Best places to take photos in Los Angeles

From the blinding sunlight of Sunset boulevard, to the rolling Hollywood Hills, from palm trees along Rodeo Drive, to the still reflections at the Venice Canals—LA has all of this to experience and so much more! All these incredible and recognizable places of Los Angeles can be found by scrolling our Instagram feed! That can be pretty overwhelming haha

Don’t worry, I got you!

Los Angeles is a very spread out city, and my best advice is to map out all your favourite spots after reading this article.

I also have a LA one day guide with the most wanted instagrammable spots of Los Angeles, so if you don’t have much time for your LA journey and you want it all, you should check out my guide!

Jump to Location

Beverly Hills Photo Spots

Canon Drive

First thing’s first, we all come to LA to see these beautiful tall palm trees. My favourite spot to see them is on Canon Drive.

The Beverly Hills Hotel is also a very pretty and iconic spot, I’ve seen so many bloggers taking pictures around it every day of the week.

The address is 9641 Sunset Boulevard. However I would not recommend shopping at the Beverly Hills Hotel and here is why.

Recommended photo location: parking is free within most of Beverly Hills. I recommend finding a spot with palm trees & few cars to make the most of the scenery. 

Rodeo Drive

The most expensive street in Los Angeles also has very photogenic palm trees, cute cafes, designers boutiques, and the most popular square with its name on it. This spot is good for those who are really into street style and fashion. At the beginning of Rodeo drive you will find a park with the Beverly Hills Sign, lots of cactuses, and also free parking.

Address: 9390 N Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Recommended photo location: start near the park and towering palm trees then walk down Rodeo drive to the very end (clock tower) while taking photos along the way. 

Venice Beach Photo Spots

Venice Sign

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This spot greets all visitors that venture to Venice Beach. Across the street you can find big open parking lots or you can park your car for free on any of the residential streets. These pictures were taken during sunrise but sunset looks very pretty too. You can check out my sunset pictures right here.

Address: Pacific Ave & Windward Ave, Venice, CA 90291 

Recommended photo location: wait until the pedestrian light turns on and immediately walk into the middle of the road to get a picture in front of the sign, but be quick!

Venice Canal

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The name speaks for itself. If you want to get a piece of Italy should go to the Venice Canals, located within walking distance of Venice Beach. It is also close to the popular shopping street, Abbot Kinney boulevard. If you visit LA you don’t wanna miss it.

Address: 2309 Grand Canal, Venice, CA 90291

Recommended photo location: on the bridge or walkway — walk out to where a boat is tied up to get a better angle of the entire canal. 

Lifeguard Tower

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Any Beach is fine 🙂 Venice, Marina Del Ray, Redondo (these picture were shot there) – get out and discover the beaches of Los Angeles for some of the best lifeguard tower shots in the state. I recommend driving along the coastline and looking for a spot that speaks to you.  

First picture shot during Sunrise, and the second was Sunset.

Address: any Los Angeles beach 

Recommended photo location: Get a view of the lifeguard stand and the Venice boardwalk at the same time. 

Santa Monica Photo Spots

Santa Monica Beach

Sunset… Santa Monica…

You should definitely go here if you’re looking for the perfect sunset picture at the beach. All the way at the end of Santa Monica beach, as far as possible from the Pier and people, aim your camera towards Malibu and the mountains. You will get an empty beach and the most picturesque background.

Address: Palisades Park, Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Recommended photo location: walking on the beach right before sunset or inside of one of the many lifeguard towers that are scattered around the beach

Santa Monica Pier

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Santa Monica Pier is a Los Angeles icon that speaks for itself.

From the ferris wheel, to the Santa Monica pier and boardwalk, you will definitely spend hours exploring this neighborhood.

Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Recommended photo location: some options include posing under the pier, riding on the ferris wheel or walking to the nearby swing set.

