Recommended by 100%
14 User photos
Jimmy · Married on 04/12/2014
SimplyTwo was very professional, laid back, fun, and the pictures were great! It should be difficult to find all these attributes in one business, but SimplyTwo provides it all! John makes sure you are very comfortable in front of the camera, and he is able to capture very natural moments. I picked SimplyTwo because I've seen John's portfolio, and nothing compares to the quality and uniqueness of his shots. As a bonus, he is just wonderful to work with!Sent on 05/19/2014
User3436402 · 2+ years ago
Hands down, Simply Two Photography was the best vendor choice to capture the big and small moments of both our wedding day and engagement shoot. John Yao produces high quality images that combine priceless emotions with the soft touch of beauty in every detail of each photo! Whether via text, email, or phone call, John responds within 24 hours or sooner. He is easy to work with and flexible to accommodate any sudden changes. He also gave his input when working with planning the overall flow of the day. John's many years of experience and beautiful talent behind the lens makes him the best wedding photographer!Sent on 04/29/2014
Best pictures are always the jumping ones!
Anna · Married on 02/22/2014
John is one of the best in wedding photography industry. He's been featured many times in wedding magazines for his awesome work. We knew John Yao for many years and the day we got engaged we knew who our wedding photographer was already going to be. Mr. John Yao from SimplyTwo Photography.Sent on 10/17/2014
We had John shoot our engagement photos and our wedding day, both times John was very professional and punctual. John was very fun to work with because we were able to give him a few of our ideas and he was able to help us refine and execute those shots to make sure it was exactly what we wanted. He made us look so good that we never thought we could look so photogenic in our pictures. We got many compliments from all of our friends and family about the pictures that he took. He doesn't photoshop the pictures to the point where it looks fake and unreal, what he does is that he captures the perfect picture at the right time.
Everyone knows how stressful a wedding can be, especially being the bride. Fortunately, John was able to make our day more relaxed and carefree. He was funny and very professional at the same time. I will not hesitate to recommend John to any of my friends, although he's a little pricey, it's well worth it!!
Thanks John for your services!
Tiffani · Married on 02/21/2014
Du nu nu nahhhhhhh!!! Herey Herey JOHN is seriously the most amazing photog in all the land!! It does NOT get better than this fella. From the moment we met with John his chill demeanor and artistic swag shone through! We had a vision for our engagement shoot and John made it look straight out of a magazine! It was so easy to be natural around him and trust he knows what he is doing. Our wedding day was perfect and John made sure to capture each moment ......he was so sly we never saw him around but he caught every moment and moments we had no idea were being watched. The product looks soooooo crazyyyyy good its overwhelming. I have never seen another wedding photog take such artistic pics before. John we are so grateful for you and your talent!Sent on 03/31/2014
Lillian · Married on 01/18/2014
We met with several photographers for initially and decided on John as we thought his sample pictures were exceptional and his personality was very easygoing. Throughout the entire process, John was extremely responsive, flexible, and just wonderful to work with. We did an engagement shoot as well as the day-of photography. My husband and I are kind of awkward in front of the camera and not very photogenic but John put us right at ease and the engagement session was great practice for the big day. He has a brilliant eye for poses and settings that look natural and worked well for us.Sent on 02/24/2014
For the day of, John was on time and professional (and funny!). We got many comments from our friends and family about John's great personality. He put us right at ease. The pictures went quickly and smoothly. We were eager anticipating how the pictures would turn out.
A short month later, we received the pictures in a beautifully packaged CD, and they looked great! There are so many wonderful shots that I can't wait to print out. They definitely look like they're from a professional photographer. We shared the pictures with our friends and family and they raved about them as well. We would recommend John to anybody looking for a wedding photographer with our highest recommendation. Thanks for a really great job John and for documenting our day beautifully!!!
