Seeking public indoor photography locations in Boston, MA

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Philip Harris, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. I'm a long-time amateur photographer who would like to begin doing weekend
    semi-pro work, but I need practice with portraiture and with using my new
    Canon EOS Rebel. I've found models who will pose in trade for portfolio
    pictures, but now I need to find locations to photograph them. The weather
    is too poor for outdoor portraits, and I'm just an apartment dweller who
    can't afford studio rental.

    Can anyone on this newsgroup suggest good indoor locations in Boston,
    Massachusetts that tolerate photography? I've found some, but they all
    prohibit "commercial photography," which technically would include shots for
    professional portfolios.

    Please respond to website because my email is an anti-spam bit-bucket.
    Philip Harris, Dec 8, 2003
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  2. Philip Harris

    photo35744 Guest

    Try some Malls, the lighting is good and the backgrounds ok. Just don't
    make a big deal out of it to attract attention.
    photo35744, Dec 9, 2003
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  3. Philip Harris

    Charley Guest

    The "Malls" are not public places and you will likely have big problems with
    their security people if you go there (I have).

    You will be better off going to real public places like museums, etc. Bus
    stations, train stations, and airport terminals are also good, although many
    are technically not true publicly owned places. Many museums even have
    better backgrounds for your photos than what you can find in a mall (and
    smaller crowds) and I tend to prefer them. You may have problems anywhere if
    you try to do anything elaborate like setting up studio lighting or
    disrupting the normal traffic flow at the location, especially without prior
    permission. If I need to do anything even slightly elaborate I always try to
    talk to the management ahead of time so they know what I'm planning to do
    and I try to respect any requests that they make. You will usually find them
    very cooperative if you talk to them ahead of time. If you are only planning
    "point and shoot" style shots of a model in various poses you should not
    have any problems and don't need to ask prior permission, so long as you
    don't stay in any one spot for more than a few brief shots before you move
    on. Big cameras and fancy lenses imply "professional" and will draw more
    attention (and trouble). It's best to try to look more like "friends just
    shooting some personal shots of each other" with a small (but high quality)
    camera (yes, let her use the camera to take your picture too). You will
    always get away with a lot more if you can avoid the appearance of a
    "professional photo shoot".
    Charley, Dec 11, 2003
  4. In some areas, both public and semi-public, you also might run into the
    issue of permits and fees. Sometimes these are reasonable - a large
    shoot can cause traffic and pedestrian problems and need the attention
    of a cop or security officer, which should be compensated - but as often
    it's just a token way to squeeze a few dollars out of a situation for a
    city, park district or building co-op. It's up to the shooter to decide
    whether to try to evade these fees or not.
    James Gifford, Dec 11, 2003
  5. Philip Harris

    Jim Guest

    Most, if not all of these places will not allow tripods. The museums
    will not allow flash. If you act like tourist one or two shots you
    can get away with more. Surprising, after 9/11 many of the buildings
    will let you take shots in the lobby. My girlfriend is an architect
    and she has shot in the lobby of the Hancock for example.

    Now that I think of it the best spot would be the observatory at the Pru
    on the 54th floor. It cost about $5 per and they allow tripods, I've asked.
    During the day there's enought natural light for non-flash shots they also
    allow flash. You can spend all the time you want and take as many shots as you like.


    * Check-out my web site at: *
    * landscape and travel photographs, featuring sunsets *
    Jim, Dec 29, 2003
  6. Philip Harris

    Aaron Guest

    Granted, I had kind of a large apartment at the time, but all of my
    studio shots were made with an 8' paper backdrop in my apartment. The
    main problem with setting up an apartment studio is having space
    BESIDE the backdrop; most apartments, especially those inhabited by
    bachelors with little need for trifles such as furniture, can
    accommodate an 8' paper backdrop, but it often helps to be able to
    position lights off-camera, which can sometimes be to the side of the

    Nevertheless, these shots were all achieved in the space you probably
    have available, Philip:

    Clearly, I like to get in close, and that's just a matter of style and
    not being on commission for anyone; if you need wider shots you need
    more space, but don't be discouraged by any of these things!

    You can get backdrop paper rolls in 26", 31", or 53", which could be
    even more convenient space-wise, if not perhaps a bit confining
    style-wise. Now that I live in a smaller place, I am thinking about
    making a comeback with smaller paper.
    Aaron, Dec 12, 2006
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