5 User photos
Natalie M. · Married on 10/17/2020
Fantastic Documentary-Style Photographer
I hired Joe Payne for my Oct 2020 wedding. Joe Payne was incredible and captured so many special memories. His documentary-style allowed me to be fully present in every moment. He was professional, cheerful, gave great instruction, and knew how to use the light to create stunning images. We love the photos he captured of us, and will cherish them forever. Highly recommend!Sent on 11/20/2020
Julie M. · Married on 10/05/2019
Highly recommend working with Joe!
Joe is the best wedding photographer!! I can’t recommend him enough.Sent on 12/29/2019
Of course, his photos are stunning! I was originally interested because his photos of Duke Chapel are so incredible. He is an artist with a long veil! Joe also captured some wonderful photos at the reception and on the dance floor that I never expected would turn out so well!
He has a laid-back personality which is a much-needed calming influence during some very stressful times. I can’t thank him enough for putting up with a stressed-out bride, mothers/fathers, and an “energetic” bridal party 😊. You can relax knowing Joe will create great shots!
Joe is really willing to make any photos you have in mind a reality. He made it very easy to have engagement photos where my husband and I met (small college in Massachusetts) and day-of photos at my parents’ house. I didn’t know that I wanted photos from the rehearsal until about one month beforehand - Joe was even flexible enough to shoot our rehearsal at the last minute! He will also send out a questionnaire before the big day to make sure you get the wedding photos that you want most.
I am still in awe of Joe and how beautiful our pictures turned out. Definitely book Joe for your wedding!!
Laura · Married on 09/28/2019
Joe is a true professional who delivers stunning, unique wedding photos!
When looking for a wedding photographer, we knew we wanted to work with a someone who would capture the day as it naturally happened, and not try to direct or pose every little moment. After speaking with Joe and looking at his portfolio, we knew instantly that his style and philosophy aligned with ours, and we hired him for our September 2019 wedding. We did not do engagement photos, so the first time I ever met Joe in person was on the wedding day! I knew his photos would be amazing, but he had never shot at our venue, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.Sent on 02/05/2020
Well, let me just say that Joe is an absolute master of wedding photography. There is so much that to being a wedding photographer: you have to keep track of schedules, manage personalities, adapt to the weather, capture every moment in changing conditions, edit thousands of photos, and deliver them in a short time span, among so much else. Joe did all of this, and more, with a level of professionalism and talent that I can’t even comprehend.
First, I’ll talk about the photos. Good god. The sheer number of stunning photos we got back, all of them beautifully edited, is astonishing. Literally thousands of photographs, each of them more beautiful than the last. On our wedding day, we let Joe do his thing and tried not to interject too many specific photo requests. I am so glad we did it that way, because Joe skipped the overdone Pinterest-inspired photos I thought I wanted, and instead shot an array of artistic, unique, and beautifully stylized images that genuinely capture the emotion (and craziness!) of our day. Moreover, Joe individually reviews and edits each photo, which adds so much to the finished product and really sets him apart from other photographers.
Aside from the photos, here are some more things I loved about working with Joe:
• He is prompt and direct in his communication, without fail. He is so on top of his shit, and it makes your life easier as bride/groom.
• He goes with the flow, but is assertive when he needs to be in order to keep things on track.
• He is on time, and he works his butt off the entire day. At one point I was genuinely concerned about how intensely he was working in the heat! Our guests even commented on how he seemed to be everywhere at once!
• He is very experienced and great at problem solving when you need it most. Rain delayed our ceremony and completely ate into our photo time, but he did such a great job of managing the changes and keeping things on track.
• Fabulous British sense of humor.
• The way that he delivers the photos to you is awesome. You can download them all from an online portal, which is an A+ on the user friendliness.
All in all, I just want to thank Joe from the bottom of my heart for how much he contributed to not just our wedding day, but our lives and memories. Our wedding was pretty wild with activity, and he captured every moment from family portraits to fireworks. We will cherish the photos forever. If you are reading this and considering a wedding photographer, I can't recommend Joe enough.
