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  • Writer's pictureDerek Escobedo

The Best Locations in Orange County for Engagement Photos

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

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 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. Carbon Canyon Regional Park (Brea)

  3. Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park (Coto De Caza)

Honorable Mentions:

  1. Oak Canyon Nature Center (Anaheim Hills)

  2. Jeffrey Open Space Trail (Irvine)

Orange County Beaches

Similar to the regional parks, 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 Pier (Newport Beach)

Photographer Tip: Always check the tide forecast. You never want to put your client or yourself in danger when high tide is present. In other words, 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 – from coffee shops and independently owned movie theaters, to unique structures and art displays – it’s easy to see why many couples chose this aesthetic.

Downtown locations typically don’t require photo permits, but again, I always do my research prior to any session. Similar to the beach, shooting at a downtown location is typically best if shot on a weekday afternoon (two hours before sunset).

My Top 3 Orange County Downtown Locations

  1. Old Towne Orange

  2. Downtown San Juan Capistrano

  3. Downtown Fullerton

Which engagement session location will you be considering?

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