During our brainstorming sessions with all of our clients, it’s occasionally like pulling teeth trying to convince them to go to Coney Island for their engagement sessions. I mean, seriously…what’s there not to love? Coney Island is a beloved NYC landmark with wonderful colors, a new boardwalk (thank you, Sandy!), and a carnival to go with their sandy beaches! With Lessy & Danny, we encountered very little resistance – which is surprising, given the fact that Danny’s an up-and-coming photographer himself (and Lessy, his willing model on most days!). You know how us photographers are – we have opinions on everything :).

And it’s my personal opinion that these two totally rocked their Coney Island engagement session! And these two had the most serious case of the giggles…THE ENTIRE DAY!

Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau. Brooklyn Engagement session in DUMBO and Coney Island, captured by Brooklyn wedding photographer Ben Lau.

When I first met Jill & Mike (and I almost swear that there was a phone interview somewhere in there), it predictably ended with the 3 of us laughing our heads off. When we finally got a chance to get these two in front of our cameras, it would be no different. I loved this Red Bank engagement session for a whole assortment of reasons, least of which have anything to do with the fabulous personalities of these two individuals. Apparently, there was a memo that went out to all my clients regarding the consumption “liquid courage” prior to/during/after an engagement session, which resulted in some of the biggest smiles and laughter Red Bank has ever seen. Hey, whatever gets the job done :).

 

Red Bank engagement session, captured by Central NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Red Bank engagement session, captured by Central NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Red Bank engagement session, captured by Central NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Red Bank engagement session, captured by Central NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Red Bank engagement session, captured by Central NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Red Bank engagement session, captured by Central NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Red Bank engagement session, captured by Central NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Red Bank engagement session, captured by Central NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Red Bank engagement session, captured by Central NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Red Bank engagement session, captured by Central NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Red Bank engagement session, captured by Central NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau.

Several years ago, a camera-shy groom-to-be once asked me if it was okay to consume some “liquid courage” on the morning of his engagement session. In the words of Fergie, “A little party never killed nobody.” – so I naturally gave him my blessings. Long story short, we were supposed to hit up the zoo that afternoon. And sometime within the first hour, I managed to lose BOTH my clients. It didn’t take very long to figure out that the couple had hopped over the pedestrian security fence AND the enclosure surrounding a family of giraffes. Then this happened. In the years since that memorable engagement session, I’ve yet to encounter such an adventurous couple who were simply down for anything and everything…until I met Jen & Justin. I mean, seriously….we started their engagement session with a generous flight of beers (as every good engagement session should), courtesy of the Triumph Brewing Company in Princeton. We spent the remainder of the afternoon shooting their engagement session at the Sculpture Gardens nearby, where some of our outtakes pretty much stole the show :).

  Sculpture Garden Engagement Session in Princeon, NJ | Ben Lau Photography Sculpture Garden engagement session in Princeton, captured by NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Sculpture Garden Engagement Session in Princeon, NJ | Ben Lau Photography Sculpture Garden engagement session in Princeton, captured by NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Sculpture Garden engagement session in Princeton, captured by NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Sculpture Garden engagement session in Princeton, captured by NJ wedding photographer Ben Lau. Sculpture Garden Engagement Session in Princeon, NJ | Ben Lau Photography Sculpture Garden Engagement Session in Princeon, NJ | Ben Lau Photography

And of course, our outtakes. Don’t you just love this couple?

Sculpture Garden Engagement Session in Princeon, NJ | Ben Lau Photography

When you live and work in a city of 10-20 million people, it stands to reason that strangers will generally remain strangers for pretty much an entire lifetime. Nobody knows anybody (or rather, really has a need to), and the only thing exists are the destinations where they need to be, and the semi-navigable path that will take them there. This path will invariably be filled with buskers, panhandlers, tourists and elderly women handing out flyers (or selling umbrellas, depending on the weather). And sometimes, a face will come into focus, amidst the mass of moving humans just trying to get to their Point B. Like most encounters in and around the city, they’re generally forgettable moments, until the moment they’re not. And so began Nicole & Justin’s story, and how they ended up becoming the co-parents of one of the most photogenic bulldogs on this side of the Hudson River.

Jersey City engagement session captured by North Jersey wedding photographer Ben Lau. Jersey City engagement session captured by North Jersey wedding photographer Ben Lau. Jersey City engagement session captured by North Jersey wedding photographer Ben Lau. Jersey City engagement session captured by North Jersey wedding photographer Ben Lau. Jersey City engagement session captured by North Jersey wedding photographer Ben Lau. Jersey City engagement session captured by North Jersey wedding photographer Ben Lau. Jersey City engagement session captured by North Jersey wedding photographer Ben Lau. Jersey City engagement session captured by North Jersey wedding photographer Ben Lau.

Despite being a NYC wedding photographer, I’ll have to admit that I avoid high-traffic areas around town like it’s my sole mission in life. You’d think I’d be used to it by now. But in my head, I’m thinking to myself (in my most obnoxious Brooklyn accent possible), “Hey you’s…never seen a tall building before? Move it or lose it, pal!”. But of course, I’d like to convince myself (and everybody else) that I’m generally a pretty nice guy, and that I’m really trying to avoid having the Naked Cowboy photobombing my photo session again, or getting whacked in the face by one (out of a bajillion) selfie-sticks that are wandering the streets around 5th Avenue :). Kristen & Martin tied the knot nearby at the 3 West Club, also home of the Women’s National Republican Club (which in hindsight, finally explains all the various elephant decor as well as a giant portrait of ol’ Ronnie near the elevators!). Kristen’s morning started quietly at the St. Regis, while Martin’s morning started at their apartment in Tribeca – both with details galore, which is of course every photographer’s dream.

Wedding details for a 3 West Club Wedding in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding details for a 3 West Club Wedding in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding details for a 3 West Club Wedding in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding prep at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding prep at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding details for a 3 West Club Wedding in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding prep at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding prep at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding details for a 3 West Club Wedding in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding details for a 3 West Club Wedding in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Bride solo portraits for a 3 West Club Wedding in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. First look for a 3 West Club Wedding in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. First look for a 3 West Club Wedding in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding reception at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding photos at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding photos at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding photos at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Bride solo portraits for a 3 West Club Wedding in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding photos at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding ceremony at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding ceremony at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding ceremony at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding details for a 3 West Club Wedding in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding details for a 3 West Club Wedding in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding reception at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding reception a 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding reception at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding reception at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Wedding reception at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau.= Wedding reception at 3 West Club in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Guests dancing during a 3 West Club Wedding in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau. Guests dancing during a 3 West Club Wedding in NYC, captured by NYC wedding photographer Ben Lau.

Venue & Catering: 3 West Club // Ceremony/Officiant: Father Michael Callahan // Hair & Make-up: Jessica from Vensette // Dress: Bridal Garden // Shoes: Isabel Marant // Groom’s attire: Hugo Boss // Jewelry: Adorn // Floral/Décor: Flowers by Rose // Entertainment: Dave Fischoff from Sugartown Industries // Stationery: Minted.com