New York City is one of the most photogenic cities in the United States. Capturing the bustling streets, the art deco architecture, and the cultural diversity of the city is a favorite pastime for visitors. Here are a few shots you won’t want to miss.

Empire State Building


Image via Flickr by greggjaden

Maybe it’s a cliché, but heading to the top of the Empire State Building is a quintessential New York City experience. The view is simply spectacular, and well worth the price of admission and the time you’ll spend in line. Enjoy the art deco interior and the communal experience at the top. The observation deck is open until 2 a.m., so you can make this your last stop for the night and miss the crowds.

Top of the Rock

If you want to capture the Empire State Building in your shot, one of the best locations is the Top of the Rock, a three-tier observation deck on top of the GE Building in Rockefeller Center. Tickets cost around $30, but if you visit in the evening you can catch some natural light shots, a spectacular sunset, and night vistas.

Central Park

Central Park makes a charming backdrop for selfies, group shots, and other photos of people. Nostalgic lampposts and arched bridges serve up a strong sense of place in the background without overshadowing your subject. Pro Tip: One of most popular locations to shoot is the terraces around Bethesda Fountain. One pro suggests shooting with your subject close to you and the fountain in the distance, filling the right third of the frame.

Brooklyn Bridge

Walking across the bridge is a favorite NYC tourist activity, and you’ll find some enticing snapshots of the city along the way. Once you get to Brooklyn Bridge Park on the other side, you’ll be able to shoot some glorious views of the lower Manhattan skyline between the bridges. The night views are especially spectacular, but they’re hard to capture with your phone unless you have a high-end model like T-Mobile’s LG V10 with a 16MP camera. The V10’s optical image stabilization can also help you get those hard to capture shots, while T-Mobile’s reliable network will have you sharing pictures from your trip with family and friends in no time.

Times Square

If you want to capture the diverse crowds that give New York City its special vibe as a bustling center of global business and tourism, head toward Times Square. Dusk is the best time to shoot so you can capture both the crowds of people and the Square’s famous sea of neon lights.

Grand Central Station

Another place to capture the sense of energy and movement that make The Big Apple unique is Grand Central Station. The city’s train station is so full of vibrant energy, its name has become synonymous as a “place with lots of people coming and going.” The ceiling, the arched windows, and the central clock are all popular features to capture. If you hold your camera low, you can frame the central clock with the arched windows behind it.

Statue of Liberty

Lady Liberty is a symbol of both New York City and America’s history of immigration. The best place to shoot photos of the statue is from the Staten Island Ferry. Catch a selfie from the starboard side of the boat with the statue in the distance. The lighting on the statue will be best in the morning, but if you come in the evening you could get lucky and catch some spectacular backlighting effects.

Radio City Music Hall

You need at least one street shot with taxis in your NYC collection, and Radio City Music Hall is the perfect spot to catch that shot, especially in the evening or at dusk, when the neon is aglow. You’ll also enjoy shooting the statues in Rockefeller Center across the street.

New York City is an overwhelming place, so it’s a good idea to start out with a clearly prioritized list of the attractions you want to visit and the photos you want to capture. Don’t forget to put your camera down and let go of your agenda, too. Walking the city streets and soaking up the atmosphere is an experience that photos can’t capture.