5 Great Engagement Photo Locations in Southern California

So! You’re engaged & now it’s time for your engagement photos. Your engagement photos are almost (not quite-but almost) as important as your wedding ones. You’ll gawk over them for the months to come as you plan your big, special day. Finding an engagement photographer is one thing. However, deciding where your pictures are taken is another matter entirely! Sometimes it’s the more challenging of the two. I’ve had the pleasure of working with many couples & have found the best of the best locations for those special photos. Here are four of my absolute favorite places to photograph couples in all their glory. Happy scrolling!

1. Joshua Tree National Park

First off, we have Joshua Tree. This location has some major desert vibes, from the hundreds of cacti to the gigantic rock formations. The warm tones from the gorgeous sunsets, mixed with hills as far as the eye can see set the scene for some incredible photos. The empty roads criss-crossing Joshua Tree are a great setting for the good ‘ole ‘running down the empty streets’ pictures everyone undoubtedly loves (you know the ones).

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This location boasts one of the greatest settings for the perfect “golden hour” shot, but is just as beautiful at night as it is during the day. Looking up to see thousands of stars in the sky will render you & your boo speechless.

2. Laguna Beach  

This location offers a huge variety of settings. Darling coffee shops, aquariums, galleries, eclectic buildings & of course, sandy beaches. The crashing waves around your ankles make for playful, carefree vibes. Dance in the surf, look back on your footprints in the sand, have some fun with it! You will by no means regret choosing this location for your engagement photos. This beautiful spot is by far one of my favorites.  

3. Big Bear

Big bear is a dream come true for those of us that love getting out amongst nature. Offering serene mountain vistas, plenty of greenery and golden rays of light streaking through the trees, you won’t leave disappointed. Alternatively, come in winter and brave the snow to get those crisp, winter-wonderland shots. Yes, it is freezing, and yes, it is oh so worth it. Nothing beats capturing a snow fight. You will love it.

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4. Sunset Cliffs


As the name suggests, the sunsets at Sunset Cliffs are breathtaking. If you’re looking to make the most of the “golden hour” by the beach, look no further, this is the best of the best. The contrasting light and dark tones of blue in the ocean and clear horizons make for stunning images. This location is the very definition of dreamy & romantic.

5. Riley Wilderness

I’m sure you all know my favorite thing to capture by now. A good golden hour shot. The golden hours here are the creme de la creme. The beautiful oak trees & tall grasses are everywhere you look. During the fall, you are surrounded by beautiful reddish-brown hues that will simply make you melt. But during the spring, green! Green everywhere! You cannot go wrong with this gorgeous spot.

- Dani