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SimplyTwo Photography

San Gabriel , CA
CONTACT US
CONTACT US

LOCATION

San Gabriel, CA US 91776 (map)

WEBSITE

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ABOUT US

...a wedding and lifestyle photographer based out of Southern California, John loves loves loves his brides and grooms! Regularly gracing the pages of wedding magazines and fireplace... Read more
...a wedding and lifestyle photographer based out of Southern California, John loves loves loves his brides and grooms! Regularly gracing the pages of wedding magazines and fireplace mantles, John's art is deeply inspired by the influence of modern art, fashion, and photojournalism.

Brides often describe his highly refined style of wedding photography edgy, chic, and brilliantly narrative.There's so much more to wedding photography than gear, lighting, and technical hoo-ha. It's about timelessness. It's about story telling. And it's definitely about bending over backward just to get that o.m.g. shot.

You see, that's where John's experience, love for people, and intuitive desire for awesomeness come into play. Not only does John play the role of a "ninja in a tree" to capture the candid and unrehearsed moments but he also loves it when he gets to step up to compose the imagery that brought you here in the first place.

John's best advice to brides: Keep a pair of flip-flops near you all day. Your feet will thank you!

John is available for both local and destination adventures and travels to photograph his clients. Read less
Photography

INFO FOR PHOTOGRAPHY

What primary photographic style do you identify with?
Contemporary, Photojournalism, Portraiture
What do your packages include?
Albums, Custom Graphic Design, Digital Files, Flush Mount, High Resolution Images, Matted Prints, Negatives, Prints, Proof CD of All Images, Video Montage
Do you have liability insurance?
Yes

REVIEWS

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Emily
Wedding:
6/1/2014
5.0/5.0
John at SimplyTwo is the absolute BEST. My husband and I have been fans of his work for years and love reading his blog and checking out his photos. We booked our engagement photos as well as our wedding photos with SimplyTwo and John has NOT disappointed us, not even a little. He was professional and put us at ease so that the photos captured our personalities and dynamic as a couple. Wedding photos are the one thing from the wedding that will be shared with friends and family over and over again - you want them to be the best. My husband and I relive our wedding through John's photos and all the happy/giddy feelings rush back each time. You will NOT be disappointed if you book with SimplyTwo. We can't wait to shoot more creatives with John in the future!
Services Used: Photography
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Quinn
Wedding:
5/30/2014
5.0/5.0
My wife and I first heard of John’s work from a good friend who had nothing but good things to say about him. After my bride and I checked out his website, simplytwo.com, we instantly fell in love with his work and knew we needed to find out his availability asap and book our venue according to his availability.

Prior to scheduling any photo sessions, we met with John via Skype to become familiar with each other. Instantly, my wife and I found John easily relatable. He was so easy to talk to; we felt like we were talking with a friend than a vendor.

During our engagement photo session, John showed a high level of excitement and was able to make my beautiful bride and me comfortable. He makes it so easy for you to just be yourselves during the photo shoot. There was never an awkward or dull moment. It was amazing to see him at work, recognizing certain lighting and angles that we would have never noticed.

And let’s just say, the photos turned out freakin’ awesome! You can tell that he cares about the details and makes sure to capture each precious moment as though they were his own. He demonstrates exquisite care to produce each image in its best condition. The quality of his work is unparalleled.

After the session, John was extremely responsive to any questions my bride or I had. Also, we received the DVD containing our photos in the time frame he had promised.

Leading up to the wedding, John was very flexible in meeting with us and planning out our ceremony schedule. John definitely made us feel as if we were his top priority and he would do whatever it takes to get that beautiful shot that perfectly captures the moment.

And yes, the wedding photo highlights that we have seen so far are much better than my wife or I could have imagined. We almost cannot wait to see the rest.

We are so happy and thankful for the superb work John invested in our wedding and we would be more than happy to use him a thousand times over again.
Services Used: Photography
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Annie
Wedding:
5/24/2014
5.0/5.0
John is simply AMAZING. He is so good at putting an anxious bride at ease to get those amazing shots. I knew from the moment we met him, we were going to have EXCELLENT photos. He is so willing to take on suggestions and making them more than we ever hoped they would be (i.e. our sparkler shots for our engagement). LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all that you do and I would recommend him to EVERYONE.
Services Used: Photography
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Jimmy
Wedding:
4/12/2014
5.0/5.0
SimplyTwo was very professional, laid back, fun, and the pictures were great! It should be difficult to find all these attributes in one business, but SimplyTwo provides it all! John makes sure you are very comfortable in front of the camera, and he is able to capture very natural moments. I picked SimplyTwo because I've seen John's portfolio, and nothing compares to the quality and uniqueness of his shots. As a bonus, he is just wonderful to work with!
Services Used: Photography
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Anonymous
Wedding:
Recently Married
5.0/5.0
Hands down, Simply Two Photography was the best vendor choice to capture the big and small moments of both our wedding day and engagement shoot. John Yao produces high quality images that combine priceless emotions with the soft touch of beauty in every detail of each photo! Whether via text, email, or phone call, John responds within 24 hours or sooner. He is easy to work with and flexible to accommodate any sudden changes. He also gave his input when working with planning the overall flow of the day. John's many years of experience and beautiful talent behind the lens makes him the best wedding photographer!

