Golden Gate Bridge Feature Page
Many years ago when we first started photographing San Francisco married couples in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, we had no idea how many different viewing angles there were. We set out to try to find the perfect spot to shoot this iconic landmark. We quickly discovered that each of the locations had it's positives and negatives. Some were too far away and some were too close. Many had an uncomfortable angle for the couple or distracting buildings in the way. Our goal was to find a great place to take our San Francisco City Hall couples for pictures. Parking and traffic issues sometimes got in the way. We finally settled on some favorite locations and will discuss them further below:
- Baker Beach in San Francisco - An absolutely beautiful angle to the bridge and pretty close in the background. In fact, from a photography standpoint, it is just about the perfect distance. You also have the beauty of the ocean right there, which helps to add to the romance! It's not in the rush hour traffic direction so it is a good afternoon wedding spot to head to. For some, walking on the beach might be a problem and it's a pretty good distance to get down to the water. There are also lots of people there on sunny days including tourists and locals. If the fog is in, it can be difficult to see the bridge from this angle since it rolls in from the coast. Wind can sometimes be a problem so be careful with that hair! If you walk too far there is a nude beach closer to the bridge, but we normally don't go that far in! In fact, to date, we have never seen anyone from that particular beach, but we know it is there. A very nice spot after your city hall wedding and not too long of a drive. Could be a little traffic heading back, but the pressure is off at that point.
- Legion of Honor - Yes, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge from the Legion of Honor which gives you a 2 for 1 bonus. If we take you to the Legion of Honor, we are happy to walk over to the bridge view spot with you and take some shots. The bridge is pretty far away in the background and on hazy days, can be a bit difficult to see clearly. If you want to go a little closer, we can do the very short drive down to the famous 17th hole at Lincoln Park Golf Course and take some shots there. If we take you to the 17th hole, it is close enough and does not count as a second location! Like Baker Beach, The Legion of Honor is against the flow of afternoon traffic so a good choice for late afternoon weddings at San Francisco city hall. NOTE: Assuming we are doing OK on time, we have starting taking our couples to the Lands End Trail head. It is just another couple of blocks down from the Legion of Honor and has a better view of the Golden Gate Bridge. There is also a little hiking trail that will lead you to more amazing views. If we are doing well on time, we can take you down there a few hundred feet or so! We are happy to also include that in our 2 for 1 bonus.
- Crissy Fields -. If you look at enough City Hall wedding photographer's websites, chances are you will see quite a few Golden Gate shots from Crissy Fields. There are a number of different angles with some restricted views. Parking is usually available if you go closer to the bridge and away from the more touristy areas. Through the years, we have found some pretty unique angles to the bridge from various spots at Crissy Fields. We take our more adventurous couples here and it has become one of our favorite spots! Crissy is also a nice place to get some walking shots down by the Bay. There are a lot of other people there, but somehow it adds to the photo. We have recently discovered that some nice shots of the bridge can taken from the Pier. The advantage here is that there will be nobody in your photos. There are also a couple of nice hills to place our couples on for a different look. We just need our newlyweds to be careful on these grass covered hills. It can be slippery at certain times of the year, especially if fog is present.
- Fort Point - If it's one of San Francisco's typical foggy days and our City Hall couple really wants that iconic Golden Gate Bridge shot, we head to Fort Point. Even on the foggiest of days, it is usually possible to get a decent photo of the bridge from here. You can almost walk under the bridge it seems! Parking can be really rough and most of the best angles to the bridge are actually among the parked cars. You also have to watch out for rogue waves as one of our couples (shown below right) found out! On any day, foggy or sunny, Fort Point provides a spectacular view of the Golden Gate! Access can be a little rough on busy days, but we always seem to make it work. Note: We have recently discovered a new way to park and also access angles to the bridge from Fort Point that make this an even more desirable option. Ask us for details if you are interested in going to Fort Point. We park actually on the Crissy Field side and then walk over closer to Fort Point. We are happy to take you there and create some amazing memories on your wedding day.
