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San Francisco Engagement Portrait Photography

We highly recommend engagement portrait sessions to all of our San Francisco City Hall couples. There are a number of reasons why engagement sessions are a good idea. For one thing, it gives the bride and groom a chance to develop rapport with their wedding photographer. More importantly, it allows the photographer to figure out what kinds of things work best with a particular couple. In the past, some very important things have come out of our San Francisco engagement portrait sessions. For example, one time we had a client who blinked almost every time we took a picture of them. This was a good thing to discover in advance of the actual City Hall wedding.

Learning From Each Other during Engagement Session

There are tricks we can use to get around that problem and we were able to do so in this particular instance. It also gives you, the client, the chance to let us know some of the things you prefer when it comes to having your photos taken. One example of this was a client who asked us to no longer have them kiss during photos. We frequently ask our brides and grooms to kiss during engagement portrait sessions to try to make the photos romantic. There are some people who prefer that they not be told to kiss, instead they want to do it on their own. No matter what the reason, it's a good thing to get out of the way before the San Francisco city hall wedding actually occurs.

The photo image is one of our clients who decided to choose a package that included engagement session and the actual wedding coverage . We have them do a number of fun types of poses at various locations. This one is is kind of a standard picture with the couple looking at the camera. We have learned over time that it's good to mix it up and give our clients and nice combination of opposed professional photos and for candid interactive photos. A well-rounded album will give them a little of both

Fun Ideas for Great Engagement Portraits

  • Have the groom give the bride a piggy back ride
  • Have the couple running towards you trying to block each other
  • Have the couple jump in unison
  • Sit the couple down on a bench and ask them to tell jokes to each other
  • Ask the couple to bring hats from the favorite sports teams
  • Ask the couple to bring props that represent a mutual interest they have (picnic, wine tasting, etc)
  • Bring their pets to the Engagement Shoot
  • Do the engagement shoot in San Francisco!
Engagement Portrait Session at Jack London Square
Best Engagement Portrait Outdoors in the San Francisco Bay Area
Outdoor Romantic Engagement Portrait Photography
San Francisco Bay Bridge Engagement Portrait Photography
Pre-wedding Engagement Session Photography in the Bay Area
Portrait Photography in the Woods - San Francisco Bay Area
Engagement Portraits with Sports Uniforms in Clayton, CA
Romantic Engagement Photography in the Fall - San Francisco
Black and White Engagement Photography in San Francisco
San Francisco Legion of Honor Engagement Session
Kissing Outdoors in the San Francisco Bay Area - Portrait Photography
Street Photography in Oakland, California with future Bride and Groom
Engagement Session Photography Kiss in the Great Outdoors
Tree Framed Engagement Portrait in San Francisco - City Hall Wedding
Bride and Groom Posing for Engagement Photography Session
Clayton Engagement Photography session - San Francisco and Beyond
Beautiful Reflection for this Engagement Session - City Hall Wedding
Romantic Portrait Photography in San Francisco

Engagement Portrait Sessions in San Francisco

Another type of wedding photography we love to do in conjunction with our City Hall weddings are engagement portrait sessions. These sessions can be requested separately or easily included in one of our packages. We often do these sessions right here in San Francisco, but are willing to go anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area you prefer. In fact, many of the portraits you see on the page above were done outside of the city. The logic being that since the wedding was going to occur in San Francisco, why not try something different for the engagement pictures.

Casual and Fun Portrait Photography

As you can see from the photos above, our engaged couples mostly prefer to wear casual and fun clothes for these shoots. We allow our couples to dress anyway they want, but wearing clothes that are too formal can restrict some of the posing and locations we take our couples. Please let us know in advance if your plan is to really dress up. We have great locations in San Francisco and beyond to take you no matter how you want to dress. Another option that many of our engaged couples choose is to bring a change of clothes with them. We could start the portrait session with formal wear and then we take a break allowing the couple to change into something more comfortable. The important thing to understand is that we are very accommodating and feel that is it important that you wear the kinds of clothes that define your style and are typical of what you enjoy.With casual clothes we will put you more on the ground and on things like tree stumps, etc. With more formal clothes, we will keep you mostly standing and do walking shots. No matter how we approach your engagement portrait session, the idea is to provide you with something different. We don't want your engagement session to resemble your San Francisco city hall wedding photography images.

