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 outdoor family and engagement locations in San Diego I would recommend for a Family Portrait Session and some others for an Engagement Photography 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.
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.
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, private and personal beaches.
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 enter and photograph at 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.
There are a few more locations that didn’t quite make the top 5 list but are still beautiful and great choices.
If you’re interested in something a bit more unique such as Lavender or Flower fields take a look here.
With lots of love and good vibes,
San Diego Lifestyle Newborn Photographer
Newborn Photography Sessions are a beautiful thing. Especially from a newborn lifestyle photographer.
Having a newborn baby is such a life-changing moment that it will make you realize your true capacity for love. Time is fleeting and they grow up so quickly. Naturally, recording those first few days entering this world is something you want, but how do you go about finding a photographer? How do you prepare for a Portrait Session with your newborn & family when the last thing you feel yourself, is pretty? Many of you have found this post because you are trying to find answers to some of the common and not so common questions you may have about your Newborn Picture needs. Here is some useful information that will hopefully answer most of your questions when you are considering hiring a photographer!
Newborn Photography Sessions should be scheduled within the first 10 days of life. There are several reasons for this, so it’s important that unless you have unplanned circumstances involving the baby’s health that you schedule your Newborn Photos within that 10 day window. Newborn Sessions can be done after 10 days but many photographers may decline booking a Session after those 10 days, so if this is a possibility, you should definitely ask your photographer what their policy is.
Typically, there are two options for the actual photos. One option is a Studio Session where your baby will be posed. You can travel to a studio or many photographers will come to you and setup everything in your home. Babies are usually placed in an arranged setup that more often than not include a basket of some kind. You will also get shots of them posed on pillows. They may be wrapped or naked, but usually both. (Think Anne Geddes). The next option you have is a Lifestyle Session. This will be a Session held in your home and will include your family interacting with your new baby.
One of the biggest concerns I hear from new Mama’s is that they are worried about someone coming over after their newborn has just come home and while their home is a mess and they aren’t feeling confident or pretty. If that is something that has crossed your mind, I want you to know that your photographer is not judging you. We have all been there and guess what? You just had a baby! You literally pushed a new human being into this world a few days ago. You are going to be tired, sleep deprived, you may have not even had a shower in days, your home might even smell like days-old trash! I promise you, these things are nothing to stress over and totally normal. No one expects you to be Super Woman at all times! No respectable photographer is going to go around telling stories about your messy home. You should be proud of your family and feel beautiful because I promise, you are beautiful, and you’re the only one that may not see that right now. Years down the road you will be so grateful you stopped worrying and took the photos.
Some photographers offer Portrait Packages that include Newborn Sessions. They may also offer Fresh 48 Sessions and Maternity Photography.
Here are a few photos from a recent Newborn Photography Session here in San Diego in my preferred method - Lifestyle Photography!
Details and skin imperfections can be fixed in Photoshop or be kept natural with minimal fixes to preserve the authentic story. One of my favorite things about Lifestyle Sessions is that they are raw and authentic. It portrays your family as you are and in a way that shows your love and careful attention to your new baby.
If you have any additional questions you would like to ask, leave them in the comment section below!
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!
For another Balboa Park Photography Location of the Small Cactus Garden Video click here
(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!