10 Spots for San Francisco Engagement Photos

Planning Resources

San Francisco is an amazing place to capture your love. It has so many beautiful spots to take pictures at that it can be hard to narrow it down to just a few. But, here are 10 San Francisco engagement photo locations! These are located all around the city and there’s a lot more where those come from.

One of the best ways to make your engagement session unique and special is to choose a place or places that are special to you. And if nothing comes to mind then do something during your session to make them special!

1. Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is huge and there can be so many fun things to do and see. If you want something a little different for your San Francisco engagement photos definitely check this place out I guarantee you’ll find something that fits your vibe! Pictured above is the Conservatory of Flowers and Stow Lake which are both gorgeous and give you fun activities to do during your engagement session which I think is so important.

Quick Tips for Engagement Photos at Golden Gate Park

ACTIVITY IDEAS: There are so many different locations from Portals of the Past, the Japanese Tea Garden, the Botanical Garden, the Conservatory of Science, and even a Ferris wheel! Of course, you can bring a cute picnic, bottle of wine, or champagne to enjoy, and just people-watch.

TIME OF DAY RECOMMENDATION: Sunrise or sunset here or even when Karl is in full force. So, you really can’t go wrong with either. I think if you really want to avoid crowds, sunrise or early morning is definitely the best.

TRANSPORTATION ACCESSIBILITY: This location is only by car or public transit. Parking can be very limited depending on the time of day.

2. Marin Headlands

If you want some EPIC views of the Golden Gate Bridge then THIS is the spot for you. Views of the bridge never get old and I don’t care what anyone else says. There are some awesome trails here for you to walk around and explore Marin with amazing views of the ocean, San Francisco, and the entirety of the Bay Area.

Whether you’re taking photos or not, don’t pass up a chance to visit this place because it’s really one of my favorite spots to see the city. I recommend going on a weekday morning if you can rise SUPER early. If not then try a weekday evening to beat the traffic because believe there will be lots soo manage expectations on that front. But, if you can a parking spot you’re golden!

Quick Tips for Engagement Photos in the Marin Headlands

ACTIVITY IDEAS: This is the perfect place to go hiking and explore the hills with the best view in all of the Bay. Of course, you can bring a cute picnic, bottle of wine, or champagne to enjoy, and just watch the sunset or sunrise.

TIME OF DAY RECOMMENDATION: Sunrise or sunset here is absolutely breathtakingly amazing. So, you really can’t go wrong with either. I think if you really want to avoid crowds, sunrise is definitely the best.

TRANSPORTATION ACCESSIBILITY: This location is only accessible by car. Rideshares here can get pretty pricey so I would definitely recommend driving yourself if possible. Parking is also very limited so prepare to be patient and snag a spot where you can. Another reason why Sunrise is the better option is because parking is actually easily available!

3. Sutro Baths

I feel like Sutro Baths is such a hidden gem in San Francisco. I don’t think it’s really accessible by transit so that could be why. But, I love this spot. Sunrise or sunset you can’t go wrong, it’s beautiful. But, again early bird gets the worm if you come here in the morning you’ll have the place mostly to yourself.

There’s a small beach after you walk along the baths that is perfect for some privacy when it’s low tide. During golden hour on a calm day, the reflections in the pools are gorgeous! There’s even a small hike that you can do if you want to see the Golden Gate Bridge and it’s a clear day.

Quick Tips for Engagement Photos at Sutro Baths

ACTIVITY IDEAS: Sutro Baths could be a perfect place to explore or for an afternoon picnic. Hike along the coast or Lands End Trail.

TIME OF DAY RECOMMENDATION: I typically recommend sunset here. If you couldn’t tell from the photos it is absolutely gorgeous. And if you love that golden lighting this is definitely a spot where you can’t beat it. Sunrise does have very few visitors though. So, if you’re looking for some privacy Sunrise is best for that!

TRANSPORTATION ACCESSIBILITY: There is tons of parking at Sutro Baths which is awesome if you’re local to the area. Of course please remember car break-ins are TERRIBLE here so be sure to leave no valuables in your car. The metro bus also has a stop close by and of course rideshare is available.

4. Marshall’s Beach

If you’re looking for a beach view of the Golden Gate Bridge then this is the place for you. There are actually two beaches along this side of the city with views of the Golden Gate Bridge – Baker Beach and Marshall’s Beach. Baker Beach is great and definitely more accessible to the general public with a parking lot and ramp to take you down to the beach.

Marshall’s Beach is a short 15-20 minute hike down off of the Batteries to Bluffs trail. The hike down is fairly easy and dare I say enjoyable. The hike up that’s a different story… But once down on the beach, you’ll find it to be fairly quiet on weekdays at least. And you can leisurely stroll from one end to another.

Be sure to check the tide before making the hike down as the beach is only accessible during low tide. But, on clear sunny days enjoy a beautiful golden sunset and quiet lull of the ocean.

