Legion of Honor Wedding - San Francisco City Hall
We are always adding new and favorite iconic San Francisco City Hall wedding locations with photos and stories. Our current featured location is the famous San Francisco Legion of Honor. We love taking our San Francisco City Hall wedding couples to the Legion of Honor because it offers so much. It's one of the few stops on our San Francisco tour that enables us to photograph you at 2 famous landmarks in one location! Not only the Legion of Honor, but a short walk and you can see the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Legion of Honor a Favorite San Francisco Destination
Why do we enjoy taking our San Francisco city hall newlyweds to the Legion of Honor in San Francisco? It's pretty easy! First of all, there is rarely anyone there taking wedding pictures so we don't have some of the same problems we encounter at the Palace of Fine Arts and the Japanese Tea Gardens among others. This, of course, makes our job easier because we are not having to constantly dodge and shoot around other San Francisco wedding photographers. More importantly, the light at this location is absolutely brilliant. It has one of the types of natural lighting that wedding and portrait photographers dream about. Allow me to explain: As wedding photographers we are always looking for what is often referred to as "dimensional lighting". This is light that gives the subject depth and dimension. With light coming in from one side, the subjects face has more subtle shadow and makes it look better. Flat lighting, which is lighting that come directly on the subject can cause flat and shiny faces. This will make the face wider looking and less desirable. At the Legion of Honor, you have a wall on one side of the bride and groom (see below left) and open air on the other side. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you will see what I mean. The image with all the girls is aimed in the direction to get the most out of this lighting technique. Please note that each of their faces have subtle shadow detail. They also don't look flat. You can really see this effect on the girl's face on the far right.
Convenient San Francisco Location
The Legion of Honor is located out towards the Avenues. This makes a trip out there in the afternoon, a reverse commute. Less time sitting in traffic and more time taking pictures! It also happens to be very close to some other iconic and amazing San Francisco locations. The Trail head to Lands End is barely 4 minutes away by car and you could actually walk it if you prefer. A few more blocks down the road, you run into Bakers Beach. This beach is quite often requested by our brides and grooms, so that works out great in terms of scheduling. We will always opt for less driving and more photographing!
Environmental Wedding Photography Factors
San Francisco's famous Legion of Honor (officially named The Palace of the Legion of Honor) is unique among our San Francisco photo tour locations because it is partially covered. So this is where we take our couples when it is raining. Most of the poses you see on the pages below can still be done even in the rain. You can certainly not make that statement regarding her famous San Francisco "relatives". The other important factor is the shelter it provides. It can become a nice place to duck into when the wind is really blowing. High winds occur quite regularly in San Francisco given it's status as a coastal town. Lastly, it is a nice place to get relief from a really hot San Francisco day. This happens from time to time
Rachel and Travis took advantage of our San Francisco City Hall photo tour and we had a great time visiting some beautiful locations. We started at the Legion of Honor and obtained the shots above and below. We finished up at Ghirardelli square and also put the bride and groom on a Cable Car for some fantastic photos. City Hall is beautiful, but it is still great to get out and see some of the sites throughout San Francisco.
One of the reasons we encourage our couples with time restrictions to visit the Legion of Honor is because it's possible to photograph two landmarks for the price of one. Below is a photo taken of Nick and Ashley with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. Believe it or not, this photo location is walking distance from the San Francisco Legion of Honor! This is the 17th hole at Lincoln Park golf course and it can be a very nice place to get a few shots. Sometimes we have to wait a bit for golfers to finish up, but it is well worth it. The bridge is a bit far off in the distance, but still looks fantastic and romantic!
Michelle and Paul (below) were one of our favorite couples of the year! We always try to make our photo sessions fun and the 2 of them had the same idea! We went all over the city including the Legion of Honor. We finished up at Baker Beach in the heavy fog. We love couples that are really interested in their wedding photography and have high standards. We do everything we can to meet those standards!
Elina and Stas wanted to go to the Legion of Honor for their wedding photos and we were more than happy to oblige. Definitely one of our favorite San Francisco locations. Parking is usually available and the number of tourists is manageable. This was actually not a City Hall wedding, but it shows how popular many of San Francisco's famous locations are for photography. We frequently find ourselves at the Legion of Honor for our professional wedding photography.
Elina and Stas decided to do all of the pre-wedding photos at the Legion of Honor so they even brought their wedding party. We started with the simple photo above and then moved on to more fun shots! The bright colors of the female attendants contrast nicely to the more neutral background at the Legion of Honor. Such a great spot to do take couples for their photo session, but it really does help to add color. Either a bridal bouquet or nicely colored dresses as you see in the image below.
The wedding party leaving the Legion of Honor after a fun filled 40 minute photo shoot (below). As any good wedding photographer will tell you, some of the best shots in a wedding are those that are not posed. We keep our cameras trained on the subjects to catch those perfect moments whenever possible. I know that this wedding photography image looks staged, but there was actually some spontaneity to it. We feel like it is a good idea to keep things loose and allow our brides and grooms to be themselves.
For Yuan and Li's wedding, (below) we started at the Legion of Honor and then moved on to San Francisco City Hall to photograph the ceremony. They were a fun couple and really enjoyed working with us. The whole family came to this location for group photos as well. We normally start our shoots at City Hall, but for this particular wedding, the timing worked out better starting the shoot here at the Legion of Honor. We made sure to leave sufficient time to get to city hall and check-in. We love the Palace of the Legion of Honor for many reasons. One added bonus is that you can shoot here in the rain. We honestly do not have many of our San Francisco city hall weddings disrupted by rain, but on those rare occasions its nice to have a place to take people.
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