If someone gave you a dime for every Golden Gate Bridge photo you've seen, you might just have enough money to cover one month's rent in San Francisco... in a studio... with 5 roommates. I mean, we understand that art is everywhere, and photography is all about perspective, but if we have to see another selfie with that crab sign in Fisherman's Wharf in the background, you might want to prepare for our 5 paragraph Facebook status rant. Our point being... photoshoots in San Francisco?... it's been done. Perhaps you should think about taking your talents to The East Bay. 

Oakland has so much to offer whether you live your life through a lens, or are just doing it for the gram. From historic redwoods to complex murals, The Town literally has 'em all. But The Town isn't just a pretty picture... dig a little deeper and you'll find a quality that you won't find anywhere else. A diverse and eclectic melting pot of creators all with their own powerful stories. So don't just capture a moment... immerse yourself in one. 

But don't just take our word for it, listen to these 5 photographers with their own unique take on Oakland.

Brandon Ruffin (@ruffdraft_)

ruffdraft

What is your favorite thing about taking photos in Oakland?

I love how diverse Oakland is--there is so much culture and beauty around you. I also love the strong history of community that Oakland has. Oakland has so much love and pain intertwined into its being and I think what you see on the streets of Oakland really represents a struggle and triumph that needs to be documented.

What makes a photoshoot in Oakland so unique from other cities?

For me Oakland is a unique place to shoot because of the amazing people who make up the community here. There is also a huge sense of artistic expression that is present everywhere you look. There is just something about Oakland that is hard to explain...you just know it when you feel it. The only other place that has ever given me the feeling I feel in Oakland is Brooklyn.

ruffdraft

ruffdraft

What is one spot you can share with casual photographers visiting Oakland?

It all depends on the feel you want. What part of Oakland do you want to see? I love getting out and meeting the people of Oakland...I enjoy shooting Downtown and Lake Merritt as much as West or East Oakland. Oakland can provide you with so many different ways and walks of life. For architecture I would say Downtown, for nature I would say Joaquin Miller Park, of course there is Jack London Square and also Lake Merritt. For the more adventurous I would say you can't be the street art and the connection to real life that you find in the beautiful communities of West and East Oakland.

Tips for avid photographers planning to come out to Oakland to shoot?

It's a unique place full of amazing people and tons of culture. Come here to become a part of the community and not a spectator. In Oakland we love one another and we value each other--if you are genuine you will see the magic of Oakland.

 

Andrew Wille (@andrewoptics)

andrewoptics

What is your favorite thing about taking photos in Oakland?

My favorite thing about taking photos in Oakland is everything feels undiscovered. Unlike San Francisco, which has been shot from every angle, shooting in Oakland gives you a sense of adventure and discovery.

What makes a photoshoot in Oakland so unique from other cities?

A photoshoot in Oakland is so unique from other cities in large part due to its distinct culture and diversity. Shooting in Oakland is sure to give you photographs that can't be obtained anywhere else in the world. From all of the art and graffiti to its variety of landscapes, Oakland is certainly one of a kind.

andrewoptics

andrewoptics

What is one spot you can share with casual photographers visiting Oakland?

I think a great place to start is Lake Merritt. Getting on the East side of the Lake you can get beautiful shots of the city (especially during sunset). I also think the Redwood Regional Park is a great spot to explore that often times gets overlooked.

Tips for avid photographers planning to come out to Oakland to shoot?

Just get out there and explore the city, you won't be disappointed by what you find.

 

Scott Shinn (@tuggywuggy)

tuggywuggy

What is your favorite thing about taking photos in Oakland?

It's where I'm from.

What makes a photoshoot in Oakland so unique from other cities?

The vantage point of the city.

tuggywuggy

tuggywuggy

What is one spot you can share with casual photographers visiting Oakland?

Lake Merritt.

Tips for avid photographers planning to come out to Oakland to shoot?

Capture the diversity.

 

Vincent James (@vincentjamesphotography)

vincentjames

What is your favorite thing about taking photos in Oakland?

The diverse landscape is my favorite thing about shooting in Oakland. There are far reaching views to the east and west and the hills provide an incredible perspective on the entire Bay Area. Lake Merritt and the waterfront and estuary area are particularly magical places to shoot.

What makes a photoshoot in Oakland so unique from other cities?

There are many unique aspects, but I find the perspective we get of the San Francisco Bay especially when fog is rolling to be quite extraordinary.

vincentjames

vincentjames

What is one spot you can share with casual photographers visiting Oakland?

Grizzly Peak and Skyline Blvd in the Oakland Hills offer a vast array of beautiful vistas. The advantage of this area is that you can shoot East or West depending on which view looks best to you.

Tips for avid photographers planning to come out to Oakland to shoot?

Always carry a long lens with you, something between 150-300mm is optimal. Many very unique views are a little further away than some photographers expect. Also a good ND filter is key about 6 or 10 stops in order to capture fog movement. Personally I love the mornings, especially looking East towards Mount Diablo.

 

Myles (@91kilometers)

91kilometers

What is your favorite thing about taking photos in Oakland?

From neighborhood to neighborhood you have such massive contrasts of people, places, and things. You can go from The Hills where you have beautiful, sprawling homes, to West Oakland which is more gritty and dotted with graffiti, to Jack London where you have sailboats and shipping liners side by side. Each neighborhood displays its beauty in its own unique way.

What makes a photoshoot in Oakland so unique from other cities?

Same answer as in #1.

91kilometers

91kilometers

What is one spot you can share with casual photographers visiting Oakland?

Downtown and Uptown Oakland are by far my favorite places to wander around and photograph. You have buildings like City Hall, Flatiron, Fox Theater, and the Tribune. You have massive art projects plastered on the sides of buildings. You have a wide variety of people wandering around - businessmen to artists/musicians, and everyone in-between.

Tips for avid photographers planning to come out to Oakland to shoot?

Get Lost! Take the BART into the town, hop off at City Center, Lake Merritt, or Coliseum station and just go explore. Oakland has something that can peak any photographer's interest - street art, historical architecture, unique people, and classic cars with an Oakland twist (just to name a few).

There's no way we could fit every artist that has ever photographed Oakland in this one blog, so we decided to make it a series. DM us on Instagram (@visitoakland) with a photographer you think we should feature on the next blog.

(Header image via @ruffdraft_)