About the City Hall Wedding Photographers

Michael and Toni have been shooting weddings at San Francisco City Hall for years with over 250 weddings beautifully photographed.  Their combined total weddings photographed is over 1,200!  What does this mean?  It means we know San Francisco City Hall like the back of our hands.  We know where to take you and the best time of the day for beautiful light and less crowds.  We can also walk you through the whole marriage check-in process and help with the selection of your ceremony location.  In short, we provide you with more than just exceptional photographs, we act as your personal city hall wedding consultants. This allows you to just relax and enjoy your special day.  We love to capture the emotion and beauty of your brief stay at San Francisco city hall.  Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life and we treat it that way.

Wedding Photography Style

Our style is easy-going and comfortable, we don't run you all over the building at a super fast pace.  Instead, we let you stop and smell the roses, taking in the beauty of the building while making sure we get creative and romantic pictures of you both.  We are also careful to find out what some of your favorite things are and why you chose San Francisco City Hall as your wedding venue.  Some couples ask us to focus on the architecture of the building, while others want  more romance and close up photography. Either way, we give you some of both, but tailor it to your preferences.  We want your final result to incorporate both traditional and artistic/photojournalistic pictures.  The whole emphasis is to make sure you have a great city hall wedding experience.  One of the things that truly sets us apart from many other wedding photographers is that we involve the couple in our art.  We talk to you during the shoot and ask you questions, involving you in the process.  If you are the type that would rather just sit back and relax, that's great too!  

Meet the Team...

To learn more about Mike and Toni please check out their Bios:    Mike  Bio        Toni  Bio

Mike and Toni at city hall

About You!

Every website you see has an "About Us" page and we are no different.  Clients want to know as much as possible about the company and the people before they put down their hard earned money.  While we acknowledge the importance of this, what really should be emphasized is not all of our awards and accolades.  Instead, the client should know how THEY will be treated and how THEY will benefit from all of the bragging and accomplishments.  We do this by asking our clients constantly what they want.  We don't just dictate to them the photography plan for the day.  Yes, we do have a vision for each wedding, but if our vision does not match yours then you won't be happy with the results.  So not only before the wedding, but during the wedding, we take great pains to communicate with you, ask questions and discover YOUR vision.  We want this photo shoot to be About You!

If you want to schedule a pre-wedding meeting to discuss your preferences and vision, just let us know.  We are happy to take the time to meet with you and share ideas.  Some of our best photos shoots were accomplished with major input from the couple.  Don't be afraid to step on our toes, we welcome your input!

Experience and Calm

Our 20+ years of wedding photography experience ensures that you will have a stress-free day.  We do everything in our power to make your wedding day enjoyable. Your final photos will reflect the fact that you were relaxed and had a great time at your own city hall wedding. This is more important than great poses and backgrounds. In addition, we have seen it all at San Francisco city hall, nothing phases us!  Many of our couples tell us that working with us was the best part of their day.  My uncle once owned a very successful catering business in Marin County and his motto was "Be a guest at your own wedding".    We want to provide you with this same sort of service.  We will calmly take care of every detail that we can to make your wedding day the best it can be.

Exceptional Camera Equipment

We shoot with Nikon equipment and use some of the sharpest lenses ever produced.  We use fast prime lenses (20mm, 1.8, 35mm 1.8. 85mm 1.4, 50mm 1.4, and 180mm 2.8) When necessary for speed of use, we also use our Nikon  professional zoom lenses including a 24-70 2.8 and my favorite for city hall: The16-35 4.0 lens.  We use umbrellas to bring in soft light, but also take advantage of the beautiful natural light at San Francisco City Hall. We use high powered, radio slaves to remotely fire our flashes.  We can fire a flash clear across the city hall interior, allowing us to create dramatic light in some of your images. Our Camera bodies include a Nikon D4s, D800, D800E, D7100 and a D7200.  We carry a full compliment of back up equipment, including flashes, camera bodies and extra lenses.  We are always upgrading our camera equipment to make sure we possess the latest innovations and technology.

City Hall Approved Wedding Vendor

We are a San Francisco City Hall approved "featured" wedding vendor.  This means we have submitted the appropriate paperwork and meet or exceed the necessary insurance coverage (for private events). We were hand select by the San Francisco city hall event staff for inclusion on their new marketing brochure.  In addition, we supplied all of the wedding photos that were used in the brochure!   We have solid contacts with the event staff at San Francisco City Hall which often helps us do our job more effectively.  We are often tipped off to coming events and attractions at city hall that could disrupt our photo shoot. 

Professional Lighting at City Hall

Let's talk a little more about lighting.  We are often asked by clients: "Why do you carry that big umbrella light around city hall with you?"  Then they will point to so many of the other photographers at city hall walking around with just a camera body without even a small flash unit.  Isn't the natural light at San Francisco City Hall beautiful? Everyone says it is.  Well here are the facts.......  Sometimes there is NO light at city hall!  Sometimes it's foggy outside (foggy in San Francisco?).  Toni and I have walked into City Hall for a late afternoon wedding in the winter and it actually appears dark.   So how does a wedding photographer combat that?  What if they want to shoot straight into a blown out window, but have no lighting equipment.  The answer..... they can't!  

The answer is professional lighting, both on camera and off.  We use soft lighting with our umbrellas and also bounce our on-camera flashes off of the nice neutral walls at city hall.  Doing this turns San Francisco city hall into our own private studio.   Yes, we offer our clients studio quality photographs no matter what the weather outside is or how late in the evening the wedding happens to be.  When the natural light is beautiful, you can bet we use it, but when we want to get a dramatic photo with the backdrop of the amazing 4th floor gallery giant window, we use lights.   Check out the lighting in most of our photos, you will note that it almost always appears soft and not "flashy".  If you have any questions about lighting, please call us or send us an email.  The right type of lighting is what sets the professional photographers apart from everyone else. 

Testimonials

"I'm rarely photogenic but with Mike and Toni posing us and capturing us at the right angles, we couldn't be more thrilled with the results. In addition, their price was more reasonable than other SF city hall photographers."

Kate and Jon - Yelp Review

"They truly captured the day for us and I can't say or praise them enough for making it special. Providing us with so many photos that we are able to share with family and friend and enjoy for years to come. Thank you Mike and Toni!!"

Joseph and Michael - Yelp Review

"Mike and Toni were so much more than just our photographers as they helped with knowing the order of what to do to register and locations. It was literally like we had a couple of wedding planners meaning we could relax and enjoy."

Kevin and Farrah - Yelp Review
 

"Absolutely wonderful!  As a passionate photographer myself, I had browsed a lot before choosing my wedding photographer and I made the right choice with Mike and Toni.  Look no further. I have been a very demanding customer, organizing my entire wedding from London and yet they have been incredibly helpful,  arranging phone calls and trading emails to make sure everything was perfect and it was."

Anna and Michael - Yelp Review

Rotunda view at city hall

Celebrating in front of San Francisco City Hall