Emily Takes Photos: San Francisco Wedding and Elopement Photographer

One of the many highlights of my move to California last year was getting to know APW’s Bay Area sponsors in real life (spoiler alert, they are even cooler than they seem online). I’ve learned so much from the many conversations we’ve had about business practices and improving our companies. But perhaps the most enlightening conversations have been the ones I’ve had with Emily Takes Photos. Emily has been advertising with APW since more or less the dawn of time, which means she’s photographed more APW weddings than anyone can count. And what I’ve learned is this: photographing APW weddings will teach you a thing or two about how to be a good wedding vendor. And few people have taken that more to heart than Emily has.

Here’s the thing that’s clear to me whenever I talk to Emily or read something on the Emily Takes Photos blog or interact with Emily through APW: she just wants to make your experience getting married better and easier. (In fact, one of my favorite posts Emily ever wrote was one she penned for APW explaining the five things your photographer wants you to know.) So today, I want to talk about some of the things that Emily Takes Photos does for her clients that make hiring her unlike anyone else I know.

First off, Emily Takes Photos is a wealth of information (remember that part I mentioned about shooting a ton of APW weddings? Well, you don’t come away from that empty handed). But what makes that great is that Emily firmly believes in sharing that information (and you’d be surprised how rare that is in this industry). Emily’s blog is constantly being updated with really helpful information for clients, like how to manage family portraits so that you don’t feel overwhelmed, how to decide if you should see each other before the wedding, and when to feed your photographer (okay, that one sounds self-serving, but it’s important. I promise). In addition to being super helpful, I find Emily’s advice to be a clear indicator that she is the kind of person who just wants to work with you to get the most out of your wedding photography, instead of being someone who is going to dictate and boss you around without explanation.

But it doesn’t stop with online advice. Emily is also dedicated to helping her clients get the most out of each individual wedding (i.e. she wants you to get the most bang for your buck, no matter what your buck is). Emily told me, “I like to work with couples to help them maximize their photography hours, so they get the most bang for their buck. I end up helping them arrange their day-of schedule so that even if they can’t afford full-day coverage, they can still get photos of the things that are most important to them.” Which is awesome. Because most photographers would just tell you to buy more hours.

And then there’s the stuff that Emily Takes Photos does that goes beyond helpful to just plain generous. Emily puts a ton of effort into client care packages and other little gifts for her couples, and it speaks to a level of dedication to service that you don’t always see in the wedding industry. In short, I think the heart of what makes Emily Takes Photos tick is that she just cares a lot about her clients. So it doesn’t surprise me that it’s exactly this sentiment that litters Emily’s testimonials from past clients. I think this quote from Jen to Emily says it best. Jen wrote to Emily, “Thanks for putting so much care in all that you do; you put so much thought into everything you touch, and it shows.” And that’s exactly what Emily does. She puts so much thought into her clients and every gesture is so heartfelt and meaningful, that the end result is you feel well taken care of the whole way through working with her.

And Emily is always looking for new ways to improve the experience for her clients. Just last week she e-mailed me to let me know that she is going to start offering simple one-photo-per-page wedding albums that are much more affordable than traditional albums, just because she wants to offer her clients a variety of price points for printed materials. (Keep an eye out on her blog for an update on that when her samples arrive!)

Of course, all of this barely even scratches the surface of what makes Emily Takes Photos so special. Because on top of everything else, what you really get from Emily Takes Photos is jaw-droppingly beautiful images from someone who knows how to photograph APW weddings all the way down to her bones. In fact, as someone who sees a lot of Emily’s images these days, I still found myself drooling over some of her more recent work as I prepped for this post. Emily’s photos are just so clean and easy and relaxed that you can’t help falling in love when you look at them.

So guys, if you aren’t already familiar with Emily Takes Photos, now is the time to sign yourself up for a refresher course. Because with prices starting at $3,500 for full day coverage in the Bay Area, and a commitment to making your wedding photography experience easy and painless, what you’re really getting from Emily Takes Photos is five-star treatment from someone who can also make you laugh and who will give you images that you want to blow up to life size and hang on your wall so that even strangers ask you about them.

So go! Get pampered by Emily Takes Photos. And then rest assured that even if it feels like the rest of the wedding industry is out to get you, Emily’s got your back. And also possibly a present for you.

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  • mimi

    Those advice posts are great! I was just trying to decide whether we should do a first-look, and now I’m leaning towards it. Thanks!

    • Jen

      My husband & I did a first look with Emily (I’m Jen from the post :)) and I am SOOOOO glad we did!! I would not have traded that moment for the world and it really made the rest of the pre-ceremony time relaxing and fun! Bonus, the pictures came out AMAZING.

  • Becca

    As a bride who worked with Emily, I can absolutely attest that she is incredible to work with, not to mention hilarious, talented, and kind. As I wrote on Yelp after our wedding: “we came to love her so much I think my husband and I would give her a kidney if she needed one.” And I meant it. Emily is the real deal!

  • Great post and for these just pieces of the photographer work I must say it is something else, it’s like she captures the happiness in a unique way.

  • Denise

    Emily is going to our photographer! I’m getting excited all over again.

  • As a photographer, some of these images make my heart hurt with both envy and admiration. As a person planning a wedding, I wish the Bay Area weren’t 2/3 of the country away.