Williamsburg is a photographer’s dream. The people look like they stepped out of the pages of a street style guide. The views are fantastic. The neighborhood has retained signs of its industrial past life while infusing modern design elements. And with the wealth of restaurant and bar options for dedicated foodies, you can no longer say that Williamsburg it on its way up. It’s already there. So if you’re looking to use the neighborhood as the backdrop for your next fashion spread or design shoot, where do you start? CSI Rentals is providing you with a guide to some of the best locations for photographic shoots in Williamsburg, to be followed by Greenpoint and Bushwick guides.
Not only does East River State Park have spectacular views of Manhattan, but it also plays host to Smorgasburg every Saturday. This seven acre park was once an industrial shipping dock, and you can still see remnants of old railroad tracks embedded into concrete.
Before the Wythe Hotel, there weren’t many options for visitors to spend the night in the better borough. Originally a factory on the waterfront, the building was renovated in 2012 and converted to a 70 room hotel. Much of the furniture was made from wood salvaged during the renovation, and those rustic details blend beautifully with white linens.
Once inside the Wythe’s front door, take the elevator up to The Ides Bar for a happening scene and a terrace with panoramic views. When the sun sets, all the details stand out, from the marble-topped bar and tables to the little candles that make the room glow. Early evening is a perfect time to photograph here, and you can catch the sunset before the crowds take over.
The abandoned Domino Sugar Refinery is a favorite spot for adventurous photographers. Once the largest sugar refinery in the world, the complex is set to become a mixed-use residential and commercial development in the near future. If you can find a way inside, you’ll be among the last to see the old factory floors coated in sticky sugar byproducts, abandoned offices and locker rooms.
A small but widely renowned shop, the Bedford Cheese Shop is the perfect backdrop for a photo shoot aimed at emphasizing Williamsburg’s artisanal retailers. Located in the heart of Williamsburg on Bedford Ave, the storefront epitomizes the charming neighborhood feeling that makes some parts of Williamsburg feel like Paris.
Sometimes the most photogenic locations are simply little nondescript places like this auto repair shop on the corner of Kent Ave and Grand Street. The bright blue doors stand out against the distressed brick facade and the white molding. Inside, if you look closely, you can see a vintage Rolls Royce being repaired in the shop. We can’t guarantee that if you pass by, you’ll see the same car in the garage, but you never know what kind of surprises await.
This wouldn’t be a proper Williamsburg guide if it didn’t include at lease one beautiful restaurant, and Juliette on N 5th fits the bill perfectly. The interior has a very Parisian charm, with bistro tables, a zinc bar and lots of French details, right down to the bottles of wine and liquors lining the shelves. A covered garden room is filled with hanging plants and lit by a skylight. Upstairs, the roof deck is another great spot for photographing.