The city of San Francisco is smaller than most people think (about 49 square miles, compared to over 230 for Chicago and over 300 for New York City), so it really is a wonder that so many world-famous sites and cultural landmarks are found here. Sometimes, wandering around S.F., it can feel like there is a photo-worthy moment literally around every corner. Perhaps that is what drew Michael O’Neal here from the East Coast, and what drove him to trade in his day job for his true passion: photography. Now, as a professional photographer who has worked for Vogue, as well as a number of commercial and charitable projects, he is a San Francisco native, and he knows the city inside and out.

Like any seasoned San Franciscan, O’Neal knows that you can’t leave the house without layers. San Francisco is the home of Levi’s, so it’s no surprise that he chooses “timeless pieces” like denim shirts and jean jackets to brave the moody S.F. weather in a stylish way. A classic black Levi’s jacket and T-shirt serve as his go-to outfit for exploring the city. During casual days, when he enjoys the weather at the park and then heads to a favorite local bar like Trick Dog, O’Neal makes sure to pick out his favorite pair of laid-back, yet sophisticated, dark wash jeans.

We caught up with O’Neal at Sight Glass Coffee in the Mission on a gorgeous Sunday to get the scoop on his favorite spots in San Francisco. From sweet photography locales to classic food joints, O’Neal let us in on his favorites.

Interview by Eva Recinos (@eva_recinos)
Photography by Winni Wintermeyer (@winni3am)