San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photographer

5 Great Ideas for a Perfect Engagement Portrait Session

Now that you are engaged to be married it's time to book an amazing San Francisco engagement portrait session. One of the first steps is to find a San Francisco wedding photographer. The reason I specifically mentioned a San Francisco photographer is because I feel like we know the best places to take you throughout this amazing City. Our experience photographing San Francisco weddings and City Hall marriages makes us uniquely qualified to capture your engagement portraits. One of the things that makes engagement sessions so much fun is that it gives the couple a chance to interact playfully with each other and have fun during their photo shoot. Sometimes San Francisco weddings don't give you the opportunity to do that because they can be rushed. There is often a full schedule of events to fit into the day. We are a leading San Francisco City Hall wedding photographer and so we end up doing many engagement portraits sittings in the city. For more information about our city hall wedding photography service please click the link.

Legion of Honor Engagement pictures

Listed below are five great ideas for making your San Francisco engagement portrait session as good as it can be while creating some great memories.

  1. Discuss with your wedding photographer some great locations. Undoubtedly you, as an Engaged couple will have some ideas about where to go in San Francisco for your engagement pictures. There are so many beautiful locations within San Francisco that you nearly can't go wrong. But I'm going to recommend you have these discussions with your wedding photographer and share your ideas with them. There is a good chance they may have some relevant comments that could either persuade you or make you think twice about certain locations. However, I would encourage you to stick to your guns if there is a dream location that you have already chosen. Even if the wedding photographer doesn't entirely agree. After all, it's your wedding and your engagement session. You might learn a few things by talking to the photographer and this could influence how you approach each of your chosen locations. So no matter what is ultimately decided, it's a good idea get other opinions.
    Engagement Photography at the Palace of Fine Arts
    For example, the Palace of Fine Arts is usually the first thing we hear from an engaged couple as a location for their session. Everyone loves the Palace and with good reason. The architecture is amazing and it has a certain historic element to it. There are also plenty of different backgrounds to choose from. However, if you're looking for a romantic and semi-private engagement portrait shoot, this might not be the best place. The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco is often crowded especially on weekends. I only bring this up not to try to talk you out of this location, but just to know what the potential is for lack of privacy. Other locations in San Francisco that work well for engagement sessions include the Legion of Honor, Chrissy field, Sutro Baths, and one of my favorites, Sutro Park.

  2. Communicate with your photographer regarding the type of engagement photos you want. Once you have booked the photographer, it's time to tell them exactly what you want. There are so many ways to approach an engagement portrait session so it's important to let your photographer know your personal vision for your shoot. Some engaged couples want extremely romantic photos with lots of kissing, hugging, and snuggling. Others like a more formal type of shoot with dressy clothes and precise posing by the photographer. A third option might be wanting mostly candid photos with lots of interaction between the couple. This could include walking together, holding hands, or sitting on a park bench interacting with each other in a fun way. Of course, it's possible to do all three of these basic types of photo shoots in one session. However, I still feel it's a good idea to let your wedding photographer know what you want the emphasis to be. This avoids frustration during the actual shoot that's caused by the photographer and the couple not being on the same page.

  3. Consider hiring a hair stylist and makeup person. This decision does up the ante in terms of financial costs associated with your session. Good makeup and hair people can cost up to $400 and so this is something you'll have to think about carefully. We actually do have some referrals that we can send your way that are a little less expensive. You just need to decide whether it's worth the cost to have glamour makeup done or a new and exciting hairstyle. Have this discussion with your spouse, look into the pricing, and ask your wedding photographer. There are some fantastic glamour makeup salons in San Francisco if this is something you want to do. You may also just prefer to do makeup and hair yourself and if so it's not a bad idea to discuss these options with your San Francisco wedding photographer. Sometimes your photographer can give you some good ideas and let you know what works best.

  4. What will you wear for your San Francisco Engagement Portrait Session? This is an important decision but also a personal one. For years wedding photographers have been telling their portrait clients what to wear in terms of colors and style. I personally think that this advice can sometimes be overdone. To be honest, I was guilty of the same thing, but I feel like I have softened a little bit on my stance. I used to tell my clients to stay away from bright colors and formal clothes. The suggestion was always that they should wear earthy colors with solid prints because these photographs the best and do not take away from the subject. Over time I've decided that these rules were too stringent and relax them considerably. Now I think it's more important that the couple wear what makes them comfortable. Perhaps just clothes from their existing wardrobe. Now when clients ask me I tell them to wear the types of clothes they feel comfortable in everyday. I am still advising my clients not to wear ONLY formal clothes for their San Francisco engagement portrait session. This is because some of the types of poses we do require getting on the ground sitting on logs Etc. There's nothing stopping a couple from bringing a change of clothes and trying to do both types of dress.

  5. Consider bringing props to your engagement session. Some examples would be baseball caps, sports jerseys, or even sporting equipment that represents things that the two of you like to do together. If the two of you enjoy picnicking, then bring related items. Maybe a bottle of wine, some wine glasses, and a blanket. The idea is to represent some of the things the two of you like to do together in your San Francisco engagement portrait session.

Rustic setting for Engagement Portrait Session
Engagement Portrait Session in the Presidio of San Francisco

Engagement Pictures downtown San Francisco