The Best Southern Maine Beaches for Family Photos | Maine Family and Beach Photographer

The other day I was telling my husband how funny it is that for a good 30 years of my life, I had no idea how much the beach and the ocean was a part of who I am. Growing up inland, we didn’t venture to the coast too often, and I attended college inland as well, so it wasn’t until I was grown, and moved to southern Maine that I learned that being by the ocean is what truly soothes my soul. As a photographer, I am SO blessed to be able to spend so much of my time in the summer months along the shores of some of the most fabulous beaches in the northeast, and as we head into that wonderful time of year once again, I thought it would make sense to give a run down of my favorite places to capture families in the spring and summer months. The best part about living in Maine is that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to amazing places for family photos, and while these may be some of my favorites, and hopefully will help those of you who may be unsure of where to go, I’m always open to new favorites too – so if you’ve got ’em, reach out and let’s go explore together.

In no particular order, here are my favorites!

1. Pine Point Beach, Scarborough Maine

Ok, maybe there is a particular order, because I have to say Pine Point may just be my most favorite. The light is literally never not awesome here, and every time I go, the light is different. I can’t get bored at this beach! Last summer I shot here three nights in a row, and each night had it’s own light, colors, and temperature. When storms are on the horizon the beach gets surrounded with gorgeous big, blue clouds, and when the night is clear you’ll be greeted with gorgeous hazy sun, and most likely a whopper of a cotton-candy sky after the sun goes down. The waves are perfect for jumping, and the beach is big enough to run around and play, even on a busy night. You just can’t go wrong at this spot.

2. Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunkport Maine

Kennebunkport is such a hot spot for summer visitors to Maine, and when asked where a good place for photographs would be, Goose Rocks Beach is always my number one answer. With tall sea grass and a super-wide beach at low tide, this beach is perfect for running around, exploring for beach treasures, and soaking up the gorgeous sunsets and views of the boats in the harbor. Goose Rocks offers such a variety of angles and backgrounds, and even on a rainy day (yes, I shot here in the rain), the deep shores are a gorgeous backdrop for family photos.

3. Higgins Beach, Scarborough Maine

I’ve just re-discovered Higgins over the past few seasons, and I have to say, this beach has to be one of the coolest spots in southern Maine, especially at low tide when the beach exposes cool rock formations, and tide pools form in between the shore and the rocks. This is the perfect beach for getting your feet (or more!) wet, finding beach treasures, and really enjoying a special spot on the coast of Maine with your family. I can’t wait to add more Higgins sessions to my rotation this summer – you just simply can’t go wrong at this really cool spot.

4. Ferry Beach, Scarborough Maine

Don’t confuse this one with Ferry Beach in Saco (although I’m sure it’s lovely – I’ve never been!). This Ferry Beach overlooks the marshes and gorgeous homes of the Pine Point area in Scarborough. The light here is intense, so this is a great pick for anyone who loves dramatic skies and/or bright backgrounds, and after the sun dips behind the house, this beach is pure magic. Low tide offers up rocks for climbing, as well as the opportunity to catch and release crabs and find other beach treasures. Ferry Beach is a gem of a spot, and one of my most favorites to hit up a few times each summer.

5. Crescent Beach, Cape Elizabeth Maine

What I love the most about Crescent Beach is the ability to shoot on and off the beach. This park is full of wide pathways heading to the beach, as well as picnic spaces, and a wide open beach area that offers tall sea grass, fun waves, and a rocky coast to explore at low tide. It’s an amazing option for families that need to shoot a little earlier as we can start in the trees and sea grass and then head to the beach as the light gets awesome.

6. Kettle Cove, Cape Elizabeth Maine

Around the corner from Crescent Beach (literally, around the corner – you can see one from the other!) is my other favorite spot in Cape Elizabeth – Kettle Cove. Kettle Cove is a hot spot for photographers in the area, thanks to its variety of spaces and gorgeous light. Rockier than Crescent, Kettle Cove is an awesome spot to climb and explore, and it also has a beach area with boats in the harbor and plenty of sandy areas. Its wooded paths give it even more variety for families who want a little bit of everything. And as an added bonus, there’s a yummy ice cream shop at the end of the road so you can grab a treat on your way home from our session.

7. Footbridge Beach, Ogunquit Maine

At high tide, Ogunquit Beach totally and completely disappears. I learned this the hard way a few years ago, and luckily my clients were familiar with Footbridge Beach, just down the road. While Ogunquit Beach is amazing in and of itself, at low tide, Footbridge Beach is a bit quieter, and still offers up plenty of sandy beach when the tide is high, making this my go-to in the area (don’t worry Ogunquit Beach lovers – I’ll still gladly shoot there too!). This beach is great for those who want to keep themselves more on the dry side (slightly discouraged), and those who have no problem jumping the waves (highly encouraged!). You can see the houses and hotels of Marginal Way from the beach and enjoy the bridge and sea grasses on your way down to shore as well. You can’t go wrong at this awesome spot – one of my most favorites south of Portland.

8. Sandy Point Beach, Yarmouth Maine

I swear Sandy Point isn’t listed as a favorite because it’s 10 minutes from my house (although it is a really nice perk). This beach is totally different from any other on this list. Rather than a big sprawling sandy beach, this spot is a mix of sand and rocks, only visible when the tide is low and the beach becomes visible as a long sand bar. On the other side of the bridge is an even rockier beach, as well as Camp Soci which boasts fun steps and buildings in the middle of the woods. This spot is great for a variety of coastal and woods, and if you’re lucky, you’ll stumble upon some big hermit crabs, some baby lobsters, and maybe even a pile of starfish (true story!). The light on this beach can be mild or intense, and on an intense night, it is sure to give a gorgeous deep blue and purple sky after the sun sets behind the trees. I love this spot and can’t wait for more sessions here this coming season!

9. York Harbor Beach, York Maine

And finally, we end up in York. While many vacationers are familiar with Long and Short Sands beaches, my heart belongs to the quieter York Harbor Beach. Set in a cove, surrounded by gorgeous buildings and trees, this beach is always, and I mean always, incredible. The blue waters and skies, and the overlooking cliffs are the perfect backdrop for family photos, and the park above the beach makes its way down a set of fun pathways, offering a little variety to your session. This beach is quiet, the water is calm, and it is beyond worth the hour long drive for me to shoot here. This is the perfect option for anyone wanting a session in the southernmost part of the state.

It’s no secret that beach sessions are my favorite, and I cannot wait to get my toes in the water and you all in front of my lenses, at one of these beaches or a place of your choice! Spring and summer dates are still available – email me today to book your session!

Capturing Maine & Beyond
Copyright: Kristina O'Brien