So you’re preparing to have an NYC engagement session – how exciting! That being said, you’re likely the type to want to prepare ahead of time. Most people jump in not knowing what to expect. That’s why we’re taking the time to break down everything you need to know about taking engagement photos in New York City.
One of the big questions we get for engagement sessions is… how do we prepare? Most couples have never had a professional photo shoot with New York wedding photographers. You may not know what to expect. Let’s go over the basics of how to prepare for your engagement pictures in the big apple.
Our number one rule is to empty your pockets before we start your engagement photoshoot. As Brooklyn wedding photographers, we’ve seen so many moments with giant phones in pockets. There’s nothing less timeless than a phone outline. Keys, wallet, phone, mask, and anything else can come out of your pockets.
Don’t forget to check the forecast before you head outside! The weather is particularly finnicky in the city. Some days of spring can be freezing cold, while others can be nice and warm. Make sure you have the appropriate amount of layering going on for your session date. Also check the weather for your session time in particular – mornings can be chillier than afternoons.
It’s always a good idea to clean your ring before your engagement session in New York. Don’t worry if you forget – we often keep ring wipes in our bag. Whether we’re doing up close photos on your wedding day, or a nice personal shot on your session, you’ll want to have that ring sparkling.
Walking around the city in dress shoes or heels can be exhausting. Let’s save your feet some pain and bring some comfortable shoes to walk around in. For locations like DUMBO and Central Park, you’ll especially want to take extra shoes. There’s lots of walking involved when it comes to these photo spots in New York.
You never know what can happen during your NYC engagement session. Having an emergency kit can save any potential stress. This could include any of the following items:
If you’re planning to drive in the city, be sure to leave time for parking. For early morning sessions, this is especially important. If your session is set to start at 6:30AM, you won’t want to be circling for parking at 6:28AM. Leaving a little extra time reduces stress and ensures that your session doesn’t start late.
The point of your engagement session is to get comfortable in front of a camera. Additionally, you’re hoping to have some photos that last a lifetime documenting your relationship. Being engaged is a special time in your lives that happens once. Having these photos will always bring you back to this super happy time together.
You may be wondering what to wear for your engagement photos in New York City. The best part is: there’s no wrong answers! We want you to wear what makes you happiest. That being said, we do have some advice for choosing what to wear to your photoshoot.
The number one thing we want to achieve is comfort on your NYC engagement session. If you’re comfortable physically, you’re taking comfortable photos. Even if you’ve got the cutest shoes ever but they’re not comfy, having a backup pair of shoes to walk in is a way to stay comfortable.
You may want to consider bringing a second look for the engagement pictures. Some couples choose to stay in a single outfit, which si totally fine! The less outfit changes, the more time you have to learn about posing. But a second outfit can also bring a completely different vibe to your photo shoot.
You don’t have to buy a new outfit for your NYC engagement session. It can feel nice to show up in some fancy new clothes, but don’t put pressure on it if you don’t want to. Your closet may already have some adorable pieces you may want to rock for your photoshoot. The goal here is to feel as good as possible, with or without a new outfit.
You might not be into matching onesies, but matching color palettes is a great idea. They don’t have to be totally the same, but being on similar vibes makes a huge difference. Some couples may end up straight up matching with stripes or colors, but that much is up to you.
Some couples decide to bundle up and head out for New York winter engagement photos. When that’s the case, it’s about 50/50 on whether or not they’re jumping in and out of their coats. Some will wear outfits that are designed for warmer weather, and just jump in and out of their coats. Others will stay in their coats and stay warm all session long.
New York gets heckin’ hot during the summer months. It’s important to consider things like a backup outfit in case you start to sweat through. Plus, comfort is a major key when it comes to taking engagement pictures. Your comfort in the heat matters the most when choosing outfits.
Not sure what to wear for your engagement photos? We’ve got your back. Whether you’re choosing weeks in advance or the night before, you’ve got lots of options. Let’s figure out some of the top tips for dressing for your session in New York City.
If you plan on wearing a button up shirt, bring a backup just in case. During the warmer seasons, you may end up sweating through your shirt. For early morning sessions, you may also do something like spill coffee – so it’s great to have a backup!
When you wear a dress or skirt with a little bit of flow, it allows more motion to be captured in your photos. This is super fun for dancing shots and poses with more movement. We love flowy dresses and skirts on photos of dipping, as well.
If you plan on having a second look for your NYC engagement photos, be sure that they are different from each other. Many couples who opt for a second look will choose something more casual to get cozy in. Having a more casual look is a great balance with feeling fancy for the first half of the shoot.
There’s no wrong answers here. If you like patterns, wear a pattern! Florals are always a fun time on engagement sessions. Checkers, gingham, and more – everything is on the table. Just be sure that your patterned outfit matches your partner’s color palette.
Sometimes couples will dress in a way that matches the location. For more naturey locations like Prospect Park, they’ll wear softer colors and less fancy clothes. In places that feature the city a little more, like Soho engagement photos, wearing something a little fancier can be fitting. Some couples even color coordinate with the location they’re doing their NYC engagement photos.
You may be wondering when to start your engagement session in New York. Given how busy the city gets, we do morning sessions for the majority of our photoshoots. We’ve listed some times below to give you a sense of what to expect for your NYC engagement session.
When it comes to DUMBO and the Brooklyn Bridge, we start as early as possible. During the summertime, this can be as early as 6:00AM. During fall and winter, the sun rises later, so we can start around 7:00AM. It’s so important to do sunrise sessions for these locations because otherwise, they are far too crowded and less photogenic.
When it comes to Central Park engagement sessions, it totally depends on the season. During the fall, we can start any time before 10:30AM. The light is different in the autumn than in the summer. That being said, earlier is always better given how many tourists frequent this location. During the summer, a 7:00AM start time is best.
Soho is an absolutely magical place for engagement photography. That being said, it’s an extremely tourist-heavy area. We recommend starting at 7:00AM in Soho regardless of the season. You can get the iconic architecture of the neighborhood without having to worry about crowds of people in the background.
The High Line doesn’t open any earlier than 7:00AM, so starting at this time is great. There aren’t any tourists in this location, and instead it’s just the occasional runner. Later in the day, you can expect this location to be packed. The less people in your shots, the better and more intimate the experience.
In general, we try to start as early as possible. There are some locations where we can get away with an afternoon or evening session. These include Prospect Park, Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and South Street Seaport. Those are quieter neighborhoods where it’s easier to have an NYC engagement session.