I may be biased but the city of Boston is one of the most photogenic cities out there. What you will be reading today is a detailed list of some of the best places to take photographs in. It is not a complete list, but it is a list of places I have scouted, been inspired by and photographed in. Whether you are looking to do some fashion shoots or any other type of shoots, or you’re simply trying to find some Insta worthy photos you will want to keep reading.
Boston Public Garden: This is a given. The Public Garden is one of the most popular tourist spots in the city and it is beautiful any time of the year. As a photographer I have done everything from bridal portraits, engagement sessions to casual headshots and much more. You can easily spend over an hour finding unique spots for photos. During the fall take colorful pictures by the trees and leaves; during the spring sit on the grass and pose with some beautiful flowers; take fun shots by the make way for ducklings’ statues. There are unique spots where you can capture the city skyline or if you want a nature background there’s opportunity for that too.
Beacon Hill: About a few minutes walk or less from the Public Garden is one of Boston’s most photogenic neighborhoods’. Beacon Hill provides you with cobbled stone streets and aesthetically pleasing store fronts. There are a few cafes with restrooms if you want to make some outfit changes for a variety of photos. Let’s not forget Acorn street, the most photographed streets in the city. This beautiful cobbled stone street is a must have opportunity for your social feed. However, it is a residential street and the residents lately have tried to put restrictions for photographers looking to restrict the use of it. My advice? Stay off the street but you can still get a quick shot on either side of it with full view.
Charles Esplanade: If you are like me and you love water views the Charles River is the perfect spot. Charles Esplanade is about a short 10 minute walk away from Beacon Hill. When it’s warm out the water is dotted with sailboats. There’s plenty of opportunity for great photos along the water, on the bridges, along the trails. Fall and springtime are the perfect seasons to stroll and capture some much needed Insta worthy photos. Particularly when the trees are full of colors and during the small window of time of cherry blossoms.
Commonwealth Avenue: Situated in back bay, across the street from the Public Garden, is great for a pic-of-the-day type of photograph. Smack in the middle of this street is Commonwealth Avenue mall, a 32-acre park with stoned benches and statues along the way. Photo tip? When the trees are in full bloom use them to frame your shots. On either side of this street long park are residential buildings with beautiful staircases. As long as the residents don’t mind take the opportunity to pose on those stair steps. Don’t forget to visit Comm Ave during Cherry Blossom season.
Copley Square: At the heart of back bay is Copley square, one of Boston’s most bustling and very pretty areas. The architecture in Copley Square is one of my favorites. There are a few churches around the area with corners perfect for photo opportunities away from the crowds. Copley square always holds the Boston Public Library. If you’re on the hunt for picture worthy moments enter the library from the old side. There is art on the walls, one of the most photogenic study rooms, and probably my favorite places in the city; the courtyard inside the library with its beautiful European inspired architecture. When you’re finished with your photo session inside that part of the library, don’t forget to check out the Fairmont Copley hotel. The hotel corridors and its lobby are an artwork in themselves. Not more can be said about this beautiful hotel.
Back Bay Fens: Want more nature opportunity photos in the heart of the city? Look no further than the Fens. This area is home to the victory gardens, and a hidden little rose garden. I particularly recommend a visit to the victory gardens. There are trails along the water and a few bridges. Along the Fens is the Fenway entrance of the MFA. Did you know the MFA had a small outdoor Japanese garden? The garden is open during the warmer months and It’s the perfect little area for some unique photos.
Downtown Crossing: At the heart of the city, downtown crossing is a great backdrop. This bustling area will create a fun vibe for casual photos. Or why not have a full-on fashion shoot for some contrast? When exploring this area, why not take a few snaps at the theatre district? A short walk away is the Chinatown gate and Commons. Also a short walk away in the heart of the Financial district is the Norman B Leventhal Park. I highly recommend checking it out. As anything else in Boston, its much better in the spring when the flowers are in bloom and the water fountain is running.
The North End: This neighborhood is a no brainer if you’re looking for fun city photos. Home to Mike’s pastries and endless pasta the North End has unique architecture and is some to some of the oldest buildings in Boston. My advice for taking pictures here? Don’t go during prime tourist and dinner time. Take advantage of Paul Revere Mall where you can pose next to Paul Revere and capture the Old North Church’s steeple that sparked America’s revolution. Walk across the Rose Kennedy Greenway where one of my favorite skyline views is situated. Walk to Quincy market and take advantage of any side streets you discover along the way.
Christopher Columbus Park: Across the street from Quincy market is Christopher Columbus Park and the waterfront. The trellis and view of the water are not only worth the visit but worth the photo opportunity. During the summer the trellis is covered in greenery and makes for perfect pictures. During the holiday season the trellis is covered in blue lights in the evening. There is a photo opportunity for every time of year. Don’t overlook the small rose garden in the area and don’t not walk along the waterfront that leads to an open area with a great view of the clock tower. Need an outfit change? The Marriott hotel has restrooms if you plan on a full session. Be wary that on warmer season weekends the park is overrun with tourists but that shouldn’t stop you.
Fan Pier Park and Seaport District: About a 10-15 minute walk from Christopher Columbus Park is Fan Pier Park. One of the most photo worthy spots in Boston. On the way is the Boston Harbor Hotel, if you happen to be walking by, I suggest a pause to walk around the area. Don’t overlook the harbor views behind the Intercontinental Hotel on the same street. Fan Pier Park has one of the best views of the city and it’s hard to peel your eyes away. If you walk along the stone path, you’ll reach the staircases overlooking the ICA. Which comes to my next mention, behind the ICA is a must have spot for pictures. The seaport District is still up and coming and any place along he water is going to be a beautiful backdrop for photos.
College Campuses: Boston is known for its colleges but some of these campuses have beautiful spots for photos. Boston University is one of my favorites. The BU bridge, Marsh chapel, and surrounding areas are places to keep in mind. Also did you know there’s a castle in BU? You’re free to enter the castle and its inside is classically decorated. You can access Charles River views in the area. Northeastern University is beautiful in the spring. It is also very close to the Back Bay fens.
Harvard Yard in Harvard Campus is a must visit and Cambridge Architecture in the surrounding area will inspire you. Don’t forget to pose out front of MIT’s main building. If you like unique architecture check out the Stata building. Also, a short walk away from MIT campus is Memorial Drive. I can’t stress enough my love for water views and city skylines. Memorial drive cannot be missed. If you happen to be walking along memorial drive by the water do not pass the opportunity to go inside MIT’s sailing center when its open. The dock out in the back has such a beautiful uninterrupted view of the skyline.
There are more hidden gems in the city that are very photo worthy and are great backdrops for that perfect shot. What are your favorite places to take photos in Boston? What are your hidden gems?
Written by Salma Kilaouy