Well, what do you know! A rare Saturday post! I was helping a client pick portrait locations yesterday, and since I sort of had this on the brain, I thought it would be a good idea to write about it. I’ve written several posts about choosing your ceremony location for your New York City elopement, and although I’ve encouraged you to think outside the box when it comes to choosing your portrait locations, I thought a list of ideas was finally in order.

The most important thing to remember is that this is about capturing you and your partner at this specific moment in your lives – not capturing NYC landmarks. We can capture the essence of your New York City elopement without having to have the Empire State Building in the background. New York City is a character in the story of your wedding, and we want that to be apparent, but it’s not the main character. You are! And you can trust that nobody will have a doubt that your elopement took place in New York City once they see my photographs. So I’m asking you to trust my artistic vision on this one a little bit. I promise you’ll love the results.

With all of that said, where should we go for portraits? Let’s break it down by borough!


  • Glen Span Arch in Central ParkI love Glen Span Arch and the area around it. I’ve never gotten to shoot here since so few of my clients want to venture that far uptown. I think Glen Span Arch would make a great ceremony site as well.
  • Riverside ParkI love this park, I love shooting on the water, and yet nobody ever picks this area. It’s such a great alternative to Central Park.
  • Morningside Heights: Morningside Heights is the neighborhood just above the Upper West Side, and it is really a beautiful area. I shot up here only once, early in my career, and I’ve been itching to go back. The Columbia campus itself is really lovely, and the neighborhood around it is just perfect.
  • Fort Tryon Park: This is sad, but I’ve never even been to Fort Tryon Park, let alone gotten to photograph up there. However I have seen some gorgeous photographs that friends have taken up there, and I would just love to shoot there myself.
  • Roosevelt IslandLet’s take the Roosevelt Island Tram over and then we can capture spectacular views of Manhattan and the East River from the island itself.
  • The East Village: Everyone always opts for portraits in the West Village, but I think the East Village is just as fantastic. Sure, it’s a little grungier, and little dirtier, but whenever I’m over here, I just love the photographs I’ve been able to create.


  • The Williamsburg WaterfrontI haven’t shot over here in years and years, but I always loved the photographs I captured there. I think it’s such a great alternative to Brooklyn Bridge Park/Brooklyn Promenade.
  • Prospect Parknever get to shoot here, and I love it! It’s just as beautiful as Central Park. And there are so many great ceremony site spots over here as well.
  • Pick a Neighborhood and let’s wander around: I love shooting in Brooklyn. The vibe is just so different than Manhattan. Pick a neighborhood and let’s wander around taking amazing portraits along the way. Some ideas – Red Hook, Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Greenpoint, Coney Island. (Side note: I am DYING to do a Coney Island sunrise elopement. Just putting that out there.)


  • Long Island City: This is my favorite neighborhood in Queens. I love shooting here.
  • Flushing Meadows Corona ParkI have only shot here once, and never for a wedding. There are great ceremony sites over here as well. I love this park.

The Bronx

  • City Island: I have never been, but I am dying to go up there, and I think it would be so fun to photograph portraits up there.

Staten Island

  • The Staten Island Ferry: Obviously.

I wish I knew of more places in Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. I know there must be gems out there, I just don’t know what they are yet. Let me know in the comments if you have some suggestions in the outer boroughs that I’ve missed! Hopefully this will give all my clients some ideas to get off the beaten path when it comes to their portraits.

new york city elopment