Danny B. · Married on 09/07/2019
We hired Joe for our wedding at Duke Gardens in September 2019. His website won me over instantly and his style of photography. When we inquired more about him doing our wedding he was very down to earth, friendly, and had a great sense of humor over the phone. When it came to our wedding he made sure to get the traditional posed photos and family shots, but his true artistic ability was through the candid shots and how he masterfully took the beauty of the gardens and incorporated them into our photos. Hiring Joe was one of the best decisions we made for our wedding. Can't wait to look at these photos for years to come.Sent on 10/24/2019
Krista · Married on 06/02/2019
One of a kind!
I’m actually a professional makeup/ hairstylist and I have worked with Joe many times. Every single time was a truly wonderful experience. He has a way about him that I can’t explain but deeply appreciate.Sent on 04/13/2020
His eye for capturing a moment that no one else sees is probably ONE OF his best qualities, His personality is the other. I challenge you not to smile while he is in the room!! He is respectful, wildly creative and All about the details.
No need to keep looking , you found the perfect photographer !!! On such a rare day , get you a photographer to match :)
You will NOT regret choosing him.
Anh · Married on 05/19/2019
The best photographer in the area
I am the kind of bride who puts a lot of time and effort into researching each and every vendor till I find a perfect match. I rank my wedding vendors in an excel spreadsheet and Joe was my number one choice in the photographer category. My husband and I planned our wedding on a moderate budget but we knew we had to prioritize photography and videography because years from now, photos and videos will be the only physical things we have left with to remember our wedding day by. One of my husband's groomsmen who is a wedding photographer recommended Joe and said he was the best photographer in the area. When I saw Joe's photos on his website and instagram, I knew we had to book him fast!Sent on 05/26/2019
Joe was so accommodating when my husband and I wanted our first look to be at a different location. He reached out to the location to ask for permission to take pictures there. On our wedding, Joe drove me while his assistant, Erin drove my husband to our first look location. It was a pretty warm summer day and I was sure they were exhausted taking pictures in the sun but both of them stayed enthusiastic and excited throughout the night. Joe and Erin were very dedicated, professional and easy to get along with. We were able to see our first photo on Joe's instagram and thought it looks stunning. We highly recommend Joe and Erin and truly appreciate all of their help on our big day!
Sandra · Married on 04/13/2019
Could not be more pleased with our whole experience!!!
I cannot emphasize enough what an exceptional job Joe and his assistant Richard did as our wedding photographers. Joe was the first vendor I booked after we had our date and location, which was super lucky as he is in high demand. His expertise in documentary and portrait style photography is immediately evident in his online portfolio, and completely sets him apart from other wedding photographers. His use of lighting and composition is simply STUNNING. When I called to inquire about his availability, Joe’s warmth and easy-going nature came through even over the phone. He met in person with my (now) husband and I, and sent us a detailed questionnaire to get to know us better and make sure he understood exactly what was most important to us to capture that day. Our other vendors were also excited to learn we hired Joe, as they enjoyed working with him previously.Sent on 05/29/2019
On the wedding day Joe and Richard were right on time and both had a great sense of humor that put everyone at ease. We wanted a full hour for our first look since we don’t have a lot of great photos of us as a couple. Joe scoped out sites all around the venue earlier that week to take full advantage of the time. We took a few formal family photos, mostly before the ceremony, so we were able to make it to most of our cocktail hour. The majority of the event I didn’t even notice he was there and was able to just relax and enjoy the time with my guests.
Both Joe and Richard worked SO hard. They were down on the floor, up on chairs, constantly moving around the room, whatever was needed to get the most unique shots. They really did the beauty of our venue justice (The Cotton Room), but it is the intense emotion they captured from so many of our friends and family that we will truly treasure forever. Joe did a fantastic job editing the close to 900 photos he shared with us. The turnaround was impressive (6 weeks), especially considering this was peak wedding season and included a holiday weekend.
