San Diego is one of my favorite cities in all of California. I’m biased because I spent a good part of my childhood there but even as an adult it instills a sense of wonder and awe in me. If you adore beautiful weather, laid-back beach vibes, and gorgeous spanish style architecture.
If you love architecture and greenery – then Balboa Park is probably the best place to do engagement photos in San Diego for you. If you want beachy vibes – I’d highly recommend Scripps Pier in La Jolla. Click here to see a session I had out there.
If you’ve decided you want those perfect greenery and architecture vibes – let me tell you ALL about the best spots in Balboa Park to do your engagement photos:
1: Casa De Balboa: Probably THE most famous spot in the entire park. Also, Balboa Parks namesake. This building has been a lot of things throughout the year and is now the San Diego Photography Museum (Fitting place to do photos, right?!) With its feminine arches and intricate design – it’s the perfect backdrop for whimsical couples that want to add a touch of European to their photo vibes. Surrounding the building there are many green spaces to get bold and natural colors as well. And of course, Southern Californias famous bougainvillea.
2: Spanish Village Art Center is the perfect place to do Engagement photos for couples that truly love and support local artists (Besides me!). If you love handcrafted jewelry and other paintings from local San Diego artists – this might be the best spot in Balboa Park to do your engagement or wedding photos. As a note – I will not shoot here without the intent of my couples buying something.
I am very conscious of how rare collectives like the Spanish Art Village center is – and if you want to shoot here I want you to view it more as an adventure session. Instead of me posing you a bunch and us just walking around – I want you to truly BE in the moment and explore this village with me simply tagging along taking photos.
It is important to me that we don’t just colonize and traipse on this gorgeous place taking photos and not support the artists that make it what it is. I recommend bringing $100-$200 to buy things from the many shops that line this little plaza. Not only will you be supporting other local San Diego artists – but you’ll have some really cool physical and handmade items to remember your engagement session by. Check out the photos below to really get a feel for the vibe. I’m totally head over heels for the colorful brick ground, spanish style architecture, and beautiful painted tiles. If you want to do your engagement photos in the village – let’s do it as soon as they open! There will be less crowds, and the best selection of stuff is still available for the day.
Fun fact: Did you know that that you can even get MARRIED here?! How fun would it be to have a wedding at the Spanish Village Art Center?! Ugh, hire me and take me with you, please!!
3. The California Building, home to the San Diego Museum of Us is a mish mosh of different architecture styles. I have never seen a building that looks like this – have you? It looks gorgeous and is the perfect backdrop for your San Diego Engagement Photos in Balboa Park. I feel like this building more than almost any other building in Balboa Park, besides the botanical garden – epitomizes San Diego. I could literally stare at it for hours, couldn’t you?! Now only if it were easier to get into those openings with the gorgeous circle verandas.
#4. Eclectic Southern California Staples:
This last one is simply an adoration to the beauty that is San Diego, and Southern California in general. My husband and I were just walking around the park after an engagement session and I literally stopped in my tracks as we rounded the corner. THE cutest VW bug in front of some bougainvillea and other greenery. Does it get any better than that?! Even if there isn’t a specific place in mind you have to do your engagement photos in San Diego, particularly photos in Balboa Park, trust your photographer. Let’s just meet up and wander and see what we find and what speaks to us. It will be different for every couple – some that are drawn to architecture, greenery, or just open spaces. Let’s explore together and create some magic together for your engagement or wedding photos in San Diego. <3
Follow along on Instagram