Ashley and Chaz

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



Photographer | J&J Studios

Location | Kelly Drive

Ashley and Chaz’s story begins in September 2015 at a local park where they were scheduled to go walking around the track with a mutual friend. That friend ran late and Chaz decided to introduce himself. The two decided to start walking the track after the somewhat awkward introduction, and the two have been inseparable since.


Being an active couple, the two often enjoy walking and it is this love of walking that prompted Chaz’s proposal. Per the couple, “The proposal happened at the same park that we first met at in March 2018. After stopping for a quick breakfast and “a busy day ahead filled with errands”, Chaz had the idea of stopping at the local park to walk off some of the food. As we were walking along the track, we were reminiscing on the first day we met… Ashley, who always speaks her mind when with Chaz decided to say, “It’s such a cute idea for a man/woman to propose to his significant other at the spot they first met. One day when you decide to propose, I don’t think you would do that though because I would definitely be able to pick up on the surprise/proposal.” Little did I (Ashley) know, I had eaten my own words. Chaz then quickly began to complain of his shoe/foot bothering him and mentioned that we needed to get back to the truck. As we started walking back, Chaz had said: “That’s it, I have to fix my shoe here on the track.” Meanwhile, there are runners and a decent amount of people walking the track as Chaz just stops right in the middle of it to “fix his shoe”. While kneeling down and as Ashley was watching for runners coming by, he had then pulled out the ring!”


The ring itself is a princess cut diamond with two rows of round diamonds surrounding the center. Per Chaz, “It is so Ashley.” The two have started planning a 2020 Cape May Wedding. The two have a love of boats and water, so as we reviewed some popular locations for an engagement shoot, Kelly Drive immediately came to mind. Situated right next to Boathouse Row and the Schuylkill River, it had a perfect nautical theme. Furthermore, it contained the same types of running paths that the couple so often frequent and is similar to the place Chaz proposed. We knew it would be a perfect fit.


The images themselves are bohemian-rustic inspired, incorporating winter colors, flannel, personalized mugs the couple chose and of course iconic pictures featuring the Schuylkill River and Philly skyline. During the shoot itself, I remarked often to myself how easy going and relaxed the couple was which plays perfectly to their wedding theme of beach, marina and nautical themes. The couple hopes to have a relaxed, comfortable and fun atmosphere at the wedding and it is these careful observations of their behavior that I wanted to elicit the comfortable, relaxed nature of their relationship with the images. I chose deliberately casual and playful poses for most of the images as I felt it fit their personalities best.


I, of course, reserved a few epic “dip” shots to feature the grandeur of the Philly skyline or the iconic Schuylkill River, but otherwise kept the session very relaxed and I feel that is communicated well in the images. The couple has started planning their beach themed Cape May, NJ wedding in earnest and while no date is affixed yet, the couple aims to set sail in Summer 2020.

Let’s start at the beginning. How did you two first meet?

The two of us met in September 2015. On a warm breezy night, Chaz and I were supposed to be meeting a mutual friend of ours at a local park to go walking around the track. It just so happened that the mutual friend of ours was running pretty late and awkwardly enough, Chaz and I had happened to park right next to each other. With a few awkward stares and thoughts of whether this was Ashley/Chaz parked next to me, Chaz eventually got out of his car. From that moment on, we introduced ourselves without the help of our mutual friend being there and decided to start walking around the park’s track. Little did we know that after this somewhat awkward introduction, our lives together would quickly begin!


What makes your relationship special? Tell us some things that you both value in your time together. What makes your relationship unique?

There is not one specific thing that makes our relationship special nor does it matter what we may be doing. Sure our ability to make one another laugh, our many date nights, walks on the beach, and movie nights all are things that we cherish. However, simply being in one another’s presence is what makes our relationship so special to us and is what we truly value. Throughout our time together thus far, we have experienced some family heart breaks and have quickly learned how important it is to be extremely grateful/value the moment. Our relationship and our future will never forget that regardless of the many things that we will have the opportunity to experience together.


How did you know your partner was the one? When did you first know this in your relationship?

We literally could not stay away from each other! Every moment or chance that we had to be with one another was taken advantage of and still is today. Also, right from the start of our relationship, we could just understand each other… Some may say oddly, but we can look at one another and know almost exactly what the other is thinking. Talk about being able to mind read.


We’re all about the bling… Tell us all about that ring!

Chaz had picked out the ring with a close Aunt of his a week before the proposal/on his birthday. The beautiful ring is a princess cut diamond with then two rows of round diamonds surrounding the center. It is so Ashley!


Are you excited to start planning your wedding day? Do you have any ideas in mind yet?

Now that Ashley has finished graduate school, the real wedding planning is now beginning! Ideally, we would like to marry and hold our wedding reception in South Jersey/Cape May County. We would like to have a beach/marina/nautical themed wedding. We hope for our wedding to have a relaxed, comfortable and fun atmosphere.