Posts tagged best engagement locations
San Diego Beach Photography

La Jolla Beach Photography By San Diego Photographer

I would definitely say this San Diego Portrait Session is way overdue to be written about, but hey, better late than never! Being a San Diego Family Portrait Photographer, I take on these “Feel Beautiful” Sessions less often and I love every minute of it!

This time we found ourselves in La Jolla on the beach during this magical afternoon. Luckily, we had the beach mostly to ourselves in the middle of Winter and this fabulous young woman let go, and we captured some beautiful portraits!

We had 2 different looks and about 5 million Oscar-worthy photos. I don’t have models for these Sessions…they are just average ladies, like yourself, who want to have a memory of this time in their life! Cause I mean, we’re not getting any younger, are we? I only wish I could go back to my 17 year-old self and tell her how gorgeous she is and to stop thinking anything else! For these Portrait Sessions, I have a few tricks and prompts up my sleeve to get “normal” and some more artsy results from your Portrait Session.

The beach, anywhere is San Diego, tends to be my preferred spot as it always has one look. I never have to worry about grass and plants being in bloom or not and Sunset on the coast, is truly like no other, even on cloudy days.

Anywhere that you can find a long flat beach in San Diego, really is a great location because you are able to play with and/or in the water a little bit without being clobbered by the waves. It also gives you great options to be able take some great overhead shots on the beach as well! Torrey Pines is definitely my favorite area but does require a photography permit and an escort, so I really prefer to shoot at this location just South of there in La Jolla!

Take a look at a few of my favorite portraits from this Sunset Beach Portrait Session..

I honestly can’t decide which are my favorites! I love all of them for different reasons!

For More INFO on my “Feel Beautiful” Portrait Session, head here!

You can find this amazing young lady on IG: @_trace_sea

Well, until next time…

Love and Good Vibes,

Heather

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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Best Photography Locations in Balboa Park

Balboa Park Photography Locations

I put together a short video of beautiful photography locations in San Diego’s Amazing Balboa Park. There are several factors to consider when scheduling an Engagement or Family Portrait Session there, so re-moisten those contacts and start the video. afterwards, read on to learn more about it!

(Shot entirely on my iPhone 6S)

I wanted to share this with my clients and friends in order to help you make a better decision when considering locations throughout San Diego, as visuals are A much better way to showcase its’ beauty.

I happened to visit the park on one of the very few days of rain here in San Diego in 2018. It was actually nice because I was able to get some great footage without having to worry about the bustle of the Popular “December Nights” that lead up to Christmas.

There are a few locations that I was not able to get to this particular day but I will add them soon as I can! There is a wonderful cactus garden that is absolutely amazing and some off-the-beaten-path trails that are spectacular. There are plenty of open grassy areas with pepper trees and the San Diego Zoo is just a short walk away. The locations featured in the video are easily accessible to everyone. The Japanese Friendship Garden requires a $12 entrance fee (General Adult Admission) and a $50 photography fee. This fee is used to help maintain the gardens and should definitely be considered when deciding on a location.

I hope this has helped you to make a decision and if you have any favorite areas around San Diego or Southern California, let me know by sharing it in the comments and I will work on making a video!

Engagement Photography in San Diego

San Diego Engagement Photographer

Magic doesn’t even begin to describe this Fairytale Engagement Session. We took in this Sunrise above the cloud line about 45 minutes from Downtown San Diego

 

Let me start from the beginning..

I met the beautiful bride for coffee (mostly for the coffee ;) ) 2 months prior to this Engagement Session. She wanted engagement pictures for Save The Date and her Wedding Website but wasn’t quite ready. She was just at the beginning of her wedding planning journey and the venue had barely been booked. Adding another Photo Session to the experience may seem like a lot but it’s actually way more fun than stressful!

When we planned the Session, I actually already had a vision in mind. I wanted something out in nature and something over the top beautiful. I didn’t want to have a long night of hiking in advance so I wanted something that we could easily drive to. The Groom loves hiking so I knew this outdoor environment would be perfect for everyone as I want Photo Sessions to reflect the couples personality.

We woke up in the middle of the night to get ready, brew some coffee, hit the dry shampoo, and jump on the road. Luckily it was around 3am when I jumped, (or more like dragged myself to the car half asleep) and since it had been raining for the past two days, there were literally no other cars on the road! I made the drive up the mountain in the fog and complete dark, racing to beat the sunrise. The weather had just passed through earlier that night and we didn’t know it yet, but we were left with the most beautiful cloud coverage and fog.

As a photographer, my main concern was that I hadn’t visited the locations prior and since it was still dark, I wasn’t really able to plan the exact locations and therefore I couldn’t visually plan each photo out before arriving and meeting the couple. I was somewhat winging it and rushing against the Sunrise which changes by the second -which was an adventure in itself! I am a visual person so I definitely know what I want out of the Session before I start shooting. Sometimes, I have imagined a vague outline of the Portrait Session and sometimes it is extremely specific...honestly it just really depends on the clients’ personalities as some prefer to plan out details and make sure everything they want is captured, and others just leave it entirely up to me. If I think I will get more out of the Session by letting them be themselves, then that’s what I do! It feels so natural to me to not only get some important posed photos that the couple will value but I also want to document your natural raw relationship, so I’m often very go-with-the-flow.

Here are a few of the first photos above the cloud line: 


It turned out to be an amazing Engagement Session and overall the most fun and beautiful experience ever! I did definitely re-learn the value of having some familiarity with the location whenever you are on a time crunch, such as the lighting during sunset or sunrise. In addition to that, if everyone goes into the adventure knowing that you have no plan and are just hiking around looking for rad trees and views, then you will definitely be in the same head space and will be able to capture amazing photos. So that’s definitely something to discuss with your photographer!

 I always recommend Engagement Photos for a few reasons: 

  1. Why not? It’s fun! You will remember this day long after your wedding day and will have photos and albums to sit down to show your children and tell them about mom and dad and how they met! And you will be able to show them that yes, Mom and Dad were once super fun :)

  2. You can trial your makeup, hair, wardrobe, and learn how they work and look being photographed.

  3. It’s fun and getting married is a Journey. This is a great time to have fun with your Fiancé with less pressure as you will have on your Wedding Day.

  4. Many times this is the first Photography Session with your partner and getting comfortable in front of the camera doesn’t happen overnight. If you feel like you need to work on anything before your Wedding Day, this is your chance!

  5. Save The Dates and Wedding Website photos are the best way to announce your beautiful relationship to the world!

  6. For many, your Wedding Day can be stressful and this allows you to be fully present at your session and get those natural lifestyle pictures that truly show your personalities.

  7. It allows you to get comfortable with your photographer and see how your photos turn out!

  8. It lets your photographer learn how to best work with you for future Photography Sessions so that we can make it much easier for you and give you a better experience.

 

Here we moved down the mountain and got right into the cloud line! 

 Below the cloud line we were able to capture some wonderful photos with less artistic lighting: 

I hope some of this Love Story has helped you learn a little more about Engagement Sessions and insights into what your photographer is thinking and how important it is for me to curate your entire experience for an amazing wedding journey. 

The whole day and location was a complete adventure for me and one that I will always remember!

xoxo

heather