Confession — even though I live in NYC, I usually don’t seek out “landmark” spots for family portraits. The main thing I’m interested in capturing is the family connection, and the location is really just the background. I mean, I’m not averse to shooting someplace epic, but I’m usually more concerned about making sure my locations offer flattering light, a clutter-free background, and a safe place for kids to run and play.
But when Emily told me she wanted a family portrait session in Central Park, I wanted to make sure it was amazing. We decided on the Trefoil Arch, the Bethesda Terrace, and the Bow Bridge as the best spots in Central Park for photos. These spots tend to be super crowded — especially in the early evening and especially the Bethesda Terrace. But honestly, this family was so cute that people just moved for us. When you see the little girl in the photos below you’ll see what I mean.
Central Park has several beautiful arches that are great for taking silhouettes.
I took these photos at the Bethesda Terrace, which is crowded and gritty, but beautiful. Using Photoshop to remove people from the background helps keep the images clutter free. Needless to say, I did a lot of Photoshopping to remove people from the background of these photos!
I used to live on the Upper West Side, close to Central Park, and I’ve always admired the view of the San Remo building from the park. It’s just one of those quintessential NYC landmark buildings.
The Bow Bridge is another popular spot that’s usually crowded, but this family just went with the flow, and we found a nice spot. I loved documenting this little girl’s curiosity. Giving kids some freedom to explore makes the photos more interesting and authentic — one reason why I love lifestyle family portraits.
I can’t wait to shoot in Central Park again!