As you start to plan for your engagement photos, you will need to start brainstorming about location ideas. I do my best to create unique engagement sessions that tell your love story, rather than just taking pretty pictures against a pretty location or popular landmark. That could mean “your spot” with a view of the city, the pizza joint you had your first date at, or even just a walk around your neighborhood!
I can almost guarantee that when you look back on these photos in 50 years, you’ll have a deeper connection to them than a photo of the two of you in front of the Hollywood Sign. (I’m not hating on the Hollywood sign – just sayin’ that creativity is welcome for these sessions). I’d love to capture your relationship right at this point in time so you can cherish this exciting season of your engagement forever.
If you can’t think of anywhere specific that you would like to shoot, I can help you decide on a location! Below you’ll find a list of my favorite photo spots for engagement photos in Los Angeles all categorized by the vibe of the location. This is far from an exhaustive list because L.A. is full of incredible secret spots, but I hope this helps spark a great idea for you!
CITY ENGAGEMENT PHOTO LOCATIONS
The Jewelry District in DTLA
This area of downtown L.A. is so photogenic! From the ACE Hotel Marquee to the iconic Eastern Columbia building, it’s a great place to walk around and roam for great photos. While you’re in the area, do yourself a favor and grab dinner after at Sonoratown. You’re welcome.
The Arts District
This spot goes without saying, but I had to add it to the list anyways. The Arts District of DTLA is chalked full of vibrant murals, downtown views, great bars and galleries and more. One of my favorite spots in the area is ROW, which is a collection of industrial buildings that have been turned into shops, offices and restaurants.
Grand Central Market
As you probably already know, Grand Central Market is a foodie’s paradise. It’s also a very photogenic, fun spot for couples who love to eat out together. Grab food or a drink at one of the stalls for the perfect photo prop, then walk over to Angels Flight Railway for a unique view of the city. You can walk around the surrounding area for that downtown LA city vibe or find nearby landmarks like Walt Disney Concert Hall or The Broad.
Downtown Culver City
You don’t have to be right in downtown L.A. to get the city vibe. Downtown Culver City has some amazing backdrops from the new Culver City Steps to the historic Culver Hotel.
This super fun stretch of Venice Beach is more than just a hot spot to hang, it’s great for photos too! I love the Palm Tree lined street as well as the abundance of ever-changing murals throughout the neighborhood. Just be sure to plan some extra time to find parking!
NATURE VIBE ENGAGEMENT PHOTO LOCATIONS
Echo Park Lake
Rent a swan-shaped paddle boat and you’ve got an engagement session that captures a fun little park date! After paddling around the lake, take a walk through the park and buy a snack from one of the local vendors. Have I mentioned I love food props? They’re so cute & fun!
This is technically about an hour outside of L.A., but it makes the list because it’s a great spot for engagement photos. Located in Agua Dulce, the rock formations give you a unique desert vibe without the long(er) drive to Joshua Tree.
Malibu Creek State Park
Looking for that glowy golden hour look? Ya found it! Rolling hills and beautiful oak trees make this a unique spot that feels less like the city. My associate, Christa, took these pictures and now I’m dying to shoot here!
Santa Monica Highlands
One of my sweet couples told me about this magical spot and I can’t wait to take more couples here for engagement photos! The “hike” is super minimal (more like a hefty staircase) and the payoff for the effort is major. The views sweep all the way from downtown to the ocean. It’s breathtaking.
Vista Hermosa Park
This is my favorite spot for a picnic and it makes for some really cute photos too! There’s an adorable bench with a perfect city view.
LANDMARKS I ACTUALLY LIKE AS ENGAGEMENT PHOTO LOCATIONS
Santa Monica Pier / Pacific Park
This location is perfect for playful couples who don’t mind the wind in their hair and a ton of bright colors. I love the nostalgic feel of walking around the rides at Pacific Park and I can’t wait to do a session there when the rides are actually open! Not to mention, this location is like a twofer – two for the price of one – because you’re right there at the beach. I love ending the sessions with some beach pics with the pier in the background.
The Venice Canals are an iconic engagement photo location because it’s just so peaceful to walk around there for an afternoon or morning. I love this spot because it feels a tiny bit different every time I go as homeowners along the canals change up their paint or landscaping. This location is doable in the morning too, which is rare!
You might not recognize the name of this museum, but I’m sure you’ve seen photos at LACMA before. The insta-famous installation of street lamps – Urban Light by Chris Burden – make for some dramatic shots as does the unique stone architecture of the museum itself. I’m also a huge fan of the land art installation – Levitated Mass by Michael Heizer – towards the back of the property.
If you’re looking for picturesque la la land vibes, this is the spot. Just note that it’s best to book an early morning weekday session here to avoid the crowds. The city may or may not be visible in the photos depending on weather and smog conditions.
BEACH ENGAGEMENT PHOTO LOCATIONS
El Matador State Beach in Malibu
Hands down, El Matador is one of the most stunning beaches in all of California and well worth the drive to Malibu. There are big rocks jutting right out onto the sand and if the tide is low enough, you can even crawl through underneath some of them. That said, it’s beauty makes it one of the most popular photo locations in L.A., so only choose this beach if you’re comfortable with a little PDA. For the fact that it gets very busy with beachgoers and other photo shoots, I like to schedule sessions here either in the mornings or on weekday afternoons.
Marina del Rey
This is a great (less crowded) option for beach pictures. I love the wide sand, lifeguard towers and even the homes on the boardwalk as backdrops here. If you’re looking for a little variety, walking through the nearby neighborhood can add some nice color and texture to the session.
ACTIVITIES BASED ENGAGEMENT PHOTO LOCATIONS
I also love basing engagement sessions around an activity rather than a location – think surfing, getting cocktails, visiting a museum, sailing, eating pizza – you name it! Activities like these also give you something to do in your photos or even just to hold so you get a ton of variety and things tend to feel less cheesy than a typical engagement session. Hit me up if this resonates for you!
Still feeling like you need more ideas? Coming Soon: our Palm Springs Engagement Locations List!
Photography | Jess and Christa of Cheers Babe Photo