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When and where: That is the question
If you’ve read our other blog posts on engagement sessions or peeked at our services page, you know these photos are important because they ultimately make for better wedding photos.
So, now that you’ve made the first step in deciding to do them, the next step is determining when and where.
We can help with that! As professional wedding photographers, we’ve taken hundreds of engagement portraits all over the tri-state area.
Here are our 3 favorite indoor and outdoor locations that are guaranteed to make beautiful engagement portraits.
Personal is Always Best
In other words, if you have a place or hobby that is quintessentially you two – that your family and friends know you for or associate you with – there or that is where or what you should do for your engagement portraits.
This could be where you had your first date or got engaged. The pizza parlor you have date nights on Fridays. Or the park you walk your dog at every weekend.
For us, this might be sampling cappuccinos at various coffee shops. Or, depending on the weather and season, indulging in a fun outdoor activity like mountain biking, hiking, or riding motorcycles.
Choosing a place(s) you have a personal connection with for your engagement session makes for more meaningful photos.
And who doesn’t want that?!
On the train of keeping things personal, if you and/or your partner went to Princeton, you should definitely take your photos here. But even if either of you didn’t go to school here, we also recommend it for pictures. Why? Because it’s beautiful!
While a large part of the grounds is outdoors, there are plenty of covered arches and hallways.
The collegiate gothic architecture of the campus, modeled after both Cambridge and Oxford, is a thing of beauty, offering texture and richness to your images. It’s particularly amazing in the fall as the leaves change color and match the natural-color hue of the stone and brick.
If you’re a lover of vino, this is the place for you.
Unionville Vineyards is a great spot no matter the weather or time of year, as it offers both indoor and outdoor options. Even when it snows, it makes for beautiful pictures.
This vineyard serves as both a picturesque backdrop and a memorable experience. The rustic interior houses the tasting room, which always makes for great photos. While the outdoors is where you can walk in the vineyards and see how the wine gets made.
To further commemorate the memory, take a bottle of wine home with you. And when you receive your gallery of engagement pictures from us, pop it open and make a moment of it.
There’s No Place like Home
While taking pictures at home may sound boring or uneventful, there is truly no place more personal.
For the couple who loves spending date night together in the kitchen or just spending one-on-one time curled up on the couch, we recommend doing your engagement session here.
We can even take it to the next level by having you whip up your favorite meal (while we snap adorable photos of you doing so) and working with a florist or decorator to stage a beautiful table. This way, the session feels a bit more special. And you both get to enjoy an elevated experience in the comfort of your home.
Located adjacent to one another, Hoboken and Liberty State Park offer beautiful outdoor options for your engagement session. So, whether you live in Hoboken or you’re looking for an area that offers both an urban and naturally scenic vibe, this area has got you covered!
Hoboken is known for its historic cobblestone streets, stunning murals, and chic restaurants and bars – like Halifax, or for a more casual and playful vibe, Pier 13 – all with gorgeous views of the New York City skyline.
Just picture it: Photos of you on a rooftop bar during golden hour as the sun sets behind you, overlooking the renowned skyscrapers of NYC.
Liberty State Park is a 5-10 minute drive from downtown Hoboken (depending on traffic) and features open grounds, abandoned train tracks, and an exposed brick train station. And, you guessed it, an incredible view of the NYC skyline.
The New Jersey Botanical Gardens are a popular choice for many couples because of its variety. And given its naturally scenic setting, it makes for great photos in the spring, summer, and fall.
There’s so much to take advantage of here, the most popular (for outdoor and indoor) being Skylands Manor: A 1920’s-style castle equipped with antique paneling, fireplaces, and gorgeous stained glass windows.
There are also many outdoor options such as the perennial, lilac, Italianate, wildflower, hosta and rhododendron, and annual gardens.
NJBG is open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm or 8:00 pm depending on the season. And while many arboretums and private gardens charge to get it, here, admission is free – with a small parking fee charged in the summer.
Need we say more?
If you’ve been living under a rock, Central Park (and really all of Manhattan) is an untapped playground of places, backdrops, and activities to take full advantage of.
In the park, you’ll find architectural bridges and staircases. Famous statues, buildings, and monuments. Large fountains and bodies of water. And plenty of hidden nooks and crannies. Every time we do a session here, we find a new place to take photos.
It looks amazing pretty much all year round except for the dead of winter. Although, when it snows, it truly does sparkle and shine. Same for the dead of summer when it’s hot and muggy. But even then, it’s super easy to find shade.
Central Park really is the best of both worlds, offering the natural yet beautifully manicured feeling of the outdoors and the metropolitan vibes of the city.
We can even make your session a twofer by splitting time between Central Park and the streets of Manhattan.
Looking for more recommendations or someone to bounce ideas off? Or perhaps you’ve found the perfect place and are ready to schedule your engagement session? Either way, let us know!