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PHOTOGRAPHER, STYLIST, CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Meet Chelsea

MET Steps morning engagement photoshoot Serena Van der Woodsen Gossip Girl teal blue dress Chelsea Loren branding photographer

I like to plan ridiculously awesome photoshoots and make them come to fruition.

In July of 2021 — I saw that Moulin Rouge was coming back onto Broadway after a long pause during the pandemic. Moulin Rouge is both mine and my mom’s absolute favorite movie.

Literally. I dressed up as the Absinthe Fairy one Halloween.

Since we hadn’t properly celebrated her last birthday in 2020…I tossed around the idea of what if we flew to New York to see Moulin Rouge?

Here’s where it gets a little more interesting: my mom and I are both professional photographers and thought it might be kind of fun to do an engagement shoot in New York City.

I happen to be a diehard Gossip Girl fan and wanted to incorporate that into the shoot, so I mapped out a list of iconic places Serena and Blair once waltzed…And then to got to finding an outfit fit for the occasion.

Shout-out to Etsy designer, Needle Meets Threads, who made this insane gown in a custom color.

Once in New York, as we wandered the streets of Manhattan, we realized how much time we would waste if we had to wait for an Uber or hail a taxi, so we hired a private driver.

10/10 would recommend doing this as it feels very ritzy, and takes much of the stress out of the day so you can enjoy.

A big thank you to my mom, Gayle Dawn, who was behind the camera!

Best Places for a Photoshoot in New York City

  • Steps at the Met (make sure this is early in the morning to avoid crowds, also check for events — one time when I wanted to shoot there, they were setting up for the MET Gala)
  • DUMBO — Down under the Manhattan Bridge on Washington Street 
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park and Brooklyn Bridge
  • Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village (super charming brick buildings used to film many things from Seinfeld to Sex and the City; I also just love Greenwich in general)
  • Grand Central Terminal
  • Central Park — with views of the Essex House, Bethesda Fountain, and the Bridges

Of course there are so many other locations but we were able to cover a majority of this ground in 4 hours and by that time.

Gossip Girl Bethesda Fountain Plaza engagement photoshoot Chelsea Loren in NYC

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