Favorites from my 2018 wedding season!
It’s no surprise that San Francisco is absolutely boiling over in amazing portrait locations. From architecture to views to beautiful street scenes, there is something for absolutely every client. So how do you narrow it down?
Below I have compiled a list of some of my favorites. However, let me open by saying that my favorite locations are ALWAYS new locations! Have a favorite neighborhood to stroll around? A cool building that you read about online? A tip from a friend? Let’s incorporate that into the more classic views of the city.
This area has one of my favorite combinations of cool art & architecture, open urban spaces, and epic sunsets over the water. It’s iconic without being too literal, and the light bouncing around is always incredible. Plus, it’s right off BART!
I have always preferred Bernal Heights to Twin Peaks. The views are incredible and it’s usually much emptier! As an added bonus it’s also an off-leash dog area. In classic San Francisco style it’s gorgeous on both sunny and overcast days.
Golden Gate Park
This park is huge and I’m only including a few parts of it below. You could spend hours getting lost in the interiors! First off, the DeYoung museum, with gorgeous grounds and some amazing free photo locations.
The Conservatory of Flowers is nearby and is one of San Francisco’s most gorgeous buildings. The exterior is beautiful and free; you can also pay admission and take photos inside! Be warned, your photographer might need five minutes for her lenses to de-fog once we get into the really humid rooms.
Lands End / Ocean Beach
This part of the city is so good that I had to break it down into a bunch of categories! Beach, trees, ruins, architecture, sunsets, and even a cave. First up is the classic Sutro Baths location, which can get crowded on weekends but can also be almost private on weekdays and off-hours.
Lands End lies just above Sutro Baths and is usually part of the same shoot. Warm light pours in through the amazing trees, and with a few minutes walk there’s also a view of the Golden Gate Bridge!
The Cliff House sits just above Ocean Beach. Both locations have that beautiful neutral tonality and can look so different depending on the day’s weather. Stick with the clean concrete look of the Cliff House for a classier feel, or get your feet wet in the water down below.
You can also rent a paddle boat or canoe on Stow Lake! Photos from both inside and outside the boat are so fun.
Most San Francisco residents have their favorite spots around town, and so many of those are in the Mission district. From murals to cool businesses to city streets, there are always a ton of photo spots (and local characters).
Marina & Presidio
Between the Golden Gate Bridge and the Embarcadero is a great historic coastal part of town. Fort Point sits below the bridge and offers stunning views, crashing waves, and a cool old building to explore when open. Fort Mason boasts great trees and hills with walking paths for those romantic strolls.
Chrissy Field is near Fort Point and is a combination of great grass and scenic beach. While not your classic sprawling beach, the views can’t be beat.
The Presidio is a big area ranging from Lovers Lane and Andy Goldsworthy’s Wood Line to historic white buildings, a great lawn, and lots of paths to wander down. A shoot can encompass all of these areas or focus on a favorite spot or two, all while being close to tons of other great SF locations.
The Palace of Fine Arts
With stunning architecture and bouncing light, the Palace of Fine Arts is an often-requested spot. It’s often crowded on nice days and weekends (plus they have events in the rotunda!) so it can be hard to find a secluded spot, but the resulting photos are gorgeous. There is also a great park across the street, near the beach.
Home & Local Favorites
Shoot at home, you friend's home, your airbnb, a favorite local bar -- intimate personal locations are always my favorites! Swing an idea by me and I’ll most likely say yes. Even if you think your home is small, I bet we can find some gorgeous light in there, and the photos will be wonderfully personal.
Take it to the streets
And now for my favorite location: the many streets of San Francisco! Even without a predetermined destination I can always find great light, shapes, and backdrops for gorgeous and unique portraits. Different neighborhoods bring different vibes (and snacks) and I always love to help find the perfect spot.
To keep this post slightly less long, here are a few bonus spots that didn’t quite make the multi-image cut!
In order: Treasure Island, The Exploratorium, Legion of Honor, SF Moma, The Mint, and every single park.
Ali & Kieran have been together forever. They're high school sweethearts from Canada, currently living in San Francisco, and decided that an intimate courthouse wedding here along with a party back home was the way to go. Their style was classic elegance, and while I don't normally deliver too many black & whites, they requested extras and I'm so glad they did! Below are a few of my favorite b&w edits followed by color coverage of their beautiful hour at City Hall.
And now for my usual color coverage!
I've lived in the East Bay for 7+ years now and am always so thrilled when I get to photograph near home. Not only is the commute easy, but the places are warm and familiar, and this area has some incredible spots. Tilden Park has an infinite number of different backdrops and trails, and is perfect for an exploratory-style engagement shoot. The sunset was foggy and chilly, but what else can you really expect from a Bay Area summer?
Sally and Matt were total champs, exploring with me and giggling the ENTIRE time. They kept each other warm and were nothing but a constant pleasure to photograph and hang out with. I even brought them to my own wedding site within the park!
I have known Kelsey since 2009 when I temporarily moved to the Bay Area from Boston for an internship. Unsurprisingly I made my way back after college, and the friendships also lasted! I didn't know Nick well before our shoot but warmed to him immediately, and their compatibility was palpable. We cruised around the Marin Headlands, drove up Mount Tam (where we braved some very cold wind) and ended up in Mill Valley for my favorite dinner, Sol Food. This shoot was the perfect combo of loving and snarky -- exactly my style.
Alyssa and Jordan had one of those classic winery weddings that sticks with a lot of traditions but still has its own unique soul. This wedding was a perfect mix of planning and whimsy, from the beautifully curated tables to the impromptu shadow play with guests and umbrellas. Also I could probably have shot the entire wedding in that cute little airstream!
This gallery is completely full of smiles and makes me so happy to see. I'm so grateful to live near wine country and photograph beautiful weddings on perfect summer days.
Thank you to Amy Kaneko of Posh+Folk for the flawless planning and execution!