Leslie Anne · Married on 01/11/2014
Awesome guy and an even awesomer photographer!!! Very professional and flexible! He made my husband and I very comfortable in front of the camera. Our engagement pictures turned out amazing! And we can't wait to see our wedding photos!Sent on 01/13/2014
James · Married on 09/28/2013
John is a master photographer. When you first meet him, he seems a bit shy and coy, but once the gloves come off, he is a whiz with the camera. He notices things that novices and experts alike don't take into consideration. His imagery captures the very soul of the moment.Sent on 10/10/2013
The first thing you'll notice about his photos is the lighting. His daylight pictures stream through and make the subject matter seem something out of a Robert Frost poem or a Renaissance painting. However, his best pictures have the rich colors he captures at twilight. It took only one look at some of these pictures for us to pick him without a second thought. He also works with you to incorporate props, dinosaurs, and whatever you want and can think of into your pictures. John's cool demeanor belies his youthful humor and he will keep you smiling throughout the process. From your engagement pictures to your rehearsal and finally to your wedding day, John gets all the shots you want and those special pictures that every bride and groom envisions at their wedding.
Unknown to us, a friend of ours also hired John as their photographer after we hired him, but before we got to meet him in person. We had the opportunity to see him in action and he did not disappoint. Several people made passing comments at both our friend's wedding and our wedding that John "doesn't look out of place. He was dancing with the crowd while capturing shots. He was a part of the party." And to us, this is the best way to capture candid pictures of your friends and family.
Weddings are supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. These pictures will provide a wonderful vivid reminder of that special day years to come, so you might as well go with the best.
And for the bridezillas out there, John takes many pictures for wedding magazines - although he will be too humble to tell you that in person.
Niti · Married on 09/21/2013
I first saw John's work when my (now) sister-in-law showed me her Engagement Session & immediately, I fell in love. I told my (now) husband then, if we were to get married, we will use him!Sent on 10/11/2013
Fast forward a year later, my husband proposed and as soon as the excitement wore off, we contacted John. We knew that he only does 19 weddings a year, and I wanted to make sure that my wedding was one of the 19 for 2013! We wanted him as a photographer so bad that we actually worked around HIS availability to choose our wedding date and was it totally worth it? YES!!
From the moment you meet John, he immediately makes you feel comfortable and its like you've been friends forever. My husband is definitely camera shy and does not like taking pictures, but on our engagement shoot and wedding day, my husband was totally into it because of how comfortable John made him feel.
We get compliments on our pictures ALL the time and it is because of John's talented vision. You may take 10 pictures at the same spot, but the product will be 10 different set of beautiful pictures. I can't say enough good things about him! I highly recommend to any bride who would like to capture the big day in a BEAUTIFUL way. :) Thank you John from the bottom of our hearts! We couldn't have chosen a better photographer to capture our moments. Expect a call in a few years when we are ready for our first family pictures. :)
Jennifer · Married on 09/15/2013
I first met John Y. (SimplyTwo Photography) when he shot my MOH's wedding a year before ours. Immediately, I knew I had to book him even before I was officially engaged! I was immediately sold on the way he connects with the bride, groom and wedding party, and told my now husband (then bf at the time) that we have to book John when we get married!Sent on 09/25/2013
So fast forward a few months, we got engaged, and pretty much picked our wedding date accordingly to John's availability. John met my husband, David for the first time when we had an initial meeting at a local boba shop in West LA. David immediately liked his laid back attitude, creative ideas and work with you as a friend approach.
We spent a whole day with John for our engagement photos and felt so comfortable with him taking our photos. We toured around LA, shot in the rain and got drenched at some point, but it was so much fun thanks to John's creative and fun style. We absolutely loved our engagement photos and received endless compliments from our family and friends.
Now, for the big day. By the time, September 15th came around, we felt like we've known John for years. When he showed up at the hotel to shoot our wedding that day, it felt like seeing a good friend right before the wedding. He helped plan and coordinate a lot of the schedule so that we would maximize our time. He made both David and I feel comfortable and most importantly, special. You don't get the feeling that this is the 2374820078th wedding he's shot, but rather he is a good friend that genuinely wants to capture all the special moments of our big day. As the wedding day continued, and things got hectic, he was always there to keep everyone calm. He also works very well with all of our vendors! We felt like one big happy family. We couldn't be happier with John Yao at SimplyTwo and would recommend John for shooting all your life's biggest moments!
