Shooting At El Matador Beach

Oyemwen Dress

As soon as I saw this dress I knew I wanted to shoot it at El Matador Beach in Malibu. This beach is safe to say extremely popular for shoots. Every time I’ve gone here there are at least 2 other shoots happening at the same time. Regardless of its popularity though, it is very beautiful and worth shooting at. I’ve probably done 4 or 5 shoots here now and this is what I’ve learned:


  1. Go early. Not just for lighting (but also for the better lighting) but to also avoid an audience and possibly being asked not to shoot. They do have a sign that says you need a permit to shoot though I have never gotten one and have never been asked to leave, but I’ve always shot before the beach officially opened so I’m not sure how much it’s enforced. Many times if you go early the gate to the parking will be closed so you will have to park on the street which is limited parking and walk down to the water.
  2. Parking. There is a lot there and you can pay at a pay station. They take cards and I believe coins as well
  3. Bathroom. They have porter pottys by the parking you can used before going down to the beach
  4. Logistics. Once you park, there are a good amount of stairs that lead down to the beach so be mindful of what you are wearing. 9 times out of 10 its probably better to just change on the beach. There are plenty of rocks and corners you can hide behind. I would try to check the tides before leaving because if the tide is too high you won’t be able to shoot. You can wait it out but you know…lighting.
  5. Hanging out. I’ve never actually seen people hang out at El Matador beach and honestly it doesn’t seem like a relaxing beach to hang out at although I know people do. But I think this is why it’s more of a photoshoot location than a chill at the beach spot. Nevertheless they do have some picnic tables up top so you are able to hang out and chill if you choose.

If you chose to come here to shoot, you won’t be disappointed. It’s one of my favorite spots to shoot in LA.

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