I had the honor to photograph not one, but two elopements in Central Park one day last week.
Congrats Alyssa and Nate of TX and Jade and Jenn from Australia!
I thought it would be interesting to share the sneak peeks from each in one post to share and show the difference in lighting, locations and time of day. We were fortunate to have a gorgeous sunny day that only was a bit warm!
What time of day?
Hands down, the earlier in the day, unless there is an event in the park, the less people there will be. This can come in handy if you would like a more “private” wedding. During the first wedding, Alyssa and Nate's, I was easily able to take a photo under the Bethesda Terrace with no one on the steps and there were also no people on Cat Rock and only a few on the Bow Bridge. This can help us move faster in picture taking and minimize observers if marrying in a popular location. On weekends especially during late Spring, Summer and Fall, I highly suggest marrying in the morning if you can.
This can also be a consideration with people either getting in the photos, or simply watching if you'd rather minimize that. The first wedding was at the Dene Shelter and other than some picnickers who graciously relocated, we were uninterrupted. Locations like the Bow Bridge and Ladies Pavilion are popular locations and often park visitors will watch and even cheer the wedding. The other reason would be lighting. For example, (on a cloudy day this is less of a concern but we can't order that!) the location where Jenn and Jade's ceremony took place is in the shade in the morning (but the bridge is in sun) and in the afternoon they are both in the sun. The Dene Shelter looks best in the summer or fall as long as there is some leaf cover. I have seen photos without leaf cover on sunny days especially, the structure casts harsh shadows under it. But in the summer the leaves prevent this and it looks lovely and offers a shady, private location.
This highly depends on the weather. I love all light and find ways to shoot in any conditions, including the middle of the day! However, some photos in specific locations are going to work best in certain times of day if we have sun or I will need to use flash. (Cloudy weather evenly distributes the light by the clouds filtering the sun, this makes it easier to shoot almost anywhere, but the light isn’t dramatic and you won’t get the magic hour near twilight or after sun rise.) You can see this with the shots on Cat Rock with the skyline. The first shot was during the morning and the sun was behind me, a few hours later the sun was in front of me and I could have a silhouetted photo of the couple.
Ultimately it come down to preference and what is important to you. Let me know what you like, and I am happy to help you figure out the logistics for your ideal elopement photos.