This year, I had my 25th birthday planned out well in advance for the first time in ages. Normally it’s just another day, no big deal, blah blah whatever… but when my good friend Jill asked if she and her fiance could come up from Maryland to visit for a few days, plans magically fell into place. I immediately offered to do an engagement shoot for them while they were here, but with more of a documentary twist to it to capture Esrael’s first time in NYC and their experience of the city together.
We started out the day with a birthday brunch at Clinton St. Baking Co. in Soho, per my request. This place has the most amazing pancakes ever! They are so legendary that they were featured on an episode of ‘Throwdown!’ on the Food Network (which Jill told me about the night before she came to visit, and we both watched at like 1am that night, because we’re that nuts). Though their banana walnut pancakes are pretty stellar too, we both went with their classic blueberry pancakes today, topped with melted maple butter. Can you spell H-E-A-V-E-N ? And then if that weren’t enough, they surprised me afterwards with a big slice of chocolate cake. I never suspected a thing! (I’m kind of oblivious, ha)
I had decided beforehand that I wanted to do a shot with Jill’s engagement ring on the pancakes, but wasn’t sure if she’d be keen on the idea. But she’s awesome and let me go crazy with it, and didn’t even mind that I was keeping her from digging into her meal. Thank you, Jill! :)
When we first arrived at the cafe, we noticed a painted wall across the street with colorful dwarves and made a point to take photos by it after we ate. So much color!
From there, we wandered around the Lower East Side, en route to Economy Candy, per Jill’s request. This girl has the most insatiable sweet tooth, it’s absolutely insane. She’s even having one of their receptions be a ‘dessert reception’, that’s how nuts she is about sweets. So it suffices to say that Jill was quite literally like a kid in a candy store here.
Later that afternoon, we made it up to Central Park where I essentially let them have their romantic little frolicking time, interspersed with a few poses per my request.
Another shot I’d had in mind for awhile now was to pose in front of a moving subway train. There are so many variations on this that I want to try at future shoots!
And then, we hit up every tourist’s dream-spot: Times Square! Being Esrael’s first time visiting NYC, he was beyond excited to see Times Square for the first time. He was just like Jill was in her candy store – just staring all around, in awe. Too cute! I love when people share my love and excitement for NYC – it’s such an amazing place, and there’s something for everyone here. I can’t imagine being anywhere else at this point in my life!
All in all, it was the perfect way to spend my birthday – with some of my favorite people, doing some of my favorite things, in my favorite city. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Jill & Esrael – I can’t wait for your wedding this summer! :D