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Orange County Photographers - Crystal Cove Shooting Suggestions

This article is is designed to show all Orange County Photographers, whether they live in the larger cities of Irvine, Tustin, Santa Ana or Anaheim or if they are in one of the smaller cities of Las Flores, Los Alamitos or Cypress, how to shoot a senior portrait session at Crystal Cove state park. 

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Crystal Cove State Park is a unique location in Orange County for a professional photographer to shoot senior portraits. Information such as directions to the park, where to park, what services to use, the price of shooting at the park and locations for great images will help the photographer and the high school senior client create lasting memories at Crystal Cove. This article offers some practical information on how to achieve a successful photography session at the park.

Directions to Crystal Cove - Between Laguna Beach and Corona Del Mar

It is the responsibility of the Orange County photographer to provide clear directions to the park. This is a small detail, but one which if forgotten can cause enormous frustration if the client has trouble finding the park and the appropriate place to park their car while at the park.

Fortunately, getting to the park is quite simple. Get on Pacific Coast High if you are coming from either the North or the South. The park is located between Laguna Beach and Corona Del Mar. The actual address is as follows:

Crystal Cove
8471 North Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, California 92651

A Newport Beach senior photographer should give this information to his clients as early as possible. There are many seniors who come from out of state and want their portraits taken on the beach while on vacation. This information will help them better plan their vacation.

Crystal Cove Parking

Your client needs to know that there is a small fee for parking at crystal cove. While it isn’t much it can cause issues if the client forgets to bring some cash. As the OC photographer, bring some extra in case they forget.

Fee for Photographing

As is well known, the state of California has a budget crisis. Therefore there is a fee that must be paid before entering the park. Don’t try getting around this by simply showing up and shooting. This is simply not professional and your client will see it as such when a park employee asks to see your permit. At the time of this writing the fee to shoot a senior session at Crystal Cove was $60. The amount of this fee is subject to change.

Excellent Senior Photography Locations

There are a number of excellent locations for shooting senior portraits at Crystal Cove in Southern California. Here are three of the most popular backdrops:

1. On the path going down to the beach from the parking lot there is a path that has a variety of vegetation. From all appearances one could be on a path in the Midwest. The beach is no where in sight. This helps provide a variety of backdrops to the portfolio of images that you present to your client.

2. Right before you enter onto the beachArticle Submission, you pass some old blue and red wooden structures. This provides a background that is very rustic which will appeal to many of your clients.

3. A small restaurant exists which has a small picnic table on the side and a sign say “Crystal Cove” above. This is a favorite spot for out of town seniors to convey they were in California a fun location at the beach when they had their portraits taken.


Great senior portraits can be had at Crystal Cove. Orange County senior photographers provide it as an option for their client sessions.

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Vanessa is an Orange County photographer who teaches a number of classes to a number of Newport Beach Wedding Photographers.

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