14 User photos
Deborah Wu · Married on 12/10/2019
Fun and magical
This review is long overdue. My husband and I got married last October at South Coast Botanic Garden, and John helped us take some amazing pictures of our wedding. We also had him take our engagement pictures for us. My husband and I are not particularly comfortable in front of a camera, but throughout both the engagement shoot and the wedding, John made us feel so comfortable and relaxed. Dare I say we even had fun! He was accommodating and always timely in his responses. He even got our pictures ready for us earlier than anticipated. We're very happy to have worked with John!Sent on 05/24/2020
Jennifer · Married on 09/01/2019
Great Photographer, Amazing Wedding Pics
Working with John, from start to finish for our wedding, was a great experience. He is very easy to contact and responds very quickly! John has great passion and an amazing eye to capture the beauty of our wedding. He was so fun to have around, and really helped to make sure we got all the meaningful and fun pictures to remember our big day. John is easy to work with, very professional, super talented, and we would highly recommend him!Sent on 10/13/2019
Lauren Cheng · Married on 04/14/2019
A 5 star legend of a photographer
John from SimplyTwo Photography is ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!!! Seriously the best photographer out there. Hiring him for your wedding is the best decision you can make. For us, getting a good photographer was the most important thing in terms of vendors, and we are SO glad we went with John. He has a natural ability to make you feel comfortable in front of the camera and is so good at directing you on how to pose. We absolutely loved our engagement shoot with him, where we were able to go to many different locations and wear multiple outfits, and really just get as many awesome photos as possible. The photos turned out amazing of course, and were just a small teaser of what was to come for the wedding. For our wedding, John far exceeded our expectations. He has an eye for knowing what type of scenery and lighting will look good in photos, and he was able to pick out the best places for us to do our first look and bridal party photos. We also did dusk and night time pictures during our wedding and they turned out so incredible. John knows all the tricks of how to make photos turn out amazing thanks to his many years of experience and hundreds and hundreds of weddings he has done. He is seriously a magician of a photographer. He was very accommodating to our schedule and requests, while at the same time giving his professional advice on what would look good in photos. Not to mention he is incredibly fun to hang out with and has a fun, witty sense of humor that we and our bridal party loved. Do yourself a favor and go with SimplyTwo Photography!!! I promise it is the best decision you can make for your wedding!!!Sent on 04/20/2019
Andrew Lin · Married on 09/09/2018
Extremely talented with fun attitude!
John is fantastic at his job and is just overall a pleasure to work with. He sets a very fun, positive vibe and just lets us be ourselves while he works his magic. Another great quality was his work ethic and efficiency. Photo sessions always went by smoothly and at a quick pace, but without feeling rushed. Communication - whether via email, text, phone call, was always responded to and usually within minutes.Sent on 10/29/2018
Zongwei · Married on 08/04/2018
Creative, professional, fun photographer
John is a wonderful photographer and true professional. If we had to do it over again, my wife and I would choose John again in a heartbeat.
We initially looked into John because my wife's sister was a huge fan of John's work (via Instagram). If you haven't seen John's portfolio, take a look and you'll be blown away by the epic shots he manages to create. After video chatting with him, my wife and I both felt comfortable booking him.
Throughout the months before the wedding, John was always very flexible and responsive. It's true that he becomes a friend along the way. When we finalized our day-of schedule a few weeks before the date, we realized we would need an extra half hour from what we had booked to capture all of the getting ready shots. We offered to pay for it, but John graciously came by earlier at no charge.
On the day of the wedding, John was the ultimate professional. He stayed on schedule and was able to magically come up with great shot ideas on the fly. Our entire wedding party had a lot of fun taking photos with John, and they came out *amazing*.
