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Secrest Wedding Photography

Alameda , CA
CONTACT US
CONTACT US

LOCATION

415 Santa Clara Ave.
Alameda, CA US 94501 (map)

PHONE

510-337-9796

WEBSITE

View website
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ABOUT US

Photography is at its core, about memories— preserving the images and emotions from one’s experience with life, sharing this essence with one’s community and posterity, and sharing the... Read more
Photography is at its core, about memories— preserving the images and emotions from one’s experience with life, sharing this essence with one’s community and posterity, and sharing the photographer’s experience held in that instant which the photograph reflects. Stephanie’s goal is to make available beautiful memories in the way she once saw them in the blink of an eye, holding timeless that tiny sliver of life.

Stephanie Secrest was born in Denver, Colorado, into a family of journalists and writers in which creativity was particularly valued. She acquired her first camera at the age of 7 and started documenting her life.

She went on to receive her BA from the University of Northern Colorado, and her MA in fine arts/photojournalism from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She studied under Arnold Gassan, a colleague of Ansel Adams during their mutual work with renowned photographer Minor White.

She was among a select student body invited to attend the prestigious Eddie Adams Workshop, a national forum for top young photojournalists. She was the recipient of an award in one of photojournalism's oldest, largest and most highly respected contest, the 55th Annual Pictures of the Year competition of the National Press Photographers Association, plus numerous local and smaller national contests.

She is currently working in Northern California as a photojournalist, and resides in the Bay Area in her tiny cottage with her two cats.

Contact Stephanie for additional information via email ssecrest@comcast.net or phone (510-337-9796). Read less
Photography

PHOTOS

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INFO FOR PHOTOGRAPHY

What primary photographic style do you identify with?
Photojournalism
What do your packages include?
Albums, High Resolution Images
Do you have liability insurance?
Yes

REVIEWS

5.0
out of 5.0
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Marcie
Wedding:
5/25/2014
5.0/5.0
Stephanie is such a delight!!! I was so pleased to have had a wonderfully cheerful and insanely talented lady document my engagement and wedding! We couldn't be more happy with every aspect of the process! She was so accommodating , professional and FUN! She worked with our budget from the very beginning, drove all the way to HOT Fresno, and worked some serious magic and found an equally amazing 2nd shooter at the last minute. I feel like not only did we get amazing shots but also made a pretty rad friend (:
Services Used: Photography
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Georgia
Wedding:
5/4/2014
5.0/5.0
Stephanie was awesome from start to finish. We were amazed by the photographs and spent several hours reliving the day looking through the pictures. She caught every detail and truly captured the vibe of our wedding. It's as if we can feel the happiness and warmth of the day through her photography. Stephanie's personality was a bonus on top of that. She was sweet, easy going and detail oriented, which made for a stress free day for us.

Thanks Stephanie!!!
Services Used: Photography
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Jessica
Wedding:
5/3/2014
5.0/5.0
We love Stephanie! We found her through a non-profit organization she works with in the East Bay and reached out about having her shoot our May 2014 wedding. She was unbelievably speedy in her communication and graciously willing to work within our budget. We met for brunch before the big day and we instantly felt her warmth and passion for the work she does. By the end of the meal, we knew she understood us a couple and was genuinely excited to shoot our day. On the day of, she was prompt (early in fact) and had some of the best equipment I've seen from event photographers. We knew from her portfolio that her work was amazing, but we were still blown away when we saw the final photos - which she sent so quickly after the wedding. They were absolutely STUNNING. They beautifully captured the spirit of the event and she caught some of the most incredible candid moments I've ever seen! She put everything on a private beautiful websites where all guests could visit, choose favorites, download, order prints, etc. It was so easy and wonderful and we can't wait to call Stephanie again when we have kids! She is a truly gifted photographer and a gem of a human being. We would recommend her to anyone!
Services Used: Photography
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Anonymous
Wedding:
Recently Married
5.0/5.0
Stephanie photographed our January 2014 wedding and we could not be happier with her and how our photographs turned out. Stephanie was charming from the moment we met her and her sweetness is only outshone by her talent! The photographs turned out better than we could have hoped for. She captured the emotion of our wedding perfectly and for each event during the day we got multiple amazing photos. She listened to what we wanted and delivered. We were also impressed by how "invisible" she was on the day. She got amazing photos but I don't have any memory of her being there in front of us taking photos. So she made sure to never distract from the bride and groom. We couldn't recommend Stephanie more! If she is available for your big day - grab her! Thank you, Stephanie!
Services Used: Photography
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Kristina
Wedding:
12/28/2013
5.0/5.0
Stephanie took our engagement and wedding photos. We could not be more pleased with the results. Stephanie is truly an artist and created beautiful photographs for us. She was very easy to work with and she was so excited and enthusiastic about our event and about capturing the perfect shot, while remaining "invisible" at the wedding. We truly felt like Stephanie was there to capture our day in the ways that worked best for us and our families and guests. She has such a humble attitude and brings joy with her to every event! Thank you Stephanie for capturing our day in picture perfect moments!
Services Used: Photography
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Michelle
Wedding:
10/26/2013
5.0/5.0
We love Stephanie's work. She's an incredible photographer who's experience as a photojournalist gives her the ability to truly tell a story. Her images bring the viewer in and make them feel like they were there to share the day with the happy couple. Her photography is filled with emotion and beauty. We know first hand that the day can fly by and the couple might not remember everything or be present in every emotional moment of the day but Stephanie's photography helped us relive the entire magical event and laugh and cry as if we were experiencing it for the first time. The photographs she delivered to us were a gift we will treasure forever.
Services Used: Photography
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Mitch
Wedding:
10/19/2013
5.0/5.0
Stephanie is a complete sweetie. Easy to work with and eager to be of assistance! And of course, the images. The most beautiful record of the day! Such wonderful photos that have had all our friends and family raving!
Services Used: Photography
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karen
Wedding:
10/19/2013
5.0/5.0
ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!!! Stephanie photographed our Oct 2013 wedding at the Brazilian Room in Berkeley. From the minute we met her we both knew she was "the one". We talked to her for over an hour and she gladly answered all our questions and proudly showed us portfolios from other weddings she had photographed at the Brazilian Room. We loved her friendly vibe, admired her experience in photojournalism, and appreciated how she had actual experience shooting weddings at our venue. Throughout the planning process, she was always extremely helpful with scheduling suggestions and flexible with the timing when we decided we needed to extend her hours. On the day of, we only had 40 min to do “couple shots” before the guests arrived and this is where Stephanie’s experience with the venue and the area really paid off. We were able take some amazing photos at the UC Botanical garden - at least 7 different backdrops in about 30 min! Throughout the ceremony and reception Stephanie was able to get some beautiful shots without disrupting the flow or getting in anyone’s way. Even when it came time to do all the family/group shots, Stephanie was firm yet friendly in asking guests to lean to the left, remove their sunglasses, etc. Several of our guests commented afterwards how nice she was and how much they liked her!

