My Favorite San Diego Beach Locations

When I am scheduling a family session with a client one of the most exciting parts for me is learning where they want to take the photos. The location of your photos can play a huge part in how the final images turn out. While good lighting is the number one component of a good photo, location is second priority when it comes to a family session. Those pulled back, wide angle shots are so much fun!

San Diego has a million great locations for photos and it can be overwhelming to choose the ONE spot that you want to meet at to capture your family. To make this process easier for you, I have narrowed my favorites down to six: 3 beach locations and 3 non-beach locations. Today I will be sharing the beach locations, and why I chose them.

Tourmaline Beach Wind and Sea Sunset Cliffs

1. Tourmaline Beach

Ok, I might be a little biased on this one because we lived in PB (Pacific Beach for you out of towners) for a number of years, but Tourmaline is my favorite! First of all, it has a free parking lot and a bathroom right there next to the beach, which in San Diego is a pretty rare find. Although crowded during summer months, you probably won't have to walk all that far to get to the beach, even during the summertime. In addition to ease of access, Tourmaline has a lot to offer. You can see the Crystal Pier off in the distance, the cliffs behind you, and at low tide the water creates a beautiful, mirrorlike surface for some beautiful reflections. The rocks, shells, and sea weed give this beach a wild, unruly sense that draws me in much more than the pristine, manicured beaches in other parts of San Diego.

2. Wind and Sea

There is nowhere in the world quite like Wind and Sea! There are so many aspects of this beach that make it a favorite amongst photographers. It has a wooden staircase, rocky areas, open sandy beach, tide pools with gorgeous green moss, and a walled walkway that pulls you right in to where the ocean meets the sky. Wind and Sea is the perfect location if you're looking for those waves-crashing-against-the-rocks look. It also has the famed hut with palm frond roof that is the epitome of everything beachy!

3. Sunset Cliffs

This location also has a special place in my heart. It's where David and I got our photos done on our wedding day! Photo credit- Leila Jones Photography

Sunset Cliffs is special to me too because it's where I go when I need a moment to clear my head. The sound of the waves crashing against the cliffs is so soothing. Parking in this area can be tricky depending on the time of year, but there are several small parking lots along Sunset Cliffs Blvd and one bigger dirt parking lot at the far southern end. But can we stop for a moment and just recognize how beautiful this place is?! I typically shoot during the hour right before sunset, so I highly recommend staying and watching the sunset after your session. It's magical! The cliffs are gorgeous, the waves constant, and Sunset Cliffs gives you an amazing view of how vast the ocean is because you can see it from a heightened perspective.

Now I feel like Moana- "See the line where the sky meets the sea, it caaaaaaaaaaals me! See you at the beach!



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