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New York: A Photography Guide To The Big Apple

lighted cable bridge near high-rise buildings

The votes are in. Earlier this month, international consultant group Resonance ranked New York City as the third-best city in the world for the second year in a row. 

While we feel it should be sitting right up there at number one, that’s still a grand achievement considering there are *quick Google search* over 10,000 cities in the world. 

And it’s a prime example of why NYC should be on your bucket list if you haven’t visited yet. 

Lovingly referred to as the “big apple”, this is a city that bears far more fruit than just an apple. It is a hotpot of excitement, adrenaline, diversity, beauty, and a whole lotta pizza -- seriously, Chicago ain't got nothin' on this!

But anyway, before we get into a pizza war, we’re going to look at why New York is so great with a photography guide.

We’ve talked about making an Instagram photo book from a lot of places, including Vatican City, Dubai, Florida, even Route 66, but New York City might take the cake when it comes to variety. 

Whether you’re traversing up the Statue of Liberty, having cocktails in a bank vault, or wandering the streets of Chinatown, there is so much to do and so much to see, to the point where it feels like you’re in several cities at once. 

So without further ado, let’s get into it:

Take The Classic Brooklyn Bridge Photo

We think it’s almost impossible to visit NYC without taking a picture of Brooklyn Bridge. This is one of the most famous bridges in the world, connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn across the picturesque East River. We should warn, the bridge gets pretty crowded, but it’s worth the crowds just to take a snap of the iconic architecture.

Rebel Against The Prohibition In East Village

When it comes to activities in New York, a lot of them will involve a bar of some kind, and we don’t think there’s a better bar in the city than Please Don’t Tell. Conceived as a throwback to speakeasy bars, this used to be the best kept secret in the city, until some people ruined it by posting pictures all over their Instagram feed – and to them, we’re eternally grateful. 

A great photo opportunity here involves the entrance, which is hidden in a phone booth of an adjacent hot dog store. There, you’re given instructions to dial 1 for reception, and then they’ll let you in. Just don’t tell anyone!

Feel The Buzz Of Times Square

One thing you certainly can talk about is Times Square, which is probably the most popular place in all of New York. Filled with neon lights and giant television screens, this really feels like the heart of the city, and it’s sure to light up any portfolio you're planning to upload to a photo book maker. What's more, if you want a bit of juxtaposition, Central Park is within walking distance, which means you can go from an urban wonderland to a natural paradise in just a few minutes!

Take In The World At One World Trade Center

We mentioned before that visiting NYC feels like you’re visiting several cities all at once, and this couldn’t be more powerfully demonstrated than at the top of One World Trade Center. At 1,268 feet up, you’ll have the opportunity to see for hundreds of miles, to the point where the city really feels like one whole world. 

Below the One World Trade Center, you can also visit the famous 9/11 memorial, with two gorgeous fountains standing in the footsteps of where the twin towers once stood. Nearby is also Grand Central Station, which is a great photo opportunity for those who love a bit of golden glitz.

Get Your Vogue On In Lower Manhattan

Lastly, we think the best way to experience and photograph New York is by simply exploring and staying spontaneous. We posted a blog a few weeks ago about some of the most iconic photos to learn from, and amongst our picks was the work done by Jean Shrimpton and David Bailey. 

During a photoshoot for Vogue, they were ordered to take fashion photographs beside famous landmarks, but instead of doing so, they walked the “plain streets” of Lower Manhattan and took them there instead. Nondescript, nothing special, and yet they were some of the most famous and beautiful fashion pictures ever taken. That’s how amazing Manhattan and New York really is. You can be anywhere and the magic of the city will always shine.


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