In a city with a thousand romantic spots for engagement photos (if not more!), you’re totally spoiled for choice. But when so many of those beautiful places are crammed into one small area, well, that just makes us jump around with excitement. We’re talking about Central Park, in case you hadn’t guessed yet. This incredible park really does have it all– you can’t go wrong with choosing the park for your engagement shoot. Here’s our ultimate guide to planning your Central Park engagement photos.
In a city where the high-rise building rules, it might seem surprising to think of a beauty spot among all that grey. But Central Park puts a very green stamp on NYC. At around 840 acres in size, it runs from 59th Street right up to 110th.
It’s not actually New York’s biggest park, though. But we think it’s super impressive given its location right in the middle of Manhattan.
As much as we’d love to capture your love in every part of the park, with seven bodies of water and more than 50 miles of pathway, it’s unlikely we’ll manage it! But we do know some beautiful areas all within close walking distance of each other. So, keep reading to find out our recommendations.
Central Park is located in the heart of Manhattan. It was established in 1857 and covers 843 acres. The park features vast open spaces, wooded areas, lakes and ponds, bridges and arches, and a variety of monuments and sculptures. Central Park is also home to a large population of birds and animals.
The design of Central Park was heavily influenced by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. Olmsted and Vaux were hired to design the park in 1857, and their original plan called for a pastoral landscape with rolling hills, meadows, and lakes. The park was eventually completed in 1873, and it quickly became a popular destination for recreation.
The park is now managed by the Central Park Conservancy, an organization that was formed in 1980 by a group of private citizens. The Conservancy works with the city to maintain the natural features of the park and also organizes various cultural events throughout the year.
Central Park’s popularity has continued to grow over time and it is now one of the most-visited sites in New York City, attracting more than 35 million visitors a year.
As with many of the big attractions in New York City, Central Park is a popular spot for tourists and locals. There are many areas that are popular with visitors, so avoiding people in the background of your shots is not always going to be possible.
For that reason, we’ll always recommend planning your engagement session at quieter times of the day. Sunrise or early morning is definitely one of the more peaceful times of day to visit. You could also consider having a weekday shoot instead of at the weekend, as it’ll always be less crowded then.
As we mentioned already, the park is vast. There’s no way we’re going to be able to cover all locations of the park in a single shoot, but we can still manage quite a bit if you’re happy to get your comfy shoes on and get walking! Of course, bring along your heels, but you should also bring along something more comfortable for getting between places. We want you to leave with a bunch of romantic and stunning photographs, not blisters on your feet!
You may not love waking up early, but when you see the results of early morning engagement photos in Central Park, you’ll be glad you did! There are several reasons why morning is the best time for photos in this iconic location.
1) The park is much less crowded. This means that you’ll have more space to roam around and take photos without having to worry about people walking in front of your camera or bothering you.
2) The light is very soft and flattering, making the location look amazing!
3) Shadows are long at this time of day, giving your photos a beautiful effect
4) You’ll get great photos when the sun is coming up before it becomes too bright
5) There are so many different places to take photos in Central Park, so you’ll never run out of ideas!
The truthful answer is, we can’t decide! You could literally come back to the same spot in all seasons and find something beautiful and different to photograph each time.
Of course, with all those trees, fall is definitely a favorite. But spring, with the blossoms blooming, is quite something too! And, for glorious sunny days, you can’t beat summer. While a snowy winter’s day, when the trees are bare, is super pretty too.
Nope, we’re no help here, are we?!
Whatever time of year you decide on, make sure you dress for the occasion. Find out more about what to wear for your Central Park engagement photos here.
And if there’s a little rain, we don’t let that stop us! Grab an umbrella, and we’ll do the rest. Because kissing in the rain in the middle of Central Park has got to be top 5 on our list of most romantic things to do as a couple, right?
There is truthfully no best time to take photos in Central Park because it’s always beautiful. Every season offers something slightly different, but fall is especially beautiful with the changing of the leaves!
Spring in Central Park offers cherry blossoms and a chance to see the park in a new light. Summertime is definitely the busiest time in Central Park, but also the most rewarding when you can get that perfect shot without any people in it! Wintertime often yields the most snow, giving a beautiful backdrop to your photos!
Whatever season you choose, Central Park can and will provide the perfect backdrop for your engagement photos. Our photographers only take the best shots and we love to help you bring out your personality in each and every photo!
As New York wedding photographers, we’ve scouted out a ton of awesome locations in Central Park. Whether you’re looking to have a destination wedding in NYC or capture gorgeous cherry blossoms, we’ve got great ideas for your special day.
A perfect and versatile location for both wedding photography on the big day and your engagement photo shoot, we love capturing photos in New York’s landmark park. For iconic, cinematic engagement and wedding photos, check out these gorgeous locations in Central Park.
