Professional, experienced wedding photography for State College, Central Pennsylvania and beyond.
You own the rights to your photos and receive all of the full digital files at no extra charge, inlcuding raw files, on a hard disc drive. You can print or share your photos with no restrictions and no watermarks. Consultations in person at my studio, by phone or email. Serious inquiries only, please.
Overnight travel and destination weddings welcome, photojournalism a specialty.
First and foremost, I am a working professional. I have a small studio downtown, and I've worked in a wide variety of genres over the last twenty years, which is important for weddings, because it's the most demanding kind of photography there is, short of combat photography. I haven't done that, but I've done everything else. I can work in rain or snow, bad lighting situations or when equipment fails. This is not a hobby to me, it's a profession.
It has been said that I'm the hardest working photographer in the area. While I can't speak to that myself, I can tell you that I will do my absolute best on your wedding day, and I have the drive, equipment and knowledge to make that happen. I am a member of the Professional Photographers of America, and I am passionate about photography. I have more than a million photos in my portfolio. My work has been featured in books, television, magazines, almbum liner notes, billboards, news print and more. My fine art prints adorn the walls of hundreds of homes and offices. I've sold thousands of prints. Oh, and I've photographed more than a hundred weddings :-)
Philosophically, I believe that the emotional content of a photograph is directly related to how real it is. That is, I think it's best when you are reminded of the moment, not the process, or worse, ME. That's photojournalism. In my opinion, photojournalism mixed with traditional portraiture is the best method to capture your wedding, because it allows you to enjoy your day while capturing lots of amazing photos that take you back.
Lots of photographers claim to shoot in the photojournalistic style, but they're really more interested in imposing their "creative vision" onto you. PRess them on this and you'll see that they really don't have any experience in that field. There's nothing wrong with having a creative vision, but you're not a professional model, and your wedding day isn't a fashion shoot. Even if you were a model, while the art director is agonizing over poses and compostiion for a single photo, I'm getting dozens of great shots that are just as good, if not better, because they're real, and you're not bored to tears, wondering when your reception is going to start.
My photos come from you, and you can see this in my portfolio. A bride once asked me, "Do you take fun photos?" I said, "Are you fun? Then your photos will be, too." That sums it up.
“You never took a minute off
and these photos prove it.”
Yes, we'll have plenty of posed portraits as you can see below, and we'll have fun during the portrait sessions, but the most dynamic and memorable photographs are the ones I take in the moment, and I'm very good at that! I will do my best to get the best possible photos of your wedding.
A picture is worth a thousand words! At the bottom of this page are a few samples from my portfolio, and you can always find my latest work on my Facebook page. If you need to see more, I have a really huge gallery online from a few dozen weddings here.
I'm a craftsman, and I take pride in my work, but different moments call for different techniques. In general, I'm high-energy for weddings. I have a sense of humor, but I'm working hard for you. That's the creative side. On the technical side, I want to get the best shot, and I'm competitive. I do not agonize over compositions, preferring to work as a true photojournalist. I work fast and get a wide variety of images. There will be times when I'm your wedding sherpa, pinning boutenirs onto the groom or leading you away from an awkward recieving line. In brief, I will do my level best to get the most amazing photos of your wedding.
During the ceremony, I am discrete. I will not intrude on intimate moments unless you specifically ask me to. I'll work hard not to miss anything, using two to three cameras at a time. I'll use telephotos to get close-ups from a good distance. You may not even notice that I'm there during the ceremony but I'll get all the shots.
Unlike the rest of the day, the portrait session is where I need to be in charge. We have about 30 minutes to take six hours worth of photos. I won't waste your time, and we'll move quickly. I'll tell jokes, bark like a dog...whatever gets you to forget that there's a camera there. On the creative side, I'll suggest settings, backdrops and poses, taking cues from your style and personality. If you have ideas, we'll integrate those, too. This is where we have fun and make great photos.
Did I mention that I work fast? I do. You are not a model and I am not a fashion photographer. Let's get the portraits done as quickly as we can so you can get back to your wedding. I'm experienced enough that I know how to get the best photos in the shortest amount of time. This also means that you'll get more photos than you will with other photographers. Instead of two or three poses, we'll have fifteen. Instead of one great shot, you'll have 20. Experience matters!
During the reception, I bring my own lights, so you'll get great photos of the dance party and events. I'll also stay long after other photogrpahers would have left. I don't stop working until there's nothing more I can accomplish. Sometimes that means staying until the very end, sometimes that means an hour or two after you cut the cake. I don't just take photos of your first dance and then bolt.
Photojournalism is the art of telling stories through photos. A photojournalist documents the day and brings you back to it. My photos are designed to trigger memories. That's what I do. Your photos will be authentic, with genuine emotional content.
So what does photojournalism look like? Here's a gallery from an actual wedding at the Nittany Lion Inn as an example.
Lots and lots of different photos! Literally, thousands of photos of all sorts. Close-ups, wide angles, funs, serious, architecture, landscape, details…you name it. I will focus on people as well as the entire scence. I'll capture everything I can.
Something I do a bit differently than most photographers is that I will give you every photo, in RAW format, with no restrictions. You own the copyright. You can even DIY the processing if you like. You don't just get a DVD or a thumb drive with just my personal favorites…you get an actual hard drive with about 150-200GB of data, usually 3000-6000 images, and that's a lot. If you need help whittling that down, I can certainly do that, but I consider the digital negatives to be your property. I also have a healthy ego, and I trust that you can tell the difference between the "keepers" and the rest of the images.
