First, I want to say congratulations on your new engagement! I hope you are enjoying this wonderful and magical time with your significant other. The hard part is over – the question was popped and the “yes!” was announced, now what happens next? An engagement session in New York, of course!
If you’re not sure where to start with the tasks that come along with being engaged, I have few suggestions. Take a little bit of time first just to enjoy it and soak in all of the love you’re feeling. Next, create a checklist to keep yourselves organized. Now, get ready to take some engagement pictures!
Many newly engaged couples find themselves on the fence about engagement sessions. Don’t worry if that’s you, you’re not alone. Here are ten most helpful tips for engagement session in New York.
engagement sessions very important
When you book an engagement session in NYC, you’ll end up with beautiful, magical, and colorful pieces of physical evidence of the light and love in your relationship. You can use these photos to create “save the dates” that you and your loved ones will treasure forever.
You’ll also get the chance to get comfortable with your favorite NYC wedding photographer and their camera. Most people aren’t used to getting professional pictures taken all day, so spending some time together before the big day is a great opportunity to build your confidence and get comfortable. With my clients, I treasure this time together. The more I know your story and the way you interact, the better I’ll be able to capture your magic.
My goal is for you to forget that you are in front of a camera. We’ll capture real moments as much as we can – natural, smooth, and candid. Whether that means practicing your dance moves in the middle of a busy street, talking about your first memories of each other, or telling jokes, I want to capture genuine, candid moments of love and laughter.
The end result is not only beautiful photos but also increased confidence, a relationship with your photographer, and a fun day out! Couples who book an engagement session with their wedding photographer often are happier with the way their wedding photos come out because they took the time to get comfortable in front of the camera and discover what styles and types of photos they really love.
Plan Ahead for save the date Cards
Whenever my newly engaged clients ask this question, I typically tell them that the best time to schedule their NYC engagement session is about 6 – 9 months before the wedding date. This will give you plenty of time to get the photos back, pick your favorites, and order and send out your “save the dates.”
New York engagement photos Locations
If you have a spot in mind, please share it with me! It can be the location of your first date, a place you love to go together, somewhere close to home, or your favorite park or restaurant. (Keep in mind that if you aim for a restaurant or another privately owned location, you’ll have to call ahead to make sure we don’t need a permit.) If there is a certain place that you can picture your New York engagement session in, that’s where we should go. Otherwise, I have plenty of suggestions for you.
We can go to Manhattan for photos with a backdrop of vivid city life. I can suggest a park or a community garden in East Village if you’d rather surround yourselves with beautiful, quiet nature scenes. We can take your engagement pictures to the colorful and historical Coney Island boardwalk, and everywhere in-between.
I’ve photographed clients in Ikea and on the rooftop and laundry room of the building that they live in, in the middle of a crowded intersection in the East Village, and surrounded by nature in Pelham Bay Park. I can cover up to a 30-mile radius from the city with no additional charge, so the options are endless. You can also choose more than one location, but I wouldn’t recommend any more than two. We want to have as much time for pictures as possible and traveling in the city can make that difficult.
The best time of the day for your session
The best time of day for any photo session is during the “golden hour,” – when there’s about 100 minutes of daylight left. You’ll get the best lighting and golden hues for your pictures. Mid-day in the warm months can be unbearably hot and the light is less flattering. The specific time to start will vary depending on the time of year and the location(s) that you choose. We’ll have more daylight in the summer months than the winter ones.
When I book an New York engagement session, I’ll typically check the exact time of the sunset. Than I subtract 100 minutes from it – that will be the best time to start. If you have another time of day in mind, we can work with that, too! We’ll coordinate when the session is booked, and once again a few days before. Also, please keep in mind that day ligt in the Manhattan is gone sooner because of dense and tall buildings. Therefore, depending on your engagement pictures location we might need to coordinate the right starting time.
