Best Locations for a Family Photo Shoot in San Diego

You have secured a date for your family photo session. Now the fun begins! We live a beautiful city! San Diego has an abundance of locations for gorgeous family photos.

I. What does your family like to do for fun? How do you like to spend your time? Choose a location that suits your family’s personality. For example, if you love hiking, we can head to Mission Trails Park. If you love the beach, we can meet over on Coronado Island. Love to explore downtown? We can meet in Seaport Village.

II. Consider the ages of your children

Older kids are more flexible when it comes to walking or hiking in to the perfect photo spot. Younger kids do really well in a field or park, where they won’t have to walk as far. Everyone does well at the beach!

III. Let’s talk about traffic

San Diego is beautiful, but the traffic can be horrendous. Let’s choose a location that will be easy for you to get to at your scheduled session time.

I. The Beach.

San Diego has perfect beaches for family photography. I like to shoot on beaches with wide expanses of sand. My favorite beaches are Coronado & Crystal Pier (seasonally), although I am open to traveling to other locations. I like to time the beach shoots at Low Tide to ensure that there is a spectacular amount of reflection from the sand. In the summer beach sessions tend to be best around the sunrise golden hour.

II. The Mountains

Mission Trails Park is a gem, and it’s so close to the city! You will get a true California mountain feel with spectacular sunsets coming over the ridge. There is a nice variety of wooded areas and open shade, which will give your photo collection a great diversity.

III. A Park

San Diego has so many wonderful parks that provide natural settings. One of my favorites is Old Poway Park, with it’s interesting architecture and hardscape. Balboa Park has many tucked away spots that provide a great backdrop for photos. These two location tends to get busy on weekends so the best times to go are either at sunrise or during the week.

If you want to stay closer to home, there are some great community parks we can visit.

III. Forest

Did you know San Diego has it’s very own forest at UCSD? The Eucalyptus Trees here are amazing and provide a unique setting for your family photos.

IV. Your Backyard

Home-based photos are a wonderful way to capture your loved ones and your home environment at a point in time. If your yard has a particularly good seasonal bloom, or view or unique feature, it will add visual interest to the images.

Hopefully this gives you some great ideas about where to have your next family photography session. I'm always on the look out for beautiful landscapes in tucked away places to create magical photos for you and your family.


MJ Falvey is a San Diego lifestyle family photographer who documents stories of love and connection. She specializes in in active, vibrant, and joyful photos of newborns, children and adults.