Andrew & Shelby’s New York Engagement Session


This was a dream to say the least! New York City at Christmas with my little brother and his beautiful fiance. I love New York City at Christmas and I have been photographed there, but I have never had the opportunity to shoot a session there.

We were talking about the perfect location for their photos and really could not decide. You see not just any location would due for these two. My two little world travelers. These two have the best adventures together and they are always dreaming big, which is one thing I adore about them. They were engaged in California and their wedding was set to be in the Dominican Republic. I wanted to hurry up and do their photos, I just couldn’t think of the perfect spot.

A few weeks later my parents planned a family getaway to New York for Christmas. Even though we knew it would be freezing we decided that we would do it there. Our plan was to shoot at sunset in Central Park, but our first night there after an amazing dinner, cotton candy and one too many cocktails my brother had the idea to shoot on the Brooklyn Bridge. I told him there was no way I was shooting there at sunset…it would just be too crowded. So I suggested at sunrise never thinking they would say yes.

We walked to our rooms and they said see you at 5:00am. I was like yeah ok, thats not happening. I set my alarm just in case, but I was thinking no way. I should have known better with these two. Sure enough at 5:00am my other brother Jason was at the door knocking saying they woke him up so he could babysit my little ones and they would meet me down the hall. So without a shower or anything I threw on my clothes, grabbed my gear and ran out the door.

It was still dark when we got to the there. Peaceful and so beautiful. It was freezing though. I believe it was a negative wind chill. Poor Shelby was in a short sleeve dress and shivering the entire time. She was such a trooper the entire morning.

Like anything with my brother it always turns into an adventure. He looks at us and says “hey do you see the spot all the way down there? It can’t be that far…let’s pack it up and head down there and shoot by the water.” Shelby and I looked at each other. Then we looked at my pregnant sister-in-law that was with us and were like no. In usual Andrew fashion though he talked us into it in a matter of minutes. So we walked and walked and walked. It was not right there…it was far. Really far!

My brother did let us stop in a Starbucks to warm up and I was introduced to egg bites. Have you ever had them? I am not sure how I never knew about them. We were racing against the light so hurried along. It ended up being an amazing spot to shoot. The Brooklyn Bridge was in the background. It was gorgeous.

Then just when we think we are finished Andrew says “Ok, follow me. Just one more spot, but Shan you are going to have to climb up all of those rocks to get the shot.” Of course I listen because much like him I love adventure and I don’t say no to much. Anything for that shot!

This above was the final shot of the day! It was just the perfect morning and one of my favorite sessions ever. I am so thankful they had me capture these and trusted me in a city I have never shot in before.

On the way back we grabbed breakfast at Sara Beth’s. We enjoyed our much deserved coffee, mimosas, bloody mary’s and our lemon ricotta pancakes. Meanwhile my poor brother Jason was back at the hotel stuck in the room with my little ones. He called to say they were fine, but Olivia woke up screaming for mommy. That it was still dark so he tried to talk like me and he said that she was in total meltdown mode and freaked out. Once she realized that it was him she was more than fine. He had them laughing, dancing and in true Jason fashion doing a morning work out.

It isn’t the session we planned, but it was better! It was absolutely perfect!

We did end up heading to Central Park the next evening to just grab a few photos and they asked Chase to be the ring bearer and Olivia to be the flower girl. We braved the cold, danced in glitter, popped champagne and finished the night with dinner at Quality Italian. If you haven not been there it is a must.

Here are some unedited outtakes….

March 12, 2021




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