Professional, experienced wedding photography for State College, Central Pennsylvania and beyond.
Formals, fun, and plenty of candid shots in a photojournalistic style.
Over the last 25 years or so, I've taken more than a million photos. I've got the experience and equipment necessary to get difficult shots, even in dim, harsh or mixed lighting. I'll include a broad mix of intimate candids, posed portraits, wide-angles, close-ups, intimate moments, the venue, landscape, architecture and all the details you've spent months planning. You will get the complete story of your day in high-quality pictures.
Although I'm experienced, I don't rest on my laurels or waste a moment. I work hard to be in the right place at the right time. One of my clients included this in his follow-up after the wedding: "Thanks again and great job...you never took a minute off and these photos prove it."
I think it's important to note that I'm not just a wedding photographer. My portfolio spans an array of subjects, including landscapes, architecture, people, places and much more. I have sold thousands of fine art prints. My Penn State and Gettysburg photos have been published in books, magazines and much more. I will bring all of this together at your wedding.
Rates are all-inclusive, so there are no surprises. With most packages, you own the copyright and receive all of the full digital files at no extra charge. You can print or share your photos as you like. Pricing is up-front and affordable, and consultations are always free. Hourly rates, DIY and portrait-only options, too.
Travel within 3-4 hours of State College and destination weddings are no problem.
I am passionate about photography!
I take my craft very seriously, and I believe that shows in my portfolio. I'll be in the right place at the right time to get the shot. I'll find small gestures and intimate moments, fleeting expressions that elevate a photo into something more than a snapshot. I'll also get the overal picture, the fun and everything I see at your wedding. I'll include the landscape, the architecture and document the day so you can return to it again and again. In the post-process, I'll crop, dodge, burn and retouch each image you select from proofs to elevate the photos into something special.
I personally hand-process each retouched portrait, with close attention to detail—you deserve nothing less.
I can talk a lot about my methods, but a picture is worth a thousand words! At the bottom of this page are a few samples from my portfolio, or you can visit my Wedding Gallery for more.
As a former Adobe trainer, I am expert in the post-process, airbrushing and digital negative development. My photos never look "processed" or fake. I worked with film darkrooms for years, but I also made an early transition to digital. I was scanning my negatives long before the first digital SLRs. I have almost 20 years of experience with Photoshop and digital imaging, and I fully embrace the medium.
Discretion is the key to great wedding photography, and I will not intrude on your ceremony or force poses or make awkward directions during critical moments. I'll capture the genuine emotions of the day. I'll keep it real. During the portrait session, I'll suggest settings, backdrops and poses, taking cues from your direction. I'm very good at coaxing smiles in a relaxed, comfortable session.
Experience matters. Portrait sessions after your ceremony keep your guests waiting. You'll be hungry and waiting for the party to start. The wedding party will be bored. I realize that, so I don't waste your time. I don't need a tripod for most locations, and I keep each of my lenses on a different camera body so I don't need to switch them out. I know what I'm looking for and I know when I have it. It is not unusual to photograph your wedding party in four or five locations plus a private couples-only session in about an hour...and without compromising quality.
While I do enjoy a good portrait session, I'm a photojournlist at heart.
Photojournalism is the art of telling stories through photos. A photojournalist documents the day, as opposed to imposing an artistic vision (like a fashion shoot) on you. This keeps your photos real, and that's important, because the photos will take you back to the moment, the real moment, and trigger memories. Staged photos may be clever, but they don't have true emotional content. There's enough emotion, excitement and passion at a wedding without having to fake it. This is not to say we won't have fun, as you can see from my portfolio. There are times when I'll ask you to move a certain way or stand in better light, but these directions never interfere with your experience.
A photojournalist allows you to enjoy your day, while capturing and documenting the true events of your wedding. If you like the type of photo you see at the top of this page, that's photojournalism. I didn't ask Kelly to pose, and I didn't setup the scene. I did see something special, so I moved in for a better composition and grabbed the shot.
One of the biggest differences between a professional and an amateur photographer is the post-process. I always shoot using "RAW" format, which allows much more flexibility in the post-process.
For examples of RAW processing, I've assembled a digital darkroom page that shows before and after versions of a photo, stepping through the post-process and retouching of an image.
The digital negative is only the starting point. As Ansel Adams said, "The negative is comparable to the [orchestral] composer's score and the print to its performance."
