All of our newly married couples want the iconic shot in front of the Grand Staircase at San Francisco City Hall. Some even choose this venue just for that reason. Images like the one above can be hard to capture without people in the background so we encourage our clients to choose times of the day or days of the week that are less crowded to have their ceremony. We suggest you avoid Fridays and also mid day, every day. The photo above was taken with 2 lights. One was bounced off the side wall and the other was a remote umbrella aimed at the bride's veil. You can see from the photo that her veil has a slight glow to it which is a result of the professional lighting we use. We frequently only have a few short minutes to get a great shot in front of the Grand Staircase so we always make sure all of our lighting is ready to go. We don't want other San Francisco city hall couples to have to wait for us while we struggle with our equipment. We also are strong believers that everyone who is involved in City Hall wedding photography including the brides, grooms and of course, the professional photographer should be respectful of others. There is plenty of time for every couple to get their wedding photos done at the most important locations, just show a little patience and you will be rewarded. We have managed to develop great relationships with many of the other San Francisco city hall wedding photographers for this reason.
We have also learned after photographing 600 San Francisco Courthouse weddings that just setting up a great shot with a beautiful background like this is not enough. Its very important to create a more intimate or dramatic pose. This is what really makes the image stand out. We knew that the veil would hang nicely if we had the groom bend the bride back slightly, and this made the difference. We always strive to make every SF City Hall shoot unique and give each couple their own individual posing and coverage. We will also listen to your suggestions and do the types of poses you prefer. The image below was lit up with a back light placed carefully behind the Bride's veil. You can see the result for yourself! There are so many approaches to photographing the Grand Staircase. We could talk about it for hours.