Bottom line, it is SO critical to hire a wedding photographer with a lot of experience in the particular style that draws you in. For us, we wanted a more artistic and authentic representation of our day and there was no question Joe was the best choice for this. We are giddy about the results and can’t wait to share the photos with everyone with love.
Kathleen A. · Married on 12/22/2018
Best decision I made for the wedding day!
Choosing the right photographer was the most important decision for my wedding day! Joe not only took incredibly stunning, artistic photographs that captured our emotions and precious moments perfectly, but he also did a great job wrangling my large bridal party. We were married at Duke and had the reception in Chapel Hill and he knows both towns (& the best places to shoot photos) like the back of his hand, which made for fantastic scenery for the photos. He was with us every step of the way throughout the entire day and handled everything with kindness and professionalism. Thank you Joe!!!Sent on 01/30/2019
Kiki R. · Married on 11/03/2018
A true artist!
We LOVED working with Joe Payne Photography for our wedding. From the first meeting over Skype with Joe, we really clicked and felt Joe's style and personality truly matched what we were looking for. We had our engagement photos taken with Joe, which we found to be absolutely gorgeous and helped us to know what to expect from Joe. He made us feel at ease as we solidified plans and timelines for our wedding day, inputting great suggestions to help the day go smoothly and was responsive to my many questions. On our wedding day, he and his second shooter Erin were exactly where they needed to be and on-time. They were very pleasant and fun to be around and unobtrusive in our special moments. Joe took charge when he needed to in order to get the shots we wanted, such as the larger group portraits, which I greatly appreciated. Now that we have our photos and album back, I can say with confidence we are absolutely thrilled! Joe's photos are truly artwork and capture our day so beautifully. We know we will cherish them for years to come. And, we have already hired Joe to take our upcoming maternity photos. Joe Payne Photography is worth every penny!Sent on 06/18/2019
Katherine · Married on 09/01/2018
Joe is the best!
Pretty much right after booking our venue, my husband and I went through their list of recommended photographers because we knew that having amazing photographs from our wedding was a high priority for us. As we reviewed all of the photographers' websites, Joe emerged as the clear frontrunner because of how beautifully he leverages natural light in his work and how nicely he captures genuine emotions. Meeting him on a video call further reinforced that he was a great fit for us because he is down-to-earth and has a great sense of humor but also takes the quality of his work very seriously. Joe ended up doing both our engagement photographs and our day-of wedding photography. He has a very well-organized process for gathering information about couples' styles and the types of photographs that they want leading up to the wedding through distributing periodic and detailed online forms, which made communicating everything to him super easy for us. Joe also set aside some time to grab a drink with us before our engagement photographs and get to know us, which was an excellent idea and helped further refine his understanding of relationship dynamic, which we feel really contributed to the quality of our photos. We don't have formal photographs taken of us very often and knowing that that is the case with most people who get engaged and married, he was also awesome at making us feel comfortable and providing clear and helpful instructions to us about how we should stand, pose, and interact to get the best shots. On the day of our engagement pictures, his commitment to getting the lighting perfect and varying it for different settings was also seriously impressive-- we moved around quite a bit and the variety of the resulting work product was lovely. On the day of our wedding, it was raining on and off and Joe was super flexible and patient with the way in which the circumstances threw our original schedule off. In the end, we got a bunch of stunning rain-free photos and also got a few bonus artsy ones that featured a bit of rain, which we loved. The wedding party echoed our opinion that Joe was wonderful to work with and made everyone feel so comfortable, which contributed to the overall positive vibe of the day. The pictures that Joe delivered from our wedding were the perfect balance of traditional group portraits, shots of the decor and details that we valued capturing after having spent so much time wedding planning, and a lot of great candids. He captured my desired aesthetic of a little bit of glamour, romance, and tradition and a lot of fun in the most gorgeous way. Long story short, hiring Joe was a no-brainer for us and a choice that we would make again and again if we could do things all over! :)Sent on 10/18/2018
Hannah · Married on 05/30/2018
Cannot recommend highly enough!
