As a local Big Sur photographer for weddings, proposals, portraits, and all your special occasions, I’ve compiled more than a few of my favorite photography spots right here in Big Sur over the years. Here are my top 5!
1.) Garrapata State Park
Garrapata State Park has so many textural elements for photographing from deep coastline views and peeks of redwoods! This makes it a one-stop-shop for couple sessions because it has a little bit of everything. It has so many lovely trails to explore. Some of them lead to Garrapata Beach and by extension, the gorgeous Calla Lily Valley: a magical spot for proposals. This local Big Sur photographer has shot her fair share of proposals here, and I can never get enough of it!
Also within Garrapata State Park is Garrapata Point. The view from the top is spectacular and really elevates (pun intended) photography done there. After all, who doesn’t want panoramic scenery in their portraits? I can make it happen!
2.) Big Sur Campground & Cabins
Really cute cabins and rows and rows of redwoods galore! Of course, you will have to be staying here at Big Sur Campground & Cabins to be able to photograph. But staying here is such a treat- you won’t regret it for a second! I love the tall gable roofs and bay windows that the cabins have. Photographing here is just as wonderful here as it is on the trails. It’s so cozy and inviting, especially after a hike.
There are lovely redwood trees everywhere you look. Plenty of hidden rivers and streams too if you’re envisioning a water element in your photography. I love having different textures and parts of nature in my clients’ photos. Whether it’s skyscraper trees or babbling brooks lined with pebbles- or both! Both are good. Both are great!
3.) Glen Oaks
Being a photographer in general, but especially as a Big Sur photographer, I’m often surrounded by nature. Half the magic can just be the scenery of the outdoors! All that to say, Glen Oaks is another camping spot I adore. Its cabins are really built into Mother Nature herself. I especially adore the Oak Tree Cottages, from the Archies with the most darling little private porch to The Cottage (not to be confused with MY “The Cottage” where I work).
As a part of Big Sur proper, Glen Oaks is also home to lots of very well-done trails and the PERFECT amount of trees! Not too much that the golden sunshine can’t peek through, but just enough that you really feel like you’re in another world of lush greenery. Glen Oaks is also right next to a river, which is so fun to play around in and have captured on my handy dandy camera!
Of course, if you’re a foodie like me, the best part though is after our session’s frolicking fun, Glen Oaks’ Big Sur Roadhouse is the cherry-on-top restaurant to end the day. Their backyard deck is a charming place to photograph receptions.
4.) Pfeiffer Beach
Home to purple sand and dotted with fantastical coves and caves, Pfeiffer Beach is a very popular spot to photograph for a reason. It can admittedly, be a little tricky to get down to because of that, and it’s also usually windy there too- so I wouldn’t recommend wearing your hair down. But I WOULD recommend having your lovely occasions done here, whether it’s an intimate elopement or a surprise proposal, I love to photograph at Pfeiffer Beach because of what it has to offer my couples.
A small hike can lead us to plenty of breathtaking vantage points for portraits in wooded areas with brooks and boulders, and remember those coves and caves I mentioned? They’re absolutely prime real estate right on the shoreline for photographing you and your lover. It adds such a magical and Pacific feel to any and every session.
Ventana is the ultimate glamping dream spot, it’s exclusive and picturesque- and often so overlooked! I wholeheartedly believe Ventana captures the full effect of Big Sur with its access to redwoods, stunning 180 views of the ocean, and more. It truly is an absolute favorite venue to photograph at.
And there you have it: my top 5 favorite photography spots in Big Sur! I’d love to be your photographer at any of these places and more! Contact me here.