Dana and Grant are those rare clients – a couple who both grew up in the SF Bay Area! – so they wanted to do a San Francisco engagement session. We wandered around their former-home of North Beach, stopping to celebrate Dana’s Italian heritage, and then Crissy Field, on one of those perfect SF late summer days. They hadn’t initially planned to do engagement photos, but decided a bit before the wedding that it would be nice to have photos of them around the city, in the current phase of their lives. I encourage engagement sessions since they give you a chance to get comfortable in front of the camera (I’ve said it before and will say it again: I hate being in front of the lens, am my own worst client, and feel SO awkward having my photo taken! So believe me when I say, I understand how it can take some getting used to!) before the wedding. It’s also nice to have more time to wander, play and explore; to do portraits in your neighborhood; and to be captured in more everyday, non-wedding clothes. I actually think couples should do anniversary shoots whenever possible, too – as someone who will be celebrating her 15th year of marriage in December (!!?!), believe me when I say I’m so glad we have photos capturing the various stages of our family’s life, including before we had a kid. Engagement shoots can be extensive, multi-location, multiple-outfit things, or they can be simple shoots just to get that perfect “Save the Date” shot of you both smiling and looking at the camera. This is one of my favorite recent engagement shoots, and makes me even more excited for my next batch of San Francisco portraits!