How To Handle Foggy San Francisco Engagement Shoots
When shooting SF engagement photography, questionable weather often shows up uninvited. One of the most likely culprits is Karl the Fog. Yes, the SF weather event so common that the city gave it an affectionate nickname and an Instagram page. This fog can be a blessing and a curse if you have an outdoor photo shoot.
It can be tough if you were hoping for sunshine but with a little preparation and creativity, you can end the day with some truly magical foggy engagement photos. Here’s how to handle a foggy engagement shoot.
Making the Best of It: Kevin and Courtney’s Foggy Engagement Photos
I chose to showcase Kevin and Courtney’s foggy engagement photos for this guide because they’re so stinking cute! The day of their foggy SF engagement shoot, the fog was thick and the wind chilled us to the bone—but these two were game for all of it! They leaned into the mysterious, moody, sexy vibe of the day, and their photos came out beautiful.
We ended at Twin Peaks thinking maybe, just maybe, we’d get above the fog. We found ourselves even colder and deeper in the fog bank, but we managed to get one of the most beautiful shots of the day! So, never say never and just roll with it (Yes, that was a fog pun).
How Couples Should Prepare for Foggy Engagement Photos
What to Wear
Dresses that flow with the wind can be whimsical for foggy engagement photos! And for the groom or grooms, perhaps a brightly colored scarf. Go bold with color! Rich, vibrant colors that contrast against the fog look amazing! You both want to be the standout, not the fog (Sorry, Karl).
If you have long hair it can be beautiful blowing in the wind (à la Pocahontas) but you might also want the option to have it up and out of your face. Totally up to you, Boo!
Where to Shoot
When it comes to foggy engagement photos, I prefer shooting in the woods or on the coast, where you can really feel the expanse of the outdoor space. If it’s thick fog, it feels more dreamlike to see the treetops or the coastline disappear into nothing.
Advice for Photographers Shooting in Fog
The Foggy Engagement Shoot Checklist:
- Check the front of your lens for condensation and wipe if necessary (Always bring a spare lens wipe!).
- If you’re holding your camera without a tripod, increase the ISO speed in order to use a faster shutter speed.
- Try fog scenes/setting at night, and include some lights for mood.
- Consider converting some of your fog images into black & white or tone them blue.
What if it’s windy?
- Often in windy situations, there are lots of beautiful candid moments that happen when you’re not paying attention. So, pay attention to those moments—hair being brushed out of someone’s face, keeping each other warm, helping each other up or down or over something, moments of pure joy and laughter when something goes terribly wrong in the wind. There’s an endless list of sincere moments like those that you can capture if you’re looking out for them!
- Bring extra layers. That should be a given in the Bay Area (or anywhere that fog likes to hang out) but it doesn’t hurt to remind you!
There’s No Bad Weather for Engagement Photography
Keith and Courtney proved that you can capture magic and romance on film, no matter the weather. So if Karl the Fog crashes your engagement shoot, I hope this guide and these shots inspire you to make the most of the day.
Other blogs featuring SF engagement photography in “bad” weather:
- (A Few of the) Best Places for Engagement Photos in San Francisco
- Rainy Day Engagement Photos: Val & Avant’s San Francisco Session