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        Downtown San Francisco Engagement Photos

        Downtown San Francisco Engagement Photo Inspiration – And How to Shoot in “Harsh” Light.

        Midmorning shoots have been my favorite lately, and it undoubtedly was the best time to be in downtown San Francisco for engagement photos. Most people are working so you have a little less traffic and people to work around! Especially great if your couple does not like PDA!! We started this shoot around 9am and the sun was giving some pretty contrast. I remember when I first started in portrait photography around 4 YEARS ago now, I would HIDE from all light. I would strictly schedule any shoot at golden hour, and find any shade I could if I had to do portraits on a mid day on a wedding day. It was intimidating to be able to direct my couple or make them feel comfortable with the “harsh” light. But, now, it is a tool that you can use to make your photos more interesting.

        Another intimidating reason for harsh light is editing! If you have a great exposed image, it should be easy to edit. It all starts in camera so take the extra time to expose for the lightest part of skin. Unless, you will spend a lot of your time trying to salvage your highlights. I use Lightroom for my editing. Apply your preset then lower the contrast! You naturally have a lot of contrast when shooting in harsh light. Then go into your Tone Curve. I like to lower my lights and highlights just a little bit to give the highlights a milkier, softer feel so they aren’t too stark.

        If you like the look of harsh light, check out this LOVE STORY where I shot most of the bridal party photos in harsh light!


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