10 of My Favorite Places
to Shoot in NYC
29 Aug 2019
As a little girl growing up in Dallas I daydreamed about some day living in New York City. To young Kristi, NYC was a bustling city full of fashionable and important people and I dreamed about being in the middle of all the constant activity. Now that I’m lucky enough to call NYC home, the constant activity is amazing but sometimes it’s nice to find a quiet place – especially when I’m looking to shoot pictures that highlight my favorite looks. Since I often get asked where I shoot, I thought I would highlight my favorite places, why I love them and a tip or two for shooting at each place.
The Brooklyn Bridge is an absolutely iconic American location. It’s been featured in a ton of movies and TV shows. Before I moved to NYC, I though of the Brooklyn Bridge as the place in Sex And The City where Miranda and Steve had to meet if they wanted a future together. The Brooklyn Bridge is one of my favorite places to shoot and I shoot there pretty often.
Tip: If you want to get the perfect shot, try to arrive as close to sunrise as possible and shoot from closer to the Brooklyn side than Manhattan.
Dumbo is easily my favorite neighborhood in Brooklyn. Dumbo is home to a bunch of cute coffee shops and restaurants and has some of the best views of the Manhattan skyline.
Tip: I usually shoot in Dumbo right after I shoot the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise. If you shoot Dumbo before about 8AM on a weekday you will have the place to yourself. On the weekend you will need to get there a little bit earlier. You will find some great coffee shops and cafes right in Dumbo so treat yourself to a delicious coffee and treat as a reward to waking up so early.
I live on the Upper East Side so I’m fortunate that I live so close to central park. As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing better than a picnic with my girlfriends. Central Park has so many amazing locations and part of its charm is that as the seasons change, Central Park becomes beautiful in new ways. A warm winter day can be magical. Everything is in bloom in spring. Summer is perfect for the row boats. But my favorite season is fall where I can watch the leaves change from green to orange and getting to see all the fall colors.
Tip: If you head to Central Park before 9AM with a dog, they are free to run around most of the park off leash.
Grand Central Station is another iconic NYC building. It’s home to the Metro North Railroad and many of NYC’s subways come through the station. On top of the stunning main hall and pretty side rooms, Grand Central Station is an amazing place to get the classic Yellow Cab picture. Outside of Grand Central on 42nd Street is where I often take my yellow cab pictures because the area is a beacon for them.
Tip: If you want a quick bite to eat before heading to your next location, the food concourse downstairs in Grand Central has tons of options.
The Flatiron Building might be the most instagram-worthy building in all of NYC. It’s unique triangular shape and location at the southwestern corner of Madison Square Park make it the perfect backdrop for a picture from up close or from the park. It’s beauty always puts a smile on my face when I pass it.
Tip: If you’re asking a passerby to take a picture of you, make sure to ask them to try to get the entire building in the shot!
The Lower East Side is filled with Instagrammable locations but this is probably one of my favorites. The unique corner perfectly captures the grit and sparkle of NYC in one frame!
Tip: Take some time to wander around the neighborhood since there are many different angles to capture
Real New Yorkers use the subway to get around the city. A picture at a subway entrance is just as NYC as the classic yellow cab. I love finding a somewhat empty station and shooting my entrance/exit from the station.
Tip: The stations with standalone entrances from sidewalks generally look better than entrances attached to or very close to buildings.
The Vessel is the newest addition to the NYC icons list. The Vessel is right outside the new “mall” called Hudson Yards, though Hudson Yards isn’t your typical mall – it has 5-star restaurants and is full of super luxurious stores.The vessel is on the West Side of Manhattan but several trains will drop you right at the entrance.
Tip: Unlike some of the other things on this list The Vessel isn’t free; you will need to buy tickets if you plan to enter it. You can take pictures of it or use it as a backdrop from outside it for free.
In my opinion, Top of the Rock has hands down the best views of the NYC skyline. Top of the Rock is the observation deck at the top of Rockefeller Center though in some circles it’s better known as my favorite place to shoot!! I shoot at Top of the Rock at least once a month and I generally try to arrive first thing in the morning.
Tip: Make sure to buy tickets in advance. The earlier you go, the easier it is to get the shots you want!
The South Street Seaport is a hidden NYC gem. It’s right on the water and provides great views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges and often times there aren’t that many tourists!
Tip: The Seaport is right next to the Financial District so it’s easy to walk to the Stock Exchange, Liberty Place, World Trade Center or the 9/11 Memorial.