Table of contents
- Family Photos at Descanso Gardens in La Canada
- Photography locations at Descanso Gardens
- My favorite locations for family photos
- Other locations for family photos at Descanso Gardens
- Descanso Gardens Memberships that come with family photos benefit
- What month should we visit?
- What’s in Bloom Every Month at Descanso Gardens
- Prefer family photos in the studio?
- Email me for family photos at Descanso Gardens
Family Photos at Descanso Gardens in La Canada
You can never go wrong with having your family photos done at Descanso Gardens in La Canada. It’s a beautiful place to spend time and all seasons offer something to see and experience.
Descanso Gardens is located 1418 Descanso Drive La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011. Their phone number is 818-949-4200.
Photography locations at Descanso Gardens
I can’t choose my favorite location at Descanso to photograph. There is truly such variety. Whether you like the bright colors of whatever is blooming or large trees that provide a majestic canopy, we can create beautiful family photos anywhere.
My favorite locations for family photos
The cool shade of the fir trees that surround the waterfall creates a hidden spot perfect for family photos. There are several spots for beautiful photos on and near the waterfall.
There’s a little pond behind the waterfall. The sunlight reflects off the water and provides a nice backlight. There aren’t trees directly behind the waterfall, so the sunlight in the background contrasts nicely with the dark shade of the trees.
The forest of pine trees
The forest of pine trees gives plenty of shade and creates a different, moodier atmosphere than the usual family photos taken at Descanso Gardens. This area lends itself to black and white photos.
Green Hills, Upper Path
This is such a pretty area and feels like you’re in a peaceful meadow. There are gently rolling hills and lots of greenery. And lucky for us, a big boulder to sit on.
The Deciduous Trees
The deciduous trees at Descanso garden are beautiful! The leaves add such texture and visual appeal. I like to visit in the fall they change colors. It’s best to capture them at the perfect intersection of green, gold, and orange. When the leaves carpet the ground they add to the lovely setting.
I just love the fall colors at Descanso. Sometimes you have to really search the Los Angeles area to find changing leaves and their variety of red, oranges, and golds.
Late afternoon is the best time for family photos at Descanso Gardens
The best light is in the late afternoon when the sun is low and filtering through the trees. There’s something about the texture of the light and the particulate in the air that makes it so attractive. The setting sun casts a golden light that is soft and flattering. The prisms of light that reflect off the camera lens add to the mood.
I know of several locations where we can photograph your family with the sun behind you. This is perfect for creating that bright, outdoor Southern California vibe.
The Oak Forest
I love the wide-open feel of the stand of oak trees. These are the coast live oak. Some of these trees are hundreds of years old and they are native to California.
They make a majestic backdrop. An image like this where the subjects are small in the frame is perfect for a large framed print, or even printed on canvas.
A close-up photo like the one below, where the faces fill the frame is better for a small print, like an 8×10 or 11×14. This image was also created in the oak forest.
The footbridge is a perfect spot for photos. There’s a variety of greenery behind the subject. The combination of different shades of green and textures provides visual interest. The trees and shrubs are far enough in the background that they blur nicely and create the perfect non-distracting backdrop.
Hanging tree branches with green leaves
The branches make a beautiful backdrop. These family photos were taken in December at Descanso. Tree branches also look nice when converted to black and white.
Other locations for family photos at Descanso Gardens
I have a variety of locations that aren’t listed above.
Top of the Mountain trail
There’s a trail that winds to the very top of Descanso Gardens and through the dense forest. It leads into a valley that has lots of nooks and crannies where we can shoot. It’s worth exploring even if you’re not looking for a place for the perfect family photo.
Near the Train Tracks
I know spots along the train tracks that don’t see a lot of foot traffic. Some are in deep shade with wonderful greenery and it’s like you’re in a different world. Others have bright sunlight filling the forest.
The Rose Garden
In and around the rose garden are benches, walls, and structures that make ideal photography locations. There’s one plant in particular with the most dramatic trumpet-shaped flowers.
Descanso Gardens Memberships that come with family photos benefit
If you have a Sponsoring Membership, you’re entitled to one family photography session a year.
The Descanso Gardens Sponsoring Membership is $300 and your family photos can include up to 10 people.
A Sustaining Membership for $600 and a Center Circle Associates Membership for $1000 also entitle you to one family photo session a year.
As of May 2021, Descanso Gardens is not issuing photography permits for anyone.
What month should we visit?
Any month is good for family photos, it depends on what you’re looking for. Do you like fall leaves with changing colors? November is a great month for that. A lot of my shooting locations are good year-round. I choose them because their backgrounds are compelling during all seasons.
What’s in Bloom Every Month at Descanso Gardens
- January – camellias
- February – cherry trees
- March – tulips, irises, and lilacs
- April – azaleas, native wildflowers
- May – roses
- June – roses, summer annuals
- July – roses
- August – summer annuals
- September – crape myrtle
- October – fall foliage starts to turn
- November – camellias, ginkgo leaves turn yellow
- December – camellias, ginkgo leaves turn yellow
Prefer family photos in the studio?
Let me know if you’d rather have family photos at the studio. I have magazine-style hand-painted canvas backdrops and professional lighting equipment. There’s a private changing room where you can hang your clothes.
I also have plenty of natural light and outdoor settings (though nothing can beat Descanso Gardens in terms of variety).
Email me for family photos at Descanso Gardens
Use the contact form or email me directly at Rebecca@RebeccaLittlePhotography.com
My studio is in Pasadena, CA and I accept QuickPay with Zelle, Venmo, credit and debit cards, cash, and check.