Best pictures are always the jumping ones!
Services Used: Photography
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Tiffani
Wedding:
2/21/2014
5.0/5.0
Du nu nu nahhhhhhh!!! Herey Herey JOHN is seriously the most amazing photog in all the land!! It does NOT get better than this fella. From the moment we met with John his chill demeanor and artistic swag shone through! We had a vision for our engagement shoot and John made it look straight out of a magazine! It was so easy to be natural around him and trust he knows what he is doing. Our wedding day was perfect and John made sure to capture each moment ......he was so sly we never saw him around but he caught every moment and moments we had no idea were being watched. The product looks soooooo crazyyyyy good its overwhelming. I have never seen another wedding photog take such artistic pics before. John we are so grateful for you and your talent!
Services Used: Photography
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Lillian
Wedding:
1/18/2014
5.0/5.0
We met with several photographers for initially and decided on John as we thought his sample pictures were exceptional and his personality was very easygoing. Throughout the entire process, John was extremely responsive, flexible, and just wonderful to work with. We did an engagement shoot as well as the day-of photography. My husband and I are kind of awkward in front of the camera and not very photogenic but John put us right at ease and the engagement session was great practice for the big day. He has a brilliant eye for poses and settings that look natural and worked well for us.

For the day of, John was on time and professional (and funny!). We got many comments from our friends and family about John's great personality. He put us right at ease. The pictures went quickly and smoothly. We were eager anticipating how the pictures would turn out.

A short month later, we received the pictures in a beautifully packaged CD, and they looked great! There are so many wonderful shots that I can't wait to print out. They definitely look like they're from a professional photographer. We shared the pictures with our friends and family and they raved about them as well. We would recommend John to anybody looking for a wedding photographer with our highest recommendation. Thanks for a really great job John and for documenting our day beautifully!!!
Services Used: Photography
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Leslie Anne
Wedding:
1/11/2014
5.0/5.0
Awesome guy and an even awesomer photographer!!! Very professional and flexible! He made my husband and I very comfortable in front of the camera. Our engagement pictures turned out amazing! And we can't wait to see our wedding photos!
Services Used: Photography
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Andre Jess
Wedding:
12/28/2013
4.9/5.0
It was such a delight to work with John Yao of Simply Two Photography. I (bride) had met John a few years ago at another friend's wedding, and then again at a second wedding, where I was one of the maids-of-honor. It was such a positive experience in that John has such a non-anxious, positive presence. I saw how much my friends enjoyed having him as their photographer, and when I saw the pictures, I was amazed at the quality, the creativity, and the skill.

When my husband and I were looking for our own photographer, there were few whose skills compared to John's. We especially love the work he does using light. It is because of his skill that we chose him to be our photographer.

We are so delighted that we did - we haven't seen the full set of pictures quite yet, but from what he's passed on to us so far, we are just super impressed. Everyone who sees them is amazed at how he was able to capture amazing moments/people with such artistry and unique perspective.

I think there might be many artistically/creatively inclined photographers, but I think there are also those who do so without the right personality. John's personality is laidback enough to bring ease to everyone, but at the same time firm enough to get the shots done (like when you're getting those big group photos of everyone). He is very friendly to the wedding guests so that everyone is comfortable, yet not overly loud in his work to draw unnecessary attention.

One last piece is that John was extremely flexible with our needs. He was willing to tailor his contract to meet our needs - the hours we needed for photography, to travel to do an evening wedding party shoot, to do another type of photographing in place of engagement shots, etc.
Services Used: Photography
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James
Wedding:
9/28/2013
5.0/5.0
John is a master photographer. When you first meet him, he seems a bit shy and coy, but once the gloves come off, he is a whiz with the camera. He notices things that novices and experts alike don't take into consideration. His imagery captures the very soul of the moment.

The first thing you'll notice about his photos is the lighting. His daylight pictures stream through and make the subject matter seem something out of a Robert Frost poem or a Renaissance painting. However, his best pictures have the rich colors he captures at twilight. It took only one look at some of these pictures for us to pick him without a second thought. He also works with you to incorporate props, dinosaurs, and whatever you want and can think of into your pictures. John's cool demeanor belies his youthful humor and he will keep you smiling throughout the process. From your engagement pictures to your rehearsal and finally to your wedding day, John gets all the shots you want and those special pictures that every bride and groom envisions at their wedding.

