A couple of months ago, I had the immense pleasure to meet baby Charlie, his parents Megan and Brian, as well as Shamus, the OG baby of the family for a newborn photo session at their home, in Brooklyn.
Baby Charlie graced us with a few beautiful smiles as well as a few tears (babies, am I right?) but overall, the shoot went very smoothly.
As a wedding photographer, I am often contacted by former couples to take photos of their pregnancies, babies, and even toddlers and I have to say that I LOVE it! It is always such a treat for me to meet my couples’ growing families and to shoot in a quiet environment where I can take my time, let the baby guide us through the session, and enjoy every minute without running everywhere.
So I am putting this out there: I am totally down for more baby sessions, so send them my way!
THE PANDEMIC PUT A DAMPER ON YOUR ORIGINAL PLANS? HAVE A VIRTUAL WEDDING IN YOUR BROOKLYN HOME.
One of the greatest advantages of organizing a micro wedding with a Zoom ceremony, is that planning doesn’t take a lot of time. Melissa and Ryan contacted me ten days before their wedding to ask me to be their photographer, and in a matter of a couple of days it was all settled and we were ready to go!
I created a hybrid package for them with a ceremony shot on FaceTime and a photo session IRL in their neighborhood. Melissa and Ryan were very mindful of the pandemic, which is why the home portion of the day was all virtual. In addition to me, their guests, witnesses and officiant were all on Zoom, participating from afar.
Melissa and Ryan live in a really bright apartment with lots of windows and natural light, which was great for the FaceTime shoot. The fact that they had great light was a huge advantage for their photos to come out as beautiful as possible. We FaceTimed a few days before the wedding to decide where to prop the phone, and on the day of they put the phone on a tripod.
After the virtual ceremony in their living room in slippers (check Ryan’s feet!), I met them on their rooftop in Prospect Heights. They brought their big puppy for the family photos, and then we hit the streets for a few photos in the gorgeous winter sun.
Lots of tears were shed during the FaceTime session, both during the ceremony and the speeches. It was a true testament that virtual weddings can be as emotional and intense as IRL ones, and that nothing can stop brides and groom from having the wedding of their dream. Not even a world pandemic.
Check out a few of the FaceTime photos below as well as some of my favorite portraits. And if you guys are interested in a FaceTime shoot, I wrote a little article explaining how it all works over here!
And now, here are the real life portraits we took in Brooklyn!
It’s almost engagement season! And that means newly-engaged couples are going to start searching for the best spot to get their engagement session.
As a wedding photographer in New-York, I know how overwhelming it can be to pick the perfect location for your engagement photos.
That’s completely normal! New-York is very big and the possibilities for engagement session locations are endless. So here are a few of the best locations to get fun engagement photos taken in New-York.
Prospect Park has all the advantages of Central Park (it’s big, green and beautiful) without its drawbacks (its millions of daily visitors). The other good aspect of the park, is that it is adjacent to Park Slope, which is a beautiful neighborhood full of tree-lined streets, cute cafes, and historical brownstones. That gives you the opportunity to get some greenery and some architecture all in one shoot.
Right outside of Park Slope, Gowanus awaits with its canals and street art everywhere. The neighborhood is super hip, grungy, and overall awesome for pictures. Take a walk across the canal, find the hidden graffitis, and enjoy the industrial architecture of the area.
Another nice spot for urban shots, Greenpoint is a little more funky than Park Slope and has some breathtaking views on Manhattan. Head to the pier at India Street for some photos with the Empire State Building, or to Java Street for some serious street art. There’s also a non-linear street in Greenpoint that has a spooky-looking haunted house on it, but I keep that one in the vault 🙂
4. Fort Greene Park
Fort Greene Park is always busy in the South, but super quiet on the North side. Plus there are some serious staircases on that side of the park, giving you an interesting backdrop for pictures. Don’t hesitate to walk right outside the park as well, as some of the streets are really gorgeous.
No list would be full without Dumbo on it. Although you can say that it is overly done, Dumbo is a seriously good spot for photos of all sorts: red brick walls, Manhattan in the background, old train tracks, big graffitis, two bridges and a quiet greenway… Dumbo has it all. A little insider tip: don’t go on a week-end, or it will be way too busy to enjoy.
