Charming fall engagement session throughout Downtown Manhattan. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.

April 10, 2024

A Charming Fall Engagement Session in Downtown Manhattan | Kristen + Michael

Fall is a magical time in New York City. It’s not too hot or too cold, and the crisp air carries the promise of sweet, cozy moments. Meanwhile, the vibrant autumn colors that paint the cityscape in beautifully rich red and gold tones turn it into the perfect backdrop for showcasing your love story. For New York City locals Kristen + Michael, weaving through the historic and charming streets of Downtown Manhattan plus an adorable dinner date at their favorite New York City restaurant ended up being the perfect way to spend their engagement session.

Fall Engagement Session in New York City

After wedding photography, engagement sessions are some of my favorites to shoot—especially in New York City during the fall. There’s a special magic that descends over New York City in the fall. The weather is cool and comfortable, and everywhere, from the streets to the city parks, the vibrant colors of the season become alive. It’s definitely my favorite time of year in the city and the perfect time to book your engagement session. 

When planning a fall engagement session in New York City, there are so many amazing locations to choose from. Early morning or late afternoon usually promises soft, golden, natural lighting that emphasizes the autumn palette across the city and casts a romantic glow over all of your photos. Meanwhile, fall colors run rampant across the city – especially in the many parks and gardens. However, there’s something just quintessentially New York about simply wandering the streets during this beautiful season. From the falling leaves painting the streets and sidewalks in reds and golds with historic brownstones or iconic landmarks in the background, every corner has the potential to capture stunning moments that will be cherished for a lifetime.

Walking Through the Streets of Downtown Manhattan

For Kristen + Michael, an engagement session through the streets of downtown Manhattan was the perfect plan for their engagement session. As NYC locals, their neighborhood and the streets that they travel through every day are all a huge part of their love story. It was important to them to make sure they were featured in their session somehow.

On the day of their engagement session, I met the couple at one of their favorite coffee shops, Maman. Maman is a bakery and coffee shop specializing in crafting culinary comforts inspired by the nostalgia of baking in the kitchen with their mothers in the South of France. Between the charming and rustic décor and sprawling vines and branches reaching across the café’s ceilings and over the floor-to-ceiling windows, meeting in Maman was an adorable start to Kristen + Michael’s engagement session. 

Kristen + Michael ordered cups of their favorite lattes and found a table to enjoy them. Meanwhile, I got to work snapping away while they chatted and sipped their drinks. Although the café was busy, the quaint and relaxed atmosphere made Kristen + Michael feel as if they were the only ones there, lost in a world of just their love and laughter. 

Keeping It Casual and Comfortable

I describe my style of photography as classic and candid, meaning I like to focus on the candid, in-between moments throughout your session instead of directing every shot. For engagement sessions especially, this also means that I like to keep things casual and comfortable. For example, while Kristen + Michael were enjoying their coffees, I stepped back to let their interaction flow without my prompts. This allows for poses to happen naturally while leaving room for capturing the beautiful little moments that really tell the story flowing between a couple. 

There is a lot that goes into planning a wedding. While you might think an engagement session is just another expense to add to your budget planning, I always recommend them to my couples. Not only are they a great way to get to know your wedding photographer and their photography style, but they’re also the best way to get comfortable in front of a camera. Most couples I’ve worked with have little to no experience getting their pictures taken professionally. They worry about being awkward or how photogenic they are and then stress about being in front of a camera all day on their wedding day. But think of your engagement session as your practice run. It’s your chance to get comfortable in front of the camera in a fun and casual way without the added stress of your entire wedding day on your shoulders. 

Plus, at the end of your engagement session, you’ll have plenty of beautiful pictures personalized to you and your partner and help tell your love story before you say your I do’s. 

Ending with a Sweet Date Night

As soon as Kristen + Michael had finished their drinks at Maman, we ventured out into the cool crisp fall air and strolled through the city they call home. The plan was to take the approximately 20-minute walk from Maman to Au Cheval, Kristen + Michael’s favorite restaurant in the city. However, instead of rushing, we took our time, relishing each moment as we meandered through the charming streets of downtown Manhattan. 

Over the course of the walk, we took photos wherever and whenever the moment seemed right. I captured the sweet moment of the two walking hand-in-hand as they crossed one of the city’s historic cobblestone streets, radiant smiles glowing across their faces. We passed through quiet residential streets lined with brownstones. The bold color of the brick complemented the gold and yellow tones of the leaves in the trees and fluttering down to line the sidewalks creating the quintessential image of New York in the fall. 

As we continued our leisurely stroll, we found ourselves in the heart of Manhattan near Canal Street, where we could catch glimpses of the iconic skyline. When the Freedom Tower appeared through the gray clouds in the distance, I jumped at the chance to capture Kristen + Michael with one of the most symbolic buildings in the city. The bustling streets provided the perfect environment for lovely candid moments between the two as they paused their steps simply to sneak loving glances at each other or wrap one another in a warm embrace. 

When we finally arrived at Au Cheval, the sun was beginning to set. The modern ambiance of the popular gastropub welcomed the two as they settled at the bar for drinks. I snapped a few more photos of them as they cozied up at the bar and got seated at their table. As their lovely fall engagement session came to an end, I left the two to enjoy the rest of the night as their session faded into an early evening date night. 

There’s nothing like New York City in the fall. It’s the perfect time to showcase your love story with a romantic engagement session!

Hey there! I’m Rachael Crowe of OkCrowe Photography. I’m a New York City wedding photographer, but regardless of where I am, I am more than willing to let you pack me up in a suitcase and take me with you where you want to say your I do’s. I’ve shot everything from weddings to elopements, engagement sessions, and rehearsal dinners. It was such an honor to be a small part of Kristen + Michael’s love story. If you’re planning a fall New York City engagement session of your own, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Just fill out my contact form, and let’s get the conversation flowing!

Engagement Session Information:


Comments Off on A Charming Fall Engagement Session in Downtown Manhattan | Kristen + Michael