Mike Danen Photography + Cinema Reviews

46 | Santa Cruz, CA
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46 Reviews for Mike Danen Photography + Cinema

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46
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5.0 out of 5.0
  • Quality of service 5.0
  • Professionalism 5.0
  • Flexibility 5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Average response time 5.0
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  • J

    J · Getting married on 02/14/2020

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    I did a ton of research on wedding photographers and interviewed several of them to make sure I was picking the right one for our wedding day. When we finally met with Mike Danen and were able to discuss his practice, his art, and his prices, we knew that he was the right one for us.

    Based on his calm flexible personality alone, we could tell how he would not only be a pleasant presence for us on one of the most important days of our lives, he would also produce amazing artistic images that we would cherish forever. Based on his portfolio, it was apparent that he was super talented and had a very unique approach to wedding photography, often producing images that could belong to an art or fashion magazine (as a former model, I found this to be especially appealing). Moreover, his prices were the most reasonable I had seen for his extremely high caliber work.

    Signing a contract with him on the spot, my husband and I felt secure with our choice. When the time for our engagement shoot approached, we were both excited and nervous about how everything would turn out. Knowing he was really good, we wondered how he might capture us. As could be expected, the day turned out wonderfully; Mike gave us all of the time and scenarios we could want, completely flexible with his schedule.

    This was all in spite of the fact that he had injured himself in the course of our shooting due to some rather jagged rocks in one location. Afflicted leg and all, he insisted that he could continue despite our concern for his comfort. Notwithstanding the injury, he still produced amazing images that day -- which were so awesome, we couldn't resist using our favorite ones in a photo guest book for our wedding reception.

    Now knowing firsthand beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mike was a photographic superstar, we were already excited in anticipation of our future wedding images. When the big day finally came, Mike showed up early and stayed late with his assistants, covering every artistic scenario and giving us way too many awesome photos to choose from -- a blessed curse, if you will. Notably, he and his team were able to capture all matter of awesome moments without interfering with our events or encroaching upon our space. Bottom line: they were very subtle but VERY effective.

    Now we are left with the task of narrowing down our favorite images to incorporate into our wedding album -- a task that is nearly impossible when an fabulously talented artist like Mike Danen gives you way too much strikingly awesome material. Indeed, Mike was seriously one of the best investments we made for that day. Without him, we may not have been able to commemorate the details of our wedding nearly as well. I highly recommend!

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    Terry Galvagno · Married on 03/03/2019

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    Best wedding photographer in Monterey

    I cannot rave enough enough about the talent, care, and personal touch of Mike and his team. He takes his time, getting to know you, and has amazing skills. As a result, the quality of his work is simply stunning. Mike is able not just to capture moments, but to distill them in such a way as to capture their beauty and soul. After our experience with Mike shooting our wedding, we will Never work with anyone else but him. You will not be disappointed.

  • K

    Kim Tanaka · Married on 02/16/2019

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    Absolutely, hands down, the best wedding photographer

    Absolutely, hands down, the best decision we made for our wedding, was hiring Mike Danen. We got married in Monterey and Carmel Valley, and photography was our highest priority. Mike was referred by a good friend, and I loved his artistry, customer service, and personal touch. I really felt cared for, like his only concern was that I had a perfect wedding day. He doesn't approach his business like a typical business person. Mike always does more than you expect, and worked behind the scenes with our other vendors to make sure everything went smoothly. During our wedding day, we hardly saw Mike, unless we looked for him, and somehow he was always there! He captured the beautiful and emotional moments, and my friends and family loved him. Mike is truly the best, and we cherish our photographs and wedding album.

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    E. Van Cortlandt · Married on 01/19/2019

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    Great wedding photographer in Monterey

    Words can not describe how amazing Mike was with our wedding. He was great every step of the way, helping both myself and my husband feel relaxed and comfortable.

