Los Angeles

Tips for Photographing Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

There are many different opinions as to how best to photograph the Santa Monica Pier.  First, one must decide what time of day is best.   Lighting is always an important factor as well although many photographers have fallen in love with the sunset at Santa Monica Pier.  One photographer, Mozes Victor Konig said:

“I think if I ever manage to go to Santa Monica Pier I would have to go for the sunset.  I know that famous photographer Alfred Stieglitz said: ‘wherever there is light, one can photograph but I’m not convinced it needs to be so brightly lit.  There is still something so spectacular about photos I have seen of the Pier when the sun is setting.”

Given that the Pier is open 24/7, 365 days a year there are no real time restrictions. However, depending on exactly what you want to capture, time and lighting do make a difference.  At certain times of the day one can observe (and photograph – Instagram if you so choose) all sorts of artists and street performers.  People like to bring their dogs for a stroll too and that can create a beautiful shot on the pier.

And of course one cannot forget about the fishing images at Santa Monica Pier.  As Ted Hughes once said: 

“Fishing provides that connection with the whole living world. It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way. A form of meditation, some form of communion with levels of yourself that are deeper than the ordinary self.”

Perhaps Hughes was simultaneously talking about photographing the Santa Monica Pier….


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)gowanuslounge.com.