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Boston Harbor at sunset representing the best Boston engagement photographer

The Best Tips For Your Boston Engagement Shoot | Boston Engagement Photographer

Wondering what you need to know as you plan for your Boston engagement shoot? Let’s get to it!

Couple hugging at Fan Pier Park representing romantic Boston engagement photography

What is an engagement shoot?

An engagement shoot is simply a portrait session for two engaged people. That’s it! 

Many people decide to invest in an engagement shoot for two reasons: to create pictures for their save the dates, and to get to know their wedding photographer.

Since having pictures for your save the dates is pretty straightforward, let’s jump into the benefit of getting to know your wedding photographer before your actual wedding day.

When you get to know your photographer beforehand, it helps the wedding day run smoothly because you are A) more comfortable with your photographer and B) used to how your photographer works.

I say this all the time, but it bears repeating: when you are comfortable, you will like your photos so much more! Any time someone feels even a hint of discomfort, that feeling gets magnified in portraits. 

So, when you can give yourself time to get to know your photographer before the busyness of the wedding day, the benefits are priceless. 

Each and every photographer also has their own way of doing things when they work with a couple. You’ll get comfortable with how your photographer gives instructions, which means that posing actually goes quicker on your big day.

How? You’re going to remember things, even if you’re not trying to!

I’ve never expected any of my couples to memorize poses or just be able to do what we did at the engagement session. But during each wedding where I have had an engagement session with the couple, they always end up commenting something along the lines of, “I remember…we do it like this!”

And when you’re getting into poses quicker, that means less portrait time without sacrificing how many images you walk away with. This also means more time celebrating with your new spouse, family, and friends. That’s a win-win situation in my book!  

Couple holding hands and walking at Arnold Arboretum representing Boston engagement pictures

Boston Engagement Shoot Locations

Wondering where to have your Boston engagement shoot? There are so many right answers!

I’ll give you a few options, but if you have another place in mind, feel free to mention it during your engagement session planning. You could have the best idea brewing!

Fan Pier Park

Okay, I know that this has to be one of the most popular Boston engagement shoot spots, but it’s for a reason!

Fan Pier Park looks good in any season and in any weather, and I mean that literally.

I’ve done engagement pictures here immediately after a severe thunderstorm, and the pictures are serene.

Yes, it’s a busy spot, and you will definitely see other couples having their Boston engagement shoot, or taking their wedding pictures, or actively being proposed to. But this spot is big enough for everyone, and despite being surrounded by people, you can make it look like you are there alone.

And the skyline? It’s worth it just for that!

Fan Pier Park also has a bathroom that stays decently clean, so if you’re hoping for a place to do an outfit change, Fan Pier Park works well.

The Boston Public Gardens

Another busy yet worth it spot, the Boston Public Gardens, or BPG for short, contain that iconic Boston look.

Between the swan pond, the weeping willows, and the gorgeous flowers, it’s easy to see why anyone would want this as the backdrop for their Boston engagement shoot.

If you don’t mind crowds, BPG is gorgeous. And, if you want to put in a little extra effort to have the place to yourself, BPG is amazing at sunrise. Just don’t hate me when you’re applying your makeup literally before the crack of dawn!

The Boston Public Library, Main Branch

Ahh, BPL. When I was still in college, I would walk down to the library just to stare at everything. It’s easy to forget that you aren’t in a faraway land when you’re surrounded by all of the beauty and the books. 

You do need a permit for pictures inside, but the epic facade outside of the building is free to use. 

Commonwealth Avenue (Comm Ave)

There are so many gorgeous buildings on Comm Ave! If you’re open to strolling and feeling inspired by the architecture, Comm Ave is a perfect place to have beautiful city scenes for your engagement photos.

Fenway Park

If you’re a diehard Red Sox fan, Fenway Park is the perfect place for your pictures. You don’t even need to go inside the stadium (although that is also amazing!) to have a beautiful session.

We can walk up and down Jersey St. and fulfill all of your Red Sox engagement session dreams.

