24 Hour Engagement Session San Francisco

So, you are probably curious… What on earth is a 24 hour engagement session? and we will get there… I promise. Stick around for a bit, spend some time with the images, I think you will start to understand and understand again…

It was after noon on a Tuesday in the early spring of 2024, I found myself in a meeting with a couple (Olivia & Stu) whose wedding I was scheduled to photograph in the Fall. The purpose of our call was to explore options for our scheduled engagement session. I was probably drinking a lemon seltzer. I do that on most occasions.

I felt a funny feeling, and then I said…”So, we have two options: Option A is a normal engagement session. We meet somewhere meaningful, or beautiful, or both about 90 minutes before sunset, and we make photographs in 1 or 2 locations. Option B is the 24 hour engagement session.”

Now, to be honest, I wasn’t completely clear on what a “24 hour engagement session” was at the time, but I knew it sounded fun to me.

Olivia & Stu showed immediate and universal excitement about the idea, even though they weren’t exactly sure what it was either. I think I said, “Are you sure?” multiple times.

We began by saying yes with wild eyes, and then, through a series of discussions, we formulated a plan.

In my head it always started and ended with the wisps of steam from a coffee cup. There was always a diner, there was always a convertible, there was always ice cream, there was always the beach, but there was so much more to fill in. So many more beautiful places to explore in the San Francisco Bay Area…

After the gallery below there is a list of locations and a bit more on my inspiration.

This project, in the end, is about time, about how it speeds up and slows down, about habituation, and dishabituation, the glorious surprise, days that never end, days that begin and begin again. And what it is to be young and head over heels in love in the Bay Area, one of the most spectacularly beautiful places in the world.

Enjoy! We certainly enjoyed the process of making this project.

Loop Date Itinerary:

  1. Oceanview Diner
  2. Shorebird Park
  3. Berkeley Marina
  4. Indian Rock
  5. Live Oak Park
  6. UC Berkeley Campus
  7. Elmwood
  8. Ferry Building
  9. Palace of Fine Arts
  10. Lollyland Mini golf
  11. Crissy Field
  12. Presidio Tunnel Tops
  13. Legion of Honor
  14. Seacliff
  15. Haight Ashbury
  16. Amoeba Records
  17. Escape from New York
  18. Seward Street Slides
  19. Tank Hill
  20. Toy Boat Ice Cream
  21. Green Apple Books
  22. Nopa
  23. City View Metreon
  24. SOMA
  25. North Beach
  26. Vesuvio
  27. Ina Coolbrith
  28. Bob’s Donuts
  29. The Castro
  30. Orphan Andy’s
  31. Grandview
  32. The Tiled Steps
  33. China Beach
  34. Oceanview Diner

Thank you for inspiration to Christian Marclay for his video piece, ” The clock” and to Danny Rubin & Harold Ramis for the movie, “Groundhog Day.” Thank you to Olivia & Stu for all your planning, your stalwart affability, and for staying strong all 24 hours.

UC Berkeley Engagement Session Photos

For Lisa & Alex’s engagement session we returned to the site where they fell in love, The UC Berkeley Campus. We met at Sather Gate to start our session. This was May, so the Berkeley campus was busy with happy graduating students. Outside of the Valley Life Sciences Building we found a sweet sliver of light, and made a few portraits. As we walked through the UC Berkeley Campus, Lisa & Alex shared a few of their memories from their time as students. Our tour brought us past Moffitt Library, and the Doe Memorial Library. We rested in the crook of an inviting tree, and then on the lawn at the Memorial Glade under the Campanille. Then we made portraits outside a dormitory on the grand staircase where they first kissed. As the sun edged toward the horizon, we climbed further up the hill and the light got better and better. For Lisa & Alex’s wedding at Thomas Fogarty Winery, click here.

Pacific Heights Engagement Photos – Michelle & Hayden

Michelle & Hayden’s Pacific Heights engagement session fit my ideal to the tee. It took the shape of a fun and casual date meandering through meaningful haunts. All of this in the good light of course.

We used the occasion of the engagement session as an excuse to revisit their old Pacific Heights stomping grounds. When they first met, they were both living in Pacific Heights, just a few blocks away from each other. We met up for a drink at a sidewalk cafe called Palmers, that they had visited many times in their early years of dating. From there we explored the neighborhood. We stopped in front of their old homes for portraits, and continued our walk down towards the water, eventually we made it to the Marina, and on to Crissy Field East Beach to catch the sunset. The weather and the light treated us remarkably well.

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