The greater L.A. area is well-known for its beautiful people and stunning scenery. Whether you are a seasoned professional or an amateur with a smartphone, there is, literally, a new photo opportunity waiting around every corner. Yes, we checked every corner. If you're looking for photo ops for family portraits, engagement photos, or gorgeous backdrops for your royal wedding party that aren't full of tourists or set in theme parks then you'll love these scenic Southland spots. They're local favorites, so when you get there act cool.
Take a hike to behind the Hollywood Sign and use the sign and the cityscape as the background of your photo, or find one of the many streets that has the sign perfectly framed in the background. After all, what says L.A. more than taking a photo with this historic sign in the background? If you don't want to make the trek, you can also stand on a bridge at Hollywood & Highland where the Sign reveals itself perfectly.
Will Rogers State Historic Park
12505 North Main Street
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739
You don't have to drive too far to get stunning views of the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop. Right off of Sunset in the Santa Monica Mountains lies Will Rogers State Historic Park. The Park features a variety of trails which will get you high above the city and provide stunning views for a great background to your photo.
2903 Cornell Road
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Paramount Ranch is a National Recreation Area located in the Santa Monica Mountains just north of Los Angeles. Paramount Ranch is only a few miles from civilization, but its distance is better measured on a timeline than a map. It has a long history tied to the entertainment industry, and in 1953 a permanent "old west" town was built on the site. This is a great place to take nature photos and for ones with a real old west background.
5905 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Drive by at any point during the day and you'll see a mass of people taking pictures under this art installation on th exterior of the famed LACMA. This large-scale sculpture by Chris Burden features 202 restored street lamps from the 1920's and 1930's and is a great backdrop during the day or at night.
Korean Bell Of Friendship
3601 S. Gaffey Street
San Pedro, CA 90731
The Korean Bell of Friendship is one of the largest bells in the world and is listed as a Los Angeles Cultural-Historic Monument. It was a gift from the Republic of Korea in 1976 to celebrate the United States bicentennial and to honor American veterans of the Korean War. The beautiful bell is located in Angel's Gate Park and the photo opportunities are plentiful.
10700 W. Escondido Canyon Rd.
Agua Dulce, CA 91350
Vasquez Rocks may look familiar, especially to Star Trek fans. The Natural Area Park in L.A. County is a wonder of rocks pointing towards the sky -- and you can climb them! The alien-looking formation is the result of activity along the San Andreas Fault, and in addition to hiking trails and Hollywood history it has served as a home to ancient peoples (Shoshonean and Tataviam, respectively) and as a hideout for the notorious bandit Tiburcio Vasquez. Hence, the name. Vasquez Rocks is a great place for people who will probably never get around to space travel.
Huntington Beach Pier
400 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
You don't have to be in Huntington Beach long to figure out why it is called Surf City USA (hint, look at all the surfers). The beach is majestic and beautiful, which lends itself nicely to romantic photo shoots and capturing family moments. What sets Huntington Beach apart from the rest of the coastline is the pier stretching nearly 2,000 feet into the water. Huntington Beach Pier provides a sweeping view of the beach and the ocean. Your photos will be fantastic.
Venice, CA 90292
Situated in the heart of Venice are its iconic Canals. Stroll the beautiful walkways and bridges and while you are in the middle of the bridge, you'll soon realize why this is a great spot for an iconic L.A. photo. The Canals were built by developer Abbot Kinney as a way to make L.A. have some of the qualities of Venice, Italy.
1900 Associated Rd.
Fullerton, CA 92831
The Fullerton Arboretum is located on 26 acres and houses over 4,000 plants from all over the world. With an endless array of beautiful gardens and vegetation in their botanical areas, your picture will come out great. Explore the grounds and you will discover hundreds of terrific backdrops for a great photo op.
Santa Monica Pier
200 Santa Monica Pier A
Santa Monica, CA 90401
The Santa Monica Pier will forever be one of Los Angeles' most quintessential areas to take the perfect shot of Los Angeles. Whether you want just the pier and its famous Ferris Wheel in your shot, or you want to be in the picture, there are endless possibilities. Make sure to take some photos from Ocean Avenue, and then walk the pier to take photos along the way until you reach the end.
for more features.