Suggest a wedding photographer in the Bay Area
May 1, 2011 1:53 PM   Subscribe

Suggest a great wedding photographer in the Bay Area?

My fiance and I prefer the "photojournalistic" style that feels a bit more spontaneous, intimate, and creative, rather than the typical lineup of portraits. I'm finding a lot of photographer portfolios online have what I call the "7 degree tilt", where their idea of creative photo is taking a regular photo but tilting their camera a bit. It's surprisingly pervasive.

Anyhow, looking for an easy-to-work-with photographer who won't require an astronomical budget, but we're willing to pay a fair rate.

The ceremony will be at a family church in Napa, the reception in Yountville. We're open to photos either before or after the ceremony.
posted by wubbie to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Tea Ho of Dreambox Photography does lovely, creative work, and she's quite affordable.
posted by rabbitbookworm at 2:28 PM on May 1, 2011
Jessica's wedding photography is phenomenal. She is inventive, attentive, and artistic.
posted by CCCC at 3:11 PM on May 1, 2011

Suzy Clement, all the way.
posted by quarterframer at 3:14 PM on May 1, 2011

Jonathan Mandel Checkerbox photography does interesting, intimate work. I haven't worked with him in several years but it looks like he's still at it. He's through and reliable. Steve Holmes is not specifically a wedding photographer but he does great portraits and video--he's both a friend and someone I've used to take glamour shots of trains for work. He is a very nice person and creative to boot.
posted by agatha_magatha at 3:48 PM on May 1, 2011

Here are some directory/lookup sites worth investigating: I recommend these sites to couples because membership within one or all often indicates a certain threshold of professionalism or legitimacy behind the scenes -- namely because each one encourages continuing education and development among its members.

Naturally, one shouldn't assume that *every* member is active in those pursuits, or that *every* member is upstanding and fantastic. But at the very least, these are good starting points. One thing to note: most directory sites on the internet are pay-for-placement advertisements designed to look legitimately unbiased. Even some of the most popular wedding blogs are pay-based content features. The three links above are all membership organizations, not pay-for-play directories.

Additionally, each organization has specific features inherent to membership. PPA, for instance, requires all members who photograph weddings to participate in an indemnification trust, which essentially acts like malpractice coverage. This provides you with some extra assurance that you'll be taken care of in the event that something unfortunate happens (data loss, dissatisfaction, etc).

Which brings me to the most important tip: make sure your photographer is insured for both liability (camera falls on grandma) *and* equipment (grandma steals camera). Many venues actually require vendors to be insured, so you'll need to know that ahead of time before committing to contracts. Additionally, whether a photographer is insured or not is a good litmus test to indicate overall competence -- for instance: folks just starting out (or folks who don't take the job seriously) usually won't be insured. I hear stories like this every single week. I'm guessing you wouldn't want your photographer having to ask for donations from the internet if something went awry.

I also encourage couples to explore Although they do have some pay-based feature options, the reviews are all legitimate third-party opinions, and most provide great insight into what the experience is like.

There are so many photographers out there right now, and it's getting increasingly difficult to understand the distinctions. Just remember: any monkey can take a pretty picture -- and you certainly want to identify with the work -- but not as many photographers know how to provide a good customer experience (which is unfortunate because you'll speak with your photographer more than any other vendor, even after the wedding). So find the person you can trust and who will treat you like royalty, and I'll bet the quality of the work will fall into place as well.

If you need inside opinions or have more specific questions, my email's in my profile. (Also a friend of teh torrez.)
posted by Hankins at 6:39 PM on May 1, 2011

He's a casual friend of mine, so I am not uninvolved, but Tristan Crane does lovely work.
posted by mollymayhem at 11:33 PM on May 1, 2011

I'd submit the name of Jere Visalli. His website is If you hire Jere, you'll find him competent, clear and consistent. Oh, and you'll get great photos of you and your wedding. He's got a great laugh, too.

I'm a jewelry designer and maker. You may or may not have your wedding rings, and perhaps other jewelry for your wedding. Whether or not it turns into business for me, you may have questions relating to jewelry. Please feel free to email me or call (415 663 1936, I have a store in Point Reyes Station) Tuesday through Saturday after 10:30. I'll do my best to help, a fellow MeFi'er.

Good wishes,

"I Love Making Wedding Rings. I'd Like To Make Yours"
Point Reyes Jeweler
David Clarkson
Box 577
11101 Highway One, # 104
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
415 663 1936
posted by davoid at 8:43 AM on May 2, 2011 //

I hired Yuki because I'd worked with her at a newspaper in the 00s. She is a working photojournalist so she captured a lot of really sweet moments and did very little of the wait-pose-move a little to the left-wait-pose stuff that we wouldn't have wanted on Our Big Day. Instead we got lovely, silly, pretty, fun images that are what I really remember (or was too busy to remember, honestly!) I didn't have to smack him with a kiss and then hold it even once.

She also gave me the big image files for family to print and made an album for me that's just beautiful.
posted by blandcamp at 12:45 PM on May 2, 2011

SF has a number of the country's best photographers. Top of the list Ben Chrisman (stunning work) and Cliff Brunk. Their work is heartstopping.
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 1:40 PM on May 2, 2011

Paige Bertelsen did our wedding and she was great. She shoots a documentary style that's really lovely.
posted by dolface at 2:30 PM on May 2, 2011

This sort of thing is right up Dustin and Aimee Hatcher's alley.
posted by tangerine at 4:36 PM on May 2, 2011

En Luce Photography and the Pearson Brothers.
posted by easy_being_green at 9:09 PM on May 29, 2011

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