Unknown to us, a friend of ours also hired John as their photographer after we hired him, but before we got to meet him in person. We had the opportunity to see him in action and he did not disappoint. Several people made passing comments at both our friend's wedding and our wedding that John "doesn't look out of place. He was dancing with the crowd while capturing shots. He was a part of the party." And to us, this is the best way to capture candid pictures of your friends and family.

Weddings are supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. These pictures will provide a wonderful vivid reminder of that special day years to come, so you might as well go with the best.

And for the bridezillas out there, John takes many pictures for wedding magazines - although he will be too humble to tell you that in person.
Services Used: Photography
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Niti
Wedding:
9/21/2013
5.0/5.0
I first saw John's work when my (now) sister-in-law showed me her Engagement Session & immediately, I fell in love. I told my (now) husband then, if we were to get married, we will use him!
Fast forward a year later, my husband proposed and as soon as the excitement wore off, we contacted John. We knew that he only does 19 weddings a year, and I wanted to make sure that my wedding was one of the 19 for 2013! We wanted him as a photographer so bad that we actually worked around HIS availability to choose our wedding date and was it totally worth it? YES!!
From the moment you meet John, he immediately makes you feel comfortable and its like you've been friends forever. My husband is definitely camera shy and does not like taking pictures, but on our engagement shoot and wedding day, my husband was totally into it because of how comfortable John made him feel.
We get compliments on our pictures ALL the time and it is because of John's talented vision. You may take 10 pictures at the same spot, but the product will be 10 different set of beautiful pictures. I can't say enough good things about him! I highly recommend to any bride who would like to capture the big day in a BEAUTIFUL way. :) Thank you John from the bottom of our hearts! We couldn't have chosen a better photographer to capture our moments. Expect a call in a few years when we are ready for our first family pictures. :)
Services Used: Photography
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Jennifer
Wedding:
9/15/2013
5.0/5.0
I first met John Y. (SimplyTwo Photography) when he shot my MOH's wedding a year before ours. Immediately, I knew I had to book him even before I was officially engaged! I was immediately sold on the way he connects with the bride, groom and wedding party, and told my now husband (then bf at the time) that we have to book John when we get married!

So fast forward a few months, we got engaged, and pretty much picked our wedding date accordingly to John's availability. John met my husband, David for the first time when we had an initial meeting at a local boba shop in West LA. David immediately liked his laid back attitude, creative ideas and work with you as a friend approach.

We spent a whole day with John for our engagement photos and felt so comfortable with him taking our photos. We toured around LA, shot in the rain and got drenched at some point, but it was so much fun thanks to John's creative and fun style. We absolutely loved our engagement photos and received endless compliments from our family and friends.

Now, for the big day. By the time, September 15th came around, we felt like we've known John for years. When he showed up at the hotel to shoot our wedding that day, it felt like seeing a good friend right before the wedding. He helped plan and coordinate a lot of the schedule so that we would maximize our time. He made both David and I feel comfortable and most importantly, special. You don't get the feeling that this is the 2374820078th wedding he's shot, but rather he is a good friend that genuinely wants to capture all the special moments of our big day. As the wedding day continued, and things got hectic, he was always there to keep everyone calm. He also works very well with all of our vendors! We felt like one big happy family. We couldn't be happier with John Yao at SimplyTwo and would recommend John for shooting all your life's biggest moments!
Services Used: Photography
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Anonymous
Wedding:
Recently Married
5.0/5.0
John is an awesome photographer! He truly follows his motto: owner. photographer. friend. John treats you like he would his actual friend and throughout the whole process of working with him it's quite apparent how much time, commitment, effort, and most of all care that he provides his clients. John is super personable and always tries to make you happy and comfortable throughout the whole process. He gives you advice and coaching to make you feel comfortable during the photo sessions. John always does not only what you ask him to, but he goes above and beyond even when the tasks you ask him to do aren't part of his job. Besides being super easy to work with John needless to say, takes amazing photos! I have gotten numerous comments on my engagement photos as well as my wedding photos. One of my guests even commented at the wedding that she wished her photographer thought of some of the poses and settings John chose to take for us. I highly recommend John if you are looking for someone really personable, caring, and takes awesome photos! :)
Services Used: Photography
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Anonymous
Wedding:
Recently Married
4.9/5.0
John is a top notch photographer who makes you feel comfortable in all situations. He likes exciting fun couples and will make you laugh. Most importantly he gets incredible shots.
Services Used: Photography
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Lisa
Wedding:
8/31/2013
4.9/5.0
Finding a photographer for our wedding was a very difficult task for us. Once all is said and done, the photographs are the only things that capture the special moments of the day. My husband was very picky about picking a photographer. We interviewed a couple of different vendors. The qualities we wanted in a photographer was someone who took high quality beautiful shots, creative pictures, reasonable prices, and a professional. We found that John at SimplyTwo had all those qualities. The two things that really sold us on picking SimplyTwo was that John is someone who my husband and I were truly comfortable around. He felt like a friend you had known for a while. We knew he would make our family and bridal party comfortable too. The other thing that sold us was we realized we wanted a photographer who made not just beautiful shots but creative funny shots. John is definitely the one for that. He will go the extra mile to get a shot that is not your "conventional posed wedding shot". We wanted to take a beach shot for our engagement session but unfortunately the sun had already gone down. John was up for the challenge though. We climbed down a rocky hill (in cold temperatures!) with our cell phone flashlights and he used a projector to light our beach scene. Those pictures actually turned out to be some of my favorite shots. He was also wonderful at our wedding too. He sees things at a different depth and angle than most of us do and the result is beautiful imagery. He captured the beautiful, funny, and serious moments perfectly for our big day. If you want someone who is great at what what they do, trustworthy, creative, and someone who makes you feel at home... then pick SimplyTwo... you won't regret it!
Wedding: 08/31/2013
Services Used: Photography
Services Used: Photography
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Megan
Wedding:
8/24/2013
5.0/5.0
John is an awesome photographer. He is talented, creative, and works really well with people.

