New York is a buzzing metropolis, located between the Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean. The city that never sleeps is densely populated with skyscrapers and iconic buildings. It’s known as the home of worker bees and the place where young professionals go to make their fortune.
But that’s not all that the city is good for. It has a concrete jungle type aesthetic appeal that’s hard to resist for those with a creative eye. So if you’re looking to take some artsy city photos, you don’t have to go on a helicopter tour to capture them, New York is the place to go.
Best New York Backgrounds for Instagram Photos
If you’re looking to capture the aesthetic NYC has to offer, then this is the perfect guide for you. Grab your favourite camera for Instagram and head to these awe-inspiring locations. Let this post help you to discover the very best places in NYC to take photos for your Instagram account.
The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge has become a New York City icon and connects Brooklyn to New York City. It’s arguably one of the best places to take in the NYC skyline and see all of the most famous buildings in the city.
From the pedestrian bridge, you can take in views of downtown and midtown New York, but the bridge itself is also rather magnificent, so taking a picture of both is recommended. The best spot to take a photo of the bridge is right in the middle, where the symmetrical cables create the perfect photo composition.
Tip: If you’re looking to take a jaw-dropping photo of Brooklyn Bridge, you’ll need to get up at the crack of dawn and head to the bridge before anyone else gets there. If you venture to the bridge before sunrise, you’ll likely be the only person on the bridge – which gives you a lot more creative freedom with your photos.
Central Park is one of the few places in the city where you can escape the hustle and bustle of New York. It also provides plenty of beautiful photo opportunities, so be sure to bring your camera bag along for the journey.
The park is composed of 840 acres of nature, while still being surrounded by skyscrapers, making it an ideal place to take incredible pics of New York. While you can indulge yourself with the many photo opportunities provided throughout sprawling natural surrounds, there are a few spots that tend to draw photographers and travel bloggers alike.
Bethesda Terrace and Bethesda Fountain are a firm favourite amongst those looking to take iconic pictures of New York, so be sure to stop for a quick photoshoot by the fountain.
Tip: While Central Park is busy most hours of the day, it’s best to head there in the early morning, when you’ll find mainly runners and joggers in the park. They are least likely to disturb your photo, so try to get there before the crowds head in around lunchtime.
Grand Central Station
There’s not a traveller alive who hasn’t heard of the iconic Grand Central Station, and there’s a good reason for that. The grand architecture of the building is almost instantly recognisable for its long windows and high ceiling.
There are a couple of ways to capture the perfect shot of Grand Central Station. One way would be to head to the location at night and wait for a moment when the station is relatively empty for a spooky-looking aesthetic New York photo.
Alternatively, you could head to Grand Central Station during the day and take a long exposure shot of the station. This will capture the busy lives of commuters scuttling through the station and give viewers a realistic expectation of what the iconic station is really like.
What location is tied to the idea of New York more than Times Square? None. It’s a great place for night photography with the hustle and bustle of people crossing the street and the neon lights and advertisements that light up the background.
If you truly want a photo that encompasses what New York is all about, it’s going to be taken in Times Square. But daytime photography is also possible in Times Square, just be sure to get to the famed location during golden hour for the best lighting.
While you’re in Times Square you should also head to the Rockefeller Centre. There you can head to the top of the building to enjoy views of the city skyline and views of the famed Empire State Building. While some tourists prefer to head to the top of the Empire State Building, they miss out on the chance to capture the Empire State Building in their city skyline photos – and after all, isn’t it the building that makes these NYC photos so iconic?
The Morgan Library
The Morgan Library is an often missed attraction by bloggers and Instagram influencers in New York. This hidden gem was built with intricate architecture and features murals on the ceiling and walls. The old-timey feel of the library makes it a perfect setting for unique photos of New York.
The library is home to an impressive collection of artefacts and manuscripts, so you could spend hours browsing through the shelves. But if a simple photo opportunity is what you’re after, it won’t take you long to capture the essence of this grand building.
Tip: The Morgan Library doesn’t allow you to take a tripod inside, so you will need to capture the perfect shot using a handheld camera or your phone. If you have a steady hand, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Staten Island is the best place to go if you’re wanting to capture an image of the famous New York landmark, the Statue of Liberty. Many travellers feel disappointed when they first see the statue from Manhatten, but their impressions are soon changed when they see the famed figure from Staten Island.
