Top 10 Engagement Photo Locations
in Orange County, CA
Engagement photos should build on who you are as a couple and your relationship. Now that you’re getting married, it’s fun to show everyone who you are through amazing photos at a location that ties into your history, hobbies, and things you share with each other. While every couple is unique, below are the Top 10 locations in Orange County for engagement photos to help jumpstart your decision making.
Enjoy the desert? The Forest? Flowers? Look no further. The Fullerton Arboretum is an amazing place for engagement photos since it has all of the above, and much more! Quaint, quiet, and filled with a variety of landscapes, water features, and an historic home, this hidden gem will give you a variety of looks without having to change locations. Be sure to call ahead or get a photo permit before shooting here.
Mission San Juan Capistrano
This historic location has hosted some of the most iconic engagement and wedding photos. Built in 1776 by Franciscan friars, Mission San Juan Capistrano has amazing gardens, beautiful stone walls, and incredible fountains that make for unbelievable photos. One caveat: since this is a protected site you will need to pay for your photo time in the mission. Typically an hour of shooting will cost around $150.
Looking to take your photos in the evening or at night? If so, and you are a fan of bright carnival lights and the feeling of a 1950s boardwalk, then this is perfect for you. Carnival rides, Ferris Wheel, and small shops make this spot a favorite for engagement pictures. Plus it backs up to the Newport Beach harbor which is absolutely gorgeous at sunset.
Irvine Regional Park
Green fields, big trees, and hiking trails make the Irvine Regional Park a great spot for outdoor lovers. The wide open spaces make it easy to stay secluded and keep your engagement session feeling intimate and separated from passersby. The park is very large, so be sure to take your time and drive around first to find some of your favorite spots before your start shooting. Entry fee is around $5.
Crystal Cove State Park
Almost no other location in Orange County is as beautiful as Crystal Cove State Park at sunset. This small beach contains protected tidepools and incredible rock formations, but can get crowded with other photographers and couples wanting to capture the perfect shot. Arrive early, stake out your favorite spots, and be patient if others are there shooting, too. Trust me, this location is worth the extra effort.
No list of locations would be complete without the iconic House of Mickey. No, it’s not for everyone, but for the Disney-lovers out there nothing can beat photos at the Magic Kingdom. While Disneyland can get very busy, and is expensive to enter, if you have an annual pass or want to make a day out of your pictures, this can be a great way to celebrate and get photos at the same time. If you’d like to save some money, Downtown Disney still has much of the charm and feel but without the price of admission. Castles, crowds, mainstreet, and Mickey ears… what else do you need for great pictures?
Orange Circle in Old Town Orange
For the urban scene, Old Town Orange is a great place in Orange County that will give you seclusion and stunning photos. Grab some ice cream and stroll down the sidewalks or duck into an alley to take advantage of the high-brick walls of the local buildings. Many TV shows and movies have been filmed here and can provide inspiration for how to best take advantage of this amazing space.
Downtown Santa Ana
If the Orange Circle isn’t edgy enough for you, then Downtown Santa Ana might be a better fit. This diverse city has much of the same historic charm and brick buildings, but with an ethnic flare. Be sure to take advantage of the murals and wall art, 4th street, and building facades when shooting here.
San Juan Capistrano Train Station
Train stations can create some beautiful photos and represent the motion and journey of your relationship. Walking on the tracks of this beautiful space next to its brick depot or standing together on one of the historic rail cars make for fun and meaningful pictures. This is one location that definitely shoots better when it is overcast or during the Golden Hour right before sunset.
What represents Orange County more than its beaches? If you are an OC native and have enjoyed spending the summers with your loved one playing in the surf and sand, then shooting at Newport Beach (or any of your favorite spots) would be the way to go. Newport Beach has a great pier, jetties, and lifeguard towers that make for great shots. Golden Hour or an overcast day usually make for the best photos here, too.