After living in LA for almost 5 years, I've been to my fair share of beaches for photoshoots.
I often get asked for the best beach locations I've ever shot at. Most photographers that answer this question have a way more elaborate location than I do. They usually consist of hiking down some un-marked trail, to some old stairs, hoping and praying you don't slip and die off of an ocean side cliff. Me, however, I appreciate a good happy hour post shoot. (and the least amount of cardio possible...)
Which leads to my favorite location...The Manhattan Beach Pier!!
This might sound extremely basic, but you clearly haven't done your research on LA piers if that's the case. Santa Monica is dark and filled with pigeons since it has to support the CIRCUS on top of it. Venice is VASTLY overpopulated and fairly low in clearance. I could keep going but I'll spare you from my pier rants...
Due to the height and length of the Manhattan Beach Pier, it catches sun underneath it's beams, and creates a GORGEOUS glow affect in pictures. I constantly get asked what I did when editing to make it look so glowy...I wish I could take credit for it. In actuality, it really is just that pretty!
Not to mention, Manhattan Beach is an adorable town with lots of fun restaurants and happy hour spots! If you're ever in LA, I would 10/10 recommend a day trip to visit it!
Here's some of my favorite shoots from under the pier!