Fan Pier Park | Boston, MA

General Description & Location

Your engagement session is an exciting part of the wedding planning experience. It is an opportunity to get together with your fiancé and photographer and create some amazing, unforgettable portraits of you two. There is also the element of self-expression as well. If you and your fiancé are a loyal native the city of Boston and desire to express that fact in your portraits, then you would be hard pressed to select a location for your session more appropriate than the Boston Seaport Fan Pier Park.

Located in in the Seaport neighborhood on Boston’s east side, Fan Pier Park is a fascinating location in the city. It borders the southern edge of Boston Harbor. The Park itself is a three-quarter mile long segment of the Habor walk. The pathway starts out on a northly path under the Seaport Blvd, and turns more easternly as it approaches the harbor. The result of which is a large outdoor public space that offers epic views of the Boston skyline and ocean from numerous different views.

The newly married couple enjoy a laugh during their portrait wedding at Fan Pier Park

Why would Fan Pier Park be the perfect location for your Engagement Session?

Excellent views of the skyline

On a warm summer evening the bride and groom share a passionate kiss in front of Boston Harbor
Having just come from their wedding ceremony, the bride and groom kiss joyously while walking through fan pier park.

Boston is a city with unforgettable architecture and striking skylines. Many couples would love to incorporate this trait into their images for their engagement session as well as on their wedding day. Fan Pier Park allows you place the skyline into your shots in several different manners. Starting on the Harbor walk between Congress Street and  Seaport Blvd., the opportunity to exists to shoot close to the skyline and as a result the couple appear much smaller, and the city likewise appears much larger and epic. This is an excellent opportunity for a wide angle Environmental Portrait.

The bride and groom pose for a formal portrait on the Harbor Walk in front of the downtown Boston Skyline

As you make your way further north along the harbor walk and turn toward the east the city gets further way. As a result of your new location, you see more of the city, more variety in the buildings, and it becomes a bit more cinematic. Often you can see a variety of boat traffic as well

The setting sun and a tall sailboat form the backdrop of this romantic portrait at Fan Pier Park
As the bride and groom walk along the waterfront the groom kisses his new wife's hand.

Lastly, if you walk as far as you can Eastward, you will get to the Marina. There is a floating dock here, that once you walk out onto, you will be greeted by this dead-on view of downtown with the water in front. It’s amazing view and I will talk about it more below.

A newly engaged couple shares a kiss during their sunny summer engagement session at the Boston Seaport Marina with the whole skyline behind them.

Numerous views of water

Boston is a coastal city, there is often there is exciting activity happening in the water just offshore. This activity can include changes from the weather, as well as a diverse amount of boat traffic. Often, I have seen tall sailing ships, sleek racing boats, as well as large luxurious yachts. All of these can add interesting context to your shots and the park allows multiple views of it.

The engaged couple sit and relax atop the chain hand rails at Fan Pier Park while watching the sun go down.
The groom snuggles his new bride while the sunsets on the ocean behind them.

Year round, busy or empty, the park is amazing for portraits!

Boston is a city that has a very diverse climate. It can be very warm and cozy in the summer, and blistering cool in the winter. The seaport will look amazing regardless of which season you have your engagements session in. I have capture fun summer nights all along the harbor with sailing ships floating by as well as vibrant winter days where the water is active and choppy adding a unique dramatic flare to the scene. If you are daring enough to have you session in the cooler months, the pay off is worth it.

The bride and groom share a kiss on a cloudy wedding day in Boston at Fan Pier Park

Boston can be a very busy place and the Seaport is no exception. Often times when you want to plan your engagement photo session in a popular, active, location, you need to take into consideration when the spot is full of people, when it is not, and then plan your day accordingly. This can be challenging when also coordinating with a time of day when the light is best. However, due to the active urban feel of the Seaport, this location can be just as useful full as it is deserted. If you shoot in the morning, the sun will be low and there will be fewer people. However if your schedule limits you to another part of the day, perhaps the early evening, there will be more people present but they will blend in. It is an urban location. Lots of people will be context, not distractions. Additionally, the park is rather large. The path ways are wide, and you will not find yourself striving for space. This is one of the reasons this is my favorite spots in the city. There is enough space for everyone.

The couple share a romantic moment on a busy day at Fan Pier Park

No Permit Required

  Fan Pier Park as well as the Seaport in general is one continuous public park. It is available and free to everyone. There is no permit required for scheduling your portrait session there. No appointment to be more or anything to that affect. All you need to remember is that you need to share the space and not be a nuisance. This can be a really amazing alternative to other locations, such as the Boston Public Library, which requires a $750 permit for portraits

A romantic couple engages a late evening chat while looking at a very colorful sunset at Fan Pier Park

Ease of parking and accessiblity

  The Seaport neighborhood of Boston started becoming heavily developed in the early 2000s. One aspect of this growth that was mandated by the city was ease of accessibility and parking. You can get to Fan Pier easily by driving or public transportation. Just about every mid rise building in the area has a public parking garage in it’s basement to make finding a spot near the park quick and easy. If you would rather not drive into the city, then you can take the red line to the nearby south station or you can also ride the silver line directly there.

The bride and groom to be snuggle with their puppy on the dock at Fan Pier Park.

