NYC Engagement Photos Guide

You just got engaged! There are so many moving parts to planning a wedding. Planning and preparing for your engagement session is just a small piece of the wedding planning process. I know that can feel overwhelming as well. From deciding what to wear, hot to time things, and choosing a location, there is a lot to consider. This can be overwhelming considering the sheer number of amazing locations to have your NYC engagement photos made. But where is the best place to take engagement photos in NYC? I am often taking NYC engagement photos, so I created this list that includes some of the more iconic NYC locations. Additionally, I threw in some places that are lesser known for variety.

We may even be able to visit multiple locations on this list, depending on their proximity to each other and the length of your session. Many of these locations are not only great places to have engagement photos, but wedding photos made as well, if they are close to your wedding venue in NYC. These locations could also be great options for an NYC proposal or wedding portraits following an NYC City Hall wedding.

As a photographer who takes many couples’ NYC engagement photos, I’ve curated this list of the best locations for engagement sessions in the city to help you narrow it down. Hopefully this will give you some ideas. If you’d like to talk more about having me take your NYC engagement photos, please get in touch!

Best Places to Take Engagement Photos in NYC

Brooklyn Bridge:

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of those iconic landmarks in New York City that immediately comes to mind when one thinks of NYC. With its breathtaking views of Manhattan, the bridge offers an unforgettable backdrop to any NYC engagement photo session. Brooklyn Bridge is best photographed earlier in the day before the crowds and street vendors arrive. Otherwise, it’s best for a quick shot.

Tip: If you plan to have an NYC engagement session here, steer clear of wearing stilettos. The bridge is made of wooden planks and it is difficult to walk in stilettos!

DUMBO – Washington Street View:

Next to the Eiffel tower, this is the second most photographed spot in the world! The DUMBO area in general is a great for an engagement session. DUMBO stands for “Down Under The Manhattan Bridge” and this highly instagram-able location features a view of just that. The scenery at the iconic DUMBO spot (the Washington Street View specifically) is fantastic. However, my favorite thing about this location is its close proximity to other great Brooklyn photo locations, like the previously mentioned Brooklyn Bridge, Jane’s Carousel, and Pebble Beach, also listed below.

The Metropolitan museum of art (the Met)

The MET is an all-around great place for photos! It does house some of the most magnificent art in the world AND host the most photographed event annually (The MET Gala) after all. Featured in movies and TV shows, the MET steps are not only a popular spot for tourist photos, but engagement photos as well. Some couples even choose to elope on the MET steps. Keep in mind that this is a VERY populated spot, so if you have a session here in the afternoon, there will be crowds. To mitigate this, I suggest a morning session at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

If you venture inside the museum, you’ll find more opportunities for photos. The MET could be a great option for a rainy day! My favorite room is the one with the Egyptian art, featuring lots of large windows and plenty of natural light. We can even venture up to the rooftop to grab a few photos as well. Being able to explore the museum makes this even more of a date and less of a photoshoot. I love when we can make your NYC engagement photos into an experience you can share together rather than just a photoshoot.

Central Park

For NYC engagement photos, Central Park is naturally a favorite of mine. Central Park is home to SO many great locations to take engagement photos! The park is a massive 843 acres nestled right in the center of Manhattan. It is definitely among the most popular engagement session spots in New York City, no doubt about it. I take more engagement photos here than anywhere else in the city. The park is so large it is impossible to see all of these during your engagement session in NYC, but below are some of the most beautiful spots in the park! Keep in mind that Central Park can look very different season to season. The images below show Central Park in winter, autumn, and summer.

  • Bethesda Fountain / Bethesda Arcade
  • The Mall / Literary Walk
  • Umpire Rock
  • Bow Bridge
  • Trefoil Arch
  • The Lawn at Conservatory Garden
  • The Lake
  • San Remo Lookout Point
  • Wood Chip Vantage Point
  • The Rink at Rockefeller Center

West Village

This Manhattan neighborhood is perfect for the engaged couple looking for some fun and relaxed photos on the street. If you are looking for a storybook feel, the cobblestone streets and West Village buildings make the sweetest backdrop. We can stop at a cafe or coffee shop along the way as well. It is also a short walk to Washington Square Park or the High Line, two other potential locations for a Manhattan engagement session.

DUMBO RAINBOW WALL

The rainbow wall in DUMBO looks SO great in photos, especially contrasted against a white wedding or engagement dress! This wall is located at York Street between Adams and Washington Street. It is really easily accessible from other DUMBO locations on this list.

