Trending Now: New York City

We’re seeing a search trend on the Arcangel website for images of New York City!

New York and its unmistakable architecture are among the most frequently-searched destinations on our website. Many stories are set in this amazing city, across genres from contemporary romance to  action thrillers. 

We would strongly encourage photographers and illustrators to cover this amazing city!

Here are some ideas to get you started…

Distinctive neighborhoods

Brooklyn, Harlem, the Upper East Side, Tribeca, Chelsea, SoHo… All kinds of neighborhoods can be settings for fiction, with different characters, cultures and social groups represented.

The streets themselves with perspective for backgrounds would be effective, but you may also want to include characters to cover all literary genres.

Landmarks & the skyline

The Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, the Empire State & Chrysler Buildings… 

Remember, book cover images need to be driven by atmosphere and narrative. Try to go beyond the typical tourist destination shots, even when capturing a well-known sight!

Be aware, however, that certain landmarks are protected by copyright. You can find out more about property releases [here]

General settings and Architecture

Back alleys, brick facades, front door steps, fire escapes, window views (outside and inside), shops, signals, water towers…

General views of the city make for great backdrops and will always be in demand. Look out for distinctive New York architecture such as brownstone buildings.


We’ve picked out examples of photography but all of the above can be applied to illustrations as well! 

General tips:

 The following tips apply to most photoshoots but keep them in mind for New York in particular… 

  • Shoot both at night and in daylight; 
  • Cover a wide range of angles and crops when shooting characters;
  • Feature characters from diverse ethnicities and cultural backgrounds where possible;
  • Think about the genres that your image might work for, from thriller to romance;
  • All eras are needed, but especially contemporary and the early 20th century, including the world wars (Remember to add the Specific Era keywords) ;
  • Leave copy space for designers to work with;
  • Remember to add the keywords New York and any specifics (such as a landmark)