As the sunset peaks out over the top of the hills, first-year Kallista Rodarte admires the phenomenon at Solstice Canyon. While Rodarte watched the sun from afar, she said she decided she needed to capture this memorable photo opportunity. Photo courtesy of Kallista Rodarte
In looking on Pepperdine students’ social media accounts, there seems to be so many opportunities for a perfect “photo op.” However, hunting down the ideal location isn’t always as easy as it seems.
So, where exactly can Pepperdine students capture that aesthetically pleasing photo? Whether your aesthetic is minimalistic, funky, beachy, natural or saturated, there are plenty of local spots to explore. From Ralphs Beach to Solstice Canyon, there are tons of spots to try out.
“I cherish my moments and have terrible long-term memory, so it’s the best way for me to remember and makes everyone happy to see them later on,” first-year Kallista Rodarte said. “I never knew pictures would be such a big part of my life until they were.”
First-year Catie Caine said some of the best photos are taken candidly, in the heat of a moment. Driving down PCH, going on a hike or just admiring a sunset can create the potential for a perfect picture, Caine said.
“I totally find [photo ops] as I go,” Caine said. “I’m not great at going out and planning to take pictures because I usually end up disappointed if the results don’t exactly match my expectations. I have way more fun just pulling out my phone throughout the day.”
Caine pointed out some classic spots, such as the beach or the Malibu Pier, that will make a photo encapsulate Malibu.
“I think the pier is a great place to get aesthetic pictures close to campus,” Caine said. “The water is gorgeous, and Malibu Farm has a beachy, classic feel to it that really encompasses where we live.”
Continuing with the beachy theme, a local go-to location for students is Ralphs Beach, just a few minutes from campus. The pink house students often pose in front of is just one of the many props for a cute shot.
“My current favorite spot to hang out and take photos is the little lifeguard watch stand at Ralphs Beach,” Caine said. “It’s a really soft blue color that looks amazing with the pink sunsets we get to see. My friends and I love to hang out there and take pictures until the sun goes down or bring our lunch for a makeshift picnic.”
Students can take tons of pictures while solo, but Caine said the most special pictures taken are captured with special people.
“Usually photos of myself are paired with pretty sunsets, pretty food and pretty friends,” Caine said. “I like to have things in my photos that make me smile. I am always authentically happier with food and friends around, and that is what makes the photos special.”
“I was just driving by [Alumni Park] with my friend, and we adored the sunset that day and decided to take some [pictures] there,” Rodarte said. “The courtyard by Payson was pretty much the same as Alumni. I didn’t realize how pretty it was until I was walking by with a friend and saw the tree was blooming and was like, this is totally spring.”
Whether it’s on-campus or far from campus, there is so much sublime scenery surrounding us. First-year Zoe Vaughan said that Malibu is like a movie set. Everywhere you look, there is a photo opportunity, Vaughan said.
“I think it’s important to live in the moment, and if you take pictures of these moments, they are the best pictures,” Vaughan said.
Anything can turn into that perfect photo opportunity with a bit of creativity and an in-the-moment attitude, students said.
“We live in a beautiful place,” Caine said. “My camera roll and I are so blessed by Malibu.”
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