Best Places in NYC to Take Family Photos
Best Places in NYC to Take Engagement Photos
Best Places in NYC to Propose
Best Places in Manhattan to Take Photos
Soho, the neighborhood south of Houston (pronounced house-ton), is one of the trendiest shopping and dining districts. As you wander the cobblestone streets you will discover what makes Soho amazing and photo-worthy. Take note that it has the highest concentration of cast-iron buildings in the world, dating back to the Industrial Revolution creating endless possibilities for great photos. Walk along Broadway, at the corner of W. Houston and E. Houston, for the big name shopping locations and the Museum of Ice Cream. Keep your eyes peeled for rooftop bars, Hotel Hugo on Greenwich St has the best views of the Hudson and Jimmy’s on Thompson St. also has amazing views.
Capture your favorite Soho spots early morning, late afternoon, dusk, and night for best lighting. These times are easy to remember as they conveniently coincide with prime meal times (breakfast, brunch, dinner, and drinks) for instagram foodies. Adjust your ISO (low for sunlight and high for night) and shutter speed for traffic and lights. To avoid an orange cast to your night photos, try setting your white balance to incandescent.
Location: from 6th Ave to Crosby St. between. Canal St. and W Houston St
The Flatiron Building is an historic 1902 building and was once the tallest in the city. It boasts a distinctive triangular shape, and status as a Manhattan icon.
In order to maximize on its sheer awesomeness in images, take your structural photos from a low position shooting upwards. With the hustle and bustle on the streets, you want to get the sharpest images. As a general rule, set your camera to freeze motion at 1/160th of a second and your ISO to 6400 for dusk and nightfall, and for sunlight, 1/320th – 1/400th of a second at 400 ISO.
Location: 175 5th Ave. New York, NY 10010
Stuyvesant St & E 9th Street
This diagonal street is the oldest in the city and home to historic and impressive brownstones. It is named after Peter Stuyvesant and is the only true East-West by compass running street in the city, which defies the grid layout of the remaining streets and avenues of Manhattan. On site you will find historic St. Mark’s Church, a bust of Peter Stuyvesant. the garden and intricate wrought iron gate work, and possibly a sighting of old Peter himself who is claimed to be NYC’s oldest European ghost.
This corner is steeped in interesting history to explore. Capture its many facets and monuments. Tips: look for interesting angles, consider going in bad weather, consider the edges of your image to create a more well rounded composition.
Location: Stuyvesant St. at E 9th St, New York, NY 10003
Oculus is the grand new transportation hub located on the old World Trade Center site. This $4 billion train station is an ideal spot to Capture the pulse of New York City with its constant flow of people and its grand design. The all-white ribs of this elliptical dome, with its amazing use of natural light, make it the perfect backdrop for your most instagramable images.
For best results try shooting in black and white, opting for wide composition, wandering the different levels to find new perspectives, angles, lines, and shadows.
Location: Church St., NY 10006
Central Park is one of the most recognizable and defining features of New York. as well as being a National Historic Landmark.
With 843 acres, Central Park offers many different attractions to Capture from Strawberry Fields and exquisite gardens to Belvedere Castle and the Carousel, to waterfalls, Turtle Pond, and The Lake. You can plan to capture images according to time of day or season. For example, early morning is the optimal time for astounding images of Bethesda Terrace while Bow Bridge (74th St) and the Jackie O Reservoir (85th St to 96th St.) are fabulous both early morning and right before sunset.
Through all seasons, some top choices are the Conservatory on 105th Street and Fifth Ave. and Shakespeare Garden on 79th Street Traverse are a dream. April through May offers cherry blossoms in full bloom between 72nd Street and 96th Street. The Mall, from 66th Street to 72nd Street is amazing in summer. and Winter at Wollman Rink is magical.
Non-professional photography is welcomed without permits and may include the use of tripods and hand-held equipment. Professional photography and filming requires that an application be completed. Please follow the set guidelines for locations, equipment, vehicles, and carry-in/carry-out to ensure the respect and protection of both visitors and the park.