I have literally taken millions of photos in dozens of different styles. I tend to like warm, saturated colors, but I'm perfectly comfortable with the faded "no yellow in this world" look which is popular right now, but I can also work in black and white, high-key, low-contrast or muted tones. It's up to you, and if you prefer a particular style, we can make those adjustments in the post-process. You're free to come by my studio and see different options, too. Rest assured, your photos will be consistent with my body of work as displayed in my portfolio.
For purposes of comparison, I shoot a mix of photojournalism and contemporary portraiture. Check my Facebook page for my most recent weddings and other activities, and here is a really big gallery of wedding photos from the past few years, broken down by categories. It's one thing to show you my "greatest hits" albums, but it's another to see what a whole day looks like, so here are samples from a Nittany Lion Inn wedding and a wedding on the family farm. If you want to see what an ENTIRE wedding looks like, I'm happy to show that to you when we meet. It's just too big to really display online, since there are thousands of photos. I have no problem showing you what 4000 images from a while day looks like, rain, snow, sun, whatever.
So far I've talked a lot about being "real" and photojournalism, but that doesn't mean there isn't processing. Far from it! Cameras do lie, no matter what you've heard. The first thing I do is try to make the photos match my memory of the day. After that, I realize that enlarged portraits need retouching. It's not that the camera isn't accurate, it's that a brain processes faces differently than a camera. The perception of a face is something scientists continue to study, and that's because a portrait isn't just a moment captured. It's more than that, and that's where retouching and processing come into play. Your photos will look like you, but like you and your family sees you, not how a camera sees you.
With that in mind, I always shoot using "RAW" format, which allows a wider latitude in post-processing. It gives freedom for different styles, black and white, etc., but more important, it helps to "rescue" images where the exposure might be off. I will adjust the photos you select for proper exposure, contrast and color, and I process all of the photos you select from the proofs, personally. I don't outsource that. For more information about how I process your photos, follow this link.
The typical rate for a complete wedding is between $1800 and $2850, depending on your needs. Rates are negotiable for off-season and other special circumstances, within reason.
All of the images and digital negatives are yours to keep—you own the copyright. There are no hidden fees, no printing fees.
You can print your photos yourself, or you can work with one of my partners for museum-quality mounting, matting and framing. You own the copyright, so it's your choice. If you do purchase prints from one of my partners, it's at my own wholesale cost, for example, an 8x10 is about $2.50.
A typical day will include photos of preparations, details, the ceremony, a formal portrait session and candid photography at your reception. Your requests are also important to me, so I try to accomodate any reasonable request. Please don't abuse the privilege, but don't be afraid to ask!
Below are some packages for comparison, but no two weddings are alike, so you are always free to customize my services to your needs. I will note that the rate is not based upon the number of hours, since I can only photograph one wedding per day.
Please note: I always give you every picture I take. I will sort out truly unsuitable images, such as those that fired by accident, but I will give you all of the photos in RAW format as well as JPEG.
My work isn't over when the reception ends, and what separates some of the packages below is the number of fully retouched photos and processed photos. For the difference between the two, check this page.
Need help with timelines, locations or anything else? I'm happy to share my experience and help you plan.
Serious inquiries only, please. I know The Knot tells you to pester four or five photographers, then drop the others like a bad date, but I'm really not interested in that. If you don't love the photos from my portfolio, then we probably don't need to talk. If you're comparing me to somebody else, please tell me that, and we can have an honest discussion about our differences. There's no benefit in working with a client who doesn't match my offerings, and I'll be perfectly frank about that. I'll even go so far as to recommend another photographer if I think they're a better fit.
And now without further ado…
Do you have old family photos that you'd like to restore and display? Photo restoration will make those old photos look like new! Likewise, if you have cell phone pictures or other "less than perfect" shots that you would like to optimize, I can make sure they look their best.
Do you need guidance in making photo displays for engagement sessions, slideshows or centerpieces? I can help. If you need printing of any kind, I can help you with wholesale pricing on posters, cards, table tents and other media.
Below are just a few samples from my portfolio. Don't see what you're looking for? Just ask! I have thousands more, including some additional links at the bottom of the page.
What can you realistically expect over the whole wedding? Here are about 85 photos from a typical Penn State Arboretum wedding.
Broken down by category
Classic pose at the Nittany Lion
My Hero Zero, Toftrees Ballroom - "Call Me Baby"
State College Bride, with bouquet at Toftrees
Wedding Reception at Days Inn, Penn State
Sunset Wedding Portrait
Wedding at General Potter's Farm
Wedding Reception at General Potter's Farm
Wedding at C. Barton McCann Shool of Art
Nittany Lion Inn
Nittany Lion Shrine, Penn State
The Penn Stater
If you're planning a Penn State wedding, here are some samples from some Penn State wedding portrait sessions, a few Penn State arboretum weddings, and a Nittany Lion Inn wedding ...and if you're a really big Penn State fan? Here is a gallery of Beaver Stadium wedding photos.
I use state of the art digital cameras with some of the best lenses money can buy. Click here for details on my equipment.
PO Box 845
State College, PA 16804
Prices and availability subject to change. Standard contract required.
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Images are the property of William Ames ©1986–2017
Redistribution, copying or other unauthorized use is prohibited