The photography guide to United States New York City
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New York City photography guide

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A photography guide to New York City requires no introduction really - it's a photographer’s city no matter what your interests.  There is something here for any type of photographer, whether it's sprawling cityscapes, futuristic architecture, the buzz and beautiful green spaces of Central Park, or simply capturing people and fashions on the street.

Even though sometimes you'll turn a corner one day and stumble across a spectacular moment or viewpoint, it can at times be overwhelming to plan a photography trip in such a major city. This guide pulls together some of the key locations in New York City, including Brooklyn and Manhattan. It will show you where and how to capture great shots of New Yorkers, as well as some of the most interesting viewpoints in the city plus give you some handy tips on how best to capture them. 

Most popular New York City photo spots


There's never a wrong time to visit NYC -  each season in New York has something unique to offer a photographer. In springtime, people are out and about enjoying the city and parks are lined with blossom trees. In summer, the city can be incredibly hot and many New Yorkers will escape to cooler areas so it can be quieter. In autumn the weather is usually perfect and you'll have the bonus of autumn colours in the parks and tree-lined avenues. In early winter, the Christmas spreads across the city; days may be crisp but nice, and the odd snowstorm will transform the city into a magical place you're lucky. February is usually brutally cold and the city naturally goes quiet but the snowstorms are epic!

If you’re a citizen of a country covered by the Visa Waiver Programme (such as the UK), you will need to have a valid e-Passport along with an approved ESTA to enter the USA. You can identify an e-Passport by the ‘chip’ symbol on the front cover.

You can apply for an ESTA online and should receive approval straight away, although we recommend applying at least 72 hours before departure, in case any travel authorisation is denied. An ESTA is valid for multiple journeys and lasts for two years, or until your passport expires.

In the city that never sleeps, it's easy to get anywhere, anytime, thanks to night-driving cabbies and trains around the clock. Hail a yellow cab by all means for the experience, and the subway has to be experienced, but getting around on foot is one of the most rewarding ways to explore.  

New York City is actually one of the safest big cities in the world. Visitors are constantly under the protection of the city's friendly and vigilant police force. Take the usual precautions you would in any big city, and be mindful of keeping your kit safe as you shoot. 

Currency: The US Dollar ($)

Credit Cards and Banks: ATMs are easy to find in the city, and most hotels, restaurants, and shops will accept credit cards.

Top Picks

Don't miss people watching! Pick any major street corner to hang out on and watch the the world go by you. This city moves so fast, it's good to slow down and take in your surroundings. By choosing a spot to wait in, you'll have time to prepare some amazing street shots. Times Square is the classic street photography location. 

Head to Manhattan Bridge for breathtaking views of the river and Lower Manhattan - this is particularly good at blue hour and early evening.

You can't go home without a shot of New York's most iconic landmark, the Statue of Liberty. Take a ferry to Staten Island for some close up views. Or take a look through this guide for some alternative viewpoints if you've got a good telephoto lens. 


Explore more photo spots in United States

If you want to explore beyond New York City, we have 1879 photo spots and 15 events that you can visit in United States.

Curated By

Jules Renahan Team
Love my family, my dog, travel, photography, PhotoHound, kickboxing, books & coffee - order of preference subject to change! I’m all about words, creating great partnerships with other photography-minded people and organisations and making sure many more photographers discover PhotoHound so we can explore and shoot this planet together but do so responsibly.
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VOJTa Herout Curator
"My photography is a reflection of my view of reality; a crop of the world around me I am a witness of..."
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