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John is simply the best. In my line of work, I've had the privilege of working with a lot of different photographers on a variety of marketing, print and web jobs. My, now wife, brought Simply Two to my attention for our wedding and I was blown away by the quality of the work. On our first meeting we really nerded out of photography, lenses, technique and approach. We both knew he was our guy and signed a contract on the spot. Fast forward a year after an Engagement and Wedding shoot and I am even more impressed with John both for his technique and how much love he puts into his work. He may be the most talented of all the photographers I've ever worked with. Best of all was John's personality. He really works hard and does so with an incredibly positive and infectiously optimistic attitude. John shoots weddings for a living but during our two shoots I could tell that he was constantly trying to push the envelope and shoot things in new ways with different techniques. I can tell he is the type of person who constantly strives to do more and shoot better and that makes him both a great photographer and equally great person.
As a business, Simply Two is all John. He admittedly tries not to shoot wedding week after week so he can give his clients a lot of time and attention. So when you book Simplytwo you get John and only John. His site is full of his work and that of his usual second shooter Chris, who was equally delightful to work with. On a technical level, I was very impressed with a lot of the compositing and layering affects John did, in particular for our engagement shoot. For a lot of the sparkler and lighting effects he did required a lot of compositing and photoshop work that I wasn't expecting. Again, this is beyond what your typical wedding shoot would do, very impressive. The day after the wedding, he sent over a teaser of a shot from the wedding. Amazing...simply amazing!
If you want AMAZING and WORRY FREE photography, then John @ SimplyTwo will not disappoint!!! I was one of those really indecisive brides, don't know which theme, what to wear, which venue, what favors/flavors/flowers etc...but when we met John at our initial appointment...by the end of the meeting, we left a deposit to secure our wedding date. That is how professional, but yet very familiar he made us feel. We loved our engagement photos, something that I kept going back to look at again and again. Our wedding day came and went in a flash, John was there throughout the whole time never in your way, but you will catch a glimpse of him off the side or on the floor to try and capture all the moments . We haven't seen our wedding day photos yet, but base off our engagement photos, there is nothing for me to worry about as I know he will deliver nothing but stunning photos. Cannot thank him enough on how easy and comfortable he made our big day.
Before I started any wedding planning, I knew photography was the main item I wanted to splurge on. Memories get fuzzy after a while, great pictures will last forever! After much research, I went with John- and I'm extremely glad I did. The reason I chose to go with SimplyTwo is pretty simple: a lot of wedding photographers I looked at have photos where the couples are placed in awkward positions, and a lot of "candid" ones seem very staged and not natural. In all of John's photos, the couples look relax, shots look natural, and he captures the happiness and love beautifully.
John was very responsive- from the first email we sent, to scheduling our engagement shoot (because of bad weather conditions, he took the time to do our shoot the weekend before his own wedding!), and to the wedding day itself. He was able to answer all our questions and listened to all our suggestions. I'm not a very creative person when it comes to posing for pictures, and was worried about the engagement shoot. John gave us a few pointers at the beginning and put us at ease, and we can definitely feel it get easier by moment. Within a week, we had a handful of edited previews to share with family and friends, which was awesome!
On the wedding day itself, he was with our wedding party the whole day. Both bridesmaids and groomsmen enjoyed hanging out with him. He's cracking jokes and making conversation during down time, and all business and professionalism when it's go time. He was on top of everything, and definitely took the reins very well when it came to directing both shots and people.
One awesome power (among many) that John possesses is the ability to find a location I wouldn't glance at twice, and manage to get beautiful pictures out of it. He also utilizes lighting extremely well. He is full of tons creative ideas too!
If you can budget it, I would highly recommend going with SimplyTwo!
My wife and I were extremely blessed to have John Yao do our engagement photo shoot and capture our wedding. The first thing that struck us about John as we worked with him was his creative genius. He would scan the location we were in to get ideas for different shots. As he explained what he was seeing, I often found myself surprised because I just wasn't able to see what he saw. But once he took a few shots, he would show us what he had captured, and it absolutely blew us away. He quickly gained our trust. We also loved that so many of the shots that John took were so unique from what we were used to seeing from engagement or wedding photos. We've had so many people tell us that our wedding photos are the best that they have seen. John is also extremely personable. We hit it off right away and that helped us to feel more comfortable and natural during the shoot. He knew exactly when to give us cues to help us figure out where to put our hands or which direction to look, but it never felt forced or awkward. More than anything, what blew us away about John was his commitment and dedication to us. Our wedding was in Chicago, and there happened to be a situation the day before our wedding that forced both airports in Chicago to cancel all flights. John's flight was affected by this which needless to say, was a stressful situation. Without going into all the details, John spent the whole day at the airport trying to find a alternate flight, several of them which got cancelled, until he was finally able to find a flight to St. Louis that arrived at midnight. He took that flight and drove a rental car up to Chicago to get there the morning of our wedding on absolutely no sleep. Despite all of that, he was just as enthusiastic and professional about his work as he always is. If it's not obvious at this point, John Yao is the guy you want to hire for your wedding. Seriously...you won't be disappointed.
