This San Francisco Mission District love shoot isn’t the first time Max and Victoria have been stars of my blog. 

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Relative newcomers to San Francisco, this couple wanted to mark this time in their lives with photos of their new city and their beautiful home. That’s right, you don’t need to be engaged or married to have pictures that commemorate your love!

cute fun hip mission dolores park engagement

This sweet pair met at work in Boulder CO and have been together for 3 years. I love seeing how their very different personalities compliment each other so well.

They’ve always been a pair to support and find solace in each other. They both have a great sense of humor and love to have fun over food, a few drinks and some homemade cookies.

We started out our love shoot at their lovely home in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Yes, it’s a ‘LOVE’ shoot because this couple aren’t engaged or anything. It’s a ‘Just Because’ photo session.

What is a love shoot?

The shoot took place just before they left their San Francisco home for upstate New York. They had a vision for the home shoot – capturing the clean, simple lines of their living space.

For me, Mission District love photography is something I’ve been itching to do. It’s my neighborhood!

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Victoria is the style guru of the home (and of life in general) and this home was the result of so much work and love.

They wanted a family photo with the two of them and their lovely little gray cat, Nola!

I love Nola and I’ve looked after her while the couple was away! (I’m available for cat-sitting as well as engagement & wedding photography.)

Nola was in fine form the day of the shoot. She already knew me so didn’t feel too freaked out.

Arinell’s Pizza & Clarion Alley shoot locations

The other places we wanted to hit were Arinell’s Pizza on Valencia & 16th and Mission Dolores Park

We weren’t able to spend too long in Arinell’s as… let’s just say it’s a no-nonsense joint. Managed to grab a couple of photos with a slice – sharing for cuteness.

Clarion Alley was our next spot for our Mission District love photography trail! It’s one of my favorite shoot locations, some of my other fave shoots here linked below.

I try to steer clear of the political messaging at this spot. I prefer instead the timeless nature of a couple’s shoot! Also, I don’t want to infringe on the artists’ intellectual rights.

Some folks love the realness of the statements and how they provide a snapshot of the world we now live in.

I like to shoot the spectacular light & the vibe of the alley in the sunset. No parked cars, hardly any people around that day. Oh, and some of the pretty colors making their way into the photos.

This beautiful couple featured in my piece all about my favorite spots in the Mission District for photos. How could they not?!

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couple interacting playfully at fun Dolores Park san francisco engagement session

Dolores Park love photography

From there we headed to the final location – Mission Dolores Park! Victoria and Max have spent many an evening people-watching over beers. It’s a meaningful as well as beautiful location.

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The aim at the park was to get a lot of movement in the photos

I wanted to get a lot of movement in the photos. That isn’t always possible for more formal locations and at weddings.

For a love shoot or engagement shoot, you can wear clothing you feel comfortable in. You can move around way more and generally be silly.

As I’m a digital shooter, I fully support a lot of dynamism in photos. Movement, spontaneity and natural interactions are our friends!

Think: piggy backs, running up from behind and squeezing, walking and running, lifting, jumping, dancing, twirling, dipping…

It also helps couples to feel less awkward when you know you can more interact with each other and forget I’m there. ‘Twas was a packed shoot (fun-packed) and we covered a lot of ground and shot for almost 2 hours.

A very wide-ranging, beautiful and authentic set of photos! Enjoy and good luck Victoria and Max on the next chapter of your lives together!

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A hip and fun love shoot in San Francisco's Mission District! Not only is the Mission District my home, but I love shooting there too because of the beautiful street art, murals, colorful characters and beautiful trees, too! The spots we covered were the couple's home, the Clarion Alley Mural Project then Mission Dolores Park which rounded off this amazing love shoot! | #missiondistrict #couples #coupleshoot | Zoe Larkin Photography

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Looking for a Mission District love photographer? I travel all over San Francisco and beyond for weddings, engagement & love shoots and would be thrilled to shoot your love story!

PS Want to read more about the whole process of booking & preparing for your engagement shoot? My short guide is here! Get in touch to receive my guide & full information.

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cute fun hip mission dolores park engagement

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Victoria + Max | Hip love photography in San Francisco’s Mission District

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