Hazel Photo

How can I even begin to praise Paul enough for the extraordinary job he did for our micro-wedding in Big Sur? His work/blog/webpage speaks for itself -- he has a knack for capturing the most joyful, natural, spontaneous moments and framing everything all so beautifully and uniquely with his genius eye. The photos he took of our wedding far surpassed our very high expectations. We are constantly getting compliments from our friends that they are the most beautiful wedding photos they have seen. But Paul is not just an amazing photographer; he is also on awesome person. He's laid-back, fun(ny), and such a good soul. He's exactly the type of person you want around at a wedding (even a tiny intimate wedding, such as ours). Paul manages to defy Heisenberg's uncertainty principle- he doesn't change or ruin a moment by capturing it, he heightens the moment! He's super stealthy and knows how to be invisible (even if you secretly want him to be your guest, because he's so lovely!). I was so pleasantly surprised when I saw how many beautiful moments he had caught without our being aware. His magical attitude and personal experience with weddings is infectious--during our initial consultation with him, amidst the craziness of planning and details, he really fostered a feeling of anticipatory excitement for that day to come (he also gave us excellent DIY ceremony tips!). Last but not least, he is a fantastic writer-- the cherry on the top of it all was when he wrote about us on his blog with such moving words! It's rare to find someone so stellar in two different mediums of expression, but Paul truly is a maestro!

Jess - Oakland, California

Travel Policy

I photograph weddings in San Francisco, New York City and Philadelphia without travel fees. I love to travel, and I am eager to photograph weddings across the USA and abroad.

Elopement Policy

I offer special weekday elopement pricing!

Describe your business in 1-3 short sentences.

My goal with wedding photography is to make images that transport viewers back to the day years after the fact. I want the images to be something you can enter. I use movement and emotion and humor to accomplish this. The day goes by in a flash. If the images are strong, they help the day to live again. The specifics of the story of your love and the story of your family matter.

Why do you want to work with APW couples?

APW couples just seem to know what is most important when it comes to weddings! (and what is not so important)

What is your artistic approach to weddings?

I strive to make emotionally intelligent photographs that withstand the test of time. My focus is on your emotions, your guests emotions, the particulars of the weather, the light, and the gestures of the day. To make these images I wrangle light, color, negative space, and yes, human beings.

I particularly excel in two modes: Documentary photography and lifestyle portraiture.

My favorite wedding photographs capture a dynamic momentary relationship (a hug, a gaze, a gesture) and a family history at once.

What are your non-work-related hobbies?

My wife and I love to travel. Recent adventures include: Cappadocia, Cartagena, Bagan, Angkor Wat, Hanoi, the Mississippi Delta, New Orleans, and Lombok. I am an elaborate home chef and avid reader.

What's your favorite book?

So many! Anna Karenina, Magic Mountain, Autobiography of Red, Pachinko, Invisible Man.

What's your favorite movie?

The Bicycle Thief. “Bruno!”

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

Stevie Wonder gets me out my seat and shimmying. Hmm…maybe “You are the Sunshine of my Life”

