Mikael Kennedy’s 5 Favorite Places in America to Photograph

Photographer and adventurer, Mikael Kennedy, takes us on an insightful journey through his favorite places to photograph in the US. We’re biased to the Oregon coast, of course!

I was asked recently what my 5 favorite places to photograph. The simple answer is anywhere on the road; give me 2 lanes of black top, a camera and a car, but to break it down further here are my 5 favorite places.

In California I tend to shoot up and down the PCH aimlessly. Last time I was west I based out of San Francisco and just rode the coast for days, 100 miles north, 100 miles south, 100 miles north again. Second on the list is easily New Mexico but it could be anywhere in the South West. They say there is something about being dwarfed by the mountains. Living right near the base of them, as many artists have done over the years, you are humbled, given a different vision of the world from their proximity. For years I was in and out of Portland, OR; I almost moved there several times. There is a tunnel in downtown that I swear you enter in the heart of the city and come out in the middle of the rain forest, it transports you completely.  From there hop on Route 26 and ride it straight out to Cannon beach, you will not be disappointed. Number four is based on the fact that I can’t always get as far away as I’d like, so when I can’t fully escape NYC I’ll often take a drive 45 minutes north to Bear Mountain. The road to the top is closed during winter but those few weeks before the snow shuts it down are beautiful. The final place on my list covers both east and west: the islands of the North coasts. In years past I’ve worked the harvest on my friends vineyard on Lopez Island, WA and explored Peaks Island in Maine during the Sacred & Profane art festival. There is something about the Island life on both coasts that is so similar, so wild, and feels so much like home to me.


001. The California Coast:

002. New Mexico

“untitled” from the series ‘The Odysseus’ ©Mikael Kennedy 2007

003. Oregon Coast

“untitled” from the series ‘The Odysseus’ ©Mikael Kennedy 2007


004. Bear Mountain, NY

“peaks island” from the series ‘The Odysseus’ ©Mikael Kennedy 2009

“iceberg point” from the series ‘The Odysseus’ ©Mikael Kennedy 2009