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Best Advice for Engagement Shoots in DUMBO

If you’re looking for an engagement session in DUMBO, this article will help you. I’d like to leave you with four pieces of advice from my experience photographing engagement sessions in DUMBO and weddings in Brooklyn. If you are curious about the area or are visiting, it’s possible that you’ve seen beautiful photographs of the bridge, Jane’s Carousel and DUMBO’s cobblestone streets. A session with photos of all the above is completely possible with good planning and a comfortable set of sneakers (perhaps even an umbrella). To help I’ve outlined below some ideas to consider if you’re hoping to have your engagement photos in DUMBO.

Expect a fair amount of walking in DUMBO

If you’ve decided that you’d want some of the more iconic locations – the Brooklyn Bridge, Jane’s Carousel and Pebble Beach for example, build in travel time between sites. For example, I’ve timed shoots on the Brooklyn Bridge to average at least 25 minutes from the stair entryway on Washington St and Prospect Street. The idea would be to enter onto the walkway and walk to one of the first platforms of the bridge and back with time for very quick candid photos. From the Brooklyn Bridge down to the water is about a 10-15 minute walk, depending on attire. To the carousel another 15 minutes without rushing. Plan with enough time for travel, and pack light if you can and you’ll be much better off and more comfortable with more opportunities for photographs.

Weather and time of day matters… but not all the time

Weather and engagement photos in DUMBO. The weather on the Brooklyn Bridge is different from under it. As you can expect, the bridge can be very windy, but there’s a sense of calm in the streets below. Some of the best light for photography (in my opinion) in directly under the bridge- it is some of the most consistent, warm and romantic lighting in New York City in ALL seasons and most times of day. Enter the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise and you’ll have a better chance at avoiding crowds for a more intimate engagement session, and if you’re looking to chase the day’s last glimmer of light, the height of the Brooklyn Bridge buys you almost 15 minutes more during golden hour. If you decide on a sunset session in DUMBO, head to the water quickly. Although you’ll be able achieve golden light in the streets, you’ll get a more consistent glow around the parks and walkways near Pebble Beach. Remember that the skyline is your horizon, and the sun will set behind the buildings and Manhattan skyline.

DUMBO Brooklyn is has crowds, but not everywhere

Expect a fair amount of pedestrian traffic in this area. Joggers, shoppers, families, tourists, photographers with couples. But most gatherings are in certain, specific locations. A quick cut around the corner and you’ll find more isolated locations under the gritty metallic light of the cast iron structures above. DUMBO is frenetic. DUMBO is also incredibly peaceful (and home to one of my favorite coffee shops to start a morning – and I won’t give it away here). In the first set of photographs below we were quite possibly the only individuals on the city block – mid afternoon in the summer’s high tourist season. With a good sense of direction you’ll be able to have privacy and calm energy amidst one of the most popular locations for photography in the world.

Pause and rest least twice

If you rush your session, it will feel like travel – a set of waypoints and checklists that gets you from Point A to Point B. Rather, I like to see the experience for engagement photos in DUMBO as more of a vacation. Your first stop gives you energy; your second stop will give you the mental reset you’ll need to really be present and enjoy your time. It certainly works for me.

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Ana and Fran were holidaying from Spain for a few days in New York City. Fran and I had been planning days before the shoot – he wanted to surprise Ana with a session in New York that they could always look back at. After a surprise meeting with some of their friends, we set out into DUMBO for their photos. The goal was to get as much of DUMBO as we could for the rest of the afternoon. Something cool, iconic, fun.

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