I stumbled upon Austin & Dara while browsing online for wedding venues and knew right away that I wanted them to do our wedding. Finding out after how quickly they book up, I'm beyond thankful that we had the privilege of working with them on our big day. From the moment we met Austin, his personality, creativity, vision and passion was both refreshing and unmatched, and I couldn't imagine working with anyone else. I have continued to check their blog and Facebook page for photo teasers over the months leading up to our wedding, and it makes me even more excited to see how ours turned out. Can't thank you guys enough! If you stumbled upon this review, stop your research and book these guys before it's too late. Ready, go!
My partner and I could not be more happy with the service provided by Austin and Dara. We were new to the world of wedding photography and chose Austin and Dara based on their lovely website, their excellent reviews, and their responsiveness to our inquiries via email and phone at the beginning of the process. Here is what goes without saying: They are amazing in every way. Before the event, they helped plan with us and responded to our unique needs and all of our questions. They bring incredible expertise to this work. During our wedding day, they demonstrated how incredibly warm, genuine, and flexible they were. Our guests commented on how professional and lovely they were and we couldn't agree more. As if this weren't enough to warrant a high recommendation, our real astonishment came when received our beautiful pictures. Austin and Dara go beyond a particular "style" or "technique" of photography. They have an incredible eye for capturing moments without objectifying the subjects of their photographs. To us, this meant that we felt free to just be ourselves. We never felt that we needed to look or act a particular way. Austin and Dara's photography is, beyond anything else, humanizing - they elicit and capture a wide range of emotions and beauty and let the moments speak for themselves. We give them our highest and most enthusiastic recommendation! ~Shabnam and Brian
Hi, I'm actually the mother-of-the-bride, but I think that qualifies me to add my input into the wonderful job Dara and Austin did in photographing both my daughter's engagement and wedding photos. I really didn't know what to expect. On a personal level I found Dara and Austin to be very warm, supportive and friendly people. I soon forgot that they were taking photos because they have a way of blending in and being non-obtrusive. I enjoyed watching them communicate and coordinate the entire event from getting ready to the final farewell. They have a relaxed and easy rapport with each other. Most importantly, though, are the beautiful photos that they took. Honestly, I could not be happier with the quality, number and artistic expression of the pictures. They have an eye for detail without losing sight of the big picture. I love looking at the photos and I can't say enough about the wonderful, professional and magical quality of them. Thank you so much, Dara and Austin!
How have I not written a review about these two yet?? My husband and I hired Austin and Dara to photograph our wedding in October 2011. (We also did an engagement shoot, and I got professional headshots.) I can say, without a doubt, that hiring the two of them was the singlehanded best decision we made in our ENTIRE wedding. I'm not exaggerating. I could spend the next few hours writing an epic tome about how incredible these two are not only as photographers, but as human beings as well. But instead, I am actually just going to include quotes from actual emails that I have sent them over the past few months:
After the engagement shoot: "Hi guys, Just wanted to say thanks for a very special evening on Saturday. We had so much fun with you two, and I'm so glad we were able to do the shoot because I think it will help with our nerves tremendously on the big day. It was also great to be able to sit down and share a very fun - and delicious - meal with you guys! We are both so happy that our photographers are not only insanely talented, but are also wonderful people with whom we were really able to connect."
After the wedding: "Austin and Dara, Words can not express how thankful Xander and I are that the two of you came into our lives. We had no idea that hiring a wedding photographer would turn into such an enriching experience. The two of you are amazing in so many ways. Clearly, you two are absurdly talented photographers. You have the ability to sneakily capture the most intensely personal moments, and you brought out the best in us without effort. You also went above and beyond for us in so many ways big and small, from doing an engagement shoot, to giving us fantastic vendor recommendations, to sharing words of wisdom and musings on life, to answering all of my many questions, to sharing a meal with us, to arriving early and staying late, and even to making sure we had cocktails and snacks on the big day! So thank you again for being such an integral part of our big day. You guys really feel like friends rather than simply vendors we hired for our wedding, and that is so special."
Upon receiving the photos: "Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!! These pictures make me so deliriously happy! I am running out of ways to express my gratitude for the two of you! You guys did such a stupendous job of capturing the raw emotions of the day. I can look at every picture and viscerally feel in my body exactly how I was feeling in that moment. These truly are pictures that I am going to cherish for my entire life. Thank you thank you thank you!"
Honestly, you don't even need to read these reviews. Just ask to sit down and share a cup of coffee with them, and you will want to invite them into your wedding and your lives in the same way that I and so many others have done.
