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Wedding Photographer San Francisco Bay Area

Thank you for visiting our San Francisco Bay Area Wedding Photography website. Our main goal is to provide you with the best wedding photography experience possible. Beautiful, romantic images to last a lifetime combined with our fun, positive approach will make your wedding day memorable. Visit our Prices page to see our affordable packages. We are also happy to create a custom package to fit your specific needs and budget. We travel throughout the San Francisco Bay Area at no extra charge! View some of the our best work at our Gallery page. We are also one of the premier wedding photographers shooting weddings at SF City Hall and have the 5 star  Yelp Reviews to prove it. To see more City Hall sample albums and receive valuable information, click San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography packages and prices.

To determine our availability for your Bay Area wedding, please go to our Event Calendar by clicking the Contact Page in the main menu and enter your event date. We will contact you quickly to let you know our availability or answer any questions you may have regarding our service. All of our packages include affordable full-day coverage and 2 photographers! This means we won't leave your event early and will photograph everything from bridal prep to the last dance.  One of the benefits of hiring an experienced professional photographer is that there is a good chance we have been to your venue and know the best way to approach it. San Ramon and Danville are just 2 of the many East Bay locations we have photographed extensively. We will also be happy to do a site visit with you to share thoughts and ideas to make your wedding photography experience perfect.

A Bay Area Wedding Photographer with Experience!

Mike Dubnoff has been a wedding photographer in the Northern California area since 1985. Mike's style provides you with an ideal blend of documentary photography combined with a traditional approach.  Most importantly, we make it a fun experience for both of you!  It's important to hire a professional you can trust and we have been earning that trust with over 1,200 weddings photographed in the San Francisco Bay Area alone!   In 2016 we photographed 87 unions including many city hall marriage ceremonies. The year 2017 is looking even better! This experience has allowed us to work with couples from many cultures, including Catholic, Filipino, Indian, Greek,  Jewish, and Chinese to name a few! We have been servicing the East Bay including, Antioch, Pleasant Hill,  Walnut Creek / Concord and all of Contra Costa County for many years. Our City Hall specialty takes us to San Francisco quite frequently with many other SF local venues often included in our coverage area. Other Northern California destinations include Clayton, Napa and beautiful Sonoma. Check out our Facebook Wedding Photography page to see more sample albums, packages and prices.

San Francisco Wedding Photography with a Difference

The key difference with Dubnoff Photography is that we listen to you! We won't waste your time during your consultation telling you why we are the best. Instead, we ask what is important to YOU and get a feel for the type of photography styles you prefer. Set up a free consultation and tell us what you want! We can show you the options we offer in albums such as Flush Mount / Magazine Style and traditional. Another one of our specialties is San Francisco City Hall weddings.  You can take a look at some recent weddings by going to the  San Francisco City Hall wedding photography website. We are one of the leading City Hall wedding photographers with over 300 ceremonies creatively photographed. For Indian weddings anywhere in Northern California please go to our Indian Photography Page.  To view special offers and  pricing go to our Google Business Page.

How to Choose the Best Wedding Photographer

The internet is full of articles on how to choose the best professional wedding photographer.  We thought it would be helpful to look at it from a different perspective and help engaged couples avoid some of the common mistakes people make when choosing a pro photographer.

Step 1: Relying on Vendor Referrals - In general, most wedding vendors will try to provide you with an honest and solid photographer referral when asked.  The problem is that in most cases, they really don't have enough personal knowledge to make an informed decision.  For example, I know a DJ who often refers me to his customers but has never even seen any of my images.  He knows that I am pleasant to work with and polite to my customers, but hasn't even seen one of my wedding albums.  Even more disturbing is the fact that a very large number of event vendors trade referrals with no real knowledge of the other's work.  This tells you nothing about the quality of the referral.  You are much better off talking to actual brides and grooms who have worked with professional wedding photographers. You could also just come right out and ask the vendor specific reasons they they are referring the professional to you.  Their answer will most likely tell you all you need to know.