Isabelle · Married on 09/08/2013
I would highly recommend John Yao at simplytwo.com. I met John from college and have watched him grow as an artist and getting published at big-name magazines like The Knot. He's very down to earth and makes being in front of the camera comfortable. We live in San Francisco Bay Area, and we like him so much that we flew him up twice! John went way above and beyond for both our engagement and wedding photo shoots. We had a cooking and picnic theme for our engagement session, and after many hours of taking photos, he searched around the trail area and ended up finding a spot, where one of my very favorite photo with my husband was taken! Classy and timeless. On our wedding day, I rested at ease knowing that he was going to take care of us without missing special moments. Our wedding photos are amazing, and I am grateful for everything John has done for us.Sent on 01/22/2015
User3591738 · 2+ years ago
John is an awesome photographer! He truly follows his motto: owner. photographer. friend. John treats you like he would his actual friend and throughout the whole process of working with him it's quite apparent how much time, commitment, effort, and most of all care that he provides his clients. John is super personable and always tries to make you happy and comfortable throughout the whole process. He gives you advice and coaching to make you feel comfortable during the photo sessions. John always does not only what you ask him to, but he goes above and beyond even when the tasks you ask him to do aren't part of his job. Besides being super easy to work with John needless to say, takes amazing photos! I have gotten numerous comments on my engagement photos as well as my wedding photos. One of my guests even commented at the wedding that she wished her photographer thought of some of the poses and settings John chose to take for us. I highly recommend John if you are looking for someone really personable, caring, and takes awesome photos! :)Sent on 10/09/2013
Megan · Married on 08/24/2013
John is an awesome photographer. He is talented, creative, and works really well with people.Sent on 11/15/2013
Our engagement shoot took a full day traveling around LA (including being in LA traffic), but John never complained. He was professional and patient throughout, capturing the exact pictures and locations that we wanted and adding his creativity into the mix for some of our most memorable shots.
On the wedding day, John arrived about an hour before our scheduled time for photos, and when asked why he was there so early, he replied, "An hour early is on time." (That made my mom happy.) During the family photos, which I expected to be pure chaos, John was funny, engaging, and got everyone's attention directed to him.
My only advice to brides is to book early--we booked him over a year before our wedding. His 2013 calendar was booked before the year even started!!
Carlton · Married on 08/10/2013
TL;DR – John Yao is quite possibly the greatest wedding photographer in the western hemisphere.Sent on 08/11/2014
We hired John to be our wedding photographer in August 2013, and we couldn’t have been any happier. We found him to be professional, personable, and creative. Choosing a photographer can feel like one of the most stressful decisions during wedding planning. With so many variables in style, personalities, and levels of experience, it feels like you’re playing the lottery. We must have hit the jackpot!
Right from the very beginning, John made us feel relaxed and comfortable. His friendly, down-to-earth personality quickly lightened up the typically awkward first conversation. It was obvious that he knew his stuff and clarified all of our questions and concerns. He was honest, flexible and worked with us to stay within our budget.
The first thing we noticed about John was that he had an uncanny ability to put you at ease in front of the camera. We were not familiar with being photographed prior to the engagement session. However, after just a few minutes, John made us feel like he wasn’t even there! We also really appreciated that he encouraged us to "be ourselves" and didn't force us to be in awkward and unrealistic poses.
John looked for creative ideas to capture our unique personalities. We also loved his clean, simple style that makes photos look ridiculously epic and breathtaking. You could tell right away this isn't some amateur taking pictures with his iPhone - this guy is a pro!
Basically, John is everything that you’d like to have in a wedding photographer. He’s very good at what he does and is very easy to get along with. He’s just an all-around nice guy to be around and you could tell that he cares about you like a friend! We would highly recommend him to anybody who asks.
