Sammi and I have known each other for pretty much half our lives. We met 14 years ago at our church summer camp and have been friends ever since. We grew up, life happened, and she moved to the other side of the country to go to university. After university, she moved to the other side of the world to work/live. None the less, we still made an effort to hang out to keep up to date on each others’ lives.. even if it meant doing things she didn’t want to, like hiking up the Grouse Grind and going rock climbing with me. Fast forward a few years and Sammi has met the love of her life in San Francisco. When Sammi told me she was engaged, I was so happy for her and when she asked me to photograph her wedding in Napa Valley, I was even happier!
This trip to San Francisco to photograph their engagement has been months in the planning. Sammi and Vu were gracious enough to host me in their home for the weekend to show me around their beautiful city. Our first day together consisted of driving down to Napa Valley for their cake testing then scouting out locations around the city for our shoot the following day.
On the day of our engagement shoot, Sammi woke up bright and early to get her make up trial done. I went out to explore the city a bit and to check out one of the local climbing gyms. When I returned, Sammi’s hair and make up was all done and we were off to our first location. The shoot started off with some classic trolley shots near the Ferry Building in downtown San Francisco. We managed to find a group of empty trollies at the end of Market Street, which was perfect! After that, we walked over to the Vaillancourt Fountain to get a couple shots there. It’s unfortunate, but the water was turned off at the fountain – probably due to the fact that California is going through a drought (no complaints here). After strolling around the Ferry Building we hopped into a cab and went over to The Palace of Fine Arts. As expected, this was such a busy location and it was really difficult getting some good shots without people in the background. However, with some creative angles and proper lens choices… and with the help of photoshop, we were able to get some fabulous clean images. After a quick outfit change, the next location on our city tour was The Legion of Honour. We arrived just after the museum had closed so it wasn’t very busy at all – lucky!
We finished our day at the Sutro Bath ruins located at lands end. This was such a popular spot for photographers and the busiest one we visited. We arrived right before sun set, but had to wait around to find a parking spot. By the time we got down to the ruins, the sun had almost fully set, but no biggie! We managed to get some gorgeous silhouette shots before we completely lost the light behind #karlthefog.
I had such an amazing weekend in San Francisco. It was so great reconnecting with an old friend and getting to know the love of her life. I can’t wait to go back in May for the wedding in Napa Valley!