One of the best places to photograph weddings at city hall is the Grand Staircase. In the photo above, we featured a same-sex marriage photo that we really loved. This couple was very enthusiastic and it showed in virtually all of their wedding photos. This LGBTQ couple was incredibly easy to pose, only needing a little guidance to get started with each look. This particular image was not planned. Our beautiful brides just did many impromptu moves like this one and made some great shots with their own activities. The truly incredible thing about this pictures is how empty San Francisco city hall appears from this view. The truth is, that there were quite a few people wandering around the building as usual. We just place our couple at the base of the staircase and waited for people to clear. Sometimes it just takes a little patience to obtain a photo like this one. People constantly insist that I must be using Photoshop to take people out of these photos. In this case, the answer was no. It was just a matter of being patient and waiting to see when things would clear. Once we do have an opening such as this one, we quickly go through our shots and get some great ones. It doesn't take us too long once we get everything set up because we already know what we want to do.
At times I have to vent my frustration with other wedding photographers who don't understand that they don't own the Grand Staircase. Just today, I watched a photographer's assistant take a bride and groom on the Stairs and started doing the Bride's hair. This is something that could have been done beforehand. Meanwhile everyone else has to wait as the assistant takes her time fixing the bride's hair for the shot. When we try to get Staircase shots at city hall, we get everything ready in advance and then we just instruct the couple and start shooting. We can usually get what we want in 5 minutes!