Adams Family Portraits [San Luis Obispo Photography]

This family portrait sessions was at the Paso Robles Inn. I was very windy that day so we did as many portrait sittings as we could outside. Then we moved into the lobby for a couple of shots near the fireplace where it was warm.

Family Portrait: On the Paso Robles Inn Bridge

Family Portrait: Inside Large Tree

Family Portrait: Bench near Tree

Family Portrait: Close Up of Group

Family Portrait: With the Fireplace

Laura & Blake [San Luis Obispo Wedding Photography]

Laura and Blake are both food and wine enthusiast. Blake went to college at Cal Poly and was excited to come back to the area for his wedding. Their wedding was set on a vineyard in Paso Robles at Villa De Buena Vista. Christine's Cakes, Fleur Flowers, and Kristin Lee were among the wonderful vendors with which I worked. Laura and Blake put a lot of their own touches on their event. Laura hand-embossed the name places, wine labels, and table menus using copper sheets. Blake and Laura opted for a first look before the wedding so that they could get the portraits out of the way and spend more time with their guests. Each of the tables had a place set for the Bride and Groom. After each course of the meal they moved to a different table to spend time with the guests. This event was simple yet extremely elegant and well-thought out. The food was amazing! I apologize that I don't have the name of the caterer. It was exactly as they describe their vision of the day, a wedding at a really awesome dinner party.

Wedding Photography: Bride with Bouquet by Fluer

Wedding Photography: Bride and Groom's First Look

Wedding Photography: Portrait of Bride and Groom under the Oak Tree at Villa De Buena Vista

Wedding Photography: Bride and Groom in Villa De Buena Vista Vineyards

Wedding Photography: Bride and Groom on the Lawn

Wedding Photography: Bride and Groom on Stairs

Wedding Photography: Bride and Groom Portrait

Wedding Photography: Bride and Groom with View of Paso Robles

Wedding Photography: Table Details

Wedding Photography: Guest Signing Wine Bottle

Wedding Photography: Groom at Beginning of Ceremony

Wedding Photography: Bride Walking into Ceremony

Wedding Photography: Landscape View of Ceremony

Wedding Photography: Ceremony Shot Through Vines

Wedding Photography: Bride and Groom during Ceremony

Wedding Photography: Handmade Embossed Wine Label

Wedding Photography: Bride's Hair

Wedding Photography: Caterer Starting the First Course

Wedding Photography: Christine's Cakes

Wedding Photography: The Couple Visiting the First Table

Wedding Photography: Bride and Groom with Wedding Cake

Noelle & Sean [Monterey Engagement Photography]

Of all the days to have two portrait sessions I pick the most rainy day of the year. Noelle and Sean were determined to have their engagement session at Hollman Ranch last weekend. "Rain or Shine" Noelle said when we scheduled the session. She decided they were just going to go with the rain theme. She brought umbrellas and rain boots. When it wasn't raining we worked outside. When the rain started back up we moved to covered areas or used umbrellas. It was actually a lot of fun.

Engagement Portrait: Rainy Day Session
Engagement Portrait: Couple near a Tree

Engagement Portrait: By the Wagon Wheel

Engagement Portrait: Sitting on Barrels

Engagement Portrait: Sitting on Stairs

Engagement Portrait: Close up of Couple

Engagement Portrait: On Rainy Road

Engagement Portrait: Walking with Umbrellas

Marissa and Mateo's Day After Session [Monterey Wedding Photography]

As a wedding photographer I've heard a few campfire horror stories about bad photographer but I recently had a more firsthand experience. A bride contacted me to schedule a "redo session" because she didn't receive most of her original wedding photos. She said it was a very "good deal" but she only received a small portion of the images and the photographer was giving her excuses and would no longer call her back.

With only one weekend available to shoot before she had to ship off her dresses (which sold on eBay) we were forced to do the session on a rainy day. We ended up using a covered section of the Carmel Mission and the lobby at The Pine Inn. (Actually I have to take a moment to mention that The Pine Inn was exceptional! I called a few days before and they said we could use their lobby. They let us move furniture and basically have the entire lobby.)

Here is what the bride had to say at about the experience:

"Due to our poor judgment, we never received our original wedding pictures from our original wedding photographer, so we had to "retake" our wedding photos. April was recommended by our videographer. Due to our time constraints ( I sold my dresses on eBay) we needed our pictures taken ASAP. April was able to shoot us the weekend after we called her. She was very accommodating and professional. She researched the places that we wanted to shoot to ensure she was prepared and that we could actually take pictures in certain locations. We only expected to meet with April but we had two additional photographers to assist her.

April was very laid back, not too overbearing and pushy. It was hard to take a natural picture when it is December, raining and cold outside, and not your actual wedding date. We felt that April was very creative given her circumstances and we liked the pictures very much. We would recommend her to anyone for their wedding as she is very reliable!"

So your probably wondering 'How do I know if my wedding photographer is reliable?' Well, for one, if a deal seems to good to be true, it probably is. In the digital age it is easy for anyone to pick up a camera and book one or two weddings. Running a full wedding photography business, on the other hand, is quite expensive and there is a limit to how low a professional photographer can price weddings. Most of our pricing is built into advertising just to get you to call or email. If you found them on a free site like Craigslist, look around and see if they advertise with any wedding planning sites.

If in doubt ask for references. Ask them with which venues and wedding services they have worked then contact those companies. I would specifically ask for DJs, Videographers and Location Coordinators because they have the most interaction with photographers.

Make sure you get a contract, save email correspondence and make a copy of payments. If they don't already have a contract set up for their business they can find a template online. Although any company that does not already use a contract probably isn't worth your time.

Here is a link to Marissa and Mateo's Redo Wedding Portrait Session. You can also see my favorites on Facebook.

April Wise Photography

Haley & Michael [San Luis Obispo Wedding Photography]

My brother Michael got married in Little Rock so I drove back home for his wedding. Instead of a wedding present I did all of their wedding photography as a gift. Their wedding was on a family members property near a beautiful pond at sunset. The leaves in Arkansas are so amazing in the early Fall and they had just started to turn the week before. There was a Razorbacks game playing that day so I had to bargain with the guys to pry them away from the TV.

Wedding Photography: The Dress

Wedding Photography: The Dress with Cross

Wedding Photography: Rings on Pumpkin

Wedding Photography: Bride Putting on Earrings

Wedding Photography: Bride Getting Dressed

Wedding Photography: Groom and Groomsmen Walking Down Path

Wedding Photography: Groom and Groomsmen Standing on Dock

Wedding Photography: Groom and Groomsmen Watching Football

Wedding Photography: Full Length Portrait of Bride

Wedding Photography: Bride and Bridesmaids by Pond

Wedding Photography: Bride and Groom Talking Before Wedding

Wedding Photography: Groom Seeing Bride

Wedding Photography: Groom during Ceremony

Wedding Photography: Bride during Ceremony

Wedding Photography: Ceremony Rear View

Wedding Photography: Ring Ceremony

Wedding Photography: Walking Back Down The Aisle

Wedding Photography: Bride and Groom with Wedding Party

Wedding Photography: Bride and Groom Portrait

Wedding Photography: Toasts

Wedding Photography: Cutting the Cake

Wedding Photography: Feeding/Smashing Cake

Wedding Photography: First Dance

Wedding Photography: Cool Lighting

Wedding Photography: Throwing Leaves During Exit