We loved everything about working with Stephanie and would recommend her in a heartbeat for any occasion. I still look back at our pictures and it’s like I’m reliving the whole day over again!
Services Used: Photography
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Private User
Wedding:
10/14/2013
5.0/5.0
We hired Stephanie to photograph our small wedding at a Sonoma Winery. Stephanie gave us a great price and had done a friends wedding, so that's why we chose her... and I'm so glad we did! She took the most beautiful photos! Capturing the candid moments as well as beautiful portraits! I even had guests say they want to get married again just to use her as a photographer! She also was amazing at handling our bossy and unorthodox family and friends, so that they felt like she was just a part of the party! Even laughing it off and taking a picture when the best man photo-bombed a beautifully arranged portrait! (She managed to get the portrait shot too, by the way!) I can't recommend her enough. She was a joy to work with. & I LOVE that she gives you digital copies of the photos and a beautiful website for family & friends to view them. By far the best photographer I've seen in a wedding!
Services Used: Photography
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Anonymous
Wedding:
Recently Married
5.0/5.0
From the minute we met her over skype (planning a wedding from afar) to the last farewell with her on our wedding night, I loved the way Stephanie constantly emanated thoughtfulness, positive energy, and true enthusiasm for us. She offered help in so many ways without hesitation. Every interaction with her was wonderfully memorable and full of joy. We especially appreciated how she devoted so much time and effort to get to know us as a couple, as well as our needs. These elements combined are quite rare and difficult to find. As many reviewers here have so eloquently and precisely expressed, we too feel honored and fortunate to have had Stephanie's presence, skill and companionship throughout our wedding journey.
Services Used: Photography
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Anonymous
Wedding:
Recently Married
5.0/5.0
Stephanie is wonderful to work with. From the start we could tell that she would help make our wedding day relaxed and fun, which it was. The photos also turned out BEAUTIFULLY. We can't say enough about Stephanie!
Services Used: Photography
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Janelle and Farhad
Wedding:
9/21/2013
5.0/5.0
Stephanie did a wonderful job capturing our wedding. We had a multicultural wedding with lots of special moments to catch and Stephanie caught them all! She was very open for suggestions and eager to accommodate all our needs. She was in constant contact with us months before the event. She made sure any questions we had were answered clearly and efficiently. We had many family photos we wanted to fit in and Stephanie made sure to capture them all. She was great at keeping the process rolling. During our bride and groom photos she made us feel relaxed and "in the moment". We loved her lively & quirky personality. We will recommend her to all of our friends, family, and even strangers for any upcoming events. :)
Services Used: Photography
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Georgina
Wedding:
9/14/2013
5.0/5.0
The biggest difficulty in writing a review for Stephanie's photography is to figure out which amazing point to start with. First of all -- and seemingly most relevant, I guess -- our wedding pictures are amazing. There are absolutely beautiful ones and really funny ones and artsy ones and ones that I know will be up on the mantlepiece for decades. There are ones where I think "wow, is that really me?" and ones where I go, "haha, yup, that's me." Our wedding was such an emotional day, and I think Stephanie really captured that. I can see our happiness -- and that of our friends and family -- reflected in the images that she took.

