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Vivian Chen Photography

All of the photos Vivian took feel genuine and natural. As my mom put it, "You have so many great photos to choose from, I don't know how you'll decide which ones to get printed." It was really important to me to have a lot of candid photos taken, and Vivian delivered. She was so unobtrusive that, when looking through our photos, I don't even remember seeing her standing where she must have been standing to get her shots. And even though she had just met us, she got so many photos that perfectly capture the essence of us and our families.

Jenny G.

Travel Policy

I'm located in Oakland, California but love any opportunity to explore. If you're getting married outside the San Francisco Bay Area, please contact me for a custom quote.

Describe your business in 1-3 short sentences.

Classic, clean and unfussy photography for down-to-earth couples with a sense of humor. Authentic storytelling, real emotions and a lot of laughter. And most importantly, photographs that feel true to who you really are.

Why do you want to work with APW Couples?

I want to photograph couples who are just like me: down-to-earth with a sense of humor. APW couples know that weddings come in all shapes and sizes, and understand that these celebrations can be a reflection of they are and not what the wedding industry tells us it should be. The way I shoot allows you to be present for every moment of the day and have time to say “Thank you!” to the important people in your life. I want you to have wedding photographs you can cherish for generations because they will always look and feel true to who you are, no matter how much time has passed.

Describe your artistic approach to weddings?

Comfort and light. Those are the two most important things to me when I shoot. I want my photographs to be clean, natural and genuine. Real moments, real smiles, real laughter. Instilling a sense of ease helps my couples feel comfortable in front of the lens. (A stupid joke every now and then doesn’t hurt either!) A comfortable subject is a happy subject which leads to beautiful photos. Your wedding day is a day of celebration, so let’s have some fun!

What are your non-work-related hobbies?

I enjoy cooking, traveling, and most importantly, spending time in nature. You’ll often find me hiking around and exploring Northern California and beyond.

What’s your favorite book?

I’m a pretty big book worm so it’s hard to pin down just one favorite. I love a good crime/mystery novel and have a soft spot for memoirs, especially by comedians. Here are just a few authors I’ve collected throughout the years: Anthony Bourdain, Douglas Coupland, Octavia Butler, Philip K. Dick, Richard Price, David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell and my childhood favorite, Roald Dahl.

What’s your favorite movie?

My all time favorite movie that I watch over and over again is “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” (The version from the 1970s with the fabulous Gene Wilder.) I even named my first car (a purple Rav4) after Violet Beauregarde.

If you could have a one minute dance party at your desk, what song would you pick?

“PYT” by Michael Jackson. No contest. (Though anything Motown makes me happy too!)

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