I am so excited to have my friend Jeff, with Chao Photography on the blog today! He is such an amazing photographer that truly cares about his clients and aspires to give them the best experience possible. His passion for the Lord is inspiring and I love his famous tag line “Smile for Jesus” that he is known for.
Hiring a professional photographer for your wedding day is SO important and I can’t stress this enough. They will help make your day run smoother, they capture all the important details you have worked so hard on and will capture all those priceless moments you will cherish for years to come. If you’re looking for a photographer that captures all of those real moments in a beautiful way, then Jeff is your guy!
Tell me a little bit about yourself! How did you get started in the wedding industry? Why do you love it so much?
I’ve always had a passion for photography. Nearly a decade ago, I asked a girl from my church if I could come and just take photos at her wedding. After making sure it was okay from her “official” photographer, I went to work. She ended up liking my photos better than the photographer’s that she had hired. Her parents ended up hiring me for her sister’s wedding and it all began from there. I fell in love with weddings and it has not stopped since.
I feel that my role as a photographer is to freeze a moment forever, so generations from now, people can still feel the love captured through my lens. The kind of moment where a person can look at their grandparent’s or great-grandparent’s wedding photo and still experience the love that they had.
If you could photograph a wedding anywhere in the world, where would you go?! Why?
I would probably say Greece. I have photographed 3 greek weddings so far and the tradition and symbolism in their ceremonies are so unique. Plus, you can’t go wrong with the roman architecture and the mediterranean sea in the background.
Why do you think hiring a professional photographer is so important? What are the benefits? What are the assets a professional photographer will bring to the table vs. someone who just owns a nice camera?
Good photography is more than a fancy camera. I have spent literally a thousand hours training to be a photographer and another thousand or so photographing weddings. I know how to get the shot predictably every time. I know how to compose the shot beautifully and then execute it with skill and precision. It isn’t the camera that does this – it is me. As I shoot in manuel – I tell the camera what it should be doing rather than allowing the camera’s sensors to make the decisions for me. So if you want that beautiful photograph of you and your new husband or wife gorgeously backlit by a red sunset- you can only get that with a pro because the camera just cannot correctly read that light.
I know how the day flows. It is the experience of being at 100’s of different weddings that allow me to know just where to look and when. I know the time in the wedding when I can sneak a shot of your dad looking at you with a tear in his eye. I know to expect that moment just after the vicar asks for objections and know the church will break into nervous laughter and the bride will pull a priceless face. These are the things you can only get with experience.
All images by Chao Photography