Location: 5th Ave from 59th St to 110 St.
Grand Central is THE transportation hub of New York moving hundreds of thousands of people daily. Given this volume of traffic through the 48 acre terminal there is never the same scene twice.
The grandeur of the terminal with its sweeping marble staircases and architecture make it ideal to Capture epic photos in full color or, black and white to reflect the historic qualities throughout. The sculptures atop the entrance welcome you inside to historic spots like the Campbell Bar and popular meeting place under the opal-faced clock.
You are welcome to freely Capture your best shots of Grand Central. When doing so for commercial purposes or using a professional tripod you must request a permit.
Location: 89 E. 42nd Street NY 10168
Central Park Bow Bridge
What makes Central Park so great are the many acres of special spaces to discover and explore.Bow Bridge offers many stunning features including five 19th Century boat landings which were reconstructed to their original charm in 2016.
Bow Bridge has a reputation as one of Central Parks most romantic spots and was placed as a direct route between Cherry Hill and the Ramble. This low-bridge provides spectacular views of the Ramble and across the Lake. Notably, it is the first cast-iron bridge in the park and the second oldest in all of America.
Bow Bridge is the ideal spot to Capture the Lake, the Ramble, Fifth Ave, and Central Park West..Early morning and the golden hour around sunset are ideal times to catch it at its best and without the crowds. Great in any season as Spring and Summer with rowboats set against a backdrop of blooming cherry blossoms and Fall with its riot of changing colors.
Location: Mid- Central Park at 74th Street. NY 10024
Central Park Row Boats
The Loeb Boathouse has been a fixture of Central Park for the past 150 years and offers an oasis for enjoying nature or having a romantic afternoon of rowing/
Rowboat rentals are reasonably priced and available between April and October. This spot is ideal to Capture images year round. The splendor of the surroundings include the Conservatory Water which doubles as an ice skating rink in winter. Loeb’s also features the Outside Bar for seasonal enjoyment, the Boathouse Express Cafe for a quick bite and fine dining at Lakeside Restaurant This is the ideal location to Capture your special moments by booking weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, and other private events.
Film and photography policy permits visitors with tripods and handheld equipment to photograph in the area.
Location: The Loeb Boathouse at East 72nd Street at Center Drive 10021
Central Park Bethesda Fountain
Bethesda Fountain is an historically important feature of Central Park. It is the only statue commissioned for the park and commemorates Croton, the first fresh water system that was brought to New York in 1842. So it is only fitting that this fountain be situated in Bethesda Terrace which is the heart of the Park and stunning in its own right for its amazing architecture and views of the Ramble and the Lake.
What makes the fountain so worthy of Capture is the Angels of Water statue referencing the angel who blessed the pool of Bethesda in the Gospel of John. The angel bears a lily which symbolizes the purity of the water. As a representation of this, the Croton water system was to purify NYC’s water so it would not suffer through another cholera outbreak.
The scene is breathtaking through all four seasons. Your best times to Capture unforgettable images is the golden hour, that magical time just after sunrise and again right before sunset.
Film and photography policy permits visitors with tripods and handheld equipment to photograph in the area.
Location: 72 Terrance Drive between 72nd and 73rd Streets NY 10021
Top of the Rock
it is no wonder that Top of the Rock is one of the most popular vantage points to view Manhattan. In fact, it has been this way since before it was constructed. One of NYC’s most iconic and recognized photos is the construction beam with workers eating lunch during the Rock’s construction. Even today, it enjoys unobstructed views of Midtown and the Park.
Top of the Rock is busy year round but it remains one of the few places you can catch the most impressive spots in NYC all in one shot. Plan to spend a few hours at Rockefeller Center and enjoy shopping, restaurants, Radio City Music Hall, and an incredible collection of art.
To Capture your iconic slice from the Rock, keep in mind that tripods are not permitted for safety purposes. Of the three observation decks, the third level deck affords the best unobstructed view. Arrive slightly ahead of your ticketed time and select your vantage point as space fills quickly.
