Laguna Beach has the very best spots for unique family and senior photography.  Since I not only work in Laguna Beach, but also live in the downtown area, I am always keeping my eyes open for the most unique spots to photograph high school seniors and families.  Here are just a few of my favorite spots in the downtown area to get amazing, unique shots of your senior or family. And if you book and shoot before the end of September, you will receive 50% off of the session fee.

Heisler Park/ Picnic Beach Area

From beautiful vistas, to unique art pieces, to garden spots and yes even a sandy beach, if you are looking for a lot of variety in your portrait session, Heisler Park is my top choice. Check out a few of my favorite recent images shot in this location.

Downtown Laguna Beach

In just a three or four block area, there are so many great backdrop choices in downtown Laguna Beach. Some of my favorite spots include the red phone booth, the alley behind the Presbyterian Church, the area around the library, the flower stand on Forest Avenue and the rose garden on Forest.

Laguna Beach Neighborhoods

Around the Laguna Beach High School area is a perfect location to shoot a senior portrait session or even a family session. There are some really cool green areas, lots of trees, two small parks and lots of hardscaping with texture and character. Even more important to me and my clients, there is a lot of parking. Here are some of my favorite spots in the neighborhoods surrounding Laguna Beach High School.

Main Beach Laguna Beach

Try to avoid main beach on the weekends, but during the week, especially in the Fall, this is an amazing backdrop for a session. You have the iconic Lifeguard tower, the fun boardwalk, the rocks at the north end of the beach and the open sandy views of the south end of the beach.

Portrait by Brianna Caster and Co of my kids

Alta Laguna Beach and Laguna Canyon Areas

For a more organic background, Laguna Beach has Alta Laguna Park and the open canyon space. This year, with the super bloom, we have been so fortunate to not only get tall grass and open fields, but lots and lots of yellow flowers. Here are just a few examples of the variety of locations in the canyon and at Alta Laguna Park.

Now is the perfect time to book your session. We are office 50% off of the session fee in September as our early bird special. To book your session or to get more information, click here.

We are now deep into the Orange County summer beach season. Long days and warm nights as well a sweltering heat inland means Orange County beaches are the place to be this summer. But what does that mean for your family portrait or senior portrait session at the beach?

Beach Portrait Sessions: The great news is that the best time of the day for a family beach portrait is either an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset. This is often called the golden hour and really is magical for portraits. So for most people, starting your session around 6:30 pm means you can still have a full day of work or play before your session. This is also important because in the summertime, I highly recommend shooting on the beach early in the week. The weekends are crazy and it is tough to find parking, but early in the week things are a little quieter and this is ideal for family portraits.

So, how do you pick the very best beach for your family session?

Family beach portrait

Here is my criteria for selecting the best beaches for your portraits:

Is there a lot of variation in the background?

I love a wide open beach with lots of blue water, but it can be limiting when creating a full portfolio of images of your family. I prefer to have some rocks, plants, old steps, interesting cliffs and other variations in the landscape so all of the images look a little different, but fit nicely into a gorgeous album or wall grouping.

Is the beach deep?

If the beach all but disappears during high tide, it isn’t the ideal location for a family beach session. I like a wide beach with lots of space for your family to play in front of my camera without lots of people in the background.

Baby beach portrait

How crowded is the beach?:

Lots of people on the beach can be distracting when trying to get your family looking picture perfect in front of the camera. Not to mention, you probably don’t want unknown people in the background of your family portraits. I love to shoot at beaches that are less crowded and sometimes that means more difficult to access (such as Tablerock or Montage beach). If I do shoot at a more popular location, I always shoot early in the week to avoid peak tourist hours.

Family beach pics with dog

Does the beach hold meaning for your family?

 If you have a special beach that holds wonderful memories for your family, well that trumps all other considerations. Last year I shot a family on Crescent Beach (one that tends to disappear during high tide) because the Dad remembered coming to that beach as a kid with his Mom and Dad and he wanted to create the same experiences for his kids. His family portraits on that beach meant so much to his entire family because they were a beautiful reminder of their family history. 

For those of you who are brave enough to book an early morning session, this is actually my very favorite time of day to do a beach portrait. Often in the early morning, we are totally alone on the beach, the lighting is gorgeous and you get to start the day having fun with your family.

Here are my five favorite beaches in South Orange County to do a family portrait session: 

Table Rock Beach

South Side of Aliso Creek Beach

San Clemente Pier

Newport Fun Zone and Pier

Picnic Beach and Heisler Park

If you would like to book your portrait session, you can click here to get more information.

Hope you are having an amazing summer.

Have you ever considered a destination High School Senior portrait session in Orange County?  There are so many amazing places to shoot including Laguna Beach, Disneyland, the Mission, open fields, flower fields, the list goes on and on. 

Right now high school seniors are getting those envelops in the mail telling them they are accepted to the school of their dreams.  And, many other seniors are deciding to go on an adventure or take a gap year.  This is the perfect time to book a portrait session for your senior.

