San Francisco is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, it is also my favorite place to shoot engagement photos with all the amazing photogenic architecture and natural scenery the bay area has to offer. Whether you are from North California or any other part of the world, you will not regret taking your engagement photos here. For many people who are first-timers here in the bay area or those who are just not sure about where to capture the best photos, these are some iconic places that I would without a doubt recommend to every couple. I've discovered these places over the past few years from my experience as a wedding photographer, and also as someone who's always looking to explore more of my own city.
I have drafted this blog to show you some popular spots for engagement photos in San Francisco. I always recommend my couples choose places that have special meaning to them, making this engagement session more personal and meaningful. I am here to capture your love stories at the best moment, at your favorite places.
1. Baker Beach
Baker Beach is not just a place for enjoying a nice walk on the beach while watching the sunset. You have the famous Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean as your background canvas. With easy public access and convenient parking, you will have a great time here no matter sunny or foggy.
Originally built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific exhibition, the Palace of Fine Art has been attracting locals and tourists for over a hundred years. Take your loved ones here on a sunny afternoon, and post in front of the beautiful architecture with swans and sea birds by your side. Check the Palace of Fine Art photo gallery HERE.
Looking at the beautiful interior architecture, it is not hard to understand why many couples chose San Francisco City Hall as their place to get married. Think of this as an option if you want to shoot some nice indoor photos on a windy day. (Tip: only open on the weekdays from 8 am-8 pm)
Golden Gate Park has a lot more to offer than just an amazing view of its namesake bridge. It will take you days to explore the entire park and find your best spot to strike a pose. I personally love taking my couples to the Conservatory of Flowers for engagement sessions.
5. Pier 7
Pier 7 is a long, narrow walkway that juts out into the San Francisco Bay and offers stunning views of the city skyline, the Bay Bridge, and the water. Pier 7 is lined with lampposts, which create a romantic and cinematic feel for photos. There are also benches and plenty of space to walk, sit, and pose for photos. Pier 7 is particularly beautiful during golden hour when the light is warm and soft.
Presidio Tunnel Tops is another beautiful location in San Francisco that is worth considering for engagement photos! This new park, located on top of the Presidio Parkway tunnels, offers breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the bay, and the city skyline.
7. Sutro Bath
The unique setting and dramatic backdrop of the ruins and the ocean make Sutro Baths a great spot for engagement photos, particularly for couples looking for a more moody and atmospheric setting. The site also offers plenty of opportunities for creative shots with different angles, perspectives, and lighting.
8. Embarcadero Center/ Fidi San francisco
Embarcadero Center offers a great mix of modern and classic architecture, as well as a variety of textures and colors, making it a versatile location for engagement photos. Additionally, the complex is located close to other popular San Francisco landmarks, such as the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge, which can provide additional background options for photos.
9. Lovers' Lane
Lover's Lane is a historic path that dates back to the early days of the Presidio, and its charming setting is perfect for capturing romantic and intimate moments between couples. The tree-lined pathway provides a natural and serene setting, and the sunlight filtering through the trees creates a dreamy and romantic atmosphere.
10. legion of honor
The Legion of Honor's architecture is inspired by the neoclassical style, and its exterior features ornate columns, arches, and a grand staircase. The museum's interior is equally impressive, with marble floors, vaulted ceilings, and a collection of European art and artifacts.
Looking for your own San Francisco Bay Area Engagement and Wedding Photographer?
Joss Li is a Fine Art and Lifestyle Wedding Photographer based in San Francisco Bay Area. His images have been described as candid, emotional, romantic & airy. Within the Bay Area, he serves San Francisco, Peninsula, the South Bay, and the East Bay. (San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Carlos, Burlingame, Los Altos, Milpitas, Union City, Fremont, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Carmel, Monterey, Santa Cruz, and surrounding areas)
I hope you find the perfect location for your engagement photos from these 10 of the best SF engagement photo spots. If you’re interested in more engagement ideas, jump on over to my page and be sure to reach out!