San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photographer - Window Kiss
San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photographer

Window Kiss San Francisco City Hall

Probably one of the most elegant brides we photographed that year. She needed very little posing and direction. The photo you see here is no longer allowed at San Francisco City Hall because of the danger of standing in the window, but I wanted to post it anyway because it shows off the dress quite nicely. One of the standard things we used to do with all of our clients who were willing, was to put them up in the window. It made for some great lighting and drama. City Hall has since banned this practice for safety reasons and also to protect the history of the building. Apparently, the constant wear and tear that results from hundreds of people climbing into the window over the years is pretty severe. The good news is that we can still take this shot for you, but just have your both stand in front of the window instead of actually in it. It still makes for an incredible San Francisco city hall wedding photography image. We photographed this shot with a 35 mm lens and a high shutter speed to prevent the back lighting from becoming too distracting. We used one on camera flash and then an umbrella mounted on the other side. We turned both lights way down to get this semi-silhouette photo, but enough to help balance the light properly. There is delicate balance between showing a complete silhouette and showing some of the detail. If we do not get it quite right, we can usually fix it during the editing phase. For more great examples of SF city hall wedding photography, click the link to go to our home page.

Slimming Bride down by turning her 3/4 to the camera - Portrait techniques

Posing the SF City Hall Bride as Art

Again, referring to the main picture above, we like to try to make the bride look elegant and beautiful in all of our images. This can be done a number of ways, but it usually involves subtle movement of her legs, arms and hips to create a nice shape. This particular bride had some natural ability when it came to the art of posing. Notice what she is doing with her left hand. She was not directed to do that by us, she just did it on her own. This ability is innate in some people and completely absent in others. It's not a good or bad thing, it is just that everyone is different. Either way, as SF city hall wedding photographers, it is our duty to make sure our newlywed brides look amazing. We will make subtle suggestions if we feel like it will improve the final result. However, we also feel that it is important to not over pose the bride and make things too complicated. We still want the happy couple to enjoy their wedding day and be stressing about following intricate instructions from their wedding photographer.

Natural Frames at SF City Hall

San Francisco city hall is loaded with natural frames for photography. The window photo we have been discussing is enhanced by a natural frame. Even though we can no longer place our brides and grooms in the window, we are still able to use it as a frame by placing the couple in front of it while standing on the ground. This still provides the natural frame but keeps us from getting in trouble with San Francisco city hall security staff and police. There are many other places in the building that offer similar backgrounds to create dramatic images. Other things we often due to to enhance bridal images involves moving the legs certain ways to give a more curvy silhouette. One of the most basic rules of portrait photography is to have the bride shift their weight to one leg or the other. Bending a knee can also yield great results. People often say, if you have a female joint, bend it! Here is a listing of some of our more helpful common bridal posing suggestions. We hope these ideas will help other photographers, both amateur and professional to understand how to make their subjects look their best.

  • Have bride put weight on one foot
  • Ask bride to turn 3/4 to the camera (not straight on)
  • Position brides hands in an elegant fashion
  • Turn her head towards the light source for dramatic effect
  • Make sure there is empty space between her arms and her body (creates a slimmer appearance).
  • Have the bride look over her shoulder or in a slightly off-camera direction.

Bride posing in front of County Clerk's office at SF City Hall