Choosing The Right Engagement Photo Location
When it comes to your wedding, the easiest decision you will make will be to accept the proposal and say “yes.” After this comes a series of decisions that all have so many options to choose from, making it hard to know where to start. With an engagement photography session probably at the top of your to-do list, you will want to pay attention to choosing the right engagement photo location that will really sum up the essence of you two as a couple and the love story between you both. To help out with this, we have categorized some of our favorite shoot spots based on the vibe that they can capture, complete with examples from some of our recent sessions. If a location strikes a chord with you, we’d love to hear about it, and show you more!
For The Hopeless Romantics: Malibu Private Estate
When you are with your love, does it feel like time stops, and everything else in the world fades in to the background, and the only thing that matters is the two of you? Hopeless romantics and daydreamers will be drawn to the private estate in Malibu where we have shot a few engagement sessions. The lake of lily pads, the secluded wooded areas, the architecture that is draped in trailing greenery – everything about this location just speaks to that utterly romantic vibe. Note that there is a $350 per hour location charge for shooting here.
For The Beach Bums Part 1: El Matador Beach
One of Malibu’s most popular beaches is El Matador Beach, off of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. One of the many great things about this location is not only has beach access where you can photograph directly on the sand and by the waves, but there is also an overlook on the bluffs above, along with a trail through unique rock formations. The opportunities this location presents for gorgeous photos are endless.
For The Beach Bums Part 2: Leo Carrillo State Beach
Another option for couples who feel the pull of the tides and are at home on the beach is Leo Carrillo State Beach. El Matador feels quintessentially Malibu, if that is the look you are going for, whereas Leo Carrillo, despite being located in southern California, looks like it could be in Northern California and seems to have a bit more of a rugged look to it. In the end, you cannot go wrong with either location.
For The Bohemians: Vasquez Rocks
With the golden fields of wheat and winding pathways along with beautiful rock formations, Vasquez Rocks is a destination that captures a free-spirited essence of beauty in nature. There could be no better a place for the couple that identifies with a bohemian aesthetic to photograph their engagement session. The park itself allows for equestrian areas, picnics, hiking and rock climbing, so if any of these sound like you, Vasquez Rocks could be the perfect match.
For the Sophisticated Match: Greystone Mansion
Step into the Greystone property and you will feel like you have just stepped into a French countryside chateau. The property exudes elegance and charm, fitting for a sophisticated pair who love to keep it classy and classic. From the architecture to the gardens there are so many scenes within the property that make it highly worth the $350 per hour fee.
For The Sommeliers: Sunstone Vineyards & Winery
If you and beloved consider yourself the sommelier type (whether aspiring or actual), why not combine one of your favorite hobbies of wine tasting with your engagement photos? At the Sunstone Vineyards & Winery, you will find wine country lifestyle at its finest, with old world architecture taking you back to France or Tuscany, some of the world’s greatest wine regions. The grapevines are set against a backdrop of the Santa Ynez mountains, creating a lush outdoor backdrop for your photos, while the limestone buildings create a rustic European vibe. We love how Pauline and Alex had such a playful time for their engagement session at Sunstone Vineyards & Winery.
For The Weekend Escapists: Lake Tahoe
If nothing excites you more than the prospect of a little weekend getaway with your love, Lake Tahoe might be just the place for your engagement session. Not only can you make a quick escape out of it, but the location is conducive to showing off the cozy adventuring wanderlust that permeates your relationship. It is the type of location that looks straight out of a fairytale. Our clients Mahbod & Natalie show off how gorgeous this location is during the wintertime, but in reality it is perfect at any time of year.
For The European Romance: Westlake Village Inn
If European romance sounds like your aesthetic, there’s no need to go all the way to Europe to get the look. Westlake Village Inn has a European-like setting across its gazebo, waterfall, and garden locations. The well-manicured property is full of stunning floral moments, and the wood carved gazebo is such a unique and statement-making look to include. Mitra and Hugo had such a sweet session at The Westlake Village Inn, noting that it does require a $150 permit.
For The Historically Inclined: Robinson Gardens
Do you dream of attending one of Jay Gatsby’s infamous 1920s parties? Or do you feel like you should have been born in a different decade? The Robinson Gardens location could be your best bet. Lavish celebrity parties took place here throughout the 1940s – 1970s, with guets such as Charlie Chaplain, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire in attendance. Now, the historical landmark is preserved by a non-profit organization, allowing its historical magic to live on into present day.
For The Modernists: Pasadena City Hall
If you are not familiar with Pasadena, you might not be aware of the architectural masterpiece that is the Pasadena City Hall. For a government building this location is surprisingly romantic and picaresque, containing elements of both Mediterranean and Spanish architecture to make it something truly surprising that you would not expect to find in your own backyard. The long hallways, arched exteriors and courtyard fountain all lend an upscale and modern backdrop for engagement photography, as seen with our clients Amber and Armen.
For The Ones Who Want It All: Malibu Creek State Park
Can’t decide between golden meadows, oceanfront views, jagged peaks, and oak woodlands? Well, good news – Malibu Creek State Park has it all. This 8,000 acre property has all kinds of trails and vantage points to truly offer a comprehensive experience for the couple not willing to sacrifice on any aspect! Based on our comprehensive experience shooting at this location we can outline a shot list matched with the right time of day to maximize your engagement photoshoot in the best possible way.
For The Outdoor Enthusiasts: LA Arboretum & Botanic Gardens
Some of us are partial to plants and feel at one with nature whenever we step into the great outdoors. If this sounds like you, consider the LA Arboretum & Botanic Gardens for your engagement photo. This 127 acre property contains plant and flower species from all around the world, providing for any unique look you like – whether it is a woodland forest or tropical jungle. While the location does charge a $50 permit, this is a small price to pay for the experience, complete with hundreds of peacocks roaming the property!
For The Power Couple: Valley of Fire State Park
Are you accustomed to your friends and family labeling your romantic relationship as a “power couple” situation? Strong and successful couples definitely want a location that speaks to this side of them, and Valley of Fire State Park makes the perfect dramatic statement accordingly. The large red rock formations offer a truly one-of-a-kind backdrop for your engagement photos. However, keep in mind that the summer season from about May through October consistently sees high temperatures, as the park is located in Overton, Nevada. We recommend it for off-season months.
For The City Slickers: Walt Disney Concert Hall
Downtown Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall is a sight to see in the springtime, with the gorgeous cherry blossom tress flowering, just like you might see in New York’s Central Park. Between these cherry blossoms and the modern architecture of the neighboring museums, this location is truly for the couple who feels at home in an urban environment, and loves that distinguished modern look for their engagement session. Our clients Sergey and Galina are the perfect example!
Which one sounds most like you and your love? Leave a comment below.