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Sasha

Pros

We hired Paul for our San Francisco wedding and it was easily one of the best decisions we made. In addition to beautifully (and creatively) capturing the energy and excitement of the day, Paul was also an absolutely pleasure to work with at ever step of the way. I agree whole heatedly with all the other glowing reviews - hire Paul! Our wedding was in San Francisco the past August and had approximately 65 people in attendance. To say that we had high expectations for our wedding photographer was an understatement: we wanted someone who would be able to capture the dynamic energy and emotion of our big day in a natural, joyful way. I am happy to say that Paul exceeded all of our expectations and then some. We initially reached out to Paul in February through his website and we scheduled an introductory phone call. At that time I was chatting with a few different photographers in the Bay Area but was impressed at Paul's thoughtful questions regarding our vision of big day as well as the logistical considerations (venue locations, lighting , size, etc). From our first meeting at his lovely home, Paul was kind, thoughtful, considerate which made us feel like we were in good hands and helped put us at ease during the craziness of the planning. He asked us to consider which moments would be most important to our wedding and helped us think through the logistics of the day. Paul was also helpful in planning some of the big day itself: we had scheduled a city tour with our guests to occur between the ceremony and reception but were unsure where to go in the city. He recommended locations that would be both enjoyable for our guests and would make good backdrops for photos. In addition to the city tour, the day itself had a lot of moving parts which could have been really challenging to photograph (indoor ceremony in City Hall, outdoor brass band parade and cable car city tour in full sunlight, indoor reception with low lighting in small antique store). Paul and his second shooter were well prepared and able to shot gorgeous photos in every location. Paul was also very mindful of which moments would be most meaningful to us. For example, we had mentioned that we specifically wanted lots of dancing photos from the reception and so Paul made sure a remote flash lighting system was set up in the reception venue which made for some fantastic dance floor shots. We had also said that we wanted to make sure we had a lot of candid photos of our friends of family and so Paul made sure to mingle among our guests, putting them at ease and getting natural, candid photos of our loved ones. We had so many great photos of our guests that we printed the photos and included them with our thank you cards! After the wedding, Paul was able to send us our sneak peaks only after 24 hours (!) and the full gallery a short time after that. At this point, I was already very impressed but what happened after that really blew me away: Paul emailed me a few weeks after the wedding to me to ask if he could photograph some details from the wedding that he wasn't able to get on the big day (handkerchiefs from the brass band parade, wedding invitations, etc). He told me that he felt that those details were important in telling the story of our wedding and he wanted to make sure they were captured. I realize that it would've been easy for Paul to simply send the photos he already had but the fact that he found it was important to capture all the small details really speaks to his thoughtfulness, professionalism and excellence. We can't thank you enough, Paul!

Cons

None! Paul was spectacular in every way.

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L Fernando

Pros

I had the joy of choosing the photographer to capture our wedding. I thumbed through many a portfolio as they all blurred into one another - they all felt the same. Then I got to Paul's portfolio. As I said in my first email to him: "I love how you capture specific moments where people look comfortable and like themselves. Not only that, you seem to capture both the people and the spaces with such vibrancy." When it came to our wedding, he did not disappoint. His photos are amazing - to my eyes, elevated beyond the typical wedding photos. His photos highlighted his eye for composition and capturing special moments where we felt completely natural. His composed portrait photography was similarly great; he did a great job making everyone feel at ease, directing them into the best positions, and keeping us moving through all the different photos. He was also very easy to work with in planning for the photography. He guided us through the process and was flexible to our needs. He got the traditional family photos quickly, and made time for more candid shots through the rest of the day. He also stayed at the venue with us and our friends, and fit in great. He was a great and helpful guest, on top of being an amazing photographer. We are very happy to have had Paul for our wedding!

Cons

N/A

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Andrew Harris

Pros

We hired Paul to take wedding photos for us at the San Francisco City Hall. He did an excellent job and was knowledgeable not only about the process for a City Hall marriage but also the best spots to capture the magnificent building and lighting. My wife and I were both thrilled with the photos when they came and it was a real pleasure to work with Paul, many thanks!

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Catherine Sullivan Kelly

Pros

We cannot say enough wonderful things about Paul and his work for our engagement photos, rehearsal dinner and wedding day. He not only captured everything we were hoping for (and we had very high hopes!), but also a few unexpected gems that we'll treasure forever. One of the reasons we initially reached out to Paul is that we loved the way he captured the beauty of natural settings, and his work at our wedding in Sonoma was no exception. We also had a very small wedding--12 people--and could not have asked for a better person to handle such an intimate event. Echoing other reviews, we are still astounded at how he managed to frame us and our families in one of our favorite places.

Cons

N/A

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Jill H.

