Private First Look in Downtown San Francisco

Caitlin and Max had one of the most touching first moments I have ever witnessed.  Their first look was completely private and in the heart of San Francisco, how is this possible you ask?

Having your bridal suite at the Hilton in the financial district in downtown has it perks,  their onsite events coordinator has the keys to the city!,  no, not really but it feels like it when they lock the gates to the walking bridge which oversees Kearny Street connecting Chinatown to the Hilton.  It was amazing to see a fast paced city with all of the grit one would expect from being in downtown San Francisco completely slow down for just fifteen minutes. 

The penthouse suite has an amazing view overlooking San Francisco's waterfront and historic Coit Tower.

After photographing what was one of my most memorable first looks we headed to Caitlin and Max's wedding venue at historic Firehouse 8 in Russian Hill.

On top of the firehouse is a frosted glass roof which spans across the entire main interior of the venue letting in an impressive amount of warm light, filling the space like no chandelier could.

At dusk I pulled the couple outside for another formal portrait and lit them with two lights.  I literally had just a few pictures I could take because at this point in the evening we could have slipped away from the timeline and I didn't want to be the reason why.  So, to stay on time I planned the shot before the couple arrived and dialed in my strobe setting using my assistant Kyle as a stand in, BUT, then I had an aha moment (as the couple arrived) and realized I needed to send my assistant inside the venue with a strobe to light the glass ceiling from indoors.  I was out of assistants, so I turned to the wonderful Wendi Goad the florist and wedding coordinator (she's amazing to work with BTW) and I had her hold my softbox which lit the couple.  While Kyle was running downstairs with the strobe I called him on his cell phone and had him aim the flash towards the glass roof, I took my first shot and realized he was lighting up the roof about twenty feet behind the couple so I excitedly told him to move to the other side of the room twenty feet!  It must of been strange if you were a guest in the dining room drinking wine chatting with all of your friends and you see Kyle running around aiming a strobe at the ceiling, or maybe that's just me.  My second and third photographs produced what you see here, and I think the lit glass roof is a very cool look.

The dance floor had lots of fun characters to photograph, great 90's music and funky dancing. 

There was an epic moment when Caitlin and Max were surrounded by everybody while they were dancing in a 90's hip-hop slash rave slash B-Boy style with a little playfulness all wrapped up in there, it was kinda cute.  Then Caitlin's brother and one time officiant stepped in and turned up the party and he and Max battled, it was epic, just epic...