Think Battery Park is just for tourists? Well, think again. As Seethal and Jonathan‘s Battery Park engagement photos prove, downtown New York City is the perfect place for a photo shoot. I’ll give you all the details of their session that started at the tip of Manhattan and wound its way over to the South Street Seaport in today’s blog post.
Meet Seethal & Jonathan
Let’s start out the session by meeting Seethal and Jonathan. These two met at a party two years ago. It was your basic house party, but somehow the host had not put out snacks yet. Jonathan was hungry, and had smartly brought some snacks of his own which he started to open. Seethal spied him from across the room and immediately walked up to him to steal his snacks. Jonathan just could not say no to Seethal, and thus their relationship began. As you can no doubt tell, these two are a fun couple, and I can’t wait to photograph their wedding at Terrace on the Park in April.
Battery Park Engagement Photos – Where to Start
We started their Battery Park engagement session by meeting at the John Ambrose statue in front of the park. In case you haven’t been to Battery Park lately, the park is quite beautiful with lots of native plant beds. There are plenty of things in bloom in spring and summer, and many tall plants that make it easy to hide the tourists.
The one thing you do have to watch out for in this area are speeding bicyclists. We, of course, began taking photos in the bike path. I had Seethal and Jonathan stand over to the side so that they were well out of the way of oncoming traffic. The bicyclists do have the right of way on the bike path way. That said, they don’t have a lock on the beautiful NYC skyline views peeking behind the bike trail. So just make sure you stay out of their way.
Battery Park Engagement Photos – Our Path Through the Park
Next up were photos by the SeaGlass Carousel. The carousel is quite interesting with an ‘enchantment under the sea’ theme. I have yet to have a client take me up on the offer to go for a spin on the carousel. There are some great shots both reflected in the glass of the carousel and as you walk outside the main pathway through the park.
The fountain in the back of the park is a great photographic element. As long as you don’t get either your client or your camera wet, you have got some great shots with the Statue of Liberty in the background. If the wind isn’t blowing too hard, you can also get a nice reflection of the couple in the fountain itself.
Battery Park Engagement Photos – The Waterfront
Next up are waterfront photos with the Statue of Liberty and Staten Island Ferry in the background. Sadly, there is no shade in this area, so make sure that you time your session just before sunset to avoid the harsh rays of the sun. This is also going to be a rather unattractive area when it comes to protective fences, and let’s be honest, an abundance of tourists. But if you have clients who like to dance and can stick along the railing, then you can make it look like you have the waterfront all to yourself.
I haven’t taken photos down at Battery Park since Colleen and John’s photo shoot in 2013. This was a great session and I was excited to get back to Battery Park to reacquaint myself with the area. For those of you inclined to head straight to Central Park for your engagement shoot, let me remind you that NYC has many unique park options. In addition to the often overlooked Battery Park, New York has a plethora of parks with unique viewpoints that can really make your engagement session stand out. (I’m looking at you, Fort Tryon Park!) Check out this article for a full list of Central Park alternatives.
Walking towards South Street Seaport
If you are going to be in downtown New York City for an engagement session, you might as well continue the adventure and hop on over to South Street Seaport, as Seethal and Jonathan did. Seethal and Johnson had a two-hour session as part of their wedding package. We spent one hour in Battery Park and then headed west to South Street Seaport.
It’s about a ten-minute walk from Battery Park to South Street Seaport, and there are two fantastic locations along the way that should not be missed for your engagement session. The first is a park I discovered during Seethal and Jonathan’s venue check called the Elevated Acre. This is an elevated park hidden up an escalator. I’m sure this is a fantastic spot for office workers in the area to have lunch. It’s got a stunning view of the Brooklyn skyline and a lush garden area. There were a few visitors during our session, but we pretty much had the park all to ourselves.
The next not to miss spot is a metallic sculpture at the corner of Pine and Water Streets. The sculpture is completely mirrored and offers some interesting reflections. At this point the sculpture has some dings in it and is not as reflective as it used to be, but you can still come up with some groovy photos.
South Street Seaport Engagement Photos
This leads us to South Street Seaport. Seethal’s top priority was to take photos under fairy lights. Originally the plan was to go to Stone Street, but the Stone Street is now packed with picnic benches and restaurant diners. Thus I had to find another spot. Luckily Front Street in the South Street Seaport area perfectly fit the bill.
In addition to photos along Front Street, we then walked down to Pier 17. Pier 17 is one of my most favorite spots in the city to take photos. This elevated park has a great vantage point both for photos of the Brooklyn skyline and dramatic photos of Manhattan skyscrapers. Check out photos from Annabelle and Nate’s engagement session to see what is possible. If you plan your session just right and can get there by dusk, then the lighting is superb. The photo of Seethal and Jonathan backlit against the skyline is one of my all-time favorite photos. What a perfect way to end a perfect photo session.
Battery Park Engagement Photos – Issues to Watch
In the past, Battery Park required a permit to take photos in the park. In researching this article, I couldn’t find any permit information besides group event permits. So it now looks like you are free to take photos in the park.
Finally, if you’re down in the Battery Park area, you might opt to go east instead of going west for your photo session. You should know that Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park is a terrific little park for photos just to the north of Battery Park. That said, it is now the center of turmoil as the city starts reconstruction of the park to handle flooding. Construction is due to start this fall, and who knows how long it will last. South Cove Park, further north of Robert F. Wagner, is also a great spot for photos.
Enjoy all of the images, and I’ll have more photo adventures for you next week!
Interested in scheduling an Battery Park engagement photo shoot? Drop me a line and let’s talk about your photography needs.
If you would like to view more images from my engagement photography portfolio, then please visit my website – KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com