Pros

Paul did an amazing job photographing our wine country wedding. He was easy super to work and plan with (prompt in replying to emails, on time for everything) but more importantly our photos came out beautifully! It was important to my husband that we have a documentary-style photographer, and he totally nailed it. I would absolutely hire Paul again, and you should do the same!

Cons

None!

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Julie Beicken

Pros

Paul photographed our wedding and we couldn't have been happier with the process or the beautiful results. Paul was very knowledgable and guided us through thinking about what we wanted to achieve with our wedding pictures and how this might impact our schedule of wedding events. Our conversations with him over the course of the months preceding the wedding helped us figure out how we were going to structure the entire thing! He was very helpful and thought of everything. On the day itself, Paul was friendly, professional, and didn't need a lot of guidance about what to focus on. Which was great, because everyone told us the wedding day would be nuts, but I didn't realize how busy it would be! The last thing the to-be-wed should have to worry about is the photographer, and with Paul, we didn't have to. In particular, he was very easy to work with for the portraits, guiding us and our family into good positions but making the whole process as easy as can be. The pictures themselves are gorgeous and the best part is that he really captured everyone at the wedding, so we have tons of great photos to share with our family and friends. He took exactly the amount of time he said he would to get us the shots--1 month--and they are stunning! Also he organized them well to make the process of sifting through them easier. I highly recommend Paul as a wedding photographer or for any other occasion that warrants professional work. Thanks Paul!

Cons

None.

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Rebecca Richman

Pros

Paul is a fantastic photographer, and I recommend him without reservation! To start, Paul was down to earth, easy going, present, and professional and personal in our meetings leading up to the wedding. He agreed to meet first via skype, while my partner and I were traveling out of the country. We later met in person and corresponded via email throughout the year leading up to our wedding. Paul was responsive and clear in all of his communications, which made the process super easy for us. At the wedding, Paul was just incredible. Outside of the portraits, I don't even remember seeing him, but he somehow captured our event beautifully. The photographs are more incredible than I ever could have imagined. When we've shown them to friends, everyone has agreed - the photos are amazing, but nobody saw him at the wedding - he didn't get in the way at all. Paul's style is ideal for folks who want photographs that show what it was like to actually be at the wedding. His eye is tuned in to shooting shots from the perspective of an attendee, which is great fun to see after the wedding. He also captured the emotion of the weekend, focusing on people's expressions of joy and elation. He got close-ups and larger framed shots, which together repaint the wedding perfectly. I recommend Paul to anyone looking for a photographer who is friendly and professional, artistic, easy to work with, and bound to deliver images that will continue to re-evoke memories of your celebration. Thank you, Paul!!

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Emily Wistar

Pros

Paul is the best. Not only does he take amazingly gorgeous pictures that capture the essence of your event, but his presence as a photographer is perfectly graceful. It was only after I looked at photos of our wedding (that he photographed) that I realized he was able to be everywhere without distracting from anything. He goes with the flow and yet somehow is in all the right places at exactly the right time. I recommend Hazel Photo for any event you have; you won't be disappointed!

Cons

Can’t think of any!

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Rose & Oliver

Pros

Paul is the best wedding photographer you can get. He is responsive, communicative, clear, reliable, and efficient....but also he's an artist! When we looked at our photos from the event, it felt like re-living the day all over again, only even more beautiful. Paul has an eye for unusual compositions and candid shots, but his work doesn't feel self-consciously artsy. His portraits, even of large groups, are beautiful and he manages to put people at ease so they make natural expressions...even the posed shots don't seem stiff. Somehow, even though he is a crew of one, the range of shots looks like it was taken by a whole team of photographers--he manages to be everywhere at once! Without a great deal of direction, Paul captured everything important about our wedding day and was totally unobtrusive in doing so. We recommend him wholeheartedly!

