I’ll let her words speak for themselves. 🙂 She told me, “Jason and I met in homeroom in high school! I was not a morning person and he definitely was. He would come over and try to chat with me before the bell rang and I was just irritated being awake that early. I was confused why he was friendly because we went to a pretty judgey school. He always wore the same orange hat and it had a cross drawn on it with sharpie. I had no idea who he was. Apparently, everyone knew him as “the Christian kid” and wrote him off making assumptions that he was filed with hate and was homophobic. I just knew him as the kid that was nice to me in homeroom. He never gave me any reason to dislike him.

We started to become good friends since he was so friendly. One time he asked me to go to McDonalds in town after school. I was like “OOOO A DATE WITH THE CHRISTIAN KID?!” We went out and he paid for it, to my surprise. I asked him why he paid  trying to get him to admit he liked me, but he said, “I’m just a nice guy.”  We continued to hang out and became better friends and I totally fell for him. He shared his faith with me and I attended some meetings at the Christian club after school with him to spend more time with him. There was something about him that made me want to turn this good kid into a bad kid.  One day in between classes, he asked me if there was anything he could pray for me for. I told him that I wasn’t really comfortable. He was handing out flyers to people to share about prayer.

Another time, a friend wanted to help me and asked him how he felt and reported bad news back to me. Then JUST TO CLARIFY he then talked to me one on one and let me know it wasn’t going to happen. He had recently gotten out of a long relationship, we were heading to college soon, and we didn’t share the same beliefs. He let me know that he couldn’t be with someone that didn’t have the same beliefs as him. That was the nail on the coffin for me, that as much as I wanted it to happen, it never would.
He did ask me to prom (mixed signals, much?! ) as a friend and I politely turned him down while working on my ceramics after class. I was hoping to go with a boy I was seeing on and off. We did end up dancing together as a group. During graduation, I was super lucky that he let me hang out with him. We were on a bus for a class trip called “project graduation” and at one point I asked him fi I could put my head on his shoulder. He responded, “go for it.” I kept it there for at least 30 minutes. That night I took the first photo I have of us. 

After graduation, I fell out of touch with him. He was such a good kid and I felt like such a bad kid sometimes. I thought he might judge me and not want to be friends if he really knew who I was. I felt terrible ignoring his attempts at trying to stay connected for months, so one day I showed up at his house with a present for Christmas. I knew he was Christian, so I gave him a ring with a bible verse on it and a long letter apologizing for being super lame. We ended up going to dinner another day so he could thank me. He asked me if I had any interest in talking about Christianity, but I wasn’t comfortable. Our friendship started defrosting. One day, months later during the warmer weather, when I was waiting for him to hang out, I was on the phone with a friend and let out a sigh. She asked if I still liked him. I said I’ve accepted the fact that we’re friends and I’m okay with it. I was finally okay with it. Shortly after that, one evening I was throwing his hat around to pick on him and he kept getting it and putting it back on his head. One of the times, he grabbed my hand and held it, and my heart was POUNDING. I put his hand near my clavicle so he could feel it.
I wasn’t sure how to navigate these waters with the most impeccable outline of a man standing before me, one that I was sure never existed and was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I didn’t want to ruin anything. Like ANYTHING. So I decided to fight everything I thought I knew and wait patiently. Not forcing anything, but waiting for everything to slowly blossom. We were hanging out often and I remember carving a pumpkin with him for Halloween when I was asking him questions about Christianity. I felt at a much different place than I was in high school. I felt like I was awake, like I was aware of the Matrix. He later said that he told me the same things in high school that he did in college, but I just wasn’t ready to hear it. Everything just started to make sense.

I remember distinctly at one point having to make the decision between taking a complete and unknown risk, following what I felt was right and a path with this man, or staying in the place I was familiar and more comfortable with revisiting an old flame that wouldn’t stay lit. I knew the potential for the life in one direction was so astronomically better, more bountiful, and peaceful. So I chose to let go of everything. It started with people, then habits, then lifestyle. I slowly relearned life and love, with the best role model I could’ve ever possibly imagined. Boy, did I make the right choice.”

Seriously, I love their story so much! Reading this feels like watching a movie. How cute are they??

The Proposal

Want to hear how Jason popped the question and asked Jessah to be his wife? Jessah said, “We went to one of our favorite places to visit one of our favorite friends; Amba’s Farm to visit Mr. Goatie, a sassy goat that we miss. ️ Jason and I were at the petting zoo and he went to his car to get something. He came back with a small handmade bag which was a replica of a health kit backpack from Left 4 Dead, a video game that we played together on the computer. Inside was a blank pill bottle. )In the game, taking pills is a way to temporarily boost your health.) The pill bottle had a rattle inside, and when I opened it, there was an engagement ring. He asked me to marry him and just like I had hoped, we had a private moment between us without drawing anyone’s attention. 🥰 We did tell Mr. Goatie, though.”

Jessah & Jason

Jessah & Jason, thank you so much for having me photograph your anniversary session! It means the world to me, and I’m so honored to capture this little slice of your love story! I’m so grateful for you guys and your friendship! Sending you all my love and the biggest hug! Happy anniversary, you two! Cheers to another year of marriage in the books, and many more to go! xoxo

If you loved this blog post, you may also enjoy this Colorado Street Bridge session!

  1. OMGSH I can’t stop smiling, you’re amazing Jen!!!! <3 <3 <3 Thank you so much for everything that you do!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *