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The SF City Hall Experience

everything you need to know 

What you get with me

In-Person meeting at my office in the mission (or skype!)

At the heart of my work is a connection to the couple I'm photographing. I learn about your shared values, personality quirks and unique interaction style.

personal guidance & a creative professional's input

I've navigated dozens of couples through the process and have learned a lot about the intricacies of working with City Hall. 

Allow me to share this wealth of knowledge.

vendor referrals to suit your style and budget

I've come to build up a network of local vendors that I trust. I only recommend those that have experience with City Hall. 

Be it officiants, floral designers, hair & makeup artists - I got you.

customized timeline crafting

Before onboarding with me I'll provide you with an editable custom timeline that outlines coverage ideas. 

This way you know you haven't booked too much or too little time!

guidance choosing your portrait location(s)

Time may be short but you still want gorgeous images with natural light. I can steer you to spots that are less than 3 miles from City Hall plus other more iconic ones further away.

a comprehensive and ever-growing blog library

It's my passion to serve and provide value. One way I do this is through my blog library which has info on every aspect of getting married at SF City Hall as well as past client images.

Early arrival on your wedding day

I live just a few minutes drive from City Hall and can even walk there. However I make sure I'm super early for your peace of mind. 

at least 60 final images per hour of photography

You get all the keepers that are carefully selected, curated and edited by me to ensure a refined and cohesive flow to your final online gallery.

"As fairly introverted people who shy away from cameras, I knew there may be hope for us! Zoe proved to be spectacular at what she does. She made us feel at ease with the camera and after not too long, we stopped noticing its presence as much and just acted like ourselves. We took pictures all over inside and outside the building with her guiding the way, always checking in and asking us for input."
— Heather & Jason

"All of the couples she has photographed looked so natural and in love."

"We  prioritized photographers who worked with ALL kinds of couples, couples who look like us. Her portfolio revealed itself to be both classic yet modern, artsy and professional. Zoe was our first choice and she did not disappoint. She makes you feel welcome and valued throughout the whole process. She was very easy and warm to work with."
—  Jake and Omar

"so happy we found Zoe to capture our special day."

"Zoe took such care to capture the small moments that really made the day memorable. And looking back at the images takes me right back to the moment. She was there for everything yet somehow she "hides" in the background.

Her no nonsense and efficient demeanor were total bonuses!!"
—  Jessica & John

"Zoe had a plan and executed it perfectly."

"Zoe was professional but approachable, making the entire experience smooth and easy. She was responsive, knowledgeable, and helpful throughout the process, detailing and explaining everything along the way. We had a clear understanding of what to expect from our first communication with her in email."
—  Jen & Jeff

"Zoe hustled to capture as many photos as possible in different locations."

"There are truly not enough words to express our gratitude to Zoe for taking our photos [...] She is SUCH a calm soul. We had our entire family with us (who can be very demanding, restless and opinionated) plus our malti-poo, but she directed all of us with such grace and ease. "
—  Stephanie & Minh

"We found an artist who would be able to capture the essence of who we are"

Frequently asked questions

05. WHAT WILL WE RECEIVE AS PART OF OUR PHOTOGRAPHY PACKAGE?
All clients receive a curated, carefully hand-edited selection of images numbering at least 60 per hour of photography. They are delivered in a shareable, downloadable online gallery from which you can also purchase prints. Beyond than the finished wedding pictures, I offer a high level of customized service from the moment you inquire with me.

06. WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS?
Reliability, extensive knowledge of City Hall weddings, planning help, professionalism, personalized service, vendor referrals, homemade mochi muffins at my place… seriously! I take the time to get to know you as a couple and will prepare an editable, custom wedding timeline for you that ensures everything you value has adequate time. If you can’t make it to my studio in the Mission District let's Skype or chat on the phone!

07. DO YOU USE FLASH AT CITY HALL?
I love utilizing ambient light, so try to preserve this as much as possible. I use top of the line cameras and lenses which are so great because they work even in the lower lighting conditions inside City Hall. I like to keep things natural and I don’t use light in a dramatic way. The only exception is that I sometimes use flash for larger group portraits depending where we’re positioned and the lighting conditions on the day.

08. HOW WILL YOU MAKE US FEEL COMFORTABLE?
Building a relationship before the wedding is crucial to helping you feel comfortable and relaxed – like we’re old friends. I make the wedding shoot fun and like to keep things moving whether or not we’ve had the chance to meet up beforehand. I have written this article about the specific things I do to help you relax, feel good and forget about the camera!

01. HOW FAR OUT SHOULD WE BOOK?
You can book your City Hall ceremony a maximum of 90 days out with City Hall itself. The exception to this is private area reservations which can be booked further out. When it comes to booking a photographer, it’s a good idea to book as soon as you have your ceremony booked to avoid the chance they’re already booked. However you can always feel free to contact me even if your ceremony is only a few days away!

02. HOW MANY HOURS WILL WE NEED?
My City Hall coverage begins at 2 hours which is enough for 15 mins pre-ceremony, the waiting period before the ceremony (which lasts up to 30 mins on average), the ceremony itself, posed family portraits and portraits of you and your partner inside City Hall and leaving the building. 2 hours won’t cover the portrait locations! I recommend 2.5 or 3 hours so there’s enough time for a beautiful location with gorgeous natural (outdoor!) light.

03. WHAT ARE SOME GOOD PORTRAIT LOCATIONS?
There are so many! I have some of my favorite ones here. Many of the most iconic ones (Golden Gate Bridge, Palace of Fine Arts, the beaches) take quite a long time to drive to given the traffic, so I also have some ideas for places that are within 3 miles of City Hall and will cut down on the amount of coverage time needed. I always add to this list as I get to know more spots!

04. WILL YOU PHOTOGRAPH OUR LARGER WEDDING RECEPTION AT A LATER DATE?
Yes! Please let me know when you reach out about your City Hall wedding, if you have a larger reception the same day or another day. I travel all over CA and the world for weddings.

Everyone is nervous about being photographed. I make it comfortable, natural and fun!

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Planning is the key to a successful City Hall experience!

I have many tricks up my sleeve for getting photos in the areas you are most drawn to!

Morning is a beautiful time to be married. I can start at 8am when City Hall's empty!

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4 quick

City Hall secrets!

Why specialize in city hall?

1

It's the type of wedding I had myself. Honestly, I had always dreamed about a civil ceremony with no guests. 

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2

The very first weddings I ever got offered as a second photographer were at SF City Hall. That’s just how it happened!

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3

My first ever clients were City Hall couples. Then a fellow wedding pro asked me to shoot hers. Things snowballed!

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4

I realized slowly that this is what I really love. It wasn't a lightning bolt but a slow realization that I want to do more! 

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5

Honestly, it’s a challenge I enjoy! Things don’t always run smoothly, there’s red tape and moving targets. It’s local government, after all! 

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6

I live really close to it ;) so it's so easy! Plus I’ll never be late or stuck in traffic!

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Services start at $1,000 + tax for up to 2 hours. 

It's recommended to add time for a beautiful portrait location or coverage of other wedding day festivities!

Includes edited high-resolution files.

Pricing

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