Avoiding These Overrated NYC Sites for Your Photographs. Discover the 4 most overrated places for a photo shoot in New York City.
This article has been written by Angelica Roberts, photographer based in New York City.
As an international wedding and engagement photographer based in New York City, I often get asked: “What are the best Big Apple locations to use photograph backdrops?” Ugh – what a difficult question. The city has such a variety of iconic, fabulous locations and clients tastes vary.
Before a list of A+ locations rolls from my lips, I highlight a handful of sites that are some combination of overused, overrated, non-photogenic or difficult to physically photograph. The client is free to choose any and all of these B-list destinations, and their art will be beautiful, but I feel that it is my responsibility to educate them on the city that I typically know better than them.
So, I thought I’d write two short blog pieces on the worst and best places in New York City to get photographed. Although the following may be excellent places to visit, they may not be overly desirable as a spot for your pictures.
- Time Square
A popular request of out of town clients who wish to have themselves pictured against the background the sparkling lights, street performances, and Disney characters. Time Square has all of these things and more but is so crowded with tourists and other photographers that photos often lack uniqueness and artistic flair. For anyone who does not mind to have a group shot with a thousand random visitors, go for it.
- The Statue of Liberty
Another common request. The problem is that Lady Liberty is so massive that on-site pictures often end up with a great view of the woman in green with a less distinguished, hard to identify subject standing in front of her. Or, you may get a super subject photo against the background of a green blob or a sign indicating the location. Another option is to take a picture from a ferry on the Lower Hudson Harbor – you guessed it, the wind, ferry speed, and limited time for good angle shots all pose significant challenges.
- The “Imagine” Mosaic
Strawberry Fields is a 2.5-acre area of Central Park West that pays tribute to the late Beatle, John Lennon, singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist. Within these beautiful grounds lies a small circular mosaic of inlaid stones, with a single word, the title of Lennon’s famous song: “Imagine.” Many have seen the iconic picture of a rose lying on the mosaic many times and dreamed of going there. Many did not have included in their thoughts 1) the long line to get to the tile and 2) its relatively small size (possibly diameter of 30 feet or so). For people who love John Lennon and Yoko Uno, I am sure they wouldn’t mind you skipping the line. Peace out.
- Top of the Rock
Way, way to “touristy.” Overcrowded. Long, long lines. If you happen to get five seconds that are somehow free of 100s of background tourists, you must nail the photo by not blowing out the stunning city view background while focusing on the subject face and not losing the city view in the dark by flashing on the face after dark. Too – good luck getting rid of the excited tourists to take a memorable panoramic shot.
OK, that wraps up my thoughts on sites to possibly avoid for professional artistic photographs. In an upcoming part two blog post, I will discuss some of my favorite NYC spots for photographs.