Step 2: Judging a Photographer Based Solely on a "Greatest Hits" Album . There is nothing more misleading than choosing a photographer based upon viewing a compilation of their best pictures from dozens of different weddings.  At the very least, this may tell you how good a photo they are capable of producing, but it tells you nothing about what your final result will be.  Insist on seeing one entire marriage and make sure they show you at least 50 images.  This will provide you with a much better idea on the style and quality of the photographers work.  The important thing is to discover how YOUR final album will look.  So seeing 40 different weddings is not going to help with that in the least!

Step 3: Ignoring the Photographer's Personality.  This is a very important factor!  You will spend the entire day with your wedding photographer, if you don't like him or her, it could make your special day miserable.  You are looking for a person who is courteous, not bossy and will get along well with your guests.  Obviously, they need to be talented and experienced, but don't ignore their potential for bad behavior.  An ability to handle stress and yet stay pleasant is the key to a great wedding shooter.  Some photographers will tell you that they are like a "fly on the wall" at your event and you will never even know they are there.  This is probably not the best choice for a couple who wants to make sure they get all the important shots.  In reality, you probably want a combination of both of these attributes. 

Step 4: Paying Too Much Attention to the Sales Presentation. - Just about any wedding photographer can go on and on about why they are the perfect choice for you.  They can talk about their great equipment and show you beautiful images.  They may even impress you with their sparkling personality and tell you about their "vision" for your wedding album.  This is all important stuff, but how much does it really tell you about the person?  A good business professional will ask you questions and find out what YOU want.  If they spend the entire sales presentation preaching to you, it could also be that they don't really care about your own needs.  Look for photographers who ask you lots of questions and find out what YOUR vision of the wedding is.  A 2-way conversation is more likely to result in a good match between bride, groom and photographer!

Step 5: Confusion Over Packages and Pricing. If you can't understand the pricing, keep looking. Package pricing, if  it's flexible, is a solid way to go. It gives you a better idea of what the ultimate cost will be without any final invoice surprises. A la carte pricing can be misleading because you may assume certain "obvious" items are included when they really aren't (like an album!).  However, a company that only offers strictly structured packages should also be avoided. Ultimately, you want to find someone who will work within your budget guidelines and provide you exactly what you want. If you don't see a package that fits your needs, ask if you can design your own.  Probably about 50% of my customers ask me to modify one of my existing packages or prices to fit their needs.

San Francisco City Hall Specialist!

If you have read this far, you are probably wondering why we keep mentioning San Francisco City Hall.  Well, it just happens to be one of our favorite places to photograph weddings. After doing it for over 6 years,  city hall weddings have become one of our specialties.  We continue to photograph large weekend events and you will see many examples of our full wedding coverage on our Gallery Page and in other areas throughout this website.  But we would like to take a moment to discuss some of the reasons you might want to consider having your San Francisco Bay Area wedding at this beautiful venue.  Obviously many of you reading this right now have already decided on a venue and plan on having a full scale wedding.  If that is the case, please consider us when you make the all important decision of choosing your wedding photographer.  However, if you are still thinking about where to have your wedding, we invite you to check out the following information:

Why Plan Your Wedding at SF City Hall?

To Save Money! - Lets face it, getting married in the San Francisco Bay Area is expensive.  We checked a number of sources and the average cost appeared to be right around $40,000.  There was a broad range of surveyed responses, but nothing fell below $28,000 and of course its quite easy to go above the average.  Can most young couples starting out afford those types of costs?  Certainly not!  Yes, parents will help and people figure out a way to get it done through loans, credit cards, etc.  Buy why start your life together in debt?  San Francisco City Hall costs $100 for a simple ceremony and $1,000 for a private location that is roped off for your privacy.  This means you can have your wedding in one of the most beautiful venues on the west coast for pennies!  Take your guests to a local restaurant and hire an affordable city hall wedding photographer and you will still be under $5,000 for your whole wedding!

