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laguna-beach-wedding-photographer News & Insight

The Best Engagement Photography Locations in Orange County, CA

By Christopher Lin on August 17th 2012

Orange County is filled with beach towns, boardwalks, and amazing coastlines. The setting for many books, TV shows and movies is quintessentially Southern California. Year-round sun, tourist attractions, and a diverse, something-for-everyone type of geography, make this region an amazing location for engagement sessions and weddings.

In this article we’ll be going over the best engagement and portrait photography locations in Orange County, California.

[Rewind: 10 Best Los Angeles Engagement Photography Locations]

Disclaimer

Many of the following locations require permits/permission for photography. Please research prior to your session
Calling All Engagement and Wedding Photographers!

This article is part of an effort to document the best engagement photography locations cities all over the world. When we approached other photographers about writing similar articles, all have so far respectfully declined. After all, why would anyone want to give away their secret locations?

It is our belief that in our industry, the more you share, the more you will succeed. Besides the fact that these types of articles lead clients directly to your work, the benefit of sharing your knowledge is vast, from creating a good reputation to simply building good will in the photo community. If you would like to write a similar article from your area, please let us know by emailing [email protected]

Anyways, let’s get back to the subject at hand. Here are the 10 Best Engagement Photography Locations in Orange County, California.

Copyright

The following images are copyright Lin and Jirsa, Orange County Wedding Photography. Most images are post produced using the SLR Lounge Lightroom 4 Presets. Click Here to purchase the presets.

The Best Engagement Photography Locations in Orange County

Crystal Cove State Park – Argueably the best view of the coast line in all of Southern California is at this State Park. Mix in the tall fields of grass, and you have yourself an ideal natural scene for your engagement session. Permits are required, without which you might suffer some very heavy fines.

crystal cove

crystal-cove-engagement-photography

Balboa Island, Newport Beach – Stop into the Fun Zone for some light, playful shots with your couple. Most of the stores are super friendly towards photographers and happily engaged couples and the carnival atmosphere can help create a comfortable environment for your couple.

carousel-balboa-fun-zone-newport-beach-engagement-photography

balboa-island-engagement-photography

Laguna Beach – Amazing rocky beaches and a photography-friendly environment make this one of the
best locations for engagement photography. The only downside is that you’ll be jockeying for a spot with plenty of other photographers.

laguna-beach-wedding-photographer

Mission San Juan Capistrano – Beautiful old Spanish architecture and colorful gardens with interesting textures and aisle ways make The Mission in San Juan Capistrano a great location for your engagement
session. However, be aware that a permit is required.

Downtown Fullerton – This is a hidden gem for photography. Between the cute shops to the lively downtown, you’ll find plenty to shoot.

fullerton-engagement-photographer

fullerton-engagement-photographer

Old Town Orange/Chapman University – College campuses are always full of awesome architecture and unique scenes. Chapman University and the surrounding Old Town Orange is no exception.

chapman-university-orange-engagement-pictures-session

chapman-university-engagement-photography

Huntington Beach Pier – The Huntington Beach pier is a great spot to catch that beautiful sunset. Also, you can sneak below the pier for those romantic night shots.

huntington-beach-engagement-photography

huntington-beach

Costa Mesa and Santa Ana – Between the Lab (Anti-mall) and the Camp in Costa Mesa and the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Santa Ana, you can have yourself a wide variety of images that include unique art and architecture. Both places require a permit, but the shots are well worth it.

the-lab-anti-mall-costa-mesa-engagement-photography

costa-mesa-wyndham-hotel-wedding-photographer

For a complete guide to engagement photography, check out our Natural Light Couples Photography Workshop and be sure to check out our Natural Light Couples Photography DVD. See the preview below:

Co-Founder of SLR Lounge and Photographer with Lin and Jirsa Photography, I’m based in Southern California but you can find me traveling the world. Click here to connect on Google +

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ed Rhodes

    wow, amazing shots!

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  2. Haewoong Yang

    Im looking for places to shoot without permit required. Im shooting my firends’ engagement photos and i do not want to pay a lots of money to buy permits. I heard malibu beach, pasadena city hall, huntington beach, disney concert hall, santa monica beach and streets are not required a permits. If im wrong let me know and tell me if there are more thx

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  3. Jared Campbell

    are a lot of those images HDRed?? they look like it…

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  4. Monica Nathania

    Is Balboa Island similar to Santa Monica?

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    • Emily

      No they are different. Completely different atmosphere, beach town, beach, piers….

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  5. Kristin Smetona

    I thought Laguna Beach required a permit. Does it not?

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