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. 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 Locations

Brooklyn Bridge Waterfront Wedding Party

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

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge Wedding WalkPro: 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

DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass)

Bride and Groom by mural on York Street in DUMBO 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

Manhattan Locations

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

Highline Park and Meat Packing District

Silhouette at the Highline at Sunset

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

Notes: Closed until further notice due to Covid-19

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

Central Park

Eloping couple get a serenade at the Bethesda FountainPro: 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

Times-Square & Theater District

Bride and Groom and Naked Cowboy in Times Square Pro: You can’t get more “New York” than this spot. Bonus if you like characters or the Naked Cowboy

Con: Everyone and their mother is there and the crowds can be intense

Notes: Embrace the crowds and general tourist vibe or don’t bother

Location: Between 42nd Street and 47th where 7th and Broadway intersect

Closest Subway: Times-Square 42nd Street 7,1/2/3, R/Q/R/W

West Village/Greenwich Village

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

Con: I can’t think of any.

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

Grand Central Terminal

Romantic Grand Central Terminal Wedding Day Portrait

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

Top of the Rock

Bride and Groom Kiss on the Viewing Deck of Top of The RockPro: Amazing views of the city from above. Staff have always been nice to my couples there.

Con: Each person must have a ticket and it takes about 20 mins to reach to top even with a ticket. Gets really crowded around sunset.

Notes: Tickets are timed entry, there is a faster VIP option

Location: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

Closest Subway: 47-50 Streets Rockefeller Center B/D/F/M

Flatiron/Madison Square Park

Spring Wedding Flatiron Building

Pro: An iconic building named for its clothes iron shape, easy stop when heading up or downtown

Con: Other than the small Madison Square Park, not much nearby in term of other photos

Notes: Near Eleven Madison Park, one of the top restaurants in the city

Location: 175 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

Closest Subway: 23rd Street R/W

Looking for more subtle NYC or alternative locations?

Learn more here.

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