This editorial couples’ shoot was a creative project with my friends / then-neighbors on the roof of our apartment building in the Mission District of San Francisco! I’d been incubating the idea of using my rooftop for a creative styled shoot for a while.
So happy we got to play around creatively before wedding season kicked off… and before these friends moved away : (
San Francisco skyline views
Having any outdoor space in San Francisco or any major city is just such a gift, ya know? Especially when you have a great view like this of the San Francisco skyline.
Sadly, in the next few months from now we will lose this view as an 8-floor luxury apartment building will be built, completely obscuring this skyline view from our 5th floor rooftop.
The timing turned out to be fortuitous in so many ways. After I’d asked Victoria and Max to be models for this shoot, they told me the news that they were going to be moving to upstate New York! (Those two events are unrelated, or so I’m told).
We are also lucky to have… no ugly railings! (pah! Railings schmailings) because you’re *technically* not supposed to be up there. It did however guarantee that we were the only ones around.
Planning the editorial shoot
So we got cracking planning out the outfits, look and feel. We had a bout of intense rain daily around the time we were planning.
Finally after a few weather setbacks, we got to work on a beautiful overcast day. It added to the moody vibe, which worked so well for the editorial style.
Lack of sunshine is actually great because we can shoot in pretty much any direction as the light will be flattering wherever the couple is positioned.
Concept behind the shoot
The way this mini shoot came about was very organic – no mood boards, no heavy concept – I just wanted a couch on the roof and this very elegant couple looking effortlessly stylish and somewhat moody.
We brainstormed outfits and combined two looks – Victoria’s beautiful black and green jumpsuit with transparent rubber boots (!!!) and a flowing pink dress from Shein I had which she paired with nude heels.
The couple’s own white loveseat turned out to be – and I hate this word but I’ll use it anyway – perfect. And it was super lightweight. Great, as it needed to go up 2 flights of stairs (thanks, Max and my husband John).
After making as sure as we could be that no-one was going to crash through into the apartment below, we began shooting right before sunset.
During the couples shoot
We did a bunch of more magazine-y type, editorial poses to bring out the edgy, romantic, urban look of the shoot. Somewhere between posed and realistic.
I can’t help but draw out the natural interactions between the two of them.
Ooh, almost forgot to mention, we had flowers! They were fashioned into something resembling a stylish bouquet by yours truly, tying them with the sash from the dress.
I’d bought them from FoodsCo on Folsom Street, a cut-price & not very hip Kroger supermarket chain. The colors were to die for and I couldn’t believe they had something so perfect. Lucky!
What is a ‘love shoot’ or ‘couples shoot’ anyway?
There doesn’t have to be a reason to take stock & enjoy your partner, get all dressed up, have some fun & create beautiful photographs to mark life. For whatever reason or no reason at all.
When Victoria and Max told me they’d be moving away, I just had to offer them a more traditional and personal ‘love shoot’. The same thing as a couples’ shoot.
I also call them ‘just because’ shoots.
You’re not getting married and it’s not your anniversary. But why not celebrate your love and the current phase of your ever-evolving relationship?
In an age where throwaway photos are so prevalent and photo updates only live for 24 hours, the need for lasting photos is more salient than ever.
For the couples shoot, we photographed at some of Max & Victoria’s favorite places in our neighborhood, the Mission District. Check it out below, along with my detailed informational guide to the BEST Mission District locations!
I hope they’ll look back on the photos while remembering ‘those crazy 6 months we lived in San Francisco’ in the years to come.
Thanks for allowing me to do this couples shoot with you, Victoria & Max!