Laura · Married on 02/28/2013
Look no further, Kaoru is the best event/wedding photographer EVER! I had seen a friend's wedding pictures that Kaoru had done and knew that if I ever decided to get married I'd have to fly him out to take our pictures...and I did just that for our destination wedding in San Francisco! My partner and I have been together for almost 12 years and we didn't want a big, traditional wedding. I told Kaoru "we want it to be a day all about us, enjoying each others company, and having fun in our favorite city." Which really translated to being dressed up and running around to various eating and drinking venues in San Francisco (all day). We loved that Kaoru was excited and interested in such a unique wedding experience and we trusted that he could work with any weather and/or public challenges that my arise (ie fog, traffic, etc.) If you don't trust me look at the pictures on his blog -Laura & Ryan || Hearts in San Francisco- Any photographer who can make a dive bar look classy and romantic is top notch in my book. I wouldn't have chosen anyone else to capture our special day.Sent on 04/08/2013
Sarah · Married on 11/17/2012
I'm not surprised to see that kaoru has a perfect rating on this website. He did our wedding in November in Hawaii and it was lovely. From the start he was basically like our wedding planner giving us tips about what beaches were best, and other things we didn't know visiting for the first time. He even picked us up and took us out for dinner when we first arrived. I put alot of effort into choosing a photographer - to me, creative, amazing photos were the most important aspect of my wedding day (my husband was pretty much just concerned with the cost, which to my luck was quite reasonable as well). He got our photos back to us quickly and even my photographer friends back home were super impressed. He's a really down to earth guy too, not snobby or pretentious. If your looking for simple "normal" wedding pictures, get someone else. If you want stunning photos with perfect balance, contrast etc. call Kaoru :)Sent on 12/06/2012
Olga · Married on 10/21/2012
Kaoru was fantastic. I'm not a huge fan of photos or posing, but he was great to work with and didn't make it seem awkward. His shots were at great moments and from great locations to make superb photos. We were really impressed when we saw the results. On top of that, he stayed longer than agreed upon to get some extra shots, which meant quite a bit to us. All in all he was great to work with, and we would highly highly highly recommend him to anyone else looking for a fantastic and friendly photographer for any big event.Sent on 11/18/2012
User2119812 · 2+ years ago
We are from Los Angeles, our wedding was on Oahu, so there was A LOT of coordinating via telephone, countless e-mails, some Facetiming, and some snail mail (you know, the old-fashioned stamp and envelop).Sent on 12/19/2012
On to the review....
We were so blessed to have found such a helpful, nice, personable team to work with. We had a rehearsal/mock run the day before the wedding and we asked if Kaoru would meet with us to a) scope out the place and b) give us some pointers as to what we are supposed to do. Without hesitation, he obliged.
Let's just say without Kaoru there, we would've had many many awkward moments. Little things like, what to do with your hands, where to position everyone, at what angle, etc., things we didn't think too much about until Kaoru started giving us tips.
We've had a few cameramen take our pics during our engagement and some would take a bit longer than desired to capture 'the moment' of us in each scene. We've come to realize how tiring that could make the subject (us) by the end of the day. Not Kaoru and Shelly. They were quick WITHOUT sacrificing the quality that we were expecting.
Leading up to the wedding, we heard couples almost ALWAYS say that the day goes by FAST. After the wedding, I reflected back on the day and didn't feel it went by that fast. However, when we received our beautiful photos from Novalee, I would ask my wife (yes, I'm the groom) "when did this happen?" or "we had this at our wedding?". The point is, everyone was right, the day does go by FAST whether you want it to or not. Novalee took SO many photos that when we look through the album, we feel like we are reliving the wedding. They capture the little details of the wedding that I certainly missed on the day of.
We want to say, THANK YOU NOVALEE for going above and beyond. We love our photos. Best of luck in Austin, Kaoru!
