See, kids, grandma and grandpa were young and photogenic once...
December 1, 2011 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Great locations in L.A. for an engagement photo shoot? Bonus for unconventional or indoor suggestions.

My fiance and I are having some professional photos of us taken right after Christmas while we're visiting family. Our photographer is also from out of town and not super familiar with the area, whereas I grew up in L.A., so she's relying on us to help set the scene.

We're not beachy people, so sunset smooching in the sand has been categorically ruled out, but we've had a lot of ideas for other outdoor-ish locations (Huntington Library, Griffith Observatory, the Getty). Because it's December, however, it occurred to me that we might want a contingency plan in case of rain, and that's where I come up a little short. And because it's December, I thought it might be fun to take advantage of some nice holiday decorations if they're around, but we definitely don't want the finished photos to scream "CHRISTMAS!" We're not looking to get quintessential shots of the downtown skyline, Hollywood sign, or anything like that; we just want some nice pictures of us in a cool setting.
posted by Diagonalize to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Bullocks Wilshire building (a friend of mine got married in there, and it is beautiful). You have to pre-arrange photography with Southwestern Law School, who now own it.

The Bradbury Building (you will recognise it from Bladerunner), which is a tourist place, but no idea if you can arrange photography there.
posted by Joh at 11:18 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Walt Disney Concert Hall might make for some cool shots.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:22 AM on December 1, 2011

I had friends have theirs done at Union Station. They have weddings and events and shoots there ALL the time -- they're great. It's very Los Angeles 1940s Fabulous.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 11:33 AM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]

My friends are getting married in the natural history museum, it could also be good for engagement photos if that is your style.
posted by boobjob at 11:35 AM on December 1, 2011

The rose garden in Exhibition Park, in front of that old section of the museum, might be a nice setting. Descanso Gardens is little-known but is very pretty.

Seconding Union Station. Also, not sure whether is would be good or not, but the parking lot at Dodger Stadium, right behind center field, looking back up at the stadium.
posted by Danf at 11:35 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

For interior shots (and I have no idea how these places would feel about you doing this):
Central Library rotunda
Lobby/stairways of Alexandria Hotel (there are bars/restaurants, so entering is easy enough). For faded grandeur, see if you could get into the ballroom.
The top floor of city hall (interior or exterior) is open to the public M-F 9-5pm or so (tell them you are going to observation deck on 27th floor)
Interior of the Bonaventure Hotel (if you're a fan of post-modern architecture)
Old timey places like The Prince, HMS Bounty, Musso and Frank

The stair streets of the High Tower neighborhood just north of Hollywood/Highland
Mariachi Plaza
Riding the gold line as you cross the LA River
Any of the downtown bridges
The walking alleys of Chinatown
Vista Hermosa park
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:04 PM on December 1, 2011

If you're going for opulent, the interior of the Biltmore Hotel has some spectacular spots that you may recognize from numerous movies.
posted by carmicha at 12:19 PM on December 1, 2011

The Gamble House in Pasadena (a historic Greene & Greene building) is pretty inside and out. The Pasadena Central Library is also quite lovely in an old-timey LA way, as is Pasadena City Hall.

Heritage Square is a very cute collection of historic LA buildings, and is always very decked out for the holidays in December.

There's also the Self-Realization Fellowship's garden in Malibu, the Japanese Garden in Van Nuys, and if you are into a steampunky aesthetic it would be hard to beat The Edison (though lighting might be tricky).

The iconic Griffith Park Observatory has great views.

As previously mentioned, the Biltmore, Bradbury Building, Disney Concert Hall, and Descanso Gardens are all good ideas too. FYI, neither of the Gettys allows engagement photography, so you'd have to be sneaky there.
posted by unsub at 1:00 PM on December 1, 2011

I just discovered (on the web, not in person) the LA River Center. Looks like a gorgeous place to shoot.
posted by vignettist at 4:22 PM on December 1, 2011

The streetlight collection outside LACMA is a pretty cool backdrop. My wife and I shot ours up on Baldwin Hills scenic overlook.
posted by Mendl at 6:02 PM on December 1, 2011

Please don't go to Disney Hall, the Observatory or in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater unless you're both dressed as Darth Vader.

I vote for the Bradbury Building.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:18 PM on December 1, 2011

I just want to throw this out there: The Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Santa Monica Blvd; it's unconventional and has some beautiful locations outside and in the buildings. Some bell towers, fountains and nice old architecture.
posted by Jaymzifer at 7:54 PM on December 1, 2011

Barnsdall Park might afford some nice opportunities. Not sure what the policy is for shoots inside Hollyhock House.
posted by usonian at 8:50 PM on December 1, 2011

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