ACTIVITY IDEAS: You can walk along the beach, picnic, fly a kite, go fishing, play in the ocean, and pretty much do all your normal beach activities at Marshall Beach.

TIME OF DAY RECOMMENDATION: There are two things to consider with this location. Sunrise and sunset and also tide times. The beach itself is best accessible during low tide. So, I would check that first when deciding on a date. Then I probably would choose sunset or sunrise based on a lighting preference if both options were available. The sunset is definitely super golden and bright if there is no fog. Sunrise has more blue lighting since the sun has to come all over the bridge.

TRANSPORTATION ACCESSIBILITY: You have the option for Muni 29,  Presidio GO Shuttle SOUTH HILLS ROUTE, and parking at Baker Beach then hiking over. And there’s also parking at the Golden Gate Overlook. Please be mindful of leaving your car empty of valuables.

5. Twin Peaks

Here is another great view of the Golden Gate Bridge. And whether it’s a foggy day or bright and sunny Fort Point will not disappoint. It’s super accessible with a small parking lot and a short walk over from Crissy Field. It’s like a two-for-one situation which I’m a big fan of.

In the afternoons and one weekend, the parking lots will be crazy busy with loads of people. So, even if you can get here morning you’ll find it relatively empty aside from some fishermen and runners.

One of the best tips I have is to go into the fort you’ll be able to get to the top and stand on the roof. Where you’ll get a massive view of the bridge!

Quick Tips for Engagement Photos at Twin Peaks

ACTIVITY IDEAS: Twin Peaks is definitely more of a viewpoint, a small hike area. Like many of these places, I don’t think you can spend hours here. But, share a snack, treat, or champagne, and have an amazing view.

TIME OF DAY RECOMMENDATION: Sunrise here is absolutely INSANE. On a clear day, sunrise just really makes you look at San Francisco in a new light. As long as it’s a clear day you really can’t go wrong with any time of the day.

TRANSPORTATION ACCESSIBILITY: Street parking is available off Crestline Drive and there is a small parking lot located near the Christmas Tree Viewing Area.  Muni Line 37 stops along Crestline Drive and Muni Line 48 stops along Portola.

6. Pier 7

Pier 7 has to be one of my new favorite spots in San Francisco. Sunrise here on a clear day is UNBELIEVABLE. Dare I even say magical? If you love this spot I would definitely recommend either choosing a morning or a weekday. It can get kind of crowded on weekends and evenings and this is not an easy place to photoshop people out.

I love this spot for its amazing views of the Bay Bridge and Transamerica building on the walk back to the city. The lights stay on for quite a while after the sun has risen which is perfect if you’re running a little behind schedule. And seriously if you’re blessed with a clear day you just can’t beat the view from here.

Quick Tips for Engagement Photos at Pier 7

ACTIVITY IDEAS: You can walk along the pier and I always love a good champagne pop! Pier 7 is super close to the ferry building so you can grab snacks like ice cream or pastries there and enjoy them with a view of the Bay Bridge.

TIME OF DAY RECOMMENDATION: I’ve been here once for sunrise and it was breathtaking. While the Pier itself is super cute with not much else to do but sit and people watch I don’t think swarms of people will be in the way during any time of the day. So, whatever time of day works best for you is great here. I think the evening or early morning with light poles on just gives a special vibe.

TRANSPORTATION ACCESSIBILITY: Since this is super close to downtown you can take, Bart or the Ferry and walk over. There is street parking and some very expensive parking lots. If you want to avoid the headache altogether definitely take ride-share.

7. Lovers Lane

Lover's Lane San Francisco

Such a pretty spot in the Presidio area. It can get a little busy depending on the time of day and the day of the week but such a little hideaway nonetheless. The San Francisco engagement spot is pretty close to lots of other staple SF landmarks like the Golden Gate and the Palace of Fine Arts. So if it’s not already on your radar I would definitely recommend adding it.

Quick Tips for Engagement Photos at Lovers Lane

ACTIVITY IDEAS: There are sooo many fun things to do in the Presidio! You can go on a few different hikes, you can camp in the Presidio, enjoy a sunset or sunrise view of the Golden Gate Bridge, go for a bike ride, picnic, or just people-watch.

TIME OF DAY RECOMMENDATION: The trees are incredibly tall here and the installation is a little bit in a valley. So, I would recommend late morning or early afternoon here. If it’s too late or early there won’t be much light shining through the trees which will make it harder for photos.

TRANSPORTATION ACCESSIBILITY: There is a Presidio Go Shuttle that goes from Embarcadero throughout the Presidio. However, for ease of access, I would recommend just driving yourself as parking is easy to find.

8. Palace of the Arts

How is this place even in San Francisco!! I feel like it’s dropped right out of Rome and trust me it’s so much prettier in person too! Another spot that depending on the day of the week and time there may or may not be a lot of tourists. I would definitely again recommend morning time on a weekday. What’s great about the Palace of Fine Arts though is since it’s not on the horizon you do have a little more time in the morning and have to get there as bright and early. And note on the weekends literally loads of tour buses are offloaded here so you’ve been warned.

