San Francisco's Most Stylish Photog Spills Her Secrets For Creating The Most Photogenic Picnic Spread!

by Guest of A Guest · June 7, 2023

    San Francisco is certainly a picturesque place, but through the lens of Zubeyde Sheth it's all the more magical...

    Though she spends a fair amount of her time out and about on adventures all across the globe, the travel and lifestyle guru chooses to call The City By The Bay home, where she resides all too charmingly with her husband and trusty pup.

    Curious to see how the SF tastemaker spends her summer days in the sun? 

    From her favorite local spots to snap photos to her key to creating a most delicious, decadent, photogenic picnic spread, Zubeyde's spilling all of her secrets.

    Spoiler alert, you''ll want to stock up on some AIX Rosé!

    You're always traveling somewhere exciting for work, but what's the best thing about San Francisco living?
    One of the things that really excites me about living here is the diverse cultural background and the open-minded people in it. And also we have endless opportunities for outdoor activities.

    Where are the most photogenic spots to snap photos in SF?
    San Francisco is definitely one of the most picturesque cities in the world. The iconic hilly roads with the towering downtown buildings, Victorian houses, historic trams, beautiful parks and beaches, and world-famous epic bridges make this beautiful city like a postcard. The views never disappoint.

    Golden Gate Bridge views are magnificent. However, be aware that if you attempt to photograph the bridge in heavy fog, you may not be able to see the bridge. Battery Spencer, Golden Gate Overlook, Marshall’s Beach, Baker Beach, Fort Point, Crissy Field Beach, and Vista Point are the best places to capture the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

    Chinatown, Lombard Street, Pier 7, Ina Coolbrith Park, Palace of Fine Arts, The Painted Ladies-Alamo Square, Coit Tower, Lands End, Sutra Baths, Ocean Beach, Cliff House, Fort Funston, San Francisco City Hall, The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps, Golden Gate Park (Japanese Tea Garden, Conservatory of Flowers, Dutch Windmill, San Francisco Botanical Garden), Andy Goldsworthy's Wood Line in Presidio, Legion of Honor, Ferry Building, Pier 14 and Transamerica Pyramid are the most popular photography spots in the city.

    How do you always manage to get the perfect shot?
    I always research locations while I make my trip plans. Instagram and Pinterest are my favorite inspiration sources. I bookmark spots on my Google Maps. If I have enough time, I usually explore the places that I want to shoot before capturing. I try to take pictures early morning when there are fewer people and good lighting for photography. Golden hour is also my favorite time of the day. I also keep the rule of thirds in my mind while taking pictures, which helps most of my photos interesting and interactive.

    Which SF beach is your favorite to visit?
    It’s hard to pick one but I always love visiting Baker Beach. It’s easy parking and access to the beach, except on weekends, and I love walking with our dog to view the Golden Gate Bridge and catch the sunset.

    Who are you inviting for a sunny day in the sand?
    My husband.

    What's your key to packing the perfect beach picnic?
    Delicious good quality wine and a cheese and fruit board. AIX Rosé is one of the best French rosés I've ever tried. It became my go-to wine for our picnics, dinners, and other parties. Also, a comfortable picnic blanket and a lightweight foldable small tray are a must.

    Non-negotiable nibbles to include in a charcuterie board spread?
    As a pescatarian, I love preparing a Fruicuterie Board. I prefer at least one spreadable cheese, crackers, fruits, and nuts. Sometimes I add smoked salmon as well.

    I packed St. Nuage which is a triple crème French cheese. It is light, fluffy, and airy yet still extremely buttery and perfect to grab with crackers and pair with AIX Rosé. Cherries, grapes, raspberries, and strawberries are also my favorite fruits for beach picnics.

    Any chance we'll catch you out in the water?
    Unfortunately, I've swam very few times in San Francisco as it's too cold.

    My favorite summer place to dive into is Lake Tahoe. It's about a 4 hour drive from San Francisco and is a great place for summer escapes.

    Do you have a current favorite beach read?
    My current favorite is “That Month in Tuscany” by Inglath Cooper. It makes me feel like I've been transported to the Italian countryside and I'm part of the scene in the book.

    Where else are you off to this summer?
    Our favorite place to start our summer is Lake Tahoe. We love making road trips with our dogs there. I also always visit my family in Turkiye for 1-2 months during summertime, and I plan to visit a few California coastline places. Mendocino, Carmel By The Beach, Cambria and Ventura are all on my list.

    [Photos by Zubeyde Sheth for Guest of a Guest]