WHY: Diana Rothery didn’t get into wedding photography to make a lot of money. She didn’t get into it for her art. Diana started her business for one simple reason: she didn’t think wedding photography felt very sincere. And she thought she should be the one to fix that. Fast-forward seven years, and Diana’s photos are some of the most breathtaking you’ll see in the Bay Area. Shooting a mix of digital and film, Diana creates dreamy, emotional art that captures everything about how your wedding looked, felt, smelled, and tasted. As for the sincerity part? Well, I’ll let you look at the photos and decide.
WHERE/HOW MUCH: Diana doesn’t believe in setting time constraints for herself, so full-day wedding coverage in the Bay Area is $3,800 for digital coverage or $4,200 for digital and film coverage. All of her packages include a complimentary one-hour engagement shoot, and high-res edited images delivered via web gallery. Wedding albums can also be done a la carte! Elopement coverage starts at $1,000, and includes three hours of shoot time to cover your ceremony, portraits on site, and either a post-celebration or portraits elsewhere in San Francisco (and rumor has it Diana has been known to do smaller, custom packages, so if you’ve got something else planned, you should probably contact her anyway).
When I look at Diana Rothery’s portfolio, I immediately get the sense of someone who’s been shooting weddings for a long time. Maybe that’s because Diana’s work isn’t impossibly trendy, or shot like it’s going to go in a magazine. It’s equal parts reality and fantasy, with an emotional depth you don’t always see in wedding photography. And it’s the kind of work that you’re going to want to preserve. Maybe forever. Diana says:
Someone once described my work as “dark and moody,” and while that surprised me at first I suppose it’s probably true. Not in the negative sense, but in the emotional, moving sense (I hope). I like to shoot a wedding in such a way that it looks both cinematic and documentary. Real, but stunning. I look for beautiful light, and the things that most people aren’t going to notice. I never walk into a wedding with an expectation or a shot list, because I want to do it justice. I care—a lot—and I want the photography to represent what the wedding actually was—not what someone else’s wedding on Pinterest was. I’m also a lover of film and shoot with it at every opportunity.
And when her clients get those dark and moody shots back? The reaction looks like this:
Holy shit. They are SO good. We are both in New York for work and huddled around a computer with a glass of wine and were grinning from ear to ear. You really captured the love and the magic. We are going to have a field day looking through these over and over. Even on the first pass, there are so many that we are already in absolute love with and we’re so grateful. Amazing work. (It almost makes us want to do it all over again! Almost…) —Justin
In order to do justice for her couples, Diana doesn’t set limits on the amount of coverage you get during your wedding. And in order to keep things simple, she has just two packages: with film and without. Full-day coverage with film is $4,200 and full-day coverage without film is $3,800. All packages include full-day coverage, plus an engagement session to help Diana get to know you beforehand. Diana explains approach thusly:
I’ve been a photographer for a long time, but what made me dive into photographing weddings specifically seven years ago was the overall lack of sincerity I saw in wedding photographs. I had been to weddings, I’d seen the giant range of emotion that takes place in that twelve-hour period, and it upset me that it wasn’t being documented to its full potential. I’ve of course, since, found other like-minded photographers who are striving to do what I want to do, and I’m so grateful that the wedding photography industry is taking that turn. At the end of the day, all I want to do is connect with you as individuals, and as a couple, and document one of the absolute best days of your life in a beautiful, accurate way. I want you to remember how it felt, how it tasted, how it smelled, how tired your face was from smiling—everything.
As a former wedding photographer, I can tell you this: what Diana Rothery does is a rare thing. Her style is all about art, but her approach is all about authenticity. And everyone I know who has worked with Diana will tell you that she’s killing it on both fronts. Something tells me you will say the same.