Little Bat Photography in the San Francisco Bay Area

Today I’m delighted to get to write about Jillian of Little Bat Photography, who’s located here in San Francisco. In the last few months, I’ve gotten to know Jillian personally, over cocktails and Thai food, and long rambling talks about the APW community, while sitting in a car. Jillian is smart as hell (she works at Twitter during the day, so you know she’s super sharp), stylish, funny, and down to earth. She’s also a damn good photographer and artist, and lucky for you: A) You can hire her to shoot your wedding, B) she’s affordable, and C) she loves you.


Little Bat Photography

But today’s post is less about Jillian, and more about you. It’s about why she loves you, Team Practical, why she’s grateful for you, and why she loves working with you. I’m going to let her tell you in her own words:

Dear APW Community,

If you know me, you know what I think about APW and the community it fosters.  You know what I think of Meg and her vision, of my love for the other APW photographers and vendors who support each other fully, and of my feelings on APW readers.  If I meet you in person in the future, chances are I’ll gush about this all to you again.  It’s a whole thing, my love for APW.  It’s kind of like my love for photography, and in many ways, makes me love photography more.

When I planned my wedding five years ago, I don’t think I knew what a blog was.  I was living in the most isolated city in the world (for real) and didn’t really have any friends who had been married.  I had nothing to compare my planning to—which is good, because I could never have kept up with the WIC.  Perfection wasn’t in my budget.  Having 10 people with us on the beach and 60 people for dinner was.  Fast forward five years in both my marriage and my career as a photographer, and I couldn’t imagine the wedding world without APW.  What if all we saw were stylized shoots with perfect everything to compare ourselves to?  What if we all expected to look like fairies in fields with perfect friends and no troubles in the world?  What if we forgot that life happens and imperfection is ok, and that life still goes on when things fall out of place?

For me, APW takes the sugarcoating out of the wedding world and leaves the tasty treat beneath.  And because of this, I’ve spent this year working with the most real, beautiful, perfectly imperfect APW couples.  I have embraced each as family, got dirty, made veils and bouquets, cried during your speeches, and had pep talks that were sometimes challenging.  I’ve been able to be honest that we’re not going to photoshop you to look thinner because you should embrace who you are and love yourself.  You’ve sent me pictures of your dress disasters and your then dress solutions.  I’ve told you no when I felt the need to uphold the priorities of my business, and you’ve understood and embraced me back.  You’ve realized how much I care about you and want to be involved.  You let me be a crazy artist, and I catch you when you’re laughing and crying and being, because that’s what it’s about.  I’ve been able to remember with you, each day, that this is about your union and the celebration to commemorate it—not about having a “perfect” wedding.

And because of that, my heart belongs to APW.  You let me be myself and I make sure you remember the excitement that’s just flown by.  You are everything I want to photograph.  Thank you APW!

Little Bat Photography

And now, go check out Little Bat Photography. I think it’s pretty clear that you need to. You guys are going to love each other. The end.
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  • I really like the easy spontaneity of your pictures. When images feel natural and authentic as yours do, I’m immediately interested and drawn in because I know I’m looking at something authentic. And I like what you have to say about weddings and real people. When you write, “For me, APW takes the sugarcoating out of the wedding world and leaves the tasty treat beneath.” it makes me think how some weddings are like a cake with too much frosting. I consider myself a pretty serious connossoir (however you spell it) of cake and too much frosting can be tragic. I’ll stretch this to the limit and say planning a wedding is like baking a cake. My suggested cake baking priorities: quality ingredients, loving preparation, positive attitude, and the heartfelt intention to share it all with people you care about.

  • Tamara Van Horn

    Jillian is amazing. She stepped in after another photographer bailed on us, and she was warm, funny, maintained her artistic integrity, and got us great shots like the one above (fifth from top is us, two weeks ago today!)

    When I looked at the picture for the first time, I told my husband, “We are SOOO into each other!” It made me happy that the way we felt that day is captured forever, and that Jillian was there through the whole thing, noticing things I didn’t see and wanted to remember, and getting the wedding so very, very, RIGHT. This is us; this is our family, and this was our wedding. Thanks Jillian, and Thanks to Elizabeth at Lowe House who found her for us, and thanks a million to APW!!! You kept me holding it down.

    • You are so beautiful! Love that pic!

      • Tamara Van Horn


  • We found Jillian through APW and cannot imagine someone better suited to photograph our wedding. Her style is exactly what we were looking for, pictures that look like they were taken by a dearest friend celebrating right along with us. Except they’re better, because none of our friends could take such lovely pictures that perfectly capture the excitement and joy in the air.

    Jillian, we are so excited to share our wedding with you in a couple of weeks! Also, a ginormous thank you to the APW community, because you’ve kept us grounded during the planning process and never let us forget that the wedding is just the beginning of an awesome adventure.

  • That last shot is absolutely gorgeous!! I love the pink spots. It looks so magical.

  • Thank you everyone! And Tamara/ Lydia, thank you especially for including me in your worlds. You inspire me and really do make me love what I do. Counting down, Lydia! x

  • Celeste

    Haha, I think that’s me you’re talking about with the dress disaster/dress solution comment. Oh wow.
    Having already hired Jillian for our wedding, I may be a bit biased ;) but I feel like when we hired her, we didn’t just get a photographer, we got a friend, we got someone in our corner. We’ll be married next month, but I have no doubts that Jillian is the right woman for the job.

  • I’m in love with Jillian.

    No, really.

    She did an INCREDIBLE job on my Buenos Aires wedding, most fantastically taking shwweeeeet photos of me, mom, hubs and all in the beautiful clawfoot bathtub. (Clothed, yes.)

    Three of my friends promptly snapped her up as well.


  • Liz

    I found Jillian through APW, and convinced her to fly to Boston in December to shoot my wedding. I feel nothing but fortunate that she agreed! She has been the easiest and most friendly of all my vendors. And has reminded me why it’s okay to be me, and toss the “perfection” nonsense that WIC throws at us. And I am immensely grateful for everything that she does and is!

  • DanaDou

    That’s my bikefriend in the first shot! She looks gorgeous! You took beautiful pictures of her and her husband!