The North End

While this is another busy spot, the timeless feel of Little Italy can’t be ignored. The North End is another spot that would be amazing earlier in the morning before the crowds move in.

Either way, you can get some beautiful buildings and amazing food right after your session ends. The North End is also on my list for after a Boston engagement shoot activity ideas, so you should check out that journal entry as you continue your planning!

Harvard School of Medicine (or several of the colleges in the area)

If you’re looking for the Neo-Classical vibe, the Harvard School of Medicine makes a stunning backdrop. I used to marvel at the columns as I walked to tutor kids in an after school program during my college days, and the impression still stands.

Of course, the Harvard School of Medicine isn’t the only gorgeous place brought to us by a college or university. Even though Boston is home to more than 60 colleges, it’s easy to forget about all of the campus buildings sprinkled throughout the city.

Many of these buildings are free to use (on the outside), so if you’ve always loved the look of one of those historic buildings, they’re great options.

The Charles River Esplanade 

The Esplanade is one of the best spots for cherry blossoms in Boston! But even when our favorite little pink flowers aren’t in bloom, the Esplanade stuns.

Open water views, the skyline, plenty of greenery all make for an unforgettable experience.

Rowe’s Wharf

Near the Boston Harbor Hotel, Rowe’s Wharf is another gorgeous Seaport spot. You might have less competition that at Fan Pier Park, but not less beauty.

The Arnold Arboretum

This unique spot is another Harvard recommendation…apparently I can’t keep them off my list, hah!

The Arboretum is a gorgeous plot of land filled with so many unique trees and plants that it’s easy to forget that you’re actually in the city. This is a gorgeous spot, especially in the spring, if you’re hoping for lots of florals!

A couple snuggling at Rowe's Wharf representing Boston engagement photos

Boston Engagement Shoot Ideas

My biggest piece of advice is to always make your engagement session your own. These photos are meant to represent you, your future spouse, and the beauty of the life you’re building together. So if you have a special tradition or heirloom you want to honor, do it!

I’ve had couples bring cherished champagne flutes to pop some bubbly with. You can also visit your first date spot, or drink lattes, or ride a tourist bus, or do whatever else it is that’s unique to you. You won’t regret it!

Couple opening champagne at Fan Pier Park representing a Boston engagement photographer

Boston Engagement Shoot Tips

Bring a touch up kit

If you’ve spent any time in Boston, you know that wind tunnels pop up just about everywhere. Having a hair brush or comb and some gel or hair spray to fix things will make all the difference during your Boston engagement shoot.

Plan for parking

Boston is a lot of things, but easily accessible just isn’t one of them. Sorry, Boston! Love you so much, anyway.

If you’re driving in, you’re going to want to either leave early so that you have time to search for street parking  (and possibly walk a while to our meet up point) or buy parking ahead of time so that you can scout for deals from the comfort of your own home.

Some colleges allow you to park at their campus for a discounted price. My double alma mater, Simmons, does exactly that! Whenever I’m in that area of Boston, parking at Simmons is my go-to.

But when I’m not on that end of the city, I use SpotHero to find the best options. 

Plan for using the bathroom/changing outfits.

If you think that bathrooms are going to be easy to find…I hate to be the one to tell you that they aren’t. So whether you’re hoping to do an outfit change or you just need to use the restroom in advance of your car ride home, this too needs a little extra attention.

Sometimes, some restaurants and coffee shops will let you use their bathroom if you make a purchase. But not every place has a restroom at all, so it’s best to do research beforehand. 

Bring your joy!

Boston is one of the best cities out there, no questions asked. I love all the quirks, and you can’t deny the city’s beauty. It’s the perfect place to have an engagement session!

Even if we run into wind or need to get creative with the bathroom situation, you aren’t ever going to regret your Boston engagement shoot. You’re about to spend time snuggling and playing with the one you love. Nothing gets better than that.

If you’re looking for a Boston engagement shoot photographer, I’m your girl! If we haven’t chatted already, you can get started by clicking here!

Until next time,


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