One of the beauties of living in San Francisco is that the number of scenic shots is endless. From the steep hills, historic buildings, Victorian homes, and varying neighborhoods there’s something for everybody. I took this particular shot in North Beach on the corner of Columbus Avenue and Kearney Street and loved how vibrant and historic the background was. Here are some of my favorite ways to capture San Francisco street shots that are IG worthy.
Tips for taking San Francisco street shots:
1. Look for interesting street corners: When you take photos on a corner you capture a larger depth of field which keeps the focal point on you and the background complimentary. I love taking photos on street corners with an ornate building or local store in the back since it adds a city vibe you can’t replicate anywhere else.
2. Get the street signs in the shot: Believe it not, having a pole (with the street signs) in your shot can make a huge difference in making your photo more interesting. It makes your photo more realistic since people know how to refer to it (literally) and San Francisco street names are unique and have so much history behind them, so why not include them in the shot!
3. Always wait for cars to pass: There’s nothing more frustrating than taking the perfect photo but with an eyesore bright car or bus in the background. It is always worth it to be patient to get that 1 perfect shot instead of a ton of mediocre shots. Although it’s challenging to take photos on busy streets, the trick is to take the photo after the light turns green and all the cars finish driving by. There’s usually a few seconds where the background is empty and those seconds are all you need to take that perfect shot.
4. Stuck on poses? Do the classic walking shot: You can never go wrong with a classic walking street shot on top of a hill with the cityscape background. Just make sure it feels and looks natural. One thing I like to do is slowly walk and look away. Some of my favorite neighborhoods with high but safe hills for cityscape shots are Noe Valley, Bernal Heights, and Potrero Hill.