    From our first point of contact to the photos we received shortly after our wedding, I can not think of a single moment I would change. He is truly one of the best! I can't honestly think of anything I would change about any of our interactions. Mike made me feel so comfortable and beautiful on my wedding day, that I forgot about the camera. In fact, most of the day we hardly saw him, unless we looked for him, and there he was. We appreciated how unobtrusive he was most of the day, while also stepping up and efficiently handling all of our family photographs.

    Mike, I can not thank you enough for your hard work and dedication to your craft! We will never forget the love and attention to detail you put into every lovely image!

  • Suzy

    Suzy Kargianis · Married on 01/05/2019

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    We are so happy with our Wedding Photographs!

    Mike and his team are the best! We love the beauty and artistry of our wedding photographs, and our wedding video is super fun to watch. I literally wept with joy when I first saw all my photographs. I never feel good in front of the camera, but Mike helped me relax, and I was overjoyed at how I looked in the portraits. Definitely the best pictures I have ever taken. We were married in Monterey, and Mike knows all the best locations for beautiful, dramatic photographs. He also provided a big, beautiful, heavy wedding album that is a work of art. Truly a family heirloom. If you are getting married in Monterey or Carmel, you can’t find a better wedding photographer than Mike Danen!

  • Gina

    Gina · Married on 09/22/2018

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    Wedding day captured PERFECTLY

    We talked to several Monterey-based photographers and Mike's reputation and work stood out. He was highly rated on all of the wedding sites and his website was a great tool to see all of his work.

    After contacting Mike and talking with him on the phone, it was a simple process to find the right photo package for our wedding day. He also made it VERY easy when we wanted to add video later. We had several phone calls leading up to the wedding where Mike walked us through his process and how he was going to capture our big day. He also was very open to our ideas and was able to suggest options for us.

    On the wedding day, Mike and his team were on time, and got to work right away documenting the bride and groom teams getting ready. Even though there was travel between the church and the reception, Mike didn't miss a beat. Mike and his team were very respectful and fun throughout the entire day.

    About a month after our wedding, we received a flash drive with 1,200 pictures. Mike and his team captured the day perfectly, taking a mix of candid action shots and posed photos. He used the beauty of the church and the Monterey Plaza to their full potential.

    The video came a few weeks after the pictures, Mike edited an eight minute highlight reel, then put together the ceremony and the reception in bigger chunks. The video has a lot of heart - it perfectly captured the love and the emotion of the day.

  • K

    kelly · Married on 07/07/2018

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    Wow, Mike Danen is an amazing photographer! We are so happy with all of our wedding photographs, they are absolutely gorgeous! He also provided a wedding video, and it is so fun to watch. We get to relive the sounds as well as the sights. Our wedding album is a truly fine art book. The printing and binding are so elegant, and it's also very sturdy. Mike was a pleasure to work with, every step of the way. He was so attentive, and really listened to us. On our wedding day, he was so calm, and fun to have with us. He really helped me enjoy my day. I think he's the best!

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    Jenny · Married on 05/26/2018

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    Mike is a fabulous photographer! He’s also very sweet, and easy to work with. I am so happy with all of my wedding photographs, and he also made me a beautiful wedding film!

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    Marla · Married on 02/03/2018

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    This is a LONG overdue post to rave about how amazing Mike Danen and the rest of his team are!

    If I had to do it all over again I wouldn't change a thing. Mike and his team are true professionals and are so much fun to work with! We had Mike's team make us a video, as well as do photography, for our wedding day, and also provide a photo booth. The quality of work and the images Mike captured that you have for a lifetime do not compare to other photographers in the Monterey area. My wedding book is absolutely beautiful, and he also made us some canvas prints for our home. He was our favorite vendor, and I cannot recommend him more highly!

  • K

    Katherine Romero · Married on 01/20/2018

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    We are so happy!!!

    The photos are stunning. Mike did a fabulous job - if you can get him, do not hesitate!! He is by far the most talented, amazing and easy-to-work-with photographer in the area. He'll make you feel comfortable in front of the camera with his fun, easygoing style.

