Grand staircase kiss with Professional Photographic Back Lighting
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Krista and Tate

Grand Staircase Kiss at SF City Hall

We do not always need to ask the married couple to kiss at the Grand Staircase. It's a romantic spot and most every couple's favorite place for wedding photography. In the photo above we used our professional lighting and back lit the couple to add more depth to the image. This is not an easy image to make successfully at San Francisco city hall. Why? For one thing, there are normally people glued to every part of the Grand Staircase. Either using it to sit and rest or tourists taking selfies there. The other issue is lighting as discussed previously. There is never sufficient lighting at this location so the foreground (the bride and groom) tend to go dark while the staircase is lighter. This is why it is so important to bring in professional lighting equipment. We do it every time! We have one of the most powerful portable off-camera lights available on the market today. It lights up the Grand Staircase quite nicely without being obtrusive. We don't have to set up a large light that hangs over the Staircase, we just powerfully bounce the flash off of the wall and this creates beautiful soft light. We still get some directional dimension in the picture which helps make the couple look amazing. At the same time, when you look at one of our Grand Staircase wedding pictures, you cannot tell that any type of flash was used. This, in my opinion, is the key to great professional off-camera lighting. It should not be obvious and overly "flashy". We are able to use this type of lighting throughout San Francisco city hall and so it doesn't really matter if the day is dark due to fog or rain outside. For this particular image, we placed the lighting on the side of the bride and aimed right at her dress and veil. This helps make the gown "pop" and show nice reflection and beautiful texture.

San Francisco city hall wedding photographer's image on the Staircase