Recommended by 100%
14 User photos
Junmin · Married on 04/19/2015
I am extremely picky when it comes to photography due to my profession, so naturally I had a difficult time deciding on a photographer. I reviewed dozens of portfolios, but somehow I kept coming back to John's website. His work is not only clean, sharp, and vibrant with amazing lighting, but the couples' important emotional moments and fun times are well captured through John's lenses as well. Every photo is well composed with perfect skin tone.Sent on 07/29/2015
Communication with John was prompt and easy throughout the whole process. When we met up with him, he was like a long lost friend - very easy going, funny and patient. I was surprised that he remembered all of his clients' names when I randomly mentioned a few of his previous shoots. His personality reflects in his work. He made us very comfortable in front of the camera during both our engagement shoot and wedding day. He came early and stayed late for our wedding just because he wanted to try out a few creative night shots. He is a true ARTIST! We had numerous compliments on our engagement photos from our family and friends. We've seen part of the wedding photos so far, and all we can say is "WOW! AMAZING!" We can't wait to see the rest!
Hire John for your big day! You won't regret it!
Xuan-Binh · Married on 04/18/2015
Outstanding. Professional, courteous, fun. Amazing eye for lighting. People constantly rave about our photos and the shots that he got.Sent on 11/18/2015
Melissa · Married on 03/28/2015
SimplyTwo is A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Planning for the biggest and most expensive party of your lifetime is soooo stressful, but John takes away that aspect for you. Photographs are arguably the most important part of the wedding, though you can argue with me whether the dress or the flowers are ;) But think about it – the whole day/night passes by very quickly as you are caught up in the moment. As well, you may be obsessing over every detail of the logistics, and you can miss seeing some people or certain parts of the party. I actually didn’t get to see my guestbook/escort card table setup because we were on a time crunch! Having these photos helped me relive it all from my guests’ point of view. Even better, John edits each photo “by hand” (none of those fancy photoshop filters “applied to all” or whatever). Plus, communication is prompt and easy – he is willing to communicate by any method you prefer.Sent on 06/28/2015
Bonus! - He's featured in magazines! Who wouldn't want the bragging rights associated with that?
Another bonus! - Since dealing with vendors is primarily about "business", there is often a lack of a personal touch to it. Not with John - by the end of it all, you may just want to make him part of your wedding party!
User5079374 · 2+ years ago
How John Amazed Us:Sent on 05/15/2015
1) Mastering light - John can see the unseen and shoot beyond the world in front of us. It was 10pm, so dark we couldn’t see our feet, but John assured us that the brown building behind us will look great in the crappy street lights. I gave him my crazy person eye stare, but secretly trusted him. Yup, it mysteriously lit up like the white house. I soon realized that John was so one with his camera, he had the darkness under control. Despite horrible lighting conditions, our night photos were incredible. What you see is not what you get, it’s better. I once made the mistake of asking him why he didn't have a fancy umbrella thingy, to which he politely answered that as long as you understand the science of light, you don't need tools to manipulate it. The force is strong with this one.
2) Committing to his work - Speaking of late night photos, John spent ALL DAY with us on our engagement shoot. I greedily wanted to hit up 6 locations but was ready to give up on at least 2. Nope. Got all 6! Our wedding venue was a challenge, it was a yacht at noon; harsh sun, moving vessel, constant changes, confined spaces, yay! My wedding coordinator suggested that John meet up with her to go over scenic places and the nooks and crannies of the yacht. He got on the next appointment and knew the yacht inside & out. WHO DOES THAT!?!? This is going beyond the call of duty.
3) Capturing real moments - My wedding day went by so fast I felt like I missed out on the important details. Thank God John was there because he caught what we missed. John was also the reason why we did not get a videographer because there would have been split seconds of awesomeness that the video would have zoomed past; tiny, stolen glances, awkward and crazy poses of the garter catch, and the way your sweet old dad looks at you from afar as you embrace your husband. I missed those moments, and i even missed them on the home videos, but I found them in John's photos.
