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The Need-To-Knows About Photography at Pasadena City Hall

Updated: Mar 14

Where is Pasadena City Hall?

100 Garfield Ave

Pasadena, CA 91101

Why is Pasadena City Hall such a popular place for photos?

Pasadena City Hall is the historic city hall of Pasadena, California.

Completed in 1927, it features both Mediterranean and Spanish style architecture.

The beautiful architecture, archways, large courtyard, stone-carved water fountain and multiple stairways make excellent photo backdrops to your wedding or portrait session. The light walls bring a gorgeous, bright aesthetic to your photos, making it popular with many local photographers.

Do I need a permit to take photos at Pasadena City Hall?

As of right now, you do not need a permit on Saturdays and Sundays for non-commercial photography at Pasadena City Hall.

From Mondays to Fridays a permit is currently recommended for full access of all the good photo spots at Pasadena City Hall, this will prevent being stopped from a groundskeeper (just a heads up!), but the outside of the premises are still accessible for photos.

A permit for wedding photos or portrait sessions will cost around $60 and I would strongly recommend this additional cost for a midweek photoshoot, as the weekends tend to get quite busy.

Please keep in mind, these rules are subject to change at any time. For the latest permit information, I always recommend reaching out to Pasadena City Hall. I can help with this! Contact me HERE!

Can you get married at Pasadena City Hall?

If you are looking to have your wedding at Pasadena City Hall, a reservation is needed to have a ceremony on the property. A reservation can be made through Pasadena City Hall. This reservation fee is currently $700.

PLEASE NOTE: Pasadena City hall doesn't require the $700 fee if you'd just like to take wedding photos at Pasadena City Hall. This fee is for a wedding ceremony.

When is the best day to take photos at Pasadena City Hall?

Weekends are usually busy at City Hall with several wedding parties, quinceañera celebrations or engagement photo sessions using the location for portraits. This is because no permit is required to take photos at the weekend. However, I always find other photographers are respectful of sharing the space, giving everyone a chance to get their photos. Mid-week tends to be much quieter at Pasadena City Hall - a permit for full access is recommended.

When is the best time of day to take photos at Pasadena City Hall?

For Great Lighting...

The best time to take photos at Pasadena City Hall has to be the hour before sunset a.k.a the golden hour!

Please keep in mind that Pasadena City Hall is surrounded by buildings, so a lot of the light is blocked and can become shaded a little earlier. Make sure you allow enough time for your portraits!

For Less People...

There will be much fewer people and a beautiful morning light earlier in the day. For best results, I recommend taking photos before 9:30am at Pasadena City Hall.

After 10am the sun will be brighter and more harsh. The middle of the day can make stronger shadows, if this is what you prefer, but the harsh shadows can cause squinting, and less well-lit background options.

Is there parking at Pasadena City Hall?

City hall is easy to access from both sides of the building and there is plenty of street parking available. There are parking meters on the street and an hourly parking fee of $1.25/hr, for up to 2 hours.

How much is a photo session at Pasadena City Hall?

You can find a variety of photographers and price ranges for your photo shoot at Pasadena City Hall. I offer an hourly photo session and can always combine a Pasadena City Hall photoshoot in your wedding day package. For availability and prices, just shoot me a message....


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