Brenda · Married on 08/09/2013
I really don’t know where to begin when it comes to John’s character and professionalism. After many recommendations and looking over other photographer’s portfolios, nothing compared to John’s work. After viewing and speaking to John we knew he was the one we wanted to hire for our wedding. We were worried we wouldn't be able to afford him because of our tight budget, but he worked with us and made it happen. I’ll admit even then we were still worried, but my husband and I were so impressed by him and the quality of his work that we said, “Forget it! We are keeping him!” and it was the best decision we made. He delivered beyond our expectations. He is truly gifted in capturing candid, intimate moments, your best angles at the best time. If you feel unsure on how to pose or position yourself, don’t worry . . . With his experience he will guide you and make you feel comfortable and look natural in any setting! Believe me when I say, you will NOT regret hiring him. He is helpful in every way. We truly enjoyed every moment working with him!Sent on 08/23/2013
Part of our package included the engagement session and we were blown away! We loved our engagement photos so much we used them as mini Polaroid favors for our guest. We got tons of compliments on our pictures. Everyone asked us who our famous photographer was! Our entire party adored him for the simple fact that he is easy going, relaxed, kind, patient and extremely talented. We definitely plan on using him for future events!
Our wedding day felt like a blur so being able to go back and look at pictures is the closet we get to relive our wedding day. It’s been exactly two weeks since our wedding and we already have tons of pictures to look back on. John is prompt and will not keep you waiting like most do. My husband and I are open to speak to anyone who wants to know more about what is like to work with John. We give John permission to use us as a reference
Thank you, John for all your help! You rock!
Brandon · Married on 07/06/2013
John was such an awesome photographer for us on our big day! As we were thinking about the many things that go into planning a wedding, we definitely wanted to hire a photographer that would allows us to relive and enjoy our wedding day years later; this is why we decided to go with SimplyTwo. We knew that hiring John to shoot our wedding was a no-brainer because he is so flexible to any ideas that you may want for engagement shoots, bridal party shoots, etc. On the other hand, if you're someone that find it hard to envision what kind of shots you want, John gives wonderful suggestions and guides you through the entire process so that your shoot will be fun, amazing, and memorable. I also appreciate the fact that he communicated things really well with us, and he knew exactly where he needed to be and when he needed to be there. His fun, easy-going, yet professional personality made our time with him enjoyable. Thanks again for all your hard work John :)Sent on 08/22/2013
C · Married on 06/29/2013
John is SO talented! He has really fancy equipment, but that only does not make a good photographer. A good photographer must have the creativity and the skill to be able to capture the moments, and John has both the eye for the creativity and the skill for getting that perfect shot.Sent on 07/16/2013
We also can't wait to see what all the final pictures look like! John was so speedy with giving us a preview of the shots he took with his teasers and favorites and sharing some photos that he captured as quickly as the day after the wedding! I don't know of any other photographers that can make that fast of a turnover to let you preview what your wedding looked like.
Also, John was such a trooper! Our wedding day happened to be during a heat wave and he never once complained about the heat despite the fact that he was wearing a suit AND carrying all his camera equipment.
All in all, My husband and I are both so satisfied with working with John, we would definitely recommend him to others.
Sheryl Anne · Married on 06/15/2013
What can I say about this guy!?Sent on 09/27/2013
After seeing his work from a few of my sorority sisters' weddings, I thought to myself, "this guy takes great photos and for my friends to use the SAME guy for their weddings... I think I am going to have to snatch him up!"
Contacting him was so easy! he's quick to respond and easy to keep in touch throughout the whole wedding planning process! In my case, I had to plan everything when my hubby to be was in town because he's a military man so of course i needed someone to be flexible whenever I needed him and John was Great!
I used him for my engagement session and wedding day and he went above and beyond what we expected. Of course it was awkward having someone take our pictures and helping us pose but it didn't take long for us to feel comfortable in front of John's camera. He's got great people skills. Literally, his personality is great to get along with and his humor was well fit to ours and soon enough it felt like he was part of the family :)
It also helps that John's photos are greatly inspired by location, angles, and lighting. Neither my husband or myself had any idea how to pose, where to go, and what to do during our engagement session and wedding day. But with John's talent and experience, I LOVED how he was able to take our locations and help us capture AMAZING photos.
