The Best Spots For San Francisco Engagement Photos

Two months ago, I put together a wish list of Bay Area locations for my wedding photographer.   From famous beaches to funky flower shops, this blog is a collection of my favorite photo-worthy spots in the city.  Enjoy!

Header Photo Credit:  Mirelle Carmichael

Sutro Baths

The Sutro Baths are mystical and romantic.  The crashing ocean waves and dramatic rocks are a beautiful backdrop to the ancient ruins and calm water.  Explore the ruins, climb on the rocks (watch out for waves), chase birds into the sky and end the shoot at the top of the hill.  Taking photos here will always be one of my favorite memories.

Image Source:  Victoria Heer Photography
Image Source:  Colleen Amelia Photography
Image Source:  The Goodness Photography

The Presido

Drive your photographer through the winding roads of the Presido and ask them to pull over when the trees look right.  Tall, lean trunks with greenery everywhere is the prefect backdrop for the bohemian, earthy bride. Take a walk through the forest with your partner, or bring a picnic to share.  You’ll want to spend all day in this incredible park!

Image Source: Jordan Voth via. Green Wedding Shoes
Image Source:  Jasmine Lee Photography

Cole Valley Ice Cream Bar

I fell in love with the quirkiness of Cole Valley right away.  There are so many charming and colorful shops and restaurants.  I wish we’d been able to take pictures here but it was raining the weekend of our session and taking a sidewalk stroll was out of the question.  The most photoworthy spot?  Cole Valley’s retro Ice Cream Bar.  Get dressed up and share a sundae at the cutest dessert destination in the city.  You’ll leave with a delicious treat and some super cute photos (like this cute shot by Hanh Nguyen Photography).

Flowers of the Valley in Noe Valley

This eclectic flower shop is the perfect spot for you and your partner to build a beautiful bouquet and capture the fun on camera!  You may even get some early inspiration for your wedding day florals!  This gorgeous engagement session by By Tezza is a great example of how fun a flower shop session can be!  This is only one of many amazing shops in Noe Valley.

Baker Beach

With long, sandy beaches, crashing waves and stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge this is a crowd favorite for engagement photos.  We went with our photographer in the morning and had the beach to ourselves.  It was pretty magical.  Don’t be afraid to go barefoot and even play in the ocean!  The best thing about Baker Beach is the photos turn out incredible at sunrise and sunset.  Check out two of my favorite shoots below.

Image Source:  Jasmine Lee Photography
Image Source:  Duy Ho Photography

Bernal Heights Park

If you have a pup, Bernal Heights is the perfect spot for engagement photos.  As a matter of fact, this is our chocolate lab’s favorite spot in the city.  With incredible views and steep hills, this is the perfect place for dog lovers who want a cityscape in their photos.  Let your dog romp around in the park while you go on a quest for the perfect shot!

Image Source:  Mirelle Carmichael Photography

Hard Water Whiskey Bar

With its industrial, light and modern design, Hard Water is a trendy spot for the modern bride and groom.  Even better, the bar has a unique and diverse selection of whiskey.  What a perfect way to end a sunset session and celebrate your love and upcoming wedding!  Cheers!

Image Source:  Pinterest

The Legion of Honor

The Legion of Honor is an architectural wonder.  Tall, ivory columns and long, bright hallways set up a fantastic runway for you and your partner.  Get dressed up (a colorful maxi is my favorite look at this location) and take a walk, hand in hand, through this incredible piece of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Image Source:  Sally Pinera Photography
Image Source:  Colleen Amelia Photography

Shop at the Ferry Building

I could spend every Sunday at the Ferry Building.  Inside and out, this spot is bustling with local vendors and trendy shoppers.  Grab a bite to eat on the patio at Gott’s Roadside and then head inside for a glass of wine, an olive oil tasting, sweet succulents, or all of the above!  This is such a fun way to capture you and your partner in a natural environment and you may leave with an awesome find!

Image Source:  Christine Chen Photo

Take a Neighborhood Walk

On a sunny day, walking through the neighborhoods of San Francisco is such a fun adventure.  You’re sure to find colorful victorians, lush parks, and amazing views.  For engagement photos, I’ve picked some of my favorites.

  • Pacific Heights for stunning homes.
  • Potrero Hill for jaw-dropping views.
  • Hayes Valley for awesome shopping and the well known painted ladies.

Check out these four neighborhood stroll engagement sessions that make me smile.

Image Source:  Jenn Emerling via Green Wedding Shoes
Image Source:  Artfully Wed
Image Source:  Fab You Bliss
Image Source:  The Wedding Scoop

Iconic Golden Gate

This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning San Francisco’s famous Golden Gate Bridge.  Head up to the Marin Headlands where you’ll sit atop a grassy hill with views of the bridge and city you cannot get anywhere else.  Want to get closer?  Walk (or bike) over the golden gate with your photographer and capture the towering red steel close up.

Image Source:  Kayla Yestal
Image Source:  The Wedding Scoop

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