Convenience - One of the  best things about having your wedding at San Francisco City Hall is that so many things are provided for you.  You can obtain your marriage license the same day as your wedding right before the ceremony.  An officiant to perform your marriage ceremony is provided at no extra cost.  In addition, you have a safe, indoor, beautiful location to celebrate your wedding surrounded by family and friends.  You can easily hire a wedding photographer from the many available on the internet that also specialize.  You can walk to many fantastic restaurants nearby to celebrate with friends after.  Its all right there!

Beauty - City Hall is well known as one of the most sought after wedding venues in the United States.  People come from all over the world to visit and to get married in this incredible building.  Built in the early 1900's, city hall possesses old world charm with modern amenities.  The architecture is incredible and you are free to wander through the halls and consider all of the history that has occurred here.  Don't forget, Joe Di Maggio and Marilyn Monroe got married at San Francisco City Hall!

San Francisco - I remember as a kid, watching the Newlywed Game on TV and being surprised at how excited the couples were when they won a 1 week trip to San Francisco.  Big deal, I would think, I live here.   As it turns out, San Francisco is one of the most popular wedding destinations in the whole world.  It may not quite match Paris or Rome, but it's definitely in the conversation.   There is so much for a newlywed couple to do here it boggles the mind.  Some the of the best restaurants in the world are right here in the city by the bay.  Fisherman's Wharf, North Beach, Coit Tower, The Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of Fine Arts are just a few of the places you can visit and enjoy during your stay.  Hire a San Francisco wedding photographer and have them record your experience of visiting some of these iconic locations.

City Hall Wedding Photography - You probably knew this was coming... Yes, San Francisco city hall is an amazing place to have your wedding photography done.  A professional wedding photographer can you take you to any of the 4 floors and capture some amazing shots.  The architecture and lighting has to been seen to be truly appreciated.  There are a number of San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photographers that will do an excellent job for you.  Before choosing one, be sure to check out their web pages to make sure they have lots of examples of city hall photography.  It takes some experience to capture the beauty here without being fooled by the lighting.  We are good friends with a number of wedding photographer specializing in taking photos at this beautiful building.  We would be more than happy to recommend them if are looking for a specific style of photography.  From pure photojournalism all the way to traditional, there are many great wedding photographers available to you. 

Northern California Experience

We are proud of the fact that we are Northern California natives and grew up exploring the beauty of the Bay Area.  Our vast experience means that we have probably photographed a wedding at your venue at one time or another.  It would take up too much room to list every venue in this area, but I thought it might be helpful to mention some of the places we have photographed multiple weddings (in no particular order). 

  • Boundary Oaks Golf Club - Located in Walnut Creek, this has been one of our favorite venues for many years.  They have a comfortable and nicely decorated reception area and they allow you out on the Walnut Creek Muni course for photos!  We have photographed at least 10 weddings here.
  • Blackhawk Country Club - Another favorite of ours located in beautiful Danville out in the hills.  They cater to weddings and the event staff are extremely helpful.  We are an approved vendor at this great Danville establishment.
  • Heather Farms - Also located in Walnut Creek, Heather Farms is an absolutely beautiful setting to celebrate your nuptials.  Check out their amazing rose garden and pond area.  We have been here close to 20 times!
  • San Ramon Marriot - I know, it seems crazy to include a hotel in this list, but this happens to be a very picturesque wedding venue.  Located in San Ramon, we love this location because of all of the fantastic picture spots!  I have lost track of the number of weddings we have photographed here!
  • Wente Vineyards - We love this place!  Not only because of its amazing picturesque location, but its actually a wedding photographers dream venue.  Whenever we shoot a wedding at this Livermore winery, we run out of time while photographing the couple.  There are just too many great locations here.  Over 10 weddings photographed!
  • Garre Vineyards - Also located in Livermore, Garre was recently completely renovated and its now better than ever.  We have photographed 6 weddings here over the years.  Another favorite!
  • Oakhurst Country Club - Located in the beautiful town of Clayton, this venue is practically in our backyard where we live (close to the Clayton / Concord border).  Amazing views and a very accommodating staff.  We have quite a bit of history here with close to 10 weddings creatively photographed.
  • Jefferson Street Mansion - Located in historic Benicia, California, this venue specializes in weddings.  We have been here many times and have found the event staff to be extremely friendly and easy to work with.  Another hidden gem!  We have been here 4 times and loved every minute of it.
  • San Ramon Golf Club - I am not sure why, but we find ourselves photographing weddings here almost every year.  The location for the ceremony is perfect and there are plenty of great views.  I have lost track, but I am sure we have been here over 10 times.
  • Pleasant Hill Community Center - Located in Pleasant Hill California, this plain sounding venue actually ends being one of our Bay Area favorites.  Close to downtown, yet located in a beautiful heavily wooded area, this venue offers many different photo opportunities.  We have been here close to 10 times.

