Central Park has become a very popular location for engagement photos for us. There's just about every kind of 'backdrop' you could want in a relatively compact area. But it wasn't the beautiful greenery or picturesque water views that had us there with Melissa and Rory, it held a much deeper meaning. Melissa and Rory met while participating in a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society charity - Team in Training. They met while doing a run through the park and their passion for the sport along with helping others has kept them inseparable every since. We started the shoot around Belvedere Castle, a beautiful structure that was originally built to provide great views of Central Park. It has since been used by the National Weather Service for weather tracking and data collection, and also holds the Henry Luce Nature Observatory. Melissa brought along a great little prop, a heart shaped chalk board that we used to write things like their wedding date and "he's mine." We encourage our couples to bring along things like this - they're fun and they make for some great candid photos since the two of them can interact with the prop.
Melissa and Rory also brought along their dog Rusty to the shoot. He's a lab-beagle mix and was an awesome stand-in; always willing to jump in front of the camera when needed, a great attitude, positive energy, and very low maintenance. Our good buddy Brett was gracious enough to play dog-sitter (as well as assistant to us) while we walked around the area.
We strolled around the nearby Turtle Pond and over towards the eastern side of the park where Melissa and Rory broke out some celebratory champagne. We're not sure if it was celebratory or if Rory just needed a little 'pick-me-up' from all the photographs we had him take. Regardless, you never really need a reason to crack open some bubbly.
Given where they met, it was only fitting we had photos taken of them in their running gear. After a quick wardrobe change, we were off to the races (very bad pun intended). There's a particular shot we love from this part of the day. It's one where Melissa and Rory are down near the Bethesda Fountain while we were up on the overpass shooting from above. We told them to go into a corner and pretend we weren't there. At the same time, a random photographer taking photos of another couple decided to jet out in front of our camera. She looked up at the same time we snapped the photo. The result is a picture with a great story.
Their wedding is this November in Connecticut and we're super excited to be there to photograph their big day!