Nat & Pat : Engagement

Nat & Pat : Engagement

Ah, the New York humidity. It’s been nine long months since the last time I was in New York, and even longer since I’ve felt that warm, moist dampness of summer. I’d forgotten how sticky it can make a person feel, but even then I was happy to be back. I’ve been getting a little too spoiled with the dry heat of LA.

Edwin and I were lucky enough to spend a relaxing Labor Day weekend in NYC, catching up with friends, visiting old haunts, and, of course, eating. It was fun, if just a little unsettling, to notice how things have changed but have also stayed so much the same. And I finally, finally got to visit the Highline, which opened after I moved from the city – it is officially my favorite NYC park. Walking on the Highline, I couldn’t get over what a great place it would be for an engagement shoot, so of course I had to drag Nat and Pat over there for some photos.

When I met Pat several years ago, he was already engaged to Natalie. They had been together forever – really, since their freshman year of college. Back then I was just starting to take photography a little more seriously and half-jokingly offered to take some engagement photos for them. I was excited (and a little scared) when Pat readily agreed – he seemed more ecstatic about it than I did!

Let’s just say that the first engagement shoot we had planned…didn’t happen. Thankfully, things worked out as they were meant to be, and Nat and Pat will be tying the knot at the end of this month. They’ve commissioned the amazing Jose Villa to document their special day, and took some beautiful engagement photos out in Santa Barbara a few months back. So while I’m not photographing their wedding, I was happy to capture some engagement photos for them in New York.

A big thank you to Nat and Pat for putting up with me and the NYC crowds (in hindsight, I guess shooting in the city on a holiday weekend was probably less than ideal!). I know how uncomfortable you guys feel in front of the camera, but really there is no reason to be. You guys rocked it.

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Our last shot of the day. We hoofed it from the Highline over to the Brooklyn Bridge and caught the last rays of light. I’ve never seen the bridge so crowded, but managed to get this shot back towards the Financial District.
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To see a slideshow of Nat & Pat’s NYC engagement session, just click here!

Goodbye, New York

Goodbye, New York

I’m a creature of habit. When I find something I like, I tend to stick to it. I frequent the same restaurants, order the same dishes, shop at the same stores. I guess it lends a sense of stability, and I like to know exactly what I’m going to get. On my last day in New York, I proved myself a habitual creature once again.

The movers came last Friday and in a matter of five rainy hours, three large men managed to pack up all of our belongings and clear out our apartment. For the next two nights, Edwin and I crashed with our friend Rachel, who so graciously put us up rather last minute. In anticipation of starting our cross-country road trip, we woke up early on Sunday morning and decided to get breakfast before hitting the road.

Edwin asked me what I wanted for our final breakfast and without hesitation, I picked Bonbonniere. We happened upon this diner several years ago when visiting a friend in the West Village, and we’ve been going there ever since. The servers are always friendly and it turns out the diner is also a favorite of Molly Shannon and Julianne Moore. As always, I ordered my corned beef hash and eggs over easy. But to change it up just a little bit, I got white toast instead of wheat. Go me!

After breakfast, we packed up the rental car, said some goodbyes, and off we were to start our cross-country adventure! We don’t know when the next time we’ll see New York City, but we had a wonderful seven years and will definitely miss our city life.

Photos from our last day in New York:

The view from my grimey kitchen window. I’ll miss spying on that big red tour bus, especially when it starts pouring rain and the tourists all have to put on their plastic ponchos.
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Eating at La Bonbonniere
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Leaving New York – the first of many photos I’ll be trying to take through the car window
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Bittersweet

Bittersweet

I have spent the last seven months bidding a slow and painful farewell to New York City. When I first moved to New York, I had no idea how much I would become attached to life here. Now, the reality of permanently moving to Los Angeles has started to seep in, since my husband will finally be joining me out west in a few short weeks.

I am lucky enough to get to spend the next week here in New York. And after these many months, coming back to New York still feels like coming home. Everything about the city evokes a strange sense of comfort – even the dank smell of the street in the early morning and the sirens blaring down 7th Ave.

This past Sunday, we spent the afternoon wandering around Central Park and visiting the spot where Edwin proposed to me over three years ago. I wanted to do some experimenting with aperture and lighting, so Edwin, and to a lesser extent, my friend Gerald, gamely submitted to my direction.

I generally prefer to shoot with prime lenses, usually my 50mm, 1.8 (I am drooling over the 50mm, 1.2…someday!) but sadly that lens was back in LA. Instead, I brought out the 17-55mm, 2.8, which is a great general purpose lens, and my lens of choice if I could only take one when I travel. I wanted to do more with shooting wide open, but had to make do with getting down to 2.8. Next time I will be better prepared!

Here are some random shots from the day. Central Park – I will miss you!

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It caught Gerald by surprise that I wanted to take photos of him all afternoon, so he pretty much gave me the stink eye the whole time. I think that look just adds character. Next time I guess I should warn him ahead of time.

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And because this was the spot where Edwin proposed, I made Gerald take a really cheesy photo of us. Don’t we look awesome in our winter clothing?!

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I *heart* NY

I *heart* NY

It’s Valentine’s Day. And I’ve been spying. My husband and I decided to spend the day observing how New Yorkers spend the most romantic day of the year. Along 8th Street, I couldn’t help but laugh at tacky Valentine’s Day balloons. The bodegas were overflowing with roses, and in Union Square, two men were involved in a very intense conversation. One seemed to be confused and, from my non-professional eavesdropping skills, it sounded like he was in need of some good (love?) advice. Which probably explains why he was talking to this man…

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My husband and I like to keep things low-key on Valentine’s Day, and spending the afternoon spying was a perfect activity. We made our way through the village, up past Strand, where we spent some time perusing random photography books, and finally through the Green Market at Union Square. I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon. And for me, it really did bring new meaning to those tacky “I *heart* NY” tshirts. Today, New York City was our Valentine.

Some photos from the day:

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And just for fun, a photo of my personal Valentine.

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