Best Places To Shoot In San Francisco

Photo by Michelle Terris

San Francisco. The Bay Area. Home of H. Guys, if you haven’t been you should go here for your next adventure. There are so many cool opportunities to create, and you can go on Hub meetups with the creators and employees of H. Pack your bags and head to the land of glitter and fog for some truly memorable experiences. Of course, if it is your first time you should do some of the big touristy stuff like, walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, or ride a cable car up Hyde Street, or even wander down to the shores of Lands End. All great options to experience the city. However, to truly experience San Fran’s essence you must immerse yourself in the not so obvious spots. Doing so will give you the true impression of what northern California is all about. It will also undoubtedly make you fall in love. When you leave you’ll consider this place your home away from home.

We put together a list of a few secret spots around the city that as tourists you may not head to right away, but you should. We also included some iconic places at the end of the list to make for the perfect guide to San Francisco for a Hub member.

Related: H Collective and Lexar’s San Francisco Local Photo Gallery

Sunnyside Conservatory

Nestled between City College and Glen Park, Sunnyside to head for some night photography. Walk through the garden and admire the illuminated bronze statues that reside there.

Ferry Building

Everyone knows about this. There are loads of places to eat, buy souvenirs, and enjoy some time by the water. What people don’t know is about the second floor of the Ferry Building. Here you can see some nice architecture without the crowds, get some very nice lighting in the middle of the day, and take a peek at the state seal down in beautiful mosaic tiles.

Related: Believe You Produce Great Work. Then, Make it Greater

Glen Park

Even though people are aware of this park many do not realize the enormity of it and all that that entails. The canyon in Glen park has numerous hiking trails, rock climbing, rope swings, and other props to use in your photos, right in the heart of the city. In fact, the great park system that San Francisco has is a huge reason why it is such an appealing place.

Coit Tower Greenwich Steps

The most popular route up to the tower uses the Filbert steps. On the other hand are the Greenwich steps which are a verdant stairway that leads to your destination, but with much better lighting and backdrops. You can get to these steps from downtown. Take the F streetcar and get off between Greenwich and Embarcadero.

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Mt. Davidson

It’s the highest point in San Francisco, but underrated tourist wise. Which is good for you. The only two events that really draw crowds here are Easter morning dawn services and Armenian Remembrance Day. Any other day there’s hardly anyone there. So head on up to the top, it’s a 10-15 minute hike and you can make it as difficult or as easy as you like.

Billy Goat Hill Park

Another cool spot of cityscape views. Located in Noe Valley this is the place to go if you want to grab a picture of yourself on the swing overlooking San Francisco. Definitely a photo shoot worthy spot. It’s also a very serene place to go and sit.


If you’re into cool architecture and even cabin/tree houses you’ll want to check this place out. If you walk down the Great Highway you may catch a glimpse of Carville. It’s a housing phenomenon where families build houses out of old street cars. It was at its height in 1901 when 50 different families live in over 100 converted cars. Not a bad place to do some modeling.

USCF Campus

Here, there are great views from the ocean to the city that are open to the public. There’s an outdoor walkway near 400 Parnassus with a staircase just beyond the Bufanos that leads up to a hidden garden and a spectacular view. Landscape photographers this will be your dream day or night.

Tennessee Valley

While not technically in San Francisco this place is worth the short drive. You will feel completely removed from the city. Walk through the rolling hills, and watch as the fog envelops the skyscrapers in the distance. See views of the ocean, and witness moon risings from this cool spot. Go during the golden hour to get some great portraits. Also check out Mill Valley afterward and have a bite to eat at the small restaurants there.

Rodeo Beach

This stretch of beach is located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Again, you will feel like you are completely removed from them when in fact you are just across the bridge and over the hills. It’s a great spot for sunset, so bring some props and get to work.

Share us some of your favorite spots to shoot at in San Francisco in the comments below.  Needing places to shoot in the United States? Check out our recent article HERE.