Engagement Photos | How To Prepare For Great Photos & A Fun Time!

Leila Brewster

wedding photographer nyc | la | destination

riverside park engagement photos in nyc

Tips For The Best Engagement Photos Ever!

engagement photos at home

Fiancé status!

So you’re newly engaged (or maybe not yet, but you may have found a certain kind of box in a drawer, by accident, totally by accident…) and you’re well on your way into the wedding planning process. One of the first things you might do on this new adventure is to take Engagement Photos! Many couples from all over the world come to New York City, specifically, to celebrate this relationship milestone! NYC has it all! From being open 24 hours a day to beautiful street scenes, city views, gardens, subways, rooftops and more!

Engagement photos are a fun way to capture a moment in time, to celebrate the love that got you to this very moment! Being newly engaged (or almost) is an exciting time – it’s a reminder of how you got here, but also the adventure that awaits for your whole life. Many couples choose New York City for their engagement photos because it’s a city that is iconic throughout the world. If you ask me, what better backdrop for a love than an iconic city? Not many. Whether you choose Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, a skyscraper, it’s a guarantee that your photos will be magical.

As an engagement photographer, I have compiled a list of my best tips to have a great photo experience. This is probably your first time in front of the camera like this and I’m here to make it an enjoyable experience.

engagement photos at home

Choosing The Right Photographer For Your Vision

Once you’ve decided that you indeed want to have engagement photos, it’s time to search for a photographer that you mesh with. You want to be able to connect with the photographer’s images, but also their personality. If you have a certain vision or aesthetic in mind or have ideas pinned to Pinterest, just let your photographer know! As an engagement photographer, it’s often helpful to know what kind of imagery speaks to you as a couple. We can review your favorites and get some inspiration from them. Ultimately, your love should shine over everything and the moments should be real and unique to you. Just remember to have fun together, and the images will be a direct reflection of just that. I highly suggest taking your engagement photos with your wedding photographer. This is a great opportunity to connect before your wedding day so that way your celebration photos will be the best of what you love.

Finding the perfect photographer to reflect you.

Decide on the photographic style that you want

As an engagement photographer, I am more than happy to know what you are looking to see in your engagement photos. If you have some time before the session, I highly recommend going through my site and other pinterest boards pinning images that you love. If there is something specific you are looking for, just let me know! I’m more than happy to work it into the session! Your engagement session is a great time to try things out! See what works and what doesn’t. That way, come wedding day, you know what will be the best for you.

Get to know your engagement photographer

Knowing your photographer, even just a little bit, is important. Your engagement is such a special chapter in life and your relationship. So getting to know your photographer will make the photos from these moments that much better. You should read about them on their website, on review sites, and even talk or meet with them! Please ask LOTS and LOTS of questions. Connection is key and this is most likely your first time, so you might need the photographer to elaborate on ideas and topics.

WHEN TO TAKE ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

Picking a date is important to the look and feel of your engagement photo session. Be sure to consider the weather and season for the time of year that you pick. Understanding what the seasons bring will help immensely. New York City in the fall is gorgeous. The deeper tones of reds and yellows through the parks will be a nice backdrop for something a little moodier. Late September through beginning of November is prime season for fall photos and the temperatures tend to be brisk, but not uncomfortable. Perfect time to layer, without looking like the Pillsbury Doughboy in one of those sleeping bag coats. Winter in NYC is for those lovers that don’t mind wearing layers and snuggling extra close to keep each other warm. Spring and Summer are my personal favorites in NYC. I live for the long days and warmer weather. I also love flowers and have many photos of tree blossoms from around the city and can tell you where every magnolia tree is around town.

Time of day

Now that you’ve got your season, let’s talk about time of day. As an engagement photographer, I prefer photographing at sunrise or at dusk. Photography is painting with light and the time of day is a different type of paint. Golden hour is the beautiful time of day just before the sun sets. Often this light is a bit more romantic and golden. The 12 minutes after the sun sets are also magical. The light is even and there is a real softness to the images. This is important to note for whatever season you are opting for. Engagement photos in late fall & winter tend to have an early start time. In New York City, depending on the location you want to shoot in, the starting time could be as early as 2:00pm. Late Spring & Summer are the best for their long days and we can start the engagement sessions around 6pm! I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I know we’re in NYC and we’re supposed to embrace people, but the amount of people is vastly different during sunrise than it is during sunset. If you want to take advantage of less people, I highly suggest sunrise for your engagement pictures. You can have Central Park mostly to yourself. I promise that early alarm clock is worth it.

central park engagement photos

We are coming from out of town for our engagement shoot!

