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Many of you may not know it, but I am originally from Tennessee!  My husband Matt and I moved up here shortly after graduating from college in North Carolina. We were both offered jobs in the area, and to be honest, I just wanted to be closer to the city!  I get asked all the time from friends and family visiting New York, “What are your favorite things to do and see?”  In no particular order, I am sharing my Top Ten Things to Do When Visiting NYC!  I hope you enjoy!

Top Ten Things to Do When Visiting NYC

 

  1. Dinner at Rosemary’s– Delicious Italian food, a rooftop farm, and romantic twinkle lights…this restaurant in the West Village is one of my favorites!
  2. See a Broadway Play– After a countless number of plays and musicals, Wicked still holds a special place in my heart!  Read this post to find out how to save on tickets!
  3. Visit the Top of the Rock– A birds eye view of this romantic city with spectacular views of the Empire State Building and Central Park.  I recommend going right before sunset so you can see the city during the day and at dusk!
  4. Chocolate Chip Cookie from Levain– As big as a scone and warm and gooey inside…these are truly an indulgent treat!  The chocolate chip walnut is the best!  Levin Bakery is also located in my favorite neighborhood, the Upper West Side.
  5. Show at the Comedy Cellar– The lineup changes every week and often hosts comedians from the David Letterman Show, The Tonight Show, and SNL.  Just make sure to get tickets in advance here.
  6. Take a walk through Central Park– I love entering by the Plaza on 59th Street and 5th Avenue and walking past Gapstow Bridge, through “the mall”, under the iconic arches at Bethesda Terrace, and exiting at 72nd and Central Park West.
  7. Brunch at Jacob’s Pickles– Sweet Southern food in NYC!  I get the sweet tea and honey chicken and pickles every time.
  8. Cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery– I recommend going to the location in the West Village and then walking down 9th street.  Enjoy your cupcakes on the steps of one of the cutest brownstones in the city!
  9. Stroll Through the New York Public Library– It really is so beautiful inside!  If it is a nice day, head out to the Southwest Porch in Bryant Park afterwards.
  10. Watch the Sunset from Pebble Beach– Located in Brooklyn beside Jane’s Carousel, this is one of the prettiest spots to watch the sunset over the Manhattan skyline. End the evening with a fancy dinner at the River Cafe!

 

So there you have it!  My Top Ten Things to do When Visiting NYC!  I would love to hear your favorites!  Feel free to share them in the comment box below. 🙂

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Amy Rizzuto is a NYC wedding and engagement photographer
who specializes in capturing the authentic joy of adventurous couples in love.
For more information visit www.amyrizzutophotography.com!

 

G97A0126AHHHHHHH!!!!!  I can’t believe the day is finally here!  My new website is LIVE and I am over the moon excited!  Let me back up a little…

This past week I have been working with Go Live Hq to launch my brand new Showit 5 site.  They basically design and launch your website in one week flat!  Pretty amazing…I know.  I built my first website myself from a Promise Tangeman template five years ago, and while I loved it, it was time for a change.  I wanted my new site to feel fresh, fun, and romantic, while incorporating my signature pop of red.  Most importantly, I wanted it to be mobile friendly with a simple user experience.  My designer Kayla completely exceeded my expectations!  Not only was she always quick to respond, she listened to my ideas and then used her creativity to execute them in a much cooler way.  She truly did an amazing job and I am so so grateful.  Without further ado, I am so excited to invite you to view the new www.amyrizzutophotography.com.

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In honor of the launch, I am excited  to announce I will be giving away a FREE One Hour Engagement/Anniversary Session to one sweet couple!  WOOHOO!!!  Whether you are recently engaged, a past bride or groom, or a new friend, this is the perfect opportunity to capture a few updated photos of you and the one you love.   To enter to win, follow the three simple steps below:

  1. Check out the new website!
  2. Share this post on Facebook or Instagram
  3. Comment on my post below!  You could share what you like best about the new site, your favorite romantic movie, or just say hi!