Located at 62nd Street, this picturesque stone bridge is one of the first spots you’ll come to when you enter the park from the southeast corner. It spans the Lake’s neck and has super pretty views of the New York skyline behind it.
It’s a very popular spot and gets a lot of foot traffic! But we know a few lovely angles to shoot at from around the bridge, and we’ll always do our best to make it look as magical as it does in real life.
Bethesda Terrace is one of the prettiest stone structures around. Overlooking the Lake, it stands at the end of The Mall. These grand arches and the long staircases make the most stunning background for engagement photos. And we haven’t even started with the space under the terrace, which is definitely not to be ignored. The Minton tiled ceilings in here are so special and breathtaking to see. PHOTOGRAPHY NERD ALERT! The light is something quite special here, too.
Like many places in the park, this is a favored spot for Central Park engagement photos. If we don’t have an early morning or weekday shoot planned, then do be prepared to wait your turn to head inside for photos!
There’s also the lovely Bethesda Fountain here. In the summer, this area feels reminiscent of a city somewhere in Europe. Perching by the fountain is a beautiful way to get some snuggly shots of the two of you, as well as letting you both rest your feet for a few minutes.
The Mall is Central Park’s only walkway that runs in a straight line. It’s a quarter of a mile long and is lined with beautiful American Elm trees, which are glorious in summer and fall.
Starting at Bethesda Terrace, it finishes up in an area with lots of statues of famous writers. This is where it gets the name Literary Walk from. So, if you’re a literary buff, a writer or someone who loves a good book, we can’t think of a lovelier spot to include in your Central Park engagement session.
The Mall is also a lovely area to get those sweeping shots with the walkway disappearing off behind you and the trees all around. And there are lots of cosy park benches where we can stop and get some more photos of you curling up together, too. An engagement shoot wouldn’t be the same without a bit of canoodling, right?
This quirky, cast-iron structure on the west side of the park is a great spot to duck underneath if the weather turns a bit wet. Or it makes the perfect shady spot on a hot day, too!
Overlooking the Lake, the pavilion is very popular for elopements and wedding ceremonies, so it might not be possible to use it on the day of your shoot. We do know a ton of pretty little areas around here, though, that will be equally as gorgeous for your Central Park engagement photos.
The Lake at Central Park may well be a manmade structure, but it blends in beautifully with the park’s natural surroundings. Rowboats and gondolas are often seen on the Lake, and there are some cute vantage points that make for beautiful backdrops for your photos.
We don’t know about you, but we think there’s something super peaceful about sitting and looking out at the Lake too. So, if a little stop to enjoy the view is something you’d like to do, we can definitely recommend a few places. Oh, and get a few more romantic photos of the two of you as well!
Considered one of Central Park’s most romantic spots, the Bow Bridge has to be a stop on your Central Park engagement session. This cast-iron bridge was the first of its kind built in the park and only the second in America!
This spot is surrounded by so much foliage. To make the most of that, we’d recommend having your engagement shoot here in the spring, summer and fall months. In the winter, the trees lose all their leaves, leaving them looking quite bare. It does still look stunning, regardless, but if foliage is more your thing, then that’s what we’d suggest.
If you weren’t sure how big Central Park was before, when you realize it houses an entire castle, that’ll give you a much better idea of its size!
No, it isn’t a castle in the truest sense. But, having recently undergone renovations, Belvedere Castle, which sits on top of Vista Rock, has some of the best views across the park and city. In fact, Belvedere actually means ‘beautiful view’ in Italian!
Belvedere Castle was designed as a viewing platform. It’s a great place to climb up and get some of that gorgeous NYC skyline in your engagement photos.
But we kinda like some of the little spots around the castle too. We can get some gorgeous photos of the two of you with the castle as part of the background. Why not add a tiny hint of fairytale to your romantic photos?
All these locations can be found at the Southern end of Central Park. It’s the busier, better-known area of Central Park because it’s easily accessible. Some other great places include Wagner Cove, the Great Lawn, the Harlem Meer, Conservatory Garden, and the Reservoir.
If you’re looking for some secret spots or hidden gems, we’d recommend going further north in the park. Just chat with us, and we’ll figure out a good place to meet up!
Whatever you decide, though, we guarantee your Central Park engagement photos will have so much variety, and you’ll have so many beautiful pictures to choose from. Ready to talk about your Central Park engagement shoot? Then let’s chat. We can’t wait to get you in front of our cameras!
Hudson Valley, Westchester, and Catskills wedding photographers for non-traditional couples. Available in Ulster County, Orange County, Dutchess County, and beyond. Wedding photographers based in Beacon, NY serving all throughout the Greater New York Area including Tarrytown, Hudson, Kingston, and more. Proudly serving LGBTQ+ couples.
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