Are you looking for cherry blossoms for your engagement shoot, but don’t want to deal with the Brooklyn Botanical Garden crowds? Well look no farther than Roosevelt Island for the best views of both the blossoms and the Manhattan skyline. In this week’s blog post, I have all the details of Camille and Mubin’s Roosevelt Island engagement photoshoot and share some tips on how you can get equally stunning images.
Meet Camille and Mubin
Let’s start off by meeting the lovely couple, Camille and Mubin. These two met online through Hinge, and after a very romantic trip to Cabo de Roca in Portugal, Mubin asked Camille to marry him. I had the privilege of photographing the couple’s Conservatory Garden wedding in Central Park this week and I will be sharing all these photos soon. In the meantime, I think the photos from this session are a great sign of things to come. By the way, the flower bouquet that Camille brought with her was a DIY project and would give any professional florist a run for her money.
Cherry Blossoms & Crowds on Roosevelt Island
So let’s talk about the cherry blossoms on Roosevelt Island. As you know from my past blog, I think Roosevelt Island is an underrated gem for photoshoots. Unfortunately, it seems like the public has started to believe my hype. Camille and Mubin’s Roosevelt Island engagement photoshoot was scheduled just at the beginning of cherry blossom season. It was also the Monday after Easter/Passover weekend, and needless to say, it was much more crowded than usual.
Also, though the blossoms were beautiful, the trees were oddly out of sync. That is to say, I always remember both the cherry and plum blossoms in bloom at the same time. Not so this year. The first half of the trees along the waterfront pathway were just showing buds, while the white cherry blossoms were in full bloom down the pathway.
A Roosevelt Island Engagement Photoshoot Itinerary
Despite having only half the trees available, Camille and Mubin still had a very productive photoshoot. First of all, we got an artistic start on the by starting in the subway. I always love including a real NYC vibe to my shoots, and what better way to do that then with photos in the subway. It’s a bit cramped in the Roosevelt Island station, but you can still get a great blur shot with the subway going past and using the main staircase as a runway.
Next up was the cherry blossoms themselves. We took advantage of the blooming trees just to the left of the Queensborough Bridge. Camille and Mubin were causing quite a scene as passersby started to photograph them and not the cherry blossoms. I mean, why not, when you have such a beautiful couple? By the way, the trees in this part of Roosevelt Island have the lowest branches, thanks to being on a hill. As such, these blossoms offer the best background for your photos. Also, because there is water behind the couple, you are much better able to avoid the crowds.
In comparison, it is hard to avoid all the tourists by the waterfront main pathway. There is simply no way to get rid of these visitors from your background except by shooting up from the ground. So after a few shots along the main pathway, I headed up to the grassy knoll where we got some wonderful skyline shots as the couple danced above the fray.
We ended our session on the patio directly across from the United Nations building. I always love this corner for a panorama shot or two.
What we didn’t have time for in this session were photos down at FDR Park or the Roosevelt Island Tram. During our session there was nothing in bloom in FDR Park. While the sparse trees have a very artistic look to them, if you are on Roosevelt Island for the cherry blossoms then you can save yourself the walk to the end of the island. Also, the tram is very, VERY crowded. Good luck getting decent photos on the tram.
Roosevelt Island Engagement Photoshoot – A Final Lighting Tip
One word of warning: remember that sunset is always earlier than normal on Roosevelt Island. In comparison with the rest of Manhattan, the sun sets behind the skyscrapers thus cutting off light for Roosevelt Island. For Camille and Mubin’s shoot, the sun was scheduled to set at 7:31 p.m. Our session began at 5:30 p.m. and our light was completely gone by 7:00 p.m.
Enjoy the images, and I’ll have more photo adventures for you next week!
Are you looking to schedule and engagement session on Roosevelt Island? Drop me a line and let’s talk about your photography needs.
If you would like to view more images from my engagement portfolio, then please visit my website – KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com