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Have you been trying to figure out where on earth in the San Francisco Bay Area/Northern California that you are going to have your engagement photography session located? You and like… everyone else!

One of the number one questions that I get as a Bay Area Wedding Photographer is “do you have any recommendations on engagement session locations?” Well my darlings, I just so happen to have quite a few recommendations of places that I personally love shooting engagement photos at that I would love to share with everyone today!

Point Reyes National Seashore

This has been one of the best road trips to go on for an engagement session. There are so many options all over the Point Reyes area like the iconic row of cypress trees and Point Reyes shipwreck. Coastal winds will give you a pretty dramatic breeze, so don’t get too attached to having the perfect hair if you want this engagement session location.

whimsical san francisco sunset engagement session by top wedding photographer Heather Elizabeth
puppy engagement photography in Point Reyes
fine art engagement session at the historic point reyes ship crash by heather elizabeth photography
candid sweet engagement session in Point Reyes by Heather Elizabeth Photography

Big Sur

If you have a passion of epic sceneries then Big Sur can be the perfect location for your photos! There is such a romantic vibe of the Big Sur coast that will for sure give you some dramatic wall-art worthy photographs. Once again, this is a coastal location so I highly recommend not being too attached to perfect hair in your images.

Big Sur is also VERY popular for tourists so I highly recommend booking your engagement session on a weekday to avoid crowds that can photobomb your images, cause delays, and in general kill your romantic vibe. 😉

romantic epic landscape engagement session with a bohemian couple in Big Sur by Heather Elizabeth Photography
Fine art big sur photography
best places for engagement photos in northern california
Romantic and intimate Big Sur engagement
Bohemian bride engagement session in Big Sur by Heather Elizabeth Photography
majestic wedding photography on the california coast of big sur by heather elizabeth photography

Morgan Territory, Livermore

This little hidden gem has become one of my favorite places to take engagement photos. The rolling green hills and a fantastic view of Mt.Diablo can make for some seriously romantic sunset images. There is also a fun, tree-covered trail that is easy access for a bit of a change in scenery. Bring some good shoes because this can get muddy any time of the year!

fine art sunset engagement on the hills of livermore by heather elizabeth photography
Fine art pastel engagement in nature at livermore morgan territory park by heather elizabeth photography
Sunset pastel engagement in Morgan Territory Livermore by Heather Elizabeth Photography
sweet pastel engagement in morgan territory by heather elizabeth photography

Your home + neighborhood

No, really! This is a great idea! How to be more comfortable than in your own home in your favorite socks? At home engagement sessions are really great ways to tell your individual story as a couple through images from your home together at this time in your life that will trigger loving memories for years to come. And also – that means your animals get to be in the photos guaranteed!

Then take a stroll around your neighborhood for a second outfit and look. No need to fight the commute after your session – just take a load off and enjoy dinner together!

engagement session in couple's home
sweet engagement session featuring a pet cat
chic sacramento engagement

Lands End, San Francisco

Usually, I tell people to avoid San Francisco for their engagement due to violence against photographers(thieves stealing their gear), traffic, and way too many humans in the background of every photo. However, if you are open to a sunrise session or weekday session then you are guaranteed incredible photos at Lands End in San Francisco and it’s surrounding areas. On the weekends this location is nearly impossible to get a photo without other visitors in the background.

Cinematic and artistic engagement session at Land's End in San Francisco
Beachside engagement Outdoor theme session
A couple during their engagement session with their dog at the Sutro Bath's by Heather Elizabeth Photography in San Francisco
Creative engagement photography at the Sutro Baths in San Francisco

UC Berkeley Campus

This was a totally unexpected discovery for me, but I LOVE shooting on the UC Berkeley campus. Several different backdrops, easy parking on the weekdays and early morning weekend date. Urban looks as well as greenery for people who are looking for a little bit of variety.

Sunset in the forest engagement session in Berkley by Heather Elizabeth Photography
Fall leaves engagement session in Berkley by Heather Elizabeth Photography
Fall leaves engagement session at UC berkley by heather elizabeth photography
couple reading each other Harry potter for their engagement session in UC Berkley by Heather Elizabeth Photography

Knights Ferry

The historic small town of Knights Ferry is a bit of a drive up north if you are in the Bay Area, but it is definitely worth the drive! This place can get overrun on the weekends due to it’s popularity in the area for Senior portrait photographers. This offers you an outdoor rustic look for your engagement session.

best northern california engagement session locations knights ferry

Hopefully, this list has given you some inspiration on where to go to Northern California for your engagement session. Remember to pick a location that is true to you, and above all don’t overthink things – enjoy the moment and have fun taking engagement photos!

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