Ironically, in New York City, a hub of picturesque and vibrant photo settings, it can be very difficult to find a location for a portrait photography shoot. And if you’re planning a fashion shoot, with multiple clothing changes, a makeup artist and hair stylist, and a bit more hoopla, that problem can be compounded. There are various reasons for this. Depending on where you’re shooting, you may need a film permit. If you plan to “assert exclusive use of City property” and/or you’re using equipment or vehicles, instead of just handheld cameras and tripods, you’ll need to apply for a $300 film permit and have insurance. Also, in busy areas, you run the risk of individual and groups of photo “bombers” destroying your perfectly planned shot. And, if your subject is going to change clothing, or you’re shooting for a couple hours, you’ll need access to a bathroom.
But who says you need to be in the thick of things to get a great shot? In fact, in most cases, being away from the flow of activity, while having the picturesque scene is the desired, but not possible, option. Not possible? Think again! If you’re fortunate enough to have access, rooftop shooting is a great option. Not only can you frame your subject against multiple interesting backgrounds, but also there’s lots of light, relative privacy, and usually discrete areas, such as the stairwell or opposite side of the roof, for clothing changes. And, if you know someone who lives in the building, or there is public restroom, you’ve got bathroom breaks covered, too. If you choose this option, do remember to be safe and stay away from the building edges. And, always remember to be courteous to others who are enjoying the rooftop view. Good luck, and happy shooting!