Aliza and Jared are categorically an intellectual couple, their engagement session is a pure reflection of the love and insight that they share.  Baldwin’s Book Barn was the ideal location for these two as they enjoy and celebrate brilliancy.  Alison Conklin truly captured the pure essence of this abiding relationship through her creative lens.  Books, laughter, and apparent adoration are just a few ingredients to this book-savvy engagement session!

Alison Conklin Photography Philly In Love

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Alison Conklin Photography Philly In Love

From the Bride-to-be: “We met at an academic conference in Jerusalem at the Yad Vashem World Center for Holocaust Research. At the time, Jared was several months away from finishing his Ph.D. and I was about a year out from completing mine. Immediately, it was evident to us both that we share a commitment to learning from the past to improve justice and equity in the present and future. Yet in addition to our work, what really drew us together during those few days abroad was our shared sense of humor and ability to make each other laugh in the breaks between our oftentimes-intense research.”

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“There’s no one thing. The truth is, Jared is 100% my emotional and intellectual equal, and I know he would say the same thing about me. We truly respect each other and our love and admiration for one another runs deeper than any one word can describe.”

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“Our proposal was a dream come true. On my birthday, Jared surprised me by taking me to West Virginia where we hiked the “Civil War to Civil Rights” trail at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. There, only feet from the site of abolitionist John Brown’s raid, and where members of the Niagara Movement would convene in remembrance of the raid and to plot their next steps for change, we got engaged. Jared read a poem from his favorite French philosopher, Alain Badiou. He also shared a quote from my favorite love story — that of Marc and Bella Chagall. I thought the surprises were done. But after exploring more of Harper’s Ferry, then driving to DC, taking naps, and going out for dinner, we went upstairs to a bar where a bunch of my friends were hiding in a corner by a cluster of balloons. I couldn’t believe it! I was shocked and surprised yet again. The next day, we flew to Montreal, a trip that was long in the making and where I’m from. Jared and I had plans to hang out with family and friends from home, but what I didn’t know was that his mother was going to be there with her boyfriend as well. I also didn’t know that Jared, my mom, and my sister, had planned a big dinner celebration with my grandmother, my brother, and my sister-in-law, who had flown in from New York. As a result, when we went out for dinner and everyone else was in Montreal to help us celebrate, once again, I was stunned. Even better, Jared and my family had also flown in one of my best friends in the whole world who currently lives in San Francisco for the night! I burst into tears when I saw her. Finally, after all that, we went for drinks at a local restaurant that I love to visit when home, and my closest Montreal family and friends from childhood were waiting to surprise me there, as well. Like I said, it was a dream come true.”

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“We really wanted the photos to be as natural as possible; easy-going, comfortable, and representative of us as a couple. Jared and I are both academics and (if you couldn’t already tell!) very intellectual: he’s a historian and I’m a sociologist. We also love to spend time outdoors, in the woods, hiking and biking and such. When we found out about Baldwin’s Book Barn, we knew instantly that it was a perfect fit for our photoshoot.”

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(How has your wedding planning experience been so far?) “It’s been quite a whirlwind! Jared and I share a similar aesthetic, which has made the basics easy. The most difficult thing for us has been coordinating a lot of the planning from a distance, and also with our families who don’t live in the same city as us. Plus, many of our friends live all over the country and the world, and we really want to make the wedding as convenient for everyone as possible. It has been hard when we have had to make choices that don’t accommodate everyone we love, but we try and focus on the fact that our marriage matters so much more than the wedding, and although we have no doubt the wedding itself will be wonderful and special in so many ways, what truly matters is everything that comes after.”

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Vendors | Photography: Alison Conklin Photography | Venue: Baldwin’s Book Barn |