California’s Central Coast is Amazing

We are lucky to have such beautiful scenery along the Central Coast in California. Below are five awesome places to take beautiful landscape photos or to have your portraits taken at.

1. Asilomar State Beach | Monterey, California

There is a plethora amount of photography options along this mile-long beach in Monterey, California. The rocky shore throughout this beach adds an extra unique characteristic to its overall beauty. We had a blast photographing the glowing sunset by playing around with our shutter speed for long exposure shots.

If you forget your tripod during your visit, you can select one of the many giant rocks to rest your camera on while perfecting the long exposure shot. The waves are just enough to have a soft, white glaze added to the ocean for the final shot. The best time to visit Asilomar State Beach is around sunset hours in order to achieve the golden orange and sherbet pink colors in the sky.

2. McWay Falls | Big Sur, California

Although it is illegal to walk along the shore of McWay Falls, the view from above is absolutely beautiful. From the distance, you can see the 80-foot tall waterfall and stunning light blue ocean water. The best photography spot in McWay falls follows a short 5-10 minute walk. You’ll walk down a dirt path, past a circular tunnel, and head straight down as far as you can before the no trespassing cut off begins. It is at that point where you will be able to see the outstanding waterfall.

When you’re there, you’ll wish it was possible to run the sand between your toes, splash in the waterfall, and soak up the baby blue ocean water. Sit back, relax, and allow your lens to do all the capturing.

3. Bixby Bridge | Big Sur, California

One of the most popular bridges to photograph in the state of California for its stunning location and distinct architecture. It is easy to pull over and make a pit stop before traveling across the bridge to snap a few photographs. We decided to take our photographs from the back of Bixby Bridge facing the ocean side, however, any angle is possible and will still result in an amazing final product.

4. Garrapata State Park | Monterey, California

On your way to photographing the beach at Garrapata State Park in Monterey, California, you will travel along a dirt path for a few minutes. Be aware as you walk — there could be a couple of wild bunnies living in the bushes nearby! On our visit, we were lucky to see a mama bunny and her teeny, tiny, cute baby bunny close by. Have your camera in hand and snap your photo as fast as you can because those little bunnies sure can run faster than you can say, “Quick! get the camera.”

There’s a big open field area where there is a lot of greenery and little purple flowers before you come across the beach. Stroll along down the dirt path and you will come across the stairs leading down to the beach.

We visited this beach on a Friday evening and it was completely calm, peaceful, and refreshing. Perfect for a photographer to set up a spot and enjoy collecting all the images that you could possibly desire. Sometimes it can be really nice to have room to express yourself and not worry that you’re getting in the way of anyone else around.

This calm, gorgeous setting is perfect for capturing perfect beach landscape shots. It would also be the greatest spot to hold any portrait-style photoshoot while maintaining the beach background in behind your subject.

This is a great place for graduation portraits, maternity shoots, family portraits, engagement photography, and so much more! It isn’t too far of a walk or hike to get to the beach, which can be suitable for photography clients, and they will be thrilled to be the star of the photographs with amazing scenery behind them!

5. Pfeiffer Beach | Big Sur, California

This beach is best known for its gigantic rock with a hole in the middle of it, which many professional photographers and hobbyists love to photograph. It can be a tricky little spot to find at first since there aren’t very many signs leading to the spot.

My suggestion would be to get your directions to the location before entering the area because there is little to no service at all out there. When you finally reach the entrance to Pfeiffer Beach, it will be about a mile drive on a super narrow road until you reach the ticket booth where you will need to pay a parking fee of $10.

One of the best times to visit this location is at sunset hours, so you can observe the sun setting behind the hole of the rock. Of course, with a popular spot comes many other visitors, so setting up your location for the perfect shot may take some time!

Pfeiffer Beach
A dog running along the shore in front of an important feature at Pfeiffer Beach.

If you are interested in photographing any of these locations, we would love to view your work! Don’t be shy to leave a comment below and share your beautiful work, explain how your trip went, or ask us questions. Have a great visit, make lots of memories, and never release your shutter button!