But the fact that Stephanie takes amazing pictures is probably pretty obvious and easy to see from her portfolio. I think one of the things that she does really well that may be less obvious is that she's an absolutely wonderful support to have around during the day-of. In quiet moments she was almost invisible; in stressful moments, she radiated calm; when we corralled everyone for a group picture, she was a drill sergeant. I'm incredibly grateful to her for the part that she played in making our wedding such a wonderful experience.
Services Used: Photography
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Elisa
Wedding:
9/7/2013
5.0/5.0
Stephanie was amazing! She listened to everything we wanted and produced a beautiful album. We loved the direction she gave us and how she worked with us in the locations we gave her. Our wedding photos are beautiful. She aso gave us a really cool idea for our engagement shoot, which we loved. We have gotten so many compliments on all of our photos. Her energy is awesome! She was able to get us out to take some beautiful shots when we felt like we were done and she made it fun.
Services Used: Photography
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Anonymous
Wedding:
Recently Married
5.0/5.0
We met Stephanie at our very first bridal show and instantly clicked with her and Edwin. She is super friendly and very flexible with scheduling engagement photo sessions. Her photographs are truly amazing and we loved working with her. On the wedding day, we were in such a rush that I forgot my veil and Stephanie ran back to the hotel, dodged through San Francisco traffic, to get my veil!!! Couldn't have gotten through the day without her! We loved our wedding photos and she really makes sure you are happy with the end results. We would definitely recommend her!!
Services Used: Photography
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Keli
Wedding:
8/9/2013
5.0/5.0
Stephanie was the photographer for my August 2013 wedding. She took breathtaking photos of our evening and captured all of the magical candid moments during the vows, speeches, etc. She is a genuine person that is really easy to work with!!! I will definitely use Stephanie as my photographer for future events. SHE IS ONE OF A KIND!
Services Used: Photography
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Tayler
Wedding:
8/2/2013
5.0/5.0
From the minute we met Stephanie, we were very impressed with her passion for her work. She is so enthusiastic, welcoming, and talented. I read her reviews prior to our meeting, and, while they were incredible, they didn't compare to her genuine personality and sincerity. After flipping through a few of her albums, we were sold. Stephanie and I talked multiple times before the wedding to ensure that she knew exactly what I wanted on our big day. She made the process so easy and so much fun! One of her selling points for us was her price; for a photographer of her caliber, with all of the awards and experience she has, she is incredibly affordable. Words can't describe how much I love our photos! Everything was perfect, especially the detail shots Stephanie knew were so important to me. And we had our pictures within two weeks! Look no further for your photographer. You will be so happy with your experience!
Services Used: Photography
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Suchi
Wedding:
7/27/2013
5.0/5.0
If you are looking for a photographer, look no further. 5 stars is no way enough for this amazing person who happens to be an artist that is passionate about what she does. Stephanie loves and cares about what she does and it comes through in her gorgeous pictures. My husband, James, and I were fortunate enough to do an engagement session (if you are thinking about it, DO IT!) with Stephanie which allowed us to get to to know her and spend some time with her prior to our wedding. Holy moly ~ not only did Stephanie blow us away by being one of the most beautiful souls I've met, her vision and artistry resulted in pictures that we will forever cherish. Stephanie allowed us to be ourselves and quickly assessed what we wanted (even though we didn't) and utilized her skills to create the most amazing pictures. Normally being camera shy, James and I couldn't help but laugh at ourselves as we walked away from the session, talking and planning about our next shoot - that's how much fun we had.
On to the wedding day - I can honestly say that both James and I feel forever indebted to Stephanie and Edwin and know that our wedding would not have been the same without them. I know people are "supposed" to say nice things about weddings... but EVERYONE who has seen our wedding photos always had the comment along the lines "you had such an amazing photographer(s)". That is the amazing Stephanie. Thanks to Stephanie, James and I get to relieve our wedding day each and every time we look at her photos. Her attention to detail and her need to capture the magic of the moment has allowed James and I to view guests, items, etc (basically everything) that we missed or took for granted on our wedding day. We feel so lucky to have met Stephanie and feel great knowing that she will continue to be in our lives, commemorating our life in photos and in friendship.
Services Used: Photography
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
Stephanie is the best, no exaggeration. From beginning to end, she was kind, helpful and accommodating - and she went above and beyond for us. I felt like I was having a friend helping us and she worked with us and our family to get the most pictures in shorter amounts of time, which turned out beautifully due to her skill. She let us have time to enjoy different parts of our wedding and held our hand for the parts that required more of our attention. She is also incredibly creative, and impressively so, on the spot. She takes advantage of her creative impulses, when we she sees something she knows will work!

Days after, both sides of our family continued to rave about her (not an easy feat), so enough compliments could not do her justice.

We can't say enough for Stephanie since we don't plan on getting married again, we will instead just spread the word of her amazing abilities and personality to others getting married. She's really just the best.
Services Used: Photography
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Andrey
Wedding:
7/6/2013
5.0/5.0
Stephanie is simply the best. She recently photographed our wedding and we have had nothing but exceedingly positive comments about the quality of the photos from our friends and family. During our time planning the wedding, we felt like we really got to know her -- by our wedding day, we felt very comfortable inviting her into our limo and opening up during the shoot. She really is top notch in every aspect -- her knowledge of technical aspects of photography is exceptional, she has an aesthetic vision that makes for some outside-the-box/artsy shots that really surprised my wife and I, and she's an all around good person. I cannot imagine a better photographer and we're so glad we chose her for our wedding!
Services Used: Photography
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Kaitlin
Wedding:
6/21/2013
5.0/5.0
Where to begin?!
Stephanie is hands down the best photographer you could ask for with all of your wedding day needs! My husband and I researched several photographers in our area of Alameda, and within meeting Stephanie it was love at first sight. She graciously invited us into her home and she is a warm and very genuine person. You can tell that she takes pride in her work, as she should! She is a true artist. Throughout the planning process, we would look forward to our meetings with her at the local Starbucks-I consider her practically a good friend/family member! I knew I could feel comfortable and trust her for our big day. When the day arrived, everyone was impressed with Stephanie-her ability to capture great moments, take photos from chairs and underneath us to staying until the sunset and running us out for a great photo. After our wedding day, we already miss her! I was so impressed with her speedy work on our prints, and how she kept me updated throughout the process. Please consider Stephanie for your wedding day needs-you won't regret it :) She is an amazing artist and a lovely person.
Services Used: Photography
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Kayla
Wedding:
6/8/2013
5.0/5.0
Stephanie is the perfect balance between being sweet, fun, and easy-going, but professional, on schedule, and extremely skilled! We are 100% happy with the photos she took, and we were impressed with her ability to get all the shots we requested in a very tight schedule. We would hire her again in an instant!!
Services Used: Photography
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Cindy
Wedding:
5/27/2013
5.0/5.0
Stephanie is as amazing a photographer as a person. I am so happy I found her through a lot of internet research. She was always very professional and made contacting her for any reason very easy. She always got back to me in a timely matter with any answers to questions I had. Through out the whole planning process Stephanie had a wonderful way of calming me down as it got closer to the big day. She made planning our wedding photography fun and exciting and as stress free as possible. When it came to the big day she was at the venue on time. As hard it was to control our bridal party for pictures she did a great job doing so and making sure we had all the shots we had asked for. Getting the pictures was priceless! My husband and family and I relive our wedding day every time we look at the beautiful pictures. Stephanie captured so many special moments from our wedding, and for that we can not thank her enough! I would highly recommend Stephanie to any bride looking for a wonderfully sweet and talented photographer!
Services Used: Photography
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Sharon
Wedding:
5/26/2013
5.0/5.0
My mom met Stephanie at the Gump's Wedding Fair in San Francisco and won us an engagement session with Stephanie. We had not considered having an engagement session but after seeing the pictures we are so glad we did! Stephanie made the session fun and the pictures were amazing! We have received a lot of wonderful compliments on her pictures. We selected SF City Hall and The Palace of Fine Arts for the engagement session. The pictures Stephanie took were artistic, beautiful, and really captured who we are as a couple.

