Here is the best reason I can give you to hire a photographer (me!) on your San Francisco vacation:
My beloved and I were lucky enough to make a trip to Paris this June. Our plane was leaving SFO on Monday. Friday night, I decided that the one souvenir I wanted from France (besides some glorious perfume, bien sûr!), were photos. With 2 days before departure, it was fixed firmly in my mind that I MUST HAVE PHOTOS!!!
I had decided not to travel with my gear. I really, really wanted a true vacation, and that meant a vacation from being The Photographer. However, photos are important to me, so I took my iPhone (which was quite fun and quite freeing!) and a vintage Canon AE-1, which I ended up not using even once, once I made the choice to hire a professional. Making that decision took a huge weight off of my mind about having to take nice photos, and I really could have used a lighter bag!
Right before our vacation, I had just gone through about twenty years' worth of photographs, many of them were from my first trip to Paris over a decade ago. Mixed into a pound or two of poorly shot prints of architecture, were a few photos of me looking hot, bored, and uncomfortable... but in Paris! I was quite awkward in front of a camera back then. I still am, but now I trust in the power of a professional.
Going through all of those bad photos did the trick. I decided to invest in a souvenir that would last, and which I would not outgrow, get tired of, or eat. I was able to set up a last-minute session, and the experience was well worth it. My partner was excited, and I was pleased to have some stellar photos to share and to frame, which interest the viewer, and which flatter us as the subjects.
Would I do it again? You betcha! I'm almost looking forward to another 10 hour plane ride in a year or two! Until then, see you in San Francisco!