It’s that Time! Spring & Summer Engagement Session Tips! {Hudson Valley Wedding Photographer}

Friends, I know we’re in the same boat – and can’t WAIT for spring and summer to be here.  We’ve had a long winter!  And suddenly, wedding season is upon us!  How did that happen?!  Hopefully the leaves will be back on the trees soon, and the flowers blooming in no time!  The birds are chirping, so it can’t be THAT far away, right?!

These next few months are going to be FULL of so many beautiful engagements and weddings! I can’t wait to capture each story and be a part of each of these couples’ lives this year.  

As I’ve been doing every year, I am so happy to post my best tips for a successful and beautiful engagement session!  The location, the details, the outfits, all don’t just happen – they take planning.  But all of you are so creative – I have no doubt we will plan sessions beautiful and so uniquely you!  

Here are my most helpful tips as we envision your session:-)



This is one of the most important considerations for the session. What you wear really impacts how you look and how the photograph looks as a whole! I always suggest 2 outfits; I suggest this 1. to give you more variety in images as you display them around the house; and 2. so you can experiment with 2 different “looks.”

The first look I suggest is a little formal; such as a spring or summer dress – short or long, heels or pretty sandals, and a big chunky necklace or earrings. If it’s a little cooler, definitely wear a cardigan or cute jacket over it. You can’t go wrong with layering!:)

The second look I suggest is more casual; (this is where the cute jeans come in); jeans, white or colored pants, with a nice top with accessories and a jacket.

As far as colors go, this is the time to be bold!! It’s spring and summer – that inspires fun colors all around! And cute patterns are great!  Just make sure you don’t wear patterns that clash with each other.  You and your fiancee should “go” with each other without being “matchy matchy.”

Consider colors that don’t wash out your skin tone but that compliments your coloring nicely.

Also, consider colors that will match the background of the shoot, time of year, and even bringing in hints of your wedding colors can be fun.

Try on your outfit before the session, and consider that you will be standing up and sitting down in a variety of poses. Make sure you’re able to move comfortably while it still looks cute!

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Ladies, I know it sounds like a small detail, but it’s not.  Makeup makes SUCH a difference in how you appear on camera.  I know you’ve heard that actors and actresses wear heavier makeup under stage lights.  Similar for you, it’s helpful to wear a little more makeup than you usually do before the session.  The light will wash it out a little and it will look more natural when you see the resulting images.

I highly suggest you consider using a makeup artist, even doing a trial with the one booked for your wedding.  If you need any recommendations, please ask!  This way, you are able to see how they work AND be able to feel good and special for your engagement session.

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Leave this part to me!  I will make sure that we schedule your session as close as possible to before sunset, when the light is warmest and most beautiful!  You can expect that we’ll shoot from about 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm in May and August, and 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm in June and July.

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Details sound like they just “extras” to your images, and they are.  But they’re more than that.  They’re ways for you to express who you are, what you love and your relationship with your fiancee.  The details make the setting look more beautiful, more romantic, and more fun.  Get as creative as you’d like!  From picnic blankets and baskets, to flowers, to cool vintage cars or bicycles, pets, guitars and instruments, old books, old fashioned Coca Cola or sweet tea, to ice cream or ice pops, to save-the-date signs; the more creative your ideas, the better!!

Look on Pinterest, think about the theme of your wedding and the questions I sent you, and dream as much as you want.  I love when the images become even more uniquely YOU, and the details are such a great way to do that.


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Of course I will be photographing your gorgeous engagement ring!  If you would like to get it cleaned beforehand, that will help it to be at its best sparkle.

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I know this is probably your first time being professionally photographed, but what is probably most important on this list is, RELAX and HAVE FUN!  I will help you pose, to feel comfortable, to relax, and to laugh.

This engagement experience only happens once.  Prepare to have fun with it!

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I can’t wait to get to know you and capture your love!




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A Birthday Glitter Photo Shoot!

Oh, friends!  I am BEYOND excited to share these photos with you!

Many of you already know this, but it was my birthday this past weekend:) I was so touched to receive so many messages including from many of you!

