Sloan & Hunter Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park & Central Park NYC

October 9, 2020

Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park

I am not a morning person, but Sloan and Hunter’s Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park and Central Park, New York City, earned its spot in my top 5 sessions of 2020. I can truly say this session was beyond what I hoped it would be. I love Sloan and Hunter, but with what has been going on in New York City and everywhere all over the country lately, I didn’t know what to expect.

In early August, I met Sloan and Hunter when they reached out to me about the wedding through Wedding Wire. We hit it off great, and Sloan told me that my wedding photographer is the determining factor for them booking with me! I was elated when they wanted to work with me because A, I love them, and 2, I knew how amazing their images were going to look. Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park

We started at Liberty State Park at sunrise yesterday morning! Having shot at Liberty State Park several times before, I knew that if we didn’t do it right at sunrise, the images wouldn’t look nearly as good! We started at the 9/11 memorial. That is a prime spot to use for all photographers who shoot at Liberty State Park, so I wanted to make sure we tackled their first. Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park

Sloan wore her Lengha, a traditional Indian outfit, which Hunter said made her look like a mermaid. It most definitely was! The pink and green colors were a beautiful compliment to Hunter’s suit and stood out beautifully at Liberty State Park.

Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park

Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park

As photographers, we always have a route we go through for places we have shot at before. I also knew I could get beautiful silhouette shots of the New York City skyline with them dancing, so I did just that. It was beautiful, and I sent them to Sloan as previews, and she couldn’t believe it! Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park

Then we moved to the clock tower and brick wall to capture some moments there. Then it was off to Central Park.

Driving through New York City is a pain in the butt. We drove through the Holland Tunnel and up to 8th Avenue to 72nd Street and Central Park West to park close to The Bethesda Mall, Terrace, and Fountain. Little did I know that I parked in a No Parking for Street Cleaning on Thursdays, so I had a nice present when I got back to the car. Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park

We walked through the park to the Bethesda Terrace, another trendy spot in Central Park for engagement photos and even portraits. I love working that area in a certain way and using the architecture to my advantage. The arches are beautiful, as is the mosaic tile.

There a beam of sunlight hitting the wall on the stairs, and I knew I could create this amazing shadow work shot with them. It turned out EXACTLY how I envisioned it—absolute perfection.

Sloan wanted a dipping shot in the arches. It was beautiful, and luckily we had no people in the shot behind them, so it made the image even more beautiful. I wanted to make sure that we also got shots by the Bethesda Fountain as well. It is a landmark of Central Park, and I love incorporating in shots. Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park

We ended at the Bethesda Mall, which is the beautiful line of trees that leads right to the terrace. It is VERY famous, and in the middle of the Fall, it is GORGEOUS. The leaves turn all colors, and it is stunning.

From start to finish, the session was 99/100. We spent about 3 hours total shooting and traveling, but it was worth every minute of the sunrise start time. Keep reading below to read Sloan and Hunter’s story with the Q&A for the bride and groom!

Sloan and Hunter will be tying the knot at The Rockleigh in June 2021, and I am honored to call these two good friends and humbled that they chose me as their photographer.

Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park

Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park



“Hunter and I met when we were in our last year of optometry school. We attended an optometry conference in Boston while being enrolled in two different optometry schools (Hunter went to a school in Memphis, and I went to Berkeley). There was a mandatory student event in the wee hours of the morning that we both had to attend. Let’s say we each had a little too much fun the night before (with our own group of friends); therefore, we decided to keep a low profile and sit at a table in the back (great minds think alike).”

“Hunter was already in the room, sitting at a table with his friends. I decided to join them with my group–they seemed nice enough. Little did I know at the time that at that table, a person was sitting who I would end up marrying! As the meeting began, we went around introducing ourselves, but Hunter–being a little “tired”– didn’t fully catch my name. In the next few minutes, he decided to ask me a question.”

“I was on my phone, scrolling like a true millennial, so he said “hey…phone…” since he couldn’t recall my name. I looked up in disbelief and asked, “did you just call me phone?!” Thus began our witty banter, which would last for the next few hours. Our chemistry naturally developed as we kept running into each other at more events during the conference.”

“But, as I mentioned, we both were attending different schools on opposite sides of the country. So, although Hunter managed to get my digits at the end of the conference, we parted ways after with a fond memory of an interesting person that we each had met.”

Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park


“I wanted to surprise Sloan on our first date, and what better way than literally sweeping her off her feet. I told her the night before that she needed to wear comfortable clothes and shoes for the date. Of course, when I showed up to her place to pick her up, she was in heels, jeans, and a fancy shirt. I instantly told her to grab her tennis shoes, and the rest would have to do because, well, she looked great. We then began the date with a trip to the Union Square Christmas Market, where we strolled around for a few hours (fun fact: we each ended up gifting the same “love” candle to each other for Christmas that year).”

“Then we proceeded to get a nice cup of hot chocolate with the largest marshmallow imaginable at City Cafe. While at City Cafe, Sloan got a call from her mother saying her older sister had just given birth to a baby girl, Sloan’s first niece. So not only was that day the beginning of our relationship, but it was also a new chapter in Sloan’s family.”

“After hot chocolate, Sloan still did not know what the next part of the date entailed. I took her on the northbound metro to the farthest stop on the train in the Bronx. We hopped off the train, and from there, I order an Uber(the suspense building) to our final destination – iFly Indoor Skydiving!”

