Malibu Engagement Photo Locations
Malibu is probably one of the dreamiest cities in California for beach lovers. Known for its sandy beaches, celebrity homes, and trails that weave through canyons, waterfalls, and grasslands. Malibu is a great spot to consider for your engagement photos. We thought we would break down our favorite locations to plan your engagement photos and what you should know when planning here.
Use the links below to jump to the section you’re most interested in.
- Malibu Engagement Photo Locations
- Best Time For Your Engagement Photos in Malibu
- Permits and LNT for Your Malibu Adventure
- Elopement Photographers For Your Malibu Engagement
Are you more interested in eloping somewhere in gorgeous California? Check out our California elopement packages to start planning your adventure.
Malibu Engagement Photo Locations
Malibu Creek State Park
You don’t necessarily have to plan a beach engagement session in Malibu. You can plan an adventurous hiking session in Malibu Creek State Park instead. This park is known for mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, and trails. You’ll also get Santa Monica mountains in the background of your adventure.
El Matador Beach
El Matador Beach is actually one of the three beaches within Robert H Meyer Memorial State Beach. This one is the most popular out of the three and the closest to Malibu. We love this beach because it has gorgeous waters and unique rock formations on the face of the bluff, with stairs that take you down to the beach. Sunsets here are magical, and if you’re feeling extra adventurous then ask about taking some photos in caves and rock arches in the sea stacks.
Point Dume State Beach
Nothing says dramatic engagement beach photos in Malibu than Point Dume State Beach. It’s cliffs, rocky coves, and beach views. The area itself is popular among a lot of tourists, but it’s also popular for couples who want their engagement and elopement here. Plan ahead with your photographer to learn the ins and outs of planning your adventure here.
Malibu Lagoon State Beach
If you’re a surfer, this spot is for you. Malibu Lagoon State Beach is backed by a lagoon, which you cross on boardwalks. This location is also known as Surfrider Beach. Besides the beach itself, you can explore the pier, and the nearby trails, and plan a picnic.
Point Mugu State Park
Located in the Santa Monica Mountains, you’ll find Point Mugu State Park. There are 5 miles of ocean shorelines to explore here with rocky bluffs, sand dunes, hills, and a gorgeous beach. If that’s not enough, there are even river canyons and grassy valleys with gorgeous sycamores and oaks. This location is great for couples who want to enjoy the beach and hike a little too.
Topanga State Park
Another state park within the cliffs and canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains is Topanga State Park. This is a popular one for elopements too. This park has a bunch of trails leading to open grassland and gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean.
Leo Carrillo State Park
Beaches, coastal caves, and reefs to explore together at Leo Carillo State Park will have you both on cloud 9. If things get too hot, you can plan a romantic picnic by the giant sycamores. We love the versatility of this park. You can climb on the rocks together to get some epic portraits by the ocean, or you can plan to do some hiking before taking sunset pictures by the beach.
Best Time For Your Engagement Photos in Malibu, CA
When you’re planning your engagement photos, especially on a beach, you’ll want to stick to hours when the sun isn’t so harsh (especially during the summer months), and the crowds aren’t out of control. Since you’re exploring public areas, you’ll be bound to have a few people nearby as you take your photos, but keep in mind this number will be significantly less if you plan an evening or early morning session with your photographer. We also recommend planning during the weekday, and nowhere near holiday weekends. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, then ask your photographer what they suggest when it comes to when the best time to schedule your adventure session at your preferred location.
Permits and LNT for Your Malibu Adventure
When it comes to permits, you absolutely need one if you’re eloping (even just the two of you) at most locations. However, if you’re planning to take a few photos for your engagement, then it may vary per location. Your photographer may need a permit, but you may not. It’s important to always double-check the location you’re planning to visit and to ask your photographer.
Leave no trace is just as important for engagement sessions as it is for elopements and small weddings. Every time you adventure into an area please respect the land you’re visiting, adhere to the rules, and leave it better than you found it so others may be able to enjoy it for years to come.
Learn more about the importance of leaving no trace here.
Elopement Photographers For Your Malibu Engagement
Are you ready for your engagement adventure in gorgeous Malibu? We have a few amazing featured vendors below who specialize in not just California engagement photography, but elopements and small weddings too. Connect with one of them below to take your engagement photos in Malibu and start planning your wedding day!
Summit and Sur Photography
Allie Dearie Photography – Southern California
Elopements + love stories. Your National Park adventurer!
Elopements by Ellen
Wildflower Photo Co.
I'm Karissa! I'm here to help you craft & document an elopement day rooted in YOU.