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, and I know that can feel overwhelming as well. On top of this, there are so many amazing locations to have your NYC engagement photos made. Where to start? I am often taking NYC engagement photos and created this list that includes some of the more iconic NYC locations, and some places that are lesser known. We may even be able to visit multiple locations on this list, depending on their proximity to each other and the length of your engagement 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.
As a photographer who takes many NYC engagement photos, I’ve created 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!
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.
Tip: If you plan to have an 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 great, but 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 MET MUSEUM
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 events 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 session into an experience you can share together rather than just a photoshoot.
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! It is definitely among the most popular engagement session spots in New York City, no doubt about it. 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!
- Bethesda Fountain / Bethesda Arcade
- The Mall / Literary Walk
- Umpire Rock
- Bow Bridge
- Trefoil Arch
- The Lake
This neighborhood is perfect for the engaged couple looking for some fun and relaxed photos on the street. The cobblestone streets and West Village buildings make a great 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 an NYC engagement session.
DUMBO RAINBOW WALL
The rainbow wall in DUMBO looks SO great in photos, especially contrasted against a white wedding dress! This wall is located at York Street between Adams and Washington Street, so really easily accessible from other DUMBO locations on this list.
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, but the outside is completely open!
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 and 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.
This is hands-down my favorite hotel in New York City! 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 hotel’s in NYC to get married at.
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 from there.
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!
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 at sunset when the lights on the carousel turn on as the sun goes down in NYC.
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, so I will usually only shoot engagement photos here very early in the day.
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.
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 cobblestone streets. It is also adjacent to SOHO, another photogenic location.
TOP OF THE ROCK
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 is $40, but it is worth it for the views of the city.
Shore Road Park in Brooklyn, NYC
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. Since Carl Schurz Park is located on the east side of Manhattan, making it a great spot to catch the sunrise at your engagement session.
Your Favorite Coffee Shop
To me, nothing is better than making your 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!
THE HIGH LINE
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 for the photos, but we often do a lot of walking between locations, so it is best to have something comfortable on hand.
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 should we bring with us?
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 NYC!
There are so many options, how do we pick a location?
Always go with something that feels personal to you, whether that is something as dramatic as The Top of the 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!