How pretty are these two on their engagement session at Baker Beach! This expansive, stunning Bay Area engagement location has a LOT to offer and is located on the north-western edge of San Francisco on the edge of the Presidio.
Baker Beach has a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge, a vast beach with golden sand and some pretty nature spots. According to the official SF Parks Conservancy page, you can also find harbor porpoises here! There’s also a lot of serpentine to be spotted on the cliffs visible from Lincoln Boulevard, north of Baker Beach.
Want to bring your dog to the shoot? This spot is super dog-friendly. It also has a large parking lot located just a few steps away from the mile-long beach, and it’s super easy to Uber to. According to the Presidio.gov site, this is San Francisco’s favorite beach! Let’s dive in!
About this engagement couple
This is actually the second part of Andrea and Mason’s engagement shoot. The first part is linked here and took place in the equally stunning, urban backdrop of Pacific Heights – Andrea’s old stomping grounds!
They wanted two locations with very different feels. The first one was an urban location with views of San Francisco. This secondary beach spot is wilder and allows for more intimate moments. Why? You can really carve out your own area as it’s such a large beach! Bystanders are much further away, so a beach like this is actually the perfect location for introverts!
It also allows for really fun shots as you run into the ocean! When you have something to do during the shoot it really helps relax you and get the best candid photos. Also you’ll see the lovely dynamism these photos have.
These two were already warmed up after our first location. When we hit the beach it was really a time for Andrea and Mason to play and have fun with some direction from me. We did a combination of candid as well as posed shots, making sure to capture the natural ways the couple interacted with one another.
Other Baker Beach shoots
Baker Beach is also a great wedding location. You could get married right on the beach itself with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge in your wedding photos. Find out more information here about renting Baker Beach for your wedding.
Another favorite shoot I did here was Jess and John’s City Hall wedding, linked below.
They wanted a relaxed wedding day, making the most of all that San Francisco has to offer. It’s totally possible to add this or any other beach location in to your San Francisco City Hall wedding shoot and usually the 3-hour package is perfectly sufficient for this. Just be sure to chat through with your photographer who can help plan the day and the shoot.
If you’re looking for other spots around San Francisco to take your engagement photos, check out my guide to the 10 best spots linked below.
Weather conditions on Baker Beach
One question that most couples have is what the weather will be like at this coastal spot. Many San Francisco beach locations catch a huge amount of wind due to being quite so exposed. Though I have only photographed at Baker Beach twice (so it may not be enough data to go on!) it has been super mild both times, with very little wind.
Seriously! The shoots were in January and February when most of the coastline takes a battering. But we were blessed with sunshine and only a touch of fog and light rain for the January shoot I did there. Contrast this with spots such as Lands’ End, Ocean Beach and Crissy Field which in my experience can get much windier and colder.
Sometimes the bridge is almost totally obscured by the fog, which may be a concern to some. The further away the location is from the bridge itself, the more it can be lost in the fog.
It can get very overcast on Baker Beach but look at the positives: it’s mostly locals with their dogs that frequent the area, and when it’s cloudy, cold or threatening rain, they’ll stay away. Meaning fewer bystanders, more dramatic skies, and more of the beach to yourselves! Want to see more photos and reviews? The beach’s Yelp page is very informative.
Best time of day to take engagement photos on Baker Beach
My personal recommendation is to start 2 hours before sunset in the case of a 90-minute engagement shoot (this is the duration of my engagement shoots). You can adjust this if the shoot is 1 hour, or two hours. Basically, sunset is the best, best, best time. But you want to time it so that you’re finishing up a little before the actual, posted sunset time. Why? In case of delays getting started, and to mitigate the risk of running out of light.
On overcast days, there may be little in terms of beautiful bold sunset colors. Instead you’ll find yourselves in near-darkness much earlier than you were expecting. Because shoots need to be planned in advance, you’ll need to allow for the possibility that it might be an overcast day, with light disappearing early.
Different photographers have different styles, though. Some might prefer to keep shooting even after sunset in the so-called ‘blue hour’ when the light is just that, blue, rather than the rich orange. This may lend itself to a so-called ‘moody’ style of photography and post-processing. Other photographers may even suggest a sunrise shoot, or a different time of day completely!
The time that you probably want to avoid, unless it’s overcast, is the time when the sun is highest in the sky which casts unflattering shadows on the face and brings in extreme contrast.
Want a shoot here?
If you’re already checked out my guide to my fave SF engagement locations, you probably want to know how it works when you book an engagement shoot. Read my detailed guide linked below!
Images from the Baker Beach shoot