As Miami-based wedding photographers, we’ve done wedding and engagement sessions all over Florida beaches! We have decided to put together this list of our favorites so you can choose the best one for you! Now remember South Florida is crowded, so besides the spectacular views, we based this list on crowd size, parking, and cleanliness.
South Pointe Park Pier – Miami Beach (Best for Sunrise)
South Pointe Park is by far our all-time favorite location for beach photos. One, they have a gorgeous beach with an amazing park right next to it. The sand is almost always clean so you rarely have to deal with seaweed. Two, it has a rock jetty that extends into the ocean that you can walk on that’s excellent for pictures! They also newly built a pier (Suzanne hasn’t even shot there yet!) and have colorful lifeguard stands you can use in your sessions if you make it there early enough!
Suzanne Tip: For the best parking don’t use the official South Pointe Park Parking Lot because it’s overpriced on the weekend and overcrowded. The parking at Nikki Beach Club between 1st Street and South Pointe Drive has plenty of space and is much closer to the beach.
Deerfield Beach - (Best for Sunrise)
Let’s say Miami is too far but you still want photos at a more northern location, check out Deerfield Beach. This location is 40 minutes south of Palm Beach and 30 minutes north of Ft. Lauderdale. One amazing shot that we love is a couple standing on the rocks with the waves crashing in creating a very theatrical moment during the sunrise. Another great place for photos is in front of the Embassy Suites Hotel plus they have a small deck that leads onto the beach with a grassy area.
Suzanne Tip: This beach is very quiet until around 8 am when more visitors and security arrive. They are strict about large lighting equipment on the beach so make sure you check out the 976 foot International Fishing Pier around sunrise.
Dania Beach Pier (Great for Sunrise or Sunset)
Need something in Ft. Lauderdale? Dania Beach Pier is the spot! It’s an excellent location for sunrise or sunset shoots and they have a lovely pier where you can take great photos under it. People who work on the beach won’t bother you and you can get amazing shots at an open-space and quiet location. A minor setback is the moderate amount of seaweed on the beach randomly throughout the year but overall it's very clean.
Suzanne tip: The parking is metered but wide open, so you won’t have an issue.
South Beach (Best for Sunset)
If you want to catch the vibe of Miami you have to check out the iconic South Beach! While it’s a hot spot for tourism, it’s still one of the perfect spots for your engagement session because of the massive beach and spectacular views of the Miami skyline. The City of Miami works hard to keep the beach clean but it’s packed with tourists and some dogs (so be mindful!).
Suzanne Tip: After you capture your pictures on the beach head over to Ocean Drive for the classic Art Deco scene. Parking will be a pain so find the nearest parking garage, so you spend less time lugging around your equipment.
Bill Baggs State Park – Key Biscayne (Best for Sunset)
Looking for a more north-east aesthetic like Maine as a backdrop, than this is your destination! If you’re up for a light workout of 172 steps you can go up to the top of the lighthouse (weather permitting) and get some of the best views in South Florida. The beach is clean (with some seaweed) and parking is readily available.
Suzy Tip: At the end of your shoot leaving on Rickenbacker Causeway you can pull over for marvelous views of Miami’s skyline!