Thinking about having photos taken in a Central Park rowboat while you paddle around The Lake? It’s an adventure worth taking, and here are the details of my recent experience photographing bride and groom, Carolina and Erich, on the high seas in Central Park.
The trick to getting the best photos on The Lake in Central Park is to include photos on dry ground as well as from the perspective of inside the boat. I recently had my first opportunity to get my feet wet in an iconic Central Park rowboat with Carolina and Erich, who were married at the Loeb Boathouse. Originally they had wanted to arrive to their reception via gondola. Yes, gondola. You can rent a gondola from the Loeb Boathouse, complete with a gondolier adorned with a striped shirt and straw hat. While the Central Park website says that the gondola is available for rent from April through November, sadly the boat was unavailable for Carolina and Erich’s wedding.
Groomsman James, however, would not be deterred. He took it upon himself in a fit of spontaneity to rent a rowboat, pick Carolina and Erich up at the dock, and then tow the couple around the lake so that I could get photos of the couple. We had a blast, and James really put his back into rowing.
Truth be known, however, I’m more of a landlubber. With expensive photography equipment tied to my body and my body floating precariously above water, I was a bit nervous. That said, we did indeed get some great photos of the couple together, and more importantly, of their fantastic guests in the background cheering them on as they kissed. This photo would not have been possible if I had not been in the boat.
Note, however, that this set up was tricky to manage. If you are planning on renting a rowboat, either bring your own muscular groomsman to power the boat or plan on doing the work yourself. Our set up at the wedding included four people in the boat: I was behind James who was rowing, and Carolina and Erich were at the end of the boat together. For me to take the photo of Carolina and Erich, James – who I might note is not a small guy – had to bend precariously out of the shot. This is a great perspective, but it is a limited shot – you two can only move so much without tipping the boat, and thus the only real change is the background behind you. Also, keep in mind that I can only backup so far without having to swim, thus further limiting my camera’s perspective. In order to get multiple angles of you both, I need to be on dry ground.
Time was limited when Carolina, Erich, James and I took the boat out, but I would recommend that you perhaps start with me in the boat, get photos close to the Bethesda Fountain with the Manhattan skyline and park in the background, then deposit me back on the dock and I will follow you on foot along the lake. Remember that you can take the boat as far out as Bow Bridge and the Ladies Pavilion. With both telephoto and wide lenses in hand, I can get the iconic photos you are looking for with you in the boat and the two towers of the Eldorado apartment building in the background. I can also get some unique perspectives shooting directly down on the boat from Bow Bridge or from Wagner Cove near Strawberry Fields.
If you would like to rent a rowboat or gondola, they are available weather permitting from April to November, 10:00 a.m. until sundown at the Loeb Boathouse. There are 100 rowboats available, but only one gondola. The rowboats hold up to four people, and cost $15 per hour with $4 for each additional 15-minute interval (plus a $20 deposit). All payments must be made in cash. The gondola, powered by gondolier Andres Garcia, holds up to 6 people, and can be rented for $45 per 30-minute interval.
Enjoy the photos, and have a great weekend!
If you would like to see more images from my portfolio, such as these Central Park rowboats photos, please visit my website – www.KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com