Architectural Interior Locations in New York City

When we think of New York City, we often picture the iconic skyline and the landmark buildings, especially their exterior. But New York has a lot of great interior spaces that are worth photographing and today, we’ll explore a few great interior locations. We’ll photograph several of them during our upcoming New York City workshop.

As a general rule for interiors, we recommend shooting at high ISO to keep a fast-enough shutter speed when shooting hand-held, as most locations don’t allow tripods. Opening your aperture is another way to manage your shutter speed.

St Patrick’s Cathedral

The gothic cathedral is just across the Rockefeller Center and its interiors are beautiful. You can get some great wide shots (especially the ceiling), as well as some interesting details. The arches are particularly great to shoot.

The Oculus

The Oculus at the World Trade Center, by Santiago Calatrava, is just amazing to photograph. They are so many opportunities for architectural details, both inside and outside. Inside, you have multiple spaces: the main atrium, the concourses on each side, the pathways leading to the trains and further to One WTC and Brookfield Place. Everything is white, so it works well in black and white, and in high-key. Focus on the patterns and lines.

Chrysler Building

You probably know what the exteriors of the iconic Chrysler Building look like. But have you ever been inside the lobby? This Art Deco space is pretty amazing and security will let you in to take a peek and snap a few shots. The wide shots are good, but don’t forget the myriads of Art Deco details!

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

One of our favorite buildings in the city, the Guggenheim Museum was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. We think it’s more interesting to shoot inside that outside. The main atrium is definitely a great spot, with the spiral walkway and the skylight. Wide and detail shots both work very well, and it’s another space where high-key/black and white are great.

Check out the gift shop, especially the very back, where you can find another great area to shoot when looking up (see below). It’s a little-known location but it’s fantastic to shoot!


Grand Central Terminal

How could we not mention Grand Central? Once again, we prefer shooting the interiors of this NYC landmark.  Again, there are several areas: the main hall is great, but don’t forget the walkways and the bridge. Details of the ceiling and the lights make compelling images. Feel free to include people in some shots to show scale.

New York Public Library – Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

Another building with interiors that are easier to shoot than the exteriors! The main entrance off 5th Avenue offers some great shots right off the bat, with the arches and the staircases. There also are several rooms with great ceilings, most notably the Rose Main Reading Room.

Next time you’re in NYC, don’t just stay outside! Venture inside one of these buildings to explore their interiors as well.



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