Choosing the right location for your golden hour photography session has a big effect on the magic and allure of your photographs. It may seem difficult to narrow down a specific location, from cityscapes to ocean fronts, there are so many options available to you. Combining your location with the soft and radiant light of golden hour, your portraits will come to life against a backdrop that mirrors your own unique style and personality.  In this blog post, we'll explore various scenery options, each with its own set of pros and cons, to help you make an informed decision that resonates with your vision.

Urban Charm: The Cityscape Experience

The cityscape offers a vibrant and modern backdrop, adding an urban edge to your portraits. Glowing city lights during golden hour can create a dynamic and chic atmosphere. Capturing iconic Boston landmarks in the distance can also add a sense of place and identity to your images. Although crowds and distractions can be a challenge in urban areas, they can also provide a sense of movement and wonder as you freeze time around yourselves. While the neutral tones of the cityscape offer a unique contrast against the golden light, it's great to find spots that provide tranquility and focus on the subjects rather than the hustle and bustle.

Golden hour portrait of engaged couple in Boston on Acorn Street with brick building

Natural Beauty: The Park Escape

Parks provide a serene and picturesque setting with lush greenery and open spaces. The soft sunlight filtering through leaves and trees creates a dreamy ambiance. Families with children will appreciate the freedom to roam and play in this environment. And because this is Massachusetts, some of our historic parks may even have lovely architecture to interact with during your portraits. Although popular parks can also get crowded, they are usually open enough to wander to find quieter and intimate areas.  Weather and seasonal changes can also impact the overall look of the setting, which may require flexibility in planning. Of course, the seasonality can also be beautiful as we showcase different tones throughout the year.

Coastal Serenity: The Beach Getaway

Using the beach for portraits offers a breathtaking canvas with vast skies and the soothing sound of waves. The golden light reflecting off the water adds an even deeper touch of magic. The beach environment provides a relaxed atmosphere, perfect for capturing candid moments. There are even some oceanfront backdrops that offer views with our beautiful city of Boston right behind you. If you’ve had any experience at the beach you already know that wind, saltwater, and sticky sand can pose challenges to both our wardrobe and our comfort. However, those golden hour sunsets over the ocean might just be too great to pass up. Hues pink and blue dance into a ball of golden splendor, painting the sky with nature’s own palette. Timing the tides and avoiding crowds during golden hour can also be considerations.

portrait of woman in red dress at historic park in Beverly

Enchanted Woods: The Forest Retreat

Forests exude a sense of mystery and enchantment, with dappled light filtering through the trees. Surrounding yourself in nature can provide a natural and intimate feel, ideal for capturing heartfelt connections and emotions. What’s best is that you don’t have to wander far to find a wooded area for your portraits. Limited light in certain areas of the forest might require careful positioning and adjustment. You most likely will need to be prepared to hike a bit so make sure to bring a change of shoes so you can walk comfortably. It’s also important to remember that insect presence and terrain can impact comfort during the session so pack accordingly.. 

Golden hour family portrait wearing blues and whites in the woods

Luxurious Escapes: Private Boat and Rooftop Terrace Photographs

As a bonus, Luxury portrait locations like private boats or rooftop terraces exude sophistication and exclusivity. They offer unique viewpoints and breathtaking panoramas, enhancing the overall grandeur of yourselves. Add in a designer dress and some champagne, and, wow! Best of all, here are locations like this available all over Boston, giving us access to a combination of the other locations but with a sprinkle of your lavish lifestyle. Logistics and access to such locations can be challenging, but not impossible, they just require a plan. As with any outdoor portrait session, weather conditions might impact the feasibility of these. 

As you embark on your search for golden hour portrait photography, the choice of location plays a role in creating a story that's uniquely yours. Whether it's the charm of the city, the tranquility of a park, the allure of the beach, the magic of the forest, or the luxury of a private boat or mansion, each location brings its own set of advantages and considerations. Above all else, embrace the atmosphere that resonates with your vision and let the golden light weave its magic through your portraits. Still can’t decide? I recommend taking a moment to reflect on your own personality, and choose a location that is important to you. Whether it's where you had your first date, or where you might spend a perfect day out and about, you have the ability to showcase exactly how you would dream up your portraits!