The Best Photography Destinations in San Francisco
We have discussed some of the best places for wedding photography inside of city hall, now let's talk about the rest of San Francisco as a great place for pictures. After your San Francisco city hall ceremony, we will take you on a tour of the building to photograph you and your new spouse. Many of our city hall customers want more photos and ask us to take them to other locations around San Francisco. By booking either of our San Francisco Photo Tours including the "San Francisco Romance" or "Enchantment" Packages, we will escort you to other destinations in the city for photos. There are so many wonderful places within San Francisco for wedding photography. Let's explore below some of the best locations to go for romantic wedding photography in the city by the bay.
The Palace of Fine Arts - One of the more famous wedding photo spots in San Francisco. A beautiful place for pictures, good parking mid-week, and easily accessible. The only downside is that there are always people around and they could be in the background of some photos. Gorgeous architecture and wonderful colors set the Palace of Fine Arts apart from other famous SF locations. Some people will tell you that the architecture is reminiscent of San Francisco city hall. While there are some similarities, for the most part they each have their own unique personalities. Crissy Field is just across the street with great San Francisco views and easy beach access. The Golden Gate Bridge can also be seen from the Crissy Field vantage point with some unique angles to take advantage of. All in all, the iconic Palace of Fine Arts continues to be one of our SF city hall newlyweds favorite wedding photography locations. It is also conveniently located adjacent to other San Francisco landmarks. This makes it a good combination if you decide on one of our multiple location packages. The only downside to this location is that there are no public restrooms unless you are willing to cross the street over to the Crissy Field location. This is the preferred destination for many of San Francisco's leading wedding photographers, so it must be good! We often see San Francisco city hall brides and grooms here taking their own photos with their wedding photographers.
The Golden Gate Bridge - Probably our most frequently requested photo location after SF City Hall weddings. It can be approached from many angles and is THE iconic San Francisco photograph. If it's a foggy day, it becomes nearly invisible. We always recommend alternative locations just in case or we will take you closer if possible. It also might be a little chilly and windy so be prepared! We can get nice shots of the bridge from Crissy Field, Fort Point, Lands End, Baker Beach and the Legion of Honor. We can also take you to Sausalito for a unique angle. On a foggy day, Fort Point is probably the best bet to get a good look at the bridge since you are practically underneath it! In addition, the fog usually comes in from the west so this means that you might have it in the background, but still see the bridge. From the ocean side, heavy fog makes it a tough picture to obtain. Just recently we went to Baker Beach and could not even see any of the bridge. We still were able to get some great shots of the couple by the ocean. If you are willing, we highly recommend taking pictures by the bridge even with the fog rolled in. It makes the wedding pictures more authentically San Francisco! You just got married at San Francisco city hall after all! It is not at all uncommon to see other wedding photographers taking some of the same pictures we do at the Golden Gate Bridge. It is a very popular spot and not to be missed.
The Legion of Honor - It's a bit of a drive to reach this fantastic photo location, but well worth it. The light here is always great for photos and it's a nice place if the weather is bad. You can even see the Golden Gate Bridge from here! If it rains on your wedding day, this is the place to go to because there is some shelter provided from both the wind and dampness. There are also some nice natural outdoor locations nearby. Note: Our Golden Gate Package includes 1 San Francisco location, if you choose the Legion of Honor, we will also take some photos with the bridge in the background. 2 locations for the price of 1! It is closed on Monday and after 5:15 pm on other days. Parking is almost always available which also makes this a convenient destination. A perfect place to go after we complete your San Francisco city hall wedding photography session.
The Japanese Tea Gardens - Another beautiful photo spot in San Francisco. Parking is tough and be prepared for a good walk! There will be lots of people in the background, but it's possible to avoid them by visiting certain areas of the garden and we know where these beautiful locations are. The Tea Gardens are in Golden Gate park - another nice photo location. Plan on making this a large part of your day. It's not something that can be done quickly, but wedding photography here can be absolutely incredible. There is a reason that people come to the Japanese Tea Gardens from all over the world. San Francisco wedding photographers also love to come here and so you will see other brides and grooms roaming around. Make this one of your destinations after your San Francisco city hall wedding. Your will not regret it!
