San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photographer
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Green Wedding Dress

Green Wedding Dress - San Francisco City Hall

I know this is probably an unusual title for this City Hall wedding photographers gallery, but it seems to fit. In 12 years of photographing weddings at this amazing venue, I have never had the privilege of photographing a bride with this color dress with all of it's incredible attributes. Over the years, I have become somewhat of a connoisseur of wedding dresses and really enjoy unique and fun examples to work with. San Francisco city hall weddings tend to bring out the best in a bride's creativity when it comes to choosing their gown. Many people think that because of the venue, just about anything goes and that is mostly true. We have seen some very unique and full wedding gowns over the years and it has always been a pleasure to photograph them. Her entire ensemble worked so well at City Hall, especially for pictures. In my opinion, any type of color in a wedding dress works great at SF City Hall. The neutral walls make the color stand out. This ends up focusing more attention on the bride, which is where is should be. Just check out the photo below to see how this works. The flowers she chose also worked well with her colors and you can see from the wedding photo below.

Bride in San Francisco city hall window with flashy green wedding dress

Relaxed and Easy-Going Bride and Groom

The couple pictured in the compilation below was particularly easy to work with. There were very comfortable with themselves and really just wanted to have a great time with their wedding photo shoot. Occasionally we work with newlyweds that start off our shoot a little nervous with expectations of potential stress during the session. Of course, this never materializes because we take great pains to make the the city hall photo tour fun and easy. We also never ask our couples to do anything that would cause them to feel awkward. The newlyweds pictured below didn't start out feeling uptight at all.

In fact, they warmed up to the photo shoot immediately and this made our posing easy. Our use of dynamic posing really helps to provide this upbeat feel during our photography session. This gives me a chance to discuss our dynamic posing style along with it's challenges and rewards. It doesn't work well with every couple, but certainly did with this bride and groom. On some occasions, dark lighting conditions inside the building can impact our ability to do certain types of dynamic poses. However, in most cases, we can pull it off due to our use of professional lighting. The key thing is to make it look natural and not artificially lit.

Dynamic Posing for SF City Hall Weddings

Let's start by providing a very simple definition of dynamic posing and how it differs from static posing. Simply put, dynamic posing is a wedding photography (or portrait) technique that depicts movement of the main subjects. It makes couples appear more natural and alive in front of the camera. After all, it is rare in real life that we freeze ourselves in one place for 30 seconds for no particular reason. When we create a static pose (which we still do also), we are asking our couple to do just that. Freeze in place for a moment while we take their pictures. Is it possible to obtain natural looking wedding photos by doing this? Yes, but there are negatives associated with doing too much of this, especially with regard to the couple's attitude and demeanor. Plus, the longer you make the newlyweds freeze in place the more stiff they will look. For this reason, we try to keep our posing more on the simple side without too much instruction.

Everyone talks about wanting to look natural in their wedding pictures. This desire should be obvious, we all want to look like ourselves when our pictures are taken. In my opinion, it is best to start every shoot with dynamic posing and then gradually work our way to some static poses. Both types of poses helps create a complete wedding photography album for the couple. The goal is to tell the story of the wedding day through pictures so the more movement and interaction the wedding photographer can depict, the better it is to accomplish this goal. Starting out the shoot with this type of posing, helps relaxes the couple and gets them ready to do more challenging things. This is especially true if the couple is in to it! This is why we often start our photo sessions with walking shots. Just having the bride and groom walk through the halls of San Francisco city hall!

Advantages of Dynamic Posing

  • Depicts movement
  • Provides a more natural feel in the wedding photos
  • Helps put newlyweds at ease, especially at the start of the shoot
  • Is generally more fun for the bride and groom

Disadvantages of Dynamic Posing

  • More challenging for the wedding photographer
  • Will sometimes result in awkward looks from the subjects
  • Angles may not always show everything needed
  • Can be a bit more complicated to explain to couple
  • Works better with sufficient light

Common Examples of Dynamic Poses

  1. Dancing shots
  2. Couple walking through city hall
  3. Couple going up or down the Grand Staircase
  4. Groom lifting bride (or bride lifting groom?)
  5. Running or jumping photos
  6. Bride and groom interacting
  7. Bride spinning in dress

Deciding on the Proper Posing Approach

All of this sounds great and so you would think that we would want to use dynamic posing for most of our San Francisco city hall wedding photography. The truth is that certain types of posing and photography styles work for some and not for others. Part of the skill in being a successful professional wedding photographer is to assess the couple's preferences towards the beginning of the photo session to determine what works best for them. What I usually do first is actually ask the couple about their preferences. Do they want a large amount of candid pictures? Would they prefer that we give them very specific posing ideas? These are just some of the questions we ask our brides and grooms during a photo session.

The other part of this decision-making process is to actually try the different approaches and see how the couple reacts and then gauge their comfort level. With our 11 years of city hall wedding photography experience, we can usually figure this out pretty quickly. Our couples appreciate this approach and often tell us so. It is just a matter of being sensitive to the needs and desires of your clients. I have had certain couples tell me that they just want simple poses looking at the camera, others tell me the exact opposite. The main goal is always to work with the couple and give them the wedding album of their dreams.

City Hall Bride and groom check out their bouquet

Close up portrait on the Grand Staircase at City Hall
Wedding Ceremony at city hall - top view
Looking down the Grand Staircase at SF City Hall
Bride and Groom sitting on the Staircase at San Francisco city hall
Bride with green wedding dress at San Francisco Town Hall
SF City Hall wedding photography of bride and groom laughing
bride hugging groom for wedding photographer at city hall
Pretty bride in green wedding dress posing for wedding photographer
Kissing at San Francisco city hall after wedding ceremony
bride and groom wear masks for their sf city hall ceremony
wedding officiant requiring city hall couple to wear masks during ceremony
Black and white wedding photography with selective color
newlyweds sitting on grand staircase for wedding photographer
City Hall bride and groom share a laugh while descending grand staircase
Mayors Balcony wedding photography in San Francisco
Fun Dance dip of city hall bride with green dress
Newlyweds enjoying each other during photo session
City Hall wedding photography by 3rd floor window
San Francisco city hall bride enjoying her photo session
bridal portrait in black and white
bride with beautiful legs posing for wedding photographer
Still life photo of wedding rings and bouquet
Silhouette image of newlyweds leaving San Francisco city hall
Newlyweds celebrating recent San Francisco city hall nuptials