Melrose Photo Spots

Melrose Avenue

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You can’t skip Melrose avenue, even if you want to 🙂 

It doesn’t matter where you go, you will definitely drive by this notorious street. The paintings on the wall change from time to time. But it’s always beautiful. 

Find the “Made in LA” sign right in the middle of Melrose avenue, surrounded by cool little shops. The second picture was taken next to famous Carrera cafe. Starting from Melrose place and walking down Melrose avenue you will find many cute and interesting graffiti and art.

Address: 8251 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046 (then walk around from here)

Recommended photo location: feel free to walk around and see the many graffiti displays all throughout Melrose Ave. 

Pink Wall

The Pink Wall aka Paul Smith store always has people around it, but it’s a pretty big wall so there is a place for everybody. Across the street is Carrera Cafe where you can get a coffee with a custom picture in the foam, you can even give them a custom picture of yourself to display on your latte if you want to.

Address: 8251 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Recommended photo location: stand in front of the pink wall OR walk inside Carrera Cafe, order a custom foam latte and take a few photos inside the cafe. 

Alfred Tea Room

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This is a cute coffee shop with great tea, coffee, snacks, and ambiance where you can take a break and also shoot some pictures. It has a nice pink wall, pink steps, and overall is a very secluded and hidden spot. The nonchalant-ness of this plac makes it look even more attractive, also there are a lot of spots around the cafe to experiment with especially if you are into street style.

All of that you can find on Melrose Place.

Address: 705 N Alfred St, Los Angeles, CA 90069

Recommended photo location: there are many small boutique shops and somewhat hidden locations along this cute street just off of Melrose Avenue

Hollywood Hills Photo Spots

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Hollywood Sign

If you want to take a picture behind the Hollywood sign itself, with a view of the entire city, be ready to walk around 50 minutes uphill from the bottom to the top of the mountain. There are also a few ways to get within a short distance of the sign by driving but if you want to get close to the top it’s best to wear your hiking shoes. 

Address: 6101 Mulholland Hwy, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Recommended photo location: come in the early morning to avoid a crowd OR start hiking an hour before sunset to an amazing view of the city lights. Just be sure to bring a flashlight or charge your phone because it can get dark.  

Hollywood Hills / Lake Hollywood Park

You don’t have to hike anywhere to reach the Hollywood Hills, at least not compared to the hike you take to get to the Sign itself. You can find a lot people taking pictures from different spots next to each other, so you won’t miss it.

Address: 3114 Canyon Lake Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Recommended photo location: there should be more parking available here, park your car and walk up the hill to find a few scenic spots to take pictures at from a distance. 

West Los Angeles Photo Spots

LAX (Los Angeles Airport)

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This is an unusual spot but you won’t regret going here.

First of all, you will see airplanes taking off right above you every 5-7 minutes. and as a bonus, you can try the famous in-out-burger, because the location of this spot itself is actually a parking lot for the famous fast-food cafe.

Address: 9149 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

Recommended photo spot: park across the street from In-and-Out Burger and set up at the nearby park to get a great view of 747 airplanes flying by. Planes will fly overhead every 3-4 minutes and can fly by quick so be prepared! 

Randys Donuts

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This Land Mark is where so many movies were shot and is officially known for having the best donuts in the country. I can’t speak to the taste, but this location definitely brings a lot of fun energy to the table with a super giant donut in the background.

Address: 805 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301

Recommended photo location: grab a donut and stand in front of the store from a distance. Be careful, though as you’ll need to stand right by the street to get the picture in frame. 

Los Feliz Photo Spots

The neighborhood of Los Felix is a central location for great sunset pictures. Let’s say you’ve seen a lot already and want to experiment with a completely different location and vibe. Or maybe you are in the mood for European content and French spicy pictures. Los Feliz will a great fit for that. 

Cute coffee shops, outdoor restaurants with flowers and cute designs, and an old movie theater – all of it would make your background look like one of many European countries without even trying hard. Just get a nice dress, and possibly flowers and a baguette like I did. =)

Griffith Park

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Griffith Observatory has the best view of Los Angeles.