NYC ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS AT New York Public Library:

Right in the middle of Midtown Manhattan, the New York Public Library Stephen Schwarzman Building sits adjacent to Bryant Park on 42nd St. It is the perfect location for the couple who is going for a really elegant engagement session. With the library being right in the heart of Manhattan, the crowds can get pretty busy. However, scheduling a morning session can help to avoid this. The inside of NYPL does require a permit to photograph. However, the outside is completely open!

Places to Take Photos Nearby:

Grand Central Station and Bryant Park

Subway

Making a stop at the train for your engagement session is a great way to capture that NYC energy. If you are a New Yorker at your core, we can head into the station towards the end of your session. I’ll see you off and grab some photos of you two on the train! These are always a fun addition to NYC engagement photos.

TWA Hotel

NYC Engagement Photos at a Local Hotel

This is hands-down my favorite hotel in New York City! This NYC hotel is straight out of the 60’s, practically in the JFK airport, and still maintaining many of its original interiors. The TWA Hotel is a great choice for an engagement session with a vintage vibe OR a minimalist aesthetic OR even going full throttle aviation themed. One thing I love about TWA is that it can be very versatile! TWA Hotel also doubles as a wedding venue and is one of the best hotels in NYC to get married at.

Pebble Beach

Right in the heart of DUMBO, Pebble Beach offers stunning views of Manhattan. Pebble Beach is a lovely addition to a session on Washington Street as it is walking distance.

SOHO

Have your NYC engagement photos made in the most stylish district of the city!

SoHo is hands down one of the most photogenic areas in the city! As an NYC engagement photographer, I am definitely partial to SoHo. I love the cobblestone streets and the cast iron buildings!

Nearby Places for More NYC Engagement Photos:

Tribeca Staple Street Bridge and Washington Square Park

JANE’S CAROUSEL:

Jane’s carousel (located in DUMBO) is a great stop for some fun and whimsy photos along the way. I would suggest this as an add on to other locations in DUMBO, as there isn’t enough variety here for an entire engagement session. The carousel is surrounded by glass, but still looks great as the background in photos. The best time to shoot here is sunset when the carousel lights turn on as the sun sets.

NYC ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS AT WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK:

Washington Square Park is always my favorite place to people-watch, but also a great engagement session location in the morning. At sunrise, the crowds aren’t quite as high. Washington Square does tend to get very busy not long after the sunrise, though. For this reason, I will usually only shoot engagement photos here very early in the day.

Grand Central:

NYC’s most famous train station can be a busy place! If you don’t mind the crowds, the interiors are stunning. There are a few little corners that aren’t quite so crowded. Additionally, its location is right in midtown, making it easily accessible to several other great locations for your NYC engagement session. Grand Central can be hard to navigate for nice photos since there are so many crowds and commuters. For this reason, Grand Central pairs nicely with nearby locations like NYPL and Bryant Park for a full session.

Staple Street Bridge in Tribeca:

Tribeca’s Staple Street skybridge is actually connected to a residence (worth a whopping $30m), but is a popular stop among Tribeca area engagement sessions. The Tribeca area itself offers great opportunities for street photography with charming cobblestone streets. It is also adjacent to SOHO, another photogenic location.

Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center

NYC Engagement Photos With a View

You really can’t beat views of the Empire State Building! It doesn’t get much more “New York” than this. With the best view of the Manhattan skyline in the city, this is what dreams are made of for an NYC engagement photographer. Plus, its position in Midtown Manhattan puts this in close proximity to several other great stops for an engagement session, like Grand Central Station and the lower part of Central Park. The entrance fee to Top of the Rock is $40, but it is worth it for the views of the city.

Shore Road Park

Utilize one of NYC’s hidden gems for your NYC engagement photos

This little park features waterfront views and not too busy in the mornings. One of my favorite parts of my jobs as an NYC engagement photographer is finding little gems like this. This little park is lovely and fairly quiet.

WEST VILLAGE TOWNHOUSE:

The townhouse at the corner of Greenwich and West 11th is a great photo spot for your engagement photos in NYC. This building sits on the corner covered in greenery. We can hit this spot and explore more of the historic West Village together.

