I am an engagement photographer in both Los Angeles and Santa Barbara and everywhere in between. Engagement photos are a great way to celebrate your engagement and get comfortable in front of the camera. Even if you are a person who is a bit “camera shy,” I always make sure that your engagement session is relaxed, fun and truly brings out your personalities. If you don’t have a specific location in mind for your engagement session, I am happy to help you find the perfect spot. This gallery features many of my favorite options. In the Los Angeles area, El Matador beach in Malibu really can’t be beat for beach photos. A grassy area next to the parking area provides a gorgeous backdrop, as well, and I like to start there to get some mountains and flowers in the background before heading down to the beach for the ocean views. Santa Monica Pier is also a great backdrop, especially around sunset when the lights on the roller coaster and Ferris wheel light up behind you! Manhattan Beach’s iconic pier is also a big favorite, with photo ops on top and under the pier. It can also be fun to stroll around Manhattan Beach’s adorable main street and use various storefronts as backgrounds. If you are looking for a more urban vibe, downtown Los Angeles has it all, from the Disney Concert Hall, to the funky mural district and City Hall. You can find a photo in the gallery of a couple on the steps of city hall surrounded by a runner’s club, complete with one runner in a superhero costume! In downtown Los Angeles, you never know what you are going to find! Other classic spots are Greystone Mansion, with its iconic Cypress trees and gardens, Hollywood and Highland in Hollywood for a gritty, urban vibe, Melrose and Melrose Place, which have murals and café’s galore, and Beverly Hills City Hall, which has gorgeous columns, florals and fountains. The streets of Beverly Hills are a great option, as we can start in front of the historic Beverly Wilshire Hotel, work our way up Rodeo Drive and finish in the lovely garden next to the Montage Beverly Hills, which also has a fantastic fountain. For a more natural locale, Malibu Creek is amazing and has it all, from flowers to mountains to a creek and stunning vistas.
In Santa Barbara, my favorite beach engagement photo locations are Ellwood Mesa, with both natural grasses and trees as well as the beach below, Haskell’s Beach next to the Ritz Carlton Bacara with the cliffs and rocky beach. The Santa Barbara Mission is a favorite spot, as the Spanish style building is classic Santa Barbara, and you can also use the rose gardens and woodsy park for variety. The Funk Zone is one of my other top spots, as the wineries, railroad tracks and murals give fabulous texture to a more urban shoot while truly keeping that Santa Barbara feeling.
For more intimate engagement photos, your home can be a great place to start! I’ve done sessions with couples sitting on their kitchen floor, eating pizza and drinking wine! I like to brainstorm with my couples to find ways to celebrate and document what makes them unique and create images that truly capture who they are. I also encourage everyone to do a wardrobe change halfway through the shoot to give a completely different look and feel to the photos.
No matter what you choose, your photo session will be relaxed, fun and a great way to kick off your engagement!