This weekend was a great time for photoshoots, and luckily I was able to take advantage of the great sun and weather with some fantastic couples. Andreas and Amanda truly are a beautiful couple. They’re the kind of people you want to sit down next to a big fire with and enjoy an evening of conversation and hot chocolat. We had a chance to shoot around the Windmill at Golden Gate Park, into the Richmond District, and then over to Ocean Beach. The gentle playfulness they have with each other and willingness to get a little wet at the beach made them a joy to spend the afternoon with. I had a blast with them and am excited about the way we got to use the sunset to capture some dramatic images at the end. They’re also getting married at Nestldown, which after a little research I’ve come to find out is truly a photographer’s dream. Check it out if you’re looking for a location. Hope you love your pictures guys!
As a wedding photographer, one of the things I love to do is explore the work of other photographers. For me, inspiration is a part of the art creation process. I thought it might be interesting for couples who are overwhelmed by the amount of photographers out there to point them to what I, as someone who thinks about capturing creative images all day long , think are the cream of the crop. This of course, is my own personal view, and you can find plenty of photomagazines and associations that hand out their own prizes every year. Several of these photographers have received some of them. These are my favorite, and thus not the cheapest photographers. I hope you find this educational as you think about what seperates a truly great photographer from his or her contemporaries.
Why do I think they are the best? It is important to understand why these photographers set themselves apart. They are my current favorites because they:
a) Capture the story of the relationships they document. Their weddings are not cookie cutter clones. The unique relationship between the bride and groom, a special niece or nephew, a mentor, or a parent are observed and captured.
b) Creatively utilize the surroundings, using the area of the shoot to express the drama and poetic beauty of the event. They are attentive to people’s motions and positions, leading lines, framing, and color composition. Whether they are shooting an engagement session in a parking lot, or are observing a mountaintop ceremony, they have a knack for being in the right place at the right time, where all the compositional pieces and actions of the moment fit together.
c) Their post-processing (i.e. Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.) is tasteful and not overdone or sterile. This includes knowing when to keep an image in color and correctly balancing tones, or modify it for black and white.
d) They have reputations of great customer service, and making their subjects comfortable and free to be themselves. The relational aspect of photography in my mind cannot be overstated.
e) They focus on emotions- the joy and laughter, and perhaps even some sentimental tears..
f) They make the most of available light.
g) The “wow” factor. Am I struck by the impact of their images regularly? Do they have a style that is unique and beautiful?
The 10 Best Wedding Photographers:
1 ) Ben Chrisman
2 ) Anna Kuperberg
3 ) Noah Hawthorne
5 ) Mark Kuroda
6 ) Brian Dorsey
7 ) J. Perlman
8 ) Lisa Lefkowitz
9 ) Jasmine Star
10 ) Cliford Brunk
Yes, there is a bit of a Northern California bias in this list, but this was not designed to be California’s Top 10 Wedding Photographers. NorCal has some amazing photographers, and they will travel anywhere to serve you. If you are looking for a place to find consistently professional photographers in the Bay Area or around the world you can check out the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA).
After braving the wilds of 19th Ave. traffic on a Saturday morning the three of us had a super-sunny day to shoot at Crissy Field. One of the things I love about this place is the old military warehouses that line the ocean. The day before the shoot it had just rained so the sky was clear and everything felt clean. Rizza and Julius are one of those couples who are just a fun time to be around, and it was easy to feel the love they have for each other and be drawn into it. Sometimes its a little daunting to get past your inhibitions as two camera’s with giant lenses go “click, click, click” in your direction, but they got in the swing of things. Lots of laughter. I enjoy shooting as a team, where both the subjects and myself are involved in shot selection and creativity. In my mind this is a key part of the relational aspect of creating striking images, and I’m grateful to them both for a beautiful Saturday morning.
On Halloween I was asked to document my church’s “Fall Fest.” We had cotton candy, games, story-time with Tigger, and of course lots of kids (and kids at heart) who were dressed up as everything from Pippi Longstocking and Sugar Daddy to Facebook. I always enjoy a change of pace and it was nice to be able to allow the parents to hang out with their kids without worrying if they were going to get a good picture of their costumes. Children are also so full of expression and natural beauty that I love to get behind my camera try to catch the most telling moment.