Laguna Beach Photographer: Tips from Mark Sanderson

Laguna Beach Photographer, Mark Sanderson has a keen eye when it comes to photography in Laguna Beach.  Mark is a Laguna Beach Local and professional photographer willing to share his “Insider Tips” on capturing the best moments in Laguna Beach.

When is the Best Time to Shoot Photography in Laguna Beach?

Mark recommends taking photos at sunset in Laguna Beach.  You can never go wrong when the ocean is your backdrop.  Beaches with a classic Laguna icon or an interesting foreground help to create an excellent opportunity to snap a photo.  Best Tip: hang around until after sunset or dusk – especially if you have a tripod to steady your camera with a low shutter speed.

Mark Sanderson says the coolest thing he has snapped was an elusive horizontal funnel cloud on a day he dubbed  “crazy clouds day”.  This photo of the Main Beach Lifeguard Tower was taken on that day.

Laguna Beach Lifeguard Tower

What is the Best Beach to Shoot in Laguna Beach?

Main Beach, just off Pacific Coast Highway and across the street from Downtown Laguna Beach is a prime location to take pictures.  The iconic Laguna Beach Lifeguard Tower and Hotel Laguna capture the charm and character of the town.  At the north end of Main Beach, Bird Rock projects just beyond the surfline, making a dramatic centerpiece for your photo.  If you have the time, take the stairs at the north end of the Main Beach Boardwalk, past the Inn at Laguna Beach towards Heisler Park.  Here you will find a walking path that clings to the cliffs and provides amazing views of the coves below.

Shaws Cove in North Laguna is local secret with a sandy beach, rocky cove studded with palm trees. This amazing and unique gem is a great place to swim and snorkel.   If you time it right, the palms provide a great silhouette against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean at sunset.

Treasure Island adjacent to the Montage Hotel is a winner of a beach for photography.  The cliffs have breathtaking vistas of sea caves, coves and wrap around points.  The manicured paths along the Montage also have secluded picnic tables, perfect for a sunset toast.

Other Options for Photography in Laguna Beach?

When you come to the City of Laguna Beach most people think of the coastline – but the canyons are full natural beauty.  Groves of sycamores and oaks provide a canvas of fall colors that have been painted by plein air artists for over a century.  Laguna is surrounded by a 170,000 acre wildlife corridor made up of the Laguna Beach Wilderness Park, Aliso Canyon State Park and El Morro/Crystal Cove State Park.  When you go for a hike make sure to bring your camera.  Mark likes to visit the waterfall at Big Bend, just below the Telonics hiking trail, as it creates a backdrop for wildlife including coyote and deer.

Laguna Beach Photographer Mark SandersonMark Sanderson has lived in Laguna Beach, California for over 30 years. He has been captivated by the ocean and the vibrant colors that nature has to offer. His passion is to capture the color he perceives in photographic form. To achieve this intensity, he spends hours at his chosen location, shooting several exposures  from daylight to sundown; expertly combining these exposures to create his vision.  His work can be seen at The Sawdust Art Festival and other art shows in the area.  Mark is also a member of the Laguna Craft Guild – where you can visit him on the cobble stone pavillion next to the Famous Laguna Beach Lifeguard Tower.  To see more of his work, please visit

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