 

Don’t live in the greater NYC area?  No worries!  Check out my travel schedule below to see if I will be in a city near you this year.

Travel Dates

I will be choosing a winner from the comments LIVE on Periscope on Monday!  Thank you for joining me in celebrating a truly exciting day!  Your support and love means so much more than you will ever know.

Perfect Day

It was the perfect day, probably one of the last of my very own.  Sitting outside of Drip Coffee shop, I enjoyed a nutella dripoccino to the continual chatter from the street and the occasional familiar word in Japanese being practiced by the unusual pair of friends beside me.  I closed my laptop, deciding I had done enough editing for the day.  Walking over to the quaint bookstore on the corner, I slipped 50 cents under the door for an old copy of Sense and Sensibility.  The sun was shining, bright and warm.  I knew I wanted to be outside a little longer, to enjoy every minute under the golden rays.  Heading to my favorite neighborhood park and old running trail, I picked a bench on top of the hill overlooking a field of purple and yellow wildflowers.  A ladybug landed on the pages of my book for a rest before flying away.  A bird sang a happy song as he glided over the rolling hills.  With Audrey nestled deep inside my belly, I enjoyed the last remnants of a perfect day, a day all my own.

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My 2015 wedding season kicks off NEXT WEEK and I couldn’t be more excited!  It doesn’t get much better than spending the entire day celebrating and capturing the love of a sweet bride and groom and their families. Before jumping into my first wedding this spring, I wanted to take a moment to remember so many of the fun times from 2014.  That’s right!  Today we are going to take a behind the scenes look at Amy Rizzuto Photography.  Grab an ice coffee, and hop on for the ride.

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I usually start each wedding with a big breakfast, huge smile, and a prayer for the couple and their marriage, along with my creativity throughout the day!

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As you get further into this post, you will realize I have a thing for veils.  Just call me Amy the veil charmer!

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Need a little extra height…no problem!  I will just climb this tree to get a good angle, and direct you into the best position while doing it. 🙂

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Apparently it takes serious concentration and two photographers to get the the perfect shot of your wedding dress.

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Dum dum di dum…here comes the bride!

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s your photographer!  Scaling a wall or climbing on the edge of a building are all part of the job. 🙂

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I was lucky enough to having some AMAZING help throughout the year.  Mekina and Chelsea always brought so much joy to the day!

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Just in case you didn’t know…this is how you do a first look.

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READY…GO!

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I make super attractive faces when I am shooting…

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It’s magic time!  I am going to count to three, you guys can go in for a kiss, and I will make your veil fly!

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NYC traffic and taxis don’t stop Mekina from being an excellent veil charmer.  RUN KIKI RUN!  (ps- I love you) 🙂

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My hope is that you don’t see me during the ceremony.  Even though it is a beast, the 70-200mm is my favorite lens for capturing those sweet, intimate moments while being discrete.

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It’s all in the details!  Loving Jeanna’s gorgeous bouquet.

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Okay…everyone is going to link arms just like this and walk towards me…READY GO!

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Maybe if I don’t look at anyone, they won’t notice me shaking the sand out of my shoes.  La la la.

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Mekina and I usually tag team the first kiss and the processional.  I get in close with the 70-200mm, capturing the joyful emotion, while Mekina shoots with the 35mm, documenting more of the scene.  TEAMWORK!

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I am really lucky Mekina and Kristy are so great with the flower girls!  They always have them smiling!

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Snuggle in close!

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Making sure your dress stays clean is top priority!

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WOHOO!!!  I found the pretty light!!!

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If you haven’t already noticed…good hair is important to me. (Thanks Mekina for all the gorgeous styles!)  Before shooting, I always try to make sure your hair is in place.

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I couldn’t resist putting in a few iPhone photos of pre/post wedding selfies with my amazing second shooters and team throughout the year!  A huge thank you to Mekina, Kristy, Chelsea, Leandra, Caroline, Ash, JessaHoleigh, Meghan, Upa, Tamara, and Gabrielle.  I couldn’t have done it without you girls!  LOVE YOU!

