5 Outdoor Portrait Photography Locations in Orange County
Charge the batteries, format the cards and pack the light stands! Whether you’re a local pro, a Southern California photo hobbyist, or just visiting for a gig/vacation, it’s no mystery that there are some incredibly photogenic areas in Orange County. With 948 sq. miles of land, however, finding that perfect location might be more difficult than just jumping on the 5 and cruising around. (For purposes of this article, we’ll stick to southern Orange County, as the north has a mood and feel of its own.) From the beachy vibes that California is known for, all the way to classic ranch style settings, there is something for everyone’s taste and shooting style. Take a look at 5 of our favorite portrait photography locations in Orange County!
1. Dana Point Harbor
The Dana Point Harbor is great location to incorporate the background into your photos. Whether it be the cliffs, a sail boat, or just the sun setting over the open ocean, Dana Point Harbor can be a great location for a family photoshoot or engagement soon. There are a few different spots you can utilize including the tide pools and the jetties.
dana point harbor
2. San Clemente Pier
Does it get any more Southern California than the pier? Golden hour at the beach will undoubtedly provide a high keeper rate for any photographer, but adding the pier pilings and splashing water into the mix will really take things to the next level. Don’t be scared to have your model or couple get their feet wet too. It can really add to feel and emotion of the shot.
San Clemente Pier
3. Downtown San Clemente
San Clemente is one of the of the cutest little towns on coast. The mellow beach town with spanish style architecture is a honey hole for photographers and models alike. With interesting nooks and storefronts lining Del Mar and El Camino, the creative possibilities for impromptu photo shoots are everywhere.
Downtown San Clemente
4. San Juan Train Station
This little part of town, although well known, is a fantastic location for family and portrait photography. If you want to break away from the beach scene and get a little more country/midwest feel to the pictures you’re taking, this is the spot for you. With aesthetic fences that can be used for leading lines and vibrant colored flora tucked behind diffused light from the large trees, the San Juan train station should be on your list to bring clients. The butterfly garden in particular is breathtaking at golden hour.
San Juan Train Station
5. Quail Hill
Last but not least, Quail Hill is another great location for a portrait session with a boho or rustic vibe. With wide open rolling hills, it’s one of the few spots you won’t have to walk very far to not have buildings or homes in the background. The tall golden grass of this area provides a variety of creative options, and there are a few rocky outcrops you may be able to utilize as well!