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  • Writer's pictureTamara Merri

Best Beaches for Engagement Photos in New England

Updated: Apr 11, 2023


couple stands in ankle deep water with dog during low tide in Brewster, MA for their engagement photos

It's that time of year when couples are putting together a plan for where they want to take their engagement session photos!! More often than not, many couples living in New England want to take advantage of the summer months for their photos when it's warm. And along with warm vibes comes along the beach theme. There are so many great beaches along the long stretch of shoreline from Rhode Island through Massachusetts and Maine, so I figured I'd organize a few of my favorites here for you! They all offer a little something different in terms of scenery aside from just the sand and water.


For photos, it's important to have a few different beachy elements for different scenes so the entire session doesn't look the same. For instance, the beaches that are my favorites also have long grass, a rocky coastline or jetty, and some privacy! Along with the different scenes you can pair a different outfit to mix it up! Having at least one outfit change is recommended so you can get both a cute sundress vibe as well as a more casual look.


It's also important to factor in the time of day when selecting a beach for your photos. Depending on the beach you chose and which direction it faces, the sun may set over the water, or it may set over the land. This makes a huge impact on what kinds of photos you'll receive as many photographers (including me) place subjects with the sun to their backs. So if you want a photo with the the sun setting over the water as your backdrop, you'll want to choose a west facing beach.



Aside from the time of day, you may also want to note when low tide is! On some beaches, like Salisbury Beach or Brewster Beach, you'll definitely want to go at low tide. On other beaches, you don't want it to be low tide because it smells and the beach is covered in seaweed. So it's best to do a little research or location scouting before making a firm decision on your engagement session location!


Best Beaches For Engagement Photos:


1. Singing Beach in Machester-by-the-Sea, MA

This absolutely stunning beach transports you from Massachusetts to the PNW. The sandy beach is long and thin which is great for photos to hopefully grab a spot that is a little more private. My favorite spot is obviously at the very end to get the rocky shoreline as a backdrop.


Things to consider:

- Parking: Much of the parking lot is for residents only. You'll want to check the website to see when and where you're able to park, and if you'll need to secure a pass/permit.

- Pets: A maximum of two dogs are allowed on the beach on or off leash, as long as you have command over them.


Beach elements :

✅ sand

✅ rocky coastline

🌅 east facing beach

🚫 tall grass

🚫 jetty

🚫 boardwalk

🚫fencing


engagement session at Singing Beach in Machester-by-the-Sea, MA with tall rocks in background

engagement session at Singing Beach in Machester-by-the-Sea, MA couple standing on tall rocks

engagement session at Singing Beach in Machester-by-the-Sea, MA couple walking along the shoreline


2. Duxbury Beach in Duxbury, MA


This might very well be my favorite beach to photograph engagement sessions. The opportunity to photograph on both the ocean and the bay side is excellent. Having the option to put the sun both behind and directly onto a couple opens up a whole new world for photo possibilities since each way is equally as beautiful. Be warned though, the bay side can be gross and squishy and smelly.... but the photos are delicious and it's totally worth getting your feet dirty momentarily! The sun sets over the bay side, so it's best to begin there with the tall grass as the sun will set behind the couple. Then after the sun slinks below the horizon it's great to go to the ocean side to get that soft direct light as the sky turns different shades of blues.


Things to consider:

- Parking: Make sure to drive across the bridge to park. Last time I visited Duxbury Beach the parking fee was $20 in cash. Yes, even at sunset. The first lot you get to is only for residents. Make sure to pay attention to signs and postings to make sure you are parking in the correct visitor area.

- Pets: No dogs allowed.


Beach elements :

✅ sand

✅ fencing

✅ tall grass

✅ boardwalk / bridge

🌅 east AND west facing beaches - Sun sets over bay side (ocean side faces east which is better for blue hour and the bay side faces west which is better for golden hour.)

