Balboa Park Engagment Photoshoot
Balboa Park, located next to Downtown San Diego, is the perfect location for all types of photoshoots. We chose to have one of our engagement photoshoots done in multiple locations of Balboa Park, so here is my guide to a Balboa Park Engagement Shoot.
The Cactus Garden
The Cactus Garden, located across the street from the Science Museum, is the perfect setting to start the shoot. With the sun just about to set, dusk is the ideal time. The Cactus Garden is full of a variety of cacti, some small and some large. Our favorite were the ones that we can get in the middle of. The cacti perfectly framed each shot. In the gardens, there are small trails that make for dramatic walking photos, in addition to perfect picnic locations.
The Flower Garden
Located next to the Cactus Garden is another garden- a Flower Garden. The Flower Garden is set up like a labyrinth, where you can stroll through the rows of various roses. This is a great location to take some shots as well. There are not too many areas to take photos here, but this is a great stop to get some unique shots.
In Balboa Park there are some bridges and connecting walkways over the roads. These make perfect settings for photographs. Not only do the bridges frame the shot, they also look great for full-body shots! We liked walking toward and away from the camera along the bridge.
Balboa at Night
Balboa Park is not only beautiful during the day, it is stunning at night. We danced on the Grand Pavilion, posed in-between the columns, dipped by the fountains, and kissed in front of ballroom doors. After the sun sets, the lights start to turn on in Balboa. This is the ideal time (right after sunset) to start your night photoshoot! Capturing the moments of dancing in the moonlight is precious.
Let’s get to the details- the props and accessories I used for this dreamy shoot!
Finding the perfect dress can take some time, and don’t settle for one that is ‘just okay’. These are the photos that you will be showing your future kids and grandchildren, so you will be happy that you chose a perfect dress! I am wearing a black lace maxi-romper. Filly Flair is my go-to for cute dresses for my shoots, including where I got this one! I always tend to stick with dresses that aren’t overly busy-themed, that way the viewer’s eye is focused on you and your lover rather than just the dress.
Whatever you are celebrating and taking photos for, a burlap banner is a must! Harvey Home Designs, a local San Diego business, makes custom burlap banners and signs. Although we are not officially Mr. & Mrs. quite yet, I chose to get this sign instead of the traditional ‘Future Mr. & Mrs.’ sign. I can now reuse this sign at my wedding, instead of an only one-time use sign! These also make great photos to send with your thank you notes, or by doing a similar pose with a ‘Thank You’ sign.
Hair & Makeup
Hair and makeup are a must for a professional photoshoot. Local mobile hairstylist, Dana, from Just Lago, did my hair and makeup for this shoot. She does all types of beauty and pampering services. Her spa is in Carlsbad Village, but she is mobile, meaning she will come to you! Her specialty is bridal and bridal parties!
I personally made the bouquet of flowers & succulents that I am holding (only because I have a succulent business), but I highly recommend using flowers in your shoot. I like the look of floral crowns, bouquets, and any type of floral accents! Live flowers vs. artificial flowers make a huge difference, and I personally think they are worth the extra price! Since my dress was black, I chose to have light colored flowers to make them pop.
ProTip: If you get flowers, choose a selection with succulents and you can replant them after!
Meet the Photographers
Pretty Branch Photography did these stunning shots for us. The photography team of Matt and Lori, made for a beautiful production. As Matt photographs, Lori plans the shots, poses, and setting of the photos. They are wedding photographers locally in San Diego. Their specialty is perfect lighting, which can be seen in my photos. If you are engaged and looking for a photographer, they will give you a complimentary engagement photoshoot to showcase their photography skills! These two were so fun to work with.