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7 min read

Photo Q&A: Meet Aaron of A Perfect Impression!

Photo Q&A: Meet Aaron of A Perfect Impression!

Meet Aaron, the owner of the awesome family-owned photography business A Perfect Impression! A Perfect Impression is celebrating its 20th anniversary operating in none other than the stunning San Francisco bay area. We're thrilled to have them as our preferred photographers for our beautiful NorCal locations. Today, we have the pleasure of sitting down with Aaron to uncover all the essential details and insights you need to know about capturing those special moments on the big day. Let's dive right in and learn from the best.


Rebecca and Mike in front of the Golden Gate Bridge - Log Cabin Wedding

What inspired you to become a wedding photographer? Was there a particular moment or event that led you down this career path?

I've always enjoyed capturing memories from an early age. When I was 15, I took a summer college course on video production and really enjoyed it. I started becoming involved with weddings when I was 18 and quickly fell in love with capturing memories. I once shot a wedding for a couple where the bride knew she was terminally ill and did not expect to live a long life. About two years later, I received a phone call from the groom, letting me know that she had passed and thanked me for all the amazing photos they had of the two of them. It's those moments that brought me to where I am today. 

How would you describe your photography style and approach? Do you prefer to capture candid moments or more posed shots?

I describe my style as lifestyle photojournalistic or candid. Although photography is an art form, we are in a customer service business and ultimately want to ensure we serve our clients. This means we walk a fine line between providing great quality customer service and allowing ourselves to be the artist. 

How do you capture the energy and atmosphere at a wedding and show the couple's love?

My primary approach is to focus on the moments in front of me with full knowledge of how important capturing every detail is. I always carry my checklist on my phone and camera during an event. I'm scanning the room while capturing the wedding traditions before me. I'm always looking for those natural smiles and tears of joy from family and friends - it's such an important element to the full story on the wedding day!

What's your favorite thing about shooting weddings? Is there a particular aspect or moment of the day that you love to capture the most?

As photographers, we get the front-row seat to one unforgettable moment after another. During the first look, we are often the only ones standing there with the couple as they turn toward each other and see their partner for the first time. The emotion starts to flow, making the most incredible photos ever! 

Can you share your most memorable wedding photography experience to date? What made it so special?

The one I think of the most is the couple that invited all their family and friends to an engagement party and then showed up late in their wedding attire to surprise the guests that they were actually getting married! What a fantastic night that was - even their parents hadn't known! It was amazing and one of the most joyful weddings I've ever attended. 


A couple outside at StoneTree Estate

How do you handle challenging lighting situations like low-light or harsh sunlight?

As wedding photographers, we must be some of the best talent in the photography industry. We don't get to work in a studio where the light is controlled. We work on a tight timeline. We get one shot, and there are no do-overs. With tricky lighting, you learn to look for any shaded area that will give you that "edge of the forest" type of light that makes skin glow and look perfect. When you don't have that option, you bring high-powered flashes and carefully choose your angles to create bright, vibrant photos with beautiful skylines. With low light, we have the latest technology, top-quality lenses, and knowledge that quickly overcome that difficulty. You can learn to play with low light in amazing ways that create incredible images that can be moody and romantic!

What kind of equipment do you use? Are there any specific lenses or cameras that you swear by?

I shoot Canon mirrorless cameras and their top-quality "L" glass lenses. Knowledge of light and the quality of lenses make your best photos. Top it off with the current mirrorless camera bodies, and you get the best results for the client.

How do you help couples feel comfortable and relaxed during their photo shoot?

Making people feel comfortable is critical. Every couple loves to tell you how they met, and I love hearing about it. So we just start talking and walking, looking for the right light and backdrop. I always hear how people are uncomfortable in front of cameras. I use a technique that I have called "action reaction". The point is to get their mind off of taking photos. I will give them each something to do, like look into each other's eyes or squeeze each other very hard. I'll have them whisper in each other's ear something they plan to do later that day. It quickly gets their mind on other things, and the interaction is almost always fun and playful as the couple will laugh and joke with each other. Have you ever played the staring game and not started laughing? We have a good time, and it becomes very easy!

Amanda and Nicholas at Stonetree Estate by Wedgewood Weddings

What advice would you give to couples who are nervous about being in front of the camera on their wedding day? Do you have any tips for couples who want to incorporate unique or creative elements into their wedding photos?

