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Location, Location, Location

Great spots for taking pictures of your baby

Larissa Underwood has a knack for photographing LA babies against cool, iconic backdrops. Considering many of us are on the hunt for a holiday card photo right about now, we asked Underwood to reveal her favorite places to shoot.

La Brea Tar Pits. The trees are so interesting, and kids love having their parents seat them on the branches. Off in the corner, near the back entrance, there’s a twisty log that sits in front of some beautiful flowers, too. During the morning hours this area is so beautiful with the back-lit sunlight. And LACMA’s Urban Light Lamp Posts are right next door. A fun place for kids to run and play—and the graphic lines of the light posts really makes for creative images. A game of hide and seek here is a great way to get smiles and laughs out of toddlers. tarpits.org

Will Rogers Beach. The rock jetty is a great place for family portraits, especially when the tide is high and waves crash up in the background. I also love to take photos of children under the lifeguard tower, on the ramp, sitting with their legs hanging over the edge. Kites and beach toys make for great props, too. beaches.lacounty.gov

Will Rogers Memorial Park. The fountain at this Beverly Hills park sprays high into the sky, and there are often ducks in the center. I really like the long, flower-lined walkway, shooting around the fountain, under a tree in the shade, and on the many park benches around the outside of the fountain. beverlyhills.org

Greystone Mansion. A permit is required for professional photography at this historical property in Beverly Hills, but personal photos are welcome. This is a great place to shoot kids who are walking, as the landscaping is breathtaking. There are lots of grassy areas, plus fountains, gardens, and walkways. My favorite spots include the fountain at the entrance, the rounded stairway behind the fountain, and the long narrow lawn, lined with trees and fountains. beverlyhills.org

UCLA Campus. I like shooting on the grounds near the Wyton Drive entrance of the campus. One great autumn shot is kids playing in the fallen leaves on Dickson Court. Or try shooting by Royce Hall, with its long hallway and archways lining one side. Kids or families can sit in front of an archway. The inverted fountain on campus also makes for an interesting backdrop. ucla.edu

Santa Monica Pier. From the carousel to cotton candy, this is obviously a colorful setting. I like shooting on the backside of the pier (the left side if you are facing the ocean), where it is less crowded. There are benches as you walk further down the walkway and a cool blue wall. And of course you can always get great shots against the pillars and crashing waves under the pier. santamonicapier.org