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Boston-based family, newborn and wedding photographer. Creating timeless images on location. Click to read more.

31 Locations for photoshoots

Engagement, Family, Tips

Where to have your Boston-area photoshoots

This has been a topic I’ve meant to do a big write-up on for the longest time. I guess it took a pandemic to make time for it! With people wanting to safely social distance during photoshoots, I recommend heading a bit out of the city for some reprieve from the crowds, joggers, dogs and bikers. Here is a list of some of my favourite locations photoshoots I’ve photographed in.

This is not a definitive list. I can honestly make any location work. I photograph in people’s homes 85% of the time and I have never set foot in their homes before the session, and I always have to make it work. That training over the past several years has helped me hone into what’s important to include in my frame of an image and what to crop out. If you stay until the end of the blog post I will show examples of some small parks and parking lot photo sessions. I keep forgetting to take more behind-the-scenes images, but when I get more, I will add them to this post. Just know you don’t have to go to the Public Gardens and that’s actually my least favourite place to photograph in the Boston area. Here’s my list for locations for photoshoots.

Locations are a personal preference

I had a PDF that I used to email to everyone when they asked for location suggestions. I tell them that they have to make sure they love it because a location is very much a personal preference. I love street art, derelict buildings, muddy puddles, splashing in the lake, and hikes up mountains. I can confidently say that 99% of my sessions do not include any of those items.

The things I tend to steer away from include iconic locations where you HAVE to photograph in this one spot from a specific location or there’s no point for that spot. Given the pandemic, I do not want to be lining up for a location, or having to cluster near a feature. Even if there wasn’t a pandemic, I follow the light and I love texture. When some landscape designers install a bridge or a gazebo, they don’t have the light in mind. Just because it’s there, I won’t necessarily use a bridge or gazebo unless the light is perfect. As a photographer, we see the world with light and shadow. It’s hard to convince someone unless they’ve had the training, but that’s why you’ve hired me – because you want me to make those choices and direct you to gorgeous backdrops.

If there is a location you have to have as a backdrop, please ask me during your consultation and make that abundantly clear so I can tell you how feasible it is. I want to make you happy, but that sometimes means changing the time of the session, bringing artificial lighting, or sacrificing the posed nature of the image captured there (because children will not hold a pose for a lighting setup). It’s a very technical decision sometimes, but I can make it work if that is the key image.

Summary of suggested locations for photoshoots

I provide examples for almost all of the following locations. I have been all across Boston and the greater Boston area. New locations don’t phase me. Under each location I give more tips on parking, things to consider, etc as well as the city these spots are located in.

  1. Boston Public Gardens
  2. Charles River Esplanade
  3. Boston Commons
  4. Christopher Columbus Park
  5. The Fens
  6. ICA / Seaport District
  7. Davis Square / Trolley Square/ Powderhouse Circle
  8. Tufts Campus
  9. Fresh Pond Reservation
  10. Alewife Brook Reservation
  11. Danehy Park
  12. Christian Herter Park
  13. North Point Park
  14. Menetomy Rocks Park
  15. Tobert MacDonald Park
  16. The Fells
  17. Beaver Brook Reservation
  18. Rock Meadow Conservation Land
  19. Minuteman National Park
  20. Wellesley College
  21. Lynn Woods
  22. Lower Commons, Wakefield
  23. Breakheart Reservation
  24. Larz Anderson Park
  25. Arnold Arboretum
  26. Fort Sewall, Marblehead
  27. Crane Beach, Ipswich
  28. North Shore Beach
  29. Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester
  30. Backyard
  31. Park near you

Downtown locations for photoshoots

I will no longer be photographing any locations downtown (this includes the Charles River, Boston Public Gardens, Boston Commons, Christopher Columbus Park, any South End park) unless the session ends by 7:30 am. The sessions last about 40 minutes, so we would need to start by 6:50am at the latest. If this is too early for you, please consider a location out of the city.

