Los Angeles is one of those cities that you never quite finish exploring. There are always new restaurants and attractions opening up. There are also plenty of locations that have long been picture-perfect for Los Angles Photography.
Let’s take a look at our top 20 best places to take pictures in Los Angeles!
20. Venice Beach
The boardwalk is known for street performers, busy shops, and colorful personalities. There’s also great street art, a beach that looks straight out of a postcard, and a skate park that’s always active.
Give yourself plenty of time to explore this spot!
19. Venice Canals
The manmade canals are tucked away in the neighborhoods of Venice Beach but are well worth finding.
There are several bridges that allow you to drive over the canals. But this area is perfect for exploring on foot.
18. Griffith Observatory
The observatory sits atop a hill overlooking all of Los Angeles. You can access it from any entrance to Griffith Park.
Weekends can get crowded, but the views make it worth visiting! Consider taking an Uber up to avoid parking. Or you can park just outside the park entrance and hike up.
17. Hollywood Sign
There are a few ways to get a clear view of the Hollywood sign. Each view can provide fantastic photo ops!
A front view is easier to find. But there’s a trail that will take you up behind the sign for a unique vantage point.
If you do want to get a photo from the front, consider going to Lake Hollywood Park to get a closer view than most.
16. Santa Monica Pier
This famous pier can provide the perfect backdrop for quintessential summer photos. There are lots of great views while on the pier itself.
Walk a bit north of the pier along the beach for impressive views of the pier itself on the coastline.
15. Bradbury Building
Downtown Los Angeles holds lots of beautiful historic spots. The Bradbury Building is a must-see among them.
The main feature to look for here is the intricate elevator shaft and stairs. Both catch light that streams down from the skylights.
The Bradbury Building is a great spot for a bit of industrial architecture with drama.
14. Echo Park
One of the top places to go in Los Angeles, Echo Park offers iconic views.
13. Polka Dot Wall at The Springs
For a backdrop with pops of color, the polka dot wall at The Springs is a must-see! You can find this wall on the back side of the restaurant. It’s located in the Arts District of Downtown LA.
12. The Love Wall at Smashbox Studios
Speaking of fantastic walls as backdrops, the “Love” wall at Smashbox Studios is another great example.
It’s got more of an urban look with its bold color and handwritten words on it. This makes it a fun spot for portraits.
11. Grand Central Market
Another iconic spot in Downtown Los Angeles is Grand Central Market. It houses all sorts of food vendors under one roof.
10. Union Station
One of the top historic buildings in Los Angeles is Union Station. The magic is found mostly in the lobby area with its high ceilings, iconic chairs, and detailed finishes.
9. DTLA rooftops
For locals, Downtown LA life is all about the rooftops. Most residential buildings, whether historic or new, have rooftop decks with amazing downtown views.
The best way to get onto these rooftops is to get to know the locals. Strike up a conversation with folks as you explore the city.
You never know if you’ll manage to soak in those private rooftop views!
8. ‘Urban Lights’ at LACMA
This outdoor art installation at LACMA is one of the most Instagrammed spots around. It’s fun to visit at any time of day.
Visiting late in the day when the lights have already come on will make your photos extra special.
7. Santee Alley
Located within the LA Fashion District, Santee Alley is not for the faint of heart. But can offer unique photo opportunities.
This spot is a narrow pedestrian street that has lots of shops on either side. It fills up quickly with crowds, which can add to the atmosphere.
This location is a great opportunity to test your creativity. There isn’t one iconic vantage point.
From Santee Alley, be sure to explore the rest of the Fashion District with its colorful storefronts and murals!
6. Hollywood Bowl Overlook
This spot is actually called the Jerome C. Daniel Overlook. It is most often called the Hollywood Bowl overlook because it’s located behind the Hollywood Bowl.
This spot is perfect for views of LA at night, this time capturing the skyline, density, and highways of Los Angeles. If you have a tripod, bring it along and visit at sunset to capture light streaks with long exposures.
5. Hancock Park
When you think of Los Angeles, there’s a good chance you think of palm trees and Hollywood. The Hancock Park neighborhood offers photo spots to capture both together!
Bring your telephoto lens to Windsor Blvd around 6th. You can find a view of the Hollywood sign framed by palm trees on either side.
4. Walt Disney Concert Hall
When thinking of modern architectural icons in Los Angeles, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is everyone’s go-to spot.
Its sculptural design stands out in the urban setting. And you can walk up to an observation deck to get unique vantage points.
This is another location that comes alive at sunset. Consider visiting in the late afternoon and staying through sundown.
3. Micheltorena Stairs
These stairs are perfect for Instagram moments! It’s ideal for portraits and makes for an especially cute backdrop to pet photos.
There’s not much around the stairs. They make for a great quick stop while exploring around Los Angeles.
2. ‘Made in LA’ at Cisco Home
If you want it to be very clear that you’re in LA, the “Made in LA” mural may just be the perfect spot for you. This mural is on Melrose, which does actually contain other murals for fun photos.
Consider parking somewhere along Melrose and walking the neighborhood a bit to explore this and other murals!
1. The Getty Center
The Getty Center is a must-see spot in Los Angeles because of its incredible art collection. It also offers expansive views, modern architecture, and manicured grounds.
If you enjoy architectural photography, you’ll have plenty of interesting angles to explore. For those that love photographing nature or doing macro photography, the grounds are geometric and manicured but full of beautiful flowers and plants.
The views, of course, also offer photo opportunities that are hard to beat. Entry is free but there’s a fee for parking. If possible, plan to go on a clear day to take advantage of the views of Downtown Los Angeles.
With so many options, though, it can be hard to know where to start. Our top 20 list above can serve as a perfect starting point, and do make it a point to explore and find your own hidden gems, too!
Why not check our posts on creating a storyboard for photography or next!