San Francisco Engagement Photography before WeddingFun Engagement Portrait Session in Sepia Tone

Props and Hats for SF Engagement Portraits

As you may have noticed in the sample engagement photos, many of our clients like to individualize their images to make them their own! Examples of this include wearing team hats or jerseys or fun clothes that they enjoy. We also encourage the use of props for those that want to. One example is to bring wine and wine glasses to emulate a little romantic picnic or similar time together. We have had couples that met on a golf course bring their clubs and still others that met while walking their dogs and so they brought there precious animals with them. There are many ways that you can individualize your engagement portrait shoot and these are just a few examples. We will be happy to work with you before the session to discuss other options and ideas. The more personal you can make your engagement shoot the better you will like the final results!

New City Hall Package Offered

To encourage our couples to choose to have an engagement portrait session we have decided to offer a new package. It is called our "City Hall PLUS Engagement" Package and it includes 2 days of coverage. One day for your engagement shoot in San Francisco and the other day we cover your SF City Hall wedding. For the affordable price of $995 you receive both! Prices for each of these separately comes to $1,200 so you are saving $200 by purchasing a package! For more details on this package, give us a call or shoot an email our way! We will arrange your 2 shoots close enough to make it convenient and provide you with engagement photos that can be used at your wedding and reception.

Getting to Know You Before City Hall Wedding

Here is one more great reason to have us do your engagement portrait session. It may be one you have not thought about. The fact is, with most San Francisco city hall weddings, we are meeting the bride and groom for the first time. Because of this, there is always a little warming up period during the photo shoot. This is not the case if we have already completed your San Francisco engagement session. We always love the fact that when we see our couples at the city hall ceremony, we already have great rapport and a sense of comfort. Even more importantly, we now have experience photographing the couple, so we are able to make adjustments if needed. One example is eye blinking. If during the engagement session, we discover that one of you tends to blink quite a bit during photos, we can take this into account and try to prevent it from happening. There are some tricks we have learned over the years and this would give us an opportunity to employ them.

Even more subtle issues that can be discovered during any pre-wedding shoot. As we become more familiar with you there are things we can do to enhance the wedding pictures. Also, there may be a few items that the client wants changed about how we conduct our photo shoot. We recently had a couple that asked us not to keep requesting that they kiss during the photos. They didn't mind having pictures of them kissing, but they preferred that the kisses were more spontaneous. This was excellent feedback and helped us tremendously during the wedding photo shoot. Lessons learned from the engagement portrait session!

Engagement portrait session photo of Bay Area woman

Individual Portraits of Future Bride and Groom

We also will take this opportunity to photograph each of you individually if you so desire. For many of our clients, this could be one of the first times that they ever had a professional photographer take photos of them. So it's a great chance to get some nice images not only for you, but for your parents or loved ones. There is no extra charge for these photos, we just include them if you want. As you can see from the photo above, we can also give you examples in Black and White or even Sepia tone! We can do these types of photos in San Francisco or anywhere in Northern California.

Legion of Honor for Engagement Portrait Photography

The Legion of Honor is also a great place for an engagement session. The Photo above is a wonderful example of this. We took this couple on a fun wedding photography tour of some of the more iconic destinations in San Francisco. They were a great couple and easy to pose. We visited the Legion of Honor, the Palace of Fine Arts, and the Golden Gate Bridge. We offer this type of outdoor engagement portrait session to all of our wedding couples. They usually last about 2 hours and we try to take are clients to 2 or 3 locations in whatever area we are photographing. The photo above was taken among the columns at Palace of the Legion of Honor. Definitely one of our favorite places to take engaged couple because the lighting is so perfect and easy to work with. No matter what time of the day it is you can get great photos with nice directional light at the Legion of Honor. Many of our San Francisco City Hall clients also love to come here for photos after their ceremony. We offer a number of packages that allow the client to come here for pictures and provide a nice variety for their final wedding album.