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    Sally Nichols · Married on 01/19/2018

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    The best photographer in Northern California

    I did a lot of research to find my wedding photographer, and I am so glad that I found Mike- he is the best! I am so happy with all of my wedding photographs! He is such a nice guy, and very easy to work with. His work is very creative, and artistic. He is one of the best photographers in Northern California.

  • M

    Melissa · Married on 08/15/2015

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    Mike & his team did an amazing job! From our engagement photos to the wedding rehearsal, ceremony & reception- Mike and his team are very professional and respectful. The photos turned out better than we could have ever hoped for and our videos are absolutely amazing! Mike was always on time, friendly and a great photographer. He captured moments in our wedding we did not even realize until we saw the photos & videos afterwards. He got the photos and video to us soooo quickly- within weeks of our wedding. Our wedding was large but Mike and his team was able to capture everything and beyond. He got every photo I gave him on our shotlist! I would definitely recommend Mike to anyone for any event. He is absolutely amazing.

  • User3451197 · 2+ years ago

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    Mike was such a joy. He was easy to communicate and work with. He made sure he did not impose while taking photos. I was so happy when Mike got our photos back to us quickly! We are so happy to have chosen Mike to capture our special day!

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    Yvette · Married on 05/09/2015

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    Mike was great to work with. He was very responsive and organized. His packages were reasonably priced. On the day of the wedding, Mike and his assistant captured everything so well. He listened to our requests and delivered. We are happy with this professionalism and services (photography and wedding album).

  • J

    Jennifer · Married on 04/12/2015

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    Mike was our wedding photographer and also shot our ‘Trash the Dress’ session the day after. We booked him after reading reviews and chatting via phone, since we were planning from a distance. He was very responsive to all e-mail requests and arrived earlier than expected on our wedding day. He and his assistant did a great job and were pretty ‘invisible’ throughout the day. He took a ton of photos! I love love the details shots (one of the reasons I liked his work) of the dress, shoes, rings, etc. And the candid shots of our wedding guests (and us) were wonderful too. I had a long list of shots I wanted of the day and he was sure to capture as many as possible. Our Trash the Dress photos came out amazing too! Would highly recommend him for your wedding!

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    Rebecca · Married on 12/13/2014

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    We love Mike. We love his style. We love the images he created for us. We love how he made us feel. We love that he also came to our rehearsal dinner, and even traveled up to Stanford (where my husband and I met 20+ years ago) to do an engagement session with us. He brought along a second photographer (I can't stress enough how important the second photographer is - she captured beautiful images from different angles, at unsuspecting moments, and behind the scenes shots that you can't get with just one photographer). The two of them kept us at ease, laughing and enjoying every part of the day. The results are stunning. We are waiting on the formal album that he is creating for us, and I can't wait to see it!

  • J

    Jenifer · Married on 10/04/2014

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    My husband and I can't say thank you enough to Mike Danen and his team for the beautiful job they did capturing our wedding day at The Perry House.

    He was very approachable from the beginning to the end and easy to work with. He was prompt at returning emails and really put our mind at ease. We had looked at over a dozen photographers but none had the same attention to detail, experience and sheer passion for their work. His prices are incredibly competitive for the area and his turn around time is amazing. We had our wedding photos fully edited in less than two weeks!

    Our photos turned out amazing and will be an extraordinary keepsake for years to come! He really captured all the little details that made the day special. It was also nice working with someone who had shot at the venue before and had some great insight into where to get the perfect shots!

    For anyone getting married in the area, we really can't recommend him and his team enough. Nothing but great things to say!

    Jenifer & Beau

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    Abby · Married on 06/28/2014

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    Mike Danen did such a great job for us. While some vendors do a good job, it can still be a grind to work with them, Mike was never once a worry for us. Our pictures look wonderful and we got soo many from Mike. They were very clear and in focus pictures, and not that instagrammed type look or messy blurred backgrounds from being focused wrong.

