11 places where you can take non-cliche Instagram photos of Boston

Cole Martin

You’ve seen them before: The skyline shots from the Seaport, the photo of Acorn Street in the fall. The photographs are decidedly Boston, but they’re also a little overdone.

If you’re looking to broaden your horizons, look no further than Instagram for inspiration, where photographers like Cole Martin, Chris Rocco, and Aidan Specker have carved out a niche for moody, striking shots of Boston in all of its understated glory. The three have a combined 22,000 Instagram followers, and sometimes even team up and shoot together around the city.

“I really love to look for symmetry, leading lines and reflections as those are really what make up the city,” said Specker, a 17 year-old from Southern Maine. “I also look for perfect light. One of my favorite times to photograph is right when the sun goes down, but there is still light in the sky.”


We asked all three to share their favorite places to shoot around Boston. Here are their picks in no particular order:

1. Chinatown

“Chinatown is very cultured and gritty, which draws me to it. Although it is a bit small.” —Rocco

I hope these long nights pay off…

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2. Lo Presti Park

“It’s sort of out of the way, and I noticed how East Boston wasn’t recognized as much as the rest [of the city], so I figured I’d check it out. Also, the clean environment with the colorful and up-to-date basketball court and soccer field drew me to the location.” —Martin

3. The abandoned train car in Charlestown

“I want to show off Boston’s trains. NYC has the subways, and they get a lot of really great shots. I think Boston should have that, too.” —Martin

Some things just never die

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4. Anywhere Downtown

“I really like shooting in Downtown Boston. There’s a lot happening, tons of people walking around. My favorite thing is when people will walk up and ask ‘what are you taking a photo of?’ Like, I’m taking a shot of what other people can’t see. I’m looking at the hidden parts of Boston.” —Martin

Forgot about these…

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5. Up high and near the Pru

“The rooftops by the Prudential Building offer unique vantage points of Boston’s most iconic building. Nothing makes me feel like I am in Boston more than being close to the Prudential.” —Rocco

Last night’s fog in Boston ?

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6. Back Bay rooftops

“I don’t shoot in Back Bay too often, but when I do it always interests me. It is also a great area to capture sunsets, probably the best in the Boston.” —Rocco

March 16′

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7. T Stations

“I really love the subways. There is some really amazing symmetry to be found under the city, which most people miss. Also, the motion of trains is always really fun to shoot. It makes me feel alive.” —Specker

8. Financial District

“I find when I’m walking around, not too many people take a second to stop and look up and see how just how beautiful the architecture really is. The way the buildings look like they just disappear into the sky. It’s things like that that really catch my eye.” —Specker

9. Abandoned Buildings

“As for abandoned spots, there’s a really cool factory out near Hyde Park and Mattapan. The colors are really nice. Most people think these places are just trashed and should be torn down, but, really, there is art in these places that people don’t always see until they see a photograph.” —Specker

10. Broadway Station

“I like taking photos of the trains, but I also like just getting shots in the stations. These locations just give off a gritty vibe, and all have perspectives … that I had never seen before.” —Martin

4/7: Because I love shooting symmetry and editing pictures with a lot of red

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11. The foot bridge at Bunker Hill Community College

“My favorite spot of all has to be the Bunker Hill Foot Bridge, where there’s a hole in the fence through which you can capture the Zakim and the cars moving on the highway below.” —Martin