When you picture San Francisco, you probably immediately think of the Golden Gate Bridge. And it’s true — this landmark is pretty majestic. There are a number of obvious locations like these to take family portraits, but there are also plenty of properties that make excellent backdrops for family photoshoots. In this list of the 10 best family photoshoot ideas near San Francisco, we’ll try to cover both: gorgeous public spaces and under-the-radar professional venues.
1. Capture dreamy portraits at a Mission Loft studio
The Mission District loft is bathed in natural light and makes an excellent setting for family portraits. An open floor plan gives you plenty of space to work, and modern furniture and natural decorations set the loft apart from other venues. Bring your own lights and reflectors if the natural light is not bright enough. This studio has plenty of space for family members to spread out when you’re doing individual portraits.
2. Pose on Grant Avenue
Located in Chinatown, Grant Avenue is a historic street in San Francisco and runs from downtown to Pier 39. There are plenty of settings along Grant that make great photo backdrops. Take a walk with your clients down the street, and use the myriad of buildings and urban settings as your backdrop. This is a great part of the city to fully explore your creativity while doing some outdoor photography. Relax, soak in the energy of the neighborhood, and let spontaneity play its role in producing some memorable images.
3. Book this sun-filled, naturally lit studio
This spacious loft has plenty of natural light, thanks to walls of large windows. The space is a blank canvas for your photography needs, with lots of room to spread out. No lighting equipment is provided, so bring your own gear if you’ll need it.
4. Take photos at this bright, spacious studio with a view
With great views of the bay, this Dogpatch District studio is an excellent space to do portrait work with families. The venue is bright, clean, and open, so it’s a good choice if you’re trying to avoid cramped quarters. Minimalist furniture makes for a great, distraction-free set for your images. Some equipment, like stands, are available on site, but no lights are included in this rental.
5. Rent this colorful, contemporary loft
This colorful space is furnished with unique pieces and wall art, which really gives the room a pop. Large industrial windows bring in a ton of natural light and make the space shine. Blackout blinds let you block that natural light and control lighting conditions if you bring a light kit. The color in the space makes it stand out and will make your portraits unique.
6. Plan portraits at this Potrero Hill studio
An open floor plan and brightly lit interior make this modern space stand out as a great choice for portraits. White walls reflect a lot of light, and contemporary furniture looks tasteful in images. Lighting equipment is available and blackout curtains let you take full advantage of it. There’s also a small outdoor patio that may make a good additional backdrop, but the interior is where this space really shines.
7. Opt for this SoMa Loft
Extra-high ceilings and giant windows make this gorgeous loft feel large and bright. The trendy furniture looks great in images, giving the whole space an artistic feel. The windows are equipped with automated blinds that will soften the ambient light if necessary. This is a feature that isn’t common in other listings, so be sure to take advantage of it if you book this property.
8. Book this designer loft in the Mission District
Built in a former factory, this sophisticated space is packed with unique charm. Large windows and modern styling make for many great photo backdrops. Curtains over the windows can diffuse light if it’s too harsh for your shoot. No lighting equipment is available, but with these oversized windows, you probably won’t need any.
9. Enjoy this Mission District professional photo studio
This is a professional studio setup catered around a large, white infinity backdrop, perfect for working with larger families. Lighting equipment is available at the venue to take full advantage of the studio, so this is a good option if you don’t have a personal light kit yet. If you need a space to shoot traditional family portraits, then this is an option worth considering.
10. Keep it classy at the Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge deserves a mention because it’s one of the first features of San Francisco that people envision when thinking about the city. It makes an iconic backdrop for any outdoor family photo hoot and always looks good in images — so long as the weather is good. Plan your shoots around optimal light, shooting in the morning or the early evening.
The high energy and constant motion of San Francisco make it a great city to work in, and everywhere you look there are beautiful places to inspire family photoshoot ideas. When working with families, you need to consider the aesthetics of the space, as well as its accessibility to groups. Hopefully, this list has inspired you to go out and explore, knowing that Peerspace can help you find great places to fill with love, laughter, and wonderful art.