When I was younger I remember the stern warnings from my parents about meeting people on the internet… or rather, NOT meeting people on the internet. Since those days the internet seems to have grown at least partially into another tool for connecting… sorry Mum and Dad, I’ve done it again. As I continue my foray into portrait photography I am needing more faces, and I thought it was about time I tried my hand at couples’ photography.
In my bid to be a braver me in 2017, I reached out to Kayla from the blog Kayla’sFiveThings and asked her if she’d be up for doing a collaboration for Valentine’s day. I’d been reading her blog for a while and was so excited that she agreed to feature my photography in her Valentines Day post “At Home Date Night Ideas”.
In all honesty… I was fairly daunted – I really wanted to get it right. Two more people and twice the stress! Luckily, Kayla and her childhood sweetheart, Stephen, are complete pros. Since they got married last year they have been kind enough to model for lots of different photographers, so, when they got around to me, I barely had to direct them at all.
It was pretty chilly, so the shoot was short and sweet, but still just enough time to hear about their journey to NYC.
1. Why did you and Stephen decide on New York City?
I fell in love with the city when I interned my senior year, and knew I had to try living here. Stephen was not as sold on the concept of winter and being far from the beach (we're both from Florida), but at that time we had been in a long-distance relationship for seven years. We both knew we wanted to finally live in the same city, so he agreed to try out NYC... and has since gotten to love it too!
2. What is it like living and working here?
I think both living and working here is a constant rollercoaster of emotions. Some days, I feel like I'm living a dream come true. Others, someone pukes in the same subway train I'm in, and I hate everything.
In the end, I always try to focus on the fact that I will never ever regret making the decision to live here. I will always be proud to say I lived in New York City, and I will have endless stories to tell from my experience.
3. Where is your favorite place in the city?
I'm not sure I have a favorite place here. I love different parts of the city for different reasons. I honestly get the most out of rooftops where I can look around and reflect on just how massive it all is.
Oh, and Central Park... how can you not love Central Park?!
4. As it's Valentine’s Day, what is your perfect NYC date night?
This Valentine's Day will be a little different, since it's in the middle of NYFW, but I really enjoy a low key Valentine's Day. I like going to a nice dinner with Stephen and then coming home to relax and watch TV together. Nothing special, but just making that time to put down the phone and really talk (and cuddle!) is my perfect date night.
Also, I like writing and receiving love letters. I'll take a good letter over a big present any day.
5. What's the best thing about New York?
There are so many things. I'm not sure I can pick just one! Certainly, one of my favorite things has been being surrounded by different cultures, different people, different ideology. It's completely opened my eyes to different ways to live and to succeed.
It's also opened my taste buds up to some new foods... oh my gosh. I'll never be able to eat just chicken nuggets and burgers again.
6. What's the worst thing about New York?
It's so dang expensive. It's depressing to be making the most money you've ever made and then see it all disappear to various bills so quickly. As newlyweds, we're trying to balance having a blast and enjoying this experience while simultaneously building a savings account for our future family. That's really difficult when everything is twice as much as you're used to...
7. What makes a true New Yorker?
As a creative, I thrive off the passion that I think is in the core of what it means to be a "New Yorker." We all know this city is crazy, but we either love what we do or love someone that loves what they do, so that passion keeps us going.
Also, a lot of us are chasing dreams or creating a career path for ourselves, so there's a sense of bravery and risk taking in the workforce. I am really encouraged by that.
8. Can outsiders ever earn the title New Yorker?
Obviously, I'll say yes, because I'm an outsider. Ha.
I think you can become a New Yorker after you've spent a few years going through the crap that only New York residents have to go through (like the rats and impractical bills) and still end up loving the city. If you come out of your New York experience with more love and pride for the city than you started with... I think that makes you a New Yorker.
Thanks for being such awesome company and expertly helping me through my first couples' shoot!
Don't forget to check out Kayla's blog over at www.kaylasfivethings.com.
Happy Valenitines Day