Top 5 SoCal Engagement Session Locations

the kap blog

5 Top SoCal Engagement Session Locations

Engagement + Couples

May 10, 2019



So, you’re engaged and booked your wedding photographer? Now what? This is where all the fun starts! Now, this is when we plan your SoCal engagement session! Here’s five Best SoCal engagement session locations! It is no secret that Southern California is one of the most beautiful states. Southern California offers a wide variety of locations for your engagement session from the beautiful coastline, the desert, urban flare, to mountainous views.

A few tips when thinking of your engagement session locations. First, infuse your personality into your engagement photos. These photos should be a reflection of your personalities and relationship. Love the water? Let’s hit the Coast. Do you love slack lining or rock climbing? Joshua Tree may be for you! Are you a little unconventional and known for your love of coffee or a good craft cocktail? Great, let’s go to your favorite local spots in your favorite Southern California city. I’ll have a gin and tonic with 2 limes, please.

Second, I highly encourage you to brainstorm unique locations that you might have access to that most don’t. For example, maybe you, or someone in your circle, can allow us to do your engagement session at a location that would otherwise be off-limits. Such as, a beautiful private estate, family ranch, upscale hotel, or even a boat/yacht, airplane hanger, or a rooftop view.

Stuck? No worries. Here are my five best SoCal engagement session locations to help you start brainstorming!

1. Joshua Tree National Park

Engagement session at Joshua Tree National Park - Top SoCal Engagement Session Locations

It is no secret that I love Joshua Tree. My favorite part about engagement sessions in Joshua Tree National Park is that there are seriously SOOOO many spots. Joshua Tree NP is HUGE. You could do 10 different sessions in Joshua Tree in one day and each one of them would look completely different. That is how large Joshua Tree is. The light is absolutely divine, especially during golden hour. Also, if you want to do an in-home lifestyle engagement session, there are some dope af air bnb’s in Joshua Tree that would blow your mind!

Pro Tip: There is absolutely no cell service in Joshua Tree National Park. I always meet my clients outside of the park and have them follow me to make sure we all get to the same place.

2. Palm Springs Windmills; Palm Springs, CA

Engagement session at Palm Springs Windmills in Palm Springs, CA - Top SoCal Engagement Session Locations

If you have ever been towards Palm Springs then you know all about the Palm Springs windmills. This location is really fun especially if you plan on wearing a dress that will flow in the wind because this location is wiiiindy! I tell all my couples to embrace it because I love the movement it adds to their engagement photos. This location is great too because it is not far from Downtown Palm Springs so if you wanted to start with a drink or even some ice cream (I mean, Palm Springs is hot af), you totally could! Also, the desert light is also just so darn dreamy. I have always loved the desert light (probably because I grew up in AZ) but the way the sun sets behind the mountain creates this beautiful soft golden glow and if it’s cloudy the sunset is ammmmmazing!

PRO TIP: Do NOT park on the shoulder of the road. You will get stuck in the sand. Please please please do not park on the side of the road. You don’t want to be THAT person.

3. Torrey Pines; La Jolla, CA

Engagement session at Torrey Pines in San Diego, CA - Top SoCal Engagement Session Locations

I like to think of Torrey Pines as San Diego County’s version of Big Sur. Okay so Torrey Pines has NOTHING on Big Sur but it’s as close as you’re going to get in San Diego. Torrey Pines offers greenery, beaches, some larger trees, along with some pretty adventurous cliffs. Torrey Pines does tend to be fairly crowded so I would not recommend this location for a more introverted couple or a couple who wants more wide-open areas with more privacy. Be sure to check out Amanda + Daniels Torrey Pines engagement session!

PRO TIP: There are so many different trails in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve be sure to find a photographer who is familiar with the different trails and what each has to offer.

4. Sunset Cliffs; San Diego, CA

Engagement session at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego, CA - Top SoCal Engagement Session Locations

Sunset Cliffs in San Diego is one of my most asked for San Diego locations for engagement sessions and I totally understand why. Sunset Cliffs is one of the most romantic locations in San Diego. It is perfect for a couple who wants a romantic SoCal engagement session! Sunset Cliffs offers cliff sides, beaches, caves, and absolutely gorgeous sunsets. The views at Sunset Cliffs do not disappoint.

To see more Sunset Cliffs engagement sessions check out the following:


PRO TIP: Feeling even more adventurous? Don’t be afraid to get in the water. Bring your bathing suits and let’s go for a swim.

5. Palomar Mountain State Park; San Diego County, CA

Engagement session in Palomar Mountain in San Diego, CA - Top SoCal Engagement Session Locations

It’s no secret that Southern California is filled with different mountain ranges. I personally LOVE Palomar Mountain in San Diego County. It is underrated and overlooked. I actually prefer Palomar Mountain over other mountains because it tends to be less crowded. There are some great turn outs that have breathtaking overlooks plus a charming pond near large pine trees! It instantly transports you straight out of San Diego. Interested in seeing more Palomar Mountain engagement sessions? Be sure to check out Pharon + Andrea’s Palomar Mountain engagement session at Doane Pond!

PRO TIP: Again, Palomar Mountain does not have the best cell service. I would recommend meeting at either one of the turn outs then continue to follow your photographer up the mountain or meet at Mother’s Kitchen. You can thank your girl later.

There you have it — 5 best SoCal engagement session locations. However, guys this list is by no means exhaustive. There are so many spots in Southern California that I am dying to explore. Are you looking to go on an adventure for your engagement session in Southern California? Do you want a unique engagement sessions catered to the two of you?! Fill out the contact form today and let’s start planning!

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