Urban Engagement Party

I shot another evening event last night, but this time, they were of adults only!  I know, shocking!  😉

Judy and Craig got engaged, and some of Craig’s friends threw them a party at the chic Paragon Restaurant in San Francisco.

I didn’t know how long it’d take to drive into SF with the usual Friday Bay Bridge traffic, so I left early and, well… arrived 40 minutes early!  The benefits of arriving early were:  less stress, time to go pee (was that TMI?), and rock star parking!

During that time, I also took preliminary location shots and made friends with a bartender who wanted to give me a shot of Bourbon!  (That would’ve guaranteed some creative shots, eh?!!)

Craig and Judy arrived later than planned and the guests arrived earlier than expected, so our original plan of leaving the restaurant to take engagement portraits was cut down to about 10 minutes!  It all worked out for the best.  Instead of walking to the waterfront, we just strolled around the block!  The result was more urban… classic San Francisco!

Here are some of my favorites from the evening…

Judy and Craig




Inside The Paragon Restaurant



DSC_1399bg DSC_1528bg


DSC_1674bg DSC_1679bg

This couple was so sweet.  They sat here for most of the night, just smiling and focused on one another.  Awww…


Fun Shots of the Night



I gave this guy grief for spilling mustard on his shirt (tee hee).  I told him this was the biggest ‘drama’ of the night, so I had to take a photo of it.  He was hilarious and even pointed it out for my photo!


Favorite Couple Shot

I admired this large wall mirror that sat over the bar all night and found the perfect opportunity at the end of the event…

During the party, it was hard to get Judy and Craig together for couple shots — even candid ones — since there were so many guests at the party, and Judy and Craig were busy entertaining their friends as all good hosts do.  So when I pulled them away to do one final photo of them with the party hosts at the end of the night, I had them to myself for a minute.  The result is… my favorite couple shot of the night!


The bottles below the mirror give this photo vivid colors and shape, and the white shirts that Judy and Craig wore made them stand out in the dark room.  It was almost 10pm at this time.

(FYI for photographers:  To get this shot in the mirror, I avoided flash.  In fact, most of the night I didn’t use flash because I think flash makes photos look artificial, even with my new Gary Fong diffuser.  It’s my preference and style to use the available light rather than impose flash.  I used a fast lens and bumped up my ISO for some grainy, but artsy shots in an extreme low light situation.  I also saturated the photo a tad bit to accentuate the bottles and burned the edges to make my subjects stand out even more in post-processing.)

Leave a comment on Facebook!

1 Comment

  1. Myra

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the couple shot…It’s my favorite too.