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Top Michigan Beach Engagement Session Locations Kirk Park & Rosy Mound Natural Area

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Top Michigan Beach Engagement Session Locations

Picking a beach engagement session location in Mid-Michigan is not always easy, especially if you are looking for dog friendly beaches. This August, we went on an adventure with Megan and Nazir in Grand Haven for their beach engagement photoshoot. And it turned out this photoshoot is my favorite engagement session of all times! It’s not every day we get to dance in the woods, chase sunset and pop champagne on the beach. I just feel so incredibly lucky to be this fun-loving, caring, and sweet couple’s wedding photographer.

Megan & Nazir  

I still remember the day Megan came up to me at a Bridal Show back in February. I love the way her eyes spark when we we’re talking about her wedding planning, her fiancé and her puppies.

There are so many reasons why this photoshoot is my favorite. But really, my favorite part of the photoshoot is where I got to spent some quality time with them. I enjoyed learning about every little thing about them-their love story, what keep them connected and the way they adore each other. Megan and Nazir are seriously the most thoughtful couple I’ve ever worked with! The day of the photoshoot was actually my birthday…and they prepared a surprise gift for me at the end of the session!  I just can’t wait to photograph their dream wedding at Midland Country Club next June.

Dog Friendly Beach Engagement Session Locations

Having your puppies along on an engagement session is an excellent way to personalize the photos. And it makes a fun experience for everyone! It does take a little extra planning though.

First, it helps to have someone else there to manage the dogs when they aren’t in the photos or just to make silly noises to get them to look at the camera. Second, it is important to bring treats and water to help keep the dogs focused. Also, keep in mind the terrain and weather as muddy feet can be a problem, not just for the ride home, but for the other participants in the photo shoot as well.

But, the first thing that you need is a good location. That’s not always an easy thing since some of the most popular locations to shoot engagement photos don’t allow dogs.  However, if you are on the west side of Michigan and looking for a Lake Michigan sunset photo spot, here are my top Michigan beach engagement session locations.

Kirk Park (West Olive)

As a dog mom myself, I understand the desire to have your engagement photos with your puppies. So when Megan told me that her dogs (Toby & Ellie) won’t be able to join them as dogs are not allowed in Rosy Mound Natural Area, I did some research and I found this perfect spot-Kirk Park Dog Beach

Kirk Park is a great location that allows dogs and can be reached with a relatively short walk. The key is to make sure that you arrive just before 7:00 PM because that’s when they open the beach for dogs. Once you arrive in the main parking lot, take the path to the right since it will lead up and over a small bluff before heading towards the beach. There are some great spots to get sunset photos here. Be prepared for a $5 entry fee for Ottawa County residents or $8 for non-residents.

Rosy Mound Natural Area (Grand Haven)

Unfortunately, this park does not allow dogs. So it is best to get all of your photos with dogs taken care of at Kirk Park. After that, have a friend take care of them while moving to another nearby location.

Swimming Beach

Be prepared for a bit of a walk to reach the beach! You will need to be careful with your timing if you plan to catch the sunset. It actually has a total of 360 stairs! Also be wary of the black flies which can be around too. Both the walk and the black flies are worth it for the spectacular view from this location.

Rosy Mound Pine Forest

Not only is the beach beautiful, the groves of trees along the way are photo worth in themselves. To get to the pine grove in these photos, you will have to take a short walk off the main beach trail. Between Kirk Park and Rosy Mound Natural Area, you are guaranteed to get spectacular photos! There are few views as spectacular as the sun setting over Lake Michigan. 

Looking for other engagement session locations? Here’s a blog post for my recommended locations in Bay City, MI.

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Hi there! I’m Chinling.

Hello, and welcome to my Blog! I’m Chinling Thomas, a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Mid-Michigan. I hope you grab some coffee (or bubble tea, in my case) and enjoy browsing my work, getting to know about me and why I love what I do.

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