    He really seems to enjoy his work, we found a number of pictures from guests that happened to have him in them and every time he had a smile on his face. He was extremely patient with us and really a calming presence when we felt like we were running late. He also made sure we made it to our ceremony on time and stuck to our timeline.

    We looked at a couple dozen photographers and no one could match the quality, experience, and packages that he offered. He had a second photographer who also was equally talented and friendly. She took some great up close and detailed photos of our rings and other elements of our wedding. We also loved seeing close up pictures of nearly every guest and pretty much everyone had people with their eyes open and were flattering. I don't know how he got so many shots, because he pretty much felt invisible at the wedding. Lastly, he returned all of our photos to us in just a few weeks.

    Super professional, easy to work with, responsive, good prices, nice pics and fast delivery, definitely check him out.

  • User3766144 · 2+ years ago

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    I LOVE my wedding photos! Mike did a great job and was a pleasure to have at our wedding. He did a wonderful job on our formal photos, as well as photographing the guests and decorations of our wedding. He was very professional and courteous. My friends loved being able to see my photos in the online gallery.

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    sammy · Married on 10/12/2013

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    Mike is an amazing photographer! My husband and I had him as the photographer for our wedding in Santa Cruz, CA in October 2013. The photographs were absolutely beautiful! He was so kind and generous throughout the entire process. The photo book we received is absolutely stunning. He did such great work!!

    Thank you so much Mike! My husband and I have pictures that will bring back out beautiful wedding memories always and forever!

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    Debra · Married on 07/13/2013

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    If you want a photographer who will take your ideas for photos along with bringing his own creativity to the day, Mike is the photographer that you need! He captured beautifully the day from start to finish with such professionalism. We now have the special moments captured, thanks to Mike!

  • User2769051 · 2+ years ago

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    Mike was a delight to work with. He was always on time and very professional. We truly loved all our engagement and wedding shots! We loved him so much that we are hiring him again for our religious ceremony this coming December!

    Thank you Mike!

    Danitza and Heriberto

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    Liz · Married on 06/29/2013

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    My wife and I LOVE our engagement and wedding photos taken by Mike Danen. He was able to really capture the love and excitement in the air between my partner and I and all of our guests. We had the Photo Booth at the wedding which really provided some great moments and excellent shots. We love looking at those pictures, our only regret was that we (my wife and I) were not able to get into the photo booth before it was taken down :( but other than that NO regrets :).
    Mike brought a team of photographers with him to our wedding and we could not have been happier! They caught moments with our guests that we missed, so thank you Mike and team!
    Overall, we are truly happy with all of our images and can't wait to book Mike for the next chapter in our lives......baby ;)

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    Katie · Married on 06/22/2013

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    We chose Mike because he had a calm, laid back attitude, a beautiful portfolio, and very reasonable rates (especially for the amount of experience he has). We were not disappointed. Our wedding photos are GORGEOUS! Plus, he really captured the whole event and all of our guests. We have the bridal portraits and portraits of our families and wedding party, but in addition we have so many great candid shots of our friends and family and pictures of special moments. As an added bonus, all our guests said (and I agree) that we didn't even notice him taking pictures. He was so unobtrusive, but he captured everything beautifully. We had other photographers try to tell us how our day should go and what kind of pictures THEY thought we should have. Mike never did that. He took the formal shots we wanted, and then just quietly went about documenting our day like the total PRO that he is.

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    Kay · Married on 05/11/2013

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    I would look no further, if you are in the market for a wedding photographer. Mike Danen is your guy! We interviewed several carefully selected photographers for our daughter's wedding in San Francisco this month. It was obvious to us at the end of the process, Mike Danen, was the obvious choice. Our bride and groom picked a beautiful venue at the Grace Cathedral and University Club. Mike captured every detail of the day with professionalism, hard-work and unobtrusive style. He listens extremely well to your wants, delivers what you ask for plus much more and communicates with you promptly and clearly. He is well worth the investment, because at the end of the day, it is your photographs that remain to enjoy and relive the moments. Do NOT skimp here! He will be your best investment!

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