Jennifer · Married on 09/07/2012
Kaoru is an absolute genius. We could not have worked with someone better. He has a great vision that fits each couple's personality perfectly. Our photos that he captured truly reflected how much fun we had with him. We laughed so much and he made us feel at ease and that shows in our photos. He isn't scared to get down and dirty to get the perfect shot too! He is kind, thoughtful and all around a joy to spend your important day with! We didn't just walk away with amazing photos. We walked away with a friend for life who happened to be able to capture the best moments of our special day. I can't wait to work with him again in the future!Sent on 11/20/2012
Jemma · Married on 09/04/2012
I would defiantly recommend Novalee Photography as we are extremely happy with the experience and photos Kaoru took for us. The location he helped us pick was absolutely amazing! A combination of good communication, location, professionalism and creative genius resulted in our once in a life time photos we will treasure. We loved that looking back through the photos he not only captured incredible moments but also told a story. We are very thankful and impressed!Sent on 09/15/2012
Kelly · Married on 08/22/2012
Above and beyond our expectations!!Sent on 09/28/2012
Kaoru was amazing! He was communicating with us leading up to the day to ensure he was prepared. He immediately contacted our reception venue to arrange all details which demonstrated to us he was committed and prepared to do a great job. When we arrived from Australia, he immediately put us at ease and even took the time to meet us and inspect the venue with us which was so comforting (and fun!). On the day, it was like having one of our lifelong friends taking photos for us. We had such a great time together, we were at ease and relaxed, and was just great fun having a laugh as he continued to take photos! Even after our wedding he hasn't disappointed as we love our photos. He has delivered everything promised and more, and all for incredible value! Kaoru went so far above and beyond our expectations, we can't even begin to explain. We only wish we saved him a seat at the reception so he could stay and celebrate with us on our wedding night! Not only did we find a brilliant photographer, we found an amazing person and a friend! Thanks a milllion!!!
Cindy · Married on 08/04/2012
Planning our wedding all the way from Arizona was hard not being able to meet with vendors in person but going through many, many websites we found Novalee Photo. Kaoru was the first and only Photographer we contacted. We were IMPRESSED by the reviews from other brides and the wedding photos Kaoru had on his website. We took a chance and after speaking on the phone with Kaoru and communicating by email, we decided that he would be perfect for our wedding. We were impressed when Kaoru said he wanted to meet with us on the day of our rehearsal. He made suggestions and helped us with our timeline. He was creative, fun, and very professional. Our beach wedding and sunset photos were absolutely beautiful. Kaoru captured every moment of our special day from start to end. I highly recommend Novalee Photo.Sent on 09/22/2012
Byron · Married on 07/21/2012
Kaoru is a Gem. He was the perfect photographer. As fans of photography we were picky about who we chose to capture our big day. Kaoru delivered in spades. He's got it down pat. He knew exactly how to ask for what he needed when he needed it and where he wanted us to be. His timing was impeccable. If your looking for art, this is your man. His style is adventurous as well, which allows for some very interesting shots. We were also impressed by his personal touch. He is extremely flexible and charming. I don't really have anything negative to say - sorry :)Sent on 12/17/2012
One thing I might recommend if we were to do it again we might have opted for a second photographer. Since it can be difficult for one photographer to always be where the action is this is a great option.