If you value privacy then this spot probably isn’t the location for you. You’ll see everyone from locals to tour groups, proms, tourists, and just everyone in between. A beautiful location but be prepared to be patient to get those beautiful shots and spend your time walking around the outside.

Quick Tips for Engagement Photos at the Palace of Fine Arts

ACTIVITY IDEAS: This great place for a picnic with a beautiful view. And if you want to include your dog they are more than welcome. Think about doing a champagne pop and toast or eating something sweet while you’re here.

TIME OF DAY RECOMMENDATION: Weekdays here in the morning are ideal. Crowds of people come to see this place every day and literal tour buses drop people off on the weekends. I recommend sunrise for a quiet and pleasant time.

TRANSPORTATION ACCESSIBILITY: It’s either best to drive or take a ride-share. Just please be aware of car break-ins. Never leave anything in your car but, if that’s not possible make sure nothing is in sight.

9. Ina Coolbrinth Park

Ina Coolbrinth Park is located in the Russain Hill area of San Francisco. So, it’s fairly close to downtown and I don’t think you can beat these views they’re amazing. Since the park resides in a neighborhood it’s usually fairly quiet with no crowds. The parking is TERRIBLE so if you have the option to carpool or UBER I’d definitely consider that!

Quick Tips for Engagement Photos at Ina Coolbrinth Park

ACTIVITY IDEAS: This is the perfect spot if you want to include your dog(s) they are more than welcome and since this is fairly low traffic your dog won’t get too overstimulated. Think about doing a champagne pop and toast or eating something sweet while you’re here.

TIME OF DAY RECOMMENDATION: Since this is a hidden gem pretty much anytime is a good time. But it does get super bright here from midday to early evening so keep that in mind if you have a vibe you’re going for.

TRANSPORTATION ACCESSIBILITY: It’s either best to drive or take a ride-share. Just please be aware of car break-ins. Never leave anything in your car but, if that’s not possible make sure nothing is in sight.

10. Legion of Honor

Legion of Honor is located in the presidio and there are lots of other amazing this to do here too! People obviously flock to this building for its architecture. Legion of Honor is pretty quiet any time of day but I would double-check that there are no events going on or work being done on the exterior.

Quick Tips for Engagement Photos at the Legion of Honor

ACTIVITY IDEAS: With the Legion of Honor as a backdrop this could be the perfect place to rent a fun vintage car and grab some photos. And you can always explore the museum and there are a few trails that lead to amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean.

TIME OF DAY RECOMMENDATION: The Legion of Honor is beautiful no matter the time of day. Both times I’ve gone has been pretty overcast so it’s hard to tell how morning or evening might affect the lighting. However, the museum gates are only open from 9:30-5:15 so be sure to plan accordingly.

TRANSPORTATION ACCESSIBILITY: There is a metro bus line that drops off and picks up right across the street so it is accessible from public transport. And there is a small parking lot with more parking along the trail so feel free to drive and not stress too much about parking.

Tips for San Francisco Engagement Photos

  1. Wherever you go DO NOT leave anything in your car. I don’t just mean valuables, I mean anything.
  2. One of the great things about most of these spots is that they don’t require any permits so please be respectful of nature, and other people, and try to leave them better than you found them.
  3. You can read about special park uses here.
  4. Mornings are the best times for photos without having to worry about a ton of people in the background or hanging around you.
  5. Pick places that you love they’re your photos! Do what you want!

San Francisco Engagement Photographer

San Francisco City Hall photographer Torez Marguerite.

I love photographing engagements (and weddings)! And I would to capture this time for you and your partner. It’s about creating a space for you to be YOU. Because to me, these photos aren’t just about the here and right now, they are forever. This may sound a little dramatic but, my hope is that you’re able to look at these photos years from now and remember all the feelings and things that made you happy during this time. 

Taking photos should be a fun and easy experience. I do my absolute best to create a seamless experience from beginning to end. From the first contact, I want you to feel like you know me, and together we can figure out location, outfits, accessories, timing, and all of the little details to help your San Francisco engagement photography vision come to life. These are your photos at the end of the day and I want you to be absolutely in love with them.

If that sounds like something you’re down for then let’s chat! Leave a comment or inquire. Can’t wait!

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Hi I'm Torez, a die-hard romantic and San Francisco-based wedding photographer with years of experience capturing love stories against the backdrop of our charming city. From intimate City Hall ceremonies to epic coastal elopements, I've seen and photographed it all. I know the ins and outs of navigating wedding planning in San Francisco like the back of my hand - from selecting the perfect location that aligns with your love story, to creating the dreamiest wedding timeline that lets you enjoy your day to the fullest. And guess what? I'm sharing all of that expertise right here with you.

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