An example of where to take family photos showing four kids holding a dog and standing on the Brooklyn Bridge

Your Guide to Where to Take Family Photos in NJ and NYC

May 24, 2024

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Family photos are an incredible way of capturing your family’s history and heritage and freezing this moment in time with the ones you love the most. Sometimes, though, figuring out where to take family photos can seem a bit overwhelming. 

Especially in New Jersey and New York, there are so many different places you could go, all with their own aesthetic and feel. So, how do you pick the right one for you and your family?
Well, as a family photographer , I’ve had the chance to capture families in so many different areas throughout both states and have found some of the best places when it comes to where to take family photos. 

So, if you are looking to have your next family photoshoot in NJ or NYC, here are some of my top picks for where to take family photos! 

New Jersey Family Photo Locations

Jersey City 

Liberty State Park

For amazing views of the city without actually heading into New York, Liberty State Park is the perfect spot. You can get amazing skyline views and the park also has beautiful open green spaces. 

You’ll also find amazing fall colors here as the leaves start to change. There is even an abandoned train in the park that you can go to for something  more unique for your photos! 

Hamilton Park

Hamilton Park is a great choice for family photos not just because of the beautiful green spaces and walking paths throughout the park, but also because of the area it is in. Surrounding the park, you’ll find streets that are nicely lined with green trees and brownstones. 

You get the best of both worlds with the park that makes you feel like you are in your own private world, and the surrounding town that gives off the perfect city feeling. 

Grove Street

Right near Grove Street, you’ll find the recently renovated Pedestrian Plaza. This is a 100% pedestrian only street and is lined with so many small restaurants and shops. If you are looking for something outside, but that still has more a city feeling to it, this is the perfect place. 

You can even have fun with it and grab some ice cream or a small snack to enjoy as a family during your session! 

Two small girls hugging in front of a colorful chalkboard menu

Wall Murals

Finally, if you are looking for something a bit more unique in Jersey City, I would definitely suggest checking out some of the wall murals throughout the city. This is the perfect way to add something more fun and interesting to your session. 

Pro tip: make sure you wear something more neutral if you are planning on going to the murals. Things like patterns can sometimes clash with the art so instead, opt for something that is more solid colored! 

A woman standing in front of a colorful mural


Pier 13 

Pier 13 is a family friendly beer garden right in Hoboken that not only is an amazing place to visit, but also has incredible skyline views as well. In addition to views of the city, the pier also always has something going on. 

There are food trucks that line the pier which can be a great spot to stop and grab a snack to enjoy together for your session! And who doesn’t love the nostalgia of a food truck! Personally, I love a food truck prop!

Two girls smiling and pointing to a sign that says "hot apple cider"


If you are looking for those perfect brownstone photos in New Jersey, I love Hoboken. Like Jersey City it has so many different areas for you to go. So many of the more residential streets and areas are lined with brownstones perfect for your family photoshoot. 

This is also a great choice as these residential areas tend to be less crowded than Manhattan. So you and your family will have more privacy and can have more fun with what you do during the photoshoot! 

There are also some alleyways that can offer a more private location while still adding an interesting backdrop to your photos. There are plenty of options to explore!

A small girl sitting on a railing being held up by her mother

Hoboken Terminal 

Don’t want to go all the way over to Grand Central? Well, you have a stunning option right in Hoboken at Hoboken Terminal. This train station has such beautiful architecture and even features a stunning clock tower. 

You’ll also find cobblestone streets surrounding the station making it an amazing place to capture family photos in a way that not only looks amazing but also feels grand. 

Columbus Park

Finally, we have Columbus Park. This is another amazing park right in the city and has so many different areas that you and your family can explore during your session. Whether you want to spend the session walking around together or decide to head over to the beautiful gazebo, you are sure to find some amazing spots throughout the park. 

