Culture

How To Up Your Instagram Game In NYC

Get ready to watch those likes roll in.

New York is one of those places that can give you sensory overload – there’s an Instagram-worthy moment on every corner. But it can be a challenge to take photos of the Big Apple that look original when there are millions of people snapping every thing, from every angle, every day.

That’s why Jessica Festa, a native New Yorker, tour guide and photographer started NYC Tours & Photo Safaris, a private or small-group walking tour where your guide is also a photographer who will take you to photogenic locations around the city, capture professional photos of you and give you advice to take your own killer shots. Jessica showed AWOL a few of her favourite spots for taking great pictures in NYC. Get ready to watch those likes roll in.


The Williamsburg Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of NYC’s most visited sights, but its less popular sister, the Williamsburg Bridge is equally if not more interesting.

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Photo: Erin Van Der Meer

The odd bit of graffiti and the trains trundling over the bridge gives it a gritty feel, and there’s an infinite amount of angles, lines, perspectives and light levels to experiment with, so you’re bound to find a unique take.

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Photo: Erin Van Der Meer

Of course, there’s the shot you’ve gotta take: the view across to the Manhattan skyline. And there’s plenty more of that in Williamsburg.

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Photo: NYC Tours & Photo Safaris


North 5th Street Pier Park

Get off the bridge and and go left following Bedford Avenue until you hit North 5th Street. Head down and at the end you’ll find a modern promenade that offers an unobstructed view of Manhattan across the East River.

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Photo: NYC Tours & Photo Safaris

At North 5th Street Pier Park you can capture the enormity of the epic concrete jungle – panorama perfectionists, this one’s for you. It’s also a great vantage point for snapping the Williamsburg Bridge.

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Photo: Erin Van Der Meer

Follow Kent Street up until you hit the East River State Park, an open space where you can find a grassy spot to sit and take in the view (unless it’s Saturday when the infamous Smorgasburg food market is held. Which is definitely not a bad thing).


Bushwick or Berlin?

If you love Melbourne’s graffitied laneways or Berlin’s East Side Gallery, don’t miss the Bushwick Collective, a cluster of streets in the Brooklyn neighbourhood where the walls are covered in colourful works of a grand scale by a variety of local and international artists.

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Photo: NYC Tours & Photo Safaris

The Bushwick Collective was inspired by tragedy – the founder, Joseph Ficalora was just a boy when his father was murdered on the street in Bushwick walking home from work. As an adult Joseph was motivated to make the neighbourhood safe and more community focused, and so the Bushwick Collective was born.

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Photo: NYC Tours & Photo Safaris

It’s played a huge part in transforming the area, which is now home to hip eateries like Roberta’s Pizza, shopping gems Beacon’s Closet and Friends, and artisan chocolate makers Fine & Raw.

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Photo: Erin Van Der Meer

NYC Tours & Photo Safari offer a special Bushwick-centric tour to discover the area: The Bushwick #Instawalk Beers + Bites.

(Lead image: NYC Tours & Photo Safaris)

Check out Qantas flights to NYC.