What makes your photography different?
Two decades of experience + a unqiue style. Widely recognized as being one of the top professional photographers in the country across portraits, wildlife, weddings, and fashion.
My experience as a photojournalist capturing imagery in over 40+ countries - ranging from wildlife and landscapes to the heads of state has created a style over the years that is truly my own. Please take a moment to look at some of my other work.
I am the only Bay Area photographer with background as a professional model. I was a Ford model for a decade before starting photography. I value bringing a fashionable approach to wedding photography. However, you don't have to know anything about modeling or even be fashionable to photograph well! A large portion of a photographer's job is helping you pose in a way that is both flattering, yet natural.
I'm a well rounded photographer. Although weddings are my favorite to shoot, I have spent two decades photographing fashion, corporate, wildlife, culture, and landscape. Roughly three months of my year is out of the country shooting on assignment. My travel section shows a small handful of animals and people I've taken on trips. From the friendly whales in Baja, the volcanoes of East Africa, remote villages in Myanmar, people of the Congo, to the North face of Mt Everest... I have some great stories (and photos to accompany!).
I bring a stylist to every engagement and wedding. My wife accompanies me to every wedding and she anticipates needs in a heartbeat. Between weddings, and other professional shoots, she's (patiently) been with me through over 5000 hours of shooting. She understands the intricacies of shooting more than most photographers, and plays whatever part is needed. She is the stylist for every shoot - touching up hair and make-up throughout the day and being sure everyone always looks picture-ready, even if the cameras aren't on.
I always bring a second shooter. I am always the lead photographer, however I'm honored to have a very talented cadre of second photographers and assistants.
I don't mark up prints or albums. Most photographers mark up prints and albums by 700-800%. I feel strongly that a client is hiring me for my shooting talent, not my ability to place a print order. All prints are just done at cost - no markup- through my lab. Clients are welcome to use my lab for personal enlargements as well.
This isn't a weekend job/hobby for me. In 20 years, I've seen a lot of photographers come and go - I can count maybe 2-3 that are still around as a professional photographer. Meaning... I'll still be here in 10 years if you've lost all of your images, need reprints, or newborn photos. :)
What's your style?
I had one client describe my photos as "National Geographic" meets "Harper's Bazaar." I think that sums it up perfectly! I love combining together dramatic, emotional moments, yet still capturing the best angle on a person.
We've never been professionally photographed. What should we expect?
Being photographed professionally is exciting, but initially can be a bit daunting. It's more common for people to be a bit on the nervous side.
I work very closely with my clients with subtle guidance to make them feel comfortable and themselves, while also bringing out their best look.
After a few minutes into shooting, most couples really start to love being in front of my cameras, even those that never thought they would.
Who are the people on your website? Models or real people?
On the wedding pages, there are no models. The only professional models on the site are on the fashion pages, although some of the lions in Botswana pose so perfectly that they may qualify as professionals.
All of the shots on my wedding pages are real. There is a new trend of photographers shooting "styled" weddings, staged with models and even extras as guests. I do understand some photographers do this to build a nice looking wedding portfolio at well known places, but I find it to be misleading.
When shooting, I am keen on finding a person's most flattering angles and using the best light and lenses for particular features. Some individuals photograph better in a certain light or with certain angles, and I work specifically to use that light and angle on a person throughout the day.
As much as I love Photoshop and post-production touch-ups, there's nothing that can substitute getting an image right from the start.
As a result, I bring out the individual's best in their photos. The comment I hear most often from clients is "I had no idea I looked that good."
Why the huge range with photography pricing?
Photography prices are directly correlated with talent and experience of the photographer. In most cases (but not all!), prices should be in line with their experience, creativity, and style. Starting photographers are still building their experience and their price typically reflect that.
Quite often, it is difficult for starting photographers to anticipate and capture "moments" - it's a skill that combines the ability to anticipate and visually compose, while shooting. This is why we encourage couples to review entire weddings from their potential photographers, and not base it off of the very selected subset in their portfolio. That will allow you to get a sense of their skills and ability to capture fleeting moments effectively.
However, with that in mind, photographers that are booked more often rely less on every single wedding for income, and as a result, our operating expenses per wedding are less and can sometimes be more flexible with a couple's budget.
What you spend on photography should depend on your priorities. Most couples budget 10-20% on photography.
Have you been commissioned to photograph anyone famous?