Thank you for doing such a phenomenal job capturing our big day!Sent on 10/21/2018
YuanQing · Married on 06/09/2018
John was one of the very first vendors we booked (pretty much at the same time as the venue)! I've followed his work for years on his website/blog and I've always known I'd want to use John as my photographer. He is an absolute professional and captured gorgeous shots. Most importantly, he made everyone feel comfortable. My husband and I are not the camera ready type but John was able to make it work! He put everyone at ease so that the photos come out natural. John is also great with wrangling all the family members for the family shots. He speaks Chinese so that made it easier for my side of the family. My husband's family had to re-do one of the large group shots since one person had missed the first shot, and John was just super patient and accommodating. I would highly recommend him and SimplyTwo for your wedding and engagement photography!Sent on 09/14/2018
Luke · Married on 05/19/2018
John is an awesome photographer: he produced very high quality pictures at our wedding, made our life very easy on wedding day, and was very personable with us. From our engagement shoot to wedding day photography, he made us feel very comfortable in front of the camera. Our wedding party, family members and a number of our guests raved about him throughout the night. We feel that not only did we receive good work from John, but also made a friend in the process.Sent on 07/23/2018
We highly recommend his photography services!
Emma · Married on 03/24/2018
STOP LOOKING! John has the finesse, experience, and talent like no other photographer (evidence: his portfolio). I’ve been following John’s work since my undergraduate years because we happened to be from the same university. I loved his pictures even before he started his SimplyTwo business. I knew from the start that I wanted him to be my wedding photographer HANDS DOWN. So that was like…8-ish years ago?? I kept him in the back of my mind all those years and it was totally worth the wait. He was the first thing I booked in terms of wedding items (that’s right…even before I had a reception venue). And praise God that it all worked out. We had one meeting over video chat to talk about any ideas we wanted to use for our pictures and places to shoot. We were worried about the timing of getting all our ideas and when was the best time to take the pictures (e.g. time of day). With John’s experience, he was able to help us develop a timeline and it made things so easy. During our engagement shoot, John was totally down to take the photos my fiancé (now husband) planned with the props that we made. He even threw in his own ideas and they turned out awesome. Even for the pictures where we didn’t have props, John basically led us in positioning us and tell us to try out different poses. Everything went smoothly and we both felt comfortable during the entire time. He even would tell me when my bangs had an awkward part in them so I can fix it (you girls know what I mean...MAJOR POINTS FOR THIS!) The pictures for the wedding day were also just as awesome. We were tight on schedule but John made sure he had a good amount of pictures of my husband and myself. I can definitely tell that his priority was to spend as much time as possible with us so we could have a good library of pictures to look back on. I’m so glad that I was able to work with John and would 1000% recommend him.Sent on 06/07/2018
Bri · Married on 03/03/2018
John is an incredible photographer. I have been following his work for over 15 years. He has always had a wonderful eye for great shots and continues to get better with time! I always thought, "It would be super cool to have him take my pictures when I get married...." When the time finally came to find a wedding photographer, I wasn't sure if it would work out, but was so happy it did.Sent on 03/21/2018
Our engagement shoot was so much fun, and we were so at ease with John. I loved so many of our pictures! But most of all, what stood out from our engagement shoot was how kind and considerate John was in scheduling. We originally were going to have to leave CA in the evening after our shoot and get back to AZ in the middle of the night, but John graciously rearranged his schedule to get us back at a reasonable hour.
When our wedding weekend came, he was a pro and did a great job scouting out a spot to take pictures with our wedding party. John worked well with all of our friends and family. I was never worried about the quality of our pictures and knew with John that I would have great and incredible shots for us to share with our family and remember our wedding day! Without a doubt, I highly recommend John, but his photos speak for themselves!
tammy · Married on 11/18/2017
SimplyTwo should just be named SIMPLY AMAZING!!!!!Sent on 11/24/2017
Planning a wedding, as you all might come to find, is a pretty stressful thing. You might find yourself reading review after review and visiting website after website to find THE photographer (not like finding THE ONE isn't hard enough). Well, I can assure you that you can stop your search now because you just found THE photographer, JOHN!!!!
John, John, John, where shall we start. John is just amazing. We knew from our initial email that John was our guy. We're very impatient people and need answers right away and John could not answer our questions any faster. He never left us hanging and always always ALWAYS responded within 2-3 hours, which is AMAZING since other vendors sometimes took days to respond. John made the whole process super easy and stress free.