After seeing the pictures and having such a great time with Stephanie we hired her for our wedding in Sonoma. Stephanie coordinated with us in advance of the wedding day to discuss "must-have" pictures, time lines, and ideas for photos on the day of the wedding so we didn't have to worry about anything on the day. Stephanie took amazing pictures throughout the day. She was extremely professional and respectful during the ceremony and did not get in the way of guests' views like i have seen at other weddings. My guests also really enjoyed that she took pictures of them also and not just us and the wedding party. And just like the engagement photos, the wedding pictures were fantastic. We couldn't be happier with hiring Stephanie for our wedding. After the wedding we realized we had forgotten to take a picture of us at the altar. Stephanie was really creative and worked photo-magic and created a picture of us on the altar. We are so happy to have met Stephanie and hired her for our wedding.
Services Used: Photography
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Kathy
Wedding:
5/19/2013
5.0/5.0
I needed to find a photographer for our wedding, and the thought of it was daunting! I was especially nervous, because I am not a photogenic person, and I couldn't believe how great I looked in the pictures! After researching several different photographers, I finally chose Stephanie. What made me choose her was her sweet personality, flexibility and overwhelming talent. I live about two hours away from the bay area, and Stephanie suggested that since we could not meet in person, we could "meet" via Skype. I felt immediately comfortable with her, she took the words out of my mouth while speaking about her photography style and my concerns. I knew at that moment that she was the one for us! She also invited us to lunch where we could discuss shot options, timing of the day, and was very on top of things early on, which forced me to figure out my timeline! Her attention to detail to our needs and wants was outstanding. Any question I had was answered immediately, and she took a personal interest in our wedding. She even went so far as to schedule a meeting with our priest to discuss the ceremony with him and to see the inside of the church. I have been told by many family and friends how beautiful the photos are and how the day was captured so perfectly. We still can't believe we were lucky to find such a talented photographer who cared about our wedding just as much as we did. She is the person you want with you on your wedding day! Her turn around time was quick, we got our photos within 2 weeks! We were able to share the photos with everyone with an online photo gallery, and then I also received all the photos, including the outtakes! The package arrived and it was really nicely wrapped and the cds had our favorite photo on it! It's a keepsake in itself! Stephanie is worth every penny and we couldn't be happier with our photos!
Services Used: Photography
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Courtney
Wedding:
3/28/2013
5.0/5.0
Stephanie was the perfect photographer for my wedding!!! I found Stephanie online and as soon as I called her she responded with information, pricing, and she was very friendly. I was getting married in CA but living in UT and Stephanie was very easy to work with over the phone/email/skype. She is very professional, but also very fun and energetic. Also, she was very flexible and accommodating. Stephanie responded to all my questions within hours of when I emailed her! My husband and I just loved her. Besides marrying my husband she was the BEST decision I made for my wedding, and my husband agrees with me!
Services Used: Photography
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Lawrence
Wedding:
2/9/2013
5.0/5.0
Stephanie was GREAT! My now-wife and I researched many different wedding photographers and wound up using Stephanie and we have no regrets whatsoever! Besides all the amazing things that people have said already, I appreciate Stephanie's creativity in creating such memorable shots that we can look fondly back on for years. On top of that she was willing to reschedule many of our pre and post wedding meetings to accommodate our busy schedules. Plus she's one of the funnest people to work with!

She was worth every cent!
Services Used: Photography
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Adrienne
Wedding:
11/17/2012
5.0/5.0
Stephanie is amazing! Not only is she a terrific photographer, but she is so easy to work with and super creative! We really wanted photos that told a story. Stephanie used her amazing photojournalist skills to do just that. Moreover, my husband and I are pretty much the most unphotogenic people on earth. We just got our pictures, WOW! We couldn't be happier. HIRE HER TODAY!
Services Used: Photography
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Rebecca
Wedding:
11/10/2012
5.0/5.0
I highly recommend Stephanie Secreast for her photography. She beautifully captures moments and we are all very happy with our wedding photos. Also, Stephanie is a dream to work with as she makes people feel comfortable and you hardly notice she is there until you look at the photos and see she was everywhere! She will be my photographer for life.
Services Used: Photography
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Michelle
Wedding:
11/1/2012
5.0/5.0
We really wanted wedding photos that captured the moments and emotions of the day, not just simply staged pictures of the bride and groom with the guests. When we first met Stephanie, she showed us photos that were really beautiful and she was really such a pleasure to talk with! We knew immediately after our first visit that we wanted her to be our photographer. We found Stephanie very easy to communicate with before the wedding day and I met with her beforehand to scout out places to take photos which made the wedding day itself hassle free. She was awesome at the wedding and her photos that she took for us were exactly what we wanted! She really did an outstanding job capturing every moment of the day, from getting ready, to ceremony, to the dinner and dancing. We highly recommend her to anybody looking for an amazing photographer!
Services Used: Photography
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Kevin and Elena
Wedding:
9/29/2012
5.0/5.0
Stephanie is nothing short of amazing.  Aside from her obvious talent as a wedding photographer, she is super-easy to work with, has a flexible schedule, and strives to keep  her clients happy.  Your first meeting with Stephanie will consist a viewing of some of her recent work.  You will be, as we were, amazed with her talent with the camera.  Stephanie gives her clients a nice balance of artistic and practical wedding photos.   Immediately after seeing her work, we knew she was the right photographer for us.

