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You know the drill: Find some out-of-use train tracks, a lone balloon, a body of water as backdrop, and stir. If you've been on Facebook at least once, you'll know that's the surest route to an engagement photo that looks just like everyone else's—but there's another way.
To find out, we asked six stellar wedding photographers about their favorite places to shoot couples. Though you'll recognize some familiar locales—Dumbo and Central Park both made the list—each photographer was specific about the exact spot. (In the archway under the Manhattan Bridge! The dainty Ladies' Pavilion!) Bonus? They're all NYC-based, so click the links after their names if you're in the market.
Diamond Mountain in Harriman State Park
"I'm all about finding locations that are unique and meaningful to each couple. This photo is from one of my favorite sessions with Stephany and Alex. We decided to hike to the top of the Diamond Mountain in Harriman State Park. Stephany and Aleks both love to travel and always seek new adventures together so when I offered to do a shoot on a mountain they were instantly hooked on the idea! We picked a teal colored dress to contrast with the beautiful fall foliage. The weather was perfect and the views were to die for!" —Elvira Kalviste, @elvirakalviste
The Astor Place Subway Entrance
"I love to go to Astor Place, because it's so very unique and colorful. It also offers oh so many different mini-locations and backgrounds. You can be almost sure you will not find photos similar to yours if you shoot there, because no one shoots any portrait or engagement sessions there. People tend to request beaten-up locations (I am not even mentioning Central Park) but this city has so much to offer, and one of its gems is the Astor Place." —Julian Ribinik, @julianribinik
"Go by the neighborhood vibes, not a specific location. I'm a planner, but what I've found with engagement photos is over-planning can really cramp both the subject and the photographers' creativity. Instead of locking into a really specific location, I will find a neighborhood that resonates with the couple, and give ourselves enough time to wander and maybe even get a little lost. The couple in this photo loved the urban, cobblestoned feel of the Tribeca area. We started our shoot in the late afternoon to get that epic golden hour, but the shot we all really loved ended up being one of the last ones we did: a nighttime, long exposure image in an empty alley." —Liz Clayman, @lizclayman
Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, Literally
"While most couples want the quintessential Manhattan or Brooklyn bridge shots, which I am happy to take, my favorite photos incorporate the bridges in less obvious ways. Underpasses are a great space to take different types of photos. The backlighting makes for a very dramatic portrait. I love manipulating and finding the perfect light." —Daniel Silbert, To The Moon
The High Line's Many Entrances
"It was a beautiful Sunday and my wedding couple wanted their engagement photos on The High Line. I set out to find a clear spot away from the crowds by the stairs, so I directed them to walk down the steps halfway, and turn around to come back up and look into each others eyes. The first click of my camera's shutter ended up being the most magical. The reflections, colors, and emotions of this photo really highlighted their love in the middle of NYC." —Susan Shek, @susanshekphotography
The Ladies' Pavilion
"I just shot in Central Park a couple weeks ago by the Ladies' Pavilion—it was pretty amazing. It was small and intimate, and I haven't seen too many posts with this location!" —Vik M, @vikmphoto