If you’ve had any experience trying to get family portrait photography done in San Francisco, you’ll know that you really must account for the weather. Unlike Southern California, where it’s sunny more often than not, in San Francisco, frequent fog and clouds can really dampen the scene.

For this family session, my client Terry (see more of her and her lovely family in their Joshua Tree National Park Family Session) had her heart set on doing it amongst the towering eucalyptus trees in the Presidio, so we both traveled quite a long way to get there. However, when we arrived, we were met with the most dark and ominous weather. While I couldn’t control the weather, I could work with light! Keep scrolling to see how we turned this gloomy scene into a warm, light-filled one!

Having driven all the way to San Francisco for this shoot actually worked in my favor when it came to transforming this scene. I had packed all my lighting gear with me—reflector, light stand, and strobes—so they were easily accessible when I saw what we were dealing with. If you’re a photographer and want to learn the specifics about how I did this, my All About Lights and All About Flash courses are for you! Mastering light will allow you to shoot in a wide variety of situations and times (no more just booking sessions during golden hour!) and is key to successful sessions and happy clients.

I loved being able to catch up with Terry and her adorable family for their yearly family photo session. If you’re interested in family portrait photography in San Francisco, keep an eye out for the mini sessions I offer in the fall, or contact me to set up a custom session—I (and all of my lighting gear!) would be happy to meet you there!

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