New York City is full of amazing spots to take photographs – it seems like you can’t take 20 steps in any direction without finding a new inspiring angle on the city! We’ll be updating this list over time as we get the chance to have sessions in more parts of the city, but for now we want to show off just a handful of the amazing places we’ve already gotten a chance to work at!
All of these places are classic NYC and will be a really great backdrop for your engagement session. Whether you’re a longtime New York native, or a recent transplant, who doesn’t want to show off this city with their photos??
NOTE: For pretty much all of these locations you may be better off attempting to have your session as close to sunrise as possible in order to avoid large crowds! Many of these spots are iconic New York tourist destinations (and for a good reason, since they’re all so beautiful) which can lead to there being large amounts of people around during the day!
1. Bow Bridge
Bow Bridge is one of the most iconic places in all of Central Park! Built in 1862, this Victorian-era bridge spans 60 feet across the Central Park Lake and connects Cherry Hill and the Ramble.
Known as a romantic meeting point both in real life and in movies, Bow Bridge gives a perfect location to stop and enjoy a moment, overlooking the row boats as they glide gently along the lake. It’d be great for a proposal, a first-date kiss, engagement photos, or even just to see a stunning view of the Fifth Avenue skyline!
Bow Bridge gets its name from its graceful arc shape which resembles that of an archer’s bow. It is the oldest cast-iron bridge in Central Park (also one of the only), and it is the second-oldest cast-iron bridge in the entire United States. It was designed incorporating elements of Gothic, Neo-Classical, and Renaissance design! This whole location is a film or film-matching photographer’s dream – the color palette of greens in all the wildlife, cream and tan along the bridge, and white or blue of the sky really set you up for some beautiful portraits!
Note! Since this is such an iconic and popular spot, try to get there around sunrise to avoid large crowds. Otherwise you’ll need to wait for thin gaps in the rush of people to get in the spot you’d like!
2. Bethesda Terrace
Located in the heart of the Park, Bethesda Terrace is found at the north end of the long, tree-lined mall and overlooks the ramble and the lake! The Terrace is a popular destination for relaxing, people-watching, and admiring the architecture and the scenery. At the center of the Terrace stands Bethesda Fountain, one of the Park’s most iconic works of art and most famous spots for movies and television!
One of the many benefits of having your engagement session at Bethesda Terrace is the variety you can accomplish in just one location! There’s massive staircases, landings where you can see the majority of the terrace (like in the photo above), and multiple tunnels adorned in over 16,000 tiles that transport between the upper and lower parts of the terrace! And you don’t want to miss this – there’s bathrooms here. Shocking, we know! Access to public restrooms makes this a perfect location to plan to swap outfits at! Where else in New York are you going to be able to do this without a popup dressing room? So convenient!
The most direct way to get to this spot in the park is to head to 72nd on either the UWS or UES and walk towards the center of the park! You can’t miss it!
3. A Stoop (Sorry to be vague, haha. Just look around for 3 seconds and you’ll see a nice one!)
This is one of those spots that’s not really a spot… does that make sense? It’s more about trying to find a place that captures the vibe of a scene you really only see in New York! Where else has streets lined with beautiful townhomes and buildings with picturesque stoops you just want to hang out on? Okay.. maybe a couple places. But we all know it’s mainly associate with NYC! When heading out for this session we didn’t even have an exact spot in mind for the stoop location – we knew we’d just find it! And we did, in basically two seconds. So maybe plan to walk without aim for a little bit between locations of your engagement session! Find a stoop you like and make it your own for a moment! (Just be sure to be respectful of any residents just trying to live their lives!)
4. The Subway
Another spot you just kinda have to find (but also they’re obviously everywhere) is down in the subway! It’s likely you’ll need to go through one of these just to get from location to location as part of your engagement session, so why not keep the session going for just a little bit? We love the vintage vibes you can get down in the subway so much that it just feels like each photo should be in black and white. This is another spot where you want to be extra sure to be mindful of locals and tourists just going about there day! If you feel you couldn’t take photos at a given spot because of crowds or available space then just hop on the train in the direction you’re heading and try again at another stop!
5. Brooklyn Bridge
Offering up some of the best possible views of the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge has to be in the running for most iconic New York structure! Plan on going to the High St subway stop in Brooklyn and then heading to the bridge – walking from Brooklyn into Manhattan will give you the absolute best views of the skyline since you’ll be as far away as possible! This is another spot you definitely want to try to beat the crowds on. Sunrise is a must!
Wherever you have your session, but especially at Brooklyn Bridge, you may want to consider bringing backup shoes for walking! The bridge is a little over a mile long and if your photographer has specific points along the bridge they usually like to working at then it may be worth swapping shoes really quickly to get from point to point! Just be sure to consider the time it might take to swap – weigh out if it’d be worth it for you! Click Here to see more photos from Brooklyn Bridge!