“We were both super excited and still on a sugar high when we got inside iFly. Right before Sloan’s turn to jump into the makeshift wind turbine, she turned to me and said she was scared. Like a good sport I am, and in all honesty, I grabbed her hand and said, “don’t worry. I’m scared shitless too”. That instantly put a smile on her face, the pep back in her step, and before she knew it, she was flying in to the night.”

Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park


“So the Boston conference was in June 2016, in February 2017, we were applying for Residency Programs and would soon find ourselves applying to New York City. In between the conference and February 2017, Hunter and I were following each other on social media…he would like my photos, I would like him, we kept things casual.”

“In February 2017, I came to NYC to interview at my top choice residency program. The night before my interview, a few friends and I had planned to go to an early dinner. A few hours prior, I get a Facebook message from Hunter saying that he saw on social media that I was in the city and wondered if I wanted to hang out. It was a pleasant surprise, to say the least, to hear from him…turns out he was also applying to residency programs in NYC.”

“We ended up hanging out that night till 2 am and mind you, this is the night before my top choice residency interview!! There was just something about him that kept me interested. The conversation was natural, and well, there were butterflies! But, he was a perfect gentleman and walked me back to my hotel later that night.”

“After our residency matches came out, and I found out I would be in NYC, I instinctively messaged him. I was glad to hear that he, too, had matched to a program in NYC! Plot twist: When I moved to NYC in July of 2017, I found myself in a relationship that would soon turn into a long distance relationship. Of course, Hunter was disappointed to hear that from the last time we had seen each other, I had picked up some baggage.”

“We remained friends though, annoyingly so, and would constantly see others at parties, hangouts, events, etc. The chemistry between us was undeniable. All our friends picked up on it…Hunter even flat out, confessed to several people that he had feelings for me. It wasn’t until he confessed to me, face to face, that I decided to re-evaluate my dating situation.”

“I had kept my feelings for him hidden because frankly, I didn’t want to hurt my ex, but also I was too nervous to admit that I liked him as much as I did. However, after a month of internal turmoil, I made the right decision and decided to follow my heart. I’ve never looked back.”

Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park

Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park


“In January of this year, I knew I wanted to propose to Sloan (she was ready since day 1 ;)), but I had to figure out when I was going to get her parent’s blessing. Thankfully we had scheduled a trip to San Diego at the very beginning of March, and I was able to get the green light then.”

“Unfortunately, right after we returned to NYC, COVID hit, and everything was shut down. I was planning on asking in April, but it was obviously delayed. I was then able to get a hold of a great jeweler and worked with them in secret while quarantining with Sloan (not easy to hide something for over 2 months from someone you are constantly with). I finally got the ring in the mail (crazy!) on a Friday and instantly knew I wanted to propose the next week.”

“I had planned out a picnic for us to go on after she got off work the following week (I was only working part-time due to COVID), but of course, a few hiccups occurred. Multiple friends of ours called/texted us the days before the proposal asking if we wanted to hang out on the very day that I was planning to propose.”

“Finally, the day before I was planning on proposing, I called all those people who were asking to interrupt my huge romantic gesture and told them my plans (I couldn’t risk telling them sooner in case they spilled the beans- TRUST NO ONE). They were all extremely excited, but now we had to figure out a way to cancel the pre-determined plans the day of the proposal without looking suspicious. So the day of the proposal, after our friends had purposely canceled, Sloan, a little bummed out, thought we should have a picnic that night too.”

“She texted me that afternoon saying we should set up a picnic in Central Park and was pretty pleased with herself thinking that SHE had come up with an entertaining plan. Little did she know… I played it off cool and said we might not have time with all the errands I had to run, but I would see what I could do. Then I surprised her with a note and a rose when she got home from work. I wrote her that dinner on the stove and to meet me after at her favorite spot, “Turtle Pond,” in Central Park for a romantic date.”

“I even drew a small turtle (thank you youtube) to make sure she knew where to meet me. Meanwhile, I was at my apartment, getting everything together. I got to Central Park early to set up and search for an area within Turtle Pond where we could have some privacy when the time came to get down on one knee.

“Luckily, I found an alcove by itself with no one around and set camp up (blanket, roses, cute basket, etc.). Our friends came shortly after I set up, helped with the final touches, and then found hiding spots right before Sloan was to arrive.”

“A little past 8 o’clock, I see Sloan walking down the path to where everything was set up. I did not waste much time, and before we started our picnic, I popped the question. She said YES! After, we popped some bottles of champagne and celebrated our engagement with close friends.”

Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park

Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park


We are having an Indian Ceremony and an American wedding reception. This wedding is truly a blend of two cultures. There will be a Sangeet party a couple of nights before, a rehearsal dinner the night before, and the wedding itself will be a cultural mixture.”

“We are very excited to participate in each other’s traditions. Hunter and I pride ourselves on being open-minded and welcoming of people from all walks of life. We are most excited to celebrate the union of two people, two families, and two cultures.”

Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park


“Eye Love You”


“Fun, Spontaneous, Honest, Encouraging, Romantic”


“Trust. We both trust each other to be the best versions of ourselves and push each other to do the same. We want to stay committed to being the people we each fell in love with while growing together. We are passionate about keeping the romance alive and making an effort to make each other feel special.”

Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park

If you’re engaged or know anyone who is engaged and is looking for an Engagement Photographer Central Park or Liberty State Park, or a Wedding Photographer, please CONTACT ME.

Sloan & Hunter Sunrise Engagement Session Liberty State Park & Central Park NYC 87