Central Park is such an iconic spot for engagement pictures in Manhattan, or NYC in general, so I knew I had to shoot there during my visit.
I was surprised to see so many trees still full of colorful leaves in the middle of November when they're pretty much completely gone by that time in Chicago (for reference, this shoot was November 2018...but I'm just now blogging it...more on that later). I was visiting NYC for my very first time (!!!) to see not only the city, but a good friend who went to Juilliard at the time and has since graduated. When I travel to new places, I always love to do a shoot or two in that city not only to see new parts of it and learnt eh must-see spots from locals, but also capture some of those places that you think of the second you hear that city's name. For example, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Redwoods in San Francisco, Joshua Tree Park in SoCal, and the Brooklyn Bridge + Central Park in NYC.
There's certainly no shortage of locations to take engagement pictures or wedding pictures in NYC, and I have a list on my phone already of a bunch of cute little cafes, gorgeous parks, and somewhere hidden gems to photograph when I go back next. I'll be in NJ for a wedding next spring, actually the exact date I was supposed to go this spring which got cancelled due to Covid, and definitely plan on spending some time in NYC and hopefully getting in some magical cherry blossom sessions!
I connected with Brittany and Nick over Facebook when I had posted a model call, and they came throuuuuughhhhh! They were ready to wake up at 6am, meet super early to catch some of sunrise and get to Central Park before the crowd, and show up in nothing short of some bomb fall outfits 😍 As you know know by now, I'm a huge fan of color, so Brittany's red coat and matching red hair was the perfect fall-themed pop of color.
We walked all over Central Park for these sunrise engagement pictures.
From Pinebank Arch through The Mall and over to Bethesda Terrace, these engagement pictures in Central Park had so much variety full of gorgeous reds, oranges, yellows, and a little hint of green to keep it fresh. We managed to avoid most crowds by starting our shoot super early, which is key! That's also how I got these engagement pictures at Brooklyn Bridge without anyone else in them.
And my favorite picture of the bunch...
Back when I shot these in November 2018, I didn't feel confident in the whole session and just wasn't feeling the editing style. In the past year and half, I've definitely refined my style a bit more and found the right balance of color and contrast while still feeling light and bright, all while learning new ways to make sure my couples feel comfortable with me before we even meet up + having a TON of fun and natural "poses" to go through during a session. Give a girl a ton of free time in quarantine and she'll go back and edit 2-year-old engagement pictures and finally blog them...yup. It makes me so happy to see all the colors in this session now!
I feel like we are always hardest on ourselves, whether it's art, fitness goals, goals at work, etc. But looking back at work from nearly 2 years ago and realizing that it's actually not that bad...it's actually comparable to my current work...it's a good thing to see. That's not to say I haven't grown, because like I mentioned above, I'm always learning new things on how to serve my couples better--but my camera skills weren't so bad.
Of course, we ended this gorgeous sunrise engagement session in Central Park on the stairs at Bethesda Terrace.
Nothing is more romantic than a movie-style dip in the middle of the giant staircase at Bethesda Terrace, so I made sure it happened, even with a little help from Photoshop to make sure the now growing crowd was gone for this picture. I know the crowd is part of the charm of living in a big city, but sometimes it's nice to have it feel (and look) like you're the only two there.