Each year, people flock to New York City in search of romance, adventure, and job opportunities. As the city that never sleeps, NYC holds a sense of hope and wonder for all, and photographers know it to be one of the most magical cities for photoshoots! Whether you are looking for engagement, bridal, or first look portraits, we’ve got you covered. In a place where centuries of history and beautiful architecture abound, it was easy to compile a list of the best NYC photo locations.
Top 10 NYC Photo Locations
It’s no surprise that we chose the Brooklyn Bridge as one of the top NYC photo session locations. This iconic architectural landmark has been featured in numerous movies and television shows due to its significance and beauty. I recommend a dreamy sunrise session so that you don’t have tourists in the background of all of your photos. This will also provide stunning, golden lighting for all of your romantic shots. Trust me, the early morning (and extra coffee) are worth it!
Another classic NYC location is Central Park. The north and south sections of the park have different attributes and aesthetics, so you may want to stroll the area to see which best suits you as a couple. Throughout Central Park, you’ll find the Literary Walk, Bowed Bridge, Bethesda Terrace, and the Conservatory Garden. All of these are lovely backgrounds for your photo session. As an ever-changing canvas, Central Park photographs well year round depending on the look you want: budding trees in the spring, crisp sunlight in the summer, vibrant foliage in the fall (check peak foliage dates!), and beautiful winter scenes to close out the year.
This artistic and trendy neighborhood is full of art galleries, tasty restaurants, and upscale boutiques. If you aren’t a local, SoHo actually stands for “South of Houston Street.” Spring Street in SoHo is one of our recommended photoshoot locations due to its unique New York architecture and artsy vibe. The brick-laid street lends a timeless feel and adds character to your photos. This is another tourist favorite, so off-season, weekday, or sunrise sessions are best!
Locals often avoid Times Square due to the overwhelming number of tourists in that area. However, it is still one of the most iconic spots in New York City. The lights, colors, and sky-high buildings make this an incredible photo location. Crowds can actually add a unique NYC vibe to your photos, with you as the focal point. For smaller crowds, consider a sunrise or midday session. Weekdays may also have less tourists. If you aren’t feeling the crowds, avoid peak times between 6-9pm.
New York Public Library
Want an architectural backdrop? The New York Public Library is full of archways, intricate details, ascending stone steps, and impressive columns. You’ll feel like you traveled to Rome! It’s no wonder it has been featured in numerous movies over the years. With a more formal feel, you will definitely want to dress up for this photoshoot destination.
Grand Central Station
For a photo session filled with energetic hustle and bustle, visit Grand Central Station! The Station is also a great choice if it rains on your scheduled session day. The high ceiling and magnificent architecture, makes this historic spot a sophisticated and romantic photo location. I recommend avoid the morning and evening rush hours, as the station can get pretty crowded.
Top of the Rock
While the Empire State Building is known for its unforgettable views, how can you get a photo with this towering masterpiece in the background? Visit the Top of the Rock. From the observation deck at Rockefeller Plaza, you can get stunning views of the city, including the Empire State Building, as your photo background. Arrive right when it opens for smaller crowds and spectacular panoramic views of the city!
Washington Square Park
Locals and tourists alike always add Washington Square Arch to the top of their lists. Not only is the arch a stunning piece of marble architecture, it is also a huge part of American history. The arch represents President George Washington’s inauguration in 1789, and today it is also a symbol of New York University. Many couples love taking pictures here because it reminds them of their college days, or they simply love the intricate details and historical significance. No matter the reasoning, Washington Square Park is a sentimental and beautiful place that will offer variety to your photos.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
This iconic museum is the largest art museum in the nation! With over 2 million pieces of work, it’s no wonder the museum receives visitors from all over the world. It’s earned it’s spot at the top for best NYC photo locations. (Any Gossip Girl fans out there will know the Met steps well.)
Imagine your engagement or bridal portraits captured on the most beloved steps of the Upper East Side. Giant stone columns and vast archways help build this incredible background. Once you are finished taking pictures on the steps, stroll around the surrounding area for some alternate photo settings.
Madison Square Park
This park right in the city boasts kaleidoscopic flowers during the spring and summer and beautiful foliage in the fall. It also has exceptional views of the historic Flatiron Building. Many people flock to this oasis during their lunch hour or for an afternoon of frisbee throwing. It has a serene and calming vibe in the middle of a loud and bustling city. No matter what kind of session you envision, Madison Square Park will give you a stunning natural backdrop from any angle, with some interesting statues, fountains, and art structures sprinkled in.
Book an Iconic NYC Photo Session with Sasha Chou Photography
New York City is such a magical place filled with possibilities. With so many extraordinary locations to choose from, it is truly a photographer’s dream city. Check out our portfolio for inspiration!
We hope this list was useful in helping you choose an iconic NYC setting. Whether you are a well-versed local or enamored visitor, our team would love to help you plan out your engagement, bridal, or first-look photoshoot! Get in touch with us to start planning!