Admittedly, the first time I went to Fisherman’s Wharf was when I was seeking an In-n-Out burger. I had heard of the place, but the New Yorker in me assumed it would have something in common with Times Square — mostly a tourist attraction, possibly annoying to navigate, etc. In other words, something you endure to see a Broadway show, or obtain fries and a vanilla shake, as the case may be.
Then, when I was Instagramming with local SF friends, I saw some images of an interesting piece of brick architecture called The Cannery, which was part of the huge California fruit canning phenomenon of the 20th century. I loved the look of the space, and the shafts of soft light that angled down into its courtyards.
When my clients from France wanted to capture their San Francisco vacation, I found myself suggesting Fisherman’s Wharf as our location. It offered so many different backdrops, within the confines of The Cannery, out on the sidewalks with streetcars passing by, and on the docks.
I like to offer clients the opportunity to document their vacation with “destination family portraits.” Kind of the way I would be sure to capture details about the location at at destination wedding, I want families to take away a souvenir of their experience that shows their personalities, and expresses some part of the essence of the place they visited. It’s not just about the family — it’s about the family at this specific place.
This pocket of SF on the water turned out to be a good spot for showcasing some of the history of the city. It provided a grounded sense of atmosphere that worked great for superimposing kids’ playfulness, and lovely, simple backdrops for more posed photos, as well. I’m curious to know how more of my clients would decide on a spot for a destination family photo shoot. Is it important to include specific icons of a place, or more interesting to include its essence in subtler ways?