🚫 jetty

🚫 rocky coastline


engagement session at Duxbury Beach in Duxbury, MA couple waking on the beach

engagement session at Duxbury Beach in Duxbury, MA couple sitting in tall beach grass

engagement session at Duxbury Beach in Duxbury, MA couple waking on bay side of beach through long grass

engagement session at Duxbury Beach in Duxbury, MA couple embraces on sand between tall grass on bay side of beach

engagement session at Duxbury Beach in Duxbury, MA couple waking on the beach during blue hour


3. Brewster Beaches / Flats in Cape Cod, MA


For the photos below, this particular beach of Brewster Flats is a private beach as my couple has a house in the community. But there are other stretches of the Flats such as Crosby Landing (which I highlight little further down) as well as Linnell Landing, Ellis Landing, Breakwater Beach, Saint’s Landing, Mant’s Landing and Paines Creek that are all public beaches. You ABSOLUTELY need to go at low tide! The tidal flats are absolutely amazing and at low tide you can literally walk a mile into the water and still only be calf deep. Eventually you'll come upon a sand bar that reveals gorgeous patterns in the sand which captures and reflects the sunset beautifully. The photos below are some of my favorite photos (and memories!) from a session. Fun fact: the Brewster Flats are the largest flats in North America!


Things to consider:

- Parking: Parking passes are required from June til Labor Day which is $20 for non-residents.

- Pets: Dogs are not allowed on public beaches, tidal flats, landings, or public ponds from May 1 to October 1.


Beach elements :

✅ sand

✅ fencing

✅ tall grass

✅ jetty

✅ rocky coastline

🌅 northwest facing beach (sun sets over water)

🚫 boardwalk


engagement session at Brewster Flats in Cape Cod, MA during low tide couple runs through the shallow water

engagement session at Brewster Flats in Cape Cod, MA during low tide couple dances on the sand bank

engagement session at Brewster Flats in Cape Cod, MA during low tide couple embraces on the beach


4. Collins Beach in Newport, Rhode Island


Collins Beach is a small, semi-private beach. It is technically part of Castle Hill Lighthouse property, meaning you'll have to pass through the security gate. So it's best to make a reservation at Castle Hill in order to enter aka enjoy a romantic dinner after your engagement session!! I love Collins beach because the unique rocky landscape and how small it is to feel more intimate. You'll definitely want to go at low tide here.


Things to consider:

- Parking: Free / need Castle Hill Reservations

- Pets: Dogs are allowed at Castle Hill which leads me to believe they are allowed at the beach


Beach elements :

✅ sand

✅ rocky coastline

🌅 southwest facing beach (sun sets opposite of ocean)

🚫 boardwalk

🚫 fencing

🚫 tall grass

🚫 jetty

engagement session at Collins Beach in Newport, Rhode Island couple walking on rocky coastline

engagement session at Collins Beach in Newport, Rhode Island couple embracing on rocky coastline

engagement session at Collins Beach in Newport, Rhode Island couple walking on beach during golden hour

engagement session at Collins Beach in Newport, Rhode Island couple sitting on beach

engagement session at Collins Beach in Newport, Rhode Island couple playing on beach

castle hill lighthouse proposal
Castle Hill Lighthouse ~0.5 mile away from Collins Beach

5. Crosby Landing in Brewster, MA on Cape Cod


Crosby Landing is one of those beaches that just makes a photographer's heart happy. The rolling dunes with tall beach grasses is so beautiful and just screams 'cape cod'. There are SO many stunning beaches in the Cape but Crosby Landing is one of my favorites because of the diversity of location options, it's so clean, and because of the shallow water at low tide.


Things to consider:

- Parking: There is a designated parking lot and there may or may not be a fee to park. Make sure to keep updated on Cape Cod public beach parking policies.

- Pets: Dogs and other pets are not allowed on public beaches, tidal flats, landings, and public ponds between the dates of May 15th and September 15th.


Beach elements :

✅ sand

✅ tall grass

✅ jetty

✅ rocky coastline

🌅 northwest facing beach (sun sets over water)

🚫 boardwalk

🚫 fencing

🚫 rocky coastline


summer engagement session at Crosby Landing in Brewster, MA on Cape Cod with couple walking on grassy sand dunes with dog

summer engagement session at Crosby Landing in Brewster, MA on Cape Cod with couple on beach and sand dunes in background

summer engagement session at Crosby Landing in Brewster, MA on Cape Cod with couple embracing in shallow water

summer engagement session at Crosby Landing in Brewster, MA on Cape Cod with couple embracing in shallow water with sunset in background


6. Salisbury Beach in Salisbury, MA


Salisbury Beach is a large, popular beach that has sooo many different photo opportunities. From the park and boardwalk to the water and jetty, this beach offers so much!!! You'll want to visit Salisbury during low tide and also on off-season as this beach gets packed and popular!


