Hey, fiancé! Thinking about a summer engagement session? Let me help you out.

Where can engagement photos be taken in the summer?

Engagement photos can be taken in a variety of locations, indoor and outdoor. Most people are looking for an outdoor session in the summer, but it's also good to have a back up location indoors in case we have a summer rainstorm that day.

Some outdoor locations that I love in NYC are:

  • Central Park (particularly Bethesda Terrace, the Bow Bridge, Belvedere Castle, and the Conservatory Garden)
  • DUMBO (there is the iconic photo spot at Water St & Washington St in Brooklyn or Pebble Beach to have the NYC skyline in the back, plus St. Ann's Warehouse is a great spot, too!)
  • Brooklyn Bridge (perfect to capture the NYC skyline and a fun experience)
  • On the streets downtown in Manhattan
  • NY Botanical Gardens (either in the Bronx or Brooklyn)

Some awesome indoor spots for an engagement session are:

  • Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Gives you an elegant vibe with the art and great lighting, plus makes for a fun day!)
  • Summit One Vanderbilt (Beautiful lighting with the whole city to be seen in the background)
  • In a coffee shop or restaurant! (This is a great idea for more candid or relaxed photos, your photographer can take photos inside as well as from the outside window looking in at you.)

How should people dress for winter engagement photos?

In terms of what to wear, you'll first want to think about your location (and consult your photographer on this). Many women choose to wear sundresses or more formal dresses, while men often choose a nice button up with a business casual vibe. More formal clothes (such as a dress and heels or a suit) can create a higher quality and more elegant vibe, which will make your photos that much better. Some people prefer to have a more playful and relaxed engagement session and wear whatever feels comfortable for them. Regardless, when you look good, you feel good (especially looking at photos later)!

It is best to make sure that your clothes have more neutral colors, nothing super vibrant like bright green or neon -- unless that is the vibe you are going for (in which case, I would say find a cool mural with bright colors to match or a white wall to make them pop). In terms of colors, I would also say that you and your partner should coordinate or match to make sure that the photos look cohesive.

What tips do you have for winter engagement photos?

Poses: Posing is different from photographer to photographer, but don't be worried about this! It is your photographer's job to help you feel comfortable in front of the camera and give you posing ideas. Many photographers also use prompts, like "Whisper something silly in her ear!" instead of simply telling you exactly how to pose. I personally love to do a combo of posing and prompting. Another important part of great photos is movement, so don't worry about staying still -- move around and interact with your partner! Remember, this is about your love for each other and your photos should show who you are. Have fun with it!

Props: Having an activity or adding props is a great way to add movement and playfulness into your session. Too frequently, people will ask what to do with their hands but a prop can solve this issue! For summer engagement sessions, we can plan a cute picnic for you to enjoy together, stroll in a garden, grab some ice cream, or whatever floats your boat.

Weather: We all know that NYC weather (and all the northeast, honestly) can be a little crazy and unpredictable. Check in with your photographer during the week leading up to your session to confirm that your plan works with the weather. And again, always have a back-up location for photos if it is way too hot or going to rain.

Best time of day: I personally prefer engagement sessions that are within the hour after sunrise. During the summer, I usually start these sessions around 6:30 am to get the soft, glowy light (early but worth it!). Many people love the golden hour look as well, which is somewhere around 8 pm depending on what summer month it is.

What are the best kinds of photos for summer engagements?

I would say there's no best kind of photos for summer engagements, or really for any occasion! It's totally up to your preference. I personally have a brighter and more airy style, and I love capturing more genuine moments than formal posing. The best way to find the type of photos you want is by searching on Pinterest, Instagram, or Google and determining which kinds of photos are your favorite.

What should one look for in a photographer for their winter engagement?

Most people have never worked with a professional photographer before, and they're not sure what to look for. First of all, make sure to look at their previous work. There are so many styles of photography -- light and airy, dark and moody, editorial, candid, etc. and these factors will all be evident in your photographer's work. While photographers can absolutely cater to what you want, make sure that some of the elements you are looking for are already in their photos!

Another thing to look for is testimonials because these can really tell you how people have responded to the photographer in the past. I would also advise to look for quality over price. Photography can sure be expensive, but the value of a photo is that it will last for so long and can be passed down in your family as an heirloom! Which leads me to: think about whether you are looking for just digital images or print products. Many photographers only offer digital images in our digital world, but I personally love to give my clients the option to hang or display their photos as a piece of art in their home because digital images can easily get lost over time.