We have been photographing Asian weddings at San Francisco City Hall for years. Whether it is the traditional pre-wedding photo session or just covering a normal Asian marriage at this iconic building. This particular image was highlighted by the use of a natural frame in the background from the Rotunda. We also slightly blurred the background with our 85mm lens at 1.4 f-stop. We sometimes use these settings to blur the background and help eliminate distracting issues. I really like this image because it has such a fresh look and feel to it. Sometimes the simple poses are the best. San Francisco city hall possesses these types of architectural backgrounds throughout the building., which makes it amazing for wedding photography. Most of the photos on this site will display the sharp architecture behind the brides and grooms. In this case, we blurred that background, but you still feel the impact of shapes and colors at San Francisco city hall.
The type of architecture present at San Francisco city hall lends itself well to finding natural frames. The Beau-Arts style of building was popular in the early 1900's and is easily identified by its customary patterns, arches and symmetry. So many buildings built in Europe throughout that time period also were designed in that style. We learned in basic photography classes to always look for natural frames in our portrait work. In most cases, this involves finding arched trees or a series of bushes. Nature provides us with many ways to frame our work. Even a tree branch can provide a beautiful frame for us. San Francisco City Hall is no different, everywhere you go there are architectural designs that can nicely set off the background in your image. Some notable examples include the arch at the Mayor's Balcony, the edges of the Grand Staircase and of course the giant arched Rotunda which is one of the feature attractions in the building. The photo above was taken on the 3rd floor which happens to be right around the same level as the Rotunda Arch as pictured in the background. Here is a list of some additional examples of natural frames to create exceptional San Francisco wedding photography: