The area of Brooklyn known as DUMBO (down under the Manhattan bridge overpass) is an incredible spot to take wedding and engagement photographs.
If you're not careful, however, what should have been a dream photography session could end up being overcrowded and filled with stress.
Here are my top tips to ensure you get the most out of the time you spend taking pictures around the famous Brooklyn Bridge.
1. Weekdays are Best to Avoid Crowds
Especially during the warmer months, DUMBO sees traffic from all over the five boroughs as well as Long Island. Trying to cozy up and create a romantic atmosphere between you and your fiancé while hundreds of bystanders look on can be daunting, not to mention it's almost impossible to get intimate photographs without bystanders in the picture!
Parking is almost impossible on weekend days as well, and unless you live in Manhattan or Brooklyn, it can be very time consuming to get to the area by public transportation.
If doing your session on a weekday isn't possible, though, there's still hope.
2. Start The Session at Sunrise
I know it's hard to wake up early, (especially in the warmer months, where the sun rises at 5:30 AM) but hear me out!
For one, you will have the Brooklyn Bridge all to yourself. This alone is worth drinking two cups of coffee to be wide awake at sunrise. In fact, it may be the only time possible to get photographs on the Brooklyn Bridge without other people on it. Especially when the bridge becomes crowded later in the day, the New York Police Department will patrol the bridge and not let people stop for too long to make sure the traffic keeps moving.
You'll also have the bonus of beautiful light, as sunrise and sunset are also when the light is best to take pictures.
There will be plenty of parking and absolutely zero traffic getting down to DUMBO.
And also—you might be able to make a weekend day work with a sunrise session! Although most photographers are busy on Saturdays and Sundays (especially during wedding season), if you plan far enough in advance it might be possible to squeeze in a few hour session during sunrise on a weekend day, with all of the advantages above to boot!
3. Neutral Colored Outfits Work Best
I cover this in more detail in my Getting The Most out of your Couples Session post, but it's best if you choose solid, neutral colors that compliment your surroundings when selecting your outfits.
Light greys, whites, blues, pinks, and tans work with any surrounding, but especially with all of the browns and reds in Dumbo.
4. Wear Comfortable Shoes
This one is a big one that is often overlooked. There are lots of beautiful spots in DUMBO, but they do require a bit of walking. Make sure you choose shoes that are stylish yet comfortable to make sure you don't wear yourself out while walking.
Bringing a bag where you can store flats to use while walking around is also a great idea.
5. Most Importantly, Have Fun!
A couple's session is not some stiff, formal event. It's an authentic representation of you and your fiancé, and more than just save the date photographs. It's common to be nervous before you get started, but don't worry! After the first few minutes, you will completely forget about the nerves and will just be enjoying spending time together, capturing beautiful photographs in the process.
That's it for now! I hope that helps, and be sure to check out my guide on getting the most out of your engagement session for some more tips!