Wedding Photography Styles

When you think about looking for the best wedding photographer, you probably figured you would just search the internet for photos that appeal to you the most.  Which photos have the most impact and do they provide any kind of emotional connection?  This is a good way to find a wedding photographer, but there are more things to consider.  Besides selecting a photographer that displays appealing photos on their website, it's very important to understand the style of each potential candidate.  Let's explore some of the current styles of wedding photography.

  • DOCUMENTARY This is probably the style that is most popular today.  If you ask most modern wedding photographers they would most likely tell you that they shoot weddings in the documentary style.  The idea here is document the wedding as though it was an event you are covering as a reporter, but of course in a creative  and artistic way.  In it's most basic form, the wedding photographer follows the couple around throughout the day and takes mostly candid photos of them.  The hope is to catch "moments".  Hugs, laughter, tears and any of the other emotional moments that occur during wedding.  The photographer (or photojournalist) should be unobtrusive and barely needs to speak to the bride and groom throughout the day.  Other names for this style include: Photojournalism or Reportage.
  • TRADITIONAL - Probably the style most of us are used to thinking of when we hear about wedding photography.  In it's purist form, Traditional photography involves shooting from a predetermined "shot list" which includes many of the poses and family photos the couple wants.  In addition, unlike Documentary wedding photography, the photographer is very involved in the process.  Choosing the best backgrounds, lighting techniques and posing the subjects are all part of a traditional wedding photographers skill set. This style of photography will usually be more time consuming and require a larger time commitment from the bride and groom.  Other names for this style include: Conventional, Classic and Posed.
  • CONTEMPORARY -  In my opinion, many of today's best wedding photographers fall into this category.  The idea here is for the photographer to create the photo by putting the couple in beautiful backgrounds and lighting, but then not being quite as rigid with posing.  The best Contemporary photos appear candid but are really partially set up by the photographer.  In other instances, the photographer simply places the subjects in better light and backgrounds, but still shoots mostly candid photos.  One good example is something we often do during bridal prep...  We walk into the room where the bride is getting ready, but notice she is preparing by the garbage can with dim uneven lighting.  In this situation, we would politely suggest that the bride move closer to the window with a cleaner background, but allow the candid moments to occur and record them.  Other names include Illustrative, Fashion or Modern.

 Family History of Artistry in San Francisco

My mother is an accomplished artist and enjoyed painting our neighbor's Victorian houses in San Francisco.  You could look out my bedroom window and see these beautiful "painted ladies" and this helped inspire my mom to specialize in this type of art.  My dad loved photography and gave me my first Nikon Camera.  He had a great eye for photography and loved taking scenery photos with slide film.  I often tried to grab the camera away from him when I was kid and I think that's where it all started for me as photographer.  I photographed my first wedding in college when I attended the University of San Francisco and I really enjoyed seeing the happiness my photos created. I immediately started shooting weddings especially in the Walnut Creek and Concord areas.  This made me realize that this is something I want to do for a living, plus they actually paid me to do it!  I have lived in Northern California area my whole life and feel very lucky to be able to use wedding photography as a means to explore so many beautiful venues and meet some great people.  We work with people from all cultures and national origin and get to visit all of the great tourist spots in the city on a regular basis.

If you need other wedding vendors click: Seattle Destination Wedding Photographers. To find other professionals in the San Francisco area and beyond click Wedding Photographer and Wedding Vendors.

Dubnoff Wedding Photography

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Dubnoff Wedding Photography
1142 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
415-350-7128