Location: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, at 50th Between 5th and 6th Avenues NY 10112
The High Line
The High Line runs from Gansevoort St to 34th St on the West Side along a former elevated rail structure, hence the name High Line.
The High Line is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020 with a series of events presenting even greater opportunities to Capture this fabulous park as it blooms through the seasons creating an ever changing landscape. It also boasts seasonally changing art displays. It can get busy during the summer
Visitors are welcome to photograph in the park in accordance with the set guidelines
Location: 23rd Street at 10th Avenue NY 10011
The Vessel is an architectural masterpiece and one of Manhattan’s newest icons. Capture this man-made wonder with its intricate staircases in an artistic honeycomb of 154 interconnecting stairwells forming Hudson Yard’s centerpiece.
What makes the Vessel so extraordinary are the dizzying array of heights, angles, perspectives, and vantage points against the glorious views and backdrop of Manhattan and the river.
Be aware that recent changes to their Terms and Conditions , particularly paragraph 8, claim that any photos that you take will remain yours except that once posted to any social media will be able to be used by the company and their affiliates for any purpose, in perpetuity.
Location: Hudson Yards, from West 30th St to 34th Street between 10th and 12th Avenues NY 10001
Radio City Music Hall
There is a reason that over 300m people have visited Radio City Music Hall. Aside from being the worlds largest indoor theater in the world, it is an architectural dream.with elegant railings and balustrades paired with the sophistication of marble and gold foil creating a grandeur you will love to Capture.
To Capture your RCMH moments, consider a fine art approach in black and white or full color long exposure at night to capture the character of the neon signs Taking the tour affords you the opportunity to take pictures anywhere you like in the theater. Inside performance venues during events, RCMH policy indicates they do not permit audio recording devices, monopods, selfie sticks, telephoto/zoom lenses, tripods, or video cameras. Additionally, cellphones may not be permitted on occasion where the artists prefer no cellphones period.
Location: 1260 6th Avenue at W. 50th Street NY 10020
As a major entertainment and commercial center, Times Square is one of the busiest, most iconic, and most photographed areas of Manhattan. On any given day, upwards of 400k people walk along Times Square, not to mention sightings of musicians and performers in costume, making it a favorite cityscape location to Capture interesting shots.
The general policy for NYC is not to obstruct sidewalks or traffic with tripods and other equipment. For sharp shots of the action, set your camera to freeze motion. Find a spot and snap photos as people walk by to get interesting, candid expressions. Take night photos to Capture the brilliance of the digital billboards and neon lights.
Location: W 42nd to 47th Streets at the Broadway and 7th Avenue junction.NY 10036
L’Appartement Sezane in Nolita makes the list of most instagrammable spots for bringing a slice of Paris to NYC. Beneath the striped awnings you will find the windows decorated with flowers giving the first taste of this Parisian wonder. When you step through the doors you will notice many other details from the Paris Mon Amour floor tiles to the Bonjour New York coffee cups that help create a beautiful backdrop for you to Capture.
Check their website for upcoming events to plan your visit and add je ne sais quoi to your photos. Their business hours lend perfectly to the late afternoon to dusk best lighting for photos.
Location: 254 Elizabeth St between E Houston and Prince Streets NY 10012
La Esquina Nolita is the flagship location for this excellent Mexican restaurant. Not only is their food fantastic, they have a hidden tequila bar and brasserie in the basement. Reservations are a must to secure your spot and groove with your friends in the dungeon with a DJ.
Capture this funky location for a true taste of New York atmosphere and vibe complete with cabs and billboards.
Soho 114 Kenmare Street at Center Street NY 10012
The Subway is an ideal location to Capture the vibe of New York as people move about their lives. Amid the bustle of riders you will find street performers, street art, and a host of interesting scenes and moments. We love the 86th Street Subway Station for its 12 face portraits entitled Subway Portraits by artist Chuck Close, plus this station is air conditioned making it ideal for summer photos.
