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.

Note: 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

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

The Best Engagement Photography Locations in Orange County

For more resources and recommendations, here are two other great resources:

Crystal Cove State Park – Arguably 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


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.



Laguna Beach (Victoria 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.


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.



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.



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.



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.