Candid photo of Newlyweds after wedding ceremony at San Francisco city hall
San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photographer
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Candid Wedding Image at SF City Hall

This candid photo was taken just after the happy couple left their San Francisco city hall wedding ceremony and were newly married. As they put a little distance between them and their guests, the groom kissed the bride on the hand. I was waiting for him to do something fun and he did! At the last minute he glanced over to me, which adds to the photo. When photographing any type of wedding, especially a San Francisco city hall marriage, it's important to always be ready to catch moments like this. Why is SF City Hall any different? The ceremonies are often very short, giving you very little time to get good candid photos. It's important to catch them when they occur! The other issue with city hall from a wedding photographer's standpoint, is that there are many ways to enter to exit the ceremonies for the reserved weddings. As a San Francisco city hall wedding photographer, you have to be ready for any possible path they might take.

The Importance of Second Shooters at City Hall

The description above points out one of the main reasons I often employ a Second Shooter for my Reserved weddings here at City Hall. In this particular case, we had the ceremony site surrounded so we would hopefully capture the moment no matter which way they went. You might be thinking, why not just set it up in advance? Well, we frequently try, but San Francisco city hall brides and grooms will usually go whichever way looks the easiest. It is not their responsibility to make sure that the city hall wedding photographer gets the best image! We can often be fooled or out of position depending upon what happens. Remember, there is no wedding coordinator for the types of weddings, so it usually up to the wedding photographers or the Officiant to organize certain portions of the ceremony. Much of this is done just before the City Hall ceremony occurs. This is why having a second wedding photographer can really pay off. It doubles our chances of catching these candid moments during the procession and ceremony.

Documentary city hall ceremony in San Francisco

San Francisco city hall ceremony fun!

Documentary Style Wedding Photography

There are usually no wedding receptions at San Francisco city hall, but it is still possible to catch special moments if you are ready when they occur. Obviously, a wedding reception is one of the best places to record candid images, with all of the laughter and tears that happen. In addition, you have many event opportunities such as the cake cutting, the bouquet toss and of course, dancing. The First Dance and the Father/Daughter dance are great opportunities to record special moments. In addition, the newlyweds interacting with their guests also presents some great chances to catch some fun Documentary style photography. The other name you will hear quite frequently for this style of photography is Wedding Photojournalism. Just another way of saying that you, as the photographer are trying to tell the story of the day in pictures.

San Francisco City Hall Candid Pictures

So how do we do accomplish these types of documentary style photos for a SF City Hall wedding? It just takes a bit more thought and creativity. We try to not spend the entire photo shoot posing the bride and groom in front of various backgrounds in the building. Instead, we make sure to set aside some time to allow the couple to interact and just have fun. A wedding day should be about having a great time and making memories. Not just making great wedding pictures! Static posing is great, but we like to utilize dynamic posing techniques whenever possible at San Francisco city hall. Having the couple to pretend to dance, laughing together, and walking are all great ways to make candid images feel real.

Candid type of city hall wedding photography image in San Francisco

More Fun on the 3rd floor of city hall - black and white image