Book Couples shoot on a Weekday
When it comes to the day of the week to choose for an engagement session, I always recommend week days. Especially when we’re shooting in New York. Whether we’re heading into Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, or another area, New York is generally very crowded on the weekends. Unless we’re shooting in a private, closed-off location, we’ll have to deal with pedestrians crossing through and distracting traffic sounds.
If we shoot during the week, a lot of these issues go away. New York is rarely quiet, but it’ll be a lot better. It’ll also be a lot easier to book. Most weekends throughout the year fill up really quickly for wedding photographers in NYC. I constantly receive wedding inquiries and I would like to accommodate these couples as well.
Best outfit Practices
The most important thing to remember in this category is that you want to be comfortable for your engagement shoot. If we’re hiking through parks and climbing rocks to get to your location, stiletto heels may not be the best choice. Choose your outfit to match the mood of the shoot, the colors of the location, and each other.
For example, if you’re going for a chic, high-life Manhattan engagement shoot, choose a cocktail dress and heels (pack flats as a backup), and a well-tailored suit. If we’re shooting in the more laid-back New York location like East Village or Brooklyn, try for elegant casual. A pretty blouse and skirt, and denim pants with an untucked but wrinkle-free shirt will work for engagement session. For park or nature scenes, wear cute walking shoes and clothes that will look great even if they get wrinkly along the way. Spend some time trying on outfits together to see what matches, what you’re comfortable in, and what will go well with your surroundings.
You can bring a change of clothes to the shoot with you but remember. It’s always better to have one outfit that you love, than two or three that you’re not sure of. As a general rule, try to stick to solid colors. Patterns and stripes can be distracting in photos. My favorite recommendations are long-sleeve, solid colored dresses for the ladies and long-sleeve button up shirts with stylish denim for the guys. These go great together.
Another suggestion for the ladies: try to use this day as a test run for your wedding makeup, too. It’ll be a great opportunity to get pampered, get to know your makeup artist, and see how it will come out in professional photos. If you’re good at doing your own makeup, you can do it yourself too. We may take a picture or two of your engagement ring, so a fresh manicure may be a good idea.
Should we bring our pets and props for the engagement session?
Yes! The goal is to have fun, get you comfortable with the camera, and let your personality and love shine. If your pets and fun, festive props will help, then it’s a great idea to include them. Engagement sessions in New York are great for pet and prop lovers. There’s so much room and so many places to go.
I love dogs and I’m always happy to include a furry friend in an engagement shoot! Keep in mind that pets can be demanding to juggle when it’s time for photos of just the happy couple. So, I’d recommend starting with the pet shots. We’ll spend 20-30 minutes with them and then have you pass him or her along to a friend. The same goes for props. We’ll start with those, then focus on your interactions and surroundings so we get the most well-rounded collection possible.
Look at the weather
If there is more than a 50% chance of rain or snow, it would be a good idea to reschedule your NYC engagement shoot. I understand that weather is a factor that is entirely out of our control. I’ll be happy to work with you to get you a convenient alternative date.
If you’re okay with a drizzle or a dusting of snow during your session, we might just go with it. These photos can still come out great and they often feel exciting, raw, and real. The decision is yours.
You will Receive You photos Blazing fast
You may see a photo or two from your engagement shoot on my blog or social media very soon. The full collection with raw and edited photos will be available to you within 3 – 4 weeks. As soon as they are ready, I’ll send you a link to your online gallery with all wonderful shots we captured together.
Last but not least Tip
The most important thing to remember is to have fun! This process should be relaxing and flow with ease. You’re creating life-long memories and beautiful images with the person you love the most in this world! Being award-winning New York wedding photographer, I’m very good at getting clients to forget that they’re in front of a camera during engagement sessions. We want real, stunning photos that highlight the magic and love you two share. That’s what it’s all about.
So, on that note, here is my last recommendation. Book a table in your favorite restaurant or one that you’ve always wanted to try. Go there after the session is over to share drinks, dinner, and a laugh or two. As an added bonus, you both already look great! Take some time to reflect and look ahead at all of the wonderful things to come.