John was sooo much fun to work with. We definately made the right choice in investing in a good photographer. For the brides who are still searching for the perfect photographer, your search ends here. He is amazing!!!
Our engagement and wedding photos were absolute perfection. John really has the "eye" for photography and always manages to get the best angles and shots. We spent an entire day with him for our engagement shoot starting at our condo in Anaheim to San Juan Capistrano to Dana Point to Laguna Beach to Fullerton. His energy, willingness to go along with all our ideas and laid back personality made the day so much fun. It felt like we were doing a day trip around Orange County chillaxing with John. We had coordinated a list of shots I had wanted for our wedding day and John captured everything we asked for. He was punctual and always responsive to questions we had. My whole wedding party felt at ease with him right away and they all enjoyed taking pictures with him.
After looking at all my engagement and wedding shots, I can honestly say there is not one picture that I dislike. Our biggest challenge was picking the ones we wanted to print and make into a book since every shot was awesome. All of our friends and family love the pictures and praised John for his attention to detail. Their first reaction to the pictures was usually "WOW!!!" When comparing my pictures to friends who hired less expensive photographers, you can totally tell the difference in the quality and shots that you get. Yes its definately an investment to have John as your photographer but hes worth every penny! Pictures last a lifetime and I'm sooooo happy we were able to have John capture our special moment. I highly recommend SimplyTwo!!!
We just had our wedding this past Saturday, and John was so awesome! Although we haven't gotten our full set of wedding photos yet, we are already SO impressed with his work that I could not wait to write this review. John also did our engagement photos which we were also very happy with and used at our own wedding. As for the wedding photos, he has shared some of the shots he took right off of his camera, and he also shared some sneak peak photos both edited and unedited. If our unedited wedding photos already look that stunning, I can only imagine how gorgeous the edited photos will be. John truly has an artistic eye, and has the ability to find the light in the most beautiful and spectacular way. It's kind of amazing when you see the images on his camera and then look back to the spot you were just standing to see a completely different perspective. Not only is John a truly talented photographer, but he also has the ability to make you feel super comfortable as if you have known him for years as an old friend. We really liked how comfortable he made us feel, and appreciated how he would show us the shots after he took them so we knew what adjustments to make (and just to satisfy our curiosity). My husband is definitely camera shy, and John was able to crack him open which says a lot! So a BIG thank you to John. To anyone looking for a photographer, look no further, because John is it!
I heard about SimplyTwo through my friend. She told me this photographer gets booked up fast! So I looked through John's portfolio and I was very impressed. He even shoots for wedding magazines - wow! I was very happy he was available on our wedding day. He replied to our inquiry the same day and every email thereafter, he responded quickly. John was flexible as well. He worked with us to customize a package to fit our needs. It was more than what I originally wanted to spend, but wedding photos are worth the investment. They stay with you forever!
On the big day, we had so much fun with John. He was personable and professional. We could tell he's an expert at what he does. He knew if the lighting was too harsh, he guided us to be natural in our poses and I think he helped out our videographer too! So far we have only seen some photos on his camera display and a couple on Facebook and they are just breathtaking. We can't wait to see all the pictures!
John is not only a terrific photographer, but a lifesaver!
When I was first planning my wedding, I let my fiancé handle the photographer since I was more focused on finding the perfect venue. He opted to book with a friend of a friend who recently moved to LA who also ended up cancelling on us before our wedding. I then took over and thought of John since he shot my sister's wedding, and I LOVED his style and his cool yet professional attitude.
So glad we booked with him! Looking back, I think having a great photographer is probably #1 on the list. This person spends the entire day with you from morning until night, and after all is said and done, the photos are the items you cherish forever.
We booked our engagement session only a month before our wedding, and John saved us again. He helped us find poses we liked and unique shots that just highlighted his true talent (ie. ocean waves crashing into us and night shots using only surrounding lights). He also worked his magic and got us back our photos in time to have some printed for the wedding.
Our wedding shots were just AMAZING! John followed us around all day and captured every perfect moment as I could have only dreamed. As a DIY bride, I am so glad that John took photos of our reception décor (and we had both a lunch and dinner reception). Looking back on the photos made me so happy because all the planning I did for MONTHS were captured so beautifully from the hand painted/drawn chalkboards to the succulents I grew on my balcony and delicately placed in containers for centerpieces. It was perfect.
I highly recommend booking John for you wedding and engagement shots. His is extremely talented and also a real pleasure to work with. He makes having your photo taken fun.
Working with John (SimplyTwo) was one of the best decisions we made. I was a bit nervous going into our engagement shoot but John’s extremely friendly and relaxed attitude put me completely at ease and it went wonderfully. As for the wedding day, it was exactly the same…. With everything feeling like it’s moving at a million miles a minute and you just can’t catch your breath, John’s calm and professional attitude was a lifesaver. Overall, on a day as stressful as our wedding day, it was good to have John in our corner.
John Yao? More like, John "Wow"
John is like that old friend you haven't seen in a while- trustworthy, easy to get along with, and brings with him a sense of ease. But don't let his mellow attitude fool you - He is a strict professional that takes pride in his craft and oozes passion in everything he does - Look at his portfolio and you'll see what I mean.