Subway cars, platforms, and stations are dimly lit so you will want to set your ISO high, your white balance to fluorescent.
NYC Subway rules for photography indicate that there are no photography bans with the exception of lights, reflectors, and tripods which are not permitted.
NYC Chinatown is the largest in the Western Hemisphere. There are many notable locations such as Doyers street in notorious Five Points. This area has left the gang era and become a space for gatherers to play Chinese chess and other games. This is Columbus Park and a great space to Capture.Further along you will find the Nom Wah Tea Parlour dating back to 1927 and is the oldest dim sum establishment in the city. For a daytime photo excursion, wander Mott Street for its energetic market atmosphere with an array of great photo ops. Ferrara Bakery on Grand Street is a popular bakery.
Chinatown is a very visually appealing neighborhood alive with vibrant colors and images. You will find tremendous street art to Capture between Hester and Canal Streets.
Capture Chinatown’s best through street photography.although you want to avoid taking close up photos of gamblers at Columbus Park.This neighborhood is busy so a tripod is dependent upon space. When you are taking freeze frame photos of people have your shutter speed set to at least 1/250th. One approach is to find a busy space and wait while the world rushes past. You will find ample opportunities to Capture the scene and candid shots of people going about their day.
Location: Broadway to Rutgers St between Grand and Leonard Streets
Best Places in Brooklyn to Take Photos
Westlight at the William Vale, Williamsburg
What makes rooftops in Brooklyn so great is they have the best view in the world: of Manhattan as the sun sets behind the West Side.
Westlight is the 2nd to top floor of The William Vale hotel in North Williamsburg. It gets crazy packed on the weekends, but on a weeknight, you can easily book a table. During warmer months, the “true Penthouse” opens up and there’s a massive grassy knoll with views for days of Manhattan.
They have a policy of no professional cameras, so any shoots need to be short and sweet, but you can absolutely Capture an amazing photo from here.
Location: 111N 12th St, Brooklyn 11249
Jane’s Carousel, DUMBO
Jane’s Carousel is a 1922 classic carousel with rides priced to a bygone era. Bringing to life the height of Americana carousels, this masterpiece of 48 intricately carved and painted horses is a delight to Capture in the glory of its jewel-box glass pavilion. The backdrop of the East River makes this a distinctly NY and instagrammable Capture.
Set your shutter speed to catch freeze motion. Carousel policy states that standing or riding on the carousel while photographing is not permitted. Photographers are to remain outside of the glass rails. Photographers must not obstruct or otherwise interrupt the flow of movement or the Carousel’s operation. at no time are carts, drones, go-pro, lighting equipment, scooters, tripods, vehicle mounts or other moving objects permitted. All photos shoots must be approved by Jane’s Carousel.
Location: Old Dock Street, Brooklyn NY 11201
Washington St., DUMBO
DUMBO – Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass you will find Washington Street between Front and Water Streets. Indisputably the best spot to Capture an iconic image of the Manhattan Bridge legs framing the glorious Empire State Building beyond. This is Brooklyn’s most photographed street for a reason. The scene is made complete with classic red brick buildings and cobblestone streets. It is easy to see why this is a frequent location for popular culture to film.
While it is a public place and you are free to take photos, do ensure that you do not obstruct traffic and cyclists. Refrain from stepping into traffic or laying on the street. Not only is it highly dangerous, it is an annoyance for New Yorkers moving about their day in this fast-paced city.
With the volume of traffic and pedestrians taking pictures, your best time to Capture DUMBO is sunrise and days with ‘bad’ weather. City scenes in the rain and snow are quite beautiful plus you have the added benefit of fewer other photographers on site.
Location: Washington Street between Front and Water Streets, Brooklyn NY 11201
Williamsburg Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it was erected in 1903. It still stands as an impressively instagrammable structure today with its impressive 310 foot steel towers connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn.
