First time I met Cindy and Justin we were in Iceland where we had a fabulous multi-day engagement photoshoot. From then on it was logical to go to San Francisco to photograph their wedding in California, where they had a genuine city wedding, which was followed by a full day of photo shooting in the wild around Bay Area in California.
The main thing that distinguishes taking pictures in San Francisco versus Europe is the complexity of selecting the locations. For instance, in Europe, it is much easier to take pictures on a private lot, National Parks etc than in California because the rules of being on somebody’s private piece of land are more complicated. National Parks in Europe are generally free as well. Also, population density is significantly higher. So, when it comes to taking photos in big cities, it acquires significantly more spare time than in simple country area. Traffic in California can be a mess. In addition, it is important to take into account the abundance of tourists in some places and it may not be suitable for everyone. Cindy and Justin's wedding, in fact, was completely two-sided. First, a city wedding and then a photo shoot in a national parks and also, in some more iconic places around San Francisco and Bay Area.
Their day began at the luxurious Four Season hotel in downtown San Francisco. They only wanted a little ceremony just for the two of them in San Francisco, so there we were in the City Hall - only me and the couple. The City Hall has a very busy schedule, but the house itself is gorgeous and ideal for taking pictures. You can count the other weddings taking place there at the same time with your two hand’s fingers. A lot of other other San Francisco Wedding Photographers hanging around there.
We took group photos at two different iconic locations that were already selected out by me earlier on - the Andy Goldsworthy Wood Lines and the Fort Point National Historic Site near the Golden Gate Bridge. Both are fantastic places to take pictures. The weather was sunny and very windy. Both places offer the wedding photographer just the perfect opportunities for unique images. From there on we headed to the iconic San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge. It must be taken into account that this is a very touristy place. Since Cindy and Justin are big food gourmets their day ended in a Michelin Star worthy restaurant called Lazy Bear. That 16-course dinner was something that you’ll never forget. It was a true experience to see the masters of their field work and how the food was cooked right in front of you.
Since we didn't have enough time to take portrait shots on their wedding day, we agreed on taking them the following day. By that time, I had already chosen the places where to take the portrait shots but we left something open as I always love to do. A few days before I went seeking for the right places, I aimed to find a place that is not so tourist-rich and that would also, offer more privacy. We started from the heart of the city and then continued our way along the seashore to the south. Our peak moment was Henry Cowell Redwood State Park where we had a fantastic opportunity to take pictures by the world's largest Sequoia trees. From there we headed up to San Jose again. The Bay Area offers the absolute perfect opportunity to take pictures in so many different ways, in different environments. We travelled across California afterwards and I often wondered how awesome it would be to photograph a wedding “here… and there”.