While Staten Island is one of the best places in New York to see the Statue of Liberty, it has a lot more to offer in terms of photo opportunities. For one, the ferry ride from NYC to Staten Island allows you to take a multitude of photos from the perspective of the water.
You can also head to the botanical gardens, the famed Yankee Stadium, the botanic gardens or one of Staten Islands beautiful beaches. With so many photographic moments to capture on Staten Island, it’s a trip not to be missed during your time in New York City.
One World Trade
After disaster struck the World Trade Centre, One World Trade was just one of the buildings erected to replace it. The building is the tallest in the Western Hemisphere, and towers above all the other skyscrapers in New York – which is quite something!
If you head to the very top of the building you’ll find the observatory, where you can appreciate and photograph breathtaking views over the city of New York. The building stands an impressive 546 metres from the ground, so you are in for a real treat.
But heading to the top of the building is not the only way you can get a spectacular New York Instagram photo. The outside panelling of the building is made of mirrored glass, which means it creates some incredible reflections. If you stand at the base of the building and point your camera upwards, you are sure to capture a NY city image you won’t soon forget.
St Patrick’s Cathedral
The St Patrick’s Cathedral is a stark contrast to the rest of the modern city with its Neo-Gothic Architecture. The building is located opposite the Rockefeller Centre and is best photographed at night. This is because the dusk of the evening sets a perfect backdrop while soft lighting is set on the beautiful cathedral.
The intricate spires stretch up to the sky and create an eerie setting for your photograph. This is especially true in the winter months when the surrounding trees lose their leaves. If your trip to New York coincides with the winter months, you’re in for a real treat.
If you’re hoping to kill two birds with one stone, The Chelsea Market is a must-stop location in your search for the best places to go in New York for photos. You’ll have the chance to feast on your eyes as well as your belly.
The Chelsea Market is a food hall that offers the perfect opportunity for street photography in New York. It is always bustling with people but offers an aesthetic charm that would be a crime to pass upon.
Plus, when you get tired of capturing shots of the interesting people of New York, you can indulge yourself with your choice of cuisine, as the options are quite literally endless. If you’re looking for interesting aspects to incorporate into your photos, there are neon signs, cute posters, and quaint shops that all make for wonderful backdrops for Instagram photos.
The New York Stock Exchange
Of course, the New York Stock Exchange makes the list of the best places to see in New York. It’s been in multiple BoxOffice movies and with just one glimpse it’s easy to see why. The building is located in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan and has incredibly intricate architecture.
The architect used Classical Revival architecture to really bring the building to life, as it looks like it is straight out of the Roman era. With long pillars and intricate sculptures, it truly does make for a wonderful place to take photos.
The Flatiron Building
The Flatiron Building is one of the most photographed buildings in the world and bears resemblance to the Flat Iron Building in the UK, one of the best London landmarks. If you head down to Fifth Avenue, you’ll see why this building is such a firm favourite.
This triangular, 22 storey building is incredibly unique and can work as both the centrepiece or the background to your photo. This building also has intricate architecture, making for a picturesque view from just about any angle.
The High Line
The High Line was once a train track that was used by commuters to get from place to place. But when the rail went out of commission, the track started to crumble, making it a useless part of the city. But New Yorkers are used to changing and adapting The High Line to turn it into a pedestrian walkway.
The High Line runs from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street 12th Avenue. There are many great spots to stop and take photos along the way, providing great views of some of New Yorks most loved landmarks.
You’ll get a chance to photograph the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, as well as the streets of Manhattan from a slightly different perspective. All while getting out in the city and walking off those extra holiday carbs.
The Loeb Boathouse
The Loeb Boathouse is a restaurant located on the edge of a lake in Central Park. The outdoor terrace bar is located right on the water and is shrouded in luscious green trees on either side.
While it is highly recommended that you stop by for a bite to eat at the Loeb Boathouse, taking pictures of it and its beautiful natural surroundings is a must. The location has been featured in more than a few movies, making it both an iconic and incredibly picturesque location to photograph.
Best New York Image Locations
If you’re hoping to capture a couple of breathtaking New York City pictures during your stay, then the locations listed above are the best places to go. Not only will you go home with a memory card full of snaps of the famed NYC skyline, but you’ll get a few unique pictures of New York City too.
Are you ready to post some jaw-dropping highlights of your trip to NYC? Follow the guide above, and you’re guaranteed to capture a winning shot!