6. The Met Rooftop
Another spot that offers an incredible skyline view is the rooftop at The Met! This location (as well as the rest of The Met, which is incredibly friendly toward photographers) is really just epic for engagement photos. This spot is especially amazing in the later part of the year, where the sun will basically always be in the South side of the sky. That means that at basically any part of the day, including noon, you can get a beautiful backlight instead of a harsh direct light coming from the front! Plus, NY state residents can pay what they wish for admission!
7. The Egyptian Room in The Met
This is another spot at The Met that’s simply incredible. I don’t know any other spots anywhere near this in NYC! There’s gorgeous window light all day long, it’s massive, and for being a big tourist attraction it’s not very hard at all to get photos without people in the background!
8. 91st Street Garden
91st St Garden is super famous and you probably won’t even recognize it! If you’ve ever seen the classic movie You’ve Got Mail then you’ve seen this spot. It’s (spoiler alert) where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan get back together at the very end! This garden is perfectly maintained by a huge team of talented volunteers and for as much of the year as the weather allows!
9. A Citi Bike Rack
Citi Bike racks are obviously all over the city and they’re such cute spots for some very New Yorky engagement photo! If you’re wanting to find a spot to really capture the feel of NYC in your engagement photos then you’ll have to hop on a parked Citi Bike real quick!
10. The Lawn at the Central Park Conservatory Garden
This is SUCH an under the radar spot! It’s towards the very Northeast corner of Central Park, right off of 105th! It’s pretty rare for it to be super busy so it’s easy to get photos without many people in the background. And it’s beautiful!
11. The Stairs at the Central Park Conservatory Garden
This is another beautiful spot within the gorgeous and under-appreciated Central Park Conservatory Garden! It’s on the Upper East Side right off of 105th!
12. Main Street Park
Just like on the Brooklyn Bridge you’ve got a great view of the Manhattan skyline from the Main Street Park in Brooklyn!! This is a great spot if you’re looking for a really fun spot for your NYC engagement photos!
13. Pebble Beach
This is another spot along the water at Main Street Park, closer to the Manhattan Bridge! There’s still the amazing view of the Manhattan Skyline, but you also get a super unique angle with being so close to the water! Where else in NYC can you walk along a pebble beach with a view of the whole FiDi/ Two Bridges skyline??
14. Snug Harbor Gardens (Staten Island)
This spot is unlike anything you’ll find in Manhattan! Accessible by the free Staten Island Ferry, which runs every 20 minutes from Whitehall Terminal, this location is so. unique. Entry is totally free and there’s so many places to take beautiful engagement photos!
15. Jack’s Wife Freda
This is such a cute restaurant in the heart of soho! Swing by here right after you’ve finished taking engagement photos in front of all the designer stores along all the beautiful cobblestone streets!
16. Pinebank Arch Bridge
This is another one of the many gorgeous bridges in Central Park!! Obviously the streets don’t all run through the park, but for reference it’s located at about 62nd between 7th and 8th!
17. Bethesda Terrace Arcade
The Arcade at Bethesda Terrace is well known for its intricate design and murals! “Designed in the 1860s the Arcade features a stunning tiled ceiling with more than 15,000 colorful, patterned encaustic tiles from England’s famous Minton Tile Company.” [centralpark.com]
18. Bethesda Terrace Arcade Grand Staircase
This sort of photo will only be achievable right after sunrise, as Bethesda Terrace quickly fills up with tourists and locals throughout the day! But if you’re willing to get up super early you can get some incredible photos using the arches of the arcade as framing! And, as a bonus perk, there’s public bathrooms right here that are open most of the year during daylight hours! So this can be a good spot to go to right before outfit change!
19. Grand Central Terminal
Can you even think of a more classic spot in NYC than Grand Central Terminal? This would be the perfect spot to take engagement photos if you love a classic and elegant vibe!! And, black and white photos are killer here! Click Here to see more Grand Central Terminal Engagement Photos!
20. 42nd Street by Grand Central Terminal
The striped road right outside of Grand Central Terminal gives such a cool look to any engagement photos taken here!! And you’re so close to a bunch of other great locations, such as Bryant Park, the main branch of the New York Public Library, and Times Square!
21. New York Public Library Main Branch
Construction for the main branch of the New York Public Library (the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, on 42nd Street) started in 1897 – and you 1000% get the sense that this is one of those old buildings from when they really went above and beyond with craftsmanship and design! Even for this being just one “spot” there’s so many places to take photos here. These steps, the other steps, the fountains, by the lion statue, inside. It’s an incredible location!
22. Brooklyn Bridge Park
This is the cutest little park right along the water in Brooklyn, right by the Brooklyn Bridge! It’s generally empty in the mornings so you’ll have the whole place to yourself!
23. Pier 1
Another one of NYC’s fabulous engagement photo locations with a water and skyline backdrop! Go there early in the morning and you should have it all to yourself!