Stephanie spent quite a bit of time talking to us in order to get a clear understanding of how the ceremony would take place.  Obviously a wedding photographer only has one chance to get things right or it will be a complete disaster.  Stephanie understood our wedding schedule so well that she had numerous ideas of what types of pictures she should take before the wedding day had taken place.  She attended the walk-through of our wedding venue with zero complaints and always showed great flexibility with her schedule whenever we needed her.

The day of the wedding was no exception to Stephanie's professionalism.  She was on-time, happy, helpful, and when we received the final pictures, we were floored.  Her services come at a slight premium, but believe me, you get what you pay for in this case, and you'd be hard pressed to find a better wedding photographer than Stephanie.
Services Used: Photography
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Kevin and Elena
Wedding:
9/29/2012
5.0/5.0
Stephanie is nothing short of amazing.  Aside from her obvious talent as a wedding photographer, she is super-easy to work with, has a flexible schedule, and strives to keep  her clients happy.  Your first meeting with Stephanie will consist a viewing of some of her recent work.  You will be, as we were, amazed with her talent with the camera.  Stephanie gives her clients a nice balance of artistic and practical wedding photos.   Immediately after seeing her work, we knew she was the right photographer for us.

Stephanie spent quite a bit of time talking to us in order to get a clear understanding of how the ceremony would take place.  Obviously a wedding photographer only has one chance to get things right or it will be a complete disaster.  Stephanie understood our wedding schedule so well that she had numerous ideas of what types of pictures she should take before the wedding day had taken place.  She attended the walk-through of our wedding venue with zero complaints and always showed great flexibility with her schedule whenever we needed her.

The day of the wedding was no exception to Stephanie's professionalism.  She was on-time, happy, helpful, and when we received the final pictures, we were floored.  Her services come at a slight premium, but believe me, you get what you pay for in this case, and you'd be hard pressed to find a better wedding photographer than Stephanie.
Services Used: Photography
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Susan Whalen
Wedding:
9/23/2012
5.0/5.0
We looked at a lot of photographers, until I decided to try Blackhawk Country Clubs website of preferred vendors which is where we found Stephanie. She is grrrrrrrrreat! Not only is her award winning photography beautiful, but she is wonderful to work with. The quality of her photography and good pricing makes her a very good value. We highly recommend her.

Sue and Rich
Services Used: Photography
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Eva
Wedding:
6/23/2012
5.0/5.0
The most professional and talented wedding photographer I could ever ask for. Very reasonable prices and she has a PASSION for what she does because she captures beauty very well. You are missing out if you don't pick Stephanie!!!
Services Used: Photography
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karina
Wedding:
6/21/2012
5.0/5.0
Let me start by saying, "Absolutely the BEST Photographer!!!!" I found Stephanie by searching the web and immediately was captured with her photos. Right away, we spoke on the phone and she wanted to meet for coffee. Since, I live in Florida that couldn't happen right away. She was so nice, welcoming, and funny which made my decision easy. I knew right away I wanted her as my wedding photographer. When we finally met in person it was like we had known each other for years!!! I could honestly say she made our wedding even more memorable. To this day, we still keep in touch and cannot wait to go back for my baby portraits...LOL She's the best.... very professional and devoted person!
Services Used: Photography
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Bob
Wedding:
4/22/2012
5.0/5.0
Stephanie is amazing. She is warm, funny and genuine. She has a way of setting you at ease and that brings out some amazing photos.
Our journey with Stephanie started out over coffee at a little out of the way place in the east bay. She spent the better part of 90 minutes discussing our plans for the wedding AND finding out what we were like. We discussed engagement shoot locations and possible shots at the wedding. That meeting set the stage.
Stephanie is very organized. She promptly returned every communication, had the contract out in the mail very quickly after she signed it and was very helpful with reminders. She made the process very easy.
We met for our engagement shoot at about 2:30 pm in hopes of getting great afternoon light. To make a wonderfully long story short, we parted that afternoon almost 4 hours later. It was a truly rewarding experience and Stephanie made it super fun.
We got the engagement photos about two weeks later...both emailed and a copy on a disk. I can't say strongly enough how great it was having her be so organized and professional...and super nice.
Prior to the wedding, Stephanie confirmed all of the details and worked with us to create a "must have" list of photos. That made it very easy to organize the people we wanted to have formal pictures with from the wedding.
At the wedding, Stephanie seemed like she was everywhere, but nowhere at the same time. When we wanted her for a shot, she was ahead of us and planning it before we knew we wanted it. But, she was never in the way.
Now for the most important part of this review...the photos. Stephanie gave us 160+ photos from the engagement shoot, and 900+ photos from the wedding. All of them are absolutely amazing. Her eye for a shot is unequalled. Her background as a photojournalist gives her the ability to not "miss" important moments. The lighting, color, balance and framing of every shot was perfect.
Services Used: Photography
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Heather
Wedding:
4/7/2012
5.0/5.0
Stephanie took our engagement pics and was the photographer at our wedding. We feel so lucky because we have hundreds of amazing photos! My husband said that our condo is starting to look like the Heather & Steve museum. Okay, I might go a little overboard on hanging up our pictures, but they are all so good!! The best part about Stephanie is that she is a photojournalist so she captures life. Some of the best pictures are the ones she catches without you even knowing she's clicking away. If you are looking for a photographer - go with Stephanie. She is AMAZING!!
Services Used: Photography
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Anna
Wedding:
4/2/2012
5.0/5.0
First of all, I would like to say that Stephanie Secrest is an absolutely wonderful person and a remarkable photographer!!!
My fiancée and I are living abroad and we needed to find a photographer. We saw so many websites, and Finally we saw Stephanie's site and her amazing photos, her sweet sense of humor. We could tell that she is devoted to her work and it is her passion. We called her and she was as sweet as we thought she would be.
When we arrived in the bay area, she insisted to get know us better and we got to know each other by eating a pizza (before my dress fitting).
On the day of the wedding she was super relaxed but at the same time, super professional. She made us and our families feel so comfortable with her and Edwin (the second photographer). She thought about so many extraordinary shots and let us feel that we are in good hands (we were).
During our wedding day Stephanie made us feel like she is a part of our family and we had such a good connection with her.
We felt the whole day that she really loves her work and we were moved by her excitement and joy.
After the wedding she sent us a sample of the photos and when we saw them we knew- we made the right choice by choosing her.
She is really an amazing person and she is an amazing artist. She can capture the moments that you like to capture, and she does that and it felt like she was not there.
Having her as our photographer was an amazing experience.
Services Used: Photography
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Annie
Wedding:
3/31/2012
5.0/5.0
YOUR SEARCH ENDS HERE! Stephanie is an amazing photographer, and an even more amazing person! Stephanie came highly recommended by the manager of our venue at Blackhawk Country club. She was the only photographer that I met with and I knew the instant I met her she was the one I would chose. Stephanie met us in Half Moon Bay for our engagement photo session, and right away my fiance and I we comfortable with her. We had so much fun that day. By the time the wedding came around Stephanie felt like part of the family, I was genuinely excited to see her on my wedding day. Stephanie Loves what she does and it shows, our engagement photos and wedding photos turned out amazing.

