Great Spots for Wedding and Engagement Photography in the San Francisco Bay Area

San Francisco Wedding Photographer – Great Spots for an Engagement Portrait!

There is no doubt that the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most beautiful and sought after places in the world to say I do! Brides and Grooms are ‘Spoilt for choice’ when it comes to selecting a perfect location for their Engagement Portrait! We have some of the most fabulous natural and man made beauty in the world here in the Bay. From the sweeping views of downtown San Francisco to the lush vineyards of Sonoma and Napa, the San Francisco Bay Area delivers a world class package when it comes to Wedding and Engagement Photography. One of the benefits of being a San Francisco Wedding Photographer, is that I get to photograph couples in a variety of locations with breathtaking natural beauty. I thought that this would be a good place to give you my take on all this, so here we go!

You’re Engaged!

Once you’re engaged, one of the things on your to-do list will probably be the hunt for a fabulous Wedding Photographer. One of the best, most exciting parts of Wedding Photography is shooting an Engagement Portrait! Its so much fun for the couple and the Wedding Photographer to spend an afternoon together in a relaxed atmosphere with no pressure or time constraint. One of the biggest benefits of having an engagement portrait is that it gives you the chance to get to know your Wedding Photographer – most couples that have taken an Engagement Portrait are more relaxed when taking photos on their Wedding Day as they already know how their photographer works and they feel more at ease. It’s tough having your picture taken by someone you have never met! Most of the great Wedding Photographers I know typically include an Engagement Session as part of their Wedding Packages.

So, you’re Engaged AND you’ve found that fabulous Wedding Photographer – but how to and where to take photos?! In my experience, i’ts important to head for locations that are meaningful to you, places that stir emotion and feeling between the two of you – maybe the site of that first stroll along the beach, or a first kiss, the proposal, the spot that ‘I love you’ was first uttered or a favorite place that you both go to be alone with each other. There are so many special places to take your engagement portrait! Here are a few of my favorites….

Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach

Some of the most spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge can be seen from Baker Beach. It’s like a postcard, the Marin Headlands visible to the east coupled with the rugged cliffs of Baker Beach, clean sands and the crystal blue and green Pacific Ocean surf. I love shooting here.

Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field

Photographing your Engagement Portrait from Crissy Field gives a different perspective from that of Baker Beach. Crissy Field is Bay side, south of the Golden Gate and offers sensational views of Marin County and some San Francisco landmarks, including the Palace of Fine Arts.

Sutro Baths

Sutro Baths provide a really great rustic look with beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, the Farallon Islands and the famous Cliff House.

The Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts is unique in that it offers both a refined and rustic appeal full of San Francisco character and artistic history. It really is a fabulous location – grand and glorious.

The Palace of the Legion of Honor

One of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks, the Palace of the Legion of Honor offers staggering views of the city, the pacific ocean as well as offering a plethora of wonderful locations within the grounds of the palace for beautiful pictures. the Palace of the Legion of honor is among my favorite places to photograph an engagement portrait.

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park has acres and acres – 1,017 acres of gorgeous, lush parkland to take world class engagement portraits! I have photographed many couples here. There are so many locations within the park that make for amazing pictures. Some of my favorite spots include the Botanical Gardens, The Japanese Tea Gardens, JFK Drive, The Conservatory of Flowers and Stowe Lake.

Potrero Hill

For those who love sweeping city views, Potrero hill is a fabulous location – especially on a clear day. Potrero Hill sits within one of the best micro-climates in San Francisco and the views of the City are usually unobstructed by the fog.

China Basin

On a clear, sunny day China Basin offers some of the most wonderful bayside photo opportunities. You can get close to the water with fabulous backdrops such as the world famous Giants Stadium and the Bay Bridge as backdrops. China Basin has undergone significant development in recent years. As a result, it’s a great spot for those seeking clean lines and a modern, sharp feel to their pictures

China Town

China Town is full of color and variety. I have found that this area works well for those who are looking to draw sharp contrasts between clean lines, vibrant asian colors and the bustle and grime of a working market that never sleeps. It’s a fabulous place to shoot!

University of California Berkeley

The University of California Berkeley is an absolutely wonderful location for an Engagement Portrait. With a plethora of buildings dating well over a hundred years old and all the character that comes with structures of this era the campus offers a wealth of gorgeous backdrops that are both romantic and striking.

Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley

Nestled in the Berkeley Hills high above Cal Berkeley, the Lawrence hall of Science offers some of the most breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay Area I have ever seen – pick a clear day and you’ll hardly believe the views. After photographing Fre and Al at Cal we drove up the hill to the Lawrence Hall of Science to capture the amazing view and incredible sunset. Gorgeous scenery and world class views make this a prime spot for a terrific engagement session!

The Japanese Tea Gardens – Golden Gate Park

The Japanese Tea Gardens in Golden Gate park are a tropical paradise – a garden of Eden for Wedding Photographers!! Perhaps the most difficult part of photographing a couple in the gardens is working out exactly where to photograph them – everywhere you look there are amazing spots!!