If you are willing to consider a sunrise session, these are some visual examples of those locations:

1. Boston Public Gardens Photoshoot

Sunset and dad, mom and child at Boston Public Gardens
Sunset lasted for 2 minutes so we did a sequence to make the most of it. (I will not longer be photographing sunset at the public gardens)

2. Charles River Esplanade Photo Session

Boston Maternity session by the Charles River with prudential center in background
They just pop against the skyline don’t they? (sunset)
He bent down on one knee to ask for her hand in marriage
Sunset over the Charles River with boats in the background and city skyline, the couple in the foregraound
The sunset that evening was surreal. If you’re a local to Boston, you know these sunsets aren’t a regular occurrence. (I will not be photographing sunsets at the Charles in 2020)

3. Boston Commons for a maternity session

Boston Commons Maternity session | suggested Locations for photoshoots
Boston Commons Maternity session (this is sunset)

4. Christopher Columbus Park

Christopher Columbus park family photography session | suggested Locations for photoshoots
Christopher Columbus Park (this is sunset)

5. The Fens

Near Fenway is another cute spot that has great landscaping. Please note that most of this land is made up of small patches of community gardens. I love it though!

Maternity photography Boston | locations for photoshoots
Maternity photography Boston | The Fens
Engagement Photos at The Fens in Boston
Engagement Photos at The Fens in Boston

6. ICA / Seaport District

Sunrise option available if you love the downtown landscape! If you want a city feel away from the crowds, I love the seaport district near the Childrens museum and the ICA. They recently renovated the waterfront to have some great new features.

Boston Childrens Museum
ICA Boston Downtown

The following images are more creative (so not available for sessions with younger children). It requires flash and posing so it would work really well for engagement and senior sessions.

Bella Wang Photography, LLC
The bottom photos on the set above are natural light (sunset).
Dancer in front of skyscrapers in Boston Seaport District Boston senior session
After the ICA we wanted some backdrop variety so we did an outfit change that matched the setting perfectly. | Seaport District
Dancer at the ICA in Boston
Senior session at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston’s Seaport District
Sunrise over the ICA Boston with dancer in foreground
The soft glow of light and the gentle outline of her dress really makes this shot come together
Dancer in front of skyscrapers in Boston Seaport District

Somerville / Cambridge for photo sessions

7. Davis Square Powderhouse Park / Trolley Square| Somerville, MA

Let’s say I live in Davis Square so I shoot at these locations ALL the time. I come almost weekly to these spots because of my Davis Square location discount. Many of my clients also live in the area!

Davis Square suggested Locations for photoshoots
Trolley Square. Caveat: It’s on the Minuteman path so there are bikers/joggers. This is a sunrise only location.

This is the same family! We have been seeing each other since she was still inside her mama’s belly. We haven’t left the square yet! So many choices and you don’t have to go far.

Tufts Powderhouse suggested Locations for photoshoots
Davis Square – Powderhouse park

8. Tufts Campus | Somerville MA

Lots of spots around campus. I should note that campus is reopening in the Fall so there may be some tents set up closer to the start of the Fall semester.

Bella Wang Photography, LLC
Tufts University campus | suggested Locations for photoshoots
Tufts Campus. Depending on the season, the campus has different features.

9. Fresh Pond Reservation| Cambridge, MA

This area is near the newly constructed playground.

The caveat for the above location is that part of it is a playground. I am not sure if it will be closed or how comfortable your family is in a playground setting with regards to Coronavirus. Parking in this area is also tricky if you are not a Belmont or Cambridge permit holder.

The below area is also nearby but easier to access via parking near the Trader Joe’s at Alewife Brook Parkway.

Fresh Pond Reservation Family photography session | suggested Locations for photoshoots
Fresh Pond Reservation

10. Alewife Brook Reservation

Just around the bend from there is another park that I love. It’s a thoroughfare that connects Belmont to Cambridge. It’s called Alewife Brook Reservation. It’s just off the T line from Alewife station. Parking here is incredibly hard to find unless you park at the T.

suggested Locations for photoshoots | Alewife reservation
Alewife Brook Reservation

11. Danehy Park | Cambridge, MA

I shoot at Danehy park a lot! I love it there. There are a lot of choices in the massive city park. We can easily move from place to place when people come around. I actually convinced one family to stay close by last year for their family session and they were happy I talked them out of heading further out.

Danehy Park family photography session
Bella Wang Photography, LLC
suggested Locations for photoshoots
Danehy Park sunset session in the fall
Bella Wang Photography, LLC
Danehy Park family photography session: suggested Locations for photoshoots
Danehy Park family photography session

12. Christian Herter Park | Cambridge, MA

One of my favourite parks because it has easy parking! The water is steps away from the parking lot. I do have to note that this is a busier park because it’s by the Charles River. There are a lot of joggers and bikers along the water. If you are ok not being by the water, we can find a quieter patch to photograph in.

