Hanna Walkowaik Photography; San Diego photographer


Moody + Romantic La Jolla Beach Engagement Photos // San Diego Photographer

No amount of rain or cloudy skies in SoCal could dampen the joy and excitement shared by these lovebirds! I was honored to photograph Mimi and Gage’s La Jolla Beach engagement session in San Diego earlier this year. La Jolla Beach, known for its fascinating caves and rugged shoreline, is often a picture-perfect location for those who want epic portraits—even in the rain!

Singing in the Rain at La Jolla Beach

The gloomy weather in SoCal at the beginning of 2023 was relentless; we just couldn’t catch a break! For Mimi and Gage, it was imperative to keep to our scheduled shoot, rain or shine. These two were set to elope in Chicago only three months later, and they wanted a chance to get in front of my camera before then. (Side note: their Chicago elopement was just incredible, so stay tuned for that later this year!)

As if on cue, it started to rain on our drive! La Jolla Beach wasn’t the original plan, but it was the better choice as it was closer to parking and our Plan B if the rain didn’t let up. Thankfully it stopped during our short walk to the beach and didn’t otherwise affect our plans. 

Let the Weather Guide Your Aesthetic

You don’t always know what Mother Nature has in store, but going with the flow instead of fighting it can lead to great results! For their La Jolla Beach engagement session, Mimi and Gage did an excellent job embracing the cold weather and moody vibe with their outfits. With these stylish, classy, cold-weather outfits, we felt transported to a quaint English beach in the spring. It was a whole vibe, and they nailed it!

Note: Embracing the weather with your wardrobe is a simple way to elevate your photos (and stay comfortable!). As a Chicago native turned California local, I’ve got plenty of experience dealing with weather of all types; I’m here to help! (I’ve even got some specific ideas outlined in this blog.

Filmy Fun at La Jolla Beach, San Diego

As I got to know Mimi and Gage, I discovered Gage was also a photographer. He has a passion for experimenting with printing and film (samesies!). I brought along some extra film and toyed with the development more than I typically would. It was such a blast! I absolutely love when couples want to add film coverage to their session or wedding day. I almost always add in a little, but some couples and sessions beg for a bit more film play. There is something so different, almost nostalgic, about the look it brings.

These two were happy to let me play around and coach them through different poses, all while staying present in each moment. That flexibility is key to making your photos look genuine (because they are!). Leave the planning and positioning to me while you just savor being fully present. (I know it’s hard to do these days, so enjoy this moment.) 

Mimi and Gage are so in love, and it is evident in how they interact with one another—there’s just that unspoken spark between them, which translated beautifully on camera. Whether running around on the beach or lying in the grass, they were simply the cutest! 

Another Location to Add to the List!

As I almost always do, I ended up falling in love with this location—and even the weather—for their beach session. I’ll be adding it to my list of gorgeous SoCal beaches for couples’ sessions! With its tidepools and rock formations, La Jolla has a unique look that offers something different from your typical sandy beach. Spacious, esthetic, and accessible, I think La Jolla would make for an epic San Diego elopement spot too!

I may be an LA gal, but I am so down to travel for your San Diego for your La Jolla Beach engagement session! These stormy-sky beach photos have me longing for more! 

I’d love to bring your vision to life and capture your one-of-a-kind love story—let’s get in touch! Need some inspiration? Follow me on Instagram @hannawalkowaik. (I do love a good mood board, too!)





Moody + Romantic La Jolla Beach Engagement Photos // San Diego Photographer

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