We booked John for an engagement and full day wedding service. Due to our busy schedules, we had to reschedule our engagement session multiple times. John was super cool about the rescheduling and worked with our busy schedules. He never gave us a hard time for changing dates and times on him. Our first time meeting John was at our first engagement session location. John took the time to explain to us the whole process, which made it more comfortable and way less awkward. I loved how we were able to be ourselves in front of John. Felt like we knew him for a long time, but merely 30 minutes went by since we met.
Skipping to the BIG DAY....
As the actual wedding day started, I felt a huge relief when I saw John out of all the people that we're there. I knew John got my back and I trusted in his vision. He was a vendor that we definitely did not have to stress about that day. He made it fun for us and our bridal party during pictures. He allowed us to be us and encouraged us to go outside of the box.
We highly encourage you to email John NOW! Can't wait to see the rest of our pics! Thank you John for helping us capture our big day!
Alice · Married on 11/05/2017
John is freaking amazing. We're usually so awkward with attention and taking pictures but he made the photoshoot experience so fun and easy. We only had a location in mind for the engagement photos but had no idea what exactly we wanted to do. John was down to travel out with us to the desert and just help us capture the moments as they happened. He had a methodological approach in his photo taking that somehow still felt spontaneous. He would find inspiration in the most random things and turn it into photography magic. John was also fantastic at helping us create some artsier shots aside from the traditional cute couple poses. During the wedding, our wedding party and families had a blast working with him as well. He even handled our amateur photographer uncle like a champ (we forgot to warn John about him). We initially thought we were just getting a photographer but now we also have a friend for life! Book him early as his schedule fills up fast! Bonus: he's a dog person!Sent on 11/12/2017
Patrice · Married on 10/21/2017
Newly engaged? Hire John Yao as your wedding photographer!
I came across John’s work since he and my brother are college buddies and he ended up shooting my brother’s wedding. Not only did I admire the artistry and quality of his photos, I was also impressed by the way he professionally and tactfully handled my photo eager (aka pushy) relatives when they tried to get their own photos in. Fast forward a year and a half, once A and I were engaged there were two things that we knew. #1: A wanted milk tea catered at the wedding. #2: I wanted John as our photographer. We had our priorities.
We first contacted John 10 months before our wedding and luckily were able to book him for our wedding date! He first initiated a video chat with us to get some input on our personal style and then would promptly respond to all of our email inquiries. Come engagement session photos, John kept A and I at ease with his fun and quirky personality…though be sure to budget extra time for dog encounters as John will greet every dog that comes his way. He does not need any micromanaging: We had a general location (Golden Gate Park and Sutro Baths in SF), and John was able to make the most random path into an artist’s set.
When it came wedding time, John was not just prompt but came AHEAD of schedule to get some extra shots. He is efficient when directing our group photos and guides us into authentic poses. Following the wedding, I asked John for a couple photos for thankyou cards and he sent over 20! We got our full wedding photo set about 4 months after the wedding and I couldn’t be happier with the product. The pictures speak for themselves – they’re clean and vibrant and capture A and I looking relaxed and joyful. I have no regrets hiring John – he’s a professional, photo nerd, artist, and friend.Sent on 02/17/2018
Elizabeth · Married on 10/07/2017
Simply put, John from SimplyTwo Photography is beyond amazing. I'll admit I was hesitant at first because our wedding was taking place in Michigan. I imagined it would be a logistical nightmare, but my husband-to-be had worked with John before in his sister's wedding and, with his steadfast trust in John's work, convinced me to choose SimplyTwo. Our first conversation with John immediately put my fears to rest. He was charismatic, passionate about his work, and his refreshingly original personality was evident from the very beginning. We knew the added logistics of getting him to Michigan would be well worth it. After working with John for our engagement session, we couldn't imagine having any other photographer. The photos were stunning and beyond our expectations. Now, with the wedding pictures in hand, I can honestly say John from SimplyTwo Photography was the best decision we made throughout the entire wedding process. His love for weddings, photography, great lighting, and golden retrievers sets him above and beyond the rest. Thank you, John! You made a special day even more perfect!Sent on 02/13/2018