Jerry · Married on 01/16/2015
John is the epitome of a professional photographer. From initial communication to finished product (pictures turned out awesome), he was always helpful and flexible. The great thing about John isn't that he just takes great pictures for you, but you really get to know him as a friend and brother.Sent on 04/21/2015
User4146903 · 2+ years ago
We highly recommend Simply Two Photography. You can trust John Yao to produce unique and beautiful photographs for you. You can also look forward to a photography experience full of laughter and joy- qualities that will not only come out in your pictures, but will help to make your engagement/wedding day unforgettable.Sent on 01/16/2015
A few things that made John Yao stand out:
1) He addresses all concerns in a timely and detailed manner: After the initial email contact, John Yao continued to answer my questions over emails and phone calls (75+ correspondences). I appreciated just how friendly and encouraging he was whenever I brought up a concern.
2) He is personable, and listens to your needs/wants: Once we got to meet for our creative engagement session, John Yao took charge by giving us specific instructions with how to stand, where to look, etc. To help us relax, he would give us feedback so we knew what worked. Once Sam and I got the hang out if, the creative session began to flow naturally. Like a team, we all came up with ideas for poses, and managed to create some on-the-spot ideas to make the shots unique and fun.
3) He believes in creating beautiful photos, and is open to trying new/inventive things to make it happen: In addition to having strong technical skills and a strong work ethic, it was clear that John Yao had a lot of fun with this work. We were both willing to try new ideas, and this made both sessions (engagement and wedding day) enjoyable and exciting.
The final products blew away our expectations! Aside from great technique, we believe the distinguishing quality that made the photos stand out is John's ability to capture our emotions of joy and love. John understands how uncomfortable taking photos can be (just as we were in the beginning). He works with you so that you can relax and ultimately have fun. The results are priceless.
5 star rating, no regrets! Thank you John for memories that we will treasure for a lifetime!
Lucy · Married on 12/20/2014
I first fell in love with SimplyTwo Photography 3 years ago when one of my friends shared her engagement pictures with us online. The pictures were vibrant with color (but not so overdone that they came out tacky), focused on the couple (at times and on objects when it was appropriate) and just overall gorgeous. In the three years after I was exposed to those pictures, there were no other engagement/wedding pictures from others (in magazines and from friends) whose pictures even caught my eye. I knew John's work was special and exactly what I wanted as my keepsake for my once-in-a-lifetime life event.Sent on 01/06/2015
When we started planning our wedding, we made sure to have SimplyTwo as our first vendor (even before choosing our venue and picking our wedding date--weird, right?). John is super responsive (he'll even respond when you're brainstorming late at night), incredibly easy to work with (it felt like we were having pictures taken by a friend), and he made sure he got EVERY shot I wanted and as well as the ones he wanted. I have no complaints. Even my parents were very impressed with his work (and it's not easy to impress them). If I could compensate him more for his work, I would.
Wedding photography is not cheap, but it's what you get to keep forever so you should definitely invest in a photographer whose work is to your liking. SimplyTwo Photography is simply the easiest decision to make for your photography needs. You won't regret it.
Thank you for everything, John!
C · Married on 12/13/2014
John Yao of SimplyTwo Photography is a man of respectable talent. Having been an avid follower of his work for many years, I knew that his calendar fills up quickly so I booked him months before I even got engaged (without telling my fiancé!).Sent on 02/07/2015
My fiancé and I were very nervous for our engagement session but with John’s guidance, we warmed up and started to feel more comfortable and at ease so our shots became more natural. We spent the whole day shooting in different locations and we were both amazed at how much fun we were having. It felt like we were hanging out with an old-time friend. One thing I've learned during the shoot is that John possesses an ability to capture raw, brilliant shots. He'd show us the most recent shot on his camera screen and it would blow our minds. He has a keen eye that can find beauty in the most ordinary spaces (like making a playground look like a backdrop in Napa) and his composition skills are exceptional. As an artist, he is always pushing his limits and continually experimenting. That's mainly the reason why all of his sets are unique to his clients no matter how many times he's shot those same locations.
John has a very relaxed personality about him and his motto is that not only is he your photographer, but also your friend, and I couldn't agree more. On our wedding day, John arrived early to scout the area for the best locations (something I had not expected but nevertheless appreciated!). He brought with him a kind and lighthearted demeanor that made our wedding party feel very relaxed. But he also had a sense of professionalism that kept us on schedule. He was on top of everything!