Loads! I've been honored over the years to be trusted with capturing the day of many well known clients. A multitude of professional athletes, politicians, founders and CEOs of Fortune 100 companies, and even two prime ministers. I approach each the day the same, no matter who you are.
How do you compare to others on safeguarding images?
I've heard it more times than I can count from other photographers (and some very experienced ones): "my card failed and I lost an entire hour of images."
The reason we don’t lose imagery is because of the meticulous workflow behind every shoot. I continually rotate and shoot with three cameras on me. Almost all situations are covered with multiple images on multiple cards and cameras.
In addition to the three cameras on me at all times, I also bring additional back-up lenses and bodies.
We only work with the absolute best professional grade camera gear - please feel free to review my gear list below.
Critical photography is also captured by second shooters.
We physically back up images 2x during each event and again when arriving at the studio in two other separate locations. At any given time, your photos are in no less than 4 different physical locations and backed-up via 2 cloud services as well. This redundancy lets everyone sleep well!
Any photographer should be servicing their equipment on a scheduled basis, physically backing up images on location, and shooting the same image on multiple cameras.
Photographers that haven't photographed professionally for a long time aren't aware of the nuances that go into image preservation.
Do you limit time? Why are other photographer's packages based on hours?
With the exception of small, intimate ceremonies, we don't limit time on shoots - engagements, weddings, corporate, family shoots, anything. Clients are more relaxed when they know that they don't need to watch the clock. If I accept a shoot - whether a corporate assignment, wedding or event, I walk away from each shoot knowing that I was able to capture every possible image for a client.
And.. I'm shooting almost the entire time as well. Even with weddings, I only take breaks if absolutely needed, and only when another shooter is covering for me. I never want to miss opportunity for a great photograph.
I'm very, very used to shooting long hours. I believe that most photographers put time limits on packages, because they can get overwhelmed with long shooting days and can perform only in a small time frame.
I shoot in extraordinary conditions for multiple days when on assignment. Once during a shoot in Africa, there were 5 weeks straight of 15+ hour shooting days. My wife didn't care for that stretch too much, though!
How much do you charge?
Because every couples’ needs are different, detailed pricing and date availability are provided upon request. Generally, my shooting fee ranges from $4,500-$12,000, with most weddings averaging $7500. If you are planning a weekday, off-season, short ceremony, or if it's approaching fast, we'll see what we can do. I'm a nice, reasonable guy, so feel free and contact me and tell me about your event. Please fill out the contact form or email directly and we'll be in touch with the specifics.
I provide all high-resolution images, retouched. Albums and prints are just done at cost - there is never any markup from my lab or binders (often photographers mark up albums and prints as high as 10x)
Can we meet you?
Absolutely - and I encourage it. It's extremely important for you to feel fully confident with your photography decision.
The photographer and their team is someone that is around for the entire day... it's quite important that you trust and enjoy the company of your photographer.
The more comfortable you are with your photographer, the better the pictures.
I meet with local clients in my studio where you can see hundreds of weddings from beginning to end, as well as browse images from full weddings (actual images that I'd provide a client).
I'm also into photography/a professional photographer. What type of gear do you use and can you teach me some techniques?
I solely use Canon professional bodies and lenses. All of my digital bodies are 5DMarkIIIs.
I also carry medium-format Contax cameras as well, which gives a drastically different feel to portraits. Some photographers spend a lot of time trying to replicate the look and feel of these pricey medium format cameras in post-production with varied success.
I use 600 series radio transmitter flash units (works great for different lighting effects) as well as a multitude of unique flashes and lights. I work with soft boxes and umbrellas, although rarely needed at weddings.
I have many lenses ranging from 17-35mm wide angles, 24-80mm, 70-200mm, a macro lens and 400mm (2.8). Although, I've yet to pull out the 400mm for a wedding... I am excited for the day when it's needed. All lenses are premium, professional grade lenses.
Many of my clients are photography enthusiasts or professional photographers. At the very least, it's fun to teach clients little tricks along the way so they can take better pictures themselves.
Do you retouch images?
I do all of my own re-touching and am meticulous in post-processing and refining images.
I am happy to accommodate a client's individual preference for the amount of retouching as well. Some prefer heavier retouched photos, others prefer a bit more natural.
While I love what retouching can do, I do believe that an image should resemble you. I've had clients that want me to completely reform their body, and while I'm happy to handle a request like this for a handful of photos, I sadly can't agree to do this for an entire wedding.