Our engagement shoot took a full day traveling around LA (including being in LA traffic), but John never complained. He was professional and patient throughout, capturing the exact pictures and locations that we wanted and adding his creativity into the mix for some of our most memorable shots.

On the wedding day, John arrived about an hour before our scheduled time for photos, and when asked why he was there so early, he replied, "An hour early is on time." (That made my mom happy.) During the family photos, which I expected to be pure chaos, John was funny, engaging, and got everyone's attention directed to him.

My only advice to brides is to book early--we booked him over a year before our wedding. His 2013 calendar was booked before the year even started!!
Services Used: Photography
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Brenda
Wedding:
8/9/2013
5.0/5.0
I really don’t know where to begin when it comes to John’s character and professionalism. After many recommendations and looking over other photographer’s portfolios, nothing compared to John’s work. After viewing and speaking to John we knew he was the one we wanted to hire for our wedding. We were worried we wouldn't be able to afford him because of our tight budget, but he worked with us and made it happen. I’ll admit even then we were still worried, but my husband and I were so impressed by him and the quality of his work that we said, “Forget it! We are keeping him!” and it was the best decision we made. He delivered beyond our expectations. He is truly gifted in capturing candid, intimate moments, your best angles at the best time. If you feel unsure on how to pose or position yourself, don’t worry . . . With his experience he will guide you and make you feel comfortable and look natural in any setting! Believe me when I say, you will NOT regret hiring him. He is helpful in every way. We truly enjoyed every moment working with him!
Part of our package included the engagement session and we were blown away! We loved our engagement photos so much we used them as mini Polaroid favors for our guest. We got tons of compliments on our pictures. Everyone asked us who our famous photographer was! Our entire party adored him for the simple fact that he is easy going, relaxed, kind, patient and extremely talented. We definitely plan on using him for future events!
Our wedding day felt like a blur so being able to go back and look at pictures is the closet we get to relive our wedding day. It’s been exactly two weeks since our wedding and we already have tons of pictures to look back on. John is prompt and will not keep you waiting like most do. My husband and I are open to speak to anyone who wants to know more about what is like to work with John. We give John permission to use us as a reference

Thank you, John for all your help! You rock!
Services Used: Photography
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
4.7/5.0
John did an awesome job with our engagement and wedding pictures! He is creative, fun, and easy to work with.
Services Used: Photography
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Brandon
Wedding:
7/6/2013
5.0/5.0
John was such an awesome photographer for us on our big day! As we were thinking about the many things that go into planning a wedding, we definitely wanted to hire a photographer that would allows us to relive and enjoy our wedding day years later; this is why we decided to go with SimplyTwo. We knew that hiring John to shoot our wedding was a no-brainer because he is so flexible to any ideas that you may want for engagement shoots, bridal party shoots, etc. On the other hand, if you're someone that find it hard to envision what kind of shots you want, John gives wonderful suggestions and guides you through the entire process so that your shoot will be fun, amazing, and memorable. I also appreciate the fact that he communicated things really well with us, and he knew exactly where he needed to be and when he needed to be there. His fun, easy-going, yet professional personality made our time with him enjoyable. Thanks again for all your hard work John :)
Services Used: Photography
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C
Wedding:
6/29/2013
5.0/5.0
John is SO talented! He has really fancy equipment, but that only does not make a good photographer. A good photographer must have the creativity and the skill to be able to capture the moments, and John has both the eye for the creativity and the skill for getting that perfect shot.

We also can't wait to see what all the final pictures look like! John was so speedy with giving us a preview of the shots he took with his teasers and favorites and sharing some photos that he captured as quickly as the day after the wedding! I don't know of any other photographers that can make that fast of a turnover to let you preview what your wedding looked like.

