The BEST Engagement Session Spots in Manhattan

NYC 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: Besides transportation cost, all of these locations are free to use! 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!

Bow Bridge (Central Park)

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!

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!

A Stoop

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!)

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!

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!

Wrap-up

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 an awesome place to have your engagement session in NYC! 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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