User2597178 · 2+ years ago
We received our amazing destination wedding photos from Kaoru extremely timely. They are all well polished, professional, stunning images. We are already getting many compliments from our family and friends. Kaoru is enjoyable to work with. He puts you at ease with his friendly and kind nature. He is a natural talent of journalistic style with an insightful eye for capturing special moments of joy. We will look back over the years reliving the blissful day of our wedding looking through these beautiful wedding photos. We enthusiastically recommend Novalee Photo.Sent on 08/13/2012
VillaRose · Married on 05/11/2012
We found Novalee Photo online by searching for top rated photographers on Wedding Websites, and he was the first one to respond to our inquiries. Very professional, talented, and creative, and our friends and family are still raving about the awesome engagement and wedding photos we took! He took our themed engagement photo idea and brought it to life, and we couldn't be any happier with the turn out of all of our photos (especially the reception!). Novalee Photo was able to capture all of the moments we would not have been able to catch ourselves :) Can't wait to start scrapbooking! <3 Peaches and JamesSent on 06/13/2012
Marissa · Married on 05/11/2012
From the very beginning, Kaoru was extremely professional, thorough, and above all else, warm and friendly. Planning my Hawaiian wedding all the way from Texas, I had to rely on online research and reviews to make my vendor selections. When I happened upon Novalee Photo, I was blown away by the quality of the photography, the story that each set of photos seemed to tell, and the the fact that Kaoru was able to capture a couple's personality it seemed with a few photos. We were lucky enough to have Novalee Photo shoot our wedding and an additional session a couple of days later on a beach. We felt comfortable and at ease and felt like great candid moments were caught by our photographers. We were impressed by the professionalism, the knowledge of all the little photography know-how details, and the enthusiasm that Kaoru and his assistant evoked, which made taking taking photos (not my or my husband's favorite thing to do) actually fun! Since receiving our photos (in exactly the timeframe promised, which we greatly appreciated!) our friends and family have been amazed at how wonderful they are. They are creative, capturing our personalities and the moments that we want to remember forever. We honestly could not have been more pleased with the final product, the entire process, or our decision to choose Novalee Photo. I highly recommend Novalee Photo, whether it be for an engagement, wedding or family photos.Sent on 07/01/2012
Kelly · Married on 05/05/2012
I can't say enough great things about working with Kaoru! We picked him for his beautiful portfolio and professional manner in the phone interview, but our experience far exceeded anything we could expect. Not only was he professional, but we had so much FUN doing our photo sessions! We did our pre ceremony shoot at the Honolulu Zoo and the pictures he got of us and the animals are absolutely priceless. The photos of our beach ceremony are beautiful and I never even noticed him during the ceremony. We got many compliments from all our guests at how he was always taking an opportunity for a good shot, but was never intrusive. We received our pictures unbelievably quickly, and they are Gorgeous! His suggested poses for the two of us range from hilarious to breathtaking, and he captured the scenery with amazing style and color. Did I mention how much fun we had with him? His time management was perfect, we had a great time at our ceremony and reception and magically we still have all these amazing pictures. He was a big part of making our perfect day even more perfect, and thanks to him we have these beautiful images to remember it with!Sent on 05/30/2012
Katherine · Married on 05/05/2012
Kaoru was fantastic to work with and now that we have the DVD we are so thrilled with how all the photos came out!Sent on 07/21/2012
Paige · Married on 11/24/2011
When I started planning out our wedding, there was a lot of thought put in to our wedding photographs. We wanted a photographer that would be able to capture that special moment. I searched online looking through countless portfolio's and asking around, but nothing really stood out. I finally came across Novalee Photo's portfolio, and "WOW" was basically all I could say. I showed my fiancee' and he felt the same way, so we went ahead and filled out our information, crossed our fingers and hoped that someone got back to us. I was surprised to find a repsonse in my email the next day from Kaoru, he made it very easy to communicate with him over email, which made it so stress-free since having a baby to tend to as well. We set up an appointment shortly after and Kaoru even made sure that it would be close enough since I'd be bringing my little one along! He came very prepared and worked with our