As time goes on, it’s crazy to think about how I’ve had the chance to work with hundreds of couples. A mindblowing number to me if I think back years and years ago when I first started shooting weddings. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned that has shaped my style and approach to capturing a wedding day or engagement shoot is that locations are nice but capturing the essence of a couple is even nicer. It’s more meaningful. It will last beyond trends and industry fads. It is doing the maximum service to my couples. With that in mind, I’ve been searching for locations that don’t take over a shoot but instead, compliment the people in it. As Long Island engagement photographers, it’s truly exciting to find one of those kinds of spots right here in my proverbial backyard.
Enter Becky & Jordan. A perfect couple who is a perfect microcosm of everyone I get the chance to work with. No fuss, not taking themselves too seriously and down for anything. We met in the afternoon of a perfectly warm and rainy summer’s day (the down for anything part coming in handy). I’ve been wanting to shoot a session in the rain for some time so when they said they thought it would be fun regardless of weather, my excitement went through the roof. I think this session sums up so well my approach, what’s actually important and how not awkward it can be for my couples to have a dude following them around with a camera while they’re affectionate towards each other.
Sometimes that perfect color palette of nature and light and a couple’s outfit all come together in a beautiful harmonious thing and it pleases my eyeballs very much. Rachael & Jeronimo’s long island engagement shoot was a perfect case in point. I’m a sucker for those beautiful forest greens and the way the midday light was striking the towering trees was like poetry. Then you insert these two lovebirds into the mix and it all balances out wonderfully. It’s hard to not grab onto their energy as a couple and feed off of it. They made my job easy.
Trees aplenty with so much room to roam around while not having to worry about tourists or strangers watching you be in love. Always a bonus. I love shooting here and it just makes my heart happy. You can’t beat that fresh smell of pine while making photographs. It’s pure science. Scope out their engagement session at one of my favorite hidden gems across Long Island and when you’re looking at these just bury your face into a Yankee Candle of the pine tree variety. Thank me later.
One of my favorite parts about being brooklyn photographers is how different each and every neighborhood is. You can easily go for a “classic New York” feel if you want. Or a more modern, textured feel. Or, in Molly & Michael’s case, a super gritty, embrace what Greenpoint has to offer feel. So many times I feel like the tendency is to shy away from the nitty-gritty and character of what makes an area tick, rather than just embracing it. The reason we chose Greenpoint was for all of those quirks the area has to offer. Industrial parking lots, parking lot facades, shipping containers and all of that good stuff was partly the star of the show during their shoot and not something we tried to ignore. And I loved embracing all of that so much.
It kept things as real as possible. Their shoot wasn’t stuffy and contrived but instead exactly what I love to do. Making it about Molly & Michael and the environment. Nothing more. You can see THEM in these pictures and I’m really into that.
One of my favorite things is being able to photograph a wildly popular location that is usually swarming with people when it is completely empty. It just feels weird but in the best way. I don’t have to worry about my usual avoidance tactics in regards to other people, which is pretty freeing. I met up with Becca & Andrew on a snowy afternoon in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. A place where they spend a lot of time together, which is another thing I love doing. Capturing a couple in a place that means something to them. Their winter engagement shoot in Brooklyn felt pretty magical from start to finish.
If I could have scripted the perfect snowfall, this is what it would be. Large flakes, slowly falling from the sky. Temperatures not bitterly cold either. It was playful and easy to explore much of the park together. As difficult as it is to sync up with nature/weather, this perfect snowfall made it even more satisfying that we were able to. If anyone out there wants to follow me around with a realistic snow-making thingy that would be great so thank you. Here’s some pictures of Becca & Andrew being engaged and in love while I followed them around in Brooklyn.
I love to travel. It’s no secret. There are countless beautiful locations all over the world, but I’m constantly in awe of how many incredible areas exist across the great state of New York. There are stunning beaches on Long Island. Gritty and character rich streets of Brooklyn. New York City is New York City. But, my favorite part has to be once you get into the entire upstate portion of New York. From farmlands to mountains to wonderful day hiking spots, there really is everything you could ask for. If traveling has done one thing, it’s further my appreciation for doing wedding photography NY.
Kayla and Curtis are part of that country section of the state, so when figuring out a location for their engagement session, two important aspects had to be met. Their love of hiking and their love of the outdoors. Which, obviously go hand-in-hand. That put me right in my own element which is exciting because it’s the perfect way to turn an engagement photoshoot more into an adventuring hangout session. I’m able to capture a couple in the environment they feel most comfortable in, while letting this unfold totally naturally.
Early morning in DUMBO, Brooklyn and the NYC skyline all to yourself. I’ve never lived anywhere else and it’s still hard to beat. Meg & Joe met me at the Brooklyn Bridge Park waterfront shortly after sunrise to give us space to explore the area without the dense swarms of tourists. No matter where I am shooting in the world, having an iconic location all to yourself never gets old. Of all the wedding venues in Brooklyn, few can pair icons like the Brooklyn Bridge with icons of New York City like the Freedom Tower. You get the best of both worlds.
We took a real casual approach for their Brooklyn engagement shoot and spent most of the morning perusing the immediate area around the Brooklyn Bridge. There’s just so much packed into one small area that it’s hard to go wrong. I love keeping these engagement sessions as laid back and organic as possible and letting the chemistry do the work. There’s just no need for stiff, awkward poses or forced moments. Just real people doing real life. That’s what it’s all about. Alright, lets get to Meg & Joe’s morning jaunt around DUMBO with some wonderful accompaniment courtesy of New York City.
It’s always an extra level of cool when I’m able to pair a beautiful location with a meaningful location. After living in about 6 locations across the US in the past couple of years, Alex & Doug finally found a home near Washington DC. Doug is a Marine Corps officer, currently in training to become a JAG. He’s stationed in Virginia so it was extra special to do their shoot in and around DC. As a DC wedding photographer, if you don’t start early, the National Mall and every single monument gets real crowded, real quick. It was a pretty amazing experience being able to capture photos with essentially no people around. You are just so used to seeing these locations jam-packed with tourists.
We started right at sunrise in a quiet residential area in Georgetown before heading to some monuments you may have heard of. What we lost in sleep, we made up in with photos you wouldn’t really be able to capture at any other time of day. Most of the time, that little extra effort really rewards you big time and for their Washington DC engagement, it was no different. Like Abraham Lincoln once said, whatever you are, be a good one.
I still can’t believe that’s an actual quote…
Manhattan is obviously super crowded at every turn every day at almost every time. Except just after sunrise. I met up with Elena & Kayvon early in the morning on a crisp fall morning in the city that never sleeps (except at sunrise apparently). It was a unique opportunity to roam the streets of NYC without much foot traffic around them which makes for photos clear of other humans and even easier to be straight up in love with each other in front of the camera. When you can shoot in the greatest city in the world but maintain small city intimacy, life as a NYC engagement photographer becomes that much better.
What I loved about this NYC engagement shoot, beyond how absolutely playful and infatuated these two are of each other, is getting from point A to point B. In true New York fashion, we hopped in a taxi to move from location to location so we were able to grab some frames inside the cab. Those few moments really took this session from a shoot in some spots to telling more of a story, which is at the heart of everything I capture. This was a great morning with a couple of great people.