El Matador Beach Photoshoot

maternity photoshoot of husband and wife expecting their first baby photographed for an el matador beach photoshoot

Malibu beaches in California are a popular destination for a family or maternity photoshoot, especially an El Matador beach photoshoot. This picturesque location boasts stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, unique rock formations, and a rugged and natural beauty that makes it the perfect backdrop for a memorable beach photoshoot. 

Here is some information to help you enjoy your family or maternity photoshoot at El Matador Beach:

El Matador Beach Photoshoot


El Matador Beach is located on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, about 10 miles northwest of Santa Monica. The beach is accessible via a steep and winding staircase that leads down from the parking lot.  El Matador Beach is located at: 32215 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265.

maternity photoshoot of husband and wife expecting their first baby photographed for an el matador beach photoshoot


There is a parking lot near the beach that costs $8 per vehicle. However, parking can fill up quickly on weekends and holidays, so it’s recommended to arrive early. Alternatively, you can park along the Pacific Coast Highway and walk down to the beach, just be sure to read all parking signs as they do change as you go along PCH. 


The best time for an El Matador Beach photoshoot is during golden hour, which is the hour before sunset or the hour after sunrise. This is when the light is soft and warm, and the colors of the sky and ocean are especially beautiful. However, it’s important to check the weather and tide conditions before scheduling a shoot. High tide can make some parts of the beach inaccessible, so it’s best to plan around the tides unless you want to be very wet for the entire session. 

maternity photoshoot of mom to be - El Matador Beach Photoshoot


El Matador Beach has a rugged and natural beauty, so it’s recommended to wear comfortable and soft flowing clothing to complement the surroundings and bring the overall look together. Flowy dresses, beachy outfits, and light-colored clothing (white/cream/beige and pastel colors) tend to work well for photoshoots at this location. For a family photoshoot, I recommend coordinating outfits among family members to create a cohesive look, similar style and color palette will make everything come together perfectly.  For shoes at El Matador Beach, I recommend bare feet.  In a family or maternity photoshoot with me, we’ll walk along the sand, kick the water and have fun.  More on clothing and style for photoshoots in a later blog post!


Depending on the type of photoshoot you’re doing, you may want to bring props such as blankets (I often bring a blanket along to my sessions for clients to sit on and sometimes use to play with the children and capture those gorgeous smiles), or you could even bring a picnic basket for a fun and relaxed shoot. For a maternity photoshoot, consider bringing props that are personal to you to highlight the pregnancy, such as a sonogram photo or tiny little baby shoes or bodysuit


A permit is not required for personal photography shoots, but for commercial and professional shoots a permit is required and may incur an additional fee. 

Other tips

El Matador Beach is a public beach, so it can get crowded at times and there is also a steep staircase from the parking lot down to the beach so it is definitely something to consider when planning if an El Matador Beach photoshoot would be right location for you and your family.

Additionally, the beach has some unique rock formations that can make for beautiful and interesting photos.  If you’d like to chat more about a beach photoshoot with me or a photoshoot other locations in Los Angeles, just send me a message and I’ll get right back to you!

high school senior photographed at El Matador beach while sitting on a rock

El Matador Beach Photoshoot

Click here to check out my blog post on 11 Diaper Bag Essentials for moms in Los Angeles.

Check out my post about the best ice cream places to take your kids in Los Angeles.

And here you can read my blog on Beach Photoshoot Outfit Ideas

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