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10 Best Spots for Photography in Boston

Massachusetts is known for its many public art museums and impressive architecture, but it also boasts some of the best spots for photography in the United States. Boston rivals cities like New York and Chicago for stunning views of notable landmarks, like the Prudential building or Fenway Park. With so many photo opportunities around, it's a shame that so many talented photographers fail to capture these views or give up before finishing their photos.

From historical landmarks to iconic cityscapes to places with strange and captivating surroundings, Boston has plenty of areas for all types of photography.

Many of the spots on this list are technically not public art museums. The artists who create public works in various locations just happen to be enjoying their work in photographed with the rest of us. If you want to see what some of the best and most notorious photo spots in Boston are, check out the list below:

1. Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Photography in Boston

Bustling Faneuil Hall is a great photo spot all year long. But when the day is clear, few places in Boston look as impressive as the marble-and-granite Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, with its sculptural design by renowned architect Paul Rudolph. 

Built-in the 1970s, the Federal Reserve Bank is a modern addition to the more traditional architecture of Faneuil Hall. Quite a few photographers are attracted to this building, in particular, making their way from the bottom of Congress Street up some stairs to the bank's front door and granite steps.

2. Prudential Tower and Boston Common

At 690 feet tall, 233 Massachusetts Avenue is one of the most distinctive buildings in Boston. Standing due north at the intersection of the Boston Public Library and John F. Kennedy Plaza, the Prudential Tower is also one of Boston's most prominent landmarks.

For photographers, just walking to the top or trailing down Congress Street to see it from below is a good way to find quality photos. You can also head to the other end of Congress Street and take a few shots at Bankers Row, where large buildings are often used as models in photography classes.

3. The Old State House

The Old State House is the oldest continuously-used public building in the United States and is one of Boston's most famous landmarks.

Little known fact: the top floor of the Old State House was originally a jail cell; this is where John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence. 

The interior of the Old State House feels like a museum, but it's not a museum at all. It's still a functioning courthouse and state government building. But it does make for some pretty cool photos of two-hundred-year-old architecture, the Liberty Bell replica, and one of the original stone plaques from the Boston Massacre.

4. Christian Science Plaza

The Christian Science Center is a complex of church buildings with its subway station on the Redline. It also holds much interest for photographers trying to get some great shots from Huntington Avenue Bridge or from the plaza itself (especially at night).

5. Washington's Headquarters

The Old State House is the oldest continuously-used public building in the United States, but Washington's Headquarters is a little newer still; it was founded in 1795. The building was bought by Boston in 1809 and became the town hall for Boston's old City Hall Plaza; it underwent a $1 million renovation in 2011. It is a great place to take photos of Washington Street as it winds along the Freedom Trail.

6. Boston Public Library

The Old State House is the oldest continuously-used public building in the United States, but the Boston Public Library was founded in 1854. The library has several locations, but most of its various branches are located in Boston's downtown area. 

Although not downtown, some good architecture from the late 19th century provides a suitable backdrop for shots of the Boston Public Library across Huntington Avenue at Congress Street.

7. The Greenway

There are plenty of spots to take photographs in the area surrounding the Rose Kennedy Greenway. On a nice day, you can find photographers posted up all around here, despite all the trees. But for some, photos of certain architectural structures come out best when there aren't any trees in the way. 

The Rose Kennedy Greenway features beautiful grass and trees that allow great shots of cityscapes at different times of the year, but it also boasts plenty of concrete and steel. If the weather is nice and you are looking for a place to take photographs, this is a good spot to find some. 

8. Boston Marathon finish line

The Boston Marathon finish line happens to be one of the best spots in the city for photography of the marathon itself. But if you're coming to Boston specifically for the marathon, there are plenty of other good spots in and around Copley Place where you can snap up some amazing shots from different angles. 

9. Old North Church

The Old North Church is one of the most photographed sites in Boston, and it's easy to see why. The church is actually where Paul Revere uttered his famous words, "The British are coming!" before his midnight ride, which helped raise the alarm that eventually led to the Battle at Lexington Green. 

The church is open for tours from May through December. But you can also get some good photographs from this locale during daylight hours (and all year long). 

10. Symphony Hall

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is in Symphony Hall. And that's not all that's in Symphony Hall—the hall itself holds several performances and performances by other world-class musicians throughout the year. But the really good news for the photographers out there is that Symphony Hall is also a beautiful building to photograph from, too. 

Although it may be hard for newcomers to Boston to know exactly where to go, Symphony Hall is right next to Symphony Hall, so if you're at all familiar with the area, then you can likely find a few good shots of the building in just a few minutes of walking.

Final Words

If you are a photography student or professional, if you've just begun to take pictures, or even if you have been around for a while but haven't tried Boston yet, then you should make the most of your time here. Whether you focus on architecture, performance arts, people nature—or all of the above!—Boston is one of the best places in the country for photographers to get top-notch shots.

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