The 16 Best Places to Photograph in Los Angeles

LA has to be one of the most photogenic cities in the US. From the sprawling mountains minutes away from the city to scenic beaches Los Angeles is FULL of places to Instagram.The Best Los Angeles Instagram Spots // ihitthebutton.com

Nearly every sunset in LA is breathtaking which is why I love this city so much. Everytime I visit I find myself photographing all day and night.

Below are the best places to photograph in Los Angeles:

Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory Night

LA from Griffith Observatory

If you only stop at one place on this list the Griffith Observatory is a must. Once at the observatory you get a beautiful view of the Los Angeles skyline.

Parking can be tight at peak times though and you may have to park a bit away.

Additionally if you’re willing to hike a bit there are a few trails behind Griffith that will let you get above the observatory for even more creative options.

Griffith Observatory on Google Maps

Lacma “Urban Light”

Lacma Urban Light Long Exposure

Long Exposure at Lacma’s Urban Light

Day or Night the “Urban Light” exhibit at Lacma is a popular destination. Basically any instagrammer can appreciate the unique rows of street lights here.

Lacma on Google Maps

Angels Gate Park (Basketball Court/Korean Friendship Bell)

Korean Bell Of Friendship in Angels Gate Park

Korean Bell Of Friendship in Angels Gate Park

This spot took me a long time to find so I knew I had to include it on the list.

Angels Gate Park has Korean Friendship Bell which is a massive bell in a stone pavilion. Additionally there is a very unique arched basketball hoop at this park.

Angels Gate Park on Google Maps

Santa Monica Pier

Sunset At Santa Monica Pier

Sunset At Santa Monica Pier

If you’re visiting LA you’re going to have to enjoy a sunset at the Santa Monica Pier. The waves crashing down as the sun goes down behind the pier is just one of those classic california things that can’t be missed.

Santa Monica Pier on Google Maps

Pedestrian Bridge at Slauson Station

The pedestrian bridge at Slauson Station is huge for portraits. The bridge at night is lit by a single light source on the top that gives your photos a very moody feel.

Slauson Station on Google Maps

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall at Night

Walt Disney Concert Hall at Night

The Walt Disney Concert Hall is full of incredible shapes and architecture.

Just a warning: The stainless steel exterior can get incredibly hot on a sunny day so be careful where you put your hands.

Walt Disney Concert Hall on Google Maps

The Broad

The Broad At Night La

Long Exposure of the Broad at Night

The Broad museum is right next to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in the middle of downtown LA. Its unique exterior is fun to photography day or night. There are also some interesting art pieces inside, general admission tickets are free but there is typically a line for them.

The Broad on Google Maps

The Queen Mary Cruise Ship

Fence At The Queen Mary

Fence At The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary is quite the tourist attraction with shops and restaurants inside but the front of the ship is incredible. Parking was free for 30 minutes while I was there which was just enough time to hop out and take a photos and get back on the road.

Queen Mary on Google Maps

Underpass in Downtown LA

Los Angeles Downtown Underpass At Night

Underpass in Downtown Los Angeles

It took a bit to find this spot but it’s centrally located in Downtown LA. There are a few places to drive into the underpass, plus if you come late there is parking all over the street where you’d want to shoot. It’s underneath S Grand Ave so you can enter via W 4th St.

W 4th St & S Grand Ave on Google Maps

The Last Bookstore

If you take portraits the last bookstore is a perfect stop with its uniquely stacked books. Many will recognize the books stacked in a circle pattern.

The Last Bookstore on Google Maps

Venice Beach Canals

Venice Beach Canals By Roberto Nickson

Venice Beach Canals at Sunset By Roberto Nickson @g

The Venice Beach canals are great to capture during the day or at sunset. The canals offer great reflections for the palm trees to give you classic LA look.

Venice Beach Canals on Google Maps

Skyline/Highways at the W 4th St Bridge

Long Exposure La 4th St Bridge Highways

Downtown LA from the W 4th Street Bridge

If you’re shooting LA at night you have to stop at the W 4th street bridge. If you’re driving it’s usually pretty easy to find a parking spot a few blocks away on S Boylston St or Miramar St.

After getting the skyline from the W 4th St bridge take a walk down S Beaudry Ave to the 5th and 6th street bridge for tons of other angles. If you have a wide angle lens and a tripod you’ll be in heaven in this area.

There are so many different light trains you can get with the range of intersections.

4th St Bridge on Google Maps

California Department of Transportation

A post shared by Henbu (@henbu_) on

The California department of transportation with its red neon lights is perfect for late night portrait sessions.

Caltrans Building on Google Maps

Hike Behind the Hollywood Sign

Hike Hollywood Sign Mvisuals

Hollywood Sign by @m.visuals

One of the most iconic L.A. sights is the giant Hollywood sign in the hills. There are a few trails that let you hike behind the sign to get great photos of the skyline and sign.

Trail to Hollywood Sign on Google Maps

Grimes Canyon Road

DJI Mavic Pro aerial photo above Grimes Canyon Road

DJI Mavic Pro aerial photo above Grimes Canyon Road

You’ll need a car to get to Grimes Canyon road but the views are spectacular, especially when the sun goes down. There area a few spots to shoot from to get shots fo the curve in the road which looks especially great with a long exposure.

Just be careful here, the walk to the path to get photos of the road at night is narrow so walk with cation.

Grimes Canyon Road on Google Maps

Aerial Shots of LA from a Helicopter

Los Angeles Aerial Highway By Ladybaguette

LA from helicopter (by Claire Lejeune @ladybaguette)

Many will fly with flynyon to get aerial photos of Los Angeles.

Video from Los Angeles

In addition to the photos above I recorded a vlog showcasing many of the LA photography spots above. You can watch the video below.


Did I miss a spot? let us know your Instagram worthy places in LA in the comments below!

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