The first thing you need to know about San Diego is that the average temperature is a perfect 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Secondly, the beaches are undeniably world-class. In addition, the city offers a fabulous culinary scene, tons of opportunities to enjoy arts and culture, and lots more. So it’s no surprise that the warm, sunny, beachy city of San Diego is absolutely brimming with beautiful locations. We’ve compiled a list of nine beautiful, exciting places that’ll provide major photoshoot inspiration in San Diego. Whether you’re a professional photographer, an Instagram influencer, or just improving your photography skills, these ultra-cool locations are sure to spark your creativity.
1. Private canyonside getaway with lagoon-style pool and hot tub
Located in the hills of San Diego, this is a 2,400-square-foot home with four bedrooms and two bathrooms on a 23,000-square-foot lot. The home contains two gas fireplaces, a wet bar, two skylights, and more, all within a gorgeous open floor plan. You’ll feel like you’re at a resort as you gaze out from the glass-enclosed dining area at the rock-bordered pool, spa, and gorgeous canyon. Take photos on the wooden wrap-around deck, and admire the serene koi and goldfish ponds. Plus, it’s convenient — within walking distance to San Diego State University, near the airport and downtown San Diego, and easily accessed by major highways.
2. Outdoor tropical pool oasis in Black Mountain Ranch
This is another location that’ll allow you to take advantage of the beauty of a body of water for your photoshoot inspiration. It’s a ¾ acre backyard with a large, tropical natural pool at its center. The space includes waterfalls, a spa, outdoor TV, a sound system, lounge chairs, torches, and fire pits. The hosts describe the vibe as “very relaxed and peaceful, similar to a vacation in Hawaii” — but you won’t have to hop on a plane to enjoy this space.
3. Award-winning mid-century abode, featuring dynamic outdoor spaces
When it comes to aesthetic appeal, you simply cannot go wrong with mid-century modern design — that’s why this beautiful home is one of our top picks for photoshoot inspiration in San Diego. It’s a standout example of this kind of design, which is why it’s won multiple awards: both when it was built, in 1962, and when it was restored in 2008 (it won San Diego Home & Garden Magazine’s “Home of the Year” in 2009). That’s why past clients have included Sony, Nintendo, HGTV, The Food Network, and many other standout companies. In addition to the beautiful home itself, with its floor-to-ceiling windows and modern furnishings, there’s also an acre of drought-tolerant gardens that include 30+ species of tree, as well as a pool with a resort feel.
4. Stunning NYC-style urban loft tucked away in East Village
Wish you could travel to New York City, but lacking the time or the funds? This option, which has the feel of a classic NYC loft, is an affordable alternative for those seeking photoshoot inspiration in San Diego. From the 25-foot vaulted ceilings to the full wall of 15-foot industrial windows, it’s got an impressive feel that combines ethereal openness with modern, industrial features. And within its total of 3,200 square feet, there are even two full living rooms: one Brooklyn-style loft with white brick, and the other with blue paneled walls and a blue velvet sofa. You’ll also enjoy the Scandinavian farmhouse kitchen and corner portrait wall, among other fabulous features.
5. Little Italy industrial loft with an abundance of natural light
Here’s another loft we’d recommend for major photoshoot inspiration in San Diego. This one’s on the ground floor of a beautiful work of architecture in the city’s charming Little Italy neighborhood. Visitors love the 20-foot ceilings, the concrete floors, and the massive recycled windows that let in tons of natural light. As one reviewer who used the space for a photoshoot commented, “This space was a dream! The light, the architecture, and the super stylish touches made our shoot so amazing.”
6. Classic mid-century modern home on a hilltop
Another classic example of mid-century design, this location is set apart by the absolutely unbelievable views from the hilltop on which it sits. These include the Valley, Mt. Helix (Cross) and the mountains beyond, and more. Plus, the gated residence has an entry wall of cast concrete blocks originally designed by world-famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1933. There are 3,000 square feet of both indoor and outdoor spaces, including a patio with built-in barbecue. Note that this home is not located in San Diego, but rather in La Mesa, CA, which is about a 15-minute drive from downtown San Diego; the home itself is easily accessed via Route 8 or Route 94.
7. A spacious green outdoor event venue in Pacific Beach
Here’s a 4,000-square-foot private event space in Pacific Beach. While it’s outdoors, it’s very quiet, and the hosts make a point of mentioning “the ocean breeze in the air” — it’s within walking distance of the ocean as well as plenty of bars, restaurants, and nightlife. It’s an unusual, appealing location for a photoshoot and is sure to prompt creativity during your session.
8. Rustic and historic downtown creative space in the Gaslamp Quarter
Located in San Diego’s historic and picturesque Gaslamp Quarter, in one of the city’s most historic buildings, this venue is marked by great views and oodles of natural light. There’s lots of visually stunning details to be discovered within its 2500 square feet, all suffused with a huge amount of texture and character that’ll take your photos to the next level.
9. Southwest-inspired mountain retreat offering breathtaking views
Just eight minutes from Rancho San Diego, in the Singing Hills area of East County, this beautiful and private home is surrounded by roughly 2 acres of rolling hills and unique granite boulders. The interiors are mostly open-concept, very inviting and relaxing, most notable for the floor-to-ceiling windows onto the deck and looking out on stunning panoramic vistas. As the hosts describe it, the 1,000-square-foot deck “feels like you are in a treehouse with sweeping views of city lights below.” Amazing!