Best Places For Engagement Photos Around Southern California

So you’re engaged!! As a photographer, it’s probably no surprise that I think engagement photos are one of the most fun aspects of an engagement! They provide another perspective to your love story that you don’t get to see every day. This is such a fun and exciting time, but it can also be a bit overwhelming when it comes to the heavy lifting of planning your wedding.

I’m here to make things a tad more manageable by providing you with my top recommended locations for engagement photos around the Los Angeles area and beyond! When I first moved to Los Angeles, I was amazed by the beauty and diversity of that California has to offer. Within a few hours drive, you can experience ocean beaches, scenic mountains and snow, waterfalls, rolling meadows, wildflowers, forests, desert and more!

There are many gorgeous settings for engagement photos in and around Los Angeles. A few of my favorite are:

Zuma Beach

I love this location so much I almost don’t want to share it so I can keep it to myself! You can snuggle up with your boo next to gorgeous rock formations that give way to a calm beach area (watch out for the strong undercurrent here!) And hike up the cliffside for some seriously stunning views of the beach that goes on for miles. If you’re lucky, you might catch sight of the sunbathing seals over the cliff’s edge.

malibu engagement photographer

Vasquez Rocks

Vasquez rocks is one of my favorite spots if you’re going for edgy or boho desert vibes. The towering rock formations combined with golden hour lighting is 🧑‍🍳😙🤌 *chef’s kiss* perfection.

Matador Beach

This beach is immensely popular and the parking space is quite small so you have to be very strategic when planning a shoot here. I recommend shooting during low-traffic hours to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience. Wooden stairs lead from the top of the cliffs down to a beach that has perfect rocks to perch on when the tide comes in and larger rocks that appear to have separated from the main coastal cliffs and stand alone as huge natural towering formations.

engagement photo outfit

Palos Verdes

There are so many spots along the Palos Verdes coast that make me question where in the world we even are!!! These gorgeous scenic views are simply stunning and almost make you feel as if you’re somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. I love the way the coastal cliffs change dramatically. They offer soft sandy beaches in some spots and steep rock walls at others.


I’ll be honest, urban isn’t my go-to vibe but there’s plenty to work with. Skylines, street art, kitchy restaurants, cafes and shops. If you and your boo are city folk and want a sesion that is authentically you, then a city shoot may be the perfect environment for your session.

Griffith Park

Griffith Park offers a variety of scenic areas including the Griffith Observatory overlook and little hidden gems like this one. A tiny jungle vibe right in the heart of Hollywood!

Redondo Beach

The boardwalk at Redondo Beach is so unique and offers a versatile backdrop so you can switch things up. Start on the pier and make your way down to the beach. The lifeguard stands are also an ideal backdrop (when not in use by actual lifeguards)!

redondo beach photographer

Santa Monica

While the pier is often overwhelmed with tourists, Palisades Park offers a more secluded beachside setting. I advise starting here and getting my couples comfortable in front of the camera before we make our way down into the tizzy of tourists or we shoot at odd hours to avoid the rush, although that may mean forgoing golden hour which is when you get lovely lit photos such as this thanks to the sunset!

santa monica engagement photographer

Joshua Tree

This is a little further outside of Los Angeles and a permit is needed in most cases, but this gorgeous park feels like something straight out of a Dr. Suess book and is just as fun and whimsical to shoot at!

joshua tree engagement photographer

Big Bear

Big Bear is incredible if you’re seeking a gorgeous green forest backdrop! It really transports you so you feel like you’re completely removed from the typically LA bubble if that’s what you’re trying to achieve. It is approx a 2-hour drive and a pretty happening location so expect there to be traffic and at times crowds.

big bear engagement photographer

Malibu Creek State Park

Classic Malibu beaches combined with rad rock formations that you can climb up on? You’ll find them here. Get after it!

leo carrillo engagement photots

Ready to book your engagement session? Let’s chat!

If you’re interested in booking wedding photography through me, some of my wedding packages include a complimentary session as well. Shoot me an inquiry and let’s discuss the deets!