Top 10 Engagement Session Locations in California

January 13, 2021

California seriously has every single landscape that you could possibly ask for when deciding on your Engagement Session Location — there’s the green forests, epic cliffs, golden fields, colorful deserts, pretty beaches, & cityscapes! 

I always recommend that my couples try to choose a location that feels special to them & has MEANING to their relationship. Maybe you could start off your session somewhere NOSTALGIC like the coffee shop where you share your first kiss and then finish off the session for sunset at the mountain top where you said “i love you” for the first time, etc.

But if you still need help picking your special spot, then please keep reading to see the prettiest locations to take your engagement/couples photos! :)))

Top 10 Engagement Session Locations in California

  • Yosemite National Park (Taft Point, Glacier Point, Tunnel View, Valley)
  • Woodward Park
  • Shaver Lake
  • Alabama Hills
  • Montana De Oro State Beach Park
  • Sequoia National Park
  • Big Sur
  • San Francisco (Golden Gate Bridge)
  • Downtown Fresno
  • Your Home or an Airbnb!!

**Please note: locations further than a 2 hour drive time from Fresno, CA may be subject to additional travel fees when booking with Toni G Photo**

Yosemite National Park

Taft Point

These epic cliff views require a mile walk from the parking lot through the woods.. It’s a super easy walk, but make sure you bring comfy shoes, jacket, water, bug spray, and a flashlight! You can get some fun “woodsy” photos on the walk out to the cliffs and sunsets here are seriously INSANE with colors ranging from golden yellow to pink/purple, to deep blue skies. :)))

Glacier Point

These cliff views (with the iconic Half Dome in the background) are only a 5 minute walk from the parking lot… which means that there will be A LOT more tourists there for sunset! Consider maybe doing a sunrise session for this spot :))) Alsooo… the roads to these cliff views (both Taft + Glacier) are only open from around May-October every year so make sure you plan accordingly!

Tunnel View + the Valley

You can do a little “loopty-loop” around Yosemite Valley starting at Tunnel View and driving around through the Valley views — basically just hopping out of the car whenever something looks super pretty! :))) These roads are open all year round :)))

Woodward Park

For Fresno clients… Woodward Park is such a solid go-to! The golden sunsets here are INSANE & you can’t beat only having to drive 10 mins down the road to get here instead of 3ish hours to the other spots lol! :))) This spot is dog friendly! And I’d recommend bringing a cute blanket so you can sit in the golden grass. :)))

Shaver Lake

This is such a great spot for Fresno locals because it’s a lot closer than Yosemite, but still have the same beautiful mountain/nature vibes :))) A typical session usually starts out at these pretty meadows, then we go to these rock cliffs views with the lake in the background, then head down to the water for sunset :))) *1 hour drive from Fresno, CA

View more from this session here: Shaver Lake Engagement Photos
Going to this pretty rock cliff view does require an additional $10 entrance fee

Alabama Hills

The closest desert vibes to us! Another really pretty option being Joshua Tree National Park (which is an even further drive, but just as beautiful)! :))) I usually recommend these locations for shoots in the fall or winter :))) *4.5 hour drive from Fresno, CA

Montana De Oro State Beach Park

If you’re looking for a “beach” vibe… Montana De Oro State Beach Park is super pretty! It has cliffs, caves, and the pretty waves :))) *3 hour drive from Fresno, CA

Sequoia National Park

Having photos taken in front of these giant redwoods is honestly breathtaking! This park also has a really beautiful cliff (similar to Yosemite’s) for sunset! :))) **however if you get car sick easily… I would 0/10 recommend this one because the windy roads are pretty killer lol *2 hour drive from Fresno, CA

Big Sur

Super beautiful cliffs & dreamy beach sunsets! The traffic is always pretty nuts & it’s dang near impossible to find parking on weekends… so this spot is def only recommended if you can do a weekday! *3 hour drive from Fresno, CA

San Francisco

Such pretty iconic views of San Fran near the iconic Golden Gate Bridge! Again, traffic is the ACTUAL worst here always lol! So only an option if you can do your shoot on a weekday! *3 hour drive from Fresno, CA

View more from this session here: Baker Beach Engagement Photos
View more from this session here: San Francisco Engagement Session

Downtown Fresno

Downtown has a bunchhh of pretty murals & fun city vibes if you’re more of the city type! :))) I’d def recommend maybe starting in a cute coffee shop like Kuppa Joy (post-covid lockdowns lol) & just walking around! :))) 

Your Home or an Airbnb!

I feel like it’s soo so special to get photos done in your own home!! :))) Especially if you don’t feel like you’ll live in that house forever… what a perfect way to remember this stage of your lives together! Or even if you wanted to rent a more styled space for your shoot! My fav is @airdtf :)))

Hope that helps you figure out where you wanna take your engagement photos! :))) Honestly, where ever you decide to have them taken… it’ll be great! Def don’t put too much stress on the location — especially when there’s sooo many beautiful options in Cali to choose from! :))) 

If you haven’t found your photographer yet, feel free to reach out below — I’d love to capture your special moments!! :))) xoxoxx

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