Giang · Married on 09/23/2017
WOW! Is all I can say about John. John may seem very laid back but he is nothing but professional in his work. He is easy to talk to and his work is amazing. My wife and I were probably John's least comfortable couple in front of the camera but by the end of our engagement session shoot he had us functioning like professionals. My wife and I just had our wedding this past weekend with a few hiccups in the day but John was calm and collected and just rolled with the issues and made them work. From my mother in law not being back in time from the makeup artist to start the tea ceremony or having one of our locations being unexpected closed for renovations, John was able to fill in the lost time with meaningful pictures and was able to find the beauty of any spot work regardless of literally a moat of water blocking us from our ideal photo shoot location. Simply Two is simply the best!Sent on 09/30/2017
Michelle · Married on 09/09/2017
I don't know where to begin with John...Sent on 09/23/2017
From the moment we contacted him to the moment we dropped him off at the airport after our wedding, we never felt more relieved and at peace. My husband and I never had a single worry that our photos would not be "up to par". Photoshoots are definitely not in our everyday lifestyle, so we knew that we would be difficult to work with. However that didn't stop John! He definitely made us feel so comfortable that by the time the photoshoot was done, we couldn't believe how fast time had flown by. In simpler words, it wasn't a photoshoot but purely hanging out with a friend who loved to take photos :)
As a bride, you want EVERYTHING to be PERFECT! After 13 months of strenuous planning, I was determined to make sure that nothing went wrong on the day-of. Being able to have John there by our side to assist in making sure that we got all the perfect shots at the perfect locations took a HUGE burden off of our shoulders.
Not only did we get lucky with an incredible photographer, but we ended up gaining an incredible friend! John, until the next time we meet (hint: conversation about babies).
Joanna · Married on 08/26/2017
John is a master of his craft. As an amateur photographer, I wanted someone who could go beyond the "standard" shots. We hired John for both our engagement and wedding photos and he did not disappoint. He knew how to handle tricky lighting situations and was incredibly creative with his composition. I nearly had a bridezilla moment during our engagement shoot when my dream sunset shot in Malibu was threatened by a thick layer of fog. The sun never did appear, but the mysterious feel of the photos made that set one of our favorites.Sent on 12/21/2017
Hau · Married on 08/12/2017
John is a true professional. He was punctual and communicative from the start and made the whole process very smooth and easy. My wife and I are camera shy but John's great personality helped put us at ease. I would definitely recommend his service to other couples who are looking for a wedding photographer. On a side note, his ability to speak Chinese and English really helped with my older folks. Thanks John! you did an amazing job for Dannelle and I.Sent on 12/15/2017
Karen · Married on 06/24/2017
John Yao is literally the best thing that happened to our wedding, besides us actually getting married, no joke. He completely surpassed every expectation we had and is worth every penny and more. He is skilled and passionate about his work. We could not stop saying “wow” when he gave us a sneak peek of our photos.Sent on 08/02/2017
Working his magic:
John is truly a master of his craft – turning ordinary trees into enchanted forests and the happy, photo-awkward couple into supermodels. He is also a photographer that puts people at ease. Hubs (a.k.a. husband) is so camera shy that we barely have any nice, normal pictures of us while we were dating. However, he had a blast taking pictures when John was behind the camera.
A true friend in him:
The best thing about working with John is that he really becomes a friend, one that you can count on having your back always. We never had to worry about him as a vendor with his timely responses (a few times past 1AM) and experienced evaluation of how to realistically accomplish our photography goals. The backstage of the wedding day felt like a hot mess, but John remained calm amongst the chaos and helped me and Hubs see past all the craziness. We did not realize how much time we would be spending with the photographer on our big day, much more than most of our friends and family. Being able to spend it with a photographer-friend who truly cares about us made it that much more special.
