New York's Most Instagrammable Locations
Looking for places to take instagram-worthy photos around New York City? Whether you're a blogger, photographer, or just want to flex on the gram, look no further. Natasha and I created a list (in no particular order) for you guys so you can go out and capture some beautiful photos around a picturesque city. Check these out!
Find more of my work on instagram: @maxloew
Central park is the largest park in Manhattan, so it's hard to miss. I've lived in NYC for over a year now but I don't love a lot of the photos I've taken there. That was until I went at sunrise. Try and get here before the waves of people and catch some epic light.
Pro tip: Check out the Bethesda Terrace & Fountain, Gapstow Bridge, and The Mall for good places to shoot here.
2. The Vessel:
The Vessel at Hudson Yards is one of my favorite places to shoot because the perspectives and angles are endless. This giant piece of architecture is ticketed, but tickets are free if you get them two weeks in advance. However, I've gotten them in as little as 2 days before going up, so it depends on how many spots they have left. You also pick a time to go up and I always aim to go around sunset.
Pro tip: Bring a wide angle lens, the wider the better. I used a Sony 16-35 f/2.8 lens for my shots. There's a lot to capture. Also be prepared to climb lots of stairs, the one elevator is reserved for strictly physically disabled individuals.
3. The Oculus:
The Oculus, otherwise know as Westfield World Trade Center, is actually just a mall directly next to the 9/11 memorial. With the cool architecture of this place, it makes for a cool place to photography. Above is my favorite photo I've taken of this place, but there are many angles and perspectives to catch here.
Pro tip: Come during the evening or early morning to get it with less people. It is open 24/7, all the shops are not.
4. The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of my absolute favorite places to shoot. I like to bring a range of lenses to capture different perspectives. This place is great for leading lines in your images as well as adding cool textures. It also looks great for shooting portraits.
Pro tip: Yep, you guessed it. Show up at sunrise to beat the crowd, watch the sun come up, and get the best lighting of the day to take your photos to the next level.
Also, be very cautious of where you're standing. The bikers come hauling down both ends of this bridge and will yell at you if you're in the bike lane.
5. The Manhattan Bridge:
I've shot the Manhattan Bridge more times than any other spot in New York. And for good reason. There are tons of perspectives to photograph from this location.
Pro tip: Walk the south side pedestrian path to access all these views. Both ends of the bridge (Brooklyn side - Manhattan side) offer awesome, yet different view of the city. There are usually holes cut out in the fences in many area that you can shoot from, but if not, look lower and point your camera through the natural diamond cut outs in the railing. I like this spot best at sunset, as people aren't a huge issue here.
6. The Flatiron:
The Flatiron building is iconic in NYC for its design, and a stroll through the area will reveal tons of different ways to photograph it. Oh, and tons of other people shooting photos here too. Find a way to be creative with your shots or get some classics, you can't go wrong.
Pro tip: Go early in the morning for good lighting and less people. However, sunset looks great here too and the hustle of the city can add a nice vibe.
7. Dumbo/Brooklyn Bridge Park:
A really popular place along the water in Brooklyn, DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass is a very photogenic area. The most popular being Washington street, which is where the above shot was captured. The Manhattan Bridge makes for a beautiful backdrop for photos along with the interesting textures of the cobblestone street.
Pro Tip: Photographing Washington street at sunrise is a MUST. It starts flooding with people as early as 7:30 AM, like the shot above. Try to beat the crowd.
Don't just stick to Washington street, there are plenty of other nearby areas to get photos. I personally like shooting by the water back towards the Manhattan skyline.
Two amazing pizza places are located in the DUMBO area, right next to each other. Julianna's and Grimaldi's are a must try for New York Pizza.
When you're done photographing DUMBO, head do towards the Brooklyn Bridge to explore the next location, Brooklyn Bridge Park.
8. Brooklyn Bridge Park:
Another great place to shoot nearby DUMBO is Brooklyn Bridge Park. One of the most iconic spots here is the pylons, which you can find all over internet. Come here and join fellow photographers around sunset, and stay to catch the city lights reflecting off the water.
Pro tip: There is a rooftop bar in the area at 1 Hotel with an epic view of the city skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. Go up here for a drink an alternate view of the sunset.
9. The NoMo SoHo Hotel:
The entry way to this boutique hotel is beautifully unique to capture photos with or without a subject. Enough said.
9. Irish Hunger Memorial:
A very unique place to photography, The Irish Hunger Memorial is a great place to photograph at night. The white striped lights, small crowds, and view of One World Tower make for an awesome shoot. Expect to see other creators in the area.
10. Top of The Rock:
Top of The Rock is a look out from one of the highest buildings in New York, with epic views of all sides. My favorite view is the one above, looking south towards the empire state building and financial district. This place is ticketed, and the tickets range from $30-50. Schedule your ticket in advance for sunset and stay to watch the city light up the night.
Pro Tip: Book your ticket time for an hour and a half before sunset. The process of getting up takes around 30 minutes just to get through security and the elevators. Plus you want to be up there somewhat early to snag a good spot for sunset because the roof gets packed, especially at towards golden hour.
There are 3 levels of views, but I found that the best was from the very top. No legit tripods are allowed, but you can get by bringing a small one like a Joby, as I've seen multiple people do.
For a spot like this, both a wide angle and telephoto lens work great. My above shot was taken with a Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.
11. Fulton Street Station:
This transit center/retail complex has a futuristic look to it that makes for great photos. I've seen multiple angles from this place, but the classic look up is my favorite.
Pro tip: Go at night for less people, and things are more lit up. Get your shots fast, after about 5 minutes security (as seen in the right hand side of my pic) kicked us out. Apparently you can take photos there but when it becomes more like a full on professional shoot, they have problems with it.
Most trains run directly to this station, but sometimes exit on the other side of the street. Head out of the subway and up and over the street to find this building.
12. Times Square:
To be completely honest with you guys, I am not a fan of Times Square. It is filled with an overwhelming amount of people, and I don't understand why. I get why it is iconic but there is really nothing special to check out there, and when Natasha came to visit, it wasn't even on our list of places to see. However, from a photographer perspective, it can potentially make for some great shots if you know what you're doing.
Pro Tip: Shoot at night. The later the better because you will get less of a crowd. Look for side streets, I rarely ever photography the main avenue. If it rains, you're in luck. The wet streets combined with the bright colorful lights look insane in photos. Seek out puddles and steam for an epic combination.
Look for the Hyatt hotel on West 45th, they have a rooftop bar that is accessible. By your self a drink and take in the Times Square view with out the massive crowds.
13. Stuyvesant Street:
Another photogenic place to shoot is Stuyvesant, where the classic shot is of a building perched on the corner of a fork in the road. Makes for a great backdrop for portraits too.
14. Brookfield Place:
Possibly the only place you'll find palm trees in NYC, this luxury mall is highly underrated. My favorite shot is from the main hall above, but if you go out back, you'll find boats along the water and tons of other compositions to work with.
This spot also has great skyline views of New Jersey.
Here is my full list of locations for taking epic photos around NYC. Feel like I'm missing some spots? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Feel free to check out more of my work on instagram. As always, subscribe so you don't miss my posts :)