Our family and friends have complimented us tremendously on our photos. We know that hiring John was the best decision we made for our wedding. Without hesitation, we give John our highest regard and recommendation. You will not be disappointed!
Rob · Married on 11/01/2014
John is simply the best. In my line of work, I've had the privilege of working with a lot of different photographers on a variety of marketing, print and web jobs. My, now wife, brought Simply Two to my attention for our wedding and I was blown away by the quality of the work. On our first meeting we really nerded out of photography, lenses, technique and approach. We both knew he was our guy and signed a contract on the spot. Fast forward a year after an Engagement and Wedding shoot and I am even more impressed with John both for his technique and how much love he puts into his work. He may be the most talented of all the photographers I've ever worked with. Best of all was John's personality. He really works hard and does so with an incredibly positive and infectiously optimistic attitude. John shoots weddings for a living but during our two shoots I could tell that he was constantly trying to push the envelope and shoot things in new ways with different techniques. I can tell he is the type of person who constantly strives to do more and shoot better and that makes him both a great photographer and equally great person.Sent on 11/05/2014
As a business, Simply Two is all John. He admittedly tries not to shoot wedding week after week so he can give his clients a lot of time and attention. So when you book Simplytwo you get John and only John. His site is full of his work and that of his usual second shooter Chris, who was equally delightful to work with. On a technical level, I was very impressed with a lot of the compositing and layering affects John did, in particular for our engagement shoot. For a lot of the sparkler and lighting effects he did required a lot of compositing and photoshop work that I wasn't expecting. Again, this is beyond what your typical wedding shoot would do, very impressive. The day after the wedding, he sent over a teaser of a shot from the wedding. Amazing...simply amazing!
Tracy · Married on 10/25/2014
If you want AMAZING and WORRY FREE photography, then John @ SimplyTwo will not disappoint!!! I was one of those really indecisive brides, don't know which theme, what to wear, which venue, what favors/flavors/flowers etc...but when we met John at our initial appointment...by the end of the meeting, we left a deposit to secure our wedding date. That is how professional, but yet very familiar he made us feel. We loved our engagement photos, something that I kept going back to look at again and again. Our wedding day came and went in a flash, John was there throughout the whole time never in your way, but you will catch a glimpse of him off the side or on the floor to try and capture all the moments . We haven't seen our wedding day photos yet, but base off our engagement photos, there is nothing for me to worry about as I know he will deliver nothing but stunning photos. Cannot thank him enough on how easy and comfortable he made our big day.Sent on 01/06/2015
User4554831 · 2+ years ago
Before I started any wedding planning, I knew photography was the main item I wanted to splurge on. Memories get fuzzy after a while, great pictures will last forever! After much research, I went with John- and I'm extremely glad I did. The reason I chose to go with SimplyTwo is pretty simple: a lot of wedding photographers I looked at have photos where the couples are placed in awkward positions, and a lot of "candid" ones seem very staged and not natural. In all of John's photos, the couples look relax, shots look natural, and he captures the happiness and love beautifully.Sent on 11/17/2014
John was very responsive- from the first email we sent, to scheduling our engagement shoot (because of bad weather conditions, he took the time to do our shoot the weekend before his own wedding!), and to the wedding day itself. He was able to answer all our questions and listened to all our suggestions. I'm not a very creative person when it comes to posing for pictures, and was worried about the engagement shoot. John gave us a few pointers at the beginning and put us at ease, and we can definitely feel it get easier by moment. Within a week, we had a handful of edited previews to share with family and friends, which was awesome!
On the wedding day itself, he was with our wedding party the whole day. Both bridesmaids and groomsmen enjoyed hanging out with him. He's cracking jokes and making conversation during down time, and all business and professionalism when it's go time. He was on top of everything, and definitely took the reins very well when it came to directing both shots and people.
One awesome power (among many) that John possesses is the ability to find a location I wouldn't glance at twice, and manage to get beautiful pictures out of it. He also utilizes lighting extremely well. He is full of tons creative ideas too!
If you can budget it, I would highly recommend going with SimplyTwo!
