A Perfectly Rainy Manhattan Engagement Session

Every once in a while, someone will ask me to photograph an anniversary or engagement session for them because they're visiting New York. I love these! What a great way to remember your trip here.

These two lovebirds are from California, and wanted to capture their weekend here. I warned them that the weather is totally unpredictable here in March: you might get a gorgeous warm day, or clouds and rain. We got clouds and rain, but I think it worked out just fine, don't you?

Carrie Wilcox Floral Designer in Connecticut

Carrie Wilcox is a wonderful floral designer in Connecticut. She asked me for the images I photographed at Justin and Mary's Walk Through a Wedding workshop back in April 2015. Once I got back to my studio, I was happy to bust out my archive images and oblige. Having them all gathered up made me happy.

Happy weekend!


The One Where Holly & Mike Eloped in Manhattan

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They got as far as booking the wedding for a large wedding in England, and decided it was too much, so they eloped in New York City a few days after Christmas. It was my first wedding of 2016. 

They got ready together at 1 Hotel Central Park in Manhattan, which had given them an extra room just to get ready together in. Amanda Thesen was there to rock out Holly's hair and makeup, and Mike helped her zip into her wedding dress.

They got married at City Hall, and then we did a few photos outside all bundled up before the cold got to us! It was a beautiful small elopement! 

Aloha! I went to Maui.

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I took very few photos with my "real camera" on my recent trip to Maui. It was technically our honeymoon, and we spent a lot of time going, "Hmmm, should we snorkel?" and then falling asleep on the beach instead. Or eating papaya. They're so fresh, inexpensive, and delicious on the island that I kept eating them. At one point, I had a bit of papaya stuck in my hair. My next purchase is a smaller camera that doesn't feel out of place on the sandy beach, but here were the shots I managed to squeeze out, in between Mai Tais and hammock visits.

Initially we got a weird hotel room, and I asked at the front desk if there was somewhere else they could put us (you better believe I played the honeymoon card). The upgrade was nothing short of epic. I'm not Beyonce, but I'm pretty sure she would have been impressed. There were massive sliding doors that looked straight out onto the ocean. They also sent a bottle of bubbly to our room with a handwritten note congratulating us. I laughed when I got it, because my 2016 wedding clients know this is my signature move. Clearly, I was in the right place. 

We visited with friends we have on the island. My friend Vanessa owns a food truck called Gypsy Maui, and I went inside to take photos of her making her island version of bulletproof coffee, which has coconut oil in it, and will change your life for the better if you get to try some.

Elopement in Brooklyn's Carroll Gardens | Danielle and Nick

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Londoners Danielle and Nick eloped to New York City this fall on a gorgeous day, and surprised me when they decided to have their wedding in Brooklyn. It turns out she's lived here before years ago, and knew the secret: Brooklyn is awesome. This was their first trip to NYC together! 

They found me in the MOST fun way, too. Have you heard of the blog Cup of Jo? I've been reading for years, and someone mentioned me in the comments section as being an elopement photographer; Danielle followed that comment to my website, and the rest is history. Thank you, kind blog comment-leaver. You are excellent.  

When I asked Danielle and Nick why they eloped, they answered:

"We have such a big set of family and friends that a wedding day at home would have involved a lot of planning and stress ... This way we get to have a lovely, fairly stress-free day just the two of us and then invite everyone we can to a big party at home."

Perfect. We started off at their Williamsburg Air BnB, followed by a ceremony on the pebble beach at Brooklyn Bridge Park, officiated by Judie Guild. Then we headed to Carroll Gardens where we took photos on the classic Brooklyn streets before I walked them to their restaurant Prime Meats to have their celebratory lunch.

A Chic Christmas Eve Manhattan Elopement | Rachel and Michael

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Rachel and Michael booked me months before their New York City elopement; they were coming here from the UK and were excited to spend Christmas in New York. It was a magical day to get married. I met them at their hotel room at the Sheraton TriBeCa, and after they were dressed, they proposed we head up to the roof before heading to our ceremony site.

The officiant had traveled with me since (we are married to each other, so I didn't have to pay him to carry my camera equipment for me) and when the four of us got to the roof, I said, "Change of plans if you want, you two. You should get married right here." 

I mean, look at that skyline. Plus, it was threatening rain, and I worried our travel time would only give the clouds more opportunity to start ruining Rachel's Drybar blowout. I assured them that no one would get in trouble with the hotel, and so, right then and there, they became husband and wife. We walked the streets a bit after, and just as we finished, so fat drops began to fall.

Photographers know best. 

A Chic Manhattan Elopement | Kate & Mike

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Hair and Makeup Cari Duprey | Officiant Judie Guild

Kate skipped the white wedding gown and eloped in Manhattan in a gorgeous blue cocktail frock, complete with lovely hair accessory to match. I arrived in their hotel room to them sipping champagne while Kate got hair and makeup done, and I borrowed the cork for a photo. Her rings are vintage and belonged to her grandmother.

