1) Choosing a Location
Traveling to locations in Southern California is always an adventure. Within the Thirty Mile Zone of Los Angeles TMZ you can find sandy beaches, urban cityscapes, rural wilderness, to everything in between. If you're stuck on ideas where to go, here's a few of my favorites:
- Griffith Observatory- 2800 E Observatory Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90027
Griffith Observatory is an iconic landmark of Los Angeles and one of southern California's most popular attractions. Built in 1935 with classic Art Deco style, it lays on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, just above Los Feliz. It is 1,134 feet above sea level and is visible from many parts of the Los Angeles basin. The Observatory is the best vantage point for observing the world-famous Hollywood Sign among mountain tops and even sometimes a peek of an ocean view on the luckiest days. Notes: free and paid parking, restrooms on site.
- Walt Disney Concert Hall- 111 S Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012
A modern masterpiece located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles designed by acclaimed architect Frank Gehry. Walls are grey brushed metal and mirrored, full sized trees with lush greenery, and a beautiful rooftop garden. This location provides a neutral background for modern portraits. Notes: street or lot parking, restrooms on site.
- Paramount Ranch - 2903 Cornell Rd. Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Giddy-up! In 1927, Paramount Pictures purchased approximately 2,700 acres of land in the Malibu Hills to create a "movie ranch." The land served as a focal point for several films, including MASH, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, and most recently HBO's Westworld with the addition of the "little white chapel". Even though you can't actually go inside the buildings, the textures and colors make fun backgrounds for portraits. Additional features in the ranch include bridges, tall California oak and eucalyptus trees, grassy fields, and a babbling brook. Note: pet friendly- dogs must remain on leash. Restrooms on site. Travel and permit fee +$200
- Solstice Canyon - 3455 Solstice Canyon Rd, Malibu, CA 90265
Solstice Canyon is another great park within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in Malibu, California. Located off Corral Canyon Road from Pacific Coast Highway, the canyon runs north-to-south about a mile east of Point Dume. This is a great locaiton for grassy trails, mountain views, and stone walls. Travel and permit fee +$200
- Santa Monica Pier- 200 Santa Monica Pier. Santa Monica, CA 90401
A great beach location at the end of Historic Route 66 at Bubba Gump's Restaurant, sandy beaches, chilly Pacific views, the classic wooden pier, strong feels at the original muscle beach, snacks at Hotdog on a Sick or fresh seafood downtown on 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica or walk along Main Street with cute restaurants and buzzing nightlife. Take a ride on top of the Ferris Wheel to get beautiful Ocean views. Photography is allowed on certain parts of the pier, other areas off limits. Paid parking available on both sides of the pier. Travel +$50