Ghirardelli Square - We love taking people here because there is so much going on. It's a great location for San Francisco Street Photography and the perfect place to get a Cable Car Shot! This is because the Cable Cars line up here to enter the Hyde Street turnaround so most of the conductors will allow the newlyweds to quickly board the Trolley for wedding pictures. It is amazing what can be achieved when you have a dressed-up bride. It seems that everyone is happy to accommodate us if we have a bride in tow. Ghirardelli Square is also home to a multitude of fun bars and restaurants to visit. Many of our clients like a photo with the famous Ghirardelli sign in the background. We often end our shoots here by taking the couple to the famous Buena Vista Café. The Irish Coffee is on us! Be prepared to be loudly cheered by the patrons as you walk in the door! Another great destination to visit after completing your San Francisco city hall wedding ceremony.
Twin Peaks Lookout Point - Without a doubt, the overall best view of The City. There may be some more spectacular individual views, but if you want to see the whole city and how it interacts with the water and the bridges, this is the place to be. You can capture a near panoramic view of San Francisco from up here. Parking can be difficult and don't bother if it's foggy or really windy. The views are still great if it is windy, but it can be very difficult to capture great wedding photography images with this type of weather. Parking restrictions recently added has made access a little tougher, but we can still manage. It is a bit of a drive from San Francisco city hall, but well worth it! We will just need to allow enough time to get there and back. I think the best way to get to Twin Peaks for wedding photography is by Uber.
Bakers Beach - This location has experienced somewhat of a resurgence since the reopening of San Francisco city hall. We have found ourselves going here as much or even more than The Palace of Fine Arts. I think part of the reason for this is the fact that people are being a little more careful about choosing San Francisco landmarks that are touristy and crowded. I assume this is a by-product of the still simmering Pandemic. Baker Beach is a lovely spot for a couple of reasons. First, it offers one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge. On a clear day, it almost seems like you can reach out and touch it. Also, for those who love the ocean, this is an especially picturesque beach with smaller crowds. A great photo spot no matter what direction we point our cameras. As a bonus there are also some backwoods areas that we sometimes take our newlyweds for pictures. This beautiful location is just minutes from the beach and offers an alternative to strictly taking ocean view photos.
Lands End Trail - One of our favorite spots to take our San Francisco city hall brides and grooms is the trailhead at Lands End. The start of this trail can be picked up just south of the Lincoln Park Golf Course 17th hole. For those couples who want a more natural setting, this is the place to go! Plus you receive the added bonus of a great angle of the Golden Gate Bridge. We can walk you a little way down the trail and get some nice rustic photography with trees and flowers in the background. The bridge is a bit far off, but if it is a clear day shows up nicely. We often see other wedding photographers at Lands End and it is a favorite place for many.
Sutro Baths - One of San Francisco's famous historical destinations, the baths actually no longer exist, but the ruins remain. Located right on the ocean, Sutro Baths can be a spectacular place for wedding photography. Just make sure you are OK with climbing lots of stairs and are not afraid of heights! There are some narrow walkways with a pretty sharp drop off. It is not that far up, but you could still get injured if not careful. As long as you have good balance, this should not be a problem. Another favorite place to take our San Francisco city hall newlyweds. Please allow some extra time because the drive out to Sutro Baths is pretty far. If you booked one of our San Francisco photography tours, we suggest pairing the Baths with The Legion of Honor or Baker Beach. Both of these popular destinations are on the same side of San Francisco. To learn more information about the history of Sutro Baths, click the link.
North Beach - Not truly and beach but a fun place to take our San Francisco city hall wedding couples for pictures. What makes North Beach so special? I think it is just the fact that there is lots of iconic restaurants and bars to use for back drops and walking shots. Even stepping into a bar briefly can be a fun way to get some nice wedding pictures. In addition, you have the beautiful and fairly large Washington Square park with trees and grass. I really enjoy bringing my newlyweds here for pictures after San Francisco city hall and allowing them to just roam free.
Additional Locations - More location suggestions coming soon! To see some additional sample photos of our discounted San Francisco Tour packages check out this page.