Also, John was such a trooper! Our wedding day happened to be during a heat wave and he never once complained about the heat despite the fact that he was wearing a suit AND carrying all his camera equipment.

All in all, My husband and I are both so satisfied with working with John, we would definitely recommend him to others.
Services Used: Photography
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Sheryl Anne
Wedding:
6/15/2013
5.0/5.0
What can I say about this guy!?

After seeing his work from a few of my sorority sisters' weddings, I thought to myself, "this guy takes great photos and for my friends to use the SAME guy for their weddings... I think I am going to have to snatch him up!"

Contacting him was so easy! he's quick to respond and easy to keep in touch throughout the whole wedding planning process! In my case, I had to plan everything when my hubby to be was in town because he's a military man so of course i needed someone to be flexible whenever I needed him and John was Great!

I used him for my engagement session and wedding day and he went above and beyond what we expected. Of course it was awkward having someone take our pictures and helping us pose but it didn't take long for us to feel comfortable in front of John's camera. He's got great people skills. Literally, his personality is great to get along with and his humor was well fit to ours and soon enough it felt like he was part of the family :)

It also helps that John's photos are greatly inspired by location, angles, and lighting. Neither my husband or myself had any idea how to pose, where to go, and what to do during our engagement session and wedding day. But with John's talent and experience, I LOVED how he was able to take our locations and help us capture AMAZING photos.

On our wedding day, we had him the WHOLE day and it was great having not to worry about time restraints. Also he was great dealing with my large bridal party. He got along with everyone so well and made taking photos fun and creative, rather than a chore. I had no complaints :)

I'm sure I'll be working with John again! I definitely recommend him!
Services Used: Photography
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Sylvia
Wedding:
6/8/2013
5.0/5.0
A long overdue review! I have nothing but compliments and praise for John's work. He is extremely creative and has a way of using mundane props/settings to your advantage in every shot. He also listens to what you want and does his best to deliver. With John, you can simply relax and enjoy yourself because he makes it very easy to forget that there is a camera in front of you. On our wedding day, i was concerned that we wouldn't have enough time for pictures but John managed to squeeze in a ton of shots without pushing us over our schedule. All in all, both our engagement and wedding photos turned out great and I am more than pleased with the result. Would I choose SimplyTwo if I had to do it all over again? Absolutely!
Services Used: Photography
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Elaine
Wedding:
6/1/2013
5.0/5.0
Hiring SimplyTwo Photography was by far the best decision we made with our wedding. We had seen John Yao's work through Facebook and on multiple wedding blogs and fell in love with his style and creativeness immediately. When I was browsing through photographers, I focus a lot on the engagement session because I didn't like the normal cliche photos where the only thing couples do is kiss here, look there, zzzzzzz. John's photos for every couple were always different and always original. He is truly able to capture the uniqueness of each couple and it was exactly what we were looking for, so much so that we based our wedding date around his availability! He has an eye for the smallest details and can make even the crappiest locations look absolutely stunning.

Not only are the photos stunning but John was the easiest vendor to work with. He was always responsive to any questions we had or anything that we needed. He was also open to any ideas that we wanted to incorporate into our shoot. He gives just enough direction but also allows you to put your own little style into it. I have been to several weddings and have been in weddings where the photographer can't lead a photo shoot for the life of him and the bride ends up telling him what to do. Never the case with SimplyTwo! Plus, John is a stud! Getting to know John was so fun for us! He was so easy going and funny and it made us feel like we were just having fun taking pictures with a friend.

Hiring SimplyTwo was the best decision we made for our wedding, it was definitely money well spent! I already know that any future events we have: maternity pictures, family portraits, etc., I wouldn't think of using any other photographer!
Services Used: Photography
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
Best decision ever! Really.

We contacted John immediately after we got engaged (even before deciding on a venue!). I (the bride) had been stalking Simplytwo Photography for a few years before I got engaged and absolutely loved everything about his work.

Fast forward a year..we finally got to meet the famous John Yao for our engagement shoot. He was super friendly, down to earth, and CHILL! Our engagement shoot was not rushed at all and John took the time to explore the location prior to the shoot. He made us comfortable from the beginning and it just became natural.

Fast forward another 5 months..our wedding day. John arrived early and entertained the crazy and loud bridal party. He worked so well with our videographer, wedding coordinator, and everyone else who helped us with our wedding.

We just can't say enough awesome things. My husband cannot stop talking about how awesome you (John) are and how your work is amazing :).

