Find the best places for Your Engagement Shoot in SF
It just happened! You’re finally engaged to the person of your dreams- your person. And you want to share it with the world! Today, I am here to give you the inside scoop on 7 perfect spots for the unique, one of a kind, engagement photos you always imagined. Whether it be a moody Northern California shoot by the ocean or the unforgettable city skyline recognized from around the world, I’ve got a spot for you! And of course, I have a couple of tips and tricks (like what to wear) to make your picture-perfect moments just as easy in real life. So, let’s go!
Description/vibe: Most known for weddings, San Francisco’s City Hall is also a fantastic choice for any couple looking for classic, timeless, engagement photos. City Hall provides vibrant photos full of natural light, intricate backgrounds, and of course, the iconic city clock.
Favorite things about it: The clock is one of my favorite places to shoot with newly engaged couples. It’s such a fun way to capture the time of the wedding for your Save the Dates! Beyond the clock, the building provides a myriad of backgrounds that are perfect for any aesthetic.
Things to remember: If you are looking to take your wedding pictures at City Hall, testing out the location beforehand is a great way to decide if the vibe is a good fit for the big day! Sometimes it may get a little crowded, so this shoot often requires a bit of patience and waiting. For some, like love- it’s worth the wait, but for others- a different place would fit their personalities just a bit better.
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Giddy with love 💕 . Seriously. I only spent a little bit of time with them while they got their marriage license from @sf.city.hall, but I don’t think they stopped smiling/laughing the entire time. The sweetest thing. Their wedding is in a little over 2 months, and I can’t wait!! . #sanfranciscophotographer #sanfranciscophotography #sfbayareaphotographer #thehappynow #engagementsession #engagementphotos #postthepeople #loveauthentic #engagementphotography #engagementphotographer #couplegoals #happilyeverafter #theknotweddings #sanfranciscoweddingphotographer #sanfranciscowedding #shesaidyes #gettinghitched #shesaidyes💍 #sanfranciscoengagement #theknotengagement #sanfranciscocityhall #sanfranciscocityhallwedding #sfcityhall #sfcityhallwedding
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Description/vibe: With the peaceful pond, stunning greenery, and the contrasting peach colors of the palace, The Palace of Fine Arts is a fairytale photoshoot in the making. This location is perfect for the lowkey couple looking for a soft, romantic feel to their engagement pictures.
Favorite things about it: With more than enough room to explore, the palace offers couples several places to stroll and dance without fear of big crowds. The abundance of neutral, earthy tones provides for a fantastic opportunity for the couple to stand out while wearing classic, bold colors. There are even giant, teal doors that give couples a little taste of a bold intricate background.
Things to remember: While the walks are leisurely, there will be a lot of it, so make sure to bring comfortable shoes. Also, note that it can get pretty crowded, especially on the weekends and when there are events. Early morning shoots tend to work best here. (This is also my go-to spot if it is raining because the arch acts as a very big/very helpful umbrella!)
Description/vibe: Baker beach is the classic coastal location with the iconic Golden Gate in the background. This beach is spacious and provides lots of room to walk and run with your loved one. Especially during sunset, this beach is ideal for any couple looking for a playful scene to capture sweet moments full of exciting love.
Favorite things about it: This beach has a unique, darker sand that offers a perfect contrast to the white waves as they creep up the shore. I love this for dark, moody sunset photos or for light airy photos on a foggy day! And of course, it is perfect for capturing the classic long, romantic walks on the beach.
Things to remember: This IS a beach so expect to get wet! With a fun, playful mood in mind, it’ll be just that- a perfect place to capture the exciting feelings of any newly engaged couple!
Description/vibe: A little higher up from the beach, Crissy Field is a perfect place to add a bit of greenery to classic coastal scenery. With intricate roots provided by age-old trees along the beach, this is a picture-perfect spot for any two love birds.
Favorite things about it: Crissy field offers structure with classic wood steps leading down to the beach along with the wild, tangled roots of the trees and a bold rock wall. Its waves are soft and easy to deal with. I love this spot for couples looking for a variety of shots from contrasting blues and greens to soft neutrals to classic beach photos.
Things to remember: Be careful in heels! There is a lot of grass, sand, and opportunities for climbing that might make a fun heel a little hard to deal with.