As a former Adobe Trainer, I am highly skilled in the digital darkroom. I hand-process each image that you select from proofs, carefully adjusting the lighting, color and exposure. I will do custom dodging, burning and pay close attention to detail. My goal is to make the image as close as possible to the moment in which I experienced it, without letting the camera get in the way. Click here for a post-process walk-through.
Once the wedding is over, our relationship continues. We'll go over the photos, choosing which to process and print. I'll demonstrate the post-process with samples, so you can see before-and-after.
I will work hard to ensure that your images are the best they can be...images to last a lifetime.
Are you interested in learning this yourself? Choose the DIY option, with training available on Mac or Windows, on a variety of packages you already own.
The typical rate for a complete wedding is between $1650 and $2850, with flexible options and upgrades.
There are no hidden fees, no printing fees, and consultations are always free.
All of the images and digital negatives are yours to keep—you own the copyright.
Photos can be enlarged to 16x20 or more, with excellent color and contrast. Need a 30x40 inch canvas to hang over your mantle? No problem.
A typical day will document your wedding, including photos of preparations, details, the ceremony, a formal portrait session and candid photography at your reception. This will include a wide variety of artistic shots, action and candid photos from a number of perspectives.
It is often presumed that rates are determined strictly on the amount of time at the wedding—not so. I will actually spend far more time working on your photos after your wedding than I will spend at your wedding. The amount of post-process work is nearly identical between a 14 hour wedding and a five hour wedding, it's just the initial sorting that takes longer. Because of this, packages assume a certain minimum coverage.
I process all of your photos myself, and the differences between a proof and the final image can be striking…it's also very tedious work that requires expert skill, so this is where the major differences lie in the packages below. You'll see that they are all very similar, except for the number of fully retouched photos and the number of photos processed for color and exposure. For an explanation of the difference and what I do in the post-process, please read about The Digital Darkroom. This will help you to determine which package is right for you.
If you do not intend to enlarge many photos beyond 8x10, or if you do not need a printed album, consider the Standard Plan. If you want to be able to make a number of enlargements, printed albums or multiple portrait locations, consider the Standard Plus or the Deluxe option.
$1650 - Basic Coverage with Portraits
$2250 - Standard Plan
$2700 - Standard Plan Plus
$5300 - Deluxe - all inclusive
Name your own price
$3400 - Music and Photos Combo
• There are no print credits because they are not necessary. You will have all of the digital files, with no copyright restrictions and no watermarks. If you prefer to purchase prints, they are available at a discounted rate through my online store.
• All photos are taken in RAW format, so they can be converted to black and white, with extended darkroom capabilities for lighting, contrast and color.
• I use only the best L series and prime lenses, with several backup cameras.
• I personally and expertly retouch all of the images you select from proofs.
• Backups of all your files are maintained, so your photos will be safe.
Custom options area always available to tailor our services to your needs. Extras include a second photographer, multiple locations, albums, engagement sessions, and whatever you need to make your special day perfect.
A la carte? My hourly rate for weddings is $150 per hour with a $1000 session fee.
Have some old family photos that you'd like to restore and display? Photo restoration services will make those old photos look like new!
Portraits and engagement sessions on location or on campus are a specialty. A one hour engagement session is just $200 when booked with your wedding photography.
Please email me at email@example.com if you would like more information or would like to meet and discuss your needs.
Below are just a few samples from my portfolio... check my FaceBook page for more, or I'll bring some along when we meet.
Want more samples? Visit my wedding photo gallery.
I am sometimes asked about my specific equipment...
I am currently shooting with a Canon 5D and 7D (with a Canon 40D for backup) with L series and prime lenses. This provides extremely sharp images for enlargements up to 100 inches. Most church ceremonies do not allow flash photography, and I have the right equipment to work with available light. While I prefer to work with natural light, there are occasions where flash is better, especially during the reception. I use Canon 600EX-RT and 580EX II Speedlites or studio strobes, as appropriate. For receptions, I generally use off-camera flash as well. Post processing is accomplished using Apple Aperture, Adobe Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CS6. For data backups, I use a ColorSpace UDMA to copy all of my cards over the course of the day, and I do not leave the reception until I have at least two copies of the data. I hand process all of your files personally, and do not outaource them to a 'photo farm'.
PO Box 845
State College, PA 16804
William Ames Photography
210 W Hamilton Ave #113
State College, PA 16801
Prices and availability subject to change. Standard contract required.
Images are the property of William Ames © 1986–2013
Redistribution, copying or other unauthorized use is prohibited