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New York City Street Photography Tips by ERIC KIM

If you’ve never been to New York City for street photography, you must go.

To start, this is a self-promotional article for my upcoming street photography workshops, one of being in NYC (few spots left). Now we have that out of the picture, let’s continue.

Video: NYC Street Photography Tips

Where to Shoot Street Photography in NYC

a. 5th Avenue, 6th Avenue, 7th Avenue

In terms of places to shoot, I recommend 5th Avenue. Start off in Bryant Park, loop around the park, check out the library next door (good to shoot indoor street photography there), and then just keep walking up and down 5th avenue, and when you get bored, head up and down 6th [Avenue of the Americas] and 7th avenue.

I love 5th and 6th Avenue because you get all these interesting characters. I got my famous ‘Laughing Lady’ photo on 6th avenue. You get lots of glitzy and fashionable folks, who like to have their photos shot. A good place to practice STREET PORTRAITS.

b. Wall Street

Wall Street is very small. But still good to shoot some ‘SUITS‘. Good to practice candid street photography here, because a SUIT will not punch you in the face (or else you can probably sue them, and maybe make a few million bucks).

c. Lower East Side

If you want to shoot fashionable youngsters (who are into ‘streetwear’ like SUPREME) head to Lower-East Side. Great also for STREET PORTRAITS— because the kids are fashionable, and will be flattered to have their photos shot.

Where to AVOID in NYC

To be frank, it is better to give advice in terms of places not to waste your time on. My suggestions:

  1. Avoid Times Square: Full of tourists, too crowded for street photography.
  2. Avoid seeing the Statue of Liberty. To me, it is a waste of time. Just look at photos on Google Images.
  3. Avoid Empire State Building. Just Google a hipster rooftop bar instead.

Food & Drinks

Best place for affordable food in NYC: Hells Kitchen. Just go on Yelp and find some joints.

Also the cool hip places for good bites is Astoria, Queens.

For random fun hipster stuff, go to Williamsburg, Brooklyn — check out the Blue Bottle Coffee and Mast Brothers Chocolate.

Where to stay

Brooklyn is getting expensive, but still (mostly) cheaper than staying on the island (Manhattan). To save money on AirBnb, stay in Harlem (not dangerous anymore). Or stay in Queens, and just take the train into the city.

I usually look at hotels.com for deals, or AirBnb, or just stay with my friends.

Cool touristy stuff

  • ICP (International Center of Photography): If you have one place to go, this is the home for photography.
  • Check out the HIGHLINE — really nice walk.
  • Museum of Modern Art: Good bookstore, and very nice exhibitions, and you can see some good photos too.


NYC is a MUST-SHOOTING CITY for street photography.

For inspiration, check out Garry Winogrand, William Klein, Bruce Gilden, Diane Arbus.

Street Photography City Guides by ERIC KIM

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