Thank you Simplytwo Photography for making our wedding process absolutely memorable. We can't wait until we get to work with you again!!
Services Used: Photography
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Seth
Wedding:
5/18/2013
5.0/5.0
We can't even begin to describe what an amazing experience it was to have John as our wedding photographer. As a Hawaii bride and groom, we were desperate for a high quality photographer at an affordable price. What we found in John was so much more. Not only was he by far the most talented wedding photographer we found, but he also worked out a great “destination” package for us. Moreover, he listened to and cared about our story, and became our dear friend and not just our photographer. He attended the bachelor party, wedding rehearsal and rehearsal luncheon, and made it a point to connect with people and make them feel at ease. He has a way of making even the most camera shy person comfortable in front of the camera and look photogenic! He was also super flexible - we asked if he would be willing to do an engagement shoot for us straight off the plane three days before the wedding, and not only was he willing but he brought so much creativity and adventure to our shoot. He didn't stress when wedding day preparations weren't running on time, but found ways to take all the shots he needed and make sure we were all still having a great time. We love his photojournalistic style - we just got our 1000+ wedding photos, and they are beautiful and full of emotion. John went out of the way for those too; I (bride) had pinned favorite shots of his on Pinterest and when he heard this he looked up my profile and took note of all the shots I wanted and made sure I got all of those at the wedding (raining flower petals and all!), and even looked at other pins just to get to know me more and what kinds of things I like. On top of all that, John is wacky and FUN – many of our favorite memories from our wedding are times we spent with him! Now we just need another excuse to hang out with him again…
Services Used: Photography
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Jeffrey
Wedding:
5/11/2013
5.0/5.0
John Yao is unbelievable at one thing above all: He is great at helping you feel comfortable and have an amazing time. I hate taking photos but John helped me to feel comfortable and taught me how to smile (for real!)

We kind of failed to prepare for what would happen after the ceremony and John kind of just took over the mic and with his vast experience, guided our post-ceremony shots with all sorts of different groups. A blast having him around, as he is great at talking to guests and family as well.

Excellent photography and design professional, would recommend to anyone for any type of event or shoot.
Services Used: Photography
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Jane
Wedding:
5/4/2013
5.0/5.0
John is an extremely talented and creative photographer! Since we got married on May the 4th, we wanted to incorporate something Star-Wars related into some photos without it seeming too obvious. He came up with this cool concept of using sunlight shining through cut-out letters to create our save-the-date words shadow so it looked like the intro to Star Wars with the scrolling text (Hard to explain, but the pix came out amazing). He is friendly and genuine and is good at making people feel comfortable in front of the lens to get natural poses/shots, and we got numerous compliments on our engagement shots. He is flexible and answers questions in a timely manner. He even came to our rehearsal to see the space and got along great with our wedding coordinators!

Added bonus: John speaks some Mandarin! This was extremely helpful in my case to help some of our relatives and parents' friends know when to take a picture and where to stand! We had a Chinese banquet dinner, and we actually made it to all the tables! John was great at time management and guiding us along without making it feel rushed. It was so much more convenient to have a photographer who could communicate with all the guests! Even if he couldn't speak Mandarin I would still have booked him because his photographs are beautiful and will last a lifetime!
Services Used: Photography
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Jenn & Ventz
Wedding:
4/18/2013
5.0/5.0
We just had the pleasure of working with John to shoot our destination wedding in Mexico, and it was hands down the best decision we could've made!
As a photographer, the quality of his work is truly amazing. From his creativity and ability to find and direct shots to his professionalism and work ethic, he was nothing short of “epic”. But on top of all this, it was his personality and his ability to get to know our guests and make everyone feel comfortable that sets him above every other photographer we’ve met.
As we already had to organize/plan most of the wedding from abroad without ever having set foot at our destination, working with a photographer you have never met (we live in Canada) and hoping things will work out was a bit scary and daunting at first. But through a year of email exchanges and being able to follow John's life and work online, we became more and more comfortable and confident that we had made the right decision. Once at our destination, he absolutely blew us away and went above and beyond to ensure that we not only had all the amazing photos to remember our special day in its entirety, but that we also had fun doing it too! Through the day (and night) John actually became our friend and as for his work, it speaks for itself.
Services Used: Photography
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Angela
Wedding:
4/7/2013
5.0/5.0
My brother first introduced John's website to me almost 3 years ago. Since then, I had religiously followed him with every hot brides shot, engagement session and wedding session. To my surprise, he had also shot a few of my friend's weddings and I thought they were absolutely spectacular; which reinforced the fact that I needed to have John as my photographer.