Locations for photoshoots : Christian Herter Park
Christian Herter Park
Christian Herter Park
Christina Herter Park Cambridge, MA | suggested Locations for photoshoots
Christian Herter Park Cambridge, MA
Christina Herter Park Cambridge, MA | suggested Locations for photoshoots
Christian Herter Park Cambridge, MA
Family session just after the rain with puddles | suggested Locations for photoshoots
puddles add a really great dimension to photos and check out that sky!

13. North Point Park | Cambridge, MA (sunrise only)

I’m not going to reinvent the wheel, so if you want to see a whole bunch of photos taken at North Point, click HERE to see the blog post. I’m calling this a sunrise only session location because it’s right in the city and sometimes quite busy. Parking is also a huge pain here.

Trees in North Point Park in the Summer | suggested Locations for photoshoots
Trees in North Point Park in the Summer
Fall Foliage at North Point Park in Cambridge
North Point Park in the Fall
The girls are having so much fun!
Playground at North Point Park
North Point Park, Cambridge, MA
Locations for photoshoots : North Point Park

Arlington / Medford / Belmont / Concord for photo sessions

14. Menetomy Rocks Park | Arlington, MA (sunrise only)

I love this park in Arlington. Parking is found all around the park, so make sure we agree to meet in the right area. The most ‘iconic’ spot is the pond right in the center. I love this location for photoshoots. I am willing to do sunsets if you are flexible with location choices. We just have to dance around the many walkers/bikers/dog walkers. It’s pretty popular with off-leash dog walkers, unfortunately.

Menetomy Rocks Park arlington Family photography session
Menetomy Rocks Park Arlington Family photography session
Menetomy Rocks Park Arlington Family session
Menetomy Rocks Park Arlington Family session
Menetomy Rocks Park arlington Family photography session
Menetomy Rocks Park Arlington Family photography session

15. Tobert MacDonald Park| Medford, MA

The parking lot for this park is right by the Police station. Have you noticed how much I love easy logistics? It’s from years of running between back-to-back sessions and having families rush to a location because of a throw-up, I know how important it is to find easy parking. I always tell parents I can make any location work. The main thing is if they can get there easily and not be late. Sunrise is sunrise and sunset is unforgiving. We cannot argue with Mother Nature!

Tobert MacDonald Park in Medford, MA
Tobert MacDonald Park in Medford, MA

I photographed this family at another nearby park across from the Costco shopping center and LOVED how that turned out as well. There are so many options.

16. The Fells | Medford, MA

I adore the fells. I was actually there hiking this morning. When it has just rained you can smell the fresh wood. I have been going there for years. It’s for the more rugged families that are used to mud and muck. You have to dress properly and expect dirt and exploration. Basically, this isn’t a place for heels and dresses. If you love nature like me, this is a great suggested Location for photoshoots.

The Fells Family session photography
The Fells Family session photography
The Fells Family session photography
Time for exploration

17. Beaver Brook Reservation | Belmont, MA

The little guy below had almost his entire session at this one park. It was easy as it was just down the street from his house. They often walked their dog Hattie here so it was sentimental to them. Locations aren’t the focus for me. It’s all about the light, interaction, emotion and expression.

Beaver Brook Reservation Belmont
Beaver Brook Reservation Belmont

During his 6 month photo session, we really lucked out with the most stunning sunset in the PARKING LOT. Have I mentioned how many of my images are basically created by a parking lot?

Beaver Brook Reservation, Belmont
Belmont Family Photography

This was the epic parking lot photo we got after sunset as we were all walking back to our cars:

Belmont sunset during family photography session
Belmont sunset during family photography session

18. Rock Meadow Conservation area | Belmont, MA

I’ve done a blog set on this location, so again, I’ll direct you there to take a look at the landscape (BLOG POST)! I’ve photographed there often. I do have to make a note that it has become VERY popular. It’s more of a sunset location just because of the direction of the light/sun. This would not be suitable for a weekend location.

This session took place on an overcast and almost storming day:

Belmont Rock Meadows Reservation
Belmont Rock Meadows Conservation
Belmont Rock Meadows Conservation
Belmont Rock Meadows Conservation
Belmont Rock Meadows Conservation
Belmont Rock Meadows Conservation
Family play photography session in Belmont
My favourite image of the session. It captures the nature and essence of this family at this moment perfectly.