To sum it up, he made us feel comfortable that he would take care of what needed to be done (and then some). He was responsive to our emails, and most importantly, made the engagement photos and the wedding shoot fun! I have no reservations with recommending John.
My now wife and I have frequented SimplyTwo's blog for a few years now prior to us getting married, and were floored by what we saw. John Yao's work is the perfect blend of artistic ability, talent, and awesomeness. With that being said, my wife and I made up our minds early on during the early stages of the wedding planning process to make it a priority to book John for our big day ASAP. Clearly one of the best decisions we made!
John's incredible ability to instantly built rapport with not only the bride and groom, but also the wedding party, made our wedding photo session so much fun and enjoyable! When you have groomsmen and bridesmaids alike fall in love with John in a few short hours, you know you've hired the right man for the job. Looking back at some of our wedding photos, I'm still in awe by John's pure skill and how nice our wedding photos turned out. Even to this day, I'm constantly raving to my wife about what a superb job John did on our wedding day.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that such a photographer like John Yao existed, but HE does. God's gift to mankind in the flesh. Thanks John for everything! It was truly amazing to work with you. You truly made our big day special!
John Yao of SimplyTwo Photography is, to say the least, an amazingly talented artist. Not only does he know how to use light to capture brilliant shots that just make everything look stunning, he has a unique ability to build a rapport with people that makes the day go easier and flow more naturally. Having done both our engagement and wedding photos with John, I can say with complete certainty that he was the best person for this job. We are extremely happy with his skill, timing, and professionalism, along with his flexibility and creativity throughout the photo shoots. We also appreciated his light-heartedness and humor, and were so comfortable with him that he felt like a part of our wedding party! We give John the highest recommendation to be the photographer of any event you are having - you won't be disappointed! Thank you, John, for capturing the most important moments of our lives so far! :)
Having John Yao as our photographer made a huge difference for our wedding! When groomsmen and bridesmaids were acting awkward John helped break the ice and keep things running. Not only does he have an eagle eye for taking good shots, John excels at managing the wedding party and families. He has an amazing ability to effectively organize and instruct a group AND keep it fun and upbeat. We fell in love with SimplyTwo for the photo quality, and could not have had the same wedding without his managerial prowess. In the end, we will remember our wedding not only by the great photos from SimplyTwo and John Yao, but also the excellent experience.
Thanks Michel-Ann and Robert!! It was so much fun spending the day with you and your wedding party in Downtown Tacoma. I also appreciate your trust in my delegation of the itinerary and photo-shoot schedule =)
John Yao was an absolute pleasure to work with. He was extremely professional but also super fun. We really felt like to took the time to really get to know us as well as our families and wedding party. Words can't describe how amazing the pictures turned out. He has a very special style of photography that we had not seen before and we are so grateful to have John capture our special day. Every special moment was captured by John and we cannot say enough good things about him. 5 stars are simply not enough!
John at SimplyTwo is the absolute BEST. My husband and I have been fans of his work for years and love reading his blog and checking out his photos. We booked our engagement photos as well as our wedding photos with SimplyTwo and John has NOT disappointed us, not even a little. He was professional and put us at ease so that the photos captured our personalities and dynamic as a couple. Wedding photos are the one thing from the wedding that will be shared with friends and family over and over again - you want them to be the best. My husband and I relive our wedding through John's photos and all the happy/giddy feelings rush back each time. You will NOT be disappointed if you book with SimplyTwo. We can't wait to shoot more creatives with John in the future!
My wife and I first heard of John’s work from a good friend who had nothing but good things to say about him. After my bride and I checked out his website, simplytwo.com, we instantly fell in love with his work and knew we needed to find out his availability asap and book our venue according to his availability.
Prior to scheduling any photo sessions, we met with John via Skype to become familiar with each other. Instantly, my wife and I found John easily relatable. He was so easy to talk to; we felt like we were talking with a friend than a vendor.
During our engagement photo session, John showed a high level of excitement and was able to make my beautiful bride and me comfortable. He makes it so easy for you to just be yourselves during the photo shoot. There was never an awkward or dull moment. It was amazing to see him at work, recognizing certain lighting and angles that we would have never noticed.
And let’s just say, the photos turned out freakin’ awesome! You can tell that he cares about the details and makes sure to capture each precious moment as though they were his own. He demonstrates exquisite care to produce each image in its best condition. The quality of his work is unparalleled.
After the session, John was extremely responsive to any questions my bride or I had. Also, we received the DVD containing our photos in the time frame he had promised.
Leading up to the wedding, John was very flexible in meeting with us and planning out our ceremony schedule. John definitely made us feel as if we were his top priority and he would do whatever it takes to get that beautiful shot that perfectly captures the moment.
And yes, the wedding photo highlights that we have seen so far are much better than my wife or I could have imagined. We almost cannot wait to see the rest.
We are so happy and thankful for the superb work John invested in our wedding and we would be more than happy to use him a thousand times over again.