My training for The 2018 TCS New York City Marathon, has led me to discover many gorgeous spots in and around Manhattan. This year's long training runs (that go up to 15, 18, and 20 miles ) became the perfect chance to change up the scenery. There are only so many loops you can run of the outer circle of Central Park before you feel like a character in Groundhog Day.
Plus, I'll use any opportunity for a scouting adventure!
Many of these locations are the backdrop for my Summer's End Petite Sessions. My families and I are having so much fun capturing memories in these spots!
I have lived in New York City for over a decade, and I am just learning all of its secrets - totally embarrassing! Here is a list of my favorite old and new locations to hold sessions at.
In Central Park:
This Victorian cast iron bridge is known for attracting romantics. You are bound to walk up on an engagement or wedding photo session whenever you visit Bow Bridge. The view from here of Fifth Avenue and Central Park West is spectacular! With its close proximity to The Ramble, this location is a dream.
Escape the hustle and bustle of New York with a journey through The Ramble. The Ramble is a gem with its cloak of dense vegetation, serpentine trails and streams, and ancient boulders. Nature, wildlife, and tranquillity melt away the City. The Ramble is an all-time preferred location for family photo shoots.
Photography Tips: The Magic Hour light cascading through the foliage produces a magical look. Bring along a reflector to fill in shadows or bump up your ISO if you need a bit more control of light.
With 20+ arches throughout around Central Park, you are guaranteed to spot at least one. For family sessions, a silhouette shot under a bridge is a must! When a client requests a session be held in the North Woods, I always make sure we make our way to Glen Span Arch (West 102nd Street). Built around 1865 by Calvert Vaux Stone arch is perhaps the most majestic and ominous arch in the park, covering a shadowed, quiet path beside a gentle stream.
Photography Tip: the echoes under almost all the arches are fantastic! If you are losing the attention of some of your younger kiddos during a shoot ask that they stand, yell, or jump in the middle under an arch. Make a game of it. You'll regain their attention, and such silhouette shots are very forgiving with your subject does not want to cooperate.
The Bethesda Fountain is the central point of Bethesda Terrace. Iconic and rich in history the elegant, eight-foot fountain was the only statue called for in the original design of the park. I have families regularly request that the sessions be held here. Bethesda Fountain is also a favorite spot amongst locals and tourists.
Photography Tip: If you want to experience the elegance and tranquility early morning just after sunrise is the best time.
The High Line
After decades of neglect, the High Line was destined for demolition by Mayor Giuliani, one of his last acts in office. Luckily, few of individuals saw the beauty and thriving wild plants that had secretly taken over the structure. In 1999, Joshua David and Robert Hammond founded Friends of the High Line, a non-profit conservancy, to advocate for its preservation and reuse as a public space. Since the rebirth of the Hire Line, it has become a global inspiration for cities to convert abandoned industrial zones into vibrant common gardens and areas. Walking from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street 12th Avenue, these are spectacular photo opportunities!
Photography Tip: The sunsets are spectacular from the High Line! Combine the Magic Hour and a High Line garden, and you have the most beautiful and fun setting for an Unscripted Life Session
The Cloisters & Fort Tryon Park
A short journey uptown, and you will be in left in awe as you meander through The Met's Cloisters and the surrounding For Tryon park. The medieval-themed museum and monastery transports visitors to another world. The building contains architecture elements and settings relocated mostly from four French abbeys, which between 1934 and 1939 were transported, reconstructed and integrated with new buildings.
Fort Tryon Park alone is home to greenery and gardens that are beautiful settings for any photo shoot. With less foot traffic than Central Park, you are guaranteed to get lost in capturing stunning moments of your clients! Make sure to visit the Billings Estate tunnel in For Tryon Park during your visit. The tunnel is an enormous enclosure that filters light beautifully and will help eliminate any photo failures.
Stay tuned for a follow up blog with more stunning locations soon!
Now go out, explore, create, and discover! Please share with us your favorite New York City locations in the comment section below.