NYC Film Engagement Photo Ideas

Mary Dougherty

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I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories

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The beauty of New York is perfectly captured in an engagement session. Explore our favorite NYC film engagement photo ideas. Utilize the best light, locations and more for your shoot in the city. As a New York based film wedding photographer, many of my couples live in the city. Travel has always been an essential part of Mary Dougherty Photography. My home base is in the Adirondacks, and you will find me traveling to in Boston, Vermont, Virginia, Newport, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and more. We have a small team and would love to hear from you if you are interested in working together – inquire here.

NYC engagement photo location ideas

In this post I round up a few favorite NYC engagement photo locations, based on style and personal preference. I always suggest my clients think of an engagement session like a date, and plan it around something they love. That keeps the shoot natural and real, and gives you purpose for the images.

So many people have no professional photographs together before the engagement. A pre-wedding shoot will give you the experience needed to relax and feel at ease in front of the camera on your wedding day.

Recommended NYC photo locations

Next, here are six general recommendations for engagement photos based on your style. Browse through past work, combine a few ideas and gain clarity on what you would enjoy experiencing. Consider where there will be crowds, what makes you feel most at ease and how you want to capture this time in life.

For the art + architecture lovers

  • Manhattan Bridge View
  • Dumbo
  • Guggenheim
  • Met
  • Flatiron
  • New York Public Library
  • Lincoln Center
  • Central Park – Bow Bridge / Bethesda Fountain

Consider locations with iconic building and bridges. The view of the Manhattan bridge on Washington Street is a favorite for many. Enjoy a museum like the Guggenheim, MOMA or Met and meet up with your photographer before or after. Buildings like the Flatiron or the Met offer a distinct sense of place as do the The New York Public Library and Lincoln Center.  Show up early for a view without people, or include everyone for a glimpse of city life. You could even shoot into the evening and actually attend a show. Dressing up or down will allow you to customize this session to your distinct style. 

For those that call NYC home 

  • West Village
  • Brooklyn Heights
  • Prospect Heights
  • Red Hook
  • Upper East/West Side

Everyone who has spent a few years in the city has a favorite neighborhood. The West Village, Prospect Heights and Red Hook have some beautiful streets with cobblestones. Tribeca is home to the Staple street skybridge. Wander towards the highline for a long walk and a mix of greenery and architecture, or stop by any of the other small parks that bring this city to life.  Bring your pup, stop for coffee or tea and enjoy the place you call home.

For the epic NYC photo locations

  • Top of the Rock
  • the Edge
  • on the water

Top of the Rock has iconic views of the city, as does the Edge. While both require that you buy tickets the opportunity for photos is unmatched. Be prepared to navigate around other people, you won’t have this place to yourself. If you want a more private experience, book a sunset sailboat tour and enjoy seeing the city from the water while creating iconic images.

For those who love nature

  • Central Park – Mall / Fountain / Shakespeare garden / Belvedere Castle / Loeb Boathouse
  • Prospect Park
  • Botanical Garden
  • Pebble Beach
  • Coney Island Beach

Central park is the obvious choice, with so many different places to shoot in. Enjoy the flowers in the Shakespeare garden, and walk over to Belvedere Castle. It will give you the feeling of being out in the country and having the park to yourself if you arrive early in the morning. Vist the Loeb boathouse and walk along the bow bridge before rowing a boat in the Central Park Lake. Boat rentals are $20 and hour. Walk along the Central Park Mall and end at Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, just expect a crowd.

For the NYC foodies

  • check with your favorite restaurant – come during off hours when it’s quiet

Shoot at your favorite local haunt during off hours – just check with them first. We stopped in for a drink right before dinner service and enjoyed a window seat to create this iconic image. Plan your session around the experience and even start at home with a glass of bubbly. 

For the fun seekers

  • Coney Island
  • Museum of Ice Cream

Think outside of the box for a shoot that brings fun and adventure. Head out to Coney Island for a walk on the boardwalk, arcade games, rides and cotton candy. Rent a vintage car and cruise to your favorite spot for drive through and sunset views. Find a rooftop bar at your favorite hotel and enjoy photographing your evening out. 

NYC engagement photographer cost

Most couples are drawn to my work as a film photographer because of the candid and natural feel of the photographs. The true to life colors, sense of place and clear story resonate with what they want to remember. Detailed planning goes in to each session to make it personalized. We find that collaboration leads to the best images, and only take on those couples who are a good fit, prioritizing wedding clients.

Sessions are typically 2-3 hours. We shoot in a few locations and focus on telling a story. The way we achieve such a personal shoot is through detailed planning. Inquire today to explore working together. Our all film (meaning shot on film not digital) engagement sessions start at $1500 without travel.

To achieve the best engagement photos, work with a photographer you trust. Connect with the images you see, and from there you can plan the details of your shoot. You can reach out to inquire about the process of working together here.

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