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  • Writer's pictureDerek Escobedo

The Best Locations in Orange County for Photography

Updated: May 21

If you’re reading this, it’s safe to say that you recently got engaged (congratulations!), or perhaps you’re a fellow photographer who is seeking some location inspiration for your next photo session.

Orange County Regional and Wilderness Parks

Orange County has a range of beautiful public, regional and wilderness parks. Theses parks are typically clean, less crowded, provide lots of space and offer a variety of landscapes for different looks. I recommend regional parks over public parks for these reasons. Parking is $3 on weekdays and $5 on weekends. A photo permit is required when shooting at an Orange County Regional Park location, so make sure a reservation is in place before proceeding with the engagement photo session.

My Top 3 Orange County Regional / Wilderness Parks:

  1. Yorba Regional Park (Anaheim)

  2. Oak Canyon Nature Center (Anaheim Hills)

  3. Jeffrey Open Space Trail (Irvine)

Pro Tip: Invest into an OC Parks Annual Parking Pass for $55

Orange County Beaches

Orange County has some of the most scenic beaches in Southern California, but not all beaches welcome professional photography. As a photographer, it’s important to research and determine which beaches allow professional photography and require a photography permit. Moreover, I highly encourage my clients to schedule their engagement session on an evening during the week, for the beaches are less crowded and the lighting is much softer (Who doesn’t like an epic sunset at the beach?). When posing couples, I strive for them to look as if they’re the only two people on the beach, but it’s a bit more challenging to accomplish this during a weekend session.

My Top 3 Orange County Beach Locations:

  1. Treasure Island Beach (Laguna Beach)

  2. Little Corona del Mar Beach (Newport Beach)

  3. Balboa Beach (Newport Beach)

SoCal Honorable Mention: San Onofre State Beach

Pro Tip: Always check the tide forecast. You never want to put your client or yourself in danger when high tide is present. Try to schedule your engagement session during low tide.

Orange County Downtown Locations:

If nature is not for you, the next best option is a downtown feel. Downtown locations are fun to photograph because of the amount of options within the environment - or even just one block. These locations are typically filled with character, such as fun coffee shops, historic theaters and unique architecture. It’s easy to see why so many couples chose this aesthetic. Downtown locations typically don’t require photo permits, but again, I always do my research prior to any session.

My Top 3 Orange County Downtown Locations:

  1. Old Towne Orange

  2. Downtown San Juan Capistrano

  3. Downtown Fullerton

Which location will you be considering for your next photo session?!


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