The secret to effortless engagement photos you’ll love

Time and again, we’ve emphasized that it’s possible to delightfully enhance the joy of your engagement photo session through thoughtful preparation.

We also pointed out that for the sake of imagery, you need to get intentional about your results; this essentially means both you and your photographer need to do things most people wouldn’t if you want photos that nobody else has.

Above all, you and your loved one must connect because it’s 100% real … as opposed to for the photo.

The benefit? You’ll have splendid fun, experience a natural flow to your photo shoot, and achieve brilliant pictures … since your photographer can now capture you both in your element—celebrating the uniqueness of your relationship.

NYC engagement photos

The secret, then, to effortless engagement photos you’ll love can be summarized by a simple equation that really ought to be taught in school:

Imaginative preparation + Getting intentional + Liberated emotional expression = Engagement photos that matter

Question for Samantha—complete the sentence: Eric makes my heart sing because …

… he’s everything I ever wanted in a partner—a happy companion to get excited with, and who makes me laugh, shows tender affection, makes me feel secure, and keeps our passion alive.

I truly love him more and more with every passing day …


Question for Eric—complete the sentence: Samantha brings a smile to my face, because …

… she’s my perfect complement.

We fit together so incredibly well. Some partners may tolerate little quirks and habits, but Sam actually embraces mine.

I can be me around Sam, because she loves me for who I am and does not try to change me. The fact that she laughs at my jokes doesn’t hurt the cause :-)


Your driver from Ground Link was simply everywhere. Whenever we were about to call him to pick us up, he seemingly magically appeared within seconds. Please reflect on your decision to hire a driver, and how the car service affected your engagement session experience?

After discussing with Cengiz potential locations for our engagement session, we knew we wanted our photos taken in multiple places around the City (and in different outfits—we are serious fashionistas after all).

There’s really no way to get great photos effortlessly around the Big Apple in 3 hours unless you hire a professional car service.

Our SUV gave us plenty of space for props, which among other things included three massive 36-inch white balloons; our large vehicle also came in handy for outfit changes.

We truthfully had no idea that our driver would be so incredible. Ground Link was recommended to us by a friend, and our driver went above and beyond the proverbial call of duty.

nyc photographer

Which part of the engagement shoot surprised you most?

Sam: I was surprised by the courage a simple gal can muster up when an incredible photo opportunity is on the line: for instance, Eric and I balanced along a construction barricade in the middle of Times Square for nearly five minutes amidst on-rushing cabs … all for the perfect shot.

NYC wedding photos

Eric: I was surprised by the amount of energy it takes to have a fabulous engagement photo shoot—we were exhausted by the end.


Which part of the shoot did you find most challenging? Why?

Waking up at 4:30am to do my hair and makeup was no easy feat.

However, Cengiz had us kick-off our shoot by popping a bottle of Champagne, which had a revitalizing effect on our bodies and helped sharpen our senses.

best new york wedding photographer

Tell us how you prepared for your engagement photo session.

The first step in our preparations was to look through Adagion’s informative website gallery to get a sense of what we wanted from our engagement experience—especially as it pertains to locations and props.

Speaking of which … the day before our shoot—which, admittedly, was cutting it a little close—we went to Party City to literally buy out the entire store: chalk, bubbles, masks, latex balloons, clown-size sunglasses, Champagne flutes, and confetti poppers.

Our props helped spice things up while letting our personalities sparkle in the photos.


Finally, as already mentioned, we booked an SUV for 3 hours to go as directed.

Attention New Yorkers: if you plan on shooting in Brooklyn, make sure to mention it to your car service at the time of booking so you get an accurate price estimate.

Which was your favorite prop? Why?

Although challenging to transport, the three 36-inch over-sized white balloons were hands-down our favorite prop.

Cengiz had us play in the busy streets of Times Square; posing in the midst of insanely impatient traffic was truly an unforgettable experience.

Times Square engagement photos

If you get balloons at Party City, you should ask for the Hi-Float Balloon Treatment, which extends the life of balloons while helping them retain size and shape. It almost goes without saying, but when you pick up your balloons, make sure to use a vehicle with plenty of accessible loading space.

How was it working with Cengiz? What surprised you and how did reality meet expectations?

Cengiz has such a special and infectious energy about him.

He got us all excited for every shot—even if we had done it a few times already.

Times Square red stairs engagement and wedding photos

He offers honest feedback on what’s working and how to achieve better results.

In addition, he’ll do anything for a great photo—so don’t be surprised to see him lay completely flat on the dirty floor to capture a unique perspective.

It’s also quite possible that he’ll encourage you to empty an entire bottle of Champagne over his clothes and equipment.

He’s ridiculously dedicated to the art of photography and doesn’t subscribe to a formula—every shot is different … so you know immediately that your photos won’t look like everybody else’s.

Eric and I are not the folks to hang photos of us holding hands while sitting in front of a tree; we prefer action and real.

Times Square NYC engagement pictures

Cengiz will spot something awesome in what most people would likely walk by … which is what we love about him.

If your best friend were considering a similar engagement shoot—and you could only provide one helpful tip, what would you tell her?

Prepare early—booking a car was the easy part, but coordinating outfits for color and style, thinking through your props, and identifying fun locations, take time.

I also think that coordinating outfits is a science—Eric and I don’t necessarily have the same style, but wanted to make sure our colors work together; we didn’t want to look like I was coming home from a long night out while Eric was heading to brunch with the family.

Getting up early ain’t easy. Consider giving yourself more time in the morning to get ready and load the car.

That is more than one tip, but I can’t decide which is most important :-)

DUMBO engagement photos

How did Samantha and Eric meet?

Eric and I met on JDate in 2010.

We went on two dates, and then decided to stay friends when I got back together with an ex.

In spite of the awkward situation, we remained friends for the next year until one exciting night, the stars aligned, and we reconnected.

We’ve been together, inseparable, and happy ever since!


Also—do you know anybody who might enjoy learning about this engagement session?

Sam and Eric told you how they did it. So now you can show your friends by sharing this article using the social share buttons on the left of your screen (or on the bottom for mobile devices).

props for engagement photos

So, Now What?

We’d be delighted to hear from you—which part of their NYC adventure do you find most fascinating?

What’s your favorite photo?

Let us know in the comments section below.

And above all, thank you for your generous support and for making our blog one of the most happy places for resourceful couples.



So if you’re still reading this, you’ve already identified yourself as someone who genuinely values the photography experience. And your reward?

How about you click on the post-credit wedding teaser of Sam & Eric’s stunning W. South Beach wedding photos to find out!

About the Author


Cengiz is the founder of Adagion Studio and Zero Gravity Learning. His unique creative vision combined with a rare ability to bestow surreal rock star auras on real-life people have led to his recognition as one of the most internationally respected elite wedding photographers working today.

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