As soon as I booked this SF City Hall Engagement Shoot, I could hardly wait.

I’ve had this location on my bucket list for the longest time. Finally, the stars aligned, and I had the chance to capture something truly special with Rachel and Josh.

Dani Rawson Photography, a destination wedding photographer, as she recaps this elegant SF City Hall Engagement Shoot in the Bay Area

Recapping Rachel + Josh’s SF City Hall Engagement Shoot

San Francisco City Hall has always had a special place in my heart after seeing it for the first time on Insta. I knew instantly that it would make for a stunning backdrop for a photoshoot, and I had to make it happen one day!

I even had the opportunity to tour it, and you already know that it only strengthened my NEED to capture magic within its walls.

Let me tell you, Rachel and Josh made this session a dream come true.

Meet the Couple

Rachel and Josh are genuinely the cutest little humans, and their love story is one for the books.

She wasn’t exactly fond of Josh when they were younger being that she viewed him as the annoying kid in the family friend group. Don’t we all have one of those LOL? But, as they grew older, their love story unfolded, and now they’re about to tie the knot.

How *heart eyes* is that?
I am a sucker for a good love story.

Rachel, the younger sister of one of my all-time favorite clients, and Josh booked me for their wedding, which included an engagement session which meant that we had to find the ultimate location for them!

We settled on the dates, and I was thrilled to plan a shoot that would complement their wedding venue and reflect their amazing couple vibes. Which, just so happened to be SF City Hall!

Starting Off Strong

The day of the shoot arrived, and Rachel looked absolutely adorable in her pearl-covered white cocktail dress. Josh sported dashing black slacks and a white button-down ensemble.

Their attire perfectly matched the elegant setting of San Francisco City Hall, and the vibe was simply off the charts.

They understood the assignment (;

I usually incorporate some standard vibes such as drinks and music, into my shoots, but since it was a busy day at City Hall, we had to adapt.

I was a little bummed, but it ended up being no biggie since Rachel and Josh were absolute troopers.

Breaking My Norm

As a Tahoe-based photographer, I typically find myself shooting in natural, outdoor settings like the lake. However, this urban shoot at City Hall allowed me to break free from the norm and push myself creatively.

This is something that I really have learned to love.

The city vibes provided the perfect backdrop for capturing their love, and I fell head over heels in love with the photos right then and there.

But, I wasn’t the only one.
Rachel was right behind me!

She couldn’t contain her excitement as she let me know that they were literally taken straight out of her Pinterest board – I’ll take it!

Tips for Capturing Photos at SF City Hall

If you are familiar with SF City Hall at all, you know that it is nearly impossible to get it completely to yourself.

Our session happened to be on a busy Friday. And with the following Monday being a holiday?! City Hall was insanely busy. So, for this SF City Hall Engagement Shoot, I needed to get creative during the editing process.

But, I managed to create the illusion of a private space for Rachel and Josh’s love to shine.

Are photographers magicians?

For those of you considering a shoot or an elopement at San Francisco City Hall, I’ve got some insider tips for you.

Aim for a Monday-Wednesday slot to avoid heavy crowds.
For even more privacy, book a morning session!

Just keep in mind that there will be people around regardless of when you visit.

Preparing for their Upcoming Wedding

These two’s wedding is coming quickly – August!

Since I am their photographer for that as well, it is my responsibility to ensure everything runs smoothly.

As I do with all of my couples!

I do this by sending out my wedding questionnaire about three months ahead of the big day. Since we were meeting up for their engagement shoot, we opted to grab coffee afterward to discuss their wedding timeline and other special details.

Meeting in person is always a highlight, and I cannot stress enough how vital these meetings are! It gives both parties a chance to get to know each other better, understand the process, and share in all the good vibes.

And oh, trust me when I say that this one was one incredibly vibey meetup!

Booking a 2023 Bay Area Session with Dani Rawson Photo

If you’re interested in exploring more of my availability for the Bay Area in 2023,
check out the dates mentioned below.

I’m more than happy to travel for shoots and elopements, so feel free to reach out if you don’t see your date on the list!

  • October 10 – Afternoon
  • October 12 – Morning
  • November 3 – Afternoon
  • November 5 – Afternoon


August 8, 2023

Elegant SF City Hall Engagement Shoot