What To Expect
Booking a private photo expert allows you to select the below carefully planned routes or when your photo guide contacts you directly to make desired changes where possible according to your interest. Choose from three routes:
Meet up on the steps of Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as the first U.S. President. From there, you'll get a nice view of the New York Stock Exchange nearby. Most of the streets in the Financial District are extremely narrow. This, combined with some of Manhattan's tallest skyscrapers, creates an experience similar to standing at the bottom of a canyon. Many of these streets see very little sunshine, even at high noon. This will create unique opportunities for low-light daytime photography. As the sun trickles its way down into the bottom of the canyon, we'll venture over to the historic South Street Seaport district.
The Seaport is known for its pedestrian-friendly streets as well as its many shops. You will get a distinct feel for old New York Harbor days, of dockworkers and fish markets, a time when the piers were bustling areas of commerce. From the Seaport we'll make our way up toward City Hall and the Municipal Building, both of which are near the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Once you start walking over the Brooklyn Bridge you'll get a steady sense of rising above the smaller buildings below. In fact, when the Brooklyn Bridge was built, people walking across it for the first time were elated by the experience of being so high above the river that birds flew below them, beneath the bridge's walkway. As you approach the Gothic arches of the Manhattan-side tower, picture possibilities will abound. Lines, repetition, symmetry will all beg to be photographed. If the sun is out, there may be possibilities for interesting silhouettes.
Once you're well onto the bridge you'll be able to turn around and take in breathtaking views of Lower Manhattan. You'll be able to see Midtown Manhattan off in the distance. Boats will be in the water below and many people will be enjoying the bridge. Get out your telephoto lens and photograph the Statue of Liberty to the southwest.
A convenient stairway will allow you to exit the bridge on the Brooklyn side and put you in the neighborhood of Fulton Ferry, which is similar to the South Street Seaport. At Fulton Ferry Landing and Park, known for its spectacular vantage of the looming Brooklyn Bridge, you'll be able to go right up to the water and take in the view. From Fulton Ferry it's just a short walk over to DUMBO (an acronym for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass), an industrial factory district with picturesque cobblestone streets. DUMBO affords some classic views of the Manhattan Bridge, which will be high overhead with subway trains loudly roaring past.
From the meeting point at Sheridan square, you'll tour some of the nearby streets that make up some the most scenic and sought-after residential real estate in Manhattan. Greenwich Village is known for being "off the grid." That is, while nearly all of Manhattan was designed as a rigid grid of avenues running north and south perpendicular to streets running east and west, the streets of Greenwich Village retain their original haphazard layout, complete with diagonals, odd angles and dead-end alleys. Even life-long New Yorkers can get lost trying to navigate these streets.
One very scenic block that appears to be absolutely unchanged since the 1790s is Commerce and Barrow. Here you'll definitely get a unique perspective on how the scales and perspectives of the Village can change from block to block. From there, head east via Bleecker Street and catch another dog-leg street, Minetta Lane. You will just be a few blocks to the epicenter of the Greenwich Village, Washington Square Park.
New York University has a large presence in this neighborhood. Occupying many buildings around Washington Square Park, NYU provides a fresh batch of youth to the aging neighborhood each fall when school begins. But the centrally located fountain at Washington Square Park is a popular meeting point for people of all ages. You'll see lots of dogs in the park, impromptu jam sessions by guitarist and drummers, magicians, people reading, and people playing chess. You'll also get some great views looking up Fifth Avenue, which begins at the north end of the park.
Venturing south past Houston Street, we'll be crossing over from Greenwich Village into a neighborhood known as SoHo, which stands for South of Houston. SoHo is now known for its upscale clothing boutiques and restaurants. But the neighborhood was once a robust industrial district of warehouses and factories. Architecturally, the neighborhood still retains this feel. But many of the storefront spaces now fetch some of the highest rents in the commercial real estate market. SoHo has a lot of cobblestone streets and cast-iron facades. The sidewalks are always jam-packed with people on the weekends.
From SoHo we'll cross Broadway and head a little south and a little east, into Little Italy. Mulberry Street is known unofficially as the main street of Little Italy, because each year it hosts the immensely popular Feast of San Gennaro Festival. On many weekends Mulberry Street is closed to automobile traffic and becomes a bustling pedestrian mall, thus providing prime people-watching opportunities.
Before you know it, you'll be in Chinatown. In fact, you can cross back and forth from Little Italy into Chinatown without knowing it. The main artery through Chinatown is Canal Street, which is always chock full of tourists looking for discounts on imitation Rolex watches and Gucci bags. Canal Street is by many measures the true cusp of downtown Manhattan. We'll go a few more blocks south and end up at another dog-leg street, Doyers. From there you'll have plenty of affordable Chinese restaurants to choose from for lunch.
During this tour you will be photographing some of central Manhattan's brightest, most classic nighttime spots. Think "Bright Lights, Big City." Starting off, meet at the fountain on the west end of Bryant Park, opposite the New York Public Library. Bryant Park itself is very photogenic, with people relaxing on the lawn or in chairs surrounding it. Take in commanding views of the Chrysler Building, which can be seen along 42nd Street.
From there, walk to nearby Times Square, an international icon of New York City known for its sophisticated electronic billboard imagery. It is there that you will be in the unmistakable heart of New York and come away with photographs that show the diversity and energy of the Big Apple. See all the faces in the crowd, the wonder and amazement of the Great White Way. Walking up Broadway through Times Square you will know you are in the media and entertainment capital of the world when you see all the lit marquees showcasing the top musicals, movies, television shows and current events.
Next you'll cut over to Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) and see the instantly recognizable lights of Radio City Music Hall. Radio City Music Hall is a part of Rockefeller Center, which is a pedestrian-friendly suite of buildings constructed throughout the 1930s. You'll take in all of the Art Deco style architecture, see some famous sculptures and maybe even some of the holiday decorations.
Then it's on over to Fifth Avenue, which acts as the central spine of Manhattan. Immediately you'll see the neo-gothic twin spires of St. Patrick's Cathedral, built in 1878. Fifth Avenue along this part of Manhattan is known for its world-class stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, etc., as well as the recently opened 24-hour Apple store. All of these stores have impressive window displays, which at nighttime literally pop out as you walk along the sidewalk.
Dart in and around pedestrians coming from all directions as we make your way up to our final destination, the Plaza Hotel, located on Central Park South. Grand Army Plaza, from which the hotel gets its name, is a classic intersection of New York, Fifth Avenue and 59th Street. There are all sorts of vendors and caricature artists that make for great photos. But the area's real draw is the horses and their carriages waiting to take passengers on a scenic ride through the park. This will be the end of our tour and you'll be free to go further into the park or back toward Times Square. Subway access in this neighborhood is abundant, as are taxis ready take you to your next destination.
Meals and drinks
Tips and gratuities
Optional activity costs
Participants must have a basic knowledge of their cameras.
Routes may be changed based on local conditions.
Tours run rain or shine.
Please wear a pair of good walking shoes, and bring a lightweight poncho in case it rains. A small bottle of water & sun hat is recommended for high temperatures.
All our card payments are protected by thawte to give you peace of mind.