Planning a trip to Los Angeles? Whether you’re an Instagrammer, professional photographer or just a curious traveler, the opportunities are endless. From Beverly Hills to Venice, I’m sharing the best photography locations in Los Angeles.
Tips for Scouting the Best Photography Locations in Los Angeles
When planning a trip, bloggers tend to put in research on the best areas to take great photos. I recently traveled to Los Angeles and Palm Springs for a blogger conference and was inspired by every corner of the cities. Below are a few must-have photography locations. The only thing my friend Dawn and I didn’t get to see was the Urban Light installation outside of the LACMA, but we covered a lot of territory in just five hours in the City of Angels.
I recommend looking at a mix of travel accounts, influencers, and LA destinations to get ideas when planning your trip. Instagram and Pinterest are great resources for visual content inspiration. To make the trip worthwhile, plan an itinerary of things to do in the areas you set out to photograph. Remember, vacations are meant for memories beyond the photos!
Don’t judge me, but my perception of Venice has always been beefy guys doing pull-ups on Muscle Beach. When I wasn’t thinking of freakishly large biceps, I’d always remember Venice as a backdrop to boardwalk strolls in romantic comedies. Boy, was so wrong about this region of LA! Sure there are the body builders and the skateboarder bros, but there is so much art and life that’s thriving at every corner.
If you’re going to Venice, the crosswalk is a must-have photo. Now unlike every other photo in this roundup, the crosswalk takes poise and awareness of your surroundings. You don’t want to walk down a busy intersection to get the perfect shot! You’ll look like a tourist, and potentially even get hit by a cab (save it for NYC). Wait until crossing is permitted or stay on the outer corner of the street to stage this photo.
Venice Beach Street Art
This may sound odd, but one of the most charming areas of Venice is the graffiti park. The vibrant colors, painted palm trees, and artistic columns make the perfect backdrop for your photo.
Venice Beach Lifeguard Post
Once you’re passed the graffiti park, stroll down Venice with a walk in the sand. The Venice lifeguard stand is the perfect California marker for your vacation photo album. The caveat is that these lifeguard stands are technically not for posing, but everyone seems to disregard the rule. When Dawn and I visited, there was an entire bridal party lined up on its balcony! We won’t tell if you won’t.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard Murals
Abbot Kinney Boulevard is brimming with trendy shops and restaurants. The oh-so-popular The Butcher’s Daughter to delectable bites at Greenleaf, there are so many options for delicious bites. Shopping includes everything from small Cali-chic boutiques to major designers like Rag + Bone. Here are just a few of the murals we stumbled across while in Venice (and there are PLENTY more at every corner).
1116 Abbot Kinney Blvd
1118 Abbot Kinney Blvd
1239 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
“Beverly Hills… that’s where I want to be!” – Weezer and me. Beverly Hills is such a luxurious part of town that encapsulates LA’s glamor. The boulevards are dotted with palm trees. As you drive, the Beverly Hills 126.96.36.199.0 theme song might be playing in your head… you won’t hate it either. Soaked in surrealism and nostalgia, Beverly Hills epitomizes what visitors feel is LA society life. During our trip we did take a visit to the Beverly Hills Hotel for overpriced cocktails prior to learning about the terrible Brunei Sultan. So instead of highlighting tyranny, let’s focus on the many other photo-worthy spots in the area.
Palm Tree Strip
Everyone needs a photo of Beverly Hills’ majestic palm trees. Bring your best dress and prepare to see swaths of Instagram husbands waiting to get the right shot. The best destination to visit the famous Beverly Hills Palm Trees is Carmelita Avenue and North Hillcrest Road.
Million Dollar Mansions
Right on this road, you’ll see gigantic homes. While most are gated, we couldn’t resist getting a photo at a property on the strip.
Downtown LA is brimming art, making it a hot spot for mural enthusiasts and creatives. I didn’t have much time exploring, but I’d recommend checking out MOCA, the Los Angeles Central Library and Chinatown while you’re at it!
Los Angeles Arts District
My first time really spending time in LA was during Yellow Conference back in 2017. While I don’t have many photos of my time spent in the LA Arts District, I was enamored by the murals on every block! The warehouses and thrift boutiques were a wonderful touch on an inspiring weekend. This adorable “I Love You For Free” mural, by the artist Royal, is located at 1168 East 5th Street.
Whileshire Center – Koreatown has a great nightlife scene in LA. We stumbled into Openaire at The Line Hotel in LA and fell in love with the greenhouse vibe. While in the neighborhood, check out the LACMA.
Openaire at The Line Hotel
This whimsical restaurant possesses the LA-cool vibe you could only hope to find during your visit. For an exceptional photo, visit during the day. You may even see a celebrity or two! During my last visit, I spotted Samira Wiley from The Handmaid’s Tale!
I really enjoyed my time in California and can’t wait to share some of my travel guides with you. Did I miss a photography location in Los Angeles that you love? Let me know in the comments!