Choosing a location for your family photos is an important decision. As the years progress, these are the images that you will look back on that hold your family history. Over a series of blogposts, I discuss great outdoor locations for family photos in Orange County, California. While there are a number of factors to consider when thinking about your family photo session, one word often comes to my mind: location, location, location! If you know the Orange County area in Southern California, then you know there are an abundance of outdoor locations to choose from. Set out below are another three popular locations, including the address, notes on parking and photo permits (if relevant).
Feel free to check out my related blogposts: Best family photography locations in Orange County, California (Part 1) and Best family photography locations in Orange County, California (Part 3).
Top of the World Laguna Beach, Orange County California
Top of the World is a community park located in Laguna Beach, California. The park is named for its elevation of about 1,000 ft (300m) above sea level. The park provides a hiking and biking trailhead and the trails are very well-groomed and are fairly close to the park. If you’re after amazing vistas and beautiful backdrops for your photo session, this is one of the best spots in Orange County.
Check out a family photo session at Top of the World.
Parking: There is plenty of parking at Alta Laguna Park. Depending on the time of day that you arrive, a small parking fee of $3 may be payable
Address: 21601 Treetop Lane, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Irvine Regional Park, Orange County California
Irvine Regional Park is a versatile park with a number of different backdrops to cater to a variety of family photo sessions. The park is huge, at about 491 acres, so although it is popular, you can usually find an area all to yourselves to limit having any other people in the background. There are beautiful oak and sycamore trees, which are perfect for a relaxed, afternoon picnic feel. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can head up the hills to have your own little piece of the park to yourselves.
Check out a couple’s photo session at Irvine Regional Park.
Parking: $3 per vehicle (weekdays) and $5 per vehicle (weekends)
Address: 1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange, CA 92869
Newport Beach Pier, Orange County California
Newport Beach Pier is one of the most well known beaches in Orange County. Newport Beach has fine, soft sand with decent waves which seem to stretch for miles. California beach sunsets are at their best here. Given the busyness of the beach, this backdrop is best if you desire casual, playful beach fun for your family photos or if you want a busy and bustling beach scene. Because of how busy the beach is, I recommend booking a shoot midweek and/or not in summer.
Check out a family photo session at Newport Beach Pier.
Parking: There is both free and metered parking at certain times of the day. Parking is limited though, so you may have to walk a few blocks to get to the pier
Address: Oceanfront and 21st Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article. Krystil McDowall is an Orange County family photographer, specializing in photography for families of all shapes and sizes, which includes couples, expecting parents, newborns, toddlers, kiddos, even bigger kiddos and, of course, any fur babies that schlep with the family. If you're interested in viewing more of my work, check out my portfolio or contact me so we can discuss documenting some memories together.