If you want to hike through the park, and get some cardio – you should look for a Bear Statue in Los Feliz. Once you turn past the bear statue you’ll eventually find a parking lot – the parking is free and there are plenty of spots.

But if you don’t wanna hike, then parking right next to the Observatory is also an option, but be prepared to pay for parking and to wait in a huge line of cars. You might be forced to eventually park on the side of the road to continue your hike uphill—instead of beautiful trail there will be a concrete road leading you all the way up.

Address: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Recommended photo location: walk around the observatory and find a few scenic places to take pictures. I recommend using the observatory itself as a backdrop in front of the scenic city skyline. 

Silver Lake Photo Spots

Hidden Swing

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Discover a secret swing located in Elysian park, with a beautiful hidden hiking trail leading you to the top of the park. This swing has a beautiful background of a mountainous skyline over the 110 freeway.

This is a 40 min drive from Hollywood but is a very beautiful drive once you get to the park.

Address: Los Angeles, CA 90031, for the most accurate directions to the swing, plug in “Swing on top of Elysian Park” or click the google maps link here.

Recommended photo location: there might be people waiting here during the day so I would recommend coming in the early morning right as the sun starts to rise OR late in the evening. 

Rainbow Steps

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These rainbow steps are hidden, but if you follow google you will find it! It might take another 5 or so steps in either direction, but it’s there. FYI in a real-life it’s less bright but still worth a picture 🙂

Address: 3324 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Recommended photo location: walk up to about the middle to get a nice shot from below – any spot works here! 

Charmed Manor

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I wouldn’t judge you if you don’t know what it is. But fans of the TV show “Charmed” would understand why I put this location on the list.

Located in Silver Lake, with free parking around it, you will find that every time you pass by this house there are always people taking a picture. Because this is a famous Charmed Manor. They used to have a tour around the house, but I don’t think they still do. 

Address: 1329 Carroll Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Fairfax Photo Spots

The Grove

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The Grove has a movie theatre, trolley, lots of shops and the restaurants AND it’s always decorated depending on the holiday or time of the year. This photo spot can be both a great walk and a great pictures spot.

Address: 189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Recommended photo location: you can take pictures in front of the clock tower, near the movie theater, along the walkways or in the farmer’s market food court. 

LACMA

In a heart of Fairfax you’ll find LACMA, a museum and beautiful location with artistic displays that are sure to give you enough material for a creative photo shoot in Los Angeles. The “Urban Light” display is most frequently visited by photographers and provides a unique view

Address: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Recommended photo location: The “Urban Light” display is most frequently visited by photographers and provides a unique artistic display to be creative with.

Downtown Los Angeles Photo Spots

The Last Bookstore

This bookstore in DTLA is famous and fun! For this unique installation you see in my picture above, go on the 2nd floor and try to get a shot without people passing by, it’s hard but doable. Since this spot is so iconic you’ll often find other people trying to take the same picture so be patient and kind and you’ll receive the same gesture back. 

Address: 453 s Spring st, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Recommended photo location: the bookstore creates new visual displays for customers every year but you should be able to find the circle hole bookcase somewhere in the store. It is usually located atop the 2nd floor of the bookstore. 

Downtown parking garage

Yes, parking garages are my favorite pictures spot in every city. And this one also has this fun background of another building with the “Jesus Saves” sign. Unfortunately they bolted the door to this garage shut in 2021 so it’s not possible to get to this sign. Finding the right rooftop can be hard and not all rooftops let you all the way up to the top – but if you ask around I’m sure you can find one. Just be safe!

With most rooftops, you have to pay for parking to get in unless you walk in from the street 🙂

Address: anywhere in downtown LA

Recommended photo location: walk around downtown LA to find many garages scattered throughout. 

