The 10 Best Locations for Family Photos in the San Francisco Bay Area

There is no shortage of beautiful places to take pictures in the San Francisco Bay Area and I wanted to share a few of my favorites from San Francisco down to San Jose. Whether you are wanting a couples, newborn, maternity or family photos, any of these spots will work great. If you are interested in learning more about my sessions you can visit my info page

1. The Sutro Baths

The Sutro Baths is one of the most beautiful spots in San Francisco in my opinion. I shot one of my favorite engagement sessions here last year so check out all of those images if you want to see more of this location. This is a good spot for maternity, couples or if your child is under 1 year and not walking. It’s not as ideal for young kids as walking out on the concrete beams is precarious but there are other spots in this area we can shoot at if you have kids and love this spot.

2. The Legion of Honor

If you want something a little more architectural rather than just nature then the Legion of Honor is a great option. There are plenty of good spots to shoot at in this area so it works well for kids. I loved this maternity session I shot here recently.

maternity photoshoot legion of honor

3. Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden

I love Elizabeth Gamble Garden. I’ve done a few different sessions here now and it’s a really beautiful spot. All the flowers and plants make a perfect backdrop for families or maternity. You can see more images from this maternity session.

4. Crissy Field

Crissy Field is great for an evening shoot and is also perfect for kids. There is a beach area, grassy area and a view of the bridge so there are lots of options when shooting here.

5. Baker Beach

Baker Beach is perfect if you want a laid back location that still has an iconic San Francisco backdrop. Nothing says San Francisco quite as well as the Golden Gate Bridge.

6. Filoli

Similar to Gamble Garden but a lot more grand, Filoli is one of the most popular places for my sessions. It’s beautiful year round but the spring and summer are extra special with all the flowers in bloom.

7. Guadalupe Oak Grove

This spot in San Jose is one of my favorites. It’s quiet and peaceful but easy to get to and easy to park at. It has a classic California look with the oak trees and golden grass.

8. Lover’s Lane in the Presidio 

Lovers Lane in the Presidio is another great location. It’s quiet, peaceful and absolutely stunning in this grove of trees so it makes for a great place for couples or family photos.

9. Mt. Tamaplais

If you’re up for a drive, Mt. Tam is one of the most stunning spots for photos. With rolling hills and views of the bay, it’s another favorite for my clients.

10. Pier 7

If you want a city backdrop, pier 7 offers views of the bay and the cityscape. It’s a little crazier with parking and crowds but is perfect for an early morning session.


I love seeing these lists from other local photogrpahers. It’s fun to see what locations we all seem to love, but also the unique ones that everyone comes up with. Thanks for sharing!


Yes these are awesome visuals. I think the BOTANICAL area would be aMazing!

You really chose some visually stunning places for pictures! ????????

Those are stunning locations for photos. I really love the look of the Sutro Baths.

So many gorgeous locations! These are all so scenic and perfect for photos.


You sold me with the bridge. I would pick Baker Beach.

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