Why should you do a personalized session for your high school senior portrait session?  Because this is the time that they are transitioning for kids to adults.  They are developing their own style and deciding what they want to do with their future.  At Blue Sky’s Studio we want to capture who they are today to cherish for all time.  Having a portrait session and being treated like a model helps your senior gain confidence.  For you, the session will create a beautiful collection of portraits to enjoy for all time.

we want to capture who they are today to cherish for all time.  Having a portrait session and being treated like a model helps your senior gain confidence.  For you, the session will create a beautiful collection of portraits to enjoy for all time.

One of the most popular locations for me to shoot is Treasure Island beach near the Montage Resort.  The best part of this location is that  you get AMAZING beaches on all sides. In addition, you get the beautiful park area and interesting artwork that can be incorporated in the portrait session.

I love these senior portraits of Annie. Annie traveled from the Phoenix area to have her senior portraits taken in one of her favorite places, Laguna Beach.  She has amazing style and Annie already is a successful Vlogger and Lifestyle Content Creator (seriously these kids today are ON IT!).  Here are just a few favorite images from our session.

High School Portraits at the beach in Laguna Beach
Treasure Island Beach High School Portraits
High School Senior portraits at Laguna Beach

If you want to learn more about booking your high school senior portrait session in Laguna Beach, click on the button below.

Learn more about a Blue Sky's High School Portrait session

Where should I shoot my OC Senior Portraits?

Orange County is an excellent spot for amazing high school senior portraits. We have beaches, open fields, city scapes, historic architecture and gorgeous parks.

Blue Sky’s Studio strategy for any portrait photography session is to start with your personal fashion style. If you tend to dress more edgy and high fashion, I would definitely recommend choosing a city background or in the studio. If FreePeople clothing is more your vibe then a flower field, a beach at low light or an open meadow would enhance the look of your session.

Fashionista Senior Session

If you love trendy clothing, fun accessories and the latest style in shoes and boots you are probably a fashionista. For your session, we want to highlight your amazing style. That means staying away from really busy backgrounds so all of the emphasis in the image is on you and your cute outfits. Here are some of my favorite spots for this type of session.

  1. At Blue Sky’s Studio in the Studio.
  2. The Noguchi Museum
  3. Downtown Laguna Beach
  4. Old Town Orange
  5. San Juan Capistrano Historic District
OC High School Senior pics_6

Boho Senior Session

If you love vintage clothing, neutral colors, free flowing hair and lots of texture, then a Boho inspired session is probably your jam! Think of Free People Clothing, or shop at your favorite vintage store or even raid your Mom’s old wardrobe. I love these sessions when the colors are really monochromatic as is the background look. The perfect locations for this type of session include.

  1. Alta Laguna Park In Laguna Beach
  2. San Juan Open Spaces A gorgeous field in San Juan Capistrano
  3. James Dilley Wilderness Park In Laguna Canyon
  4. San Clemente State Beach With gorgeous white cliffs and wide open beaches (to see more beaches in San Clemente Click Here.
  5. The Great Park in Irvine Complete with small zoo, open fields, split rail fences and flower fields.

Endless Summer Session

Shooting your high school senior portraits on the beach is great any time of the year. It is true that Southern California is a photographers paradise. There are so many sunny days every year that it doesn’t matter if you book in August or February, you are sure to get at least a few, beautiful sunny So Cal days. Here are my top five spots for an endless summer session.

  1. Picnic beach in Laguna Beach
  2. Table Rock Beach in Laguna Beach
  3. San Clemente Pier
  4. Aliso Creek Beach in Laguna Beach
  5. Dana Point Harbor

Enter to win a free fully styled high school portrait session with Blue Sky’s Studio!

CLICK HERE

If you are really into bold colors and statement clothing, you can read more in the Color blog post by clicking on this link: Using Color in your shoot to create style.

The best thing about being an Orange County photographer and having a studio in Laguna Beach are the beautiful beaches! The beaches in Laguna are one of the most stunning places to have a high school senior photography shoot.

Although I end up with half the beach in my car after, it is truly one of my favorite places to shoot, especially in the Southern California “winter”. Personally, I believe the beaches in the winter make some of the most amazing backdrops. The unrivaled sunsets and blue skies, along with the beautiful textures of the rocks, sand and water, come together to capture the best moments!

If you have a senior that is graduating soon and you are looking for one-of-a-kind pictures to commemorate their high school accomplishments and utilize for gifts and/or graduation announcements, this is the perfect time.

I am offering a “Model for a Day” promotion in February and March. For $249, the package comes complete with hair and makeup and a portrait session with up to 4 outfit changes! You also get to go home with a 11×14 matted print. This is perfect for a senior session or even as a special treat for another treasured family member! Here are some of my recent beach sessions with some amazing seniors.