High-Fashion Engagement: Pasadena City Hall Photos with an Editorial Twist

I’ve got a secret.

Okay, it’s not so secret if you’re familiar with the Southern Californian landscape. But prepare to be dazzled, nonetheless. Pasadena City Hall is one of my all-time favorite places to photograph editorial engagements and elopement sessions. PCH is not your ordinary, bland City Hall with boring brick walls. Its architectural beauty is second only to the Santa Barbara Courthouse in my book. Plus, it’s just 20 minutes from DTLA and close to many other fabulous locations.

Pasadena City Hall is an architectural gem and a photographer’s dream. Its backdrops add a luxe, high-fashion feel to engagement photos, making it THE location for couples wanting to take their engagement portraits up a notch.

High-end? Editorial? Yes, and yes!

Jasmin and Jonathon initially inquired with me about photographing their wedding in Chicago (we are both from there and new LA residents). However, I was already booked for their wedding date, and we were SO bummed. But, we were still able to create these jaw-dropping engagement photos here in LA. We were leaning into the editorial feel, and they BROUGHT it with their coordinating outfits. (I am not surprised because these two are so stylish.) I love a fashion-forward moment and couples that run with my guidance for editorial compositions. 

Location is everything to achieve and elevate a specific photography style. It sets the stage for the overall aesthetic and provides the fundamental components for our compositions. Pasadena City Hall is perfect for chic, trendy fashion photoshoots and dreamy, romantic elopements. It all just depends on the vibe you are going for, and this venue is exceptionally versatile.

Pasadena City Hall Architectural Elements

Pasadena City Hall is more than just a building—it’s a canvas! PCH is bursting with architectural elements—ornate archways, sweeping staircases, breathtaking domes—all just waiting to be incorporated into your photo composition. The grandeur of the Spanish Colonial Revival-style building, adorned with exquisite details, offers a romantic and sophisticated ambiance that will take your engagement photos to a new level. Accented with intricate carvings, lush gardens, and tranquil courtyards, Pasadena City Hall provides endless possibilities for creating eye-catching pictures.

So, how do you get that high-fashion, editorial look?

First, let’s talk outfits. Lean into the high-fashion theme and embrace it: long, flowy dresses, chic multi-piece outfits, bold suits, and trendy accessories. I love this monochromatic look that Jasmin and Jonathon have going on. (Here’s a softer, pink and dreamy monochromatic take: “How to Style Your Engagement Photos.”) The more dramatic, the better! The elaborate architectural features of Pasadena City Hall, such as the staircase, fountain, dome, and iron railings, help to complement these styles further.

Next, let’s talk poses. 

High-fashion outfits give main character energy. That means it’s time to strike a pose (but nothing cheesy). We’ll go beyond your standard couple shots. Don’t be afraid to get creative and be bold with me to compose Vogue-worthy portraits. The most natural way to do that is to use the architectural elements. Lean against the archways. Dramatically walk up the staircase. Reach out and gently touch your partner’s face as sunlight creates a silhouette of your profile. Gaze out at the sun sinking below the horizon. 

Think: dramatic, vibrant, powerful—these should be your guiding words.

What about the photography? 

I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve, too. I was born with a camera in my hand, and I appreciate new digital styles as well as nostalgic film and flash photography. Here’s where we mix the new with the old. Film photography is not outdated; it’s vintage yet timeless. You’ll love these images as much twenty years from now as you do today.

Film photography brings out the soft, romantic side of the high-fashion look. It captures the rich textures of the building and the subtle nuances of the light while adding character, depth, and emotion. I know these editorial Pasadena City Hall photos will always be some of my favorites.

Now, let’s add some spice.

Props. Consider bringing a little something extra that’s trendy and stylish but not over-the-top. Something that pops: A vintage camera. A stylish hat. A vibrant umbrella. Chic shades. Choose something that complements your outfits, style, and story.

Remember, these photos are about YOU—your love, journey, and commitment. The props should enhance your story, not overshadow it. They’re the cherry on top and the finishing touch.

Editorial, High-Fashion LA Photo Sessions with Hanna

Loving these Pasadena City Hall photos? Think of Pasadena City Hall as the main stage to capture your story in an editorial, high-fashion style. I would love to help direct you toward magic. Remember, it’s not just an engagement shoot. It’s a fashion statement that showcases your style and personality, but more importantly, it’s a declaration of your love. This is YOUR moment.

Make it count, make it memorable, make it you.

Pasadena City Hall, California, is the ultimate engagement photo location for stylish, bold, and creative couples like you. Its rich heritage and timeless charm will make every photo a work of art. Connect with me to book your shoot, and get ready to embrace the fashion and indulge in the drama with me.

Couples, Engagement




High-Fashion Engagement: Pasadena City Hall Photos with an Editorial Twist

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