 

DTLA Rooftop

I couldn’t miss the highest observation deck in California, and one of the most Instagrammable places in LA. Also, this famous artist drew 2 different wings specifically for attraction seekers to take pictures and admire. 

Also, this space has a glass slide, if you are brave enough this can be a fun experience sliding above DTLA without seeing the floor underneath you.

Address: 633 W Fifth St., Los Angeles, CA 90071
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10am-9pm, Friday-Saturday 10am-10:00pm
Tickets: $25 adult admission for observation deck only; add $8 for Skyslide. Buy here. 

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Designed by architect Frank Gehry, Walt Disney Concert Hall is an internationally recognized architectural landmark and one of the most acoustically sophisticated concert halls in the world. It attracts a lot of tourists and obviously, another great location for extraordinary pictures.

Address: 111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Short Drives from Los Angeles

Malibu Beach

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Malibu has many places to take the perfect picture:

1. Malibu farm cafe on a pier

2. Malibu cliffs

3. Hiking trails with protected nature reserves

All of the above is worth a visit! 

Address: Cliffside Dr &, Birdview Ave, Malibu, CA 90265

Recommended photo location: drive to Point Dume, a cliffside on the coast of Malibu that provides some of the best views of the ocean from high above the water. Walk the trails to find a few scenic spots to take pictures. 

Laguna Beach

If you want to visit one of the best beaches in LA, and if you have an entire day to spend outside of Los Angeles, I would highly recommend going to Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach is located in Orange County which is about a 1.5 to 2 hour drive from LA during peak hours. You might be able to get here faster by leaving in the early morning. 

Address: 31561 Table Rock Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Recommended photo location: the address above will take you to Table Rock Beach which has views of cliffside homes, sand and ocean waves. 

Catalina Island

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Catalina island is a pretty little island with a lot of wildlife, golf courts, cute restaurants and gorgeous views – of course, located very close to Los Angeles, so you can easily make a 1 day round trip to this scenic island. The ferry departs from Long Beach, Dana Point and San Pedro. You can find tickets here.

Address: 320 Golden Shore, Long Beach, CA 90802 — taking a ferry from this address is the most common way to get here. 

Recommended photo location: I highly recommend renting a golf cart and instantly going to the mountainside for beautiful skyline photos of Avalon beach. 

Angeles National Forest

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If you wanna get a fresh air, get lost in the woods, and also take a few iconic pictures on the windy roads plus capture the mountains view from the top of LA, this park will be a great fit for that. The closest location with all you need without renting a hotel room.

Address: 12371 Little Tujunga Canyon Rd, San Fernando, CA 91342

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree park is a little further away than our previous location, so you might wanna get a hotel for 1 night, but it’s totally worth the trip. Located near Palm Spring, you will get acres of beautiful nature with no people, so no one interrupts your shoot, plus a great getaway from the city and canyon to look at the inside of the park.

Hollywood Photo Spots

Sunset blvd Theatre

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For the fans of retro theater and street style types of pictures, in Hollywood area you can find a lot of old fashion motels / theatre’s. Just take a walk on the famous Sunset boulevard and find a spot that speaks to you. 

Mama Shelter

Okay, colorful rooftop bar/restaurant/great location we are talking here. All-in-one photo spot in Hollywood. If you already checked the Walk of Fame or just happened to be around, this will be a great place for refreshing drinks and pictures with a view of the hills. Definitely worth stopping by.

Address:  6500 Selma Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Studio City Photo Spots

Universal Studios

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The picture on the left was shot inside of Harry Porter Word. And the second picture is at the entrance to Universal Studios. Be prepared to spend the entire day here, and also to wait in line for every ride and attraction. If it’s your first time visiting it can definitely be worth the trip. 

Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

Recommended photo location: many spots to take photos at Universal, but I recommend getting at least one photo in front of the Universal spinning globe and to visit Harry Potter world for a few scenic shots. Come on Monday – Wednesday after 5:30pm to avoid bigger crowds. 

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