Best engagement session locations in New York City - Brooklyn. Photo by OkCrowe Photography. 

April 30, 2024

12 Perfect Locations for Your Engagement Session in New York City

With its iconic skyline, vibrant streets, and diverse neighborhoods, New York City is full of places perfect for holding your engagement session. No matter what your style or inspiration for your session is, there is bound to be a place within the city that perfectly fits you and your partner. Then, it simply comes down to finding it. To help you choose, here are some of my favorite places for a New York City engagement session.

Best engagement session locations in New York City - Brooklyn. Photo by OkCrowe Photography. 

Capturing the Perfect NYC Photos

When it comes to iconic places around the world, New York City is definitely high on that list. Between movies and TV shows, it’s a city that’s well-known to just about everyone. It only makes sense that couples would want to capture that same cinematic romance for their own engagement photos. 

As amazing as it would be to capture all the beautiful spaces NYC has to offer, there’s just not enough time in the day. Thankfully, no matter what style or vibe you’re going for, there’s sure to be one perfect location that we can cover within one session. I’ve narrowed it down to 12 of my favorite places to photograph in New York City, which capture the romance and iconic look of the City that Never Sleeps.

1. Central Park

Central Park is the most famous New York City photography location in general, but it’s also the quintessential NYC spot for capturing those dreamy, romantic, movie-quality photos. As the largest public park in Manhattan, there are several locations to choose from for your engagement shoot. 

Popular choices include the Bethesda Terrace Arcade and Fountain, the Mall and the Literary Walk, and Bow Bridge. Even though it’s now closed, the historic Loeb Boathouse’s restaurant and lake is a short walk away from Bethesda Terrace and is still a beautiful place to snap a few pictures in. Of course, the park also has plenty of quiet, green spaces for a beautiful forest or garden session, and if you’re feeling more playful, you can even purchase tickets to the Central Park Zoo and take engagement photos with your favorite animals!

2. Washington Square Park

Located in Greenwich Village and normally filled with NYU students, Washington Square Park is a great location for a classic NYC engagement session. The Washington Square Arch and fountain are prominent features of the park that are easily recognizable and make for a striking background for photos. Plus, there are plenty of benches and grassy fields to cuddle up for those cute and romantic shots.

3. Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station is a major commuter hub of the city and makes a great rainy-day location for your session. Plus, it’s one of the city’s most stunning architectural wonders! However, no matter what time of day it is, chances are it will always be crowded with tourists and commuters alike. It might be tricky, but we can work around the crowds to get the photos you’re looking for.

4. Upper East Side

The Upper East Side has long since been known as one of NYC’s most affluent neighborhoods. Not only is it full of historic charm, it’s also home to Fifth Avenue, Museum Mile, and many of the city’s most famous hotels. Even just a stroll through the Upper East Side’s beautiful tree-lined streets would create an engagement session filled with refinement and class. 

If you’re looking to add a bit of historic architecture to your session, the MET is one of my favorite spots along Museum Mile. While photo sessions inside the museum aren’t permitted, the grand front steps are always an amazing location to take photos. Plus, it’s right next to Central Park and makes a great add-on to close out a Central Park engagement session.

5. New York Public Library

Not only is the New York Public Library perfect for engagement photos, but it’s also one of NYC’s most popular wedding venues! Photos at the NYPL are best taken early in the morning to beat the crowds. However, with the sweeping entrance, the Library Lions, and Bryant Park in the background, this famous site has all of the ingredients of a NYC photoshoot in one location!

6. Astoria Park

Beneath the Robert F. Kennedy and Hell Gate Bridges, Astoria Park is 60 acres of stunning green space in Queens. As the heart of the borough’s recreation activities, such as NYC’s oldest swimming pool, the park can get fairly crowded at times. However, no matter what time your Astoria Park engagement session is planned for, it’s easy to find little pockets of privacy to snap romantic photos along the winding pathways or by the East River with the iconic bridges and city skyline in the background.

