When doing family photos, I prefer to be outdoors. It’s tough to get natural looking photos in a studio, besides who wants to be holed up inside all day? The following list is in no particular order:
- Beaches- such as Corona Del Mar, Crystal Cove State Beach, Laguna Beach and Newport Beach to name a few. As most of you already know, you really can’t go wrong with the ocean and sand as your backdrop.
- Yorba Regional Park and the pedestrian bridge next to it. If you’re just wanting photos at the bridge, park at Keno’s Restaurant and its a quick walk up. Just beware of the speedy bicyclists that use this bridge.
- Noguchi Gardens-This spot in Costa Mesa is a bit hidden, but you just need to park as if you were going to eat at Jerry’s Famous Deli and it is right behind the big office building. It’s not a large garden, but water feature and stone colors here can help make your portraits a bit more interesting.
- Mission San Juan Capistrano-This a wonderful place if you like textures and old architecture. They also have two beautiful water lily ponds that I can spend hours photographing. Plus, if you like butterflies, dragonflies and hummingbirds, you’ll find plenty to photograph here. If you’re doing a session here, the cost is $50 per hour for non-commercial photography for every five (5) people photographed and I believe there’s also the small entrance fee. Click the link above for more detailed information.
- The Camp-This is a great little local shopping center that houses a few small boutiques and restaurants. I like the wood and metal walls that make fun backdrops for portraits.
- Savi Ranch-This is a huge shopping center that most people come to for Costco, Best Buy, and Kohl’s and other large retail stores. However, there is this great tunnel that is right next to Sprouts and the stone work outside of Sprouts itself provides an interesting background for your images as well.
[Side Note: Please excuse the lighting on the bridge, I wouldn’t have normally chosen to shoot during this particular time of day here, but this was a last minute session that we squeezed in before my daughter’s birthday party.]