Where are the best Spots for portraits at Fan Pier PARK?

As I've mentioned before, this particular Park is absolutely amazing for portraits that feature the skyline in the background. And that's going to be the first thing you see when you get to it. However, if you look closely, there's also several other little hidden spots that make for amazing unique images as well.

The bride and groom to be snuggle with their puppy on the dock at Fan Pier Park.

The harbor Walk at martins Park.

This is a nifty little area where you are directly in front of the Boston tea party ship. It's in between Congress Street and seaport boulevard, right in front of Martin's Park. Here the skyline is much closer to you, and you will appear much smaller in relation and the look is very interesting and makes for a great environmental portrait. 

A formal portrait of the bride and groom to be at their engagement session at Fan Pier Park
A lovely walk along the water in Boston

the barking Crab

If you continue your stroll North on the harbor walk underneath seaport boulevard, you will come to a nifty restaurant called The barking Crab. This is a very unique seafood restaurant and bar with a colorful interior decorating. If you're very nice, they'll let you take pictures inside the bar. However directly behind it. You also have a lot of Boston lobster fishing related items as well as a Marina where you get a great view of the old Northern avenue bridge which is currently out of use but makes a great background for your engagement portraits.

The couple shares a sneaky kiss at the Barking Crab Restaurant
The barking crab sign makes for a colorful background for this engagement session portrait at Fan Pier Park
The couple embraces IN front of the old north avenue bridge

The Courthouse

Continuing your walk even further north along the harbor walk, the sidewalk starts to curve towards the East and you walk behind the John Joseph Marconi United States courthouse. Here you will find a grassy area where you can move a little bit away from the water and get a more encompassing view of downtown. Additionally, the brick courthouse has several round alcoves that you can pose inside, which also make for an interesting view of the city with a sort of a picture frame from the brickwork.

A romantic portrait inside the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse
The bride and groom stroll through the garden behind the courthouse at Fan Pier Park

The Marina

Continuing our walk East on the harbor walk. We will come to first the Roof Top Pavilion which is a building with a large inclined observation deck on the roof. You can walk up there for great views of the water, Logan airport, as well as the skyline and that can also make a great way of seeing the city for portraits. 

A portrait taken from the Fan Pier Lookout of the bride and groom kissing with the Boston Skyline and a colorful sunset in the background
The bride and groom cuddle together on the steps leading up to the outlook at Fan Pier Park
The outlook at Fan Pier park provides an amazing view of the Atlantic ocean

The Dock

Lastly, on our list of locations is the seaport Marina. Here you will find a long narrow walk way that you can walk along and get a great debt on dramatic shot of downtown. This is excellent for activity-based shots with the skyline in the background.

The bride and groom have a dramatic dance during their evening engagement session at Fan Pier Park
On sunny summer afternoon in Boston, the bride and groom share a sweet kiss on the dock at Fan Pier Park




What is the best time of day for portraits at Fan Pier Park?

Although the harbor walk looks good almost all day long, there are a few benefits to scheduling your session with care. An early morning session, when the sun low and over the eastern water can look very tranquil and dream like. A session in the early evening can catch a colorful dusk sky as well as the lights of the city. Please keep in mind that in the summer, the sun rises very early in the morning and sets late in the evening. Likewise, in the winter, your dawn shoots will be later and you will have much less time in the evening.

Does this location require a permit or scheduling an appointment?

This locations does not require you to schedule an appointment or get a permit. This is a public park open to all!

IS there somewhere to change and use the bathroom at Fan Pier Park?

Yes! There is a public restroom inside the lookout platform where you can change. Additionally there are many restaurants around the park.

Can I bring my pet to the session at this park?

Yes! Of course!

How long does it take to receive the final edited photos?
We understand the anticipation of seeing your final photos. Our editing process typically takes 1-2 weeks, depending on the volume of images and the complexity of editing required. We prioritize quality and attention to detail to deliver exceptional images that exceed your expectations.
What happens if the weather is unfavorable on the day of an outdoor shoot?
If the weather doesn't cooperate on the day of an outdoor shoot, we can discuss alternatives such as rescheduling the session or finding an indoor location. We want to ensure the best possible outcome for your photos, and we're flexible in adapting to unforeseen circumstances.

Are you looking for a Boston Wedding Photographer?

Hello! My name is Gregory Hitchcock. I am a wedding photographer serving the greater Boston area. My passion is capturing the story of your wedding day in a manner that is authentic, natural, but also insightful and artistic. Combing this process of elegant photojournalism with an artistic vision I have be refining for the last twenty years, I create coverage of your wedding day that is both true to you as well as beautifully expressed. Every package I offer includes pre-wedding planning meetings as well as an engagement session so that I can ensure your wedding photography perfectly matches your vision! Please take a moment to fill out the contact form below and we will setup a time to meet. Or if you are not feeling the contact form simply drop me an email:

The bride and groom dressed to the nine's and made an entire evening of their engagement session at Fan Pier Park over looking Boston harbor

Looking for the ideal Boston Engagement Session Location?

This article on Fan Pier Park is one part of a series I am working on highlighting the bests locations in the city. Please have a look at the link below to visit my article about the 10 Best Engagement Session locations in Boston.