Nicole Chan is an award-winning Boston photographer dedicated to creating vividly colorful and storytelling Boston engagement photos for engaged Boston couples.
The Charles River and Marina Bay
Meeting new people is one of my favorite things. I love to hear stories as each person is different, and each couple has their own dynamic that influences their story. I want to be able to tell your story.
Marcie and Pichon’s story starts in the city. Since Marcie attended MIT, they spent a lot of time on the Boston/Cambridge line. They love the diversity that the city offers as well as all the yummy food (and wine) options! The afternoon of their forever session, I met with Marcie by the Charles River on the esplanade. She was alone, so we sat together and while we waited for her fiancé to arrive, she told me all about Pichon, their upcoming move to St. Louis, and planning their wedding in Atlanta.
When Pichon arrived, we walked around the Esplanade and I could see everything we chatted about coming to life. The loving, tender, way that he holds her when he wraps his arms around her. Those big bear hugs with an extra long squeeze that tells Marcie that he will always have her back. They made each other laugh and smile, and it wasn’t hard to see how their relationship is one of a kind. It was the way that they nuzzle into each other as they enjoy the fresh air and beautiful sunshine. Golden hour was just beginning and everything looked gorgeous.
While they love the city, they call Quincy home in Massachusetts. Marina Bay will forever hold a special spot in their hearts. Marcie and Pichon like to spend as much time on the boardwalk as they can when the weather is cooperating! They love to come to Marina Bay to walk and talk and this is where they spent many a night getting to know each other. Whether they’re stopping in at the favorite restaurant or just walking down the boardwalk, Marina Bay is the perfect place to leave distractions at home and get away from the stress of a busy life to have some quality time together. The light was as perfect as it could have possibly been but that didn’t compare to the glow that just makes you want to spend more time with them and share in their happiness.
We wish them the best of luck for their move! Enjoy the amazing food and settling into your new home. Good luck with everything!
Your engagement session is coming up. You’ve narrowed down a date and you’ve picked a photographer. Now all you have left to do is to figure out what you want to do! Your session doesn’t just have to be you and your fiancé standing around in front of something pretty. You can also choose to do an activity that holds a special meaning for you. Here’s a few things that my couples have incorporated into their sessions to be fun both for them and the resulting pictures!
Do you and your partner love winter? Do you look forward to the first signs of cold weather every year because it means things are about to get cozy? Well, take that excitement with you to your session! I’ve had many couples ask to go ice skating during their session and it’s always a bunch of fun. Do you guys like to hold hands and skate together? Do you guys like to show off those triple jumps and race each other? Let us capture your relationship all while having a great time. If this is something you love doing together every winter, let’s make it happen.
If you and your partner in crime are more comfortable indoors, don’t just settle on sitting somewhere comfortable. There are a bunch of different location options inside! Bowling is a great activity. Whether you guys bowl every week in a league or just like to bowl for fun, your photographs will be fun, feel slightly nostalgic and be bright and colorful. This won’t just be a photo session, it’ll double over as a fun date!
Include your pet
Do you have a pet that means the world to you? Let’s include them! I love photographing weddings and engagements, and I also absolutely love pets. There’s always something special about photographing people with their animals because of the fun dynamic it creates. Whether you have a dog, a cat or even a bird, let’s try to capture some meaningful moments with them.
Inside your home
You don’t necessarily have to go far to get great pictures. Sometimes the best location is right in front of you! If you love coming home after a long day of work, if your living room is your safest place, this is the perfect location for you. I love photographing couples in their own homes because of how much personality shines through. Surrounded by everything you love and feel comfortable in, you’ll be able to relax and forget about the rest of the world. No one will be there to watch you, it’s just you, your fiancé and me trying to be sneaky to catch those candids!
If you live in New England, you know that the winter can be grueling. Because of this, spring and summer are some of the most gorgeous times to be here. If you love blossoms, sunshine and luscious grass – take your engagement session outside. Go for a picnic! Pack up all your favorite snacks, bring your favorite blanket and find a pretty spot to enjoy the day. Not only is this fun, it’s also very relaxed – and who doesn’t love to eat outside? This is the perfect idea for warmer weather.
Do you absolutely love Boston and its iconic spots? Does Fenway mean something important to you? We can do something with that! If you and your partner love the Red Sox and the green monster, let’s take you there and get some photographs. Fenway Park is an amazing venue that is not just available for games. Many people choose it as a location to pop the question or tie the knot. Get dressed up in all your Red Sox gear and celebrate your love during this engagement session! Who knows, you might like it here so much that you decide to consider Fenway as your ideal wedding venue, too!
I love unconventional ideas. Don’t get me wrong – as much as I absolutely love hitting up all the familiar photogenic spots Boston has to offer, sometimes doing something a little different is the way to go. A paintball photo session is the perfect example! If you and your fiancé have a favorite activity to do together, even if it’s uncommon, let’s capture that. I want to show the real you and what makes you happy together, as a couple. Going out and doing something energetic and crazy will make for fantastic images. Don’t think of this photo session as something traditional that has to get done. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to be as authentically you as possible. Whatever that entails!
Here is a list of some of my favorite spots for engagement shoots around the greater Boston area. If you and your fiancé are looking for some ideas or inspiration – I hope this helps! What you need to remember is to pick a location that means something to you. When you look back at these pictures in ten years, don’t just get excited about your smiling faces, but also about where you were when this precious moment was captured. And don’t worry – if you have a different location in mind that is not listed – let’s make it happen!