On our wedding day, we had him the WHOLE day and it was great having not to worry about time restraints. Also he was great dealing with my large bridal party. He got along with everyone so well and made taking photos fun and creative, rather than a chore. I had no complaints :)
I'm sure I'll be working with John again! I definitely recommend him!
Sylvia · Married on 06/08/2013
A long overdue review! I have nothing but compliments and praise for John's work. He is extremely creative and has a way of using mundane props/settings to your advantage in every shot. He also listens to what you want and does his best to deliver. With John, you can simply relax and enjoy yourself because he makes it very easy to forget that there is a camera in front of you. On our wedding day, i was concerned that we wouldn't have enough time for pictures but John managed to squeeze in a ton of shots without pushing us over our schedule. All in all, both our engagement and wedding photos turned out great and I am more than pleased with the result. Would I choose SimplyTwo if I had to do it all over again? Absolutely!Sent on 11/05/2013
Elaine · Married on 06/01/2013
Hiring SimplyTwo Photography was by far the best decision we made with our wedding. We had seen John Yao's work through Facebook and on multiple wedding blogs and fell in love with his style and creativeness immediately. When I was browsing through photographers, I focus a lot on the engagement session because I didn't like the normal cliche photos where the only thing couples do is kiss here, look there, zzzzzzz. John's photos for every couple were always different and always original. He is truly able to capture the uniqueness of each couple and it was exactly what we were looking for, so much so that we based our wedding date around his availability! He has an eye for the smallest details and can make even the crappiest locations look absolutely stunning.Sent on 06/03/2013
Not only are the photos stunning but John was the easiest vendor to work with. He was always responsive to any questions we had or anything that we needed. He was also open to any ideas that we wanted to incorporate into our shoot. He gives just enough direction but also allows you to put your own little style into it. I have been to several weddings and have been in weddings where the photographer can't lead a photo shoot for the life of him and the bride ends up telling him what to do. Never the case with SimplyTwo! Plus, John is a stud! Getting to know John was so fun for us! He was so easy going and funny and it made us feel like we were just having fun taking pictures with a friend.
Hiring SimplyTwo was the best decision we made for our wedding, it was definitely money well spent! I already know that any future events we have: maternity pictures, family portraits, etc., I wouldn't think of using any other photographer!
User2464499 · 2+ years ago
Best decision ever! Really.Sent on 07/02/2013
We contacted John immediately after we got engaged (even before deciding on a venue!). I (the bride) had been stalking Simplytwo Photography for a few years before I got engaged and absolutely loved everything about his work.
Fast forward a year..we finally got to meet the famous John Yao for our engagement shoot. He was super friendly, down to earth, and CHILL! Our engagement shoot was not rushed at all and John took the time to explore the location prior to the shoot. He made us comfortable from the beginning and it just became natural.
Fast forward another 5 months..our wedding day. John arrived early and entertained the crazy and loud bridal party. He worked so well with our videographer, wedding coordinator, and everyone else who helped us with our wedding.
We just can't say enough awesome things. My husband cannot stop talking about how awesome you (John) are and how your work is amazing :).
Thank you Simplytwo Photography for making our wedding process absolutely memorable. We can't wait until we get to work with you again!!