Joby · Married on 09/27/2014
My wife and I were extremely blessed to have John Yao do our engagement photo shoot and capture our wedding. The first thing that struck us about John as we worked with him was his creative genius. He would scan the location we were in to get ideas for different shots. As he explained what he was seeing, I often found myself surprised because I just wasn't able to see what he saw. But once he took a few shots, he would show us what he had captured, and it absolutely blew us away. He quickly gained our trust. We also loved that so many of the shots that John took were so unique from what we were used to seeing from engagement or wedding photos. We've had so many people tell us that our wedding photos are the best that they have seen. John is also extremely personable. We hit it off right away and that helped us to feel more comfortable and natural during the shoot. He knew exactly when to give us cues to help us figure out where to put our hands or which direction to look, but it never felt forced or awkward. More than anything, what blew us away about John was his commitment and dedication to us. Our wedding was in Chicago, and there happened to be a situation the day before our wedding that forced both airports in Chicago to cancel all flights. John's flight was affected by this which needless to say, was a stressful situation. Without going into all the details, John spent the whole day at the airport trying to find a alternate flight, several of them which got cancelled, until he was finally able to find a flight to St. Louis that arrived at midnight. He took that flight and drove a rental car up to Chicago to get there the morning of our wedding on absolutely no sleep. Despite all of that, he was just as enthusiastic and professional about his work as he always is. If it's not obvious at this point, John Yao is the guy you want to hire for your wedding. Seriously...you won't be disappointed.Sent on 04/01/2015
Ann · Married on 09/12/2014
John was sooo much fun to work with. We definately made the right choice in investing in a good photographer. For the brides who are still searching for the perfect photographer, your search ends here. He is amazing!!!Sent on 01/06/2015
Our engagement and wedding photos were absolute perfection. John really has the "eye" for photography and always manages to get the best angles and shots. We spent an entire day with him for our engagement shoot starting at our condo in Anaheim to San Juan Capistrano to Dana Point to Laguna Beach to Fullerton. His energy, willingness to go along with all our ideas and laid back personality made the day so much fun. It felt like we were doing a day trip around Orange County chillaxing with John. We had coordinated a list of shots I had wanted for our wedding day and John captured everything we asked for. He was punctual and always responsive to questions we had. My whole wedding party felt at ease with him right away and they all enjoyed taking pictures with him.
After looking at all my engagement and wedding shots, I can honestly say there is not one picture that I dislike. Our biggest challenge was picking the ones we wanted to print and make into a book since every shot was awesome. All of our friends and family love the pictures and praised John for his attention to detail. Their first reaction to the pictures was usually "WOW!!!" When comparing my pictures to friends who hired less expensive photographers, you can totally tell the difference in the quality and shots that you get. Yes its definately an investment to have John as your photographer but hes worth every penny! Pictures last a lifetime and I'm sooooo happy we were able to have John capture our special moment. I highly recommend SimplyTwo!!!
Jennifer · Married on 09/06/2014
We just had our wedding this past Saturday, and John was so awesome! Although we haven't gotten our full set of wedding photos yet, we are already SO impressed with his work that I could not wait to write this review. John also did our engagement photos which we were also very happy with and used at our own wedding. As for the wedding photos, he has shared some of the shots he took right off of his camera, and he also shared some sneak peak photos both edited and unedited. If our unedited wedding photos already look that stunning, I can only imagine how gorgeous the edited photos will be. John truly has an artistic eye, and has the ability to find the light in the most beautiful and spectacular way. It's kind of amazing when you see the images on his camera and then look back to the spot you were just standing to see a completely different perspective. Not only is John a truly talented photographer, but he also has the ability to make you feel super comfortable as if you have known him for years as an old friend. We really liked how comfortable he made us feel, and appreciated how he would show us the shots after he took them so we knew what adjustments to make (and just to satisfy our curiosity). My husband is definitely camera shy, and John was able to crack him open which says a lot! So a BIG thank you to John. To anyone looking for a photographer, look no further, because John is it!Sent on 09/09/2014
Christin · Married on 08/31/2014
I heard about SimplyTwo through my friend. She told me this photographer gets booked up fast! So I looked through John's portfolio and I was very impressed. He even shoots for wedding magazines - wow! I was very happy he was available on our wedding day. He replied to our inquiry the same day and every email thereafter, he responded quickly. John was flexible as well. He worked with us to customize a package to fit our needs. It was more than what I originally wanted to spend, but wedding photos are worth the investment. They stay with you forever!Sent on 09/15/2014
On the big day, we had so much fun with John. He was personable and professional. We could tell he's an expert at what he does. He knew if the lighting was too harsh, he guided us to be natural in our poses and I think he helped out our videographer too! So far we have only seen some photos on his camera display and a couple on Facebook and they are just breathtaking. We can't wait to see all the pictures!