This review is long overdue, but I wanted to make sure that I gave it the time it deserves! We used Austin and Dara Photography for our engagement session and wedding photography, and we couldn’t be happier. Photography was one of our splurges for our wedding since it was very important to us (along with food…yum). First of all, as people, they rock. Like, seriously rock. I suspected it all along, but it was confirmed when we met at their home and they fed us delicious homemade muffins. That aside, the pictures are amazing!! Go ahead, look at their portfolio. All of the pictures are like that. I have to give the caveat that we’ve only gotten our engagement pics and wedding slideshow photos so I can’t review the photo book or all of the photos, but I love every single picture we have so far. We wanted more of a photojournalist style and lots of pictures of our friends and family, and there are some amazing and priceless shots. But then, there’s more. We decided to do a ‘First Look’ for a few reasons, mostly because we wanted to minimize the time for pictures after the ceremony. This was one of the best decisions we made. Aside from the practicality of getting to the party faster, it really gave us a chance to settle in after the stressful morning. Austin was great and truly got us into the moment! Looking back, it’s one of my favorite parts of the day. Anyway, bottom line, we’re SO happy we found them for our wedding day. They’re great to work with, super nice, and above all, their photos are amazing. We wholeheartedly recommend them.
Austin and Dara, besides having the greatest names ever, have the greatest sets of eyes in the business. My wife knows I'm not good at multitasking and not good at finishing tasks, and get sleepy just thinking of tasks. So she gave me my one wedding planning task, finding the photographer. At first I thought it was better than having to pick the wedding cake flavor or the flower vendor, or the venue, or all that other hard stuff. But once I got started, after my long bouts with procrastination, and I started looking at wedding photography portfolios my brain turned into mashed potatoes. I saw the same compositions, the same sepia tones, the same kinds of shots that look like love song karoake video montages. I then tried to swap tasks with my fiancee. Why can't she pick the photographer and I pick the cake flavor? But she looked at me with those stearn, yet beautiful eyes (an impossible combination I know) and I stayed the course.
Then I saw Austin and Dara's website, I saw cinematic shots with great life in them. I loved the palettes of color, the personalities captured, and I envisioned myself succeeding in my one wedding task, therefore laying the groundwork for a successful marriage. No matter how much I mess up, or leave the toilet seat up, or accidentally become inconsiderate, at least I picked a really great photographer that made all our wedding party glow with happiness. Austin and Dara are super great and down to earth. Talking to them on the phone was a blast, because their daughter gave us an impromptu singing performance and she has promise. They're the kind of people you would definately want to invite to a nightime bonfire at the beach.
Austin showed up to our small but beautiful wedding at the San Ysidro Ranch and he was professional, easy going, and is someone you don't have to worry about on your busy day. I'm not the most photogenic person in the world, but after seeing his shots, I'm thinking my wife is not the only good looking one in this relationship. I mean yes she's always right somehow, but our future kids will be saying wow dad, no wonder mom married you. But seriously, Austin and Dara are great. I was beyond happy with their work and with them as human beings. It's a great family business and my wife and I are happy she gave me one great task.
Dara, I want to thank you for not only your professionalism, dedication and beautiful job you did but your personal touch was most amazing. Rosie and Daniel look STUNNIN! You did a phenomenal job. Makes me want to get married again. We had a fabulous weekend in Santa Barbara and I am so glad Rosie and Daniel selected you to capture their beautiful day and union. Mari (God-Mother)
To sum it up in one word, Austin and Dara are SUPERB. When we first met them for our engagement shoot last June, we immediately knew we picked the best photographers possible! (Plus, their little ones are too cute for words). My then-fiance was a little nervous about doing the engagement pictures - he had no idea what to expect. By the end, he was wanting to do more, and we both felt like Austin was our new best friend. Unfortunately (for us, not them), we didn't get to hands-on work with Dara too often (she was busy having a baby!), but she was ultra-supportive and super responsive with anything we needed/asked. She even sent me a ping to see if I needed help finding any vendors! (P.S. We found our photo booth, hair stylist, and make-up artist through them).
On our wedding day, we worked with Austin and one of their super-cool employees, Nick. All my bridesmaids LOVED Austin, and the guys had a blast with Nick. We just got our final pictures, and they are so incredibly amazing! They give me goosebumps just to look at. Everyone that has seen them has raved about how stunning they are!
A & D - thank you so much for capturing all our wonderful moments in our engagement and wedding pictures. You are both good-hearted people with loving souls, and you made us feel like friends, as opposed to just clients. We cannot thank you enough for working with us, and always being there when we needed you. We hope to see you in SB one day! Give Aliyah and Devan a hug for us!
