New York City is home to 8.6 million people, and it doesn’t take more than a quick trip on the A-train to see for yourself that those people come from all over the world, speak a thousand different languages, and represent every religion, gender, race, creed, socioeconomic status, and political viewpoint on the planet. One of the benefits of having a huge population in a relatively small area is that when you need the very best, it’s guaranteed to be right there at your fingertips. The only trouble — if you can call it that — is sifting through all of your options.
Well, good news for you, dear New Yorkers! If you’re in the market for a wedding photographer and are feeling overwhelmed by too many amazing choices, we’ve curated a list of twelve of the best wedding photographers in NYC to make at least one of your tasks a bit easier. There are literally thousands of talented photographers in the New York Metro area, but these twelve stand out for their creativity, technical skill, and incredible ability to capture the decisive moment, which is no small feat in a city in constant motion! Enjoy and let us know if you find “the one” on our list!
1. Matthew Sowa
First up, Matthew Sowa, one of the many immigrants who brings his unique culture and style to the amazing melting pot that is New York. Hailing from Poland, Matthew’s weddings are a mix of spot-on photojournalism and creative portraiture that have merited numerous awards in the industry. If practice makes perfect, with over 600 weddings on his resumé, he’s got to be pretty darn close. Regardless, we’re firm believers that any photographer who can make his viewers gasp and laugh inside just a few seconds is worth a second look for your big day.
Olya Vysotskaya is another award-winning photographer whose images will stop you in your tracks. Her photos are varied, employing a mix of hard and soft light, motion, and genuine human connection to tell a couple’s story, but each one will blow you away all on its own. For those of you who appreciate the value of analog in a digital world, it’s worth noting that Olya shoots almost exclusively in film.
3. Dave Paek
Love is an otherworldly experience, so why not capture it in an otherworldly way? Dave Paek’s extraordinary work captures couples underwater, in double exposure, and framed in the most unlikely ways. His Instagram feed features showstopper after showstopper — photographs that are in turn colorful, creative, and confounding. Just be careful if you live in one of the small apartments NYC is famous for: you’re going to want a lot of wall space to display Dave’s art.
Petronella Lugemwa is another perfect example of what NYC is all about. Born in Uganda and raised in Zimbabwe and Alabama, Petronella has an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and a business degree from Northwestern! It may not take a rocket scientist to make beautiful photos, but it sure doesn’t hurt to be a boss when you’re running one of the top wedding photography studios in New York. Petronella celebrates her own multicultural background by helping others do the same, specializing in “helping multicultural couples celebrate in a modern way.”
5. Emin Kuliyev
We defy you to quickly scroll through Emin Kuliyev’s Instagram feed. Like, for real. This guy’s photos are a true feast for the eyes, with crazy perspectives, laugh-out-loud humor, and loads of fun reflections and shadows. Unsurprisingly, Emin’s been the recipient of a long list of awards and accolades; why not let him focus that award-winning lens on of you?
Elizabeth Lloyd splits her time between New York and Mexico, and the variety in her photos showcases her love for travel and diversity. Wherever she is, she makes a point of highlighting the location her couples have chosen. Her photojournalistic approach really works well in the city, with clear nods to NYC dotted throughout her vibrant, eclectic imagery.
If you’re looking for a New York-based photographer to capture your destination wedding in a stunning way, look no further. Sergey Lapkovsky has been named one the Top 100 Wedding Photographers in the World by the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers for his extraordinary work all over the world. His choice of locations and framing brings his work to the next level.
8. Priyanca Rao
Indian weddings can be a specialty unto themselves, featuring unique traditions and often requiring much more than the six to eight hours offered in a traditional Western wedding photography package. Fortunately, in addition to standard offerings, Priyanca Rao offers a suite of packages catering specifically to her Indian clients, then captures each one with her incredible photojournalistic eye.
9. Todd Laffler
The first thing you’ll notice when you go to Todd Laffler’s Instagram page is his profile photo – you can barely see his face behind the huge pink bubble of his bubble gum. His slogan, “different… like you,” really captures the vibe of his off-beat, funny photos. Couples interested in capturing their day in a way that is at once incredibly creative but not too serious will be drawn to Todd’s work and his photo (and the fact that he’s been given some pretty serious accolades in the industry can’t hurt either).
Danette Pascarella has perfected the art of capturing the emotion of a wedding day. A favorite in New York and New Jersey, Danette hones in on the belly laughs and tears that mark her clients’ ceremonies and receptions and captures them in a way that will bring tears and smiles for years to come.
11. Phil Porto
Phil Porto was recently honored as one of Rangefinder Magazine’s Rising Stars of 2018, and rightly so: his photos are incredible. But it was his sense of humor that really grabbed our attention. Who doesn’t love a photographer with the slogan, “You don’t suck, so why should your photos?” Oh, and if you’re a fan of director Wes Anderson’s framing and toning, you’ll fall in love with Phil’s whimsical, often-centered portraits.
12. Susan Stripling
Finally, no compilation of the best wedding photographers in NYC would be complete without Susan Stripling. Susan has been published in every major bridal magazine you’ve ever heard of (and probably some you haven’t). She‘s received countless awards and has been recognized both by her clients and in the photography industry as one of the best in the business. Her imagery is timeless, clean, and full of emotion, and with over a dozen years of experience under her belt, you can feel confident that your memories will be captured by a seasoned professional.