Things to consider:

- Parking: There are a few different parking lots but you'll want to park at the one at the far end closest to the beach. The parking fee is $14 for MA residents or $16 from Memorial to Labor Day.

- Pets: No dogs permitted.


Beach elements :

✅ sand

✅ tall grass

✅ jetty

✅ boardwalk

✅ rocky coastline

🌅 south facing beach (sun sets opposite of ocean)

🚫 fencing

summer engagement session at Salisbury Beach in Salisbury, Massachusetts couple walking through tall beach grass

summer engagement session at Salisbury Beach in Salisbury, Massachusetts couple walking on boardwalk

summer engagement session at Salisbury Beach in Salisbury, Massachusetts couple laughing in the tall beach grass

summer engagement session at Salisbury Beach in Salisbury, Massachusetts couple walking on the boardwalk

summer engagement session at Salisbury Beach in Salisbury, Massachusetts couple walking in the wave at sunset

summer engagement session at Salisbury Beach in Salisbury, Massachusetts couple walking on beach at sunset with paraglider in background

summer engagement session at Salisbury Beach in Salisbury, Massachusetts couple sitting on jetty rocks


7. Echo Lake Beach in Franconia, NH


If you want to be *in* the mountains as well as get photos as the beach, Echo Lake Beach is a great spot for your engagement session! Right across the road from Echo Lake Beach is the quick, popular hike up to Artists Bluff. Something to note is that there is hardly any service around here. SO make sure you know where you're going and where you're meeting. I recommend visiting this beach when it's a little cooler out so you don't have to worry about 1 - people swimming in the background and 2- disturbances to the water to get a better reflection.


Things to consider:

- Parking: Free parking in the Cannon Mountain RV parking lot.

- Pets: Okay so I know there is a dog in the photos below, but signs say no dogs allowed.


Beach elements :

✅ sand

✅ dock

✅ mountain backdrop

🌅 southeast facing beach (sun sets behind mountains)

🚫 fencing

🚫 tall grass

🚫 jetty

🚫 boardwalk

🚫 rocky coastline


fall engagement session at echo lake beach in franconia, New hampshire with mountains in the background

fall engagement session at echo lake beach in franconia, New hampshire with fall trees and mountains in the background

fall engagement session at echo lake beach in franconia, New hampshire couple stands on dock with dog over water with mountains in the background

fall engagement session at echo lake beach in franconia, New hampshire with mountains in the background


8. Lambert's Cove Beach in West Tisbury, MA on Marthas Vineyard


I mean.... can you go wrong at all when you're in Marthas Vineyard?! Lambert's Cove Beach a stunning beach that offers an array of backdrops like the well known dunes as well as large rocks at the shoreline. I recommend walking as far as you can to get away from any other beach goers as to not disturb them, or have anyone in the background of your photos. Lambert's Cove is reserved for West Tisbury residents and renters only, from late June through Labor Day. An attendant is on duty to to check pass. I recommend staying at Lambert's Cove Inn & Resort.


Things to consider:

- Parking: Limited parking is available at Lamberts Cove in the lot and in designated areas on the roadside, only where signs permit and with all tires completely off the pavement.

- Pets: No animals on beach after 10am. So if you want your dog to join you, it'll have to be a morning session.


Beach elements :

✅ sand

✅ tall grass

✅ rocky coastline

✅ jetty

🌅 west facing beach (sun sets over ocean)

🚫fencing

🚫boardwalk


sunset engagement session at lambert's cove beach in west tisbury, MA on Martha's Vineyard couple sits on rock with sand dunes in the background

sunset engagement session at lambert's cove beach in west tisbury, MA on Martha's Vineyard couple walks on beach with rocks

sunset engagement session at lambert's cove beach in west tisbury, MA on Martha's Vineyard couple stands on large rock

Other beaches I'd like the opportunity to photograph:

- Plum Island in Massachusetts

- Harkness Memorial State Park in Connecticut


What other beaches come to mind when you think of a perfect spot for photos? Comment below to let me know!!


xo,

Tam


Tamara Merri Photography

www.tamaramerriphotography.com

hello@tamaramerriphotography.com


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