Our 6 best unique New York City photo tours and experiences

Are you a photography lover traveling to New York looking for tips on what and where to shoot?

Chances are that you may have done a Google search for top photo locations or photo tours in NYC. Predictably, you will get a mish-mash of results on tours and photowalks that take you to the iconic New York locations – from Grand Central Station and Times Square to Wall Street and DUMBO. You really don’t need to go on a photo tour to experience any of these sights and locations – a little time researching online is all that’s needed.

But what if you wanted to see and experience something that is off the well-traveled tourist path or highlights a different side of New York City?

Here are our 6 best unique NYC photo tours and experiences on Loculars:

1. The Art of Backstage: Photograph backstage at New York Fashion Week!

Image © Mark De Paola

This one-of-a-kind photo experience with renowned fashion photographer and Leica Ambassador Mark de Paola is available twice a year during New York Fashion Week and gives you the chance to take “behind the scenes” fashion photos from the real heart of the action – backstage!!! Capture the backstage energy with Mark de Paola (Vogue, Gucci, Saint Laurent) and watch celebrated hairstylist and creative director Jon Reyman (Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Allure, Carolina Herrera) direct his team amidst the organized chaos of the backstage environment. The best moments at Fashion Week happen here as designers, hairstylists, makeup artists and directors work to transform models from street to runway. This is your unique opportunity to document the process, see the unseen, and feel like a true fashion insider.

» Read more about this experience and book one for yourself here.

2. Street Photography in the “other” Chinatown with the founder of NYC Street Photography Collective

Image © Jorge Garcia

Most tourists and photo enthusiasts make their way to Chinatown in Manhattan, but very few of them even know that there is a different and in some ways an arguably better Chinatown in New York that is just a few miles away in Queens. This experience is like a mini photo workshop and is led by Jorge Garcia, who is the founder of NYC Street Photography Collective. Experience the diversity of this neighborhood and sample some of the best food New York has to offer while getting tips on street photography and shooting side by side with Jorge!

» Read more about this experience and book one for yourself here.

3. Photograph the vibrant nightlife of the Latino LGBT community

Image © Sandy Gennrich

In this late night adventure and eye-opening experience, you will step into the heart of the Latino LGBT nightlife with internationally published documentary photographer Joana Toro. Her work has been featured across many publications including- New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Smithsonian – among others. Joana accidentally discovered this neighborhood about 3 years ago and has been documenting it since. Latina culture and many Latin American countries are still not open and accepting of gays and lesbians, leading to many LGBT migrants to the US for a safer place. Club members and audiences have many issues – money, lovers, drugs, documents, employment etc. – but everybody is equal and free in the nightclub.

» Joana’s work related to this experience has been published in The NY Times Lens section
» Read a first-hand account of this eye-opening experience here.
» Read more about this experience and book one for yourself here.

4. NYC Cityscapes from the sky – doors off aerial photography experience

Image © Cheryl Hills

Ok, so you may ask whats so special about this experience while there are a dozen other tour operators that do helicopter tours over New York. For starters, this is a private tour for up to two people. That means is you have the whole chopper to yourselves – no sharing with strangers and always guaranteed window seat. You will be accompanied by Cheryl Hills who is an established aerial photographer. She knows the angles, the locations and the time of day for the best aerial shots and will give you tips and tricks for making the best aerial images. And to top it off, the flight time is an hour and is fully customizable – FAA rules permitting.

» Read more about this experience and book one for yourself here.

5. Photograph New York’s Iron Triangle

Image © Shamik Ganguly

Do you want to photograph a dystopian landscape of garages, junkyards and recycling parts in the heart of NYC that is on the verge of gentrification? Join documentary photographer Greg Brophy on this eye-opening photo tour as he takes you into the heart of Willets Point also known as New York’s Iron Triangle. As of this writing, the neighborhood is shrinking and may very soon disappear. Greg has been documenting this neighborhood for years and has developed personal connections with many of the folks working here, opening doors for photography that would not have been possible otherwise.

» Read what people have been saying about this tour here.
» Read more about this experience and book one for yourself here.

6. The Iconic Bridges of Lower East Side

Image © Phil Penman

Join renowned street photographer and Leica Fotografie International winning photographer Phil Penman on this photo experience as he takes you on a tour of some of the most Iconic bridges in New York City and explores the gritty neighborhoods around them. While the iconic bridges of New York are well photographed from some popular locations, this tour gives you an opportunity to photograph the neighborhoods around them and use them as a perfect foreground for making images of these bridges. This NYC photo tour is especially ideal for someone wanting to learn about the Leica rangefinder system.

» Read more about this experience and book one for yourself here.

Click here to see all of our New York photo tours and experiences.