Joe was a delight to work with on the big day! He was incredibly professional throughout the entire process, and he is a true artist. His work is stunning - he captures the most incredible compositions and makes people feel comfortable in front of the camera. He worked HARD on the wedding day and was somehow everywhere at once while never drawing attention to himself. He was always very prompt, whether responding to our initial inquiry or quickly getting our final images to us. He was responsive to our hopes for the day and offered guidance when we were unsure about something. We planned a Durham wedding from afar, and Joe made the process simple and enjoyable. His work speaks for itself, but we can happily say that at a time when everyone seems to have a digital camera, Joe is the most worthwhile investment for your special day. He turned beautiful moments into lifelong memories and captured the unique essence of our day. No stock images here. We cannot recommend him highly enough!Sent on 10/15/2018
Mary · Married on 01/27/2018
Wonderful service! So nice and easy to work with. Not to mention talented beyond belief! I highly recommend!!!!Sent on 12/07/2016
Brandy · Married on 01/13/2018
We absolutely loved our experience working with Joe! Joe is a true professional in every sense of the word. Most importantly, his work is amazing and we feel truly blessed to have had our day captured by him! Throughout our wedding planning journey, he was incredibly responsive, available to discuss our questions, communicated clearly with us, and did an awesome job of planning with us on the front end so that we went into the day with a thoughtful plan of the day's photography. On the day of our wedding, Joe was absolutely amazing and captured so many incredible shots that we will keep for a lifetime. We have thoroughly enjoyed meeting Joe and working with him, and can't wait to find any other occasion to work with him again! We would highly recommend him, without any reservation!Sent on 02/13/2018
Jill · Married on 12/02/2017
Joe was a fantastic photographer for our wedding. He is genuinely interested in making great photography. He does an equally good job of capturing great moments between people and also creating beautiful compositions. We are very happy we chose him for our special day. He provided a good balance of posed photos and more artistic portraits and candids.Sent on 02/11/2018
Jenna · Married on 10/20/2017
I hired Joe to photograph my bridal portraits and the session far exceeded my expectations. Not only were the photos unbelievable, (making it hard to choose just one for the portrait), but Joe was also a really awesome coach, which was something I really felt I needed. He's very trustworthy, professional, and funny making anyone feel at ease with being in the spotlight. Not to mention Joe was extremely accommodating when it came to printing and delivering the portrait (we were on a tight timeline, and he went above and beyond to make sure my portrait was delivered by when I needed it). You won't go wrong hiring Joe. My only regret is that I didn't hire him for our wedding as well.Sent on 01/18/2018
Teresa · Married on 10/13/2017
Our Wedding was outdoor on a mountain and it was WET and WINDY! Joe found ways to make all the pics clear and beautiful! He scouted out locations for weather and took AMAZING pics! During the ceremony he climbed all over that mountain to create beautiful photos. He clearly understands light, color, and perspective. In his photos I feel beautiful and our venue appears stunning!Sent on 01/17/2018
I also want to note that Joe was tireless! He was committed to the process for so many hours with a bright and enthusiastic demeanor. He certainly outlasted the bride! Thank you Joe for seeing us through my special day, even if it was a driving mist a mile high! :D
Hallie · Married on 09/30/2017
Joe is such a wonderful photographer to work with. He exceeded our expectations in every way. He came out to our wedding venue a week early and scouted some amazing shooting locations that were definitely off the beaten path. Joe’s journalistic style was just perfect for our vision. The day of, he was respectful of every wish and need I had during our photo sessions. Joe captured some of the most amazing and artistic shots from our wedding day, and we could not have been happier with our choice of photographer. Our photos were ready in 4 weeks and when we ordered a large portrait to hang in our home, he drove from Raleigh to Greensboro to hand deliver it. We will definitely be using Joe as our photographer in the future as or family grows.Sent on 01/28/2018
Sara · Married on 07/08/2017
Joe is literally the best photographer AND person. From booking him in October until our wedding in July, he was so accessible to my now-husband and me, willing to meet in person or chat on the phone whenever any concern came up. We were several states away while planning our Duke Chapel wedding, so this was a huge help as long-distance wedding planning is quite stressful. We also just enjoyed meeting with Joe whenever we were in Durham because he is hilarious and a genuine and great guy. I don't even think I need to go into how great his pictures are....you can see that for yourself! He is a true artist.Sent on 07/29/2017
If you are considering Joe for your wedding, you should book him now!