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IT’S PARTY TIME!!!

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Who says lighting tests can’t be fun?!

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Don’t worry Kristy…I won’t ruin your shot.  I am super stealth!

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It doesn’t get much better than working with a best friend.

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I hope you have enjoyed this fun behind the scenes look into my 2014 weddings!  I can’t wait to make and capture many more memories doing what I love.  Look out…2015 is going to be one AMAZING year!

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It is hard to put into words what working with Chelsea has meant to me.  I remember the moment her email popped into my inbox requesting to intern with me this past summer.  I hesitated for a second…she was one of my brides after all!  What would she think of all the sappy love movies I played over and over again while editing and all the silliness that went on behind the scenes on a wedding day.  As normal as we (hopefully) seem on the outside, Mekina and I joke often and are a little quirky to put it in the best way.  What would Chelsea think?  Would she like our quirkiness or think we were total weirdos?

Then I considered how much I would learn about Chelsea over the months we would get to work together.  I would really get to know who she was and I believed it would lead me to better capture her and Steve’s individual and unique personalities on their wedding day.  And to be honest, I knew I would really enjoy her company.  I quickly wrote her back expressing I would LOVE to have her on board!

In the months we spent together, I discovered so many amazing things about Chelsea.  Super organized, kind, filled with contagious laughter, and passionate about the people she photographs, Chelsea’s skill set is PERFECT for wedding photography.  On top of that, she has a gift for capturing real moments, filled with emotion and heart.  Always present and super observant, Chelsea pours herself into telling a unique story that I believe truly added to the complete collection of photographs I was able to deliver to my brides at the end of their wedding day.  I am so thankful for the time we got to spend together and will treasure the memories we made for years to come.

About a month ago, Chelsea launched her own website!  I am SOOOOOOO proud of her and I can’t wait to watch her business grow and flourish.  Get lost in all the beautiful moments on her website, “Like” her Facebook page, and leave her a little love.  Thanks again for everything Chelsea and best of luck as you embark on this new adventure.

