Most Popular Locations for Family Photos in San Luis Obispo

Since moving to San Luis Obispo (SLO) 3 years ago I’ve spent hours exploring the best locations for family photos. As a mom of a young kid, I gravitate towards locations that are easy and kid friendly for families. I want to share with you some of the most popular locations in San Luis Obispo that I’ve found and have already visited multiple times.

1. Monarch Butterfly Grove

The Pismo Monarch Butterfly Grove is one of the most versatile locations for photographing families in San Luis Obispo County. The Monarch Grove is located on the Southern end of Pismo Beach near Oceano Dunes and the North Beach Campground. Every year between October and February thousands of black and orange monarch butterflies makes their way to the eucalyptus trees at the Grove. This location is kid friendly and one of the most picturesque places in SLO.

2. Avila Beach

Avila Beach is a small coastal beach town located just off Highway 1 on California’s central coast.  Temperatures in Avila Beach vary somewhat. Fall daily highs average about 70° which is very comfortable for evening photo sessions. The picturesque wooden Avila Pier serves as a beautiful backdrop for family photo sessions. Near the beach are shops, restaurants, and wine tasting rooms which could also be used in photography sessions to add some variety.

3. Los Osos Oaks State Reserve

Los Osos State Natural Reserve has the most beautiful live oak trees. The oaks have broad sprawling limbs decorated by lace lichens. The mossy growths hang from the trees adding so much charm to the forest like area.

Finally, one of the best spots for family photos is in your own backyard. I have photographed multiple families in their very own backyard. If your kids are really little or you have a big family and don’t feel like leaving your house, we can do a session at your home.

If you are interested in booking a session, visit Rosa Clark Photography. I would be more than happy to explore many more options and locations with you.

This month I have also joined a wonderful group of photographers for a blog circle. I want to introduce you to Michele Quattrin who is a Minneapolis Studio Photographer. Michele wrote a blog post about a family studio session. Please make sure to check out her blog. It has a lot of great information.

Family Photography

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September 16, 2020



  1. Annika says:

    You really do have some stunning locations to choose from! Beautiful images!

  2. Fantastic post and photos!!

  3. Love all of these locations Rosa!!! Beautiful pictures!

  4. What great locations to choose from.

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