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  • Writer's pictureTom Keene

The 4 Best Locations for Engagement Session The Huntington Library and Garden, Los Angeles Arboretum, Descanso Gardens and Pasadena Musuem of History

Updated: May 17

Los Angeles Wedding Photography Tom Keene the Affordable Wedding Photographer

updated May 17, 2024


The Los Angeles Arboretum, Huntington Library and Garden, Descanso Garden and the Pasadena Museum of History - 4 Amazing Locations to Consider For Your Engagement Session



The Los Angeles Arboretum Engagement Photography



Option 1 - The Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia. As of the time of this writing the costs to capture your engagement session or pre-wedding session is $75 plus entry costs for each person, including your photographer. A photo permit can be requested from their site here. You can view some of our work for both weddings and engagement sessions. It is also a great place to do some family photos. Some things to consider. This is a very large location. Have the option of comfy shoes as we walk from location to location. Also take note that there may not be a tree or garden area in bloom all year round. If you want to see what it looks like at a specific time of year, just ask us and we can send you a session around that time.


The Los Angeles Arboretum

301 N. Baldwin Ave.

Arcadia, CA 91007



Los Angeles Arboretum Engagement and Wedding Photos by Tom Keene

Above: The Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia, CA




The Huntington Library and Gardens


Option 2: - The iconic Huntington Library is among the most sought after locations to capture both engagement sessions/pre-wedding as well as wedding day photos. LAdigitalPhoto is proud to be on their preferred vendors list. We do our best to keep this blog updated but feel free to contact them directly via their email for the most up to date information.


As of May 4, 2024, their location fees are as follows:


A three hour session for portrait photography for the purpose of family portraits, engagement sessions or anything else is $1100.00. You also have the option for a golf cart to take you around the property for an additional $250. If you also want a videographer along for the time it is an additional $250 charge from the Huntington Library and Gardens.


If you would like to book us to capture your shoot for up to 3 hours, we ask that you contact us as soon as possible.. You cannot just show up and start shooting a session or expect contact us and show up the next day. If you already have a photographer and they are not on their preferred list, it is a 30 booking schedule. Since I am on their list, you may be able to get a session in as fast as 2 weeks.


Are you ready to book the location? Read below...

The Huntington Library Pasadena Engagement Photography Tom Keene Photographer LAdigitalPhoto

Once you are engaged, you can contact the library to schedule your engagement or pre-wedding photos with us or any other photographer on their list of approved photographers.


Recent change -The Huntington Library no longer allows you to "take the knee" and propose to your future partner. Well, you can, but you just can't have it photographed by a professional. If that was your goal, please contact us for other locations or continue to read for other locations we can suggest below.


The fine details - No tripods or external lights are allowed. No drones are allowed. No flash photography is allowed. A reservation must be made at least 30 days in advance and no further than 6 months. Because we are on the approved list there is a way to get a faster booking date but do expect to pay an additional $150 to them for this. This is not a fee we add on, our rate does not change based on their rush scheduling.


Just so you know - Also based on what I have discussed with the library, they do not allow dress changes so be sure you wear exactly what you wanted for the shoot. Props are allowed but not oversized ones. I would suggest you run your ideas of props by them to make sure you won't waste your time.


We understand that this is a very high cost to capture your engagement photos. So go ahead and pull up a chair and sit down. Let's discuss the costs for a wedding.


In order to get married on the Huntington Library grounds you will expect to encounter a starting costs of $50,000. That is just of the ceremony. If you wish to have both your ceremony and your reception here the location costs start at $150,000. It is rather clear that this is only for the elite of the elite and makes this perhaps the most expensive location costs for any venue that we are aware of in California. These costs do not include your food, your DJ or tables.... it is just for the location.


Whether or not you choose to pursue this location we would love to be there and provide you our photography, videography and photo booth services. This blog entry is still our most commonly read. With over 1700 hits in only 24 months. Let us know what you think and if we could get you any more info about The Huntington Library. Text Tom directly at 714-394-4263 or just chat with us here on our site.


[ You can chat with us anytime by selecting the Chat Here at the bottom of the page. If you are on a cell phone and there is a red dot, we have already messaged you! ]


1151 Oxford Rd.

San Marino, CA 91108

Contact Zia directly at ziampietro@huntington.org - Let her know we sent you!




What Other Options Are There for Your Engagement Photography?


So, what other options are there to the Huntington Library?


We can recommend three options. The Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia, CA and Descanso Gardens in La Canada, California are the two close options. The Pasadena History Museum is also one we can recommend.




Descanso Gardens



Option 3- Descanso Gardens in La Canada. The most current costs for photography for this venue can be found here. The costs for 1-5 people are $300 for the permit. 6-10 people costs are $400 as of the time of this blog entry. It is a great location if you can find the time to put it in your wedding day for both the Thursday Club or The La Canada Country Club. The grounds are well kept and there are plenty of places to capture your engagement.



Above: Descanso Gardens in La Canada, CA


1418 Descanso Drive

La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91101



The Pasadena Museum of History


Option 4- The Pasadena History Museum in Pasadena. Please visit our most recent shoot for this location. Photography here requires a permit and a scheduled time request. Rates start at $350 the last time we shot there. The Pasadena History Museum has been used for countless magazine shoots and provides a great experience for architecture as well as the beautiful grounds. As of February 1, 2024, we have an agreement for a special rate from the museum when you hire us. Please contact us to discuss the options. This is a fantastic option for your engagement photos compared to the Huntington Library and Garden and the Los Angeles Arboretum.


You can do your proposal, engagement or actual ceremony here. You can also get access to the interior or the residence which is a very very unique experience for the couple and their photographer only.



Above: The Pasadena History Museum, Pasadena CA


470 W. Walnut St.

Pasadena, CA 91103

To schedule this location text Tim at 626-720-3544

Or email Tim tmacdonaugh@pasadenahistory.org




LAdigitalPhoto - Life Event Photography by Tom Keene © is in no way associated with any of these venues. We do not receive any reimbursement or benefits in any way for this article. We truly hope you found this information helpful. Whether you are ready to book your engagement photos or not, we'd really love to hear from you.


Just chat with us, really Tom loves to break up the day of editing by chatting with couples from all over the world. If today is a weekend, his response may be a bit slower, since he is likely shooting an event.


Now the fun part, great you made it all the way to the bottom so don't forget to enter in to win a free engagement session!

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