New York City has many beautiful locations to take photographs, but oftentimes there are restrictions and permit fees. If you're not careful, you could get stopped mid-session and need to leave the premise—talk about a mood killer during your session!
If you're not interested in paying a permit fee to use a location, there are plenty of spots that are free. Here are my top 5 free locations for you to take your engagement photographs in or around New York City:
1. The Fire Island Lighthouse, Long Island
One of my favorite locations on Long Island. Though it is a bit of a drive from Manhattan, it's much closer than Montauk and The Hamptons and can still give you that beachy middle of nowhere vibe.
Generally not too crowded, with the north beach (the bay), the dunes, the lighthouse, and the south beach (the ocean) to choose from, there's plenty of variety for photographs!
2. Central Park, Manhattan
If you're looking to do your engagement photographs in the city, there are few spots more photogenic than Central Park.
Being such a large area, there's an opportunity for a lot of variety. Take a stroll through the park, or take a rowboat out on the lake. If you're looking to add a bit of variety to your photographs, we can take a walk down one of the streets nearby to get a more urban feel.
Some of my favorite locations to take pictures in Central Park:
- Bethesda Terrace
- Belvedere Castle
3. The Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO
Located in DUMBO (Down under the bridge), The Brooklyn Bridge is another great spot to photograph—but only early in the morning, around sunrise.
Later in the day, the bridge is too crowded for pictures and in general, the park around the bridge is crowded and impossible to be alone.
Trust me though when I say that waking up super early (and sometimes that means arriving around 5:30AM) to claim the Brooklyn Bridge all to your own is totally worth it.
4. Prosser Pines Long Island
Looking for a whimsical lost-in-the-forest feeling to your session? Prosser Pines Nature Preserve is the perfect spot!
Located in Middle Island, the tall Pine Trees look like nowhere else on Long Island. If you want an in the mountains nature look to your photographs, but don't want to travel upstate to do so, Prosser Pines is the perfect place!
5. The High Line, Manhattan
The Highline is a beautiful location located in the Meatpacking District. Originally an active train line, it is no longer and service and is now a beautiful walkway with lots of greenery.
One disadvantage of the High Line is it can get very crowded, especially on weekends. It's very difficult to feel alone—large groups of people casually stroll its path and oftentimes we may be asked to move along if groups of people gather to watch us take pictures.