To Capture this iconic bridge, walk along the pedestrian walkway, stroll along S 6th Street in Brooklyn, or Clinton and Delancey Streets in Manhattan for your best vantage points. These spots provide the best views looking down on Brooklyn Bridge, Williamsburg, and Midtown Manhattan.
Sunrise is the best time of day for photography to avoid traffic for safety and unobstructed views. Consider golden hour and night photography. Kick it up a notch in black and white or from a shoreline vantage point.
Location: Williamsburg, NY 11249
New York Transit Museum
The New York Transit Museum is visually stunning and filled with vintage transit objects to Capture. Photogs eager to shoot an empty subway station will not be disappointed. Housed within a closed subway station, the museum is dedicated to history on the ground level, and the lower level is the former subway platform complete with preserved rail cars dating back 100 years.
Photography policy indicates that personal photographs are permitted with handheld cameras although the use of equipment such as lighting and tripods is not allowed.
Location: 99 Schermerhorn St. Brooklyn NY 11201
The Williamsburg Hotel
Williamsburg Hotel boasts a magnificent skyline view of Manhattan from its rooftop Water Tower bar. Soak up the sleek decor featuring velvet booths and live entertainment in Harvey’s restaurant.
Capture your inspired shots over their famous brunch or a cocktail. The weekends tend to be very busy. Luckily, brunch is served daily. Personal photography should be short and sweet. Booking a photo shoot requires 24 hours notice with the property via an online request form through the hotel website.
Location: 96 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn NY 11249
Williamsburg Ferry Landing
Williamsburg Ferry Landing offers unparalleled views beyond compare. Wander this promenade to take in the green spaces complete with lush green spaces featuring hibiscus, posies, and a pergola. Across the East River are the gorgeous ODA glass-cube towers.
Capture this breathtaking scene rain or shine for amazingly instagrammable images.
Location: N 6th Street at Kent Ave Williamsburg, NY 11249
Brooklyn shares one of the premiere landmarks of Manhattan offering breathtaking pre-sunrise and nightfall views
Brooklyn Bridge, the world’s largest suspension bridge of the 19th Century, was birthed as an iconic NYC object. Its gothic arches tower over the river as a continued display of strength and grandeur that make NYC one of the most remarkable in the world.
The policy is permits for professional cameras as well as wedding and engagement party groups over 20.
Pier 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park
Pier 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park offers the largest pier, 3 expansive lawns with irises and ferns, a waterfront promenade and Salt Marsh. The water gardens are a thriving spot to Capture the lush garden. Head to Granite Prospect to take in the view of New York Harbor.
Photography Policy at the park is specified. Handheld equipment only on the artificial turf and lawn.
Location: 2 Furman St., Brooklyn NY 11201
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Perched on the Brooklyn Bridge waterfront, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is a must-do spot.
Capture sweeping shots of Manhattan from Harriet’s 10th floor restaurant and lounge. You will see the $20 fee to get in is well worth it as you sip your craft cocktail from this vantage point. .
Professional photography requires prior written approval.
Location: 60 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
What makes Coney Island so great is the incredible range of activities offered at this classic American theme park. From the wooden Cyclone roller coaster to Luna Park and the NY Aquarium, this park offers it all. Enjoy the original Nathan’s Famous while you explore the beautiful murals.
With so many sights to Capture, Coney Island is a must-do between Easter and Halloween. Don’t forget to Capture the Friday evening fireworks.
The photography policy forbids lights, tripods, reflectors, and other such equipment in Luna park.
Location: 1208 Surf Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11224
The River Cafe
Brooklyn’s River Cafe is a romantic, Michelin-starred setting with a superb wine list. Considered by many to be “the most beautiful restaurant in the world” it is an ideal spot to Capture.
The popularity of this spot dictates that reservations are strongly suggested and a dress code is in place.
Breakfast, lunch, and brunch are your opportunities to Capture the beauty of the setting and grounds. While dinner promises the beauty of the Manhattan skyline and bridge in its brilliantly lit glory at night.
Please refrain from bringing additional equipment such as lighting and tripods.
Location: 1 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201