San Francisco is an amazing to place to capture your love. It has so many beautiful spots to take pictures at that it can be hard too 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. Ocean Beach
Ocean beach is located on the far end of San Francisco in an area know as the Sunset. I can’t recommend this place enough for sunrise it’s sooo FREAKING magical. However, if early mornings aren’t your thing then sunset will work too! And for a special summer bonus you can have bonfires here which are always fun and great way to make your session unique and special. Those definitely aren’t your average San Francisco engagement pics.
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 one 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!
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 from some privacy when it’s low tide. And it connects around to the presidio via a trail so if you really wanted and if Karl permits you can get some really pretty views of the Golden Gate bridge. How’s that for two birds one stone?
Want to see more of this session check it out here.
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 beach along this side of the city with views of the Golden Gate Bridge – Baker beach and Marshaller’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.
Want to see more from the proposal check it out here!
5. Fort Point
Here are with another great views 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 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 fisherman 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 massive view of the bridge!
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 kinda crowded on weekend evenings and this is not any easy place to photoshop people out.
I love this spot for it’s amazing views of the Bay Bridge and Transamerica building on the walk back to the city. The lights stay on for quite awhile 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.
Want to see more of this session check them out here!
7. Lovers Lane
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 Palace of Fine Arts. So if it’s not already on your radar I would definitely recommend adding it.
And while this spot is so pretty I would definitely recommend adding it in addition to another favorite spot in San Francisco rather than making this location your soul focus for photos. Parking is limited in both time and capacity as a residential neighborhood is just a few feet away. So, carpool or rideshare is best.
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 down 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 prepared to be patience to get those beautiful shots and spend your time walking around the outside.
9. Crissy Field
Crissy Field located on the north side of SF is a super cute and quaint location. This is a great location to do a little something different if that’s your thing, whether it be a cute picture picnic or paint date on beach, riding long board or bike together. This is a great spot with plenty of space to do an activity and not be in any else’s way.
One clear days (not like pictured above lol) you can see all the way to the Golden Gate. And if you’re really feeling adventurous you can walk down to Fort Point for even more fun!
10. San Francisco City Hall
I’m actually in love with San Francisco City Hall, it’s absolutely gorgeous all on its own. Which is why so many couple choose to elope and or get married here literally daily. This definitely take up the elegance game to a whole new level. When couples book longer sessions time like 1.5-3 hours I always suggest of course going to multiple places but also places with different vibes. Usually one dressed up and one more casual.
San Francisco City Hall is a great dressed up option and though parking can be a little bit of a pain. (I recommend the pay for parking below ground) with the right amount of patience. This is a great option for your engagement session backdrop.
San Francisco City Hall is not open on weekends so you’ll have to find a weekday that works best. If you can be there when the building opens at 9am you’ll drastically minimize the amount of other foot traffic.
I haven’t photographed an engagement session there yet, but I have photographed lots of weddings you can check out a San Francisco City Hall wedding here.
Final Tips for San Francisco Engagement Photos
- Wherever you go DO NOT leave anything in your car. I don’t just mean valuables, I mean anything.
- One of the great things about most of these spots is that they don’t require any permits so please be respectful of nature, other people, and try to leave them better than you found them.
- You can read about special park uses here.
- Mornings are the best times for photos without having to worry about a ton of people in the background or hanging around you.
- Pick places that you love they’re your photos! Do what you want!
San Francisco Engagement Photographer
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, 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!