We went to the roof of their downtown hotel, which had a jaw-dropping view of the river and the World Trade Center from 57 stories up, and then headed to their ceremony in Battery Park, and finished with some classic photos around City Hall. 

Engagement Photos in Brooklyn | Kelly & Nick

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A super fun engagement session in Brooklyn! We started off at their home, and then headed out into the streets for some lifestyle shots (I took a portrait of their cat while they were putting on shoes to go out.)

They were going to skip engagement photos, but loved my "no cheesy engagement photos" philosophy. I like that these reflect who they are: fun, casual, and happy in love. 

A Boho Chic Intimate Wedding in Central Park | A. & L.

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They met in high school, then found each other again on MySpace. Remember when it was the biggest social media platform? 

They got married at the Ladies Pavillon in Central Park, along with a small handful of their friends and family, and we took photos afterward in Central Park.

L.'s something borrowed was her mother's pearl necklace. I shared this a bit on Instagram a while ago: I had photographed it in a very traditional way, but I had a few extra minutes during hair and makeup, so I photographed it in a more artistic way on the mercury glass mirrored tables that their getting ready Air BnB had. I love the result!

Their ceremony included a hand-fasting ceremony and heartfelt vows, and I loved that A. snuck his phone out for some quick shots of his brand new wife while we were taking wedding portraits. 

Cop Cot Wedding; Kimberly Hotel Reception | Cesar & Kerry

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My fellow Americans: we need to talk about wedding hats.

Look at these ladies; bridesmaids to an intimate wedding in New York City which is officially "across the pond" for them. They traveled with their wedding hats and fascinators, including a particularly sculpted one by Phillip Treacy, and I am jealous. Can we please make wedding hats a thing here? 

Kerry is a fashion designer, so I knew her outfit would be particularly stunning. She wore a dress with a lace bridal cape.

BRIDAL. CAPE.

This is another thing that needs to catch on, and I suspect it will in the coming years. I met the ladies at Pucker in SoHo where they were getting their hair and makeup done, and we headed in a limo uptown to Central Park where we met Cesar and a small handful of friends and family for a wonderful, emotional ceremony at Cop Cot. Everyone went off after a few photos, and I took the newlyweds on a stroll through the fall foliage of Central Park which was absolutely at its peak of gorgeousness. (22 October for the curious.)

Next it was off to the Kimberly Hotel, where they cut into a gigantic chocolate cake. Yum!

Hair Vanessa from Pucker | Makeup Julio from  Pucker | Gown Sincerity Bridal in the UK | Bridal cape and belt is Kerry's own "customisation" | bride's shoes Upper Street (since acquired by Shoes of Prey)| 

Brooklyn F Train Engagement Photos | B & L

"We met on a subway, going to the same party. Can our engagement photos somehow reflect this?" 

Oh yes. I've been waiting for years to do this shoot. How perfect for these two, who have the most only-in-New-York "how we met" story. The F train is near where we both live, and its above-and-below ground gave us a huge variety of lighting situations to choose from. These are four of my absolute faves from the session. 

I loved this, and and can't wait for their wedding later this year.  

Low Key City Hall Wedding in Manhattan | E & N

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Dress Haute Hippie | Custom suit My.Suit | Rings Yasuko Azuma

Local Brooklyn creatives E. and N. decided to get married matter-of-factly, with an honest conversation about wanting to be husband and wife, followed by booking me to photograph their City Hall ceremony and buying a pair of wedding rings.

I met them on the morning of their wedding in their totally baller apartment in downtown Brooklyn (time specified was "9? 9:30? We're not hell-bent on exact timing.") She was still in her PJs sipping coffee as I got there, and their cat trotted over to inspect my camera bag and braid himself around my ankles a few times by way of greeting. E.'s longtime collection of tiny origami paper cranes were sitting in a bowl on their kitchen counter, and I scooped up a handful and had them "pose" with thier rings while she put on her dress. 

We took an Uber to City Hall for the ceremony, headed uptown to where they first met for a few shots, and then back to Brooklyn to the old Macy's store in Boerum Hill, where Stephen Power's "Euphoria is for you and me" mural served as the perfect nod to their just-for-two local elopement.

The last photo in this series is of them sitting at a bodega. I'll define "bodega" for the non-New Yorkers: it's where you buy things like cigarettes, newspapers, soda, lotto tickets, beer, snacks, and frighteningly bad cups of coffee. They are absolutely everywhere. The bright colours of the storefronts are generally considered a bit of an eyesore, but for whatever reason, on this day, they seemed like the right backdrop for a final shot.

To be honest, I wouldn't have taken this photo if they weren't New Yorkers, because there are so many prettier things in New York City if you're visiting! But this ubiquitous sight is going to look totally different one day, and this photo will serve as the perfect reminder of how the streets we walked every day used to look "way back in 2015" when they got married. Nostalgia is everywhere, even if it's ugly, and I like to think about future you, and your fascinated grandchildren, while I'm working. 

p.s. More lavender-haired brides in front of my camera, please.