Iconic NYC Portrait Locations

If you are dreaming of the most iconic NYC backgrounds to take wedding, elopement or engagement photos, then look no further. This is the list. Each listing includes pros and cons, notes, and travel info for my favorite locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan. None of these locations require a fee or permit. There are many locations in NYC, and if you don't see what you are looking for, just ask!

Looking for more subtle NYC or alternative locations? Learn more here.

Brooklyn Portrait Locations

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Pro: Best location for skyline of lower Manhattan and catching the sunset in Brooklyn

Con: Sometimes crowded, can be really hot in peak Summer and very cold and windy in Winter

Notes: Check sunset times to plan to be there if you desire to view it. Lots of other great photo locations nearby.

Location: 2 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Closest Subway: High Street A/C/E or York Street F

Pro: Iconic experience and location accessible from Manhattan and Brooklyn

Con: Almost always crowded on the bridge, plan at least 30 mins for photos on the bridge

Notes: Bridge can also be photographed in the background on both sides on the DUMBO waterfront or from Manhattan

Location: enter near Cadman Plaza, at Washington and Prospect Streets 

Closest Subway: High Street A/C/E or York Street F

Brooklyn Bridge

DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass)

Pro: Many locations nearby like Jane’s Carousel, BQE Murals, Manhattan Bridge, great restaurants for post session bites

Con: Can be crowded, lots of tourists

Notes: One of the best places in the city to get skyline views, waterfront parks, and more industrial architecture

Location: Brooklyn Waterfront between Brooklyn Heights and Vinegar Hill

Closest Subway: High Street A/C/E or York Street F

Brooklyn Heights

Pro: Great location for skyline of lower Manhattan via promenade and sunsets, explore a real Brooklyn neighborhood

Con: Usually we need a cab from DUMBO to get here, but can walk from Brooklyn Bridge Park

Notes: Check sunset times to plan to be there if you desire to view it. Lots of other great photo locations nearby.

Location: Brooklyn, just north of Downtown area along the East River. 10 mins from Brooklyn Marriage Bureau

Closest Subway: High Street A/C/E, Court Street R, Borough Hall 2/3

City Hall Park Area

Pro: Many beautiful buildings like the neoclassical Supreme Court, Manhattan Borough Hall, City Hall Subway Station and New York City Hall and Park all within 5 mins walk from Manhattan Marriage Bureau. Additionally, access the Manhattan end of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Con: Not the most iconic of areas to tourists, but also offers views of the Brooklyn Bridge

Notes: An excellent option for a City Hall wedding if travel isn’t desired

Location: City Hall Park, New York, NY 10007

Closest Subway: Brooklyn Bridge City Hall 4/5/6 or J/Z, Chambers St A/C, Park Place 2/3

Pro: Unique above ground park with modern design offering views of New York neighborhoods along its route

Con: Can be crowded and some parts are narrow making photography  difficult

Location: Runs from W 12th Street to W 34th between 10th and 11th Avenues

Closest Subway: A/C/E, L at 14th Street and 8th Avenue

Highline Park and Meat Packing District

Manhattan Portrait Locations

Central Park

Pro: The quintessential New York backdrop for photos. Many different areas and iconic landmarks to include in photos

Con: Requires lots of walking, few options for shelter on rainy or cold days, can be very crowded

Notes: Permits for weddings at popular locations can be applied for at least 30 days in advance. Go early in the day to avoid crowds.

Location: South end borders 59th Street, North end at 110th Street, runs between 5th Ave and Central Park West

Closest Subway: Numerous, but my favorites are Columbus Circle, 1/2, A/B/C/D , 72nd Street & 81st Streets C/B, 5th Ave R/N/W 

Pro: Classic New York low-rise neighborhoods. Sex and the City famous tree lined streets. Charming brownstones.

Con: I can’t think of any. Tourists? 

Notes: Great area for stopping for cupcakes and can be easily paired with the Highline area

Location: Roughly West of Broadway, south of 14th Street and North of Houston, bounded by the Hudson River to the East.

Closest Subway: A/C/E, L at 14th Street and 8th Avenue, Christopher Street 1 and PATH 

West Village and Greenwich Village

Grand Central Terminal

Pro: Iconic train station with massive terminal ideal for photos

Con: Crowded, but not always a bad thing

Notes: An excellent last minute stop in case of bad weather. 4/5/6 subway trains go close to the Manhattan Marriage Bureau.

Location: 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

Closest Subway: Grand Central 42nd Street 4/5/6/7/S