Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Where to take portrait and family photos in San Francisco?

Clients often ask me for suggestions on where to take photos in San Francisco and surrounding areas. Since it's a known fact that a picture is worth a thousand words, I decided to create a visual database of various  San Francisco locations. This list will be updated as I discover new spots in the city (I am always on a lookout for new ideas).

1) Presidio/Lover's Lane
By far, my favorite part of San Francisco and my favorite location for family/kids photos. If you love nature and want to get away from big crowds and clichés – this location is perfect for you! A stunning eucalyptus forest provides a gorgeous background. There's a lot of space for kiddos to run around. Tons of shade which helps bring out bright colors and gorgeous depth of a photograph. I guess it's obvious that I just love Park Presidio. :) 

2) Baker Beach
A beautiful and very popular beach that offers stunning views of the Golden Gate. Right next to the beach are the Presidio woods, with lots of shady areas for close-up portraits. In the summer, the beach is often covered in very thick fog – so very San Francisco!

2) Alamo Square
Another well-known San Francisco favorite, Alamo Square is an "all-in-one" location that offers a green park, nice architecture (famous Painted Ladies and other gorgeous victorian buildings) and view of the downtown.

3) Palace of Fine Arts/Crissy Field
A gorgeous, classic San Francisco location with a great variety of backdrops all within a small distance from each other.

6) Golden Gate Park
My favorite parts of the park are the Botanical Garden, AIDS Memorial Grove and the area between the De Young and the Academy of Sciences. There are lovely flowers at the Botanical garden in the Spring!

7) Murals in the Mission.
Colorful, artful and so very San Francisco!

8) Or just about anywhere in the city! Even a random street can provide a great background.

Other great locations are Land's End, Legion of Honor, Lafayette Park and Lucasfilm park.

South Bay, East Bay and Peninsula have some very nice parks too (as well as much warmer weather!).
Some of my favorite spots in the Bay Area:

Sharon Park (Menlo Park)
This is a really neat little park with a great variety of backgrounds. There's a big grassy lawn, a shady paved path, a brick wall, a pond and a little woodsy area with trees. Another great thing about this park is it's very secluded and never crowded.

San Mateo Central Park
Another very nice little park with lots of trees, clean grass and a rose garden.

Elizabeth Gamble Garden (Palo Alto):

A lovely little garden with flowers, grass and a gazebo. Lots of possibilities within a very compact space.


Berkeley Rose Garden (Berkeley)

One of my favorite locations, especially in the summer and fall. Roses, little bridges, steps – all within

a very compact location with easy parking.





  1. как у вас красивоо!

    1. Да, здесь очень много красивых и интересных мест. Приезжайте к нам в гости!!

  2. I was just there this week and I kept thinking OMG this is a great city for photography. I am so jealous. I live in a very unattractive part of the US.

    1. I know, I am very lucky to live here. I am only starting to explore all the photographic possibilities of this area. There are lots of hidden treasure spots!

  3. Дина! Сличайно попала в твой блог и зависла :) твои фотографии - сплошной восторг! восхищаюсь!

    1. Полина, спасибо большое!