If you’ve never been to San Francisco, take it from us: this enchanting city is a playground for lovers. Beset on three sides by water, as well as built up and down an archipelago of hills and valleys, San Francisco vibrates with the rattle and thrum of its tech industry. It also wows visitors with its Mediterranean-esque bay views, and seduces residents with moody, romantic fog. (Its iconic Victorian architecture doesn’t hurt, either.) If you have a camera and a loved one, and you have a desire to make some memories, we have some suggestions for unique couple photoshoot ideas near San Francisco. Enjoy!
1. Enjoy insane bridge views at Casa al Mare
When it comes to a couple photoshoot with a gorgeous view, it doesn’t get better than this Dreamers’ Retreat. Located in San Francisco’s Sea Cliff neighborhood, this stunning space offers four floors of sweeping vistas, offering visitors peeks of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Headlands, and San Francisco Bay. What you’ll find inside Casa al Mare are four levels of thoroughly modern, polished, quiet luxury living, with indoor and outdoor views in all directions. This gem of a space is also in proximity to Lands End, Baker Beach, and China Beach, giving couples in pursuit of a romantic photoshoot more than a few options.
2. Pose together at Fort Point
The Golden Gate Bridge is the most-Instagrammed spot in San Francisco, and there is a reason — from above and below. The South Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge towers over Fort Point, making you feel huge and small at the same time. Also, the bridge and the ships moving in and out sure put things in perspective! Take advantage of the Marin Headlands and the never-ending light show of the San Francisco Bay for your couple photoshoot. Enjoy the kind of jaw-dropping scenery that will make your friends ask, “Wait, where did you do to take these?”
3. Take a ride on the iconic cable cars
If you go to San Francisco and don’t ride the cable cars — well, why bother going to SF? There are a lot of ways to get around San Francisco — Muni, Bart, mopeds, scooters, Uber, and the list goes on — but cable cars are by far the most romantic way. A single ride is very affordable, and there are one-, three-, and seven-day passports available. And with three lines — the California, Powell/Hyde, and Powell/Mason — all of which offer spectacular views of San Francisco from sea level to the highest heights, there’s no place more iconic to snap your couples’ photos in San Francisco.
4. Take chic photos in this modern designer loft in SoMa
Would you love to take couples’ photos at home, but wish your home looked a little bit more like something out of a magazine? We’ve got you covered. This modern design loft, located in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood, boasts industrial touches and 22-foot-high ceilings (this space is a former factory), making for a truly unique backdrop for your pictures. This loft also features a gourmet kitchen, which could be perfect for a couple photoshoot involving a pair of foodies.
5. Bask in ocean views at Cliff House
Ocean Beach lies on the western edge of San Francisco, a place where the wild Pacific and continent meet in swift collision — where waves break for miles from Kelly’s Cove and off to the south. The best place to take in the long sweep of Ocean Beach is from the north end, which is near Cliff House on Point Lobos Avenue in the Outer Richmond neighborhood. Cliff House was first constructed in 1858, and it has been morphed and transformed by man (and nature) into its present state. Have a drink and a bite to eat at Cliff House while the sun is setting, then wander down to the seawall at golden hour for a casual couple photoshoot. It’s magic.
6. Get playful in this Magical Rainbow Sanctuary
If you’re looking for couple photos that will stand out on your friends’ Instagram feeds, look no further than this Magical Rainbow Sanctuary, located in San Francisco’s Outer Richmond. The theme of this space is rainbows — color, magic, and happiness. The space can accommodate as many as 30 people, but is also good for just two who want to relax after a day of seeing the city (Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park are close by). And you can transfer all that love and positivity into some great photos.
7. Experience the sweeping views from Alcatraz
While you may associate Alcatraz with crime and cruel punishment, this landmark is now available to tour. Not only is the history of this former federal penitentiary fascinating, but its location smack dab in the middle of San Francisco Bay makes for some pretty spectacular views of the city and Golden Gate Bridge. Whether you’re posing on the ferry with the city behind you, or you’re exploring the many bird colonies, tidal pools, and gardens, Alcatraz finds itself on our list of best couple photoshoot ideas because of its insanely stunning views.
8. Tap into your inner steampunk in this historic lounge
Is steampunk is your thing? That’s cool — you’ll love this expansive, steampunk-inspired lounge located in a historic brick building in China Basin. The decor in this space is an alchemy of 19th-century-meets-the-21st; brick walls, thick beams, and lots of machines with gizmos and widgets make for a unique photoshoot idea. There is seating for many, but this cocktail den provides an intimate setting for drinks for two — not to mention really interesting photos.
9. Enjoy the views from Tiburon
Facing north and across the bay from San Francisco, Tiburon is a small, quiet, prosperous town on the southern edge of Marin County. This hidden gem of a community also happens to offer almost unbelievable views of the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as an Emerald-City-effect of the San Francisco skyline, especially as the sun goes down and the lights come on. Romantic? Oh, you got it. Take the ferry to Tiburon and enjoy a couple photoshoot as you take in the views. Afterwards, head over to Sam’s for a drink and watch as the lights go down in the city.
10. Indulge in a little bit of loft life
If you’re looking for unique couple photoshoot ideas near San Francisco, and you’ve ever fantasized about living the life of an artiste in a fancy loft, this San Francisco space will help you indulge in that dream — along with incredible bay views. Located between Hunter’s Point and India Basin, this loft has a spacious live/work space with skylights, gallery lighting, concrete floors, architectural details, and the owner’s original artwork on the walls. It also offers “the look of a gallery, the soul of an artist,” according to its host.