Best San Diego Photography Locations-Beaches

Over the next several weeks, we will be highlighting some of our favorite areas to photograph both couples and families. We hope these posts will help you select the location that best suits your family because, ultimately, our goal is to find the best fit for YOU. Here are our top two beach locations.

Scripps Pier-With a Bonus

Scripps Piere Family Photography

Why we love it:

No discussion of the best San Diego photography locations would be complete without Scripps Pier. You actually get two locations in one here, without any added travel! We’ve got a secret little bonus area at Scripps Pier that we like to photograph in first to get some of the “safe” shots that you want out of any family photo session. That way, if your little ones go wild down on the beach, you won’t feel as stressed about it. In fact, it might even make for a better session if we get the safe shots first and then let the littles be little and rush head first into the ocean or cover themselves up to their waists in sand. We love those sessions, too!

Scripps Pier Family Photographer
Scripps Pier Family Photography

And as much as we would share the “secret” with any photographer who asked because community and collaboration over competition-we really try to both live AND preach this concept- we’d rather not post it online and find it as swarmed as the pier is next November.

After our secret spot, we walk down a set of stairs to the beach and embrace all that the environment has to offer. Sandy toes, windswept hair, crashing waves are all part of the vibe here. Which, as San Diego natives, we love.

The pier is iconic for family photos, and your friends and family outside of town will love seeing a little slice of our local heaven. We normally get a few key shots here and then move to the beach just north of the pier.

Scripps Pier Family Photographer

This beach is backed by gorgeous, pink-ish sand cliffs that make a stunning backdrop for more relaxed photos of your family walking down the beach or playing in the water.

Scripps Pier Family Photography
Scripps Pier Family Photography
Scripps Pier Family Photography

And, if we wrap up your session at sunset, there is a good chance that we can get some stand-out silhouettes. The kind that you have printed on metal to use as wall art in your home. When the weather cooperates and we get a colorful sunset, we love the silhouettes from the end of a session so much that they’ll be the first photos we seek out to edit when we start processing your session.

Scripps Pier Family Photography

What to be aware of:

There is a good chance that we will have to wait for our turn to use the area under the pier. Your kids may get dirty. You may get dirty. This beach just invites playtime like no other beach we know, so be prepared for that instinct. We say, go with it. And bring a change of clothes for the way home.

Parking can be tricky. There is a UCSD lot that you can sometimes pay to park in, but otherwise it is street parking and endless laps to find your spot. Plan to get there early. You can always hang out right outside that lot and people watch from above the beach.

Like most beaches, this spot is best in the 60 minutes before sunset or after sunrise. 

The Beach Behind Hotel Del Coronado

coronado family photography

Why we love it:

You can have beach photographs with the Hotel del Coronado in the background. Those red roof lines are as iconic as it gets.

Coronado Engagement Session

If you are from out of town, the recognizable nature of this landmark makes it one of the best San Diego photography locations. If you are a San Diego local, you probably have fond memories of this place that make it a necessary part of this list as well.

Coronado Engagement Photorpahy

Beyond the iconic factor, we love that there are beachy plants, a rock jetty, and, of course, white sand for miles. I’d venture to say it is the best white sand beach San Diego has to offer. There is so much variety without traveling to a second location, all while boasting of a clean, family friendly vibe.

Coronado Family Photographer

And, you can always hang out afterwards and watch the last minutes of sunset with your sweetheart at one of the Hotel Del’s outdoor bars or hunt stroll the beach with your family.


What to be aware of:

Like a lot of locations, this one is best in the 90 minutes or so before sunset. The closer you get to an actual sunset session, the more likely you are to have lovely color in the sky behind you.

Parking can be difficult here, so plan to arrive early. There is street parking on both the North and South sides of the hotel, but we often have better luck on the South side.