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  • Writer's pictureTom Keene

Vanessa and Nathan Engagement Photography January 7, 2024 The Los Angeles Arboretum, Arcadia, California

Engagement Photography LAdigitalPhoto - Life Event Photography by Tom Keene ©

Engagement Photography Location - The Los Angeles Arboretum, Arcadia, CA


Wow, it has been cold. So why not start an engagement session at 9am! Right? Well it was actually the perfect time to start. Very few people were there that early and having the sun in a different position is always an interesting process. When shooting at the Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia, CA, for your engagement photography session, you will need to pay entrance fees and $75 for the permit. It is a lower cost alternative to places like the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena, that runs $1100 for 3 hours.


Now with Vanessa and Nathan, we had already chosen this is the location but had to move the date a few times. So once we got there, we got going! I wanted to take them down to the train station that was an authentic building back in the 1920's that was moved to the Los Angeles Arboretum when they built the 210 freeway. It has been used in movies before so it brings a unique look. We were so lucky though. We got there early and they had not even opened the gate. After calling security they came and we had it all to ourselves.



The Santa Anita Train Station at The Los Angeles Arboretum engagement photography

The Santa Anita Train Station at The Los Angeles Arboretum, Arcadia, CA


And before we even got there we stopped along the way at this beautiful tree that was in bloom. It is across the lake and the original home on the property that was lived in by Lucky Baldwin back in the late 1800's, as I recall.



Just outside the barn at  The Los Angeles Arboretum engagement photography tom keene LAdigitalPhoto


Lucky for me, this couple actually practiced their engagement poses before hand and brought two friends to help out carrying their jackets etc. Made for a much quicker process, since I normally have to carry that stuff.



The Barn at The Los Angeles Arboretum engagement photography by Tom Keene

As we walked around we came across the barn. With the winter colors in the trees, I could not have asked for a better shot at this location. The sun was just in the right spot to light up Vanessa's face. Normally I might have used a flash to light up Nathan's face too, but you cannot bring light stands in the park. Frankly, I like the more natural look.



Just outside the barn at  The Los Angeles Arboretum engagement photography tom keene LAdigitalPhoto

We were searching for the perfect tree for this shot that they wanted. This one had the right light and position to make it easy to capture them close. It also brought Nathan a little lower to allow him to be more eye to eye.



waterfall engagement photo los angeles arboretum tom keene LAdigitalPhoto

Now I could post a ton of more photos but I am sure you would just like to see them all. So head here to view the entire session. In all some 700+ images were shot. I chose to edit it down, I don't normally do that, but then I don't normally shoot that many in 2 hours, but you will see some 400+ moments captured of these two!


Location of shoot: The Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia, CA


Details of the shoot: Shoot time 1 hour 45 minutes, over 800 images edited to just over 400 or so, 4.5 hours of editing and around 45 minutes to type up this blog entry... totally worth it! Oh, and yes, this was one of my free sessions they won by attending the open house in La Canada at the Thursday Club this last fall. Their wedding is coming up in August and we hope to be their first and only choice! Want to come meet us? Go to our Instagram page. The details are there for the next open house on January 21st. Come check out their venue (it was Cindy and mine as well), meet us and other great vendors as well as partake in some amazing food and drinks... it is all free! You just need to register so go to our IG page now!

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