When I decided how I wanted to celebrate my birthday, I had a few ideas in mind.  Of course, it included my favorite things, hiking and dining at a nice restaurant.  But then, I remembered an idea my dear friend Danielle had a few years ago!  She sent me a glitter inspired shoot of a little girl in a tulle skirt, and said, “We need to do this!”  For a photographer and a chef, creativity always abounds with us – the sky is truly the limit!  We had that shoot in the back of our minds for years, and on my birthday we were inspired to just DO it!  (And yes, we STILL went on the hike up and down a mountain, and ate at a nice restaurant!)

We say we’re going to do a lot of things, don’t we?  So on this day, I wanted to celebrate living life full, and actually DOING the things that inspire me.

I have always loved birthdays.  I love waking up to cards and notes and throughout the day hearing from people why they love that you’re alive, and what you give into the world.  I think people should live every day that encouraged, that full of love.

On my birthday, I was full of all that love.  Full of joy.  Knowing that this year is going to be a great one ahead.  You know when you just FEEL it?  I did.

And I spent my day so truly grateful for the people around me who love, encourage, and pour in.  I celebrated each one of them in my heart.

So here’s to life, huh?  Here’s to big dreams and pushing forward and becoming all the things you always said you would become!  It’s a journey.  But here’s to embracing both the pains and the joys, living wholeheartedly and resolving to see the good, to be joy, and to embrace those around us.

Hope our shoot inspires you, too!  Enjoy!

birthday_celebration_glitter_studio_photo_shoot_new_york_wedding_photographer_0001Danielle bought me that beautiful flower crown – I was loving it!  Of course it matched perfectly with my favorite color!


birthday_celebration_glitter_studio_photo_shoot_new_york_wedding_photographer_0006My friend is so beautiful!  FAVORITE!

birthday_celebration_glitter_studio_photo_shoot_new_york_wedding_photographer_0007birthday_celebration_glitter_studio_photo_shoot_new_york_wedding_photographer_0009birthday_celebration_glitter_studio_photo_shoot_new_york_wedding_photographer_0010Love this – so fun!!

birthday_celebration_glitter_studio_photo_shoot_new_york_wedding_photographer_0011Favorite shot of me!

birthday_celebration_glitter_studio_photo_shoot_new_york_wedding_photographer_0012Here’s to an epic year ahead, friends!:)

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Love Gives Way – Giving and Dreaming BIG! {Restore NYC}

As I think about the new season ahead, I am SO excited for all it holds!  But I can’t jump into Spring yet without saying a HUGE HUGE


A year ago, I started a partnership with Love Gives Way and Restore NYC, to give back 10% of select wedding photography packages to fight human trafficking.  It was on my heart to make my wedding photography business not about me, to be able to GIVE and to impact people.  I know that a huge way I do that is my relationship with my clients – through being a part of your lives and encouraging your journey and helping you as much as I can along the way.  But I knew there was even more on my heart.  I knew that your love stories would impact other people, and together we could use your wedding to give back.

I connected with Restore NYC and started working with the women in their safe houses, occasionally doing photo shoots for the women rescued out of trafficking, and being there face to face.  It has been such a joy seeing the potential these women have, the way their faces light up after we spend time together photographing, and the small victories along the way.

And this winter, I joined the Black Sheep Bride community, being a part of a group of of wedding vendors from all around the country who give back with their businesses.  This is my heart.  To always be about giving, and working toward a better world together.

I had several clients join me last year to give to Restore NYC through their wedding.  And I even had a sweet bride and groom who made a donation to Restore on my behalf.  That was such an honor, and I was truly touched.  Last year was so amazing!  Here’s how much we gave:

2013 Shay Cochrane


I know this year holds even more potential to give, together!!  I already have DOUBLE the number of Love Gives Way couples as last year!  So let’s dream big, shall we – let’s put a big fat dream of giving $5,000.00!  We CAN do this together!

If you are already my client and would like to use your wedding to give back, please email me!  And if you are one of my Love Gives Way couples, please come out and join me on April 16 at Restore’s Stand for Freedom Gala in NYC!

This year, friends…this year.  The best is yet to come!

Love can restore.  And it will.


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