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Astoria Park is a charming little oasis nestled right along the bank of the East River in Queens. With iconic skyline views, lush greenery, and vibrant energy, it’s the perfect backdrop for a light and fun engagement session. As Astoria residents, the park was the ideal choice for Lindsay + Tom to showcase their love story in the place they call home. And with a surprise carnival in town and a cute picnic planned, the two spent their session immersing themselves in laughter, playful moments, and sweet exchanges on the most adorable afternoon date.

Fun engagement session at the Astoria Park Carnival. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.

Exploring Astoria Park for an Engagement Session

During my last trip to New York City, I was lucky enough to fill pockets of my free time with engagement sessions for a few beautiful New York City couples, including Astoria couple, Lindsay + Tom. The two had been following me on Instagram for a while and reached out when they saw that I would be in the area. As Astoria locals, Astoria Park has been the background of many of their dates. The two have shared numerous beautiful moments wandering the winding paths and enjoying the breeze off the East River. It was only fitting for it to be the location of their engagement session as well. 

Astoria Park sits beneath the iconic Robert F. Kennedy and Hell Gate Bridges along the East River in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens. It offers nearly 60 acres of green space and recreational activities, including NYC’s oldest and largest swimming pool, for both locals and visitors alike to enjoy. The park is definitely a place where the community comes together making it the best spot for Lindsay + Tom to celebrate their love.

As lighthearted and charming as Lindsay + Tom’s engagement session was, it was not without its challenges. When the day of the session rolled around, Lindsay was still recovering from a recent ACL injury. However, Tom's unwavering support and thoughtfulness made the day truly special. While we were careful not to do too much movement or do anything that would strain Linday’s injury, Tom’s attentiveness in making sure to carry her bags, help her up and down, and offer a hand or arm whenever she needed it was a true testament of the strength of their bond.

Fun engagement session at the Astoria Park Carnival. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
Fun engagement session at the Astoria Park Carnival. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
Fun engagement session at the Astoria Park Carnival. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
Fun engagement session at the Astoria Park Carnival. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
Fun engagement session at the Astoria Park Carnival. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
Fun engagement session at the Astoria Park Carnival. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
Fun engagement session at the Astoria Park Carnival. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
Fun engagement session at the Astoria Park Carnival. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
Fun engagement session at the Astoria Park Carnival. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
Fun engagement session at the Astoria Park Carnival. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
Fun engagement session at the Astoria Park Carnival. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
Fun engagement session at the Astoria Park Carnival. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
Fun engagement session at the Astoria Park Carnival. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
Fun engagement session at the Astoria Park Carnival. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
Fun engagement session at the Astoria Park Carnival. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
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Carnival Fun in Astoria Park

On the day of their engagement shoot, I met up with Lindsay + Tom at the park. Since the two were a bit nervous about being in front of the camera, I suggested turning the shoot into a fun little picnic date. The three of us were fully prepared to have a completely casual shoot by the water. However, when we got to the park, we were all surprised to discover that the Astoria Park Carnival was in full swing complete with rides, games, and fun carnival treats. So of course, we had to take the opportunity to get some fun and exciting pictures at the fair! 

Turns out going to the carnival was the anxiety release that Lindsay + Tom needed. The two decided to play a cup shooting game with Nerf guns, and to everyone’s delight, Lindsay emerged victorious, winning a small plush sushi as a prize. As they immersed themselves in the childish delight of playing carnival games, I couldn’t help but capture a few candids of their laughter and playfulness. After the game, the attendant was more than happy to let them pose in front of his booth for a few sweet and silly pictures with the Nerf blasters and Lindsay’s prize. 

Lindsay + Tom then decided to take a leisurely stroll throughout the carnival. As they walked hand in hand, I couldn’t resist capturing more candid moments showcasing the warmth and affection between them. Finally, we wrapped up our carnival adventure with a few poses by the Ferris wheel and other rides before heading back out into the park itself. 

