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Maui has so many beautiful locations all over the island. Many times the best solution is right out in front of your resort or condo! Every beach has great sand and water views, so I have compiled a list of my favorite locations that show some of the other details that they have to offer. If you have any further questions on location feel free to email me and I will help anyway I can. Please keep in mind, the ocean and beaches are ever changing. Daily the tide comes in an out, this may affect access to certain things such as rocks. Also the sand is changing with every storm, it can rise or drop as much a couple of feet in just a weeks time. I’m saying this because if you see something at a location that you LOVE, it is possible that it has changed from the image you are seeing.
** Ka’anapali Beach is closed to commercial activities, this includes photoshoots. See Baby Beach, Napili Bay and Kapalua Bay for close options**
Polo Beach, Wailea
Polo Beach fronts the Fairmont Kea Lani and Polo Beach Club. A great wide beach, water views with lava rock locations at each end, a few palm trees but not stacked. The north end boasts a large lava outcropping topped with picturesque palm trees. The south end has a flatter and longer lava rock set that often holds a nice reflective tide pool at lower tides. Usually the south side is less crowded, but fronting two resorts, in the busy season can be crowded. White Rocks Beach is an alternate location just minutes south of this location. This location has plenty of parking and restrooms.
Po’olenalena Beach (and Paipu Beach), Wailea/Makena
Po’olenalena Beach is located at the south end of Wailea and being away from resorts was more of a locals beach. Recently has become more popular with tourists trying to find places away from the resorts. This beach is large and wide. Over the rocks to the north is “Secrets Beach” which hides some fun locations. There’s a large cove, large lava rock formation in the middle and wide open usually lazy beach (except on Sunday’s, they do volleyball and it can get crazy). Po’olenalena itself has lava rocks at the north end and some “cool” trees and tall grassy areas Mauka side toward the road. There are no restrooms here, parking is usually pretty easy. The busyness is hit or miss. You can usually find some beach to yourself on Secrets or the south end.
Makena Cove (Secret Beach, Wedding Beach) Makena
Makena Cove is one of the most picturesque and beautiful places on the island. You’ve probably seen it in a movie or commercial and for sure a calendar (ABC store) or on the side of a bus. It is one of the most photographed places on the island. If you know someone who got married on Maui, there’s an 80% chance (not scientifically) this is where it happened. *Raising Hand* I got married here. I say these things for a reason. The beach is fairly small and any given night you can have as many as 3-4 weddings going on at the same time. If you get lucky there will only be one wedding, almost never will you have the beach to yourself. Just be aware on your location hunting, this place is an absolute gem, but you’ll (most likely) have to share it. Most of us photographers know each other and try and share the space the best we can. Palm trees and lava rocks are plenty. Direct access to water is limited (two small chutes) and depending on the ocean conditions may not be safe, but can get great “splash” photos when the swell is big. There are no restrooms here, parking is usually fairly easy.
West Maui Photoshoot Locations
*$50 travel fee for West Side Locations*
Baby Beach, Lahaina
Not to be confused with Baby Beach on the north shore, Baby Beach Lahaina is just a few minutes north of Front Street. It’s called baby beach because the reef reaches long out into the ocean and calms the waves before they can get to the shore which makes is great for children. The daily tide changes can affect this location drastically by climbing up the slim beach all the way to the plants and grass. I usually stick to the north side which opens up more than the main stretch. There is a small grassy area, some palm trees and a wide open view of Lana’i and Molokai. Great sunsets in the summer months. This beach seems to be busier on the weekends when locals come out to party or BBQ. Parking can be hard, you park along a residential street that leads up to the beach. There are no restrooms here.
Napili Bay is another gem that you should at least come spend on afternoon here at the beach. It’s a picturesque beach with plenty of palm trees and clear water. The largest parts of the beach are at the north end and south end. The south end has a fairly large, flat area with a bunch of lava rocks. I usually stick to the south end, as the north can get crowded with people taking advantage of the great snorkeling here. The tide can creep high and take a lot of the beach and it can be crowded. Parking here can be tricky. You have to park along the road and fill up fairly quickly.
Kapalua Beach is another great location with a lot to offer. The south end of this crescent shaped bay has great views across the bay and an easy lava rock backdrop. The Kapalua Coastal Trail runs just above the beach and gives us a nice grassy area lined with palm trees and a cute fence over looking the bay. You can go further up the trail and look down over the bay, while enjoying a great view of sunset and palm tree background. For the adventurous there are opportunities to climb out on lava rocks next to the crashing waves, or just for a different look. Parking is usually easy, but during busy times you make have to park along the main road. There is restrooms and paved path down to the beach.
Adventurous Maui Photoshoot Locations
Olowalu Wharf and Ukumehame Trees/Beach, South of Lahaina*
You see them anytime you drive to Lahaina, the large dead trees along the beach just off the road. Have you ever though about them as a cool backdrop for photos? why not! They’re pretty rad. I bundle this location with the Olowalu Wharf, which has awesome views of the West Maui mountains as well as an “on the water” feel thats just a few miles away. There is one porta-potty at the Olowalu site, with a nice lot. The Ukumehame site doe not have a restroom and is not far off the road, so this location my not be great for small children. There are several choices for cool trees and a beach area for those as well. *This location requires a 1 hour shoot. Weddings are not allowed at the Olowalu Location.
Honulua Jungle, North of Kapalua
It seems that many people walk right by this place on their way to a popular snorkel spot and don’t even notice it’s there. However it’s one of the most magical places in the island, you literally feel like you just walked into a movie set. Huge trees clung to by vines tower over head as you walk into a green fairyland. I recommend real footwear of some sort for this location (not flip flops), stepping into a rainforest plant covered ground floor with lizards and bugs may not be wise with bare feet. There are no restrooms here, with a few points of entry park usually isn’t a problem.
Kapalua/Ironwoods Cliffs, North of Kapalua
This location is definitely not for everyone. It’s a 20-30 minute walk from the parking lot with no shade or cover. Not to mention the trials of traversing the loads of sharp lava rocks. I would not recommend this for families with young(er) kids. This location produces some amazing scenic photos of the dramatic landscape. The point of this area is more of the “Adventure” and location rather than a nice portrait of you and your family.This would make a great “add on” for a Kapalua Beach or Ironwoods Beach photoshoot for an adventurous couple or for exciting wedding formals. Email for for details or questions.
I am a photographer living on the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii. There is no better place on the planet. Hundreds of people a day come to Maui to spend a week with their families. It’s the perfect time to get photos done to capture memories that will least a lifetime. I know because my wife and I were married here in 2012 and spent the next 3 years figuring our how to get back. Not everyone will be able to make such a drastic life change, so why not capture it with high quality digital images. Maui Family Portraits, Honeymoons, Couples, Friends, Seniors or any other reason is a good reason to hire a professional photographer in Hawaii. Don’t let your pictures sit on your phone until you drop it and lose them forever. Just like your family, quality matters. Technology only gets better, so you should have your images done with the latest and highest quality products available at the time. Cherish the memories, hang the photos. Mahalo!