ideas and concerns. We felt very comfortable and confident with Kaoru so we of course booked him as our photographer! As the wedding got closer he stayed in contact with us making sure we didn't have any other ideas/concerns along the way. Even with my last minute planning of our rehersal, Kaoru made sure he could be there so he knew what our wedding ceremony would look/be like on the big day. The next day was the wedding (did I mention it was on Thanksgiving?!), Kaoru arrived at our home with his gear and a smile! He made us feel comfortable and we let him do his own thing, taking pictures of everyone around the house getting ready. It didn't feel like we were forced with taking pictures, but instead everything just flowed like it should. He left a little before the bridal party so he could arrive just in time to get pictures of everyone before I arrived. As the wedding took place, we didn't even noticed he was there, he didn't take away from anything in the wedding. After the wedding he made sure that he got the pictures of everyone, since that was one of the things we wanted because we had a small wedding and most of the guests were from other countries. When it was time for my husband and I to take our couple pictures, it again didn't feel forced. We knew he would get great shots since he had scoped out some awesome spots prior to the wedding. We forgot an envolope we asked Kaoru to hold during the picture taking and he actually drove all the way back to our house to make sure we got it! It was the little things like that, that we are so happy we chose Novalee Photos! We even got to preview a few of our photos on Facebook that day! Which was awesome since most of our families couldn't make it. From one bride to another, I hope that this review helps you stop wasting time looking for a great photographer, because Novalee Photos is the best!!!Sent on 12/07/2011
Michele · Married on 09/19/2011
Words cannot describe how happy my husband and I are with Kaoru and Novalee Photo. We were married on September 19, 2011 at the Outrigger Reef in Waikiki. We were extremely nervous when it came to picking a photographer because this was the most important aspect of our wedding, but we live in Southern California...flying out to meet photographers wasn't exactly an option. After searching the internet and contacting numerous photographers, Kaoru was one of the first people to get back to us. Through looking at the photographs he had on his website, and communicating with him via e-mail, we decided that he would be perfect for our wedding, and boy were we right!! He was prompt, creative, funny, and professional. My friends and family are still commenting on how our photographer was amazing, and that they wished he had photographed their weddings! I think the best part of it all is within 3 weeks of our wedding, he had our photographs edited and on a DVD. I have friends that were married before us and are still waiting for their wedding photos. Kaoru and Novalee photo has our highest recommendation and we are so thankful that we chose him!!Sent on 10/13/2011
Stacia · Married on 08/28/2011
My husband Allen & i are newly weds as of August 28, 2011. We've been together for over 5 years and we finally decided it was the right time to "Sign our life away" to each other. Hehe. Anyway, Out of all the stress & planning, to the big & to the little things, having the PERFECT photographer was one major thing that was a 'Must Have'. Luckily, i have contacted Kaoru prior to my wedding and right off the back, i KNEW he was the one! Kaoru is such an amazing, wonderful, astonishing, astounding, excellent photographer. But his personality is even better. My husband is not that photogenic type and he hates pictures. But thankfully, Kaoru made it so fun and enjoyable for the both of us, my husband wanted to take more and more pictures. :) Every time i see any of his photos, i literally fall in love & i feel as if i was there to feel everyones emotions on their special day. Its such a divine feeling knowing that he was the one to capture the memories of my wedding and i'll always cherish that. Novalee Photo will always be the one and only photography business i will always hire for any future events i might have!Sent on 09/27/2011
juliette · Married on 08/15/2011
