There are so many beautiful locations around the Boston area for engagement sessions and wedding portrait sessions. We have spent many years compiling this list from our travels around the area. All locations listed are within 1 hour drive of Boston.
Don't see your favorite spot here? We are always up for exploring and are continually adding to the list!
Beautiful Green Landscape
Located in Jamaica Plain, this beautifully landscaped garden is vast and has so much to work with. They have flowers blooming throughout the year and a great many pretty walking paths. There is not very much architecture but if you're into luscious greens and flowers then this is the perfect spot from spring through fall.
North Point Park
Located right next to the Zakim bridge, North Point park is the perfect combination of greenery and industrial. It's not nearly as crowded as the other parks in Boston and the view of the Zakim on the pedestrian bridge cannot be beat! Good for all seasons.
Boston Common and Public Garden
This is the most commonly requested spot to photograph in Boston. There are pros of course - gorgeous weeping willows, a pretty pond, not to mention the swans but it also some drawbacks. The biggest being the huge crowds! On a weekend in the summer, I would definitely not recommend the garden or common. The best time is during sunset and dusk on a weekday.
DeCordova Museum - $14/person, free after 5pm
This sculpture garden incorporates beautiful modern art with lush landscapes. There is so much beauty at the DeCordova. It is highly recommended for all seasons.
World's End in Hingham - $6/person to enter
This park managed by the Trustees of Reservations and requires a small fee to enter but it is definitely worth it. Gorgeous trees, fields, the harbor and a view of Boston. There spot is great for the nature lovers. Bonus: it is dog friendly!
Larz Anderson Park
This spot is great for portrait sessions and even ceremonies at an affordable rate. It is a beautifully manicured garden with large trees, rolling hills, winding paths, a pergola, pond and stone "temple". It also has an antique car museum and if you're lucky, they will put out a beautiful car to take photos in front of.
If you want quintessential Boston, you can't get any more classic than Beacon Hill. Specifically Acorn street is one of the prettiest spots with old cobblestones. There are many little streets in this dense neighborhood that are beautiful to walk around.
North End - Christopher Columbus Park
The trellis at Christopher Columbus park is picturesque during any season. This is a great location in the wintertime especially when a pretty landscape is hard to come by. It is also nearby the brick of the North End and the cobblestoned harbor.
This edgy look of Fort Point Channel gives a real pop of color and texture to an engagement or wedding day shoot. The red brick, cobblestones, steel doors are in our opinion some of the best that Boston has to offer. Better yet, this area is typically deserted on weekends and weekdays after 6pm.
Harvard Square features classic brick buildings, impressive colonnades in the square and the pedestrian bridge that connects the two sections of Harvard's campus.
The Esplanade has a gorgeous view of Cambridge and the Charles river. A great alternative to the Boston Public Garden where crowds are typically a lot less. If you're looking for a sunset over water, this is the place to come. It is especially pretty in springtime when the cherry blossoms bloom.
Memorial Drive looking towards Boston
One of the best views of the Boston skyline is right across the river. You can get a very clear view of Backbay (specifically the Prudential and Hancock buildings) from the area in between Mass ave and the Longfellow bridge. There are also often sailboats in the river during warm days.
Post Office Square
If you want that park in the city look without all the crowds during the weekend, this is the perfect spot. It may be crowded during the weekdays but this place is practically deserted on the weekends when the financial crowd is away.
Another hidden gem - Piers Park has some of the best views of the Boston skyline along with some interesting architectural features, sailboats passing by and a pretty grass area.
Courthouse on the Harbor Walk
This public walk next to the courthouse features the channel, brick and cobblestones all against the backdrop of the Boston skyline. This is a popular spot for other photographers but typically not very crowded with tourists.
The Rose Kennedy Greenway
The Rose Kennedy Greenway is one of Boston's most popular parks these days. During weekends, expect it to be packed with tourists but on weekday evenings, it is a good spot. One bonus: the highway underneath warms the grass above, keeping it looking green virtually year round.
