Congratulations!! Chances are you’re engaged and here to find out where my favorite spots for engagement photos are in San Diego. I’ve been photographing weddings here in San Diego for over 8 years and one of the most frequent questions I’m asked is “ where should we have our engagement photos taken”. Being born and raised in San Diego, I know that this county is vast with beautiful architecture, stunning beaches, and breathtaking vistas. From our almost perfect weather year round, San Diego is truly America’s most beautiful city.
So here is my top 8 engagement session locations in San Diego. Not in any particular order, just 8 locations that photograph well and produce beautiful results.
The La Jolla Beaches
La Jolla or “ the Jewel “ in Spanish, is know for it’s beautiful hilly terrain and 7 miles of unsurpassed coastline. This exquisite coastline is undoubtably home to some of the most beautiful beaches in San Diego if not the state. Almost any beach in La Jolla will provide you with the perfect backdrop to your engagement photos.
The San Diego County fair in Del Mar
Now I’m not normally one to promote locations that are seasonal or that only run for a certain amount of time but, if the stars align and you can plan to have your engagement session durning the days of June 2nd and July 4th then you may want to consider the San Diego County fair. It’s funny, typically you would want to steer clear of anywhere that has a ton ofpeople for your engagement session, but here at the fair, the more the merrier. The candid approach that I took for this couple worked out very well with this hectic fair background.
Downtown San Diego
Downtown San Diego is a great location for your engagement photos. If you’re looking for that architecture or urban feel than downtown could be the place for you. What I suggest is to just park somewhere near East Village or the convention center and work your way around. You’ll surly run into some beautiful paths, buildings, and may even get some photos with our red trolleys in the back ground. Heck, if you know the right people you could even end up on the top of a skyscraper for sunset. :)
Balboa Park is a 1200 acre park thats sits just north of downtown and looks over the beautiful San Diego skyline. The park is lavish with open space areas, greenbelts, gardens, walking paths and historical buildings that have mostly become museums. The buildings have a Spanish Colonial revival architectural style with some hints of Mission revival scattered about. There really isn’t any bad areas to take a photo in Balboa Park and this makes it a popular attraction to visitors. It’s a spectacular place full of diverse backdrops and architecture. You could easily spend the entire day there and not see all that the park has to offer.
The Laguna mountains
Maybe your not really a beach person. You may prefer pine trees to palm tress and meadows to concrete. Somewhere with mountain peaks take the place of downtown skyscrapers, well I have the place for you! About an hour east of San Diego lies the beautiful Laguna mountain range. With elevations hitting upwards of 6,000 feet, these mountains provide a lovely contrast to the more commonly known beach scape of San Diego. Up here you’ll find beautiful lakes, green meadows and forests of pine trees. Beautiful little towns are buried up in these mountains like Julian and Cuyamaca, offering a quint and country feel to your engagement photos.
Coronado Island, which really isn’t an island at all, more like a peninsula with an island on the end of it, is home to one of the largest Navy bases in the western United States. It’s also home to the beautiful island Village of Coronado. It’s a vast array of beaches and of course home to the historic Hotel del Coronado. Coronado also offers some charming mid-century colonial and Spanish style architecture and beautiful views of the downtown San Diego skyline. Another wonderful place for an engagement session.
Torrey Pines State Preserve and Beach
Torrey Pines State Preserve is definitely one of the more unique beaches in San Diego. There’s 2 main parts to the preserve. The lower part which is all beautiful beaches butted up to high cliffs, and the top section which sits high above atop of the cliffs. It’s riddled with some of the best seaside hiking trails, canyons, and vistas in California. It’s a wonderful setting for those who love nature and the ocean. The two different levels gives you the most wonderful contrast in looks and feel. I always suggest doing a wardrobe change in-between.
Sunset cliffs has always been a special place to me. I have always found this strip of steep seaside cliffs so alluring. Maybe because it’s so different than the other beaches in San Diego. At Sunset cliffs you’ll more likely be standing on top of the cliffs than down with your toes in the sand. The view from the top of the cliffs is outstanding and it’s one of the views in San Diego that makes me remember how big the world is. It’s a magical place at sunset!