There are few places in Southern California can match the stunning allure of Pasadena City Hall. Pasadena is a large city of 200,000 on the outskirts of Los Angeles, and like LA, it has a rich history that is reflected in the city's various architecture. Neatly nestled in the Old Town district of Pasadena lies City Hall, and it's the perfect spot for an engagement session.
My couple for this session just so happened to be some good friends of mine, Brandon & Brooke. You may remember them from an earlier post. They decided they wanted to recapture their engagement session after slimming down for their wedding. I was happy to oblige. In the interim between their first engagement session and now, I had reached a new level of comfort in photographing couples and was eager to incorporate the new techniques I had learned.
Pasadena City Hall was built in 1927, and given it's architecture, I'd have to assume people have been using it as a backdrop for their engagement photos ever since. The architecture is inspired by the City Beautiful movement, which was an architectural philosophy in North American that was popular in the 19th and 20th centuries. The aim of the movement was to introduce beautification and monumental grandeur in cities. The architectural style of the grand City Hall is a mixture of Mediterranean Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival styles, but it's also influenced by Renaissance Architecture.
Pasadena City Hall is a popular location for photo shoots, and every time I've visited, it's busy with other photographers and groups doing their own sessions. Despite this, everyone is polite and shares the space well, and the 170,000 Sq. Ft. City Hall itself is large enough for everyone to share peaceably.
Besides it's impressive architecture, another part of the reason why Pasadena City Hall is so popular for photographers is because of its friendly policy on photography. Though they said they were going to get tough on photographers shooting without a permit, on both weekends I have shot there, no enforcement seems to be in place. In fact, I frequently see other photographers setting up lightstands and tripods without issue as well.
One thing to know is that the area around Pasadena City Hall requires permitted parking, so you'll have to pay a few dollars an hour to safely park without getting a citation. Unlike their photography policy, this ordinance is enforced 24/7, so don't get caught violating!
If you're in need of a location full of grandeur, look no further than Pasadena City Hall. It's beautiful architecture and lax policy on photography truly makes it a fabulous spot for all genres of photography. Take a look at what we captured:
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See you in the next post,