Big Sur Garrapata State Park Family Photos with a dog and newborn

Brock & Danielle in Big Sur California

Big Sur Family Photos in January? Heck yes. One of my absolute favorite couples ever came to California for a work trip… and asked me if I was free to take some family photos in Big Sur California for them. You may remember Brock and Danielle from their engagement session in the Sawtooths of Idaho. I have been lucky enough to document all their biggest milestones from their engagement photos, to their wedding, and now first family photos as a family of 4. Due to the pandemic, taking newborn photos indoors takes more precautions than they used to. I have gotten asked so many times if taking newborn photos outdoors is an option. And I’m here to tell you… yes it is! And in a gorgeous location like Big Sur, you can’t go wrong!

Oh, Big Sur. One of my favorite things about the last few months while spending my off season in California has been the drives I’ve taken through Big Sur. I had never been to Big Sur prior to October of 2021. Never. And then on a whim, I decided to spend my winter here. On stressful days, I started taking long drives along the coastline. I used to think I’d love to move to Seattle or Portland to live close to water… but there is something so magical about Big Sur.

The colors are so vibrant here. It’s crazy because when you drive even twenty minutes north towards Santa Cruz, you lose the rich aqua and teal tones the ocean in Big Sur has. The combination of the vibrant blue ocean and warm golden hour glow at sunset is unfathomable. It’s hard to capture in just a photo. I was so excited to document some family memories here for Brock and Danielle!

We met up in Carmel-By-The-Sea and drove to one of my favorite locations. Garrapata State Park in Big Sur is a perfect location for family photos in Big Sur. It’s only a 15 minute drive from Monterey. It’s easy to get to and has so many amazing trails and spots to shoot. With a newborn and a dog with us, I wanted to keep things simple and find a spot where we didn’t have to hike far. This little spot was a location I had scouted a few months back. I like to come here with a bottle of wine and a picnic because it’s so accessible. It’s also located off a random pull off on the side of the road, completely unmarked. So you only know about it if you know where to look 😉

Just a reminder: Garrapata State Park DOES require a permit for shooting elopements & weddings or commercial shoots! Make sure you do your homework when you take Big Sur family photos!

Taking Big Sur Family Photos was an absolute dream come true. Miraculously, sweet Lou Lou didn’t cry once the entire time. We were able to shoot for a full hour. It’s always important to me to document photos of each parent with their baby alone. We were able to get a variety of photos of everyone taking turns with Lou. Even their dog Wally got a chance to get some kisses in there 😉

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Do you love these Big Sur family photos? Check out these fall Sawtooth family photos in Idaho! And if you love Wally, check out this fall couples’ session with their dogs!

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