Not to put any pressure on Stephanie because I believe it is pretty much unheard of with wedding photographers, I was so shocked that we actually received our wedding photos while we were still on hour honeymoon, 13 days after the wedding. What a fun experience that was. I look forward to the day that Stephanie does our baby photo session. Yup she does a free baby photo session for all her couples. I Honestly believe that there is no reason to look any further, Stephanie is the BEST!
Services Used: Photography
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Maria
Wedding:
3/24/2012
5.0/5.0
I heard about Stephanie from another girlfriend of mine.
As soon as we meet up we hit it off. She is very professional, yet fun loving and easy to talk to.
We decided to do our engagement photos in Murphys, Ca. We made a day trip of it. Stephanie met at our house and we all drove together. Spending the day with her was wonderful! She made us feel at ease during our shoot.
She is quick too! You don't have to worry about spending all day posing. She has a natural eye and can get those special shots in a flash. We got the photos back in a week and we couldn't have been more happy with them.
When it came time for the wedding we felt like we had made a friend. We were so happy to share our day with her.
She met me at my reception site. All of the standard photos were already taken (flowers, tables, ceremony site, etc) so she could focus on my groom and me.
After the ceremony we had a big job of getting my husbands family together. Doing this was a big deal for my husband. Stephanie was great about getting people to do what she asked! I still can't believe we got them to stay put for 3 minutes! The family photo turned out great and everyone loved it!
Before the wedding she asks you to email her a shot list. She makes sure to get those pictures for you. When you are in the moment at your wedding you think you have more time than you actually do, Stephanie knows this and makes sure you get all the shots you ask for without pestering you.
We got all of the photos quickly in about a week and a half. We loved all of them!
I can not say enough good things about Stephanie..My husband and I are truly without a doubt happy with her work. We will be using her for all our life events. I would recommend her to anyone in need of a photographer
Services Used: Photography
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Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
5.0/5.0
Stephanie is terrific in every way- her photography, personality, flexibility and work ethic is all top notch! We were thrilled to have her photograph our wedding- she did a fantastic job. We did not have a videographer and we really did not need one with Stephanie clicking away- she was on top of the action and captured all the moments to remember. Her pictures really captured the essence of the day and the people, and came out beautifully. Thanks to Stephanie, we have fantastic memories captured in gorgeous photographs to share, and stunning photos from the engagement shoot she did with us. I have to say the quality of the photos from the engagement shoot were a happy surprise because the conditions were challenging...changing light in WINDY San Francisco, but she made it work and she kept it fun! People actually thought my windblown hair was an effect we used a fan to get, b/c she knew how to work with the conditions to get beautiful photos!

You cannot find a more accommodating and talented photographer- we interviewed several and she was hands down the most down to earth and customer service oriented one. Her photographs stood out, but what really makes her a gem is how great she is to work with and how focused she is on delivering value as well as quality.
Services Used: Photography
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Sonia
Wedding:
10/29/2011
5.0/5.0
OOOOOOOOOh Stephanie! After e-mailing more than 40 photographers and meeting at least 5, I knew Stephanie was the one the moment I walked in the door for our interview. WOW. She is amazing and passionate and LOVES what she does. Those qualities make her incredibly easy to work with and her enthusiasm shows through in her art.

Stephanie photographed both our engagement shoot AND our wedding.Not only are there great posed shots, but there are amazing moments she was able to capture that I would otherwise have missed. I have no idea how I'm going to be able to select the shots.

Oh... And did I mention my parents are wedding photographers? The LOVED Stephanie's work and she was even willing to go the extra mile to make them feel comfortable... (She even met my mom and me at the church the week of the wedding to assess the lighting situation! AND let my mom step in on the posing that she is oh-so-particular about... Stephanie COULD be a diva with her talent, but definately is not.)

I recommend Steph with absolutely NO reservations. Hire her now. And the bonus? Steph loves all of her couples SO much that she even includes free baby pictures!
Services Used: Photography
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Heather
Wedding:
9/17/2011
5.0/5.0
When my fiancé and I got engaged one of the tasks I was not as excited by
was trying to pick a photographer. How were we ever going to decide as
wedding pictures are always pretty. Many of the venues we looked at had
preferred vendor lists and Stephanie's name kept showing up time and time
again on these different lists so I knew I needed to check her out. I went
to her site and instantly fell in love with her pictures. I kept searching
all the different photographers but kept going back to her site and I just
was drawn to her work. Finally, after agonizing over it too long, I
contacted her and set up a meeting. Within minutes of meeting Stephanie
myself, my fiancé, and my mom all knew that she was the perfect person to
ask to be part of our special day. In the months leading up to our wedding
she was always very responsive to all my emails and was a pleasure to
communicate with. She is really one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met
and always makes you feel like the only person that matters to her.