When it came to my engagement and wedding sessions, I couldn't believe that the majority of the photos that John had taken were done so with pure skill. He made "normal" shots look as if they were photoshopped. I'm awkward in front of a lens and John made it as comfortable, carefree and natural for me. :)

As for the wedding, John was fantastic! He helped keep me (the bride) calm before, during and after the ceremony. John was extremely flexible with our crazy wedding constantly giving us feedback and trying to capture every emotion and detail. I am so satisfied with his work. He is worth EVERY penny! I just can't wait to see the rest of our pictures.
Services Used: Photography
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Drew
Wedding:
4/5/2013
4.9/5.0
John is tremendously easy to work with, very accommodating, has a stunning eye for shots, and helps everyone feel at ease. His shots make you feel like you were even being photographed. I appreciated his understanding of when to take initiative and when to let us take the lead. I highly recommend him for any wedding or other important events.
Services Used: Photography
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Kaisarine
Wedding:
3/23/2013
5.0/5.0
OVE LOVE LOVE JOHN!
My husband and I hand our wedding celebration on March 23, 2013. We have seen a sneak peek of the photos from our wedding and they look amazing! We cannot wait to see the rest =)
I first met John back in 2011 when I attended my friends wedding. Funny thing because I caught the bouquet at her wedding, and a little less than a year later, I was engaged to be married (I guess the bouquet doesn't lie). Lucky me, John caught the moment on camera. When I saw John's photos of my friends wedding, I knew that when I get married, I was going to have John be the photographer. I loved all his photos and I would periodically stalk his blog. When my husband and I got engaged, the first vendor I knew I had to book was John for our photographer for our engagement photos and wedding. My dream was to have John shoot. When I looked at John's website I was so sad to see that it showed that he was fully booked for 2012. However, I still decided to email him, and when he responded, I was so excited to find out that he was only fully booked for wedding in 2012, he was still available for engagement shoots. We got package 3, and the price was reasonable for what we were getting. I've seen other packages from other photographers who were more expensive and they offered less, and I liked their work less.
So John and I started brainstorming for the engagement shoot, where we would have it and what the themes would be. We definitely fed off of each others ideas. When our engagement shoot day came, we had so much fun! John made my husband and I very comfortable, and the shots he took were amazing! Everybody loved them.
On the day before our wedding, John met us at the wedding ceremony, to scope out the wedding rehearsal, it was so nice of him to do that. When the big day finally came, John was always there to capture the major moments without feeling like he was in the way. That's what you want, a ninja photographer. Can't wait to see the rest of the wedding photos!
Services Used: Photography
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G&K
Wedding:
3/16/2013
5.0/5.0
In the search for our wedding photographer, we had a list of demands. We wanted someone who was creative, easy to work with, flexible, and budget friendly. After meeting with John, we knew he was the photographer for the job. From his samples of an underwater photo shoot to an evening session filled with light painting, his Photoshop skills inspired us to challenge him with our engagement session. John was excited with our ideas, even when we ended our session late, trying to light sparklers against the wind, while standing knee-deep in the ocean. The day of our wedding went by quickly, but John made sure to stay ahead of schedule while still getting the shots we wanted. He was able to shoot our wedding solo and worked well with our videography team. We definitely recommend John for your special day. Thanks for capturing our memories, John! We can't wait to see our album!
Services Used: Photography
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Anonymous
Wedding:
3/9/2013
5.0/5.0
We had the pleasure of working with John this past weekend for our big day. We couldn't be happier with his service. Ever since our initial contact, John has always been extremely responsive and answered all our questions. We can tell he really cared about getting the best photos possible. He took extra time to meet with my hotel coordinator to scout out the key photo areas throughout the resort. He also came to my rehearsal so we can plan out the logistics of the photos and discuss any creative ideas we had. He truly went above and beyond to make sure our photos came out perfect! Not only that, our preview photos were available the very next day! No waiting weeks and weeks..
He was always punctual and extremely professional throughout the whole process. Everyone in my bridal party felt really comfortable working with him.
Pick John and it'll be the best decision you've ever made!
Services Used: Photography
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Hong
Wedding:
3/2/2013
5.0/5.0
John was a pleasure to work with! We couldn't have been happier with our choice in photographer for our engagement shoot and wedding!!! First of all his work speaks for itself. His style is natural, creative and captures the mood. He can make a great shot out of nothing. You don't see what he's seeing until he shows you and you are in awe of how he did it. John utilizes all of what is available to him at any moment and makes it look fantastic!!! I had a reflective cake topper that turned into a shot that looked like it was photoshopped! The sky is the limit. On top of his talent, John is easy going and will work with you in any place or situation. My husband and I are both camera shy but John made us feel completely comfortable. We wanted to do our engagement shoot in the bathroom that my husband proposed in and John was more excited than we were! John even texted us the day before the wedding to see how we were doing. Thank you John!
Services Used: Photography
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Daniel
Wedding:
1/19/2013
5.0/5.0
John is THE best wedding photographer. It was too bad we couldn't book him for our wedding, but he was awesome enough to do an engagement session for us (he's crazy booked, so try to lock him down ASAP!). We were so awkward at first, but he was patient enough with us and made us feel so comfortable. By the end of the night we were having way too much fun. Thank you so much for giving us the most amazing photos that we're so in awe of. :)
Services Used: Photography
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Christopher
Wedding:
1/5/2013
5.0/5.0
SimplyTwo Photography is in one word "Amazing"; really, truly amazing. From planning the photo shoots (engagement / wedding + reception) to last shot John was professional, reliable and fun. John is genuinely passionate about his craft. He puts so much time and care into everything he does from each creative session to shooting the session and editing every photo.

