Palace of Fine Arts Feature Page
Our couples frequently ask us for sample photos from each of our San Francisco city hall photo tour locations. The Palace of Fine Arts is a favorite location of ours and it also seems to attract many of our out-of-town brides and grooms. Tina and Damian booked our "San Francisco Package" and this was one of our stops. A fun loving couple, they let Toni and I know from the very start that they were "up for anything". In other words, the more creative and fun the pose, the better. We had a great time with them and that's really the goal of our San Francisco Photo tour. After completing their SF City Hall ceremony and building tour we set out to create some great outdoor pictures throughout San Francisco. The building tour portion of their session consisted of wedding photography throughout San Francisco city hall. Once that was complete, our first stop was the historic Palace of Fine Arts. After spending some time in the back of the Palace in the Rotunda area, we made our way back to the front. This area is where you see some of the more iconic wedding photographs taken at POFA. We try to include the fountain in some of the photos when we can, but sometimes we have to work our way through the crowd. Saturdays in particular can pretty crowded at this location, but it tends to be OK during the week. On this particular day, sunset was coming on fast so we were able to get some nice pictures with a very low sun position. Very romantic! The Palace of Fine Arts is a favored location for city hall wedding couples, we are probably here about 2 times per week with our brides and grooms. We often see other city hall couples when we come here with their wedding photographers. People love the architecture and old time look of this historic San Francisco location. Yes, there are a few similarities to the architecture you will find at SF City Hall, but they both have their own unique colors and features to set them apart. The obvious big difference is that one is outdoors and one is indoors.
Helpful Hint: When booking your San Francisco city hall wedding, be sure to allow for the proper timing to arrive at the Palace before its too late. Obviously, the time of the year affects this decision, so feel free to consult with us. We are happy to help!
Best Wedding Photography Opportunities
The Palace of Fine Arts takes on different characteristics depending on the time of the day. The color of the building even changes! If you want beautiful colors on the front of the building with columns that almost look pink, you want to take your photos here before noon. Even earlier in the morning will give you great texture on the front of the Rotunda looking over the pond. This is because the sun is directly on the building and comes in from a nice angle which provide brilliant color and detail. The sky in the background will also tend to look bluer at this time which is another plus. Late afternoon creates an entirely different look for San Francisco's famed Palace of Fine Arts. The sun tends to be located behind the building for most camera angles. This creates some beautiful back lighting for your subjects and nice drama in the final images. The detail and color on the building itself will be less, but still creates a nice wedding photo. As the afternoon moves along, the colors tend to change and go to more golden colors especially on the water. The building texture becomes a bit harder to pick up, but you still obtain the beauty of the structure. The sky will also look more white when you are shooting into the sun. This is a great look also.
Affordable San Francisco Wedding Photography
Bringing any of our San Francisco city hall couples here for part of their photo tour is a very affordable option for the newlyweds. This is because the happy couple is receiving fantastic wedding pictures at 2 of the most popular and iconic locations in the City for discount prices. You receive so much for your money when you book one of our San Francisco tours no matter where you end up going. April (below left) was another fun and beautiful bride we worked with at the Palace of Fine Arts. We spent a good hour touring around the buildings and grounds at this San Francisco landmark. This happy couple was really interested in exploring all the nooks and crannies of this historic building. We took them to all of our secret and not so secret locations at the Palace. Leo and Nadya wanted romantic wedding photography at the beautiful Palace of Fine Arts. As you can see from the photo (below right) they made it quite easy for us. The Bride especially had a knack for posing for the camera in a dramatic fashion. We really had a great time with them after their SF City Hall ceremony. They were another couple that wanted to try a multitude of locations here and all kinds of different and creative poses. We find that some couples just want the iconic picture of the front of the building looking over the pond, while others want to carefully explore all that POFA has to offer. They made numerous suggestions for posing and backgrounds which was fine with us.
San Francisco Historical Landmark
George and John sharing a private moment in front of the amazing backdrop of the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Sometimes the best photos are created by the couple and not the wedding photographer. For the photo below, we just asked our LGBTQ couple to sit down in front of the building and interact. We wanted to get some nice candid looking shots of the couple enjoying the moment. I love the colors in the background, especially the San Francisco sky. But most of all, I like the natural feeling that this image portrays. Yes, there are a great many tourists and other wedding photography going on at the Palace, but if you are patient and know where to take your newlyweds, you will be rewarded with captures like this one! If you read this whole page, this is the look I was talking about that you can get if you shoot early enough in the day. Pink colors with lots of blue sky! I think this is one of the truly unique things about the Palace of Fine Arts, the colors can be incredible at certain times of the day. This particular photo was taken around noon when the sun is still shining on the front of the building. This is when the most amount of color is available and the pink shows up. As you can also see, this is also a good time to obtain a nice blue sky.
Great Destination After City Hall Ceremony
We can't think of a better place in San Francisco to take our newlyweds after their city hall nuptials. We captured the photo below just before sunset and it created a semi silhouette of Damian and Tina. A gorgeous time of the evening at The Palace of Fine Arts. Depending upon the time of the year, we can arrive at certain locations just around sunset after your city hall wedding celebration. Let us know in advance if you would like to plan the best time to have your wedding ceremony to optimize photo opportunities. The light at the Palace can be variable depending upon the fog. Of course the possible presence fog is a bit of a risk for trying to create sunset photos, but we can always try and who knows what may come of it. Something unexpected perhaps! The photo below was one of those rare moments where everything comes together and you get drama and impact. The back light from the sun lit up the bride's hair and also the bouquet. Also note how it make the flowers nearby pop with color.
Palace of Fine Arts - SF Wedding Venue
Did you know that you can actually have your wedding ceremony at the Palace of Fine Arts? Many people are not aware of this but you can reserve the Rotunda for 1 or 2 hours any day of the week and get married right here. During your ceremony they will rope off the Rotunda area to keep the tourists and hobby photographers out. For those of you who do not know, the Palace of Fine Arts Rotunda is the area just under the giant dome. It is a beautiful venue and one that we have photographed a number of times in the past. They also set up chairs for your guests and make the Palace into a very nice spot for your ceremony. Of course, after your ceremony you have the option of having your San Francisco wedding photographer take you around the grounds to capture some more memories. For more information on how to reserve your San Francisco wedding here, click this link. Prices start at $5,000 with no tent. Add a tent and other options and you get close to the $10,000 range. Still affordable venue pricing when compared to other San Francisco wedding locations. One thing to keep in mind is that the tourists will still be allowed to wander around the grounds. You do not have the whole place to yourself, but you are able to have a very nice section reserved just for you and your wedding party and guests. After the ceremony is over, you can head over to the other side of the pond and get some great shots of the building similar to some of the images on this page. We would love to take you on a tour of this magnificent spot. Let us be your guide and wedding photographers. If you have questions about how to book a wedding ceremony at the Palace of Fine Arts, drop us a email and we will help arrange the whole thing.