Seth · Married on 05/18/2013
We can't even begin to describe what an amazing experience it was to have John as our wedding photographer. As a Hawaii bride and groom, we were desperate for a high quality photographer at an affordable price. What we found in John was so much more. Not only was he by far the most talented wedding photographer we found, but he also worked out a great “destination” package for us. Moreover, he listened to and cared about our story, and became our dear friend and not just our photographer. He attended the bachelor party, wedding rehearsal and rehearsal luncheon, and made it a point to connect with people and make them feel at ease. He has a way of making even the most camera shy person comfortable in front of the camera and look photogenic! He was also super flexible - we asked if he would be willing to do an engagement shoot for us straight off the plane three days before the wedding, and not only was he willing but he brought so much creativity and adventure to our shoot. He didn't stress when wedding day preparations weren't running on time, but found ways to take all the shots he needed and make sure we were all still having a great time. We love his photojournalistic style - we just got our 1000+ wedding photos, and they are beautiful and full of emotion. John went out of the way for those too; I (bride) had pinned favorite shots of his on Pinterest and when he heard this he looked up my profile and took note of all the shots I wanted and made sure I got all of those at the wedding (raining flower petals and all!), and even looked at other pins just to get to know me more and what kinds of things I like. On top of all that, John is wacky and FUN – many of our favorite memories from our wedding are times we spent with him! Now we just need another excuse to hang out with him again…Sent on 10/03/2013
Jeffrey · Married on 05/11/2013
John Yao is unbelievable at one thing above all: He is great at helping you feel comfortable and have an amazing time. I hate taking photos but John helped me to feel comfortable and taught me how to smile (for real!)Sent on 05/22/2013
We kind of failed to prepare for what would happen after the ceremony and John kind of just took over the mic and with his vast experience, guided our post-ceremony shots with all sorts of different groups. A blast having him around, as he is great at talking to guests and family as well.
Excellent photography and design professional, would recommend to anyone for any type of event or shoot.
Jane · Married on 05/04/2013
John is an extremely talented and creative photographer! Since we got married on May the 4th, we wanted to incorporate something Star-Wars related into some photos without it seeming too obvious. He came up with this cool concept of using sunlight shining through cut-out letters to create our save-the-date words shadow so it looked like the intro to Star Wars with the scrolling text (Hard to explain, but the pix came out amazing). He is friendly and genuine and is good at making people feel comfortable in front of the lens to get natural poses/shots, and we got numerous compliments on our engagement shots. He is flexible and answers questions in a timely manner. He even came to our rehearsal to see the space and got along great with our wedding coordinators!Sent on 05/15/2013
Added bonus: John speaks some Mandarin! This was extremely helpful in my case to help some of our relatives and parents' friends know when to take a picture and where to stand! We had a Chinese banquet dinner, and we actually made it to all the tables! John was great at time management and guiding us along without making it feel rushed. It was so much more convenient to have a photographer who could communicate with all the guests! Even if he couldn't speak Mandarin I would still have booked him because his photographs are beautiful and will last a lifetime!
Jenn & Ventz · Married on 04/18/2013
We just had the pleasure of working with John to shoot our destination wedding in Mexico, and it was hands down the best decision we could've made!Sent on 04/27/2013
As a photographer, the quality of his work is truly amazing. From his creativity and ability to find and direct shots to his professionalism and work ethic, he was nothing short of “epic”. But on top of all this, it was his personality and his ability to get to know our guests and make everyone feel comfortable that sets him above every other photographer we’ve met.
As we already had to organize/plan most of the wedding from abroad without ever having set foot at our destination, working with a photographer you have never met (we live in Canada) and hoping things will work out was a bit scary and daunting at first. But through a year of email exchanges and being able to follow John's life and work online, we became more and more comfortable and confident that we had made the right decision. Once at our destination, he absolutely blew us away and went above and beyond to ensure that we not only had all the amazing photos to remember our special day in its entirety, but that we also had fun doing it too! Through the day (and night) John actually became our friend and as for his work, it speaks for itself.
Angela · Married on 04/07/2013
My brother first introduced John's website to me almost 3 years ago. Since then, I had religiously followed him with every hot brides shot, engagement session and wedding session. To my surprise, he had also shot a few of my friend's weddings and I thought they were absolutely spectacular; which reinforced the fact that I needed to have John as my photographer.Sent on 04/15/2013
When it came to my engagement and wedding sessions, I couldn't believe that the majority of the photos that John had taken were done so with pure skill. He made "normal" shots look as if they were photoshopped. I'm awkward in front of a lens and John made it as comfortable, carefree and natural for me. :)
As for the wedding, John was fantastic! He helped keep me (the bride) calm before, during and after the ceremony. John was extremely flexible with our crazy wedding constantly giving us feedback and trying to capture every emotion and detail. I am so satisfied with his work. He is worth EVERY penny! I just can't wait to see the rest of our pictures.