Since you hire a photographer for the images they are able to create, we chose Kaoru. His style was in the vein of journalistic, his work seemed to capture spontaneous moments, sweet smiles and the love that flows (unposed or staged) at all great weddings. We met him once before our event and immediately knew that he was perfect. People suggested we screen our potential photographers by looking at an entire wedding they had shot, before they edit out pictures or photoshop. However, we liked him so much and felt so comfortable and confident in his work already that we skipped this. To seal the deal there were a few emails exchanged. He arrived early on the day of the wedding and asked if we minded him touring the property to get a feeling for the venue. This simple practice is an example of how thorough and thoughtful Kaoru is. Throughout the evening and into the night he made us and all of our guests feel so at ease with him that you didn't even notice he was there. Because your wedding day is full of so many spectacular things, big and small, it is really incredible to have someone there that is in tune with all of it. When my husband and I looked at the pictures he had taken, we got to relive all of those moments, even ones we missed on the day of the wedding (like our nieces and nephews playing in the grass or the tears shed during they ceremony by our aunties and uncles). Putting on a wedding was happy, but also stressful- yet the pictures took our day and memorialized it in the most celebratory of spirits, and when we look at them they are so full of love and joy. While it would have been a wonderful day no matter what, having Kaoru there gave us a wedding that was, in the words of my mother-in-law "picture perfect"....Sent on 09/13/2011
Claudia · Married on 08/08/2011
Kaoru (the photographer) was amazing! He didn't make us feel rushed at all, and took some amazing pictures. He was very creative and gave lots of direction as to how to pose, and what he was trying to capture from the photo. He was also very willing to try some of the poses my wife recommended. Before the wedding he took scout pictures to sort of give us an overview of the landscape and possible locations for pictures so that we could plan for the locations. He also devoted lots of time editing the pictures to make them come out perfect. Great photographer!Sent on 09/01/2011
Chantelle · Married on 08/06/2011
My name is Chantelle, I was recently wed on 8/6/11 and chose Novalee Photo for our photography. From day one Kaoru was very prompt and professional in all correspondences. I was really impressed by the perspective and style of his photography. We live on Molokai so working out all the details of our wedding was hard but Kaoru was very flexible when it came to scheduling an appointment to meet and go over our preferrences. I was impressed when Kaoru attended our rehearsal and made suggestions on the positioning and timing of the wedding party in order to get the best shots. Kaoru has a keen eye for detail and capturing the moments that are priceless. We received our pictures in a very timely manner and are extactic with the end result. Overall I have already recommended Novalee Photo to all my friends and family and would recommend Novalee Photo to everyone for any of their photography needs.Sent on 08/20/2011
Joann · Married on 07/30/2011
There are no words that I can say that will tell you how grateful, happy, excited I am with Novalee Photo. Just when I thought that I could not have any professional pictures done because of my tight budget, Kaoru and Novalee Photo came through for us. After meeting with him, we came up with a package that we could all work with. Weddings are a very special time in our lives. It takes weeks, months, sometimes years to plan that special day. Yes DAY! Something that takes such a long time to plan is over before you know it. That is why we need to capture all those moments. What better way than with a photo? I could not have asked for a better photographer and company than NOVALEE PHOTO. We just had our wedding and EVERYONE wanted to know who did our engagement pictures. They even wanted to know where it was taken cause Kaoru can scout the best places for those one of a kind pictures! I know Kaoru has that eye to capture moments in time that you can cherish forever. I can’t wait to see all the moments he captured on my special day so that when I look at it 50 years from now, it’s like I was there all over again.Sent on 08/03/2011
I highly recommend NOVALEE PHOTO. I will recommend Kaoru to all my family and friends not only for weddings but for family pictures, special occasions or just to capture some special moments in life.
MABELEEN · Married on 07/09/2011
My husband Laifone & I were just married on July 09, 2011 and one of our main concerns was to make sure we had awesome wedding photography. After our very first meeting with Kaoru of Novalee Photo, we KNEW we were in great hands. Our Engagement Photos were SO MUCH FUN and all of our family & friends were awed by them. Kaoru made it a priority to come to our Wedding Rehearsal to prepare, which my wedding planner said was a first! On the Wedding Day, he worked so hard and still remained so patient, professional, and courteous despite the chaos.. Haha..Sent on 07/18/2011
Kaoru has been nothing but genuine, funny, professional, and very nice, all the while doing what needed to be done to capture every moment of our Special Day.
His hard work did not go unnoticed- SO many people at our wedding made sure to get his information, even to this day:)
We give our highest recommendation to Kaoru, such a talented photographer and such a nice guy! His cool personality made it so easy for us to work with him and helped us to just be our happy selves and enjoy our day:)