- Bridge Toll Booth Lot - If you are a San Francisco tourist and want to walk across the bridge there is a parking lot that is right next to the old toll booth. A short walk away and you are practically on the Bridge! Obviously difficult to shoot the entire structure of the bridge, this area does provide a nice viewing angle. Once again, tourists can be a problem, but we usually manage to find a nice angle with just the 2 of you and the bridge in the photo! This is not our favorite location, but it works well in case of heavy fog. You wont be able to see the entire Golden Gate Bridge in the photos, but there will definitely be enough of it for good measure. We want to provide our clients as many options as possible for Golden Gate Bridge photos regardless of the weather. Wedding photography allows us to explore many options with our clients, sometimes it is fun to act like a tourist. At the very least, you will know that the pictures took place at the bridge.
- Marin County - We would be remiss if we didn't mention the spectacular angles to the bridge from Marin County. Battery Spencer is probably the most famous but there are many others. Most of our San Francisco city hall wedding clients don't have the time to go across the bridge, but for those that do, a bonus awaits them. Obviously, traffic can be a problem and we have to plan it for the right time of the day to help minimize delays. If you would like to set up a custom package we can do an entire tour of the Marin side of the bridge and even incorporate Sausalito. This quaint town is fun to walk around in and even affords other views to look at besides the bridge. There is a nice park and beautiful waterfront and all make great photo backgrounds. The Marin Headlands is another outstanding place to get great shots with trees and amazing views. Both sides of the bridge provide great views and places for the bride and groom to stand comfortably.
- Other Locations - This is not even close to a complete list of Golden Gate bridge spots for the best wedding photography, but may be some of the most accessible. Some of the locations not listed here can found at the end of hiking trails or a long walk up 100 stairs. We try to make our San Francisco tour as convenient and fun as possible, but we are up for anything. If you want to explore some of the more private spots, let us know and we will be right there with you! Alcatraz is another amazing angle to the bridge, but you have to take the tour boat over there. Fort Mason also affords a unique angle as does Marshall Beach at the Presidio! Once your City Hall wedding is complete, ask for details on some of the more challenging spots if you are interested.
The photo above left is from Baker Beach. We we very happy to make this photograph with no tourists or locals in the background. The above right photo was taken just as a wave crashed over the rocks (and the couple). I had warned the bride beforehand about the possibility of getting wet with the crashing waves. Her response: "If it happens it will make for a great photo!" She was right! Yes, they did get very wet, but it was the end of the shoot, so they didn't mind so much.
The Photo above was taken just a short walk or drive from the Legion of Honor on the 17th Hole of Lincoln Park Golf Course. If you book our City Hall, Golden Gate Package with 1 location, we can take you here in addition to the Legion of Honor. Two locations for the price of 1! Some would say that even though the Golden Gate bridge is pretty far off, it's the perfect ratio. It is large enough to see it, but not too big where it dominates the image. This is one of my own personal favorite angles, but it only looks this good on clear days. I like it because the bridge isn't the main factor in the image, the bride and groom are. However, you definitely know the Golden Gate Bridge is there but with more focus on the newlyweds. There are so many ways to approach the bridge, we are also willing to listen to your suggestions and come up with the best approach. Other nearby locations include the trail head of Lands End. This has become a new favorite location to view the bridge. Whenever we try to make decisions about our favorite places to photograph the Golden Gate bridge, we also evaluate the other things that are possible at the same location. San Francisco has so many wedding photography options, we want to make sure you receive the best pictures possible no matter where we travel. Lands End is one of those places that offers many other options once you have captured the bridge picture. There is a very nice hiking trail that offers nice backgrounds and comes of as a very natural setting. There is also some flowers and trees that can offer nice backdrops and colors depending upon the time of year. Even the Lands End sign can be an excellent place to grab a few shots. Why not have a memory of the places you have been on your wedding day! The Legion of Honor offers a similar angle as Land's End, but is a bit farther away. We really like this side of the bridge for wedding photography.
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