A casual picnic date and engagement session in Astoria Park.  Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual picnic date and engagement session in Astoria Park.  Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual picnic date and engagement session in Astoria Park.  Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual picnic date and engagement session in Astoria Park.  Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual picnic date and engagement session in Astoria Park.  Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual picnic date and engagement session in Astoria Park.  Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual picnic date and engagement session in Astoria Park.  Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual picnic date and engagement session in Astoria Park.  Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual picnic date and engagement session in Astoria Park.  Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual picnic date and engagement session in Astoria Park.  Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual picnic date and engagement session in Astoria Park.  Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual picnic date and engagement session in Astoria Park.  Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
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There’s No Such Thing as “Unphotogenic”

Like many couples, one of Lindsay + Tom’s biggest fears going into their engagement shoot was how nervous they would be in front of the camera. They were convinced that they were “unphotogenic” almost up until the end of their shoot. Their photos definitely prove otherwise, but regardless (unless you’re Chandler Bing), I function under the belief that no one is unphotogenic. Everyone possesses their own unique beauty and my job as a photographer is to capture you in a way that reflects your authentic self. 

One of the biggest reasons why I love doing engagement shoots is because they’re a great way to break the ice for couples who may have a touch of camera shyness without having the added pressure of a wedding to deal with. During your engagement session, one of the first things I like to do is get to know you a little and hear a bit about your story as a couple. Engaging in meaningful conversations and building a genuine connection is a great way to take the edge off that nervous feeling so you start to relax enough to let your personality shine. 

During the session itself, I won’t ask you to do rigid, awkward poses. Instead, I give prompts that allow you and your partner to fall into poses comfortably and naturally. For Lindsay + Tom, my first prompt was simply to pick a carnival game to play. I might give some posing tips, like stand at an angle to create a more flattering silhouette or push your chin forward when you laugh to avoid a double chin, but otherwise, I love letting my clients just do their thing. This approach encourages natural expressions and movements, ensuring your photos are an honest reflection of your best selves. It was a technique that worked wonderfully for Lindsay + Tom and I certainly hope that after their session, they never think they’re unphotogenic again.

A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
A casual engagement session in Astoria Park. Photo by OkCrowe Photography.
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An Afternoon Picnic Date in Astoria Park

After our time spent at the carnival, both Lindsay + Tom were much more relaxed and comfortable with the camera and we finally got around to setting up a picnic date as we originally planned. Since the park was already a special place for them, I let them take the lead on where they wanted to set up their picnic. They ended up choosing a cozy spot by a tree overlooking the East River with the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge to one side and the Manhattan skyline in front of them. 

Laying out on a comfortable blanket, they uncorked a bottle of wine and shared a quiet drink together simply looking out at the view before them. Tom was especially attentive to Lindsay, ensuring her comfort by helping her up and down to avoid straining her injury. An afternoon picnic could not have been a more perfect choice for these two. It was clear just from their calm and relaxed demeanor that spending time in the park was something that they did often. They were able to just hang out and enjoy each other’s presence while I worked my camera magic around them. With just some light guidance, what was once a nerve-wracking ordeal for them ended up being a memorable and photogenic experience for their engagement season.

 After the picnic, we continued to explore the park, hunting for charming spots to pause and snap a few poses in. However, we saved the best view for last. We stumbled upon a spot with a picturesque view of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. With the natural greenery of the park framing them on both sides, it was the perfect ending to a light and fun engagement session where their love and joy were wonderfully documented against the backdrop of the enchanting Astoria Park.

A casual picnic date and engagement session in Astoria Park.  Photo by OkCrowe Photography.

Location

Astoria Park, NYC

Have you been searching for a photographer for your engagement session? I would be honored to be there to capture your love story!

Hey there! I’m Rachael Crowe of OkCrowe Photography. While I’m currently based in Chattanooga, Tennessee as of Summer 2024, I will officially be a New York City resident! As a traveling wedding photographer, I have been lucky enough to travel practically the whole country – sometimes even internationally! – photographing everything from engagements to weddings to elopements. If you need me to be somewhere, just say the word and together we’ll make it work! Just head over to my contact page to get started!

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