Hammond Castle in Gloucester (125 for 30 mins, 250/hr)
It's hard to believe that a stunning location like this actually exists in Massachusetts. Sitting atop a cliff in Gloucester, this Castle is the perfect photo opportunity and the surrounding grounds cannot be beat. There is a fairly steep fee to photograph here but if you're willing to splurge a little, you can expect to come out with some incredible portraits without making the trip to France.
Castle Hill on the Crane Estate ($165 yearly membership and permission)
This property is owned by the Trustees of Reservations and has some of the best view that I have ever seen. The rolling allée going towards the water makes you feel as if you're in the Great Gatsby novel.
Eleanor Bradley Estate ($165 yearly membership and permission)
Another winner from the Trustees of Reservations, this property is beautiful all year round. They maintain the gardens beautifully and allow for photography of weddings and engagements on their grounds.
Rustic / Woodsy
Apple Orchards in Stow, Harvard, Concord, etc.
What can be more Massachusetts than apple picking in the fall?! There are so many beautiful orchards northwest of Boston, it's all about finding the right one and going on an off-time to minimize the crowds.
Wayside Inn Mill in Sudbury
This little rustic cottage was an unexpected find but boy were we glad we did! It is an old water mill that still runs to the day. It is so picturesque and if you're going for a fall theme, this spot is a must!
Maudslay State Park in Newburyport
A very pretty walk in the woods, Maudslay State Park is a picturesque spot for those nature lovers. Dog friendly!
Houghton's Pond at Blue Hills
Blue hills is often requested but does come with a set of problems. Mainly with crowds. The boardwalk is very pretty but there are also not all that many photo perfect spots.
Nautical / Beach
Half-Moon beach at State Fort Park
We adore Half Moon Beach in Gloucester! There are a great many nooks for photos with a huge rock wall, a field, lush trees and even a cute little building.
Eastern Point Lighthouse in Gloucester
We love love love this spot! It is absolutely perfect during sunset. The lighthouse is so picturesque and the jetty makes for a wonderful backdrop walking out to the sea.
Crane Beach in Ipswich (no dogs)
This famous Massachusetts beach is popular for a reason. It is surrounded by protected marshland and feels like a welcome respite from busy life. On off days, you can get some epic sunsets without having the deal with the crowds. Highly recommended if you want that secluded beach feel!
Marblehead Town Center
Cute and quintessentially New England. This little fishing town makes for some great nautically-themed photos.
This spot is sure to look impressive for engagement and wedding photos. The biggest drawback is that it is fully exposed to the elements. When it's too sunny or windy, it can be difficult to get a good shot.
280 Congress Street
This lobby between two buildings is perfect when the weather isn't cooperating. It has ample natural light due to the massive skylight as well as some perpetual greens and red brick. If it rains on your wedding day or you are looking to escape the cold during your engagement session, I would highly recommend this spot!
Boston Harbor Hotel
The hotel features a gorgeous archway, which provides cover should it rain. It's also right along the harborwalk, making it a convenient walk to other locations. Even better, in the wintertime they put in a skate rink! This location is very close to 280 Congress street pictured above.
MIT Dome Building
This is a wonderful location rain or shine. These gorgeous columns paired with a little park makes for an elegant backdrop that matches best with formal attire. Best of all, you don't need permission to photograph here, although you cannot specifically reserve it and there may be tour groups, students and/or other wedding parties nearby.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (permission needed)
This location is a wonderful blend of modern and ancient. Isabella Stewart Gardner was an avid collector of art pieces from around the world. The courtyard is a fabulous place to photograph inside and has a very old Italian feel about it. The modern wing has a very pretty walkway inside with plenty of natural light. They are very strict in this location so explicit permission ahead of time is a must.
ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art)
Right in the seaport's edge, this modern building is a great location as a backup for a rainy day. It has a large overhang, which will keep you dry as we photograph. It is also right next to the water to incorporate some nautical elements.
Liberty Hotel (permission needed)
This historic hotel used to be Boston's county jail in the 19th and 20th century. It was completely renovated fairly recently. There are still jail bars in some of the windows but they used the bones of the building to create a stunning atmosphere.
Fairmont Copley Boston
This hotel is luxurious and opulent. If you like classical designs then the lobby of the Fairmont is an excellent choice!