The Best Beach Locations For Fall Photos in Northwest Washington

Washington State has an abundance of wonderful locations for portraits, including its numerous beaches. The rocky shores in Washington set the scene for a gorgeous backdrop in any season. My hope is that this guide will come in handy as you start planning your family or senior photos at the beach this fall. I have put together a list of the best beach location ideas which are sure to photograph beautifully during your golden hour session.

Planning locations for your fall photos at the beach

In the local Northwest Washington area, there are several great options, each with something unique to offer. I would like to note here that the beaches may look different depending on the time of day. It is important to remember that the timing of the tides will affect how much of the shore is visible in the photos. Another thing to be aware of when choosing a location, is that some parks require a day use fee, so you be sure to check ahead of time to see what the park requirements are. That being said, a few of my favorite beach locations in the area are Larrabee State Park, Deception Pass State Park, Camano Island State Park, Cama Beach State Park, Iverson Spit Preserve, Boulevard Park and Kayak Point.

Beach photo locations in Bellingham, Washington

Larrabee State Park

Larrabee State Park is located in Bellingham, Washington along Chuckanut Drive. If the tide is farther out, there are rocky formations along the shore which make for interesting images! You will either need an Annual Discover Pass or a day pass to use the park. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, walking up a short trail will lead you to some beautiful overlooks well suited for your portraits too.

Boulevard Park

Just a short walk from the cute historic downtown of Fairhaven sits Boulevard Park. Enter the park by following the path at the edge of downtown Fairhaven or at the Boulevard Park parking lot. A short walking path on a boardwalk connects the two locations. Here you will find rocky beaches and gorgeous sunsets! The vivid colors in the sunsets here make it the ideal spot for photos. Not to mention the opportunity for portraits on the boardwalk. It’s a popular destination, so parking can be a challenge. I suggest arriving to your session earlier to ensure that you find a spot in time. The parking is free here, so no pass is necessary.

Boulevard Park

The best beaches for photos at Deception Pass State Park

The Deception Pass Park is full of great spots that are will surely add variety to your gallery of photos. A few of my favorite beaches are Rosario, Bowman Bay, North Beach and the beach near Cranberry Lake. One of the best parts about Deception Pass Park, is the that the beaches are just minutes apart from each other! More importantly, each has something distinct for your session. You may want to consider splitting your session time at two of the beaches. As far as the parking fee for this park, it is a state park, so you will need an Annual Discover Pass or a day pass.

  1. Bowman Bay: If you’re looking to do your beach photos on a pier, then this is the perfect spot for you! It features a wooden pier with views of the ocean and an inlet where you are likely to see boats approaching the shore.
  2. Rosario Beach: Just a few minutes down the road from Bowman Bay is Rosario Beach. This spot has a small dock and a short trail which will lead you to an overlook with stunning views of the ocean. I highly recommend doing photos here!
  3. North Beach: This is the beach that can be accessed from the parking lot near the bridge. It is the best places to go if you want the bridge to be visible in the background of your images.
  4. The beach near Cranberry Lake: You will find some sand at this beach, which contrasts with the other beaches in the park. Also, just like the other beaches at Deception Pass State Park, there is plenty of driftwood in the shore to complement your photos.

Deception Pass Lower Campground Beach
Bowman Bay Beach pier in Deception Pass State Park

Stanwood & Camano Island Beaches

There are a few photo locations that I recommend on Camano Island. These are Camano Island State Park, Cama Beach State Park and Iverson Spit Preserve. The first two locations are state parks so they require a discover pass or day pass. On the other hand, Iverson Spit Preserve has no parking fee. Additionally, not far away you can find Kayak Point Park in Stanwood. This location has a pier too!

Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island


Beaches are beautiful locations to do your photos during the fall whether they are for your family, a senior, an engagement or a maternity session. I hope you will consider these beaches in the Bellingham, Anacortes, Camano Island and Stanwood areas. You won’t regret choosing these locations, because you are bound to get amazing photos! These beaches are so pretty!

September 28, 2021

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