Not only is she amazing to work with from a personality and professionalism
standpoint, her pictures are beyond beautiful. She captures every detail of
the wedding. I am not sure how she captured half the things she did as she
was never intrusive at all, just somehow managed to quietly sneak up and get
the shots. I do not think she ever sat down all evening. We ended up with
over 3000 pictures from the day!!! The only hard part is how to decide
which ones to get framed.

Once the wedding is over, she gets you a teaser picture or two with a couple
days and more teasers as you wait for the full batch of pictures. And she
does not keep you waiting long. We had our DVDs in hand just 3 weeks after
our wedding.

She is amazing!
Services Used: Photography
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Melinda
Wedding:
9/10/2011
5.0/5.0
Stephanie Secrest is amazing! A friend introduced us and I knew right away she was the photographer to work with because of her talent, passion about photography, and her happy attitude (which is key to have happy people around you for a happy day). She is very quick to respond and really goes above & beyond the call of duty. I am incredibly lucky to have had a photographer like her at my wedding. She made everything easy. I would recommend her again in a heart beat for any occasion.

*Addition: I was in my brother's weekend this past weekend and his photographer was in all of our faces and incredibly intrusive. Made me think back to my wedding and how Stephanie and her 2 other assistants/co-workers were complete ghosts. They got amazing photos and you could barely tell they were there. That is a perfect team of photographers. :)
Services Used: Photography
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Zsaleh
Wedding:
6/18/2011
5.0/5.0
Stephanie is beyond incredible. Her work from my wedding covers everything I could have hoped for. It is beautiful and fun, and it also documents everything about the event--from the big shots of the ceremony, dinner, and dancing, to the little moments throughout the evening.
My husband and I looked at many photographers in the Bay Area when we were looking for our wedding photographer, and we didn't see work from anyone else that came even close to Stephanie's. Moreover, you can hire her without spending every last penny that you had saved for the honeymoon! She does engagement and baby shoots for all of her wedding couples.
Stephanie is also incredibly professional. When we interviewed her, she met us at our house and brought a huge portfolio for us to look through. She spent as much time as we wanted answering our questions, and she answered more via email. Because we don't currently live in the Bay Area, we had to squeeze the engagement shoot into a short visit over the holidays, and Stephanie spent an entire day, four days before Christmas, traipsing around (cold) San Francisco with us. Then, she had the photos ready for us to see within a week! (She also had our wedding photos ready for us, on our own website, within days of our return from our honeymoon!)
The engagement shoot was also a great way to get to know Stephanie better. By the time we saw her at the wedding, it felt like seeing an old friend! Stephanie was just fantastic. She made me feel so special on my wedding--like I was the most important bride ever!
Stephanie also does a pretty incredible job of "disappearing" while she's working. Other than when she did the portraits of my husband and our wedding party and our families, I didn't see Stephanie the whole five hours, but it's clear from the photos that she was everywhere at once.
Stephanie is the BEST!
Services Used: Photography
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RWhitten
Wedding:
10/23/2010
5.0/5.0
There is just not enough I could ever say about Stephanie. She is so warm and friendly- my husband and I knew right away that we wanted to work with her to photograph our wedding. Stephanie took amazing photos, and we get to keep them all! From start to finish, wedding dress shopping, engagement photos, etc Stephanie has always been there for us and willing to go the extra mile. She is the best, and you will have such a gift in your photos for the rest of your married life!
Services Used: Photography
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Julie-Anne
Wedding:
8/28/2010
5.0/5.0
As most people know... your wedding photographer is one of the most important aspects of your wedding. The pictures will serve as the memories of your special day for the rest of your life. To my husband and I, our wedding photographer had to be outstanding. I searched high and low through magazines, personal recommendations and the internet to find the most perfect photographer. Stephanie Secrest was an absolute treasure amongst the hundreds I found. As soon as I read through her amazing reviews on YELP, I sent her an email and she responded very quickly. She made a trip to our town to meet with us face to face and show us some of her beautiful work. Stephanie is an artist. Her photographs are like pictures in magazines and perfect in every way.

She did our engagement shoot a few months before our wedding and we couldn't believe the beauty of the pictures she took. Each one captured the love my husband and I have for each other in the most perfect way. I had hundreds of my friends and family comment on how lovely these pictures were when I posted them for everyone to see. We knew that when it came to our wedding day, Stephanie would know just how to photograph those priceless moments and unforgettable times. She did just that. Along with her co-photographer Edwin, they captured some of the most amazing pictures I have ever seen at a wedding. Everyone who saw the pictures commented on the excellence of each one.

Beyond the exceptional photographs, Stephanie also showed such incredible passion and excitement when it came to being a part of our special celebration. I highly doubt there is another photographer out there that shows such enthusiasm as Stephanie does. She is also polite, kind, professional, and extremely easy to work with. If I could give Stephanie 10 stars, I would. She is a fantastic photographer and we felt honored to have her for our special day.

Thank you Stephanie!!!
Services Used: Photography
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Laura B.
Wedding:
8/8/2010
5.0/5.0
Best wedding photos on earth. Stephanie has an artist's eye and her photos look stunning. We were especially impressed with how she captured expressions; the delighted, surprised looks when the lid flew off the ring box in our ceremony (cuz I wore it out looking at the rings beforehand), the adoration as I looked up at my father in our dance, the tenderness my husband feels for me showing in his face during the ceremony. Weddings are emotional, and Stephanie tells that story well. She has won numerous awards as a professional photojournalist. She took 1507 photos, and the final cut of "only the great photos" was 575. Everyone who sees them says, "Wow! You had a GRRRREAT photographer!" Plus, Stephanie is a wonderful, caring person, the kind of gal you'd want for a best friend. We were completely happy with our photos, and so was everyone else in them.
Services Used: Photography
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Amy
Wedding:
6/5/2010
5.0/5.0
Over two years ago, we were looking for a photographer to capture our wedding on June 5, 2010. I found Stephanie, a five star rated photographer on Yelp and decided to shoot her an email to get more information. I emailed a few other photographers in the Bay Area as well, but to be honest, wasn't as excited about them after seeing their "best of shots" from their websites. I was more engaged with Stephanie's artistic eye and ability to capture the moments I was looking for in my own wedding. Her photojournalism style was what I preferred - candid and on cue.

