Posts in Locations
Top 5 Photography Locations in San Diego

Best Photography Locations in San Diego

1. Scripps Beach in La Jolla

2. Ocean Beach Tide Pools

3. Balboa Park

4. Sunset Cliffs

5. Torrey Pines

There are definitely several locations in San Diego I would recommend for a Family Portrait Session and some others for an Engagement Session. As I was thinking about this topic over a span of several weeks and how I would end up narrowing now locations for this post, I decided the best choice was to keep it simple. Now, while I could name about 20 picture perfect locations off of the top of my head, I decided to choose these based on ease of access, the most background options for one location, lack of permits needed by photographers, and overall scenic value.

  1. Scripps Beach in La Jolla | This includes the Scripps Memorial Pier as well.

    A favorite location by many photographers and families, this location has a long, flat, and clean beach which makes it perfect for larger groups and super easy for children to run around and play. A paid parking lot is available during the weekends. During the week, parking can be found all the way up the hill and along the neighborhoods. If it’s super packed then you can park a little south at La Jolla Beach and walk along the water to the Pier (takes about 10 minutes at a medium pace). Since we have had so much rain this year, there are some gorgeous flowers along the parking lot that also make for a great photo op. If you’re lucky, you will see a few hummingbirds! There is a lifeguard station here as well.

    One of the great things about this location is that there are so many photo opportunities in one small area. You have the beach, the pier, a concrete wall, lots of rocks and usually some rad seaweed, and amazing cliffs that rival the South of France. One other thing I forgot to mention is that Caroline’s Seaside Cafe overlooks everything and is just a few steps from the sand. From here you can have lunch, grab a coffee, or get some ice water. The only thing that makes me sad is that it closes at 3pm. If they were open late, they would be packed!

The flat beach makes the perfect setup for getting plenty of easy waves to play with.

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2. The next place on the top of my list is Ocean Beach. There are several locations along the coast of Ocean Beach and Sunset Cliffs that make a perfect location for Portrait Sessions of any size. The diverse coast is what makes it so great. 

This location is perfect for couples and small families. There are tide pools, small cliffs, and tiny, personal beaches.

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3. Next up on my list is a little farther from the beach. Balboa Park is a few minutes from Downtown San Diego. Along with the architecture, the phenomenal museums, and the zoo, comes a nearly endless landscape of greenery and architecture. Beautiful fig and willow trees are amongst the the rose and cactus gardens. For more unique backdrops, you can pay a small fee to use the Japanese Friendship Garden.

This is one of my favorite locations for family and engagement sessions.

4. Sunset Cliffs is extremely close to location #2 Ocean Beach but offers another vibe all together. Currently, as of Summer 2019, extensive repairs are lending a new and improved landscape to Sunset Cliffs. However, there are still some exceptional views that can be found within a small hike. Seclusion is a bit hard to come by anywhere in San Diego, but there are still a few secret places that most don’t venture to or know about.

5. Torrey Pines is actually my favorite location and a special permit is required to photograph here. Luckily, I know a great place that is just as beautiful and falls just outside of special permitting but is nearby. Of course LNT practices should always be used no matter where you photograph, but especially in more sensitive habitats.

In this location are beautiful cliffs, the beach, and incredible slot canyons.

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Choosing a Family Portrait Location

San Diego Family Photographer

I’m constantly changing from one scene to the next to get those perfect portraits with my clients. So I know that in a city like San Diego it can be pretty overwhelming to decide on that “perfect” location. Well, here comes the best news, you’ve heard in awhile, well, at least in the last 5 minutes… It’s actually so much easier to narrow down that perfect portrait location than you think!

Imagine this...It’s almost time for your session. You’re trying to decide on a location. Beach, park, mountains, desert, urban spaces, indoor studio? What do you do? Luckily, I’m here to help you narrow down your choices pretty quickly. I do this every day, so I’m able to help you pick a location you won’t regret, and we go from there. But what if you don’t have me to help guide you? This quick post, should help give you some insight on how to find that perfect option.

My personal photography style follows natural light, during the day its bright and light. During that time, we can get those bright and airy photos, some of you are looking for. Closer to Sunset, I Iet that beautiful golden color melt all over you, like a chocolate-dipped strawberry (yumm). And just after Sunset, I take advantage of the lingering light to tell a story that feels like we’re letting everyone in on a little secret.

There are so many options in Southern California. Here are some things you’ll want to think about:

1. Keep in mind the décor of your home.

Your home is sacred space. It’s where you feel comfortable and safe. In the end, it represents you. Your style. Your tastes. You would probably never get dressed, let alone have a photoshoot, in colors or style that you hate. The same goes for location and wardrobe.

Ask yourself, in the end, would you want a canvas on your wall of a family you barely recognize? Probably not. So you’ll want to make sure your outfits and locations match the décor/style of your home because, and here’s the thing, you want your portraits to represent you but you will also need to coordinate the colors with the walls and style of your house so that they don’t clash.

Concerned as to what the heck I’m talking about here? That’s ok! I help break down your options and steer you in the right direction!

2. Don’t forget about Studio Portraits.

They typically look better in modern homes unless you put them in vintage style frames to make them fit in more. More often than not, Studios are passed over for outdoor portraits as we are located in a beautiful city with great weather all year-round. But the takeaway here is, if you have a more modern home, studio photos may be your best option.

3. Having a Lifestyle Session done inside your home.

Lifestyle Sessions with Newborns in particular, tend to be the ideal situation for most new Mothers. I mean, you just had a baby for crying out loud and I’m betting you haven’t washed your hair in a week. Am I right? Travelling with a Newborn is hard enough, let alone getting yourself to the car. So what if you don’t have a Newborn? This Session is still extremely popular not only for the convenience, but also because when you look back on your photos, the story it tells is about this time in your life - which includes your beautiful home.

I will come to your house and take photos of your family in your own natural environment. These are beautiful and will look great in your house because, well, they match perfectly! I get to capture your family being themselves in the comfort of your home. How easy is that? Naturally you’re able to show your personalities much easier and we will choose locations that you spend the most time in.