New York City Family Photo Locations


Dumbo is a very popular neighborhood in Brooklyn and it is no wonder why. Here, you’ll find amazing views of the water, incredible skyline views, and a really unique area to walk  through. 

Around every corner you’ll find something beautiful and you will end up with amazing family photos that feel unique to you and your family. There is even Jane’s Carousel that is not only a beautiful place to visit, but a great place for your photos!

New York Public Library 

The New York Public Library is  an incredible place for a photoshoot in New York City. The architecture found here is stunning and creates the perfect backdrop for any session. 

There are so many different staircases, alcoves, and areas around the library that are all beautiful in their own right and create the dream place for you to tell your family’s story. 

Brooklyn Bridge 

Right in Dumbo, you’ll also find the Brooklyn Bridge. You have a few options when it comes to where to take family photos around the Brooklyn Bridge. 

You can actually go up onto the bridge as there is a pedestrian walkway on the bridge itself. This allows you to capture some amazing photos with some of the more intricate details of the bridge. I suggest this for early risers as the bridge can get crowded especially during warmer seasons.

You can also go to Brooklyn Bridge Park where you’ll be able to see amazing views of the bridge and the city skyline behind. There are even a few different piers throughout the park that you can walk out on for some incredible photos! 

Four kids smiling on the Brooklyn Bridge while one holds a dog

Central Park 

A list of NYC family photoshoot locations wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Central Park. Central Park is beaming with life and has so many amazing locations throughout that you and your family can escape to for family photos. 

Now, it goes without saying that Central Park is one of the most famous places in the city, so you are definitely going to have other people around during your session. However, if you plan a photoshoot earlier in the morning, or plan to go to some of the less visited locations throughout the park, you can still get some incredible family photos! 

And if you’re not someone who loves the morning, embrace the very nature of central park and add the bustling people to your backdrop! The people are very much a part of what makes NYC unique to itself!

A person kissing their partner while they stand on a bridge

Bethesda Terrace

One location within Central Park that is a fantastic place to take pictures is Bethesda Terrace. The terrace has massive, grand staircases, a fountain, a beautiful, brick plaza, and the famous arcade. 

This area really feels like a work of art and the history and architecture here makes it the perfect place to capture your family photos. 

Grand Central Station

Finally, we have Grand Central Station. Just as the name suggests, this station is absolutely grand. Whether you are outside, standing in the main terminal, or walking through the corridors, you will find stunning architecture and intricate details throughout. 

While you can definitely expect to find lots of people around during your session, this is still a great place to take family photos that have that quintessential New York feeling. 

A couple holding each other softly and smiling in a train station

Your Own Home

Now, while all of these locations throughout New Jersey and New York City are amazing, sometimes when it comes to where to take family photos, your own home may be the best place. 

This is the place where you are raising your kids and where you are learning and growing as a family. There is something special about capturing this moment in your family’s life exactly how you remember it on a day to day basis. 

As a native New Yorker and as someone who grew up in the house that my parents built together, I made sure to capture the original 4 of us, my parents, my sister and me, before my parents sold the house! The at home session is a session I encourage my clients to book at least once!

So, if you’re not sure where to go or if you are looking for something more laid back and relaxed, your own home may be the perfect place for your session! 

Two kids sitting in between their parents and laughing in their backyard

Final Thoughts on Where to Take Family Photos

Hopefully these locations give you some ideas for where to take family photos for your session. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that these photos are for you and your family. 

The purpose of them is to tell the story of who you are and to pass down for years to come. So, be sure to pick a place that feels connected and special to your family, whether that is right in the heart of New York City or in your own living room. 

And within the obvious places in NYC and NJ there are always quiet hidden gems that I’ve discovered over the years that I’d love to share with you.

 So if you are still looking for a photographer  who can capture your family’s story, I’d love to chat. Preserving your family’s history and heritage is one of my greatest joys as a photographer.

You can learn more about my family photography packages here, or you can reach out to me here to chat about your next family photoshoot!

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