The Oregon Coast is full of epic locations to take wedding and engagement photos! Did you know that the entire 363 miles of the Oregon Coast line is public land? There are no private beaches, which is why it’s known as “The Peoples’ Coast“. This means there are endless options for beautiful locations for wedding photos on the Oregon Coast. I’ve hand picked my favorites in this blog as well as some pointers to consider when planning.
5 quick Tips for planning your photo session on the Oregon Coast:
1. Prepare for any weather.
The Oregon Coast is known for having quite unpredictable weather and it can change quickly. Know that even in the heat of the summer, you can get a big bank of fog that rolls through and blocks out the sun. In the winter months you can get a bright sunny day that feels like the middle of summer. As long as you are willing to roll the dice and play with whatever weather you get, a seasoned and experienced photographer can make the most of any type of weather.
2. Check the Tide Charts.
Especially if you are planning on exploring some of the rocky beaches and caves, you don’t want to get trapped by a rising tide or show up to a beach and realize those areas are only accessible when the tide is all the way out.
3. Stay for Sunset!
West Coast is all about watching the sun sink into the big beautiful Pacific Ocean. Not only is it beautiful to watch, but it’s when you’ll have the best golden light for photos. And don’t worry if there are some clouds in the sky, that’s how you get the big colorful pinks and purples in a sunset when there are clouds to light up. You can easily check what time sunset will be the day you are there, so be sure to plan for that. But also, know that the beaches will likely get a little more crowded at sunset.
4. Embrace the Wind and Sand.
No matter where you are on the Oregon Coast there’s going to be wind, and sometimes very strong wind, especially on the lookout points and on the beach itself. This can make for beautiful photos with the wind whipping up your wedding dress or veil, just know that it will also do a number on your hair, so either embrace the hair-in-your-face look, or go for a strongly tied up do. And consider your footwear, if you’ll be hiking up to a cliffside or through a forested trail or running across the open sand, bring extra shoes and know you’ll likely track sand back into the car.
Most of the state parks along the coast will require at least a day use parking pass (usually $5-10), or if you’re going to be stopping and multiple places or staying more than one day, it can be worth buying an annual pass for around $35 that is good for any Oregon State Park for a full year.
Here are a few of my favorite locations for wedding photos on the Oregon Coast:
First up, Cannon Beach is by far one of the most recognizable spots along the Oregon Coast because of the famous Haystack Rock, as seen in the movie The Goonies. Not only is the beach epically gorgeous, the town is equally as adorable and picture worthy.
Hug Point State Recreation Park is just a short drive south on Highway 101 from Cannon Beach and has fun tide pools to explore, some gorgeous big rocks AND a beautiful waterfall you can shower under! This is one of those spots you’ll want to check the tide charts. There are some spots you could easily get trapped if you wander too far, so watch that tide!
Seal Rock, Oregon
If you keep heading south past Newport, you can find Seal Rock State Recreation Park. This park has a ton of cool driftwood as well as lots of amazing birds to check out that nest among the big Seal Rock that the park gets it’s name from. Be sure to go at low tide so you can explore the tide pools and get up close to the big Seal Rock.
Cape Perpetua, Yachats, Oregon
At 800 ft, Cape Perpetua is the highest point along the Oregon Coast that is accessible by car. Follow a short path through the woods and you’ll reach the Stone Shelter. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike down to the beach from there or drive down. There are a few amazing spots nearby to check out, such as Thor’s Well, Devil’s Churn and Spouting Horn.
Last stop on our trip down the coast, is Florence, Oregon full of long stretches of sandy beaches and sand dunes. Take a sandboarding lesson, rent sandboards or sleds, try a thrilling dune buggy ride at Sand Master Park.
Looking for some locations closer to Salem? Check out these Engagement Session Locations all within 30 miles of Salem, Oregon. Click Here