There are so many amazing places in San Diego where you could have your engagement photos taken. The location really sets the tone for the whole shoot- and choosing the right backdrop can be hard. There are just so many incredible options! Here are the 3 best locations in San Diego for a garden-inspired engagement. Please keep in mind, I am approaching this article from the viewpoint of planning an engagement photo session, and different rules apply for different types of photography or wedding ceremonies. Research the location of your choice in advance to make sure no additional permitting is needed. And of course, communicate with your photographer- ask for their expertise and advice on what works best at that time of year! A lot of these flowering areas are seasonal.
This park is pretty much going to make it onto every best list in San Diego. The gardens at Balboa Park are beautiful and diverse. In the same photo shoot, you could stop by multiple different types of gardens to get a variety of looks. The rose garden and cactus garden are just steps away from each other, and the light in the Alcazar garden is magical all day long. Balboa Park is definitely a fantastic option if you are looking for gardens and greenery to be the backdrop for you engagement photos. Almost all of gardens at Balboa Park are open to the public, and don't require any extra permits to have your engagement shoot there. The Japanese Friendship Garden is the one garden there that does require additional fees for professional photo sessions. In addition to paying general admission to shoot there, they also require a permit to be purchased. As a bit of an upside- you don't have to make a reservation in advance, you can just purchase the permit at the door, and it's really inexpensive compared to other location permits!
The view from Presidio Park is definitely what sets it apart from the other local options. You can see the San Diego bay and the city from this hilltop park. There are nature trails and flowering trees, depending on the time of the year. If you are looking for a park that has a more natural vibe, rather than a highly designed or cultivated look, this might be the perfect location for your engagement session. No permits are needed in the public areas of this park for this type of photo session.
This Park is different in that there are unique buildings and structures to work with surrounding the gardens. Most of the gardens are filled with local flowers, succulents and cacti. It definitely has a vibe that is truly special, and very San Diego. It's bright, and whimsical. No permits necessary to photograph an engagement in the public parts of this park.
If these parks don't quite fit the bill for what you are looking for- check out our list of all the best engagement photo session locations in San Diego! Of course, if you are still looking for a photographer to tell your love story- get in touch! I would love to hear all of your ideas.