Stephanie responded to my email that night, hours later. I was immediately impressed with her quick reply, fun-loving attitude and obvious passion for her career choice. I couldn't wait to meet her!

Stephanie invited us into her home that weekend. It was an overall lovely experience. When I first met her in person, I felt like I already knew her. She is a very welcoming and warm person. Her samples were impressive, and pricing structure was based on her time spent on the job (no price per print or mandatory purchase of a photobook, like some photographers do). We enjoyed our time with her so much that we stayed for three hours and had no problem signing the contract about half way through our meeting.

The day of our wedding, Stephanie was punctual and already behind the camera the second she got on site (she actually got a hotel room for the night before to ensure she didn't get stuck in traffic, even though she lived only an hour away from the venue). She worked hard - taking 2500 pictures in 6 hours (that's about 7 pictures per minute if you do the math!). Our pictures came out better than we could have imagined. Our family and friends continue to compliment us on our pictures. We couldn't be happier!

Thank you, Stephanie, for allowing us to relive our special day exactly as we had hoped for years to come!
Services Used: Photography
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Debwa
Wedding:
4/18/2010
5.0/5.0
What can we say about Stephanie? Not only is she someone you would want to be responsible for recording your day on film, she's someone you'd want to have around at your wedding. She is positive, upbeat, calming, friendly, warm, professional, kind, caring and an extremely talented photojournalist. She is creative and sees the world in a different way giving her photography that special something we were looking for. Stephanie gave us much more than our money's worth on our day and our pictures are absolutely stunning. Please do yourself a favor and meet with Stephanie before you book a photographer. You won't be sorry.
Services Used: Photography
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Laura
Wedding:
11/7/2009
5.0/5.0
All I need to say about Stephanie is WOW!

Prior to the wedding she came to my house to show me and my fiance albums and pictures she has taken for other couples. I was sold after just looking at one album! She has a great style and good eye for catching amazing shots! I love that she tells a story in her pictures.

I am so happy we chose her to photograph our wedding on 11/7/09. She is very professional and so easy to work with. Not only does she know what looks best in a shot, but she works quickly. And, she had our photos ready to view only 2 weeks after we had gotten married! My husband and I went to her house to view them on a slideshow- I was blown away with all the shots!

I would definitely recommend Stephanie Secrest as your photographer! You will not be disappointed at all!
Services Used: Photography
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Leslie
Wedding:
8/22/2009
5.0/5.0
I have to write a disclaimer: I know Stephanie from having worked with her at two Bay Area news publications. Naturally I wanted to select her for my wedding from knowing her work as a journalist.

However, after reading her other reviews on Yelp, I have to say that it seems she treats all her clients the way she treated me and my now husband- as a someone she purposefully got to know well so she could do her best in showcasing what was important on the wedding day.

She had us over to her studio twice to pick our brains on what we wanted from a photographer: shots of some of the guests we probably wouldn't see a lot of given our quick time frame and artistic shots of my dress, our dog, and the beauty of Tilden Park.

Stephanie is a consummate professional who loves what she does- and it shows so well in her photos. She understands the stress of juggling different vendors and respectfully worked well with everyone else on our day.

But above all it's her skill that made me want to review her on Yelp. I highly recommend her.
Services Used: Photography
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Alejandra
Wedding:
10/5/2013
4.9/5.0
When my husband and I were looking for photographers for our wedding we had no idea where to even begin. We then came across Stephanie's website and fell in love instantly with her pictures. After speaking with her and getting to know her awesome and bubbly personality, we knew instantly that she was the one for us. She was very sweet and flexible with our schedules and our indecisiveness on where to take our engagement pictures. She captured such beautiful pictures for our engagement, that we had some displayed at the wedding to show off her wonderful work. On the day of wedding, she did such an amazing job with our huge chaotic families. She was able to capture one of the most important days for my husband and I. I highly recommend Stephanie because not only does she know what she is doing, but she treats every photo session and picture she takes with pride and makes sure the end result is perfect!

Thank you so much Stephanie for the beautiful pictures that we get to enjoy for the rest of our lives!!! :)
Services Used: Photography
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Tina
Wedding:
6/8/2013
4.9/5.0
Okay, I was not the Bride, I was the Wedding Planner, but really, when someone shows this much class and professionalism, well....
I have been a Wedding Planner for 11 years and I can truthfully say that I have never worked with a more talented, thoughtful caring photographer. I can only think how lucky a Bride would be to choose Stephanie for her most precious day. I do not write many reviews but I was very impressed. Choose wisely, pictures are the best link to your memories. Tina Plyler
Services Used: Photography
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Katie
Wedding:
9/2/2012
4.8/5.0
Stephanie was recommended to us by my co-worker and she was fantastic! We took our engagement photos with her and we got some beautiful shots that we used on our holiday cards, wedding favors and more.

Stephanie is a doll and she is so easy to work with. On the day of the wedding she captured gorgeous shots of my husband and me. I really love all the moments she caught of everyone dancing and being silly. When we got the photos a couple weeks after the wedding I kept saying "gosh, I didn't even know Stephanie was there!" because she is so talented at grabbing shots of all your special moments.

My only small critique is that I wish the family portrait portion of the day was better organized. I totally understand that this is traditionally a hectic moment however I would have liked to see Stephanie take control and direct everyone to take their places.

Even though Stephanie shoots tons of weddings, she really makes you feel like the most special and beautiful bride! I plan to recommend Stephanie to all my friends who need a photographer in the future because she provides a personalized experience and she shoots absolutely gorgeous photos!
Services Used: Photography

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