Walking down the 3rd Floor Hallway city hall in SF
San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photographer
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Documentary Wedding Photography

One of current trends in professional wedding photography is what we call "Documentary Wedding Photography". Other names include Wedding Photojournalism and Reportage. The idea behind this style of photography is to tell the story of the day through photos. Candid photography means minimal posing and natural looks. At San Francisco city hall this often means creating a situation where the couple can seem natural even if they are not doing anything in particular. For this photo we asked our newlyweds to talk while strolling through the halls at city hall. An image like this may seen easy, but we often run into trouble because the newlyweds want to look at us, the wedding photographers. This is a natural reaction when someone is pointing a camera at you. We have been conditioned since birth to look at the camera when it is aiming at us. So you would be surprised how hard it can be to unlearn this life-long habit. One kind of amusing example of this is when I try to take a picture of the groom watching his bride walk up to him during a Reserved city hall ceremony. Inevitably, he keeps wanting to look at the camera instead of the bride, because he thinks that is the proper way to do it. I have now started counseling grooms before the wedding to remind them to ignore me. In the end, we always manage to get some great candid images including walking shots at most of our weddings. San Francisco city hall has some beautiful halls and walkways with perfect natural lighting to help us do this. On occasion we will purposely bring down our camera lighting so it seems like the couple is going through the halls in a romantic way with soft lighting and subtle backgrounds. By making these lighting adjustments, we can make it seem like early evening, even with it is not. Here are some walking shot ideas and suggestions:

  • Couple looks at each other while walking hand-in-hand
  • Couple looks down at the ground like they are really walking
  • Couple laughs like they are having a fun conversation
  • Couple purposely lightly bumps into each other causing some fun moments
  • Couple kisses while stopped at our suggestion
  • Couple walking down the Grand Staircase holding hands

San Francisco City Hall Architecture Photography

We love taking some far away shots of our city hall brides and grooms as you can see from the 2 photos above. These types of photos can be the best at displaying the beautiful architecture in this history building. Yes, it is hard to see much of the couple in a detailed way, but it highlights the architecture a bit more than close up shots do. The important thing to realize is that we supplement these far away shots with plenty of close up images. This gives the bride and groom a wide variety of wedding photography images to choose from. We know that many of them chose San Francisco city hall because of the gorgeous backgrounds so it is important to feature them.