If you want to embrace NYC’s artistic scene, head to Bushwick and to the murals of the Bushwick Collective. That’s where you’ll find some serious graffiti by local artists. Get a drink on one of the many rooftops in the area, such as Elsewhere or Our Wicked Lady, and toast to your upcoming nuptials while your photographer documents the moment.
I have a soft spot for this area because I think it encapsulates New-York. It is a bit grungy, charming, and historic. Start in the winding streets of Chinatown and make your way North, through Cosby St for some cobblestones and Greene St for colorful brownstones. Include a delicious pastry from Dominique Ansel in your engagement session, or dumplings from Mimi Cheng’s for a more local food experience!
8. The West Village
If you prefer a more romantic vibe, the West Village is perfect for that. It’s green but still urban, and the streets are narrow, giving it a true village feel (hence the name, I’m guessing!). As with Dumbo, pick an evening or afternoon during the week if you can; it will be more enjoyable, as the Village does attract lots of tourists.
9. Washington Square Park
Right off the West Village, Washington Square Park is a much needed green patch in the middle of this busy neighborhood. Make sure to plan your session on a week day, because the park gets really busy on week-ends!
10. At home!
What’s more fitting these days than pictures at home? If you have some decent natural light at home, you can always take pictures there. It will add some nice memories in the place you share together, and you can go out for a little stroll in your own neighborhood for a very special and personal engagement shoot experience.
Check out this home engagement session for some inspiration!
11. The High Line/Chelsea Market
The High Line might be a busy spot, it is also very special. Its architecture is very photo-friendly, it has views on the city and the water, and you can end the session in the Chelsea Market for a bite to eat and a refreshing soda (like Paul and Kate, pictured below).
12. Central Park: Hernshead and the Ladies Pavilion
Behind the famous Ladies Pavilion, hidden between rocks, you will find the perfect spot for engagement pictures overlooking Manhattan and the many rowboats on the pond. It doesn’t get more New-York than that. You can then walk around a bit towards Bethesda Fountain or head out of the park and hit the pretty streets of the Upper West Side.
13. A Community Garden in Alphabet City
For some truly typical New York style engagement photos, try to get hold of one of the community gardens around Alphabet City. You might need to know somebody that is part of one or pay a small fee to use the space, but the result will be worth it. The photos below were taken at 6BC garden.
14. Coney Island
The beach, the ocean, ice cream cones and the old school Cyclone, but also the boardwalk, the Luna Park and Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog… All are solid reasons to head to Coney Island for some fun and colorful pictures. Make sure to grab an ice cream and create a truly fun experience out of your engagement photos.
15. Forest Park, Queens
This is, in my experience, the closest you’ll get to a true wild landscape without leaving the city. Forest Park looks like a state park upstate, but it is right off the subway, in the center of Queens! Don’t hesitate to walk deep in the forest for a quiet experience and pretty portraits.
16. Upper West Side
The Upper West Side has the advantage to be right next to Central Park in case you want some photos in the park as well, but it is a beauty on its own, with its gorgeous tree-lined streets and colorful brownstones. Make sure to head to West 80th street, where you’ll find the really cool colorful brownstones depicted below!
17. Your favorite food joint
Wanting to incorporate a place that is meaningful to you as a couple is always a lovely idea. Do you have a favorite coffee shop? Do you have a go-to taco place? Plan your engagement photo session around the area where that special place is located, and end the session by sharing your favorite item on the menu with your fiancé(e).
18. Rockaway Beach
Another good seaside spot, Rockaway Beach has the great advantage to be much quieter than Coney Island. If you want some moody photos on the sand with the silver ocean as the background, head over to the area in the winter and let your feet guide you. The beach stretches for miles, and you’ll love the peaceful experience of being at the beach alone.
Need help picking the right photographer? Here are 7 east steps for you.
When you’ll start searching for a wedding photographer in New-York, you will quickly notice just how many websites you’ll come across. We are everywhere. And our number keeps growing. We are an invasive species!
You will probably get overwhelmed with the many choices offered to you so I decide to write this little blog post to help refine your search a bit so you can choose the perfect wedding photographer for you.
