I’ve never been much of a city girl. I like wide, open spaces. Spaces that can be filled captivate my attention- those places seem like the most freeing to me.
I had been to New York only once before. The city seemed so different at 18. Back then, it was covered in graffiti chipped walls, sticky with the life of thousands of different hands and held together by broken dreams. I didn’t want to admit it back then, but, I didn’t like it. At 18, New York was alike a black and white film from the 20’s: grainy, and not at all intriguing, with a storyline I just couldn’t follow.
Amelia reached out to me months ago and asked if I would be willing to photograph a wedding as her second shooter in New York, New York. “It’ll be a five day trip” her email explained, “I’m looking for a travel buddy + second shooter for the wedding! Paid and everything of course.”
I jumped at the opportunity.
But, two weeks before the wedding, I got another message. “The bride and groom called off their wedding in its entirety… Would you still want to go to New York City ?”
Have you ever paused to wonder what new direction your story is taking? I couldn’t help but do that as I sat before my computer screen reading and rereading Amelia’s message. Go to New York City for free? Without a wedding to photograph?
“Yes! I’m up for it if you are.” The words were sent and I sat before them wondering. This trip was obviously bigger than I thought.
And it was.
The hustle and bustle of New York that had once turned me away, engulfed me with buzzing possibility. The air seemed different at 24, almost as if it pulsed with life. As soon as we stepped off of the plane and into the street, we were apart of the story that was being told in the pushing and passing of persons. It was invigorating. For the first time in a long time I felt like, out of all of the places in the world right now, I’m meant to be right here.
But the going can get consuming.
Much of our trip was spent trying to get somewhere. Subway trains, buses and our own two feet carried us to various destinations. Many times, in the midst of things, Amelia and I would share a wordless look. Without the need for explanation, we’d tuck ourselves into a coffee shop, street corner cafe, or bakery and sit.
Coffee and pastry were ordered, conversation was served and while the city buzzed on by us, we stopped to appreciate it all.
If I learned anything in New York, it was that we need to give ourselves more license to pause and appreciate things.
We need to allow ourselves to pull away from the hustle, and sink into the sweetness of where we are and what we’re passing through. We need to not be so concerned with getting somewhere, that we lose sight of who we’re becoming along the way.
Of course, being photographers, many times we’d photograph the loveliness of our lattes, or I’m my case, the beauty of my travel buddy. Isn’t Amelia stunning? And her hair?! Golly 🙂 She’s precious!The city was thrilling. On our second day in NYC, one of my sweet friends from the Hudson Valley, Kerri, traveled down to meet us. Quality time with friends who live 20+ hours away was SUCH a gift! It also gave me another reason ti photograph the loveliness of my friends! Can’t handle this girl. She’s as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside!
One of my absolutely most FAVORITE places we went was The Standard. With a corner cafe on the bottom level, and a view of the whole city from the 18th floor, this place blew me away.So thankful to have had this girl by my side. She is the ultimate navigator. That view!!!Amelia and I stayed in Hoboken, NJ each night. Our first night in NYC, we travelled across the water to Hoboken and we’re starstruck by our view of the city skyline….. We woke up to this every morning, and went to bed with it every night…
More adventures from New York City are on their way! Take a second to pause today.
Wishing you the happiest of Thursdays 🙂
PS In the meantime, if you’re on instagram, you can check out more of our adventures via the hashtag #AnnaAmeliaTakeNYC !