sf city hall wedding photography back lit bride

Creative Lighting at San Francisco City Hall

One of the things we like to do for our couples when we photograph them at city hall is to give them some dramatic images to go along with some of the standard ones. Obviously the building itself gives us the opportunity to create images with impact just by aiming the camera in any direction. This of course is due to the fantastic architecture that you see in all directions when you are wandering through the building. However, when a bride and groom books us, they are looking for something more. Simply placing the couple in front of various City Hall backgrounds is not enough. So we bring extra lighting and external flash units to help create a different look. By using a radio slave controlled flash we can make a photo like the one above. This particular image was photographed clear across the building with a remote flash placed behind this gorgeous bride. By balancing the light from our on-camera flash with the back-light, we were able to create this glow. As you can see, the light coming through makes the veil and parts of the dress look partially transparent. This adds drama to the picture while creating a unique look.

Off-Camera Lighting for City Hall Wedding Photography

We are one of the few San Francisco City Hall photographers you will see wandering around the building carrying extra Professional lighting equipment. Don't worry, it's not some embarrassingly large lighting unit. In fact, it's actually quite portable and relatively unobtrusive. If you want to tell the pros from the amateurs, check out their lighting systems. We have many friends who are top-notch wedding photographers at this amazing venue and almost all of them use off-camera lighting. We wouldn't dream of photographing a wedding any other way. Using a light that is placed far away from the camera gives the photographs a professional look and also more dimension and depth. We use various types of light shaping equipment, but mostly love our large umbrella for the soft light it creates. In addition to the main light coming from this umbrella, the reflective light fills other areas of the photos with softer light.

We are also aware that many City Hall photographers feel like natural light is the only way to go. Well we agreed that the natural light at Sf City Hall is amazingly beautiful sometimes, the fact is San Francisco can be foggy quite often. Not only that but there are some beautiful locations within the building that feature amazing architecture but have no natural light to speak of.