I’m urged to share an unpopular opinion so I’m just going to put it out there; shooting in New York can be a pain. It’s hard to find good spots that isn’t overrun with people. Sometimes I don’t mind having folks in the background, but often enough while shooting I like the focus to be on my outfit without anything distracting from that focus.
So since a couple of you asked, I figured I’d write down my tips and tricks for shooting in New York during the day.
- Timing is obvious but vital. Not just because of light, which is a key factor, but also because of the amount of people on the streets. New York is the city that never sleeps, so it’ll be hard to find a time that you would be out there by yourself completely. However, if you manage to get up early that is always the way to go, especially on the weekends! I live in the SoHo area and always manage to get good shots before 9.30AM.
- Rooftops: you can always take a good rooftop photo without too many people on it depending on the angle you take it in. Check if you apartment building has a rooftop (mine has one I can access, although we’re not supposed to go on there). Majority of the time hotels and airbnb addresses have one that you could use. Then you also have the option of shooting at public rooftops, like for example the one at the Indigo Lower East Side, The Ludlow Hotel (I don’t think it’s open to everyone but you might be able to get up there), the Wythe Hotel, The William Vale Hotel, The Hoxton Hotel.
- The West Village has a lot of cute streets with loads of photo opps, including a couple of streets that are usually quiet during the day. From the top of my head I would recommend Commerce Street, Gay Street or Minetta Street. Other more quiet areas are Tribeca, the Upper West Side and Upper East Side. Or try quaint areas like Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill or Clinton Hill. These areas usually aren’t too crowded with tourists and such.
- There are also some cute, photogenic spots that aren’t necessarily without people but can make for a good shot. These spots include Some cute photogenic, Lupe’s, Dante’s, Balthazar (cool for flash pics), Pastis and Cafe Colette just to name a few.
As a tourist, it’s obviously a must to get a picture for your photo album at all the famous spots this city has to offer. However, as a resident and a person who shoots content for a living, since day one I’ve made it my mission to find places to shoot at that aren’t necessarily recognisable. This way my content always stays unique and I get to I hope by giving away some of my favourite spots I’ve inspired you to branch out and explore the side of the city that is just as captivating.