Tricia · Married on 08/30/2014
John is not only a terrific photographer, but a lifesaver!Sent on 11/25/2014
When I was first planning my wedding, I let my fiancé handle the photographer since I was more focused on finding the perfect venue. He opted to book with a friend of a friend who recently moved to LA who also ended up cancelling on us before our wedding. I then took over and thought of John since he shot my sister's wedding, and I LOVED his style and his cool yet professional attitude.
So glad we booked with him! Looking back, I think having a great photographer is probably #1 on the list. This person spends the entire day with you from morning until night, and after all is said and done, the photos are the items you cherish forever.
We booked our engagement session only a month before our wedding, and John saved us again. He helped us find poses we liked and unique shots that just highlighted his true talent (ie. ocean waves crashing into us and night shots using only surrounding lights). He also worked his magic and got us back our photos in time to have some printed for the wedding.
Our wedding shots were just AMAZING! John followed us around all day and captured every perfect moment as I could have only dreamed. As a DIY bride, I am so glad that John took photos of our reception décor (and we had both a lunch and dinner reception). Looking back on the photos made me so happy because all the planning I did for MONTHS were captured so beautifully from the hand painted/drawn chalkboards to the succulents I grew on my balcony and delicately placed in containers for centerpieces. It was perfect.
I highly recommend booking John for you wedding and engagement shots. His is extremely talented and also a real pleasure to work with. He makes having your photo taken fun.
Aaron · Married on 08/16/2014
Working with John (SimplyTwo) was one of the best decisions we made. I was a bit nervous going into our engagement shoot but John’s extremely friendly and relaxed attitude put me completely at ease and it went wonderfully. As for the wedding day, it was exactly the same…. With everything feeling like it’s moving at a million miles a minute and you just can’t catch your breath, John’s calm and professional attitude was a lifesaver. Overall, on a day as stressful as our wedding day, it was good to have John in our corner.Sent on 10/13/2014
Joseph · Married on 08/10/2014
John Yao? More like, John "Wow"Sent on 09/04/2014
John is like that old friend you haven't seen in a while- trustworthy, easy to get along with, and brings with him a sense of ease. But don't let his mellow attitude fool you - He is a strict professional that takes pride in his craft and oozes passion in everything he does - Look at his portfolio and you'll see what I mean.
To sum it up, he made us feel comfortable that he would take care of what needed to be done (and then some). He was responsive to our emails, and most importantly, made the engagement photos and the wedding shoot fun! I have no reservations with recommending John.
Ivan · Married on 08/02/2014
My now wife and I have frequented SimplyTwo's blog for a few years now prior to us getting married, and were floored by what we saw. John Yao's work is the perfect blend of artistic ability, talent, and awesomeness. With that being said, my wife and I made up our minds early on during the early stages of the wedding planning process to make it a priority to book John for our big day ASAP. Clearly one of the best decisions we made!Sent on 09/20/2014
John's incredible ability to instantly built rapport with not only the bride and groom, but also the wedding party, made our wedding photo session so much fun and enjoyable! When you have groomsmen and bridesmaids alike fall in love with John in a few short hours, you know you've hired the right man for the job. Looking back at some of our wedding photos, I'm still in awe by John's pure skill and how nice our wedding photos turned out. Even to this day, I'm constantly raving to my wife about what a superb job John did on our wedding day.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that such a photographer like John Yao existed, but HE does. God's gift to mankind in the flesh. Thanks John for everything! It was truly amazing to work with you. You truly made our big day special!
