Engagement Session Location Ideas

You've got the venue booked, website up, save-the-dates and/or invites ready, and lack only a cute set of couple photos to post. It's time to schedule your engagement session! Here's a few thoughts on how to narrow down your location choices. 

Consider your style and vision. Will the engagement session be aligning with your wedding aesthetic, or will it be a nice contrast? Are you an earthy, salt-in-my-hair-sand-in-my-toes kind of person or is high fashion more your thing? The location will greatly add to the style you are going for: rustic, casual, formal, party, etc.

Now you can start looking at backgrounds. San Diego County has a lot, and I mean a lot of gorgeous scenery. I remember one time a client asked, "I'm thinking a rustic train, or something. Like, an old caboose and a railroad track. Got anything for that?" Yup! Old Poway Park. The only place in San Diego County with an old caboose and where photos on railroad tracks are permitted during allotted times. They were thriiiilllled.

Next is accessibility. Some lovely spots may be difficult to get to, while others have the worst parking you'll ever encounter. Are you ok with a long, elevated hike? Do you want to bring your dog? Will we need wheelchair accessibility? All this affects which location you choose. 

The time of day is also important. You might want to swing by popular tourist attractions in the early morning (8:00am at Balboa Park is basically a must for low crowds and vendors). Heavy foliage locations may start looking gloomy in the late afternoon, which is great if you are going for dark & moody! And of course nothing beats San Diego beach sunsets! I LOVE sunset engagement sessions!

Lastly, you will need to know if the location requires a photography permit. Some locations in San Diego County have extremely strict policies. No permit may mean your session being cut short and everyone escorted off the premises. It's always best to check! Without further ado, here are just a few of my favorite locations in San Diego County:

Sandy beach only

Coronado Beach

La Jolla Shores

Cliffs and/or rocky beach

Windansea Beach

Torrey Pines Reserve

Beach & pier

Scripps Pier in La Jolla

Crystal Pier in PB


Los Peñasquitos Ranch House

Discovery Lake San Marcos


Felicita Park

Elfin Forest


Dos Picos

Mission Trails


Japanese Friendship Garden

Balboa Park Gardens


San Diego Botanic Garden

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch


Balboa Park Desert Garden

Balboa Park Cactus Garden (I am obsesssssed)

Some architecture focus

Martin Johnson House

Centennial Beach

Hotel Del

Vintage architecture

Old Poway Park

Heritage Park

Elaborate architecture

Balboa Park museums

Many stunning wedding venues include an engagement session on their property

Modern, city vibe


Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge