The 5 Best DUMBO Brooklyn photography locations, along with all our best tips and tricks for this popular engagement photo spot!
You’ve seen it. We’ve seen it. That epic shot all over the ‘gram featuring that *one* street with an epic, perfect view of the Manhattan bridge. It’s SO New York. Like, give-me-a-slice-of-dollar-pizza-and-put-me-in-a-yellow-cab New York. If you look closely, you can even see a tiny Empire State Building in the background!
We like to utilize this spot for both photography and videography – Amen and Jaffar’s engagement video above, as well as Jessica and Lin’s photos feature our favorite places.
Here’s where Instagram expectation versus reality come into play. This spot is as busy as it gets!
Since it’s such a popular spot for engagement photography, we end up in DUMBO a lot. With good reason! There are so many cute locations that just give NYC v i b e s. We’ve learned a lot along the way about some of the amazing DUMBO, Brooklyn photography locations around the neighborhood and how to snag THE photo with minimal photobombers!
Location # 1
Time Out Market Building Rooftop
Nestled between Water Street and Main Street lives NYC’s Time Out Market Building. Trust us when we say you’ll want to either arrive a little early or stay a little late to grab a bite to eat after your photo sesh; there are plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, and boutiques to explore inside the market. (Our favorite is Mr. Taka Ramen!) You can enter from either side of the building and venture all the way up the staircase to the rooftop.
Here, you’ll find stunning views of both the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, and jaw dropping skylines. When we went on a weeknight in May to capture Jessica and Lin’s engagement photos, there was a big group of teenagers right in front of where we wanted to be. It’s an open space though, so if you politely find a spot and can wait a few moments, it’s totally worth it.
Location # 2
I love love LOVE the carousel in DUMBO. Somehow it’s one of those dreamy places that makes you feel like you’re inside a romantic period drama (it was built in 1922!). The glowing lights and colorful animals, surrounded by glass just feels like a dream.
The Carousel is closed on Tuesdays and takes it last riders at 6:50pm, so plan accordingly if you’d like to be able to take photos or videos while riding. Also, take note that photographers and videographers are prohibited from using their cameras while riding, and will need to be capturing from off the ride. That said, it’s 100% allowed to take photos outside the glass anytime! So have at it from the steps surrounding the carousel.
Location # 3
A short walk from Jane’s Carousel, Pebble Beach is a rocky area of Brooklyn Bridge Park where you can walk right up to the Hudson River (We wouldn’t recommend getting in the water…if you’re from New York you know how dirty it is! Though you’ll definitely see some brave [aka crazy] souls attempting it.)
We arrived just before sunset and it was SOO busy. Turns out, Pebble Beach is a very popular spot to watch the sun set over the river with city skyline views. And for good reason! In fact, it was so busy that we just weren’t able to get a shot without anyone in the background.
We decided to work with the scene instead of around it, and it turned out pretty great. We were able to capture the scene, and the memory as it was…with all the humans gathering together to take in a really beautiful sunset.
Fun note on this – right when we got there and started posing, a proposal happened right on Pebble Beach! Gah, so much love in the air!
Location # 4
Brooklyn Bridge Park
There are several parks and green spaces in this vicinity, and they all have great views. Since our previous stop was Pebble Beach, we chose the nearest green space, which is just up the hill, Brooklyn Bridge Park. It’s tucked just under the Manhattan Bridge, with similar views.
Compared to the crowded area down by the water, this spot gave us enough space to spread out and get some dance/twirl/dip photos.
I’ve filmed and photographed at this location several times, and this was the busiest I’ve seen it! In the past, it’s been totally empty. If you’re going there right around sunset, especially on a weekend, be aware that the crowds are a bit heavier here, and at all these locations. Ah, crowds – the joy of New York! (Speaking of NYC crowds…would you ever try an elopement on the NYC subway??)
Make your way through the park into Brooklyn and away from the river. Walk up the hill and you’ll find a little cove of trees surrounded by a staircase. These trees are lush green and sometimes yellow (in the fall), and I love using them as a natural backdrop for couples!
By now the sun will be setting, and you’ll want to make sure to get the classic DUMBO photo before you lose the light! Walk directly out of Bridge Park and across the railroad tracks on Plymouth Street. You will find yourself, most likely, in a crowd of influencers! Congrats – you have found one of the most Instagrammable spots in New York City! Of all the best DUMBO, Brooklyn photography locations, this one holds a special place in all our hearts.
We’ll give you some more specific instructions, because this is where it can get tricky. We’ve found a few tips helpful when it comes to this photo.
- 1) Be patient but bold.
It’s worth it if you wait for the center spot. Arrive a few minutes earlier before the sun sets so you have a little time to burn while waiting in “line” (It’s less of a line and more of a crowd, but in my experience folks are generally respectful of letting you get your photo first if you arrive before them.) Though, it’s okay to go for it when your moment comes! If you don’t jump in, someone else will.
- 2) Experiment with angles
If some jerk comes and stands directly behind you, you may be able to photograph from a lower angle so they are invisible in your photo. Right when we got our chance in the center, two tourists stepped in. While framing the camera, I realized that we could hide them!
- 3) Blue hour, baby!
We love golden hour (the hour before the sun sets) but Blue Hour also holds a special place in our hearts! Blue Hour is the hour of twilight after the sun has set. The sun dips below the horizon, and the remaining light takes on a blue shade.
By this point in the evening, most people will have gone home which is great news for you! The street clears out and you have some solid time to get some epic shots. Not going to lie, this is actually my favorite time of day to get a photo here. The combination of the bluish-teal sky and the orange tungsten city lights give this incredibly cinematic look. The Empire State lights up and glows, teeny tiny from a distance. It’s green here!
While we waited for the sun to set, hunger kicked in! Luckily you’re in the best city in the world, and there’s a great pizza place just a block away. Stop in and get a slice here, because not only is it amazingly delicious, but because a candid pizza pic in front of a New York landmark fits the moment perfectly.
NOW GO! Be a New Yorker, or be a tourist in your own city for a change! Get some amazing photos in the city that never sleeps! Find the best DUMBO, Brooklyn photography locations!
Kelly & Jess