CARL SCHURZ PARK:

Located on the upper east side, this lesser known park is a lovely, quiet spot for engagement sessions. The park is home to the Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the New York City Mayor. Since Carl Schurz Park is located on the east side of Manhattan, it’s a great spot to catch the sunrise at your NYC engagement session. I think another fun addition to this session could be hopping on the nearby NYC ferry for some fun shots afterwards!

Your Favorite Coffee Shop:

To me, nothing is better than making your NYC engagement session as personal and unique as you two! I encourage my couples to approach engagement sessions as a date anyways. Coffee shops are a great stop along the way (especially if we have a sunrise session scheduled). If coffee isn’t your thing, we could visit your favorite date spot, favorite NYC bar, or other NYC location that is meaningful to you. Because more than anything, I want your NYC engagement session to be meaningful, memorable, and a nice experience! Even if we start out at another nearby location and end at a spot like this, I think it can be a great addition to your final gallery.

THE HIGH LINE:

The High Line is a wonderful respite in New York City. It runs just over a mile down the west side of Manhattan. With beautifully manicured spaces and fantastic views of the city, this is a great option for your NYC engagement photos.

Nearby Top Places For NYC Engagement Photos:

West Side Highway / anywhere along

Chinatown

Sailboat on the hudson river

Times Square

South Street SEAPORT

Coney Island

Ice Skating at rockefeller Center

Battery Park

Brooklyn Heights

brooklyn heights promenade

Prospect Park

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

NYC Engagement Photos FAQs

What should we wear for our engagement session?

I have an entire guide on how to prepare your outfits for your engagement session. However, when preparing for NYC engagement photos specifically, it is important to have comfortable shoes for walking. You can always put the heels on just for the photos. However, we often do a lot of walking between locations, so it is best to have something comfortable on hand. When considering what to wear for your engagement session, you should also take the location into consideration. Whether you are in an urban area, a beach, or a park will help you to determine what to wear for your engagement photos. For example, stilettos are not a good option for the Brooklyn Bridge because of the gaps in the bridge.

There are so many options, how do we pick a location?

The variety of options in the city is one of my favorite things about being an NYC engagement photographer. If you are struggling to narrow down where you’d like to go, try thinking of locations that are meaningful and relevant to you as a couple.

What to bring to engagement photo session?

If you plan to wear two outfits, bring a change of clothes. Maybe a hairbrush, powder, and lipstick to reapply. Other than that, try to leave as much as you can at home. Engagement photos in NYC usually involve a lot of walking around, so it is always great if it is something that I can throw on my arm while I’m shooting. Unfortunately you can’t just leave your things sitting around in a city like NYC! When considering what to bring to engagement photos, pack light!

There are so many options, how do we pick a location?

Always go with something that feels personal to you. That could be something as dramatic as The Top of the Rock or as simple as your favorite date spot. It should be something that speaks to who you are as a couple and something relevant to your relationship!

What time of year should we have our NYC engagment photos made?

The season is definitely something to consider when scheduling your engagement photos in NYC! Weather can have a huge impact on not just your wardrobe, but also how comfortable you’ll be during your session. Below is a breakdown of what you can expect during each season. My personal favorite season to shoot in NYC is fall. However, the city can accommodate you any time of year!

Summer sessions: hot weather, lots of greenery, morning sessions can be a bit cooler

Fall sessions: most popular season for photos, moderate temps, beautiful fall foliage

Winter sessions: pretty cold in NYC, a bit less saturated colors

Spring sessions: moderate temperatures, sometimes rainy, can get the cherry blossoms in late spring if timing works out

How much are engagement photos?

Engagement session prices in NYC can range anywhere from $600-1500. The price of an engagement session in NYC will vary based on what is included in the session, the location, and the photographer’s experience. NYC Photographer’s rates are above the national average.

How long do engagement photos take?

This varies from photographer to photographer. In general, an NYC engagement photo session can range from 45 minutes to 2 hours. This can depend on whether or not you are visiting multiple locations during your session and if you’ll make an outfit change. Also, which location you choose can factor into your session length. If you choose a more crowded location in somewhere busy like Midtown Manhattan, navigating that spot may be more time consuming than somewhere more private like Central Park.

Are you looking for a photographer to take your NYC engagement photos? Get in touch and let’s talk about how to make your NYC engagement photo session happen!

I'm a wedding and elopement photographer based in New York City, NY and formerly Dallas-Fort Worth, TX. Welcome to my blog, where I share wedding planning tips, wedding and engagement photos, and my recent inspirations. If you'd like to work together, please get in touch!

Hello  there -  I'm Georgia!

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