Morgan · Married on 06/09/2017
Joe is awesome - highly recommend him!Sent on 02/14/2017
Cuiyu · Married on 05/26/2017
We took our post-wedding photo session and we are very happy with the way the photos turned out. The photos Joe took were excellent. We could see the art and beauty in the photos.Sent on 01/16/2018
Joe have a great eye for capturing memorable photos. He is talented, patient, friendly and humorous. Undoubtedly Joe is very easy to work with.
We highly recommend working with Joe for the photo session.
Karen · Married on 03/04/2017
My advice to any bride looking for a photographer is to say the look is over. My daughter and I began the search for a photographer and it took only about a second to recognize the talent of Joe Payne. Joe has a very artistic style that caught my attention immediately. On my daughters wedding day he captured "all the emotion"and beauty of the day and Joe does this without being intrusive.Did I mention the bridal portraits? The emotion that I felt when I saw his work brought tears to my eyes..They are so extraordinary that it was extremely difficult to choose just one so we chose several. In addition to being an excellent photographer Joe has an engaging personality and is very easy to work with . We will miss him and look forward to the next opportunity when we can use his talent again. Thanks Joe ,it was our pleasure!Sent on 03/30/2017
Karen... Mother of the Bride
Jemalia · Married on 02/18/2017
I am not sure how I came across Joe's website but when I did and saw his work I knew he was going to be the photographer for us. He was punctual and patient because I was a bit hungover from the night before. He was so accommodating of our delayed schedule and took it in stride. He was everything we hoped for and we are so very pleased with how all of the photos turned out. My husband and I would 200% recommend Joe Payne Photography for any of your photography needs!!Sent on 03/20/2017
Eleanna · Married on 11/19/2016
When looking for a wedding photographer, we scrolled through several wedding sites until we came across Joe’s work. We contacted Joe after perusing his gallery and discovering that his work looked more like it needed to be up in a gallery rather than collecting dust in a photo-book on a forgotten shelf in the house. Flat-out, Joe’s work is nothing short of spectacular. He manages to capture not just the important moments and pivotal people, but also the spirit and emotions behind each moment. Joe has a perfect vision for his work, and ensures that vision is captured in his photographs. He savors the critical moments, but isn’t hesitant to step in and direct the scene if people aren’t cooperating as necessary - a lifesaver for staying on a tight wedding schedule. The bottom line: if you want a wedding album that will inundate your facebook with “like” notifications, hire Joe.Sent on 01/09/2017
Toni · Married on 10/01/2016
I can sum up our experience with Joe in one word - Phenomenal! Joe came highly recommended and after seeing his work online and meeting with him in person, we knew he was the photographer for us. Meeting him and having him photograph our engagement, bridal and wedding portraits was the best decision ever. Joe is easy-going and makes you feel relaxed even in the most unnatural of positions. Not only did everyone look fantastic, but Joe's keen eye and creativity made for some truly one-of-a-kind shots! My best advice is to book Joe early, he is in high demand and worth every penny!Sent on 11/01/2016
Mary · Married on 09/24/2016
I fell in love with the photography from one of Joe's other weddings at our venue and booked him right away -- it was literally the first thing I did. We didn't do engagement pictures, so we didn't actually meet him until about a month before the wedding, but he immediately assured us both that he knew what he was doing and the day would go great. At our wedding, he got along well with everyone and was still making people laugh at the end of an eleven hour day. The pictures we've seen so far look amazing, and we can't wait to see the rest of them!Sent on 10/12/2016