Chris Henderson

You are here

August 28, 2014

SF Personality: Chris Henderson

Chris Henderson

  • Neighborhood: Yerba Buena Island
  • What do you love about your neighborhood? I live on the Island in the middle of The Bay, Yerba Buena Island. This is the island above the new and old Bay Bridge attached the Treasure Island with million dollar views in every direction.
  • Native or Transplant: I was raised in the Bay Area, but moved to San Francisco a few years ago.
  • How long have you lived in San Francisco: Since 2005
  • Gig: Aerial & Landscape Photographer
  • San Francisco is… the reason I bought my first camera got into photography.

What do you like better: Bay Bridge or the Golden Gate Bridge?

The Bay Bridge is my favorite, all the way — no contest. Although the Golden Gate Bridge is spectacular to look at, I drive on the Bay Bridge every day. I got to see the new Bay Bridge when it was just a drawing and idea, and have seen them put it together every step of the way, and am pretty lucky to witness the building of the new Bay Bridge.

What's your favorite neighborhood to hang out in (other than your own)?

The Mission, it is a great casual and hip place to hang out and has the most diverse local and hipster culture and surroundings in San Francisco.

Where is your secret outdoor spot?

My favorite spot is the beach at Chrissy Field, as it’s a great place to take my dog for a walk, workout or get some great shots of the Golden Gate Bridge and is next to the Palace of Fine Arts. Also, Treasure Island, as there is so many spots to catch the sunset of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, and to capture the reflections of the new Bay Bridge at Clipper Cove.

Where AND what would be your last meal here in San Francisco?

I’m pretty simple — a Mongolian Cheese steak from HRD Coffee Shop on 3rd Street. Although its name is a coffee shop, it’s really the best Korean BBQ in San Francisco. I didn’t even realize it was here until I saw TV celebrity/foodie, Guy Fieri go here on one of his TV shows. This place is amazing food.

What restaurant have you been meaning to eat at, but haven't?

I've been wanting to check out The House of Prime Rib. I have heard so many great things about the food and great service, but have never taken the time to go.

What is your go-­to drink spot?

Treasure Island Bar & Grill, this is a little full service bar and Café in the back of the Marina parking lot on Treasure Island. It’s the only place on the island that serves great food, drinks, happy hour and is dog friendly — you can eat outside with your dog. It's half locals, half tourists and constantly busy with great views of the new Bay Bridge, Treasure Island Marina, Clipper Cover and of course San Francisco. It’s also the only established restaurant on the island.

"Take a helicopter over San Francisco. I do it as often I can. It's great to fly out over the ocean, over both bridges, downtown and all of the San Francisco landmarks. It's such a great way to see San Francisco, and will give you a new perspective on how awesome San Francisco really is. Trust me, you will not regret it."

Where do you go in the city to take in arts and culture?

San FranciscoMOMA, although they are under construction now. I can’t wait to see it when they are done. I have been here countless times and love the art they show, as well as 111 Minna Gallery is a cool place to have a drink and see great artwork from great artists.

What is your favorite spot to snap a picture in San Francisco?

Twin Peaks and Treasure Island: These are the only two spots that I like to get the entire city of San Francisco (well, most of it) in one or two shots, with all of the San Francisco landmarks in view.

What is the one celebration in the city you look forward to every year?

The KFOG Kaboom Fireworks Show is my favorite event. I think this fireworks show is the best one of the year, as they synchronize music through the KFOG radio station to the fireworks for a spectacular show. I have never missed it since I have lived in San Francisco, and I think it is better than the 4th of July and New Years fireworks show, by far.

Where do you escape the hustle and bustle beyond the bridge?

Capitola (next to Santa Cruz). Once I get past the bridge, this is my other favorite spot to get away and stay for a weekend, and right on the ocean with a nice collection of epic ocean front views and restaurants and shops.

What is your favorite place in San Francisco to act like a tourist?

The Embarcadero and Pier 14. I go to the Embarcadero because there is some much to see, many shops, bay cruises and plenty of spots to take great pictures of downtown San Francisco and all of the Piers.

What is the one thing everyone should do at least once here?

Take a helicopter over San Francisco. I do it as often I can. It's great to fly out over the ocean, over both bridges, downtown and all of the San Francisco landmarks. It's such a great way to see San Francisco, and will give you a new perspective on how awesome San Francisco really is. Trust me, you will not regret it.

What is the one thing you have yet to check off your bucket list in San Francisco?

I see the cruise ships arriving all of the time; I would like to hop on one of those cruise lines one day and end up in another country. I’ve never been on a cruise, and San Francisco seems like a great place to start.

What piece of advice would you give to a traveler about visiting the city?

Visit Treasure Island and Twin Peaks as soon as you get here, and then plan what you want to see, as you can see most of the famous landmarks San Francisco has to offer in these two spots, and also get the best photos and viewpoint of San Francisco. Treasure Island's views are from the ocean front, and Twin Peak's views are from a hilltop lookout point.

What do you find most inspiring about San Francisco?

Its people and its culture. It’s the only city I’ve lived where the people who live here loves this city, and anyone who visits or moves away can’t wait come back and visit.


Chris Henderson, is a San Francisco-based aerial helicopter photographer. As a Bay Area native all of my life, I have grown to love this city, San Francisco. I moved here from the East Bay in 2005, and have never looked back. I have found my permanent home in this awesome city. I adopted photography as a full-time hobby the year I moved to San Francisco after seeing its stunning scenery every day. I enjoy long walks on airplane runways, to lift-off via helicopter to see the San Francisco and the world from above for aerial photography.

A few years ago, a friend’s cousin accidentally hit my parked car — come to find out he was a helicopter pilot. I was more interested into getting a free helicopter flight with my new camera than getting my car fixed, and, well I was lucky enough to get both. Since then I’ve flown over San Francisco many times doing aerial landscape photography, and also recently over the Grand Canyon (twice), Utah and Las Vegas. I post many of my photos of in my Instagram feed and enjoy sharing these experiences and unique perspective with the rest of the world.

You may also like