It seems like everyone is trying to find the most “instaworthy” pictures these days. Even retail stores, restaurants, and museums are creating instagram worthy locations to capture and attract more businesses. If you’re visiting the LA or OC area, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. So, I gathered a list of my 10 Best Hidden Instagram Worthy Locations in the LA and OC area that are completely FREE!
1. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
This blush tone temple looks like it’s something out of a storybook. Upon entering, you’ll notice the amazing detail of the wood and marble work on the walls, doors, and floors. I found out later that the intricate design of the structure took them 1.3 million man hours to build it and built to last 1000 years! It’s definitely one of those breathtaking places that look better in person than in pictures. Since it’s a place of worship, there are a few rules like taking your shoes off and no photography inside the temple. Otherwise, you’re welcome to take as many pictures as you want of the exterior of the temple. It’s definitely worth a visit!
Location: 15100 Fairfield Ranch Rd, Chino Hills, CA 91709
2. Greystone Mansion & Park
This hidden gem tucked away in Beverly Hills oversees the entire downtown. The mansion is covered in lush and well-maintained gardens and koi ponds, serving as a great backdrop for all your instagram worthy pictures. The best part is it’s rarely crowded even on the weekends!
Location: 905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
3. Barnsdall Art Park
The art park has stunning views of East Hollywood. It also hosts the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery which is where I took the neon light picture shown above. Inside the park, it has the Hollyhock house which features stunning architecture that makes it another great photo opportunity!
Location: 4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
4. Travel Town Museum
This place is absolutely adorable and great for photoshoots. There’s an array of vintage trains here so there is a ton of options for you to choose. Jump aboard on a train and strike your best pose!
Location: 5200 Zoo Dr Los Angeles, CA 90027
5. Arts District Murals
Maybe it’s just me but I rarely see these murals on Instagram so I’m including it as one of the hidden instagram worthy locations on this list. These murals are tucked away in a small street of the Arts District in DTLA. There’s 4 of them to be exact but my favorite is the LA Hearts, Ain’t Easy, and the Black and White mural which is around the corner of these murals next to the R + D Museum.
Location: E 4th St, Los Angeles, CA
6. Row DTLA
I actually discovered the Row DTLA through their food event that they host every Sunday called Smorgasburg which I highly recommend going. They have amazing ambience and even better food vendors. Besides food, the Row DTLA has a lot to offer including industrial buildings and murals scattered throughout the grounds. If you’re looking to shoot an OOTD, this would be the spot.
Location: 777 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
7. Hsi Lai Temple
This temple is beautifully constructed and makes it feel like you’ve really been transported to China. There are a lot of photo opportunities except inside the temple which photos are not allowed. This temple is usually quite crowded on weekdays and weekends so be prepared.
Location: 3456 Glenmark Dr, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
8. The Source OC
The Source OC is a playground for photographers. It’s perfect for those who want a variety of lifestyle pictures. Towards the back of the mall, there is a few backdrops including floral walls, colorful murals, and the cityscape of Buena Park.
Location: 6940 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90621
9. Vista Hermosa Park
The LA skyscrapers behind this park is the perfect backdrop. Especially if you go before sunset, you’ll get a natural glow of the city. It’s also a great location to take your loved ones here for a romantic stroll and enjoy the scenery.
Location: 100 N Toluca St, Los Angeles, CA 90026
10. Malibu Hindu Temple
Saving the best for last is this temple hidden in the Santa Monica Hills in Calabasas. It’s a lot smaller than all the temple locations I’ve mentioned but it’s totally worth the drive. The white tiered structure of the buildings make your pictures really strikingly contrasted by the blue skies and mountains. FYI, all the temples I’ve mentioned including this one, welcome anyone, no matter your religion or beliefs. After the temple, you can always hit the road to Malibu and take some scenic beach pictures too!
Location: 1600 Las Virgenes Canyon Rd, Calabasas, CA 91302
BONUS: Photography Tips + Tricks
Disclaimer: I am not a professional photographer or model so please take my suggestions at your own will.
Through trial and error, I have found some ways that make my pictures look more flattering from a camera’s perspective. When you are getting a full body shot, I’ve noticed it’s best to take pictures from the ground level up. From my experience, the camera tends to flatten out any image. So, I try to twist my body 3/4 of the way because it adds movement making my pictures more lively. My poses are still something I’m working on but usually looking at the ground like you’re looking for something, looking over your shoulder, and pretending to fix your hair are my safe go-to poses haha. Most importantly, just have fun with it! For lighting, I always choose natural lighting. The best time to photograph for me is usually when it’s slightly cloudy and the hour before sunset. If the lighting is not prime, it’s always fixable in Photoshop or Lightroom too. Hopefully this helps!
Did you like the article? Leave me a comment below where you love to shoot instagram worthy pictures in the LA + OC area! 📸