As we walked through San Francisco City Hall with our just-married couple, I noticed some gorgeous light streaming in through one of the North Windows. I saw how it lit up her veil at that one moment. I knew we had to stop and get a shot of the bride in that location. So we positioned her in front of one of City Hall's beautiful pillars, but made sure that the light was still touching her. It made for this soft shot of our Asian Bride all done in natural light. I purposely allowed the area under her bouquet to remain dark because I liked the effect. Natural light can really be wonderful if it is directional and soft. One example of unflattering natural light is when the source comes in from the top. We call this overhead lighting and unfortunately, it can create "raccoon eyes" and pronounced chin shadows. Definitely not what you want for a beautiful bride at San Francisco city hall. I mention this fact about natural light because everyone loves to talk about how it the best type of light. It isn't always, but certainly in this case it was!
The photo above was created with a back light behind this LGBTQ couple. The effect is subtle and yet effective. Sometimes, you don't want to overdo professional lighting techniques. It is good enough if it enhances the image with out dominating it. The other attribute of this photo is that it was enhanced by converting it to Sepia tone. I never know how a city hall wedding photo will look with sepia tone until I actually try it. With this photo, I knew right away that it would make better. I also love that this photo was done in the late evening because it definitely creates a mood. The building takes on a wonderful glow at this time in the evening. I have had clients ask me to duplicate this look using editing techniques and Photoshop, but it really isn't fully possible.
Some of the best window light at San Francisco City Hall can be found on the Second Floor on the south side. At certain times of the day, the light come streaming directly into the building and a professional city hall wedding photographer can use it for the best possible back lighting. As you can see in the Bridal photo above, the light coming from the window gives her veil nice glow. We posed the bride in such a way to enhance this look and came up with the photo above. We always utilize the windows in the building to great advantage.
Another example of using window light at SF City Hall