Engagement locations review: Crissy Field and Palace of Fine Art

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been asked a lot about Crissy Field and Palace of Fine Art as the locations for an engagement session. So, if you are interested in these two places, here are our opinions and recommendations for this place.

Crissy Field is a long coastal area of North San Francisco. To be precise, in this post, we are referring to the east side of it, which is next to Palace of Fine Art.

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The red circle is the area we are talking about. The blue circle is the Palace of Fine Art

To start off, here are some of the photos of the East Crissy Field. These were taken from Marvin & Catherine early morning engagement session.

As you can see, it has a pretty good view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Also, there are some single trees that are interesting to take photos with. One thing I really like about this area is that it is not as crowded as the other side of Crissy Field. Here, people only do exercises, like jogging, and will not stay in the background. Therefore, it is easy to get photos without people in the background.

One thing I don’t like about this area is that it is an open field with minimal shade. As a result, taking photos here is quite challenging if it is not cloudy or overcast. So, the best times to do this are early morning and sunset.

However, it is not impossible to shoot around noon time. To the south side of it, there are some warehouses (photos below) where you can take photos from outside. Although the scene is not natural anymore, at least you can do something at such time.

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There is also an area that is covered with a lot of trees like the photo below. This area will challenge you with thick grass and soft ground that can sink your high-hell easily. Also, the strong green is not ideal for close up shots as it casts color on your face. If you are looking for some wide shots, it can give you pretty interesting perspectives.

crissy field review
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To the east side of it is a dock area where you might see many yachts. If you want the yachts to be in your background, early morning is highly recommended as the sun will be behind you, yielding a soft look. On the contrary, if you do it in the afternoon, be aware that the sun is in front of you and might be strong, making you squint your eyes.

From here, it takes you about 5′ to walk to Palace of Fine Art, a landmark of San Francisco. Personally, although we are not a big fan of Palace of Fine Art for some reasons: crowded (tourists) and super windy, it has a unique view that is hard to get somewhere else. Then, walking around the lake, you will catch some giant Romanic pillars. Also, the area has good shades that are ideal for some close-up shots.

san francisco pre-wedding palace of fine art
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Conclusion for these two engagement locations:

This particular area of Crissy Field and Palace of Fine Art can be a good combo for your engagement. Together, they offer a good variety of scenes that are within walking distance. Of course, they both have their own good and bad. Therefore, knowing them will help you prepare better for your next photo shoot:

  • East Crissy Field:

    • What we like:
      • Golden Gate Bridge view
      • Not crowded
      • Interesting stand-alone trees
    • What we don’t like:
      • Open field with direct sunlight
    • Our recommendation:
      • Shoot early in the morning or during sunset
  • Palace of Fine Art:

    • What we like:
      • Unique view with giant Romanic Pillar
      • Good shade
    • What we don’t like
      • Crowded all week long
      • Windy
    • Our recommendation
      • Work with this area last because the wind might mess up your hair

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