19. Minuteman National Park | Concord, MA

I wouldn’t expect us to get a bridge photo as it’s a main thoroughfare, but it’s a great sprawling park with a lot of scenery. Lots of things to climb on and explore! It’s massive and a place for the kids to run wild.

Minuteman National Park Concord Family photography Session
Minuteman National Park Concord Family photography Session
Minuteman National Park Concord Family photography Session
Minuteman National Park Concord Family photography Session
Bella Wang Photography, LLC
Minuteman National Park Family photoshoot photography
Bella Wang Photography, LLC

A bit further out / Wellesley, Lynn, Wakefield, Saugus for photo sessions

20. Wellesley College | Wellesley, MA

Wellesley College Family session
Wellesley College Family session
Wellesley College Family session
Wellesley College Family session
Wellesley College Family session sunset
sunset

21. Lynn Woods | Lynn, MA

I haven’t photographed or been here yet, but I do a lot of my scouting online before a session using just Google maps. If you want to read more about it, click on TripAdvisor.

22. Lower Commons, Wakefield MA

This was chosen by a Baby 1 Year family because they lived in Wakefield. It had a great green space, water and a gazebo for some interest. The parking lot was right there as well. I wouldn’t say this park is special, it’s merely an example that I can photograph any location and I don’t need to scout it out ahead of time. I just need cooperative subjects and good light.

Lower Commons Wakefield, MA family photography session
Lower Commons Wakefield, MA family photography session
Lower Commons Wakefield, MA family photography session
sunset
Lower Commons Wakefield, MA family photography session
Lower Commons Wakefield, MA family photography session

23. Breakheart Reservation | Saugus, MA

This is another location that looks great on Google Maps. Check out the town website for details. I would definitely put this on a list of photogenic locations to check out.

24. Larz Anderson (sunrise only)

Classic Family Photo in Brookline
The money shot in my opinion. This was the last 5 minutes of the session when the toddlers were worn out and I had a moment to create this. I never know when this moment will happen. It could be the first 5 minutes, or the final 5 minutes. I am so pleased with the outcome!

I’ve covered Larz Anderson park extensively. I was bored of the Public Gardens a few years ago and suggested this park as an alternative. It’s located in Brookline. I will direct you to some full blog posts on this suggested location for photoshoots.

Boston family photographer Fall foliage
Larz Anderson Park on a rainy day

Family Session at Larz Anderson Blog Post # 1

Family Session at Larz Anderson Blog Post # 2

Family Session at Larz Anderson Blog Post #3

Larz Anderson Family photography session
Larz Anderson Family photography session 2019

25. Arnold Arboretum (sunrise/sunset only)

Parking is tricky here because people tend to not expect the parking is just along the side of the road. Then they are usually late and roar right past it and then it’s about 15 minutes to circle back and park. I send parking instructions with every session here, but each time it’s still a fiasco for the uninitiated. If it’s your first time, I would recommend going once beforehand or leave an extra 20 minutes for parking. The Arboretum is one of my favourite locations for photoshoots.

Arnold Arboretum Family photography Session
Arnold Arboretum Family photography Session

I love this grand park in Jamaica Plain. There are so many spots to photograph here and we can avoid crowds by going off to the side.

Arnold Arboretum engagement photography Session
Photography by Bella Wang Photography
Arnold Arboretum Family photography Session
Arnold Arboretum Family photography Session
Arnold Arboretum Family photography Session
Arnold Arboretum Family photography Session
Arnold Arboretum maternity photography Session
Arnold Arboretum maternity photography Session
Arnold Arboretum engagement photography Session
Arnold Arboretum engagement photography Session

By the Coast / North Shore for photo sessions

26. Fort Sewall| Marblehead, MA

Boats coming into the harbor in Marblehead, MA
Boats coming into the harbor in Marblehead, MA because the tide was coming in and the sun was setting.
Sunset engagement photos on the ocean
But I am opportunistic so I stole a couple of minutes to get these dramatic photos before we ran off.

I’ve been here 3 times and each time it looks different! For the full engagement session, please click HERE.

27. Crane Beach | Ipswich, MA

There’s paid parking at this beach so fees do apply, but you won’t find a more beautiful beach on the North Shore. We can easily social distance from people at sunset/sunrise on the weekdays. It’s that massive. I do not recommend weekends as it’s an absolute madhouse. Please also note horsefly season in July/August. We don’t want to be eaten alive there.