You have picked the perfect place for iconic photos. I recommend scheduling your engagement session some time during the middle of your adventure. By scheduling it this way, you will have time to rest and get acquainted with the city. You’ll need a full plate of pasta from Eataly, being photographed is harder than it seems. Public transporation can be a mystery here with two trains running on the same line and local and express, etc.., so having a few days to get acquainted would be great! After 10 years here, I still use CityMapper to get around. They also have There will also be plenty of time to explore the city and find some places that may be interesting to you! You may even find an outfit to wear! Truly there is everything you need here! Weather in NYC is somewhat unpredictable, I’ve gone to engagement sessions with full sun and then had it randomly rain in a 50 yard radius around us from one rain cloud, while the sun was still shining! If we have to reschedule, by allowing for extra days during your trip, we can postpone if we need to!

NYC Photography Spots


Location is EVERYTHING. Well not everything, but it can play a huge roll in how your photos will look. Engagement photos in Central Park look very different from those on Wall Street, if you catch my drift. If you’re from New York City, I highly recommend picking out a couple of places that are important to you both. Perhaps where you met, where you first said I love you, maybe recreating a first or favorite date. If you love making coffee together and you feel the most you at home, by all means, let’s snuggle on the sofa and Netflix + chill.. well, (insert thinking emoji).. I’ll have to think of a better way to say that, but you hopefully know what I mean. Basically, think about what you really love as a couple and places that reflect that. I’ve made coffee with couples and I’ve also skied backwards on the slopes in Lake Tahoe. I’m up for any adventure you want to have. If you’re having a hard time coming up with locations, don’t worry, I’ve got many recommendations for engagement photo locations around this city.

at home making coffee photos
engagement photos at home
man playing the piano at home
engagement photos at home
skiing engagement session
central park engagement photos in nyc

What to bring with you

Just bring yourselves. Bring your love and be ready to have an open mind. It’s going to feel awkward at first, but I promise everyone feels way better after the first five minutes. Don’t overthink it. When in doubt just squeeze each other. Many of my couples have never spent much time in front of a camera, let alone be asked to be vulnerable and mooshy. A quick way to loosen up is to just go in for a kiss. I’m actually looking for those moments right before and after the kiss and often times giggles happen. Those giggles are THE BEST during engagement sessions. They make the images feel and look more natural, so just be in the moment with each other and forget the photographer is even there.

I also have a HUGE soft spot for dogs. I have one and he is my buddy. I jump at the chance to have any photos professionally done with him. So by all means please include your furry friends or any other types that you may have. Animals are actually a great ice breaker, so starting off with them is ideal. I would either have someone come get the animal from us or I’ll defer to you on what you think is best in terms of having them out of the photos after the first few minutes.

Make a day out of it!

Why not make a day of it! Not only does this give you plenty of time to prepare for your session, but also gives you a chance to try a few things! Your engagement photos is a great time to do a trial for your hair and makeup (I highly recommend Brushed with Honey), if you are choosing to have those services for your wedding. You’ve probably planned out your outfits, so having a bit of extra time to steam or iron your outfits (and lint roll) is a great idea. I am a whizz at photoshop, but sometimes, wrinkles and crinkles are hard to retouch and additional editing fees may apply. To avoid all of this, just make sure everything is pressed. As for what to wear, the key here is to be you. If you want to get fancy or stay relaxed in some denims, I’m here to tell you that’s great! It’s about showing your personality and if you are comfortable in what you’re wearing, that’s one less thing you need to worry about! I’ve put together this board on pinterest, if you need a few ideas!

We’ve got our photos (YAY!), now what do we do?

The great news is that these New York City photos are timeless. They represent a moment in time and will always be relevant. Most of my couples use their engagement photos as a save the date. They also use their images on a wedding website. I can also have an album made to be used as a guest book that your wedding guests can sign! Really the options are endless!

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Let’s connect!

I’d love to hear more about your celebration plans!

Leila Brewster Photography
101 W. 67th St, NYC, NY 10017

Email: leila@leilabrewsterphotography.com
Phone: 949-939-3039

Engagement Photos | A How To Prepare Guide For A Fun Time!

Engagements

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