16th Birthday Travel Session – New York City


A brunette teen sits next to a blue doorway in NYC during a 16th birthday travel session taken by Kellie Rochelle Photography.

In recent years, there seems to be a bigger push to switch gears from material gifts to experiences for our families and I am here for it!  I had the honor of photographing Brecklyn’s 16th birthday travel session to New York City, and I can’t encourage trips like these enough.

If you’ve never been to New York, add it to your bucket list ASAP.  From a photography perspective, there are murals and photo ops at every turn that you just don’t see in other cities.  From a mother’s perspective, getting out of our small towns with our children not only gives us as parents memories with our growing kids, it also gives them experiences that shape them into cultured young adults.

Collage of NYC food including donuts and fruit covered crepes taken by Kellie Rochelle Photography.

Photos of NYC as part of a 16th birthday travel session.

16th Birthday Surprise

Brecklyn’s mother, Billie, managed to keep the trip a secret until we were actually at the gates in Minneapolis and she was so surprised! We spent four days adventuring and sight-seeing through the city.  As soon as we were all checked in at our hotel, we walked around Times Square and grabbed a bite to eat since we didn’t have much time to do so before the flight.  (This little detail almost blew the surprise, but that’s a story for another day.)

Photos of a NYC tour including the Empire State Building during a travel session.

A tour guide chats with a group of women during a travel session to NYC by Kellie Rochelle.

Our exploration really began on our second day in the city with a guided Real New York tour led by Tray. He met us in the lobby of our hotel and led us through SOHO, Little Italy, China Town, Wall Street, the 9/11 Memorial, and Greenwich Village. Our walking tour was fueled heavily by Starbucks, Krispie Kreme, and excitement at all the city had to offer.  I managed several photos, but wanted to take so many more!

Photos of shops in China Town during a 16th birthday travel session in New York City.

The City That Never Sleeps 

Between the shopping, food, and tourist attractions, New York City is a fantastic destination for an entertaining trip.  I will say, however, that while photography is a strong suit of mine, navigation is not!  In my defense, the subway system can be a little confusing.  We *may* have ended up in Brooklyn which required some backtracking, but I got great shots of the girls in the process so I call it a win.  

Three young women smile seated next to each other on a NYC subway.

There is so much to do in NYC that it was challenging to fit everything into our schedule. We managed to make it to two shows during our stay, and I highly recommend getting tickets if you have time. The Lion King was amazing & everything it’s ever been cracked up to be, but be sure to eat beforehand because pricey drinks are the only thing available on intermissions.  The girls loved it! 

A collage of photos of NYC markets featuring pasta, dumplings, and fruit.

Shopping & Snapshots

There is no shortage of shopping to be had and we did plenty of it.  Brecklyn snagged the opportunity to buy the cream sweater seen in the photos for a quick session before we lost our light for the evening.  I love the urban feel to the shots we got with so much of the city in the background.  The weather didn’t fully cooperate during our stay, but underground subway tunnels and stores provided shelter from the rain and stories to tell.

A young teen poses in a cream sweater and black jeans on the streets of New York City during a 16th birthday trip.

A brunette teen girl poses in front of a graffiti covered wall in NYC.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: travel sessions are unforgettable for everyone involved!  I love getting to be present while clients are making life-long memories.  Aside from that, why not take advantage of the ability to travel after it was so limited for the last couple of years?  

As always, you can contact me here to schedule your own. Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest for inspiration!

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