Austin & Dara rock, from start to finish! They worked with our budget and gave us exactly what we were looking for. They are extremely friendly and professional. The vision and artistic touch that was put on each photo amazed us. When I look through my photos, I remember each moment that was taking place and it evokes that emotion all over again. My wedding day was captured in the best way possible. Love, love, love these guys! They produce double rainbows! Highly reccommend!
Austin & Dara were the perfect choice for our wedding.
From looking through countless portfolios in both Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, they were my top pick - and they were even better than I expected. The photos are perfect.
This review is a long time coming, as we were married in late February and I am just getting to it now. Everything turned out so well that I actually feel guilty for not writing them a review sooner.
Entertaining, funny, understanding and easy to work with - plus amazing photographers. Austin & Dara get my highest recommendation.
We only worked with Austin, since Dara had just given birth to their second child. He was great with our constantly changing schedule and time requests for our (somewhat) DIY wedding in Santa Barbara.
Austin's ability to instantly put everyone at ease was truly impressive. I have worked on set for commercial shoots and films, and Austin definitely has what it takes to make you look your best.
Super creative and professional, improvising through bad weather and somehow making it fun. Their portfolio should speak for itself, but I am more than happy to say that we were thrilled to work with Austin & Dara.
You won't find better photographers, better people or a better value for your money anywhere.
We were so very lucky to find this fantastic duo! They are incredibly talented, professional, fun, creative, patient, and full of life! They truly take each couple into consideration when planning their shots. It is obvious they love what they do and they really take the time to get to know their clients.
We couldn't be happier with our partnership with Austin & Dara. If you are considering them, know that they take care in what they do, always go the extra mile for the perfect shot, and are just as excited about your day as you are! Great personalities, full of love and talent, what more could you want?
From the minute you visit their beautiful, informative, and user-friendly website, you know that you are in capable hands. And then once you meet this warm family, you can't help but fall in love and want to hire them instantly.
Austin and Dara are talented beyond words and deliver a product that is truly worth the money. We booked them for a complete wedding package including 11+ hours of wedding day coverage and an engagement shoot.
Not only are the photos top-notch but they are a source of support and strength throughout the whole crazy day. Dara would whip out emergency items out of her tool kit all day that had me in awe (double-stick tape, pins, this concentrated breath mint droplet thing) and she was just a calm, fun person throughout. Also, she takes AMAZING, up-close shots of you and your loved ones' facial expressions. Austin is equally talented and goes the extra mile, climbing into trees or laying stomach-down on the carpet or floor, for the perfect shot.
From a mechanics perspective, they were always very prompt in responding to emails and requests, even reviewing my day-of timeline and giving helpful notes.
In terms of value for the money, I don't know ANYONE else who provides a gorgeous, 50+ photo slideshow OF the wedding that they display for your guests AT the wedding (!) and then upload to their website/Facebook almost immediately (!!!) This alone should make you want to hire them right now. Words can't express how awesome it is to get the immediate gratification of stunning professional photos while you and your guests are still riding the wedding high.
A&D get our highest recommendations!
Got married at The Granada in Sept. and Austin & Dara were our amazing photographers. They're amazing people too, and you'll really be truly lucky if you get the chance to work with them. Their photos are absolutely beautiful -- you probably already know that --but they really are warm, professional, fun, engaging, encouraging, and just a joy to be around. They were incredibly easy to work with, did so much to reduce our stress and shot absolutely gorgeous pictures. Like the wedding, the engagement shoot not only produced great pictures, but was quite simply just a ton of fun as well. They really posses an impressive blend of being casual and incredibly professional at the same time. We really couldn't be happier or recommend them any more highly.
We used Austin and Dara for our 2010 wedding and they were absolutely amazing! I would highly recommend using them.
Austin and Dara photographed our engagement shoot just last fall and then recently photographed our wedding. Words cannot express how much we have enjoyed getting to know them and having them with us on the most amazing day of our life. They made it so much more enjoyable; we couldn't have asked for better photographers on our wedding day! They really strive to get to know you so they will know how to get just the right pictures, capturing different emotions into the pictures. They're always on their toes not wanting to miss a perfect moment. They both are fun-loving, comfortable to be around, and quite impressive with their professionalism. Our guests, our wedding party, and our family absolutely loved them! It's so neat to see a husband and wife working side by side and loving what they do.
I can honestly say the best decision I made in planning my wedding (other than to marry my husband) was having Austin & Dara Photography. They are not only amazing photographers, but also amazing people. My husband would have thrown/passout without Austin's guidance and support. I would have lost my mind without Dara! Austin and Dara were with us for over 10 hours and never seems like anything less than amazing. If I had to do it all over again I would pick them every time!