Crane Beach Family session photography | suggested Locations for photoshoots
Crane Beach Family session photography
Crane Beach engagement session | suggested Locations for photoshoots
Crane Beach engagement session
Crane Beach engagement session | suggested Locations for photoshoots
Photography by Bella Wang Photography
Crane Beach engagement session | suggested Locations for photoshoots
Crane Beach engagement session

28. North Shore Beach

Somewhere along the North Shore is another rocky beach where these elopement wedding images were taken. It was empty when we went. I forget where it was, but if you are interested, reach out to me.

North Shore beach elopement wedding photography | suggested Locations for photoshoots
North Shore beach elopement wedding photography

29. Wingaersheek Beach | Gloucester, MA

These were photographed at 8:30am when the parking lot opened. The beach is very tricky for photography and I highly recommend sunset or sunrise because you will have a warmth to the images and it won’t make you squint in all of your photos. If you know yourself and know you wear sunglasses at the beach, please plan to have a sunset/sunrise session. If we can figure out a weekday sunset or sunrise without parking issues, this is one of the great beach locations for photoshoots

Wingaersheek Beach family photo
Bella Wang Photography, LLC
Wingaersheek Beach family photo boy running through water black and white
Wingaersheek beach
Wingaersheek Beach family photo
Wingaersheek Beach family photo

I still remember losing my 85mm lens to the ocean during this session!

Also, consider nearby for photo sessions

30. Backyard or Apartment Common Area | Locations for photoshoots near you

I can make a simple location look beautiful just through choosing the lens, knowing the light and cropping intentionally. I just need to know what the space looks like that I will be working with so I can consult with you whether or not it will work.

Newborn session in apartment backyard pool area

More suggestions to make your backyard work in this BLOG POST.

sprinkler at home family photography
I love sprinklers in the backyard
At home family photography session Newton
At home family photography session Newton
At home family photography session Newton
At home family photography session Newton

Families are always shocked when I can make a simple space they may have overlooked into something magical. The following was taken in their apartment parking lot.

family photos at home in a parking lot. Unexpected Locations for photoshoots
family photos at home in a parking lot

31. Nearby Park | near you

I can make a small patch of greenery or florals look lush. You don’t have to travel far. I can do an entire session within 40 feet of the parking lot. I do a lot of scouting using Google maps. The only thing I cannot tell is if there is seasonal foliage or florals or construction. Those need to be verified closer to the date.

Photography session in nearby park Waltham. Unexpected Locations for photoshoots
Photography session in nearby park Waltham

If you have some place in mind

Send me a pin and send me some panoramic photos! I prefer you take the photos when you plan to have the session, but just let me know what time you took the photos and if it’s a pano, I can extrapolate the information I need. If you just take a snap, I cannot tell where the sun is in relation to the landscape. The pin on google is important so I know where to go!

You don’t have to take any of these photoshoot location suggestions. These are merely a jumping-off point. I hope they will help you plan your socially distanced photo session. There’s no need to stress about finding the ‘perfect’ spot.

When I first started, parents cared so much about locations and drove 45 minutes to a spot only to have their toddler meltdown because of the distance traveled. The session isn’t up to us. If you have older children, then we can head further out of town. Just know your children.

Things to keep in mind include parking, when parking lots open, permits and fees related to shooting locations and closures due to construction, COVID-19 or pests (such as horseflies at Crane beach). Washrooms are also something to keep in mind as many places are closed and personally I am avoiding public washrooms.

For at home sessions, I ask for panoramic photos and a questionnaire to be filled out asking what your favourite aspects are of your yard (and areas to avoid). This will all be sent to you when you book your photo session.

There are a tonne of other locations I’ve photographed at, but this blog post is getting a bit lengthy. If there’s some place else you’d like me to cover in this post please reach out and I’ll dig up some examples.

I hope this list helps you find the best locations for your photoshoots

If this resource is helpful, sign up for my newsletter. I’ll be adding more tips and advice for planning sessions in the coming months. Once those blog entries are available, I’ll send you a notification right to your inbox. You can unsubscribe any time. I won’t spam you. My goal is to gather a couple of entries before I send off a newsletter maybe once every 1-3 weeks depending on the season. You can sign up below.

Best Boston photoshoot locations | where to have your photography session

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