Linnea · Married on 07/19/2014
John Yao of SimplyTwo Photography is, to say the least, an amazingly talented artist. Not only does he know how to use light to capture brilliant shots that just make everything look stunning, he has a unique ability to build a rapport with people that makes the day go easier and flow more naturally. Having done both our engagement and wedding photos with John, I can say with complete certainty that he was the best person for this job. We are extremely happy with his skill, timing, and professionalism, along with his flexibility and creativity throughout the photo shoots. We also appreciated his light-heartedness and humor, and were so comfortable with him that he felt like a part of our wedding party! We give John the highest recommendation to be the photographer of any event you are having - you won't be disappointed! Thank you, John, for capturing the most important moments of our lives so far! :)Sent on 07/28/2014
Michel-Ann · Married on 06/21/2014
Having John Yao as our photographer made a huge difference for our wedding! When groomsmen and bridesmaids were acting awkward John helped break the ice and keep things running. Not only does he have an eagle eye for taking good shots, John excels at managing the wedding party and families. He has an amazing ability to effectively organize and instruct a group AND keep it fun and upbeat. We fell in love with SimplyTwo for the photo quality, and could not have had the same wedding without his managerial prowess. In the end, we will remember our wedding not only by the great photos from SimplyTwo and John Yao, but also the excellent experience.Sent on 10/30/2014
SimplyTwo Photography's reply:Thanks Michel-Ann and Robert!! It was so much fun spending the day with you and your wedding party in Downtown Tacoma. I also appreciate your trust in my delegation of the itinerary and photo-shoot schedule =)
Kevin · Married on 06/07/2014
John Yao was an absolute pleasure to work with. He was extremely professional but also super fun. We really felt like to took the time to really get to know us as well as our families and wedding party. Words can't describe how amazing the pictures turned out. He has a very special style of photography that we had not seen before and we are so grateful to have John capture our special day. Every special moment was captured by John and we cannot say enough good things about him. 5 stars are simply not enough!Sent on 10/06/2014
Emily · Married on 06/01/2014
John at SimplyTwo is the absolute BEST. My husband and I have been fans of his work for years and love reading his blog and checking out his photos. We booked our engagement photos as well as our wedding photos with SimplyTwo and John has NOT disappointed us, not even a little. He was professional and put us at ease so that the photos captured our personalities and dynamic as a couple. Wedding photos are the one thing from the wedding that will be shared with friends and family over and over again - you want them to be the best. My husband and I relive our wedding through John's photos and all the happy/giddy feelings rush back each time. You will NOT be disappointed if you book with SimplyTwo. We can't wait to shoot more creatives with John in the future!Sent on 06/17/2014
Quinn · Married on 05/30/2014
My wife and I first heard of John’s work from a good friend who had nothing but good things to say about him. After my bride and I checked out his website, simplytwo.com, we instantly fell in love with his work and knew we needed to find out his availability asap and book our venue according to his availability.Sent on 07/07/2014
Prior to scheduling any photo sessions, we met with John via Skype to become familiar with each other. Instantly, my wife and I found John easily relatable. He was so easy to talk to; we felt like we were talking with a friend than a vendor.
During our engagement photo session, John showed a high level of excitement and was able to make my beautiful bride and me comfortable. He makes it so easy for you to just be yourselves during the photo shoot. There was never an awkward or dull moment. It was amazing to see him at work, recognizing certain lighting and angles that we would have never noticed.
And let’s just say, the photos turned out freakin’ awesome! You can tell that he cares about the details and makes sure to capture each precious moment as though they were his own. He demonstrates exquisite care to produce each image in its best condition. The quality of his work is unparalleled.
After the session, John was extremely responsive to any questions my bride or I had. Also, we received the DVD containing our photos in the time frame he had promised.
Leading up to the wedding, John was very flexible in meeting with us and planning out our ceremony schedule. John definitely made us feel as if we were his top priority and he would do whatever it takes to get that beautiful shot that perfectly captures the moment.
And yes, the wedding photo highlights that we have seen so far are much better than my wife or I could have imagined. We almost cannot wait to see the rest.
We are so happy and thankful for the superb work John invested in our wedding and we would be more than happy to use him a thousand times over again.
Annie · Married on 05/24/2014
John is simply AMAZING. He is so good at putting an anxious bride at ease to get those amazing shots. I knew from the moment we met him, we were going to have EXCELLENT photos. He is so willing to take on suggestions and making them more than we ever hoped they would be (i.e. our sparkler shots for our engagement). LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all that you do and I would recommend him to EVERYONE.Sent on 05/30/2014