A couple of weeks ago I kicked off our current blog post series on outdoor photo adventures by talking about the biggest secret to successful outdoor photography.

Last week I talked about choosing the perfect location and gave some tips on the most common challenges that come up when you're shooting outdoors and how to overcome them.

This week, in the last of this 3 part series, I'm going to talk about my top 5 locations to take photos of your kids in NYC... and if you're not in NYC you can use this as inspiration to find similar locations near you.

1. Pratt Institute Sculpture Park


Why it's great: the kids love to explore and look at all the sculptures, which make for really interesting and unique elements to include in your photos.

Tip: don't be afraid to get in close and fill the frame.

If you're not in NYC: see if you can find a sculpture garden near you.

2. Brooklyn Botanic Gardens


Why it's great: the gardens are a beautiful, calm oasis within the urban craziness of New York City. From the Cherry esplanade to the Japanese pond to the bluebell wood and more, there's a huge variety of settings to enjoy and the grounds are very well kept too.

Tip: play around with off center compositions. No, more off center. Way way off center!

If you're not in NYC: find a botanic garden or park near you.

3. The High Line


Why it's great: although it's become a little crazy and touristy in the past couple of years, the High Line remains a unique place to visit that captures the imagination of kids and grown-ups alike. Again, there are a huge variety of settings for photographs from industrial backdrops, to the urban skyline, to the waterfront, or more parklike settings. Go early in the morning on a weekday to avoid the crowds, especially in the warmer months.

Tip: my sister took this photo of me and Liam when he was 5 months old. If you can, and as I mentioned last week, hand your camera to someone else so you can be in some of the photos!

If you're not in NYC: ok, this one is pretty unique to NYC (although similar parks are planned in Philadelphia and Chicago) but think about what the most unique location near you is.

4. Tribeca


Why it's great: the industrial buildings, the warehouses, the loft buildings and the restaurants all make for great urban backdrops for your photos. Fire escapes, tin panelling, glass brick walls, covered bridges, cast iron columns, even the occasional modern glass facade - Tribeca has it all and, maybe it's the architect in me, but I love it!

Family photos don't just have to take place at the park, and Tribeca is less crowded and less commercialized than other similar neighborhoods like Soho or Chelsea (although the meatpacking district near the High Line is great too).

Tip: look for ways to use a gritty urban backdrop to contrast with and accentuate the innocence of childhood.

If you're not in NYC: find a cool urban neighborhood or, if you're not near an urban area, old industrial or agricultural buildings can make for great textured backdrops too.

5. Brooklyn Bridge Park - Main Street


Why it's great: a beach in the middle of NYC with views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline? Sign me up! This photo is one of my favorites ever taken by me of my friend Katie of Katie Jane Photography.

Click here to see more. 

If you're not in NYC: are you near some waterfront? Or a bridge? Or a spectacular view of some kind of skyline or horizon?

Very cool announcement:

Picking my five favorite locations was tough... I have plenty more! And the good news is that I'm starting a new guest blog column over at A Child Grows in Brooklyn called "Small Kid Big City: Capturing Your Child's Moments".  Each week I'll feature a favorite location with more detail about the location and a more detailed photo tip than I've included here. Consider this a teaser!

I'm also excited to announce that A Child Grows in Brooklyn is presenting two upcoming Photosanity workshops in Brooklyn. 

Stop Missing the Moment: an introduction to Photosanity will take place on Wednesday, April 24th, from 7-9pm at Bija Kids in Clinton Hill and is for current parents. 

Capture the Moment: preparing to photograph your new baby will take place on Tuesday, May 7th, from 7-9pm at Park Slope Eye in Park Slope and is for expectant parents. Reserve your spot now!