Catalina Island Engagement Photos

Destination Engagement On Catalina Island

One of the best parts about being a wedding photographer in Southern California is that you get the opportunity to photograph a ton of awesome places that are in driving distance. Catalina Island is one of those places, but don’t try to drive there because your car will literally sink in the Pacific Ocean if you do. Catalina Island is honestly one of my favorite places to visit and I have had the good fortune to visit there half a dozen times. When you are there you totally feel like you are in some foreign paradise like the Greek Islands but without the hairy Greek dudes of course. I don’t want to oversell Catalina Island and the city of Avalon but basically if you have never visited this place your soul will always be a little more empty and sad. Brandon and Stephanie are two people who are very special to me and my family and they too are fond of Catalina Island and that is why when they decided to leave the package shrinking cold weather of Chicago for a vacation they decided upon Catalina Island. However, what Stephanie did not know is that Brandon went to Jared. HE WENT TO JARED! He liked it and was gonna put a ring on it as my friend Beyonce would say. After the proposal, Brandon had another surprise and that was an impromptu engagement session. We took some photos, and knocked back some beers, took more photos, and knocked back some more beers, rode electric bikes around the entire city, and knocked back some more beers, then got on the boat where we ….wait for it, took some more photos and then knocked back some more beers. Below are the Catalina Island engagement photos from our time together in Avalon. Congrats Brandon and Stephanie on your engagement! We wish you both many, many years of happiness and pies.


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Engagement Session Catalina Island

One of my favorite things about couples who chose to rock their Catalina Island engagement photos on Avalon is the destination feel in the gallery. Yes, Santa Catalina Island is still considered part of Los Angeles County, but after the 50-minute boat ride, it truly feels like you’ve traveled to a different place. The slow-paced lifestyle in Avalon, gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, and the relaxed vibe definitely make you feel outside of Southern California. This is the reason I always try and encourage couples who want unique, colorful, and awesome images for their save-the-dates to consider Catalina Island engagement photos!

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Best Photo Spots Catalina Island

Most boats that travel to Catalina Island leave in the morning from Dana Point, San Pedro, or Long Beach and head back to the Southern California mainland between 4:00p.m.- 7:55p.m., according to the Catalina Express schedule. As a Catalina Island engagement photographer, I always encourage my clients who are doing their engagement photos on Catalina Island to arrive early to scout locations and leave as late as possible from Avalon that way we can utilize golden hour (the last hour of light before sunset). This will provide the softest, most flattering light for the Catalina Island engagement session. The second thing is to book the Catalina Island engagement photography session for a little longer that way we have more time to explore and visit the best photo spots Catalina Island has to offer. Although there are a lot of instagrammable places in Catalina Island, here are my personal top 5 Catalina Island engagement spots!

5 Best Catalina Island Engagement Spots

  1. Buena Vista Point Scenic Overlook: One of the best Catalina Island secret spots, Bueno Vista Point gives couples an amazing view of the harbor. Personally, I think this spot gives one of the best views of Catalina Island. In order to get to this secret spot simply rent a golf cart and drive above Cabrillo Mole. Bueno Vista Point is located just below the Inn on Mt Ada. Bueno Vista Point Scenic Overlook is also one of the best Catalina Island proposal spots.
  2. Wrigley Botanical Garden: For couples who enjoy the outdoor vibe for their engagement photos the Wrigley Botanical Garden & Memorial is perfect, offering rare species of plants and cacti. But for me as a Catalina Island photographer, the best part about this engagement photo location is the gorgeous tile murals and unique architecture.
  3. The Casino Catalina Island: A popular venue for weddings, the Casino is a historically popular art deco location that features a museum, gallery & site tours. Right outside of the Casino is where a lot of scuba divers hit the Pacific Ocean in search of adventure but from a photography standpoint, the Casino is awesome. There are a ton of rad spots outside of the Casino, and the venue itself is an architectural gem as a backdrop for Catalina Island engagement photos.
  4. Descano Beach Club: Any photography location that allows alcohol on the beach is a good spot! Descano Beach is a great location for Catalina Island engagement photos for couples who want a more relaxed, authentic vibe in their e-session. Think bikini and swimsuits, sunglasses, and cocktails on the beach. Maybe even a kayak ride or dip in the Ocean. Sounds fun right?
  5. City of Avalon: One of the coolest things about Catalina Island engagement photos is simply exploring the quaint city of Avalon. Rent a golf cart for a couple hours or simply walk through Avalon, stopping at many of the adorable island cottages outside of downtown. Bluewater Grill, Antonio’s Pizza, The Vintage Bus, Hotel St. Lauren, Aurora Catalina Hotel, and so many other amazing spots can be used as backdrops for any Catalina Island engagement session. My recommendation is when you get to Avalon early just start walking down Summer Ave, Eucalyptus Ave, Catalina Ave, Descanso Ave, or Clemente Ave and scout some of the secret spots that best suit your personal style.

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Catalina Island Photographer

I sincerely hope these Catalina Island engagement photos have inspired you to consider rocking your engagement session on Santa Catalina Island. Honestly, it is a beautiful area from Avalon to Two Harbors, and there is no shortage of fun things to do on the island if you want to make a weekend out of the trip. So take a helicopter ride or the Catalina Express to Avalon and check out what the area has to offer! I can guarantee once you have personally checked out the view at Bueno Vista Point or enjoyed a cold cocktail on the private Descano Beach Club that you will choose the destination for your Catalina Island engagement photos!

Want to see more images from Catalina Island? Then check out these Catalina Island wedding photos at Descano Beach Club!