Boston Public Gardens
If you’re looking for an iconic location for your photo shoot, it can’t really get better than the Public Gardens. Maybe it’s where you had one of your first dates. Maybe you have wonderful memories of walking through the park, holding hands. Either way, this is the perfect place to capture a little bit of nature in the heart of the city. There is no best time of the year for this location because each season has something different to offer! Whether they’re covered in a blanket of snow, or the trees are full of leaves, the Public Gardens are beautiful year round.
In the same way that the Public Gardens are iconic, so is the Boston Common for many of the same reasons. This is the perfect place to come if you want to people watch, ice skate or just walk around. No matter the time of year, there is always something happening here and you can count on finding the perfect location for your pictures. This place is a winner!
Are you a fan of beautiful architecture, cobblestone streets and history? This location is perfect for you! Beacon Hill is, without a doubt, a timeless classic. There’s a reason why it’s one of the most photographed places in the city. The fall offers gorgeous foliage and the perfect opportunity for cozy images. Since this is also a quieter part of the city you won’t have to be nervous about having too many onlookers. In any case, Beacon Hill is amazing in every way. And the best part? After we’re done taking pictures, I’ll show you where to get an out of this world hot chocolate!
Charles River Esplanade
The Charles River Esplanade is an amazing spot for pictures! Not only is the river great, but also the backdrop of the city on both sides of the shore. This location is best chosen for late spring and summer shoots when the grass is green and the trees are luscious. There are plenty of benches to choose from right along the water. We can also make our way to one of the wooden decks that jut out over the river. It’s the perfect place for a long walk and some quality time with your partner. The Esplanade never disappoints!
If you are having your engagement shoot in Boston because you’re in love with the city, this is one of the best places to be. Fan Pier is another one of the most photographed spots in Boston, just because it captures such an iconic view if the city. Right on the water, you can have downtown Boston serve as your backdrop. This is a perfect spot for a day in the spring, summer or fall. Right around sunset, when the light softens, all the lights inside the skyscrapers turn on. On the edge of Chinatown, the financial district and the North End – Fan Pier is easy to reach from all sides!
The North End
Do I even need to elaborate on why this is an iconic spot? The North End is the place for you if you love the feel of Boston. If you want the city to be more than just the backdrop to your photos, this is the place. With its busy streets and picturesque shops, the North End is one of the most charming destinations on this list.
The Harvard Bridge
The Harvard Bridge on Massachusetts Avenue is another winner! Have you ever walked across this bridge and stopped to admire the view? I know I have, many times. With Boston on one side and Cambridge on the other, this is the perfect place to catch a beautiful glimpse of both sides of the city. Being above the Charles always makes it breezy. And if you like sailing, it’s the best place to watch from! This location is gorgeous in the summer or the fall.
Christopher Columbus Park
My most recent engagement shoot started off right here! This park is right on the waterfront, on the outskirts of the North End and Faneuil Hall. It’s perfect thanks to its central location which allows us to move to a lot of different spots close by. The park itself is an attraction because of the trellis that runs through it. In the summer, it’s covered in luscious vines and flowers – in the winter, it’s coated in colorful lights. If you want your engagement shoot to have a special holiday feel, this is the place for you. Any time of the year works for this location because the trellis always has something to offer.
Harvard Square is amazing. Always bustling with energy, it is the proverbial heart of Cambridge. This location is great for an engagement shoot thanks to its versatility. We can explore Harvard Yard and the rest of the Ivy League’s campus. We can walk farther into Cambridge to find lots of quiet nooks. Or we could camp out in one of the many coffee shops for some quality cozy pictures! There’s a lot to work with here. And if you met your significant other while going to Harvard, is there a more perfect place for you to capture your love?
A proposal with mittens
Brian knew that a thoughtful present can go a long way. He also knew that he wanted to propose by doing something special that would mean a lot to her. He combined those two thoughts and crafted a day to remember, with the best present of them all. And Mary Anne had no idea.
A year before I took these pictures, Mary Anne and Brian had gone on an amazing date. First starting off at Sevens on Beacon Hill, they then made their way through the beautiful neighborhood, to the park, before walking across the bridge, when it started to snow. This time around, Brian recreated the date and gave Mary Anne special mittens that had been crafted specifically to allow two people to hold hands while wearing one. Since she likes to write him long, thoughtful letters, he did the same. In it, he wrote of giving her an early Christmas present because they sadly wouldn’t be together for the holiday. That present was a ring. On the bridge where, a year before, snow had started falling, Mary Anne now found herself looking at Brian on one knee.
It was a beautiful proposal and I’m truly glad I got to witness this special moment! Best of luck to the two of you!
There’s a reason why Acorn Street is the most photographed street in Boston, it’s gorgeous, private and cozy – and the perfect place to orchestrate a proposal! I had so much fun walking around Beacon Hill and the Commons with these two. Capturing this emotional moment was so worth it! And there was a horse carriage on top of it, so what more could you ask for?
Nikki and Tim met when they were both paralegals studying at Suffolk Law School. While sharing a class together they bonded over homework and their shared love for trying new foods. Now they are engaged and I had the chance to revisit some of their favorite spots around the city with them for a beautiful shoot!
The couple skated around Frog Pond, which is where Nikki first told Tim she wasn’t looking for a relationship… Look how the tables have turned! We visited the Suffolk Law School library where everything first started! And the Thinking Cup on Tremont Street is where Tim used to eat bacon, cheddar and chive scones with Nikki! It was a beautiful day and seeing how much Tim loves to make Nikki laugh was a fantastic thing to witness. We wish them all the best for the continuation of their journey together! They sure seem like the perfect fit.