1. Have your venue and price point down
Before you start your search, you should book your venue. That will set your wedding date in stone. Without that major criteria, it will be impossible for us to tell you whether or not we can be there for your wedding. Second, set a budget. And a realistic one. Price will be the major deciding factor in all your wedding-related decisions, and you’ll need to have a good understanding of how much things cost to avoid disappointment. To give you a very rough idea, good wedding photography coverage should not cost you under $3500 for a full day (8 hours) of coverage in New York State. If this gave you instant cold sweats, I encourage you to read this extensive guide, as it will help you understand why wedding photography costs so much in New-York.
2. Know what style you want
There are a myriad of wedding photography styles out there, and you’ll want to know what you are looking for before you can even zoom on any wedding photographer in particular. That’s pretty great, because it will give you lots of options to choose from. But it can also make things a bit confusing! Are you more into traditional or photo-journalistic wedding photography? Are you drawn to darker, moodier images, or to bright photographs with an airy feel?
I wrote a little guide highlighting several major wedding photography styles so if you are unsure of what wedding photography style you want to go for, check it out HERE. It should help!
3. Hit up your social circle
Now that you have an idea of what style you want, it’s time to start researching actual photographers. Maybe you’ve even found a couple you already love while looking for the various styles of wedding photography out there, and you want more options. And there is nothing better than real life recommendations! By asking past brides and grooms for their recommendations will assure you great and trusted service. Nobody would recommend their vendor if they were not happy with them, so these recommendations are gold.
You can also ask your like-minded married friends, coworkers, and acquaintances for their recommendations. “Like-minded” is the keyword here, because you’ll want the recommendations to come from people who are more likely to share the same inspirations and vibe as you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to people you might not know so well; former brides and grooms know how stressful picking vendors can be, so they will probably be more than happy to help you.
4. Get to know your photographer
Once you have a solid list of wedding photographers that check all the boxes, it’s time to learn about them on a more personal level. You will be spending lots of time with your wedding photographer on your big day, so you will want to find someone that makes you comfortable!
First, head to the “About” or “Information” page on their website. Some photographers like to get very personal and detailed in this section, and some like to keep things succinct and efficient. This is where you will get your first glimpse into their personality but also their way of working. You might also find out that you have things in common, which should help you connect with them ahead of the first contact. This is also where you should find information about their pricing.
Look at their Instagram and Pinterest as well, these will help you connect a bit more with your prospective photographers.
5. Time to write some emails!
If you are dead set on one photographer after these first 4 steps, email them asap to make sure they don’t get snatched by someone else. But if you want to email a few (or even a bunch), don’t feel bad about it; we know you guys are testing the waters and comparing quotes.
The first contact is ver important, so make sure to include your wedding date and a bit of information about you and your wedding. Mention your photographer by name, and avoid the generic “hi” or “hello”. Wedding photographers need to feel excited and engaged with you too! Finally, ask to see a complete price list. This is when you will start weeding out some photographers that are out of your price range.
6. Meet your prospective photographer(s)
Maybe the previous step got you really connected to one photographer in particular. That’s great! If they are available on your wedding date, are within your price range, their style matches your tastes and you liked speaking to them by email, you probably found the perfect photographer. You don’t need to meet a bunch of them; once you found a good fit, stop looking (just like with your wedding dress) (or, you know, your significant other!).
Whether you are set on one photographer or several, you should meet them. The first live contact is important, so be sure to meet them physically or via Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, or by phone.
Have a list of questions to ask them, but don’t overdo it. You’ll want to let the conversation unfold organically. However, there are important questions you should cover. Here are a few:
- Ask them about their booking process: what does the contract look like? What is included in it?
- Ask them about payments: what is the deposit and when is the balance due? How do they want to get paid?
- Ask them about the photo rights; although it is super rare, some photographers don’t include high-resolution images in the price you agree upon! So make sure that you get downloadable high-res images.
Words of wisdom: go with your guts
This guide covers all the important steps you should take to make the best decision. But like everything else in life, you also need to trust your instinct. You are choosing a human to come and capture your day of love; your heart needs to have a say.
There! You now have 7 easy steps to find the perfect photographer for you. It might feel like a lot, but don’t worry, you’ll make it in one piece. And if you want a bit more advice on how to get the best out of your photographer, here is a little article I wrote for the Greatist!