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Lucy Pistilli

Pros

BEST WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER! Paul was the perfect choice to document our lovely, unusual, and slightly gritty wedding. He truly captured everything with the same color-saturated rustic lens as my own memory, which makes me feel in retrospect that he shared our vision and appreciation of it all. Portraits seem to be his specialty, and his patience and management skills with disorganized family members are impressive:) - multiple guests are now using Paul's images of them from the wedding as online profile pictures. We gave him little direction yet I can't imagine what else I would have asked for; some of his own spontaneous creative decisions contributed to my favorite images.

Cons

There was no pic of the photographer... I guess he was too busy!

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JB

Pros

Hire Paul. Just do it. I promise you it will be the easiest and best decision you make in all the hecticness of planning a wedding! We were married about a month ago and were thrilled to have Paul photograph our big day. We had 175 people in attendance, and Paul and his second shooter did an amazing job capturing just about everyone. Nothing about Paul's style is cookie cutter or posed; aside from a few typical family portraits, his photographs are all about capturing genuine, candid moments with all the movement and warmth and love that come with them. Take for instance our bridal party portraits. We did a few where all our groomsmen/bridesmaids stood in a line and smiled (very standard). But then Paul had the idea of incorporating a few chairs and mixing people up in seated/standing positions, which allowed our friends to relax and be their true selves. These photos ended up being my absolute favorite, because they really captured the happiness and ease of our friendships. Paul also captured all the little details of the day in the most beautiful way -- my sister and husband holding my veil; my husband and me holding hands in the car; my reflection off of a picture frame in my grandparents' front hallway. These little details help transport us back to the magical day itself. Beyond being a phenomenal photographer, Paul is also just a great all around presence to have on your wedding day. He deftly navigated family dynamics (divorced parents, language barriers, and loved ones with dementia, to name a few) and never made portraits feel like a chore. I also loved that he would constantly give us moments to breathe and remember what this big day is about. For our first look, there was no posing; he just told me to do what feels right. Before walking into our ceremony, he suggested I take a moment at the entry way to look around at my friends and family and savor the moment. Part way through our couples portraits, he had us stop to breathe for a few minutes and talk about what we were most excited for the day. He also bopped along on the dance floor while taking photos and just made everyone feel at ease. Hire him! Seriously! Thanks again, Paul, for being part of a day we will never forget.

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JB

Pros

Hire Paul. Just do it. I promise you it will be the easiest and best decision you make in all the hecticness of planning a wedding! We were married about a month ago and were thrilled to have Paul photograph our big day. We had 175 people in attendance, and Paul and his second shooter did an amazing job capturing just about everyone. Nothing about Paul's style is cookie cutter or posed; aside from a few typical family portraits, his photographs are all about capturing genuine, candid moments with all the movement and warmth and love that come with them. Take for instance our bridal party portraits. We did a few where all our groomsmen/bridesmaids stood in a line and smiled (very standard). But then Paul had the idea of incorporating a few chairs and mixing people up in seated/standing positions, which allowed our friends to relax and be their true selves. These photos ended up being my absolute favorite, because they really captured the happiness and ease of our friendships. Paul also captured all the little details of the day in the most beautiful way -- my sister and husband holding my veil; my husband and me holding hands in the car; my reflection off of a picture frame in my grandparents' front hallway. These little details help transport us back to the magical day itself. Beyond being a phenomenal photographer, Paul is also just a great all around presence to have on your wedding day. He deftly navigated family dynamics (divorced parents, language barriers, and loved ones with dementia, to name a few) and never made portraits feel like a chore. I also loved that he would constantly give us moments to breathe and remember what this big day is about. For our first look, there was no posing; he just told me to do what feels right. Before walking into our ceremony, he suggested I take a moment at the entry way to look around at my friends and family and savor the moment. Part way through our couples portraits, he had us stop to breathe for a few minutes and talk about what we were most excited for the day. He also bopped along on the dance floor while taking photos and just made everyone feel at ease. Hire him! Seriously! Thanks again, Paul, for being part of a day we will never forget.

Cons

N/A

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