7. South Street Seaport

For couples looking for a more laid back session with a historic feel, South Street Seaport is the perfect place. Imagine taking a stroll down quiet cobblestone streets lined with old brick buildings, then heading to the harbor to walk along the boats with the East River in the background.

8. Brooklyn

As New York City’s most populated borough, Brooklyn always makes a fantastic destination for an engagement shoot. Brooklyn is filled with picturesque streets to walk down lined with looming trees and brownstones or colorful art murals to cover both a casual look and a more urban vibe for your session. There are also plenty of well-known spaces in Brooklyn to really capture that New York feel. 

A Brooklyn engagement session wouldn’t be complete without a few photos on the Brooklyn Bridge. This architectural feat is best photographed at sunrise when there is the least foot traffic and the sun casts a warm glow across the bridge as it rises. 

The DUMBO section of Brooklyn features the Brooklyn Bridge Park, which has fantastic waterfront views of the Manhattan skyline as well as the famous Washington Street shot of the Manhattan Bridge. 

Prospect Park features all of the natural beauty of Central Park without the crowds of tourists filling the walkways. It also includes the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which is the best place in the city to see cherry blossoms in the spring. 

For a totally different look, you can also head to Coney Island for a fun and exciting engagement session either on the beach or in the Coney Island amusement park!

9. SoHo

If you’re going for a definite urban look for your New York City engagement session, SoHo is the place you’ll want to be. With its artsy and colorful buildings lining the bustling streets and plenty of cafes and shops to play around with, SoHo’s fashionable vibe has a look to suit every couple. You’ll find plenty of cobblestone streets, cute cafes, boutique shops, and upscale hotels to use for a variety of different backdrops to get an all-around classic city feel. 

10. West Village

Arguably one of the most romantic neighborhoods in New York City, the West Village is best known for its artsy, alternative, and eclectic vibe. Its picturesque charm has lured artists, writers, and musicians for decades, including Allen Ginsberg, Dylan Thomas, Jack Kerouac, and Bob Dylan. It’s also home to the Stonewall Inn, a prominent landmark of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and Washington Square Park, where you can still find artists and musicians performing every day. 

Between the historic colonial brownstones, tree-lined and cobblestoned streets, and bohemian ambiance, the West Village is the perfect place to simply wander around and soak up the dreamy charm of the neighborhood. Or, with adorable independent shops, cafes, bars, and bookstores, it could be the perfect place to turn your engagement session into a cute date so you can relax knowing you’ll get the most adorable candid shots of you and your partner simply being yourselves

11. Top of the Rock

You might immediately think of the Empire State Building observatory for capturing the best view of the city during your engagement session. However, the view from the Top of the Rock is truly unmatched. Not only can you get unobstructed panoramic views of the entire city, including downtown, Central Park, and the Freedom Tower, you’ll also get the Empire State Building itself, which is perfect for capturing the perfect skyline shot. 

Tickets to the Top of the Rock can be a little pricey, depending on the time you choose. My best tip is to book early because it gets the busiest closest to sunset. Then, after your session on the observation deck, we can head down to Rockefeller Center to close out your session near the skating rink!

12. Your NYC Apartment!

Finally, if you live in New York City, one of the best places to capture engagement photos that truly tell your story is in your NYC apartment itself. Going out and about is a lot of fun, but chances are your relationship grew right there within the walls of where you live. Then afterward, we can take a walk around your neighborhood and hit up all of your favorite haunts, whether it’s a bar or your favorite pizza shop – anything to really get your story told.

Are you newly engaged and living in or around New York City? I would be honored to shoot your engagement session!

Hey there! I’m Rachael Crowe of OkCrowe Photography. I’m a wedding photographer based in New York City – though I’m more than willing to travel to wherever it is that your love story takes place! I absolutely love shooting engagement sessions, and with so many places to choose from, every NYC engagement session is unique. I’m always available to help my couples find the perfect session location that fits their personalities and styles. Just head to my contact page to reach out and I can help you create the NYC engagement session of your dreams!

Best engagement session locations in New York City - your apartment & neighborhood. Photo by OkCrowe Photography. 

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