As a New York City engagement photographer, there are few things that get me more excited than taking photos of couples in my favorite place. If you’re a non-traditional couple looking for ways to elevate your engagement session, you’re in the right place! I’ve put together a list that includes 11 of the best, unique New York engagement session ideas and locations, curated for couples like you.
PS – Don’t forget to take note of my top 3 engagement session tips at the end!
New York engagement session ideas & locations
Have a date night
Who doesn’t love a good date night? This is the perfect opportunity for you and your partner to get dressed up for a night in the city. You could grab dinner and drinks at your favorite restaurant, or head somewhere you’ve never been before! Of course, I’ll check with the restaurant beforehand to make sure they allow photography, just in case.
Walk around West Village
Who said your New York engagement session had to be extravagant to be unique? Certainly not me! Something as simple as walking around West Village can be so much fun when it’s with the person you love. That part of the city is filled with trendy restaurants, designer boutiques, a few cobblestone streets, and federal-style townhomes. The photo ops would be endless, I can guarantee you that! If that sounds like your vibe, we can head there and focus on candid-style photos of you and your love exploring.
Grab a New York Slice
Whether you’re a local or just visiting, grabbing a New York slice is never a bad idea. But, this is your engagement session, so why not take it up a notch? Pick out a nice outfit, get your hair & makeup done, and make it glam. If you have a hair & makeup artist for your wedding already, you can book your trial appointment for the day of your session to kill two birds with one stone. Afterward, we can head to the pizzeria and you two can take a seat on the curb and enjoy your slices. The juxtaposition of being all dressed up and doing something casual like eating pizza will make for some pretty unique photos!
Go to a rooftop bar
Think: date night, but make it elevated. This would be a great excuse to do something you and your love don’t normally do! Choose a rooftop bar with great city skyline views, and we can head there during sunset. We’ll have the stunning golden hour lighting, and maybe even take some nighttime flash photos afterward.
My personal rooftop bar recommendation: Panorama Room
Take a helicopter ride over the city
For my adventurous couples, this one’s for you! Have you ever taken a helicopter ride over New York City? There is truly no better way to the city than from up in the air. Whether you’ve already done it or it’s on your bucket list, there’s no better occasion to book a tour than for your engagement session! The company I mention below offers 3 different rides, depending on how much of NYC you want to see. The three options are the Taste of NYC Tour, NYC Skyline Tour, and the Ultimate NYC Tour!
My personal helicopter tour recommendation: New York Helicopter Tours
Go on a coffee date
Your New York City engagement session could truly be something as simple as heading to a coffee shop and hanging out together. Especially if that’s something you and your love already do, I would love to capture the natural chemistry and affection between the two of you. If you have a local cafe that you love, we can absolutely head there! If not, I have some very stylish recommendations, as coffee is most definitely my love language. This type of session would be perfect if you and your partner want the ‘cozy engagement vibes’ without being in-home!
My personal hidden cafe recommendation: Ad Hoc Collective
Have a museum date night
Where are my art lovers at? Having an evening date night at an NYC museum or art gallery would suit you perfectly. The city has tons of amazing museums to visit… in fact, some couples even choose to elope at one! You could dress up or make it a little more casual – the vibes would be immaculate either way.
My personal museum recommendation: The Met
Explore New York City
This idea is as laidback as it gets! Think: popping into vintage bookstores and record shops, walking around hand-in-hand, and enjoying the beautiful weather. I can help you choose the perfect neighborhood that will have a variety of locations that we can visit, both indoors and outdoors. Or, if there’s a part of the city that you’ve been meaning to explore, just let me know and I’ll work it into our session!
My personal bookstore recommendation: Sweet Pickle Bookstore – they sell books AND pickles! What more could you ask for?!
Taco Tuesday, anyone?
If you’re anything like me, you can never pass up a solid Taco Tuesday deal. Seriously, who doesn’t love tacos and margs? If you want a more casual NYC engagement session idea (similar to the pizzeria date), this is where it’s at!
My Taco Tuesday recommendation: Trailer Park Lounge – they have this super cool, retro vibe going on that would look great in your photos
Bike ride through Central Park
It’s giving summer romance vibes! Especially if this is an activity that you and your partner already love to do together, biking through Central Park could be so much fun. Even if it’s not in your rotation of hobbies, it could be a great excuse to try something out of the box! With this session idea, there will be tons of movement in your photos, which is always something I strive for as a photographer. Honestly, you can’t go wrong!
Visit a boutique hotel for late-night engagement photos
Last, but certainly not least on our list of unique NYC engagement session ideas, is heading to a boutique hotel. There are tons of them in the city, and they’re always so picturesque! If you want sultry, sexy, late-night photos, we can head to a hotel that has a lot of options. Think: lobby, staircase, hotel bar/restaurant, and I would even recommend booking a suite if you can!
My personal hotel recommendation: Roxy Hotel – This one has an oyster bar, a cocktail lounge, a normal bar, a vintage cinema, and tons of other entertainment options to make a date night out of it
My New York engagement session tips
Once you book your NYC engagement session with me, I’ll be with you every step of the way and come in clutch with all the tips. In the meantime, here are a few to remember:
Make your session unique to you
Think about where you and your love first met, where you had your first date, or even your first kiss. We can incorporate elements of your love story within your session to make it even more nostalgic to look back on.
Set an intention for your session
Even if you are trying something new together, set an intention beforehand! Connect with your partner in the hours leading up to your session to get all in your feels. Remember, PDA is always welcome! If you need some assistance setting an intention, I can absolutely help you two come up with one together.
Do something you both enjoy doing
The goal is to be in the moment, having an amazing time with your fiance. If one or both of you aren’t actually enjoying the activities we’re doing, it’s going to be difficult to get photos that authentically showcase your love! If you absolutely hate bike riding but your partner loves it, then it might be a good idea to move on to something else. Again, as your photographer, I will help you brainstorm ideas outside of this list to make sure everyone has an amazing time.
Ready to book your NYC engagement photographer?
I’m ready for you! To inquire with me about your engagement session, you can fill out my contact form and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. In the meantime, don’t forget to visit my Instagram profile so we can connect and start planning your session!