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The Ultimate Engagement Shoot in NYC


New York City is one of the most beautiful, iconic places to take engagement and wedding photos.  It can also be extremely stressful and near impossible to get the shots that you want without a million tourists photo bombing your shots.


Well, this coupled figured out a way to avoid that problem!  Whitney & Nick are getting married in a few months, and pulled off this epic shoot for their engagement photos back in May. Me and the girls at Beautini had the honor of doing Whitney’s gorgeous hair and makeup.  Because she had multiple outfit and venue changes, we followed the couple and their photographer around as they shot the photos.


To prep for the shoot, Whitney & Nick made a list of their favorite, iconic places throughout New York City and Brooklyn,

The winners were Times Sq., the Brooklyn Bridge, Washington St. in DUMBO, the Top of the Rock, Central Park, Grand Central, and, like true New Yorkers, on the subway. This meant 6 outfit changes, 3 different hairstyles, and a LOT of walking and taking cabs.


How did Whitney and Nick pull this off? They woke up at 3:30 in the morning, and held this shoot two days in a row. It was really the only option in order to get the shots that they wanted. Their photographer flew in from Florida for the shoot, and they had everything very well planned and pre-arranged. Whitney worked with our stylists to figure out exactly which hair and makeup looks she wanted for each outfit, and we did a trial with her to finalize everything before the day of the shoot.


To get more of a look into just HOW Whitney and Nick were able to pull this off, I asked Whitney a few questions.  Her answers were incredible, so I decided to share them with you all:

How did you find your photographer?
Austin was the wedding photographer at my best friend’s wedding in Florida. She couldn’t wait for me to meet him as I am the “photog of our friend group” and she knew I would love his work. He did such a phenomenal job and was a great guy. I followed him on social media to support his work and like and comment on his posts. When he saw Nick and I announce our wedding date in NYC he reached out to us and said, “If you don’t have a wedding photographer yet, I would LOVE to shoot your wedding!” We had interviews a few photogs in NYC at this point and were so happy that Austin was so excited to come to NYC for our engagement shoot and wedding.


How did you coordinate the trip to the Top of the Rock?
We got very lucky! I couldn’t have planned it so well! 30 rock was on our list of locations but we weren’t sure if we were definitely going to go because we know how crowded, complicated and time consuming it can be and there was a chance of rain. After Beautini did my hair and makeup at 3:30am…we shot at the Brooklyn Bridge at 5:00am to get the golden hour sunrise light and also in hopes of the bridge being empty…which it was! After shooting in Brooklyn, we decided to head towards 30 Rock, bought tickets on our phones on the way and arrived 20 minutes before they opened. We were first in line and the first people up to the top which means again, it was EMPTY! Austin was able to get some really amazing shots of us that turned out better than I could have ever imagined! Afterwards we shot around Central Park and the second day we shot one more outfit in Times Square and other iconic spots around the city.


How did you guys pick each outfit?
As previously mentioned…I am the photog of my friend group and love to take pictures! When I have looked at some engagement photos for inspiration online some people wear every day clothes and they are super cute…but Nick and I take photos like that constantly because I am forever capturing memories. So, if we were going to have this incredible photographer come to NYC and take our pics all around the city..I wanted it to be more of editorial looks in long gowns. Nick was super cute and sent me a link to a Rent the Runway sample sale that was happening in the city since he knew I was in the market for gowns. I got an amazing deal on three gorgeous gowns! Then, a week after I found my wedding dress…I attended an Oscar de la Renta sample sale to look for other dress options and found this GORGEOUS, flawless wedding gown at an insane price. I called my fiancé and asked if I should get it for the shoot…he thought I was crazy for wanting to buy a second wedding dress…so I called my mother and she said I should go for it! Needless to say, Nick was so happy I bought it because it was so perfect for our Brooklyn Bridge shoot! Lastly, I wanted to throw in a fun, short dress with a pop of color and picked a new dress I had in my closet that was Kooples from Bloomingdales that Nick always says I look sexy in.

For Nick, we went to his favorite suit shop, Suit Supply and bought him a handsome light grey suit along with a new brown jacket and some ties and pocket squares. This was fun because it got him excited for the shoot and feeling sharp also so it wasn’t just all about me.


Did you have any people behind the scenes help facilitate the shoot?
First of all, my babes at Beautini were amazing for meeting at my apartment at 3:30am start time to make me beautiful! I had already done a trial with them and knew they would do a beautiful job. I wanted my hair down and curly for the day but for the first shot in the wedding dress on the bridge I wanted it up. So they curled my hair and pinned it in a loose up-do that turned out great. When I took my bobby pins out and let my hair down for my next outfit change my hair was gorgeously curly and voluminous. I was very nervous about hair and makeup because I am terrible at it myself but Beautini went above and beyond my expectations!

I travel a lot for work and have this driver I rely on who has a huge black SUV and is such a sweetheart. We hired him for the day to drive us to each location and for us to change outfits in his car. He had a blast! While in Central Park a few strangers came up to him and asked which actress I was. He responded with, “Now, you know I can’t tell you that.”

Also, my photographer, Austin hired an assistant to help with equipment and to take some third person photos and videos of the shoot. I haven’t seen all of these yet but I can’t wait! Austin is going to use some of the footage for his website and to hopefully get more work in NYC.


How did you pick the spots that you chose to take photos in?
Lots of pinning! As soon as I started brainstorming engagement photo spots I got a ton of inspiration off of interest, magazine editorials, Instagram, etc. Then I looked at the majority of the places and aesthetics I had pinned and put a powerpoint presentation together for Austin of which NYC spots I loved most. Then we collaborated and discussed which outfit he thought would look best at which location. I printed the powerpoint and brought it with me for the shoot. I was hoping to get two or three iconic spots…never did I think we would be able to do as many as we did!

I knew Nick and I weren’t going to do a first look on our wedding day so this was really our time to get those amazing shots around the city that we love.

What were some of the challenges you faced in pulling this off?
I can honestly say there weren’t that many! I thought about many things going wrong or not working out before it started but we were so lucky and everything went smoothly. If I HAD to pick something…we did a wardrobe change in Central Park and I didn’t have access to a mirror. The outfit I changed into was probably my least favorite of the day but it was also after shooting for 4 hours and starting so early so we were getting a little tired. Besides that quick change without the mirror…I honestly can’t think of anything that was a challenge! The only thing that could have made the shoot better was a puppy, maybe 😉 We really like puppies lol.


Now there is a lady who know what she wants for her photos! I am beyond impressed. a HUGE thank you to Whitney and Nick for allowing us to share their beautiful photos, and for sharing their behind the scenes info with all of us. Let’s just say when I get married, Whitney has giving me LOTS of amazing ideas 😉


All photos by Austin Trenholm of Trenholm Photo
Hair and makeup on Whitney by Beautini




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  • Reply Abby

    So beyond stunning! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    August 17, 2016 at 12:03 PM
  • Reply Maureen

    The pictures are so beautiful – hair and makeup are superb!

    August 17, 2016 at 4:52 PM
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