24. Washington Square Park
This fountain is famous!! Washington Square Park is a hugely popular spot for engagement photos – which means, like a lot of the other places I recommend, you should get there right after sunrise to avoid all the crowds! Check out more Washington Square Park engagement photos here!
25. NYU Law Building
During the warmer parts of the year the NYU law building gets covered in beautiful ivy! Such a unique spot for some engagement photos. And it’s right by Washington Square Park, so it’s really easy to get photos at both locations!
26. Charlton Plaza
This little park on the corner of Charlton & 6th in the heart of Hudson Square is the perfect location for some early morning engagement photos! Not only is it really pretty in itself, but you’re also right by lots of other familiar spots, such as Sullivan St, Washington Square Park, and Broadway!
27. Sullivan St (SoHo)
This NYC Engagement Photos Location holds a special place in my heart! The first time Madison and I visited NYC to photograph a wedding at Fort Tryon Park, we stayed in a friend’s apartment on Sullivan Street! The intersection of Sullivan and Spring is very photogenic with beautiful crosswalks and great light at almost any time of day!
28. Brooklyn Bridge Park
Don’t just stick to taking photos with the bridge itself at Brooklyn Bridge Park! You can also take a little break by sitting on a park bench for some close up snuggly photos!
29. Roosevelt Island
Roosevelt Island is a great NYC Engagement Photos Location because it’s very relaxed and quiet! With few cars and people around (all day, too!) it’s very easy to get photos without many distractions in the background! It’s a beautiful place to walk, explore, and find moments for photography! Check out the full blog post with these Roosevelt Island engagement photos here!
30. The Sanctuary Roosevelt Island
The Sanctuary at Roosevelt Island isn’t just an awesome NYC Wedding Venue – it’s also an incredible location for engagement photos! Go there to check out the skyline view of Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood and take some photos!
31. Manhattan Viewpoint from Roosevelt Island
The southern end of Roosevelt Island has a large hill which gives you the perfect view of the Manhattan skyline! It’s even better at night since all of the lights of the city turn into bokeh in the background of your image, which gives a really neat and vintage vibe!
32. Roosevelt Island Tram
The tram is a must! It’s the same cost as a regular subway ride ($2.75 currently) and is just another awesome way to experience Roosevelt Island, while getting a super unique perspective on Manhattan!
33. Summit One Vanderbilt (AIR: TRANSCENDENCE 1)
Summit One Vanderbilt is NYC’s newest observation deck, and the third highest at 1,020 feet! What makes it so special is the many different experiences offered on the three floors! On the first floor (Air: Transcendence 1) you’re surrounded by mirrors on the floor, ceiling, and rear wall, with 270 degrees of windows looking South (towards downtown Manhattan), East, and West (both towards opposite sides of midtown). You’ll have the most unique background ever as everything is constantly changing as people move around! Tickets are $39 each and you’ll definitely want to buy them ahead of time as slots can sell out! Check out more photos from this engagement session at Summit OV here!
34: Summit One Vanderbilt (AIR: TRANSCENDENCE 2)
On the second floor of Summit One Vanderbilt you have the opportunity to get this gorgeous image with all of downtown Manhattan in the background! By the time you’re over at this area most of the crowd of people has spread out so you won’t need to wait as long to take a turn with the view! Totally check it out when you’re having your session there – it’s on the Southwest corner of the second floor!
35. Brooklyn Bridge (But in the rain!)
Besides right after sunrise, going in the rain may be the only chance you have to take photos at Brooklyn Bridge Park without a million other people in the background! Sure, the rain isn’t something you can necessarily control – but if you see that it’s supposed to rain on the day your engagement session is scheduled you may consider going for it anyway! See more of this session here!
36. New York Public Library’s Phone Booth
So… you’re not technically supposed to have photo sessions in the main NYPL branch on 42nd street… But multiple security people told us “just go quick” as we were taking pictures here. So maybe you could try it out!! At least for this epic photo which will take you like two seconds to go take!
37. Ramble Stone Arch in Central Park
Just a little bit inside Central Park from the 81st Street entrance (right by the American Museum of Natural History) is the Ramble Stone Arch! It’s a beautiful spot that’s perfectly situated to get beautiful light all day long. Just keep in mind that it gets pretty busy (like most of these spots) during the day so you may need to step aside to let people past a couple times!
38. Time Out Cafe’s Neon Sign
Time Out Market is right by DUMBO (like the actual street you imagine when you hear DUMBO) and it really shines at night!! At least to swing by for a quick backlit neon sign photo like this! See more of this session here!
To wrap things up I think it’s safe to say that no matter what your tastes are you’re going to be able to find the perfect NYC engagement photos locations! If you know of any other places that we should try out and add to this list then comment them below! And if you’re looking to have your engagement photos taken then contact us with the button below! We’d love to serve you by putting together the best engagement session ever!
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REACH OUT NOW TO BE SURE I CAN BE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER SO THAT EVERY EPIC MOMENT WILL BE CAPTURED!