Have you ever seen the NYC skyline from Jersey City? Have you ever watched the sun rise behind the Freedom Tower? Have you ever woken up after 2 hours of sleep to drive 90 minutes in the dark for a photo shoot starting at 5 am? Well here is the full story of Elina & Thomas’s New York City sunrise engagement session!

New York City sunrise engagement session.New York City sunrise engagement session.

How was this New York City Sunrise Engagement session?

The sun rising over the NYC skyline was magnificent! Light that time of day is very soft and diffused even when it starts coming up through the buildings. The time of day mimics the golden hour (1 hour before sunset). I don’t like to use heavy flash for a more natural look, so this light was my JAM! We captured this in the middle of the summer, and it was crazy humid and hot once the sun came up, but it was more comfortable than it would have been later in the day.

New York City sunrise engagement session.

How the heck did they find me?

Elina found me through her sister Simona, who had booked me to photograph her wedding. Elina & Thomas eloped and did not do a real photo shoot, so they wanted to do something unique together. They often spend time down by the river in Jersey City overlooking the NYC skyline. She loved the idea of doing a sunrise session there!

New York City sunrise engagement session.New York City sunrise engagement session.New York City sunrise engagement session.New York City sunrise engagement session.New York City sunrise engagement session.

Have you seen Watson, the dog with two different color eyes?

They brought there fantastic pooch, Watson. Watson has one blue eye and one brown eye. The eye color oddly mimics the couple as Thomas has blue eyes and Elina has brown eyes. I love when couples bring their pets. I do everything in my power to plan sessions so we can include them

.New York City sunrise engagement session.
New York City sunrise engagement session.
New York City sunrise engagement session.
New York City sunrise engagement session.
New York City sunrise engagement session.
New York City sunrise engagement session.
New York City sunrise engagement session.
New York City sunrise engagement session.
New York City sunrise engagement session.
New York City sunrise engagement session.
New York City sunrise engagement session.
New York City sunrise engagement session.
New York City sunrise engagement session.

What did I learn from doing a sunrise photo shoot?

These are things I learned from doing my first New York City sunrise engagement session:

  1.  Temperature is way better in the summer! Often I shoot later in the day for the better light and cooler temperatures, but shooting at sunrise is much cooler out. Humidity though is sometimes worse in the morning.
  2.  Know where to park! Being in the city without any street parking you have to find garages or parking lots that are open either very early or 24hrs. I found one that opened exactly when we wanted to start which worked perfectly.
  3.  Definitely know where to eat! You will be famished by the time you are done, and sometimes most places are closed for business. We found this fantastic diner across from the parking garage to eat.
  4.  Know where the bathrooms are! Traveling an hour, drinking tons of water in the heat… someone is bound to need a potty break. Problem is most places will be closed at 5 am. Keep an eye out for porta potties aka Mr. Johns.
  5.  Your usual routine is out the window! If you are not a morning person, add some nap time during the day. We had to leave at 3:30 am for this shoot and didn’t get home until about 8:45 am. My assistant and I were so tired we could barely walk when we got back to my studio.

Elina & Thomas got a beautiful album and wall art piece. I also was able to spend the entire day with them at Elina’s sister Simona’s wedding at the New York Country Club! That venue is also where a wild coyote almost ate my 2nd photographer and I. You can see that story in my previous journal post here!