My top choice for a San Diego vacation photographer is Flytographer because it’s a service that I’ve personally used twice—once in Hong Kong and also here in La Jolla—with excellent results. And, I know countless others who have booked Flytographers around the world as their network extends to 200 cities.
Flytographers are expert at capturing anniversary, honeymoon, family, engagement, pre-wedding and proposal trips in addition to beautiful photos of families, couples, and solo travelers. The style is candid, and in natural light, though if you prefer to strike a pose or two, they’re all for it.
If you can carve out 30 minutes for a session, it will be the best souvenir you can bring home.
How Flytographer Works
A Flytographer shoot is a low-stress experience and sessions start at a very reasonable $250 for 30 minutes. You’ll be surprised by how many fantastic shots can come out of a 30-minute session, though it’s possible to book a longer shoot.
You’ll be able to review the portfolios of several Flytographers in San Diego first to choose the one who fits your style. I would suggest booking a week or more in advance to work with your shoot concierge on location, vision, and any other essential details.
There won’t be a ton of posing, which is handy for fidgety kids or those who simply aren’t comfortable in front of a camera. The photos are lifestyle in nature… you, your family, significant other or friends doing what you do best from walking on the beach to cracking jokes. The Flytographer discreetly snaps photos along the way while providing a little direction here and there when needed.
The Flytographer selects the best photos from the shoot and sends them to you within five business days for download to your computer or professional printing via SmugMug.
Popular Photo Shoot Locations
San Diego is full of scenic locations for photoshoots, and the odds are one or more are within walking distance of your hotel or at a place you plan on visiting anyway.
To get a feel for how Flytographer works in San Diego, even though I’m not technically on vacation here, I opted to have my shoot near the Scripps Pier. La Jolla is one of the most popular places for vacation photography anyway.
Scripps Pier is one of the most Instagrammed spots in all of San Diego. Many local families take professional photos here at golden hour. It’s within walking distance of La Jolla Shores Hotel and the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club.
Ellen Browning Scripps Park/La Jolla Cove
This is an excellent location for those staying at the Grande Colonial, La Valencia and other hotels in La Jolla Village. You can step on to the beach or take photos in the park on the grassy area near the famous wind-blown trees and in the green huts that line the boardwalk.
Windansea Beach is (usually) a quieter, locals beach famous for surfing. It’s a good choice as it’s not quite as busy. It’s within walking distance of vacation rentals and The Shoal.
See also: Where to take Photos in La Jolla
The best place to take photos in Coronado is right in front of the Hotel Del Coronado. In addition to the gorgeous beach, the hotel’s iconic red roof serves as a scenic background. And, there is a small seawall that people commonly take photos on or near.
Alternatively, choose Coronado’s Centennial Park for photos that can include the downtown skyline.
There are almost too many spots in Balboa Park to list. The Park’s Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and other newer buildings, multiple gardens and more provide excellent backdrops. Schedule this one for the morning before the museums open to avoid crowds (with the bonus of securing an excellent parking spot).
Sunset Cliffs Park is an incredibly popular choice for photos as is on the beach near the Ocean Beach Pier. There are a handful of motels and inns in this part of town in addition to vacation rentals.
Downtown San Diego
Guests of downtown San Diego hotels also have a variety of shoot locations to choose from that include the Gaslamp Quarter, Waterfront Park, the Embarcadero with ships and the bay as a backdrop, Seaport Village and more.
If you’ve chosen one of our lovely Carlsbad hotels near LEGOLAND or the beach (such as Omni La Costa, Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara or Park Hyatt Aviara) there are a number of nearby picturesque locations.
The adobe buildings and succulents of the historic Leo Carillo Ranch are popular with locals and, of course, any beach in the area. If your visit coincides with spring when the Carlsbad Flower Fields are open, I’d highly suggest you consider this stunning location for a scene full of ranunculus flowers set against the ocean.
Tips for Booking a San Diego Vacation Photographer
Book a San Diego vacation photographer at the beginning of your trip. This way, if the weather isn’t cooperating, you have a chance to reschedule. Plus you just may learn a tip or two from your photographer regarding places to eat and things to do that you might want to take advantage of during your stay.
Do not stress about what to wear. You’re on vacation, and this photoshoot is only a small piece of it. Wear what you’re comfortable in that is also in your suitcase. Don’t stress about makeup or hair. When you’re comfortable, it shows in your smile. Remember, you’ll be in San Diego… we’re a very casual shorts and flip flops town.
Plan the shoot for the first few hours in the morning or the last hour or two before sunset to capture the best light.