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LA's Best Spots For Family Photos

Tourists take photos in front of the ico
(credit: JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Picturesque Los Angeles offers plenty of places in which to shoot snaps of your clan or one that is visiting. However, some locations outshine others as far as bragging rights are concerned. In fact, a number of Tinseltown destinations are de rigueur when it comes to showing the world where you are as well as where you're from, including the famous Hollywood Sign, the iconic forecourt of the Chinese Theater and a number of landmarks in between. Following are five of the best places in the City of Angeles to take family photos to last a lifetime, and even longer.

hollywood-sign elise crane derby
(credit: Elise Crane Derby)

Hollywood Sign
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 258-4338

Even though you aren't allowed to climb high to literally reach the famous Hollywood Sign in the Hollywood Hills without the proper permit for filming, you can still prove you were in the vicinity by going to the foot of Mount Lee where this collection of giant letters exists. Then it's time for picture taking, with the name of this famous place standing tall in the background of your picture. Other places to capture a similar image include the Griffith Park Observatory at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, and from atop the roof of the glamorous W Hotel, Hollywood.

Triple-Digit Heat Wave Hits Southern California
(credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

William Mulholland Memorial Fountain
Intersection of Riverside Drive and Los Feliz Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027

This historic monument is a favorite spot for wedding and quinceanera reenactment photographs. However, you don't need to have been recently married and you don't need to experience someone in your family having recently turned 15 in order to use the so called Kool-Aid fountain as a backdrop for your family photo. Anyone is welcome to gather at this eastern entry point to Griffith Park for that very purpose. As for when to take your picture? Weekends are busy times for those who want to use this memorial to William Mulholland in their photos, so why not try a weekday night shoot? That way you'll not only get to show the essence of your family as a group of Angelenos in a setting familiar to everyone who lives there, but you'll also get to show the essence of the fountain itself since the water there is illuminated with colored lights once the sun goes down.

The Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of downtown's newer tourist attactions.
(credit: L.A. County Music Center)

Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 South Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 850-2000

It isn't necessary to take in a performance at the architecturally-inviting venue located downtown in order to enjoy the view and it isn't necessary to use an historical place or monument to show the City of Angels at its best. Indeed, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, just a decade old, is ripe for a photo op just about any day of the week and any time of the day. To be sure, this stark and celebrated Frank Gehry edifice with its surprising stainless steel exterior has become as much of a lasting Los Angeles landmark in its short time existing in the City of Angels as has, say, the venerable art deco Griffith Park Observatory. So gather your clan and drive down to the site of this monolith of modern architecture -- once spoofed on "The Simpsons" as a new concert hall for fictional Springfield -- for a futuristic family photo that will showcase what you're all about as well as what Los Angeles in the 21st century represents.

Related:  Best Photographers For Kids In Los Angeles

Hollywood & Highland to be New Home to Oscar Awards
(credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

TCL Chinese Theater
6925 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 464-6266

For 75 years, locals and visitors alike have taken advantage of being photographed with the stars (living and dead) by standing in their footprints or putting their paws in their hand prints at the Chinese Theater. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1968, this legendary forecourt and the building behind it have become the reason certain international sojourners even visit our neck of the woods. Whether you have one of those people visiting or you simply want to stand your ground on home turf, this cornerstone of Hollywood is the place to do so with documentation by way of your digital camera. Be sure to angle your shots to fit the famous venue, which often means getting down on your hands and knees to do so.

A competitor attends the annual 4th of J
(credit: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Muscle Beach
Venice Beach Boardwalk
1800 Ocean Front Walk
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 399-2770

Although some might call this a kitschy choice, Muscle Beach can be a terrific backdrop in which to illustrate your family photo if you're looking to give a shout out to the coastal lifestyle that brands two major elements: the beach and bodybuilding. Sojourners the world over ask about this small but mighty outdoor gym and so being part of the scene is sure to impress anyone who comes to visit from anywhere outside our sunny community. However, that doesn't mean the entire clan has to bench press twice its body weight in order to be part of the zany shot. Simply stand on the boardwalk in front of this 100-year-old landmark and let the others do the hard work while you just smile to make a pretty picture even that much prettier in this Southern California mainstay located two blocks north of Venice Boulevard.

Related: LA's Best Crash Courses In Photography

Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on

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