Description/vibe: Legion of Honor gives you everything you could ask for from stunning wooded areas to strong classic columns. This location is perfect for couples searching for a secluded area looking for some dramatic shots of a once in a lifetime love.
Favorite things about it: The light cream and natural light surrounding the building offers a simple, minimalistic background that puts all the focus on the couple. (Great for couples wearing brighter colors!)
Things to remember: Fancier outfits look the best because of the impressive white columns. Think royalty.
Description/vibe: Land’s End is just that- a fantastic taste of land meets water. This location has everything from abandoned ruins and rock formations with crashing waves to calm still waters and a long staircase leading down to the beach. Lands End is perfect for a couple who has an affinity for blues and greens and want pictures with a spirit of adventure.
Favorite things about it: The still waters around the ruins lets me capture couples and their reflections perfectly. At dusk, the way the rays of sunshine float through the tree branches is breathtaking.
Things to remember: The walk to the ruins (Sutro Baths) is pretty steep, and once you get to the Sutro Baths, it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s a pretty narrow ledge to walk surrounded by water. Definitely wear stable shoes and be ready for an adventure!
Description/vibe: The Japanese Tea Garden is the ideal location for a fun spring feel. It offers gorgeous, classic Japanese architecture mixed with still waters and beautiful blooms, everywhere. I love this location for a lowkey couple looking for a fun, lighthearted feel to their engagement photos.
Favorite things about it: The flowers, the bridge, the peaceful feel of the entire garden. This location is all about embracing the natural feel of a couple’s love in nature at its finest.
Things to remember: Lots of families like to visit. It usually isn’t an issue, but definitely something to keep in mind! Spring colored outfits work especially well here. Entrance fee: $7.00 (Residents), $9.00 (Non-Residents)
Description/vibe: Marshall’s Beach is the closest beach to Golden Gate Bridge with really cool rock formations. It offers a beautiful scene with a rocky and sandy beach.
Favorite things about it: If you love romantic views of the bridge, then you’ll love this place. Also, the hike down is just gorgeous with viewpoints along the way.
Things to remember: It’s about a 10-minute steep hike up and down, so definitely wear comfortable non-slip shoes. When it’s high tide, there is no beach, so we would have to be careful to check the tide before going. It’s also a nudist beach. I’ve never seen anyone there naked, but just a heads up… or if that’s the kind of shoot you want… 🙂
Description/vibe: The Music Concourse in SF is a perfect place if you are going for the “love in the park” feel. There are benches, trees, fountains – all the classic you will find in a quaint park. There’s also that music stage if you have any bit of performer in either of you for a chance to rock out on stage.
Favorite things about it: Love the diverse backgroudn you can get from this place. If you want a little something extra and “lifestyle”, then we can hop over to the Academy of Science or DeYoung too!
Things to remember: Although there are plenty of shade to work around during the day, we would most likely want to shoot at the golden hours (an hour within sunset or sunrise) so there are less people around and we won’t have to stick to the shaded tree areas. Similarly, we would want to go for weekdays – the weekends there can be pretty crowded!
Description/vibe: Ocean Beach gives you that classic Northern California beach vibes without the Golden Gate Bridge. You can make it as casual or romantic as you want it! The sunset just drenches you at the golden hour here, and it’s just whimsical.
Favorite things about it: Sand dunes, huge rocks, foggy misty look from the beach and fog. So magestic! Also, this is a great location to pair with Lands End so it’s close!
Things to remember: It is one of the foggier beaches in San Francisco so most likely you will get some fog in your photos – which I LOVE, but might not be for everyone.
Description/vibe: Potrero Hill will give your photos the “I’m at the top of San Francisco” look. So fancy! Also, it’s a great place to showcase the city you live in, visiting, or getting married in!
Favorite things about it: This view gives you an off-the-beaten-path view of San Francisco, that’s not the bridge.
Things to remember: The shoot itself here will be a pretty quick one – 15 min or so. We can pair it with a nearby pedestrian bridge for more urban shots, or head over somewhere with more nature!
Have your perfect location picked, but still wondering what you need to bring to be prepared for the shoot? No problem! Here are a couple things that are easy to forget, but SO necessary for an easy, issue-free engagement shoot!
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