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Chelsea was kind enough to write about her experience of working together this summer.  If you like, you can read her story below. 🙂
2014-11-24_0003Amy Rizzuto Experience
Early Days:
I met Amy in 2012 when she was doing engagement photos for my [now] sister in law. Really, my first opportunity to spend time with her was during the engagement shoot – and what I remember are the following: Amy was extremely professional, she was incredibly kind – while still able to give direction, and we had such a wonderful time with her! Of course, I immediately began following her on social media, and checking out her website! My boyfriend knew how much I love her work, and bought us a couples session – which then turned into a surprise engagement session (May 2013)! Amy was amazing, we felt sooooo comfortable being our silly selves during the shoots, and she completely embraced that, making it show in our photos. It wasn’t until later in the winter of 2013, after months of being inspired by her work, I felt empowered to begin thinking about starting my own business.  I was terribly nervous to email Amy and ask if she would take me on as her intern for the 2014 wedding season, but those were completely unwarranted feelings. Our photography relationship started one night last winter when she let me know she would be happy to have me, and we talked about all of my hopes and aspirations 🙂
Chelsea-+-Steve-22Photography Days:
Due to my occupation as a Special Education teacher during the week, I could only work with Amy during the weekends, until the school year was over. Amy and I worked out that I would join her for as many or few (of course as many!) weekend weddings as I wanted. My first wedding I was so nervous! I showed up for the reception with my borrowed Cannon Rebel, ready to rock n’ roll, but not completely sure what that even looked like. Amy made me feel at ease, introducing me to necessary parties as soon as she could – filling me in on any important details, while making sure she was still capturing what she needed. After that first wedding I went with her and the other photographers to get some food. Amy was so ready to teach! She pulled out her Cannon 5D Mark II, and put me on the spot! Asking me given the light what would my manual settings be. I was SWEATING to say the least, but it was a perfect learning experience – as a wedding photographer, this is what needs to happen, in the moment decisions about what will capture a moment in the best way. Of course I totally messed up, but instead of making me feel ridiculous, Amy taught me what and why my setting should be a certain way (aperture, shutter speed, ISO)  This was not a one time experience. At every wedding Amy made sure to take any possible moment to teach me. “Chelsea, do you want to learn how to use flash?” “Do you want to pose this couple?” “This is why I put them in this lighting – because it gives me this desired effect.” I could hardly believe how lucky I was to have someone who would not only let me come and photograph weddings with her, but took any possible teachable moment and used it to help me develop my craft.  Amy would ask me to take on different responsibilities during the day, always making sure I was prepared with the knowledge and confidence to do so. Some days I would be in charge of the photo booth – what a HOOT! That was incredibly fun, but I was also able to get all the photos for getting ready, and the ceremony to develop my portfolio. Other days I would serve as 3rd shooter to her and Mekina (also soooo wonderful to work with). This ranged from trying to think outside the box to get angles she and Mekina weren’t getting, to dress fluffing, and veil flinging. No matter what stress she was feeling inside Amy was always beyond pleasant, and completely calm, cool and collected. If my words aren’t enough, they were all confirmed at EVERY wedding we worked together. Family members and friends of the couples would gush over her day of slideshow – tears, laughter, astonishment – and thank her an uncountable number of times for her work and overall fabulousness.
Wedding-Photographer-Office-Amy-Rizzuto-Photography-1In the Office:
Part of my work with Amy also included going to her office in New Jersey once a week, although her cat was not thrilled about this prospect I was! Amy offered this as part of my internship which I gladly accepted so that I could both help her in the office, but learn more about the behind the scenes/business aspect of Amy Rizzuto Photography. Besides being wonderful to spend time with Amy as a person, in a calm environment, it was an amazing learning opportunity. I helped Amy with duties ranging from organizing files and clients, to culling photos, and more. While this was super helpful to do my favorite part was again those teachable moments. If Amy was working on editing photos, or the back end of her website, she would always offer to let me watch over her shoulder, as she explained what she was doing and why. We would also explore things on the camera together, such as shooting in Kelvin, and the function on the lock click on the power switch (haha), or the best way to shoot sparklers.Our days also included but were not limited to: watching romantic movies, drinking tea/coffee, laughing at her cat, eating delicious baked goods, watching Jasmine Star tutorials, me asking unlimited questions, and just chatting about life and my upcoming wedding (which she was obviously photographing), so much laughing. I am especially grateful to Amy for the time we would spend together at the end of the day. She would ask me what I wanted to learn about/work on, and off we would go! We spent time using different lenses, to best understand what desired look we could get from them, best lighting, flash, editing, creating my own website/blog. I was always blown away by the HUGE differences such seemingly small nuggets of knowledge provided.
2014-11-24_0009Wedding Day:
I have a dual relationship with Amy. Yes she is my mentor and photographer, but I also consider her to be a great friend! It is rare that you can find people, especially as you “become a grown up” who are so true to their faith, conviction, and passion. These reasons and so many more are why I was able to be such a calm bride. Amy always produces the most incredible work, but she also is just the best person to work with, both professionally and as a client. I was able to be a little less of a controlling maniac at my wedding because I was so confident in Amy (and Mekina’s) ability to capture the moments I knew I wanted – and those I didn’t but LOVE that I have. I have experienced Amy, so many times, going above and beyond what I have seen most photographers do, to make sure that she is producing her best work. She recognizes the importance and uniqueness of every wedding day, always thinking of how she can hone and better her craft to produce amazing photos that her couples and people everywhere will love and cherish.
2014-11-24_0004I truly feel lucky to have worked with and learned from Amy. She is always eager to learn more, and teach those around her who are equally as eager. To work with Amy in any capacity will always guarantee results beyond expectations. I am always learning from her, even now that I have started my own business and moved half way across the country. Her talent and friendship are to be cherished, as they are not a common commodity.