Just relax and be yourselves. Stand and hold each other the way you usually would. The most natural looks are the best, just like genuine smiles are the best. Just be yourselves! We always encourage incorporating personal details so that your photos are uniquely yours. If you have hobbies that you enjoy, try to incorporate them into the wedding day. Be bold and unique; those usually turn out to be the best photos! 

What are your favorite wedding photo trends? Are there any styles or poses that you love right now?

My favorite trend is that people genuinely enjoy the natural look and laughter. We're no longer doing the forced smile portraits. I really like the "light and airy" edit look whenever possible. 


Floral arrangement at Boulder Ridge

What's your favorite or most recommended photography timeline on the day itself?

By far is doing first-look photos as soon as the couple is ready. There are many reasons photographers love doing a first look. You're both freshly ready, and hair and makeup will look their best. It allows us more time for photos, giving us time to take wedding party photos before the ceremony. It also means you'll get to join your cocktail hour and enjoy the party with your family and friends!

How do you work with a couple to create their photography plan?

We provide a questionnaire that walks them through their day. The questionnaire is essential for us and should be for the couple! It allows the couple to enjoy the moment and have everything they want without having to think about it. The last thing any couple wants on their wedding day is for the photographer to stand in front of them and ask them what they would like photos of. 

How do you ensure the images you capture are consistent with the couple's vision?

By taking time to thoroughly read through their photo shot list. It's also very common for couples to submit photo ideas which are very helpful for understanding their expectations. Lastly, a simple phone call works wonders. 


Ceremony site at Boulder Ridge by Wedgewood Weddings

Do you have any 'secret' venue locations for really exceptional photos?

Yes, because many venues refer us, we learn all about that location. Understanding where the sun is at any given point in the day gives us a huge advantage over an outside photographer. Also, being a part of the team that gets a copy of the schedule is critical. 

How do you make sure you show all the décor details that the couple and their wedding party likely spent time and effort creating?

We schedule time for detail photos. This is a must! You'll spend so much time deciding about all the décor at your wedding that you'll want to have a record of it. Many couples don't think about this or think it seems silly, but you'll love being able to look back at those little details for years to come. 


Cake at StoneTree Estate

When a couple is wedding planning, when should they contact you? What is your typical turnaround time after the wedding?

I recommend couples book their photographer one year before the wedding, although many of our clients secure us about six months out. 
During the slower months, our turnaround is about one week. During the peak months, our goal is no more than four weeks. We offer sneak peeks within days of the wedding for a small fee. 

How do you handle unexpected changes on the wedding day?

This is a normal part of every wedding day. First, we expect changes. Second, we are surrounded by a venue and vendor team that has likely dealt with almost every change possible at an event. Because of that, things always work out just fine!

Do you encourage engagement shoots?

Absolutely! An engagement shoot lets you get a feel for how your wedding day photos will go. It also is a fantastic opportunity to get you more familiar and comfortable with your photographer. Many couples feel much better about taking photos after their engagement shoot because they see how fun and easy it is since we guide you through everything. 

Are there any popular photo concepts and styles that you think are dated or unflattering and should be ditched? What do you think are the most popular photo looks nowadays?

I always say all styles are fine if it's what you honestly and genuinely like. It's okay to have different tastes and not follow the trends. The most popular photo looks are all about natural poses and real moments. It's your photos, so do what you like! 

Lisa and Ben at Boulder Ridge by Wedgewood Weddings

How do you usually provide photos to clients?

We provide everything digitally so it can be accessed immediately anywhere around the world. All of our packages now include high-resolution digital file downloads. We love the excitement couples feel getting their photos back and want to make that as easy as possible. 

What makes an excellent client?

Ahh, we've had so many great clients! I would say someone that trusts our expertise and is willing to accept our guidance for the best-quality photos. Sometimes a pose might feel a little strange, but we promise you will love the outcome! 

What tips do you have for clients choosing their wedding photographer? 

First, working with someone you're comfortable with is so important. That will make such a difference in both the experience itself, as well as the photos. Second, someone willing to share an entire wedding gallery with you, not just the best ten photos from one wedding. An entire gallery will give you a much better idea of their work. 


Thanks, Aaron, for your insight! We love having A Perfect Impression as one of our amazing partners in the Wedgewood Weddings family. If you would like to learn more about API, follow along with their wedding adventures on social media and their website

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