City Hall is one of the few places I really like to use wide angle lenses. The desire to show off the architecture is the primary reason for this. When photographing a larger weekend wedding, the focus is more on getting close-up shots of the bride and groom. But at San Francisco city hall it's different, people come here to get married because the building is so beautiful. You are doing them a disservice if you don't make sure they get at least some nice shots showing the architecture of this amazing wedding venue. In the image above, we actually went a little beyond wide angle, we used what is known as a Fish-eye lens. These types of lenses usually give you close to 180 degrees of image with some distortion. We also decided to photograph this image in Black and White to add some more interest. We tried to fix the distortion in this picture just enough to still see a super wide angle view without cutting off too much of the background.
One of the attributes of the Beau-Arts style of architecture at City Hall are the repeating lines, symmetry and arches. This is why contrary to what you would normally do with professional photography, we often set up our brides and grooms right in the middle of the frame and shoot everything straight on to minimize distortion. There are other types of images that can be captured using these amazing backgrounds to their fullest. This image above of a newlywed bride posing on the Grand Staircase is one example. Notice how this image has just about everything you would want. The lights in the background add a unique glow and the diagonal lines created by the railing lead your eye right into the main subject.