Ian · Married on 03/25/2017
John is a master at what he does. A true artist with a huge dedication to his craft. He is super friendly and accommodating and shot some masterful pieces for our engagement and wedding. I would definitely recommend him for his craft! He's a real stud and you won't be disappointed!Sent on 04/22/2017
Angel · Married on 02/11/2017
Awesome quality for the value, would highly recommend him! John is really good at capturing the moments that are important and can get amazing shots out of what seems so ordinary or would be difficult to get a good photo. It shows how he is really good at his trade. Also he's very personable and great to work with!Sent on 03/27/2017
Chris · Married on 12/16/2016
We met John at our friends wedding in Lake Tahoe back in 2015. Right off the bat, I could tell there was something pretty special about the guy and it wasn’t his fancy camera gear or good taste in watches. What captured my attention was the amount of knowledge and passion he had for photography. He truly understood that photography is not just “point and shoot” but should be more about story telling. We could have hired any photographer in the world but his easy- going personality and artistry were some of the main reasons why we hired him for our wedding in Bali.Sent on 02/15/2017
Since we were having a destination wedding, I wanted to make sure that the photographer was someone not good, but great. He was extremely professional and fun to be around. This guy was willing to be away from family for about a week, and was willing to fly over 20 hours around the world to be our photographer. That tells you something about how dedicated he is to his clients and work. We spent 4 days with him and not once did we hear any complaints. As expected, the guy did an amazing job. His high attention to detail and relaxed personality made everything a lot easier for us. He’s definitely someone who would go above and beyond to get the job done. I would definitely hire him again.
Albert · Married on 10/09/2016
Just go with SimplyTwoPhotography! John is an absolute pleasure to work with and just plain 'ol relaxing and fun. After the first engagement session we were pleasantly surprised by his keen eye for lighting and just overall framing of every single shot. When I say every single shot... i MEAN every single shot. It was amazing. So we booked him for our wedding as well as for an additional white dress shoot the day after the wedding! His personality makes him so easy to work with. He was able to make us both feel comfortable enough to hop out of our comfort zones for some fun shots as well.. John is also a creative genius working with landscapes, wind, and even a full on night shoot (which came out crazy awesome). We love John's work!Sent on 11/08/2016
Susan and Alex · Married on 10/08/2016
Pictures speak for themselves right....well behind every picture, there is a photographer. For my wife and I, we were very fortunate to have the most amazing photographer on board for our wedding...John of SimplyTwo Photography. I'm writing this review not only to speak about Johns eye for detail, his understanding of composition, framing and lighting, and his ability to produce stunning photos, but I'm here to speak about John's responsiveness, his organizational skills, and his ability to make the couples, families and kids that he is photographing feel comfortable. He has a way with his words and his character really comes out in the photos...Lighthearted, Fun, Natural, Cool, Composed, Intriguing, Professional...just to name a few characteristics. My wife and I enjoyed interacting with him prior to, during, and after the wedding. We enjoyed seeing him work and we really love the work he produces out of it. If his main purpose in being a photographer is to capture the most memorable moments in a very organized and easy going fashion, while still producing stunning photos, than he has accomplished that...plus some....plus some more. Thanks John.Sent on 10/16/2016
Amy · Married on 10/02/2016
John is amazing!!!
This review is long overdue...but simply put, John is awesome!!! We asked John to shoot our wedding and engagement photos after seeing him in action at a friend’s wedding as well as following his blog. For our engagement shoot, John worked with us to capture the locations that were special to my husband and me. In the process, we found him to be engaging, creative, and a strong listener. He took our ideas, blended them with his artistic abilities, and created photos and memories that we’ll take with us for a lifetime. On our wedding day, John came prepared, and more importantly, he made us feel comfortable on what could possibly be the most nerve-racking day in our lives thus far. His photos were remarkable and guests later complimented us on John’s personable demeanor and engaging presence during the wedding. He was not just a vendor...he helped make the wedding come alive for us and our guests, capturing pictures and maybe more significantly, memories and emotions. Administratively, he was very responsive and prompt. In short, John is fabulous!! We highly recommend John to anyone seeking a top notch photographer who goes above and beyond to capture the experience of your very special day. Thank you so much, John!!!Sent on 10/27/2018
Connie · Married on 10/01/2016
John John John... what can I say about you except that you are the funniest, more quirky yet professional photographer I've ever met? You helped keep things light-hearted and organized, despite my crazy family taking forever to get in the shot you needed. You even broke out your mandarin and I was duly impressed. Thanks for all your hard work and witty self! Can't wait to see the final products :)Sent on 12/07/2016