Before each session John spent an hour with my wife and me over gchat (we were in SD, LA and Bakersfield at the time) to go over types of shots we wanted, locations, attire and props. At the sessions John met us with multiple cameras in hand and ready to shoot. He was cool, calm and friendly. EXTREMELY easy to work with, relaxing to be around and DID NOT rush us (A huge plus). Our chemistry was great and John knew every last detail of the locations (Coronado Island and USD) which made for intimate and very beautiful photo opportunities.

Just over 7 to 10 days days later John posted some photos on his blog / posted a link on facebook (with our permission before the session). Both my wife and I were were amazed by them; seriously phenomenal. We're both pretty hard critics, especially trying to capture important memories but John exceed our exceptions. The photos he was able to capture manage to bring out the story of our wedding / starting a new life together, complete with elegance, class and humor. If I can give bonus points above the 5.0 rating I would in a heartbeat. Thank you John for being "Amazing!"
Services Used: Photography
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Valerie
Wedding:
12/30/2012
5.0/5.0
John really has the gift to captured love and preserve it so beautifully on film! He captured the magic of our wedding day so wonderfully and he was absolutely fantastic to work with. John's style is keeping it real, he doesn't place you in awkward positions or have you strike unnatural poses, rather he finds beautiful lighting and says "just be in love and occupy this space right here" and then, when you see the pictures the photos are so real and genuine. It's fun when he gets excited about a shot because you know that photo's going to be a winner! For our engagement/wedding photos, he immediately sent us some teaser photos just to keep our excitement high. He was very responsive over email and phone and overall very reliable. On the other hand, he has a very relaxed and comfortable demeanor so it's very easy to just be yourself in front of him. The bridal party and family all really enjoyed working with him and we were all impressed with his pictures. We picked simply two photography because the pictures John takes are true art and they make you look stunning. Thanks John for everything, you helped to make our day perfect!
Services Used: Photography
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
John is great at what he does and is a pleasure to work with! He squeezed us in to his 2012 calendar with less than 2 months to go when he was already fully booked and not only did he do his job on the day of, he came to our rehearsal far far away to see the venue and meet the immediate family wedding party. He also ended up walking us through the rehearsal because our officiant was not able to come. :) He's very easy to work with and will listen to what you want. He is also very laid back but takes his work very seriously and is professional. We can't wait to see the final product and the album! Thanks JOhN! - anonymous (sorry john you know who we are! :) )
Services Used: Photography
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Kelly
Wedding:
12/8/2012
5.0/5.0
We knew we wanted John to be our wedding photographer, YEARS before getting married! He was the easiest and best vendor we booked for our big day. We didn't have to worry about anything. John really cares about each couple he works with and has the professionalism and quality to boot! The hubby and I are in love with our engagement and wedding photos. John really goes above and beyond a wedding photographers' duties and adds his personal flair and expertise in all of his shots. He gets to know every couple he works with, and knows what they're looking for in their photos. John is very efficient, responsive, caring, and great to work with.
Services Used: Photography
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Luisa
Wedding:
10/27/2012
5.0/5.0
I knew of John’s work through his sister and I’ve been following his work for years. When I got engaged, I already knew that I wanted to hire John as our photographer, but off course I had to convince the future hubby (which didn’t take long). John is the type of person who is passionate about his work, is talented, is spontaneous, gives great direction and is easy to work with. During our first meeting, I showed him a picture of a Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair, and without saying anything he read my mind (replicating a similar portrait to the picture with my wedding party). When we took our E-session, I felt at easy simply because I’m anti-PDA. However, John and with the help of my future hubby, I was able to let go and pretend that no one (besides my future hubby) was around, which made the E-session easy and fun. Now fast forward to our wedding day, all I can say is that John is AMAZING!!! I received compliments on how professional and talented he was. A few days after the wedding I received the teasers from him and all I can say is WOW! One of my favorite pictures is our bar picture (the Vanity Fair inspirational image). The hubby and I showed some of the pictures to our family and friends and they LOVED, LOVED, LOVED them. I highly recommend John to all the couples out there.

Thank you John, I can’t wait to see the rest of my pictures.
Services Used: Photography
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Jane Ann
Wedding:
10/20/2012
5.0/5.0
John at SimplyTwo was a pleasure to work with. Throughout the wedding planning process, the best advice to receive is to go with someone you feel comfortable with, and throughout our time working with John, nothing has been easier. John was always easy to talk to and discuss ideas with and willing to try new things without hesitation. And if he did, he'd have a good reason as to why not. At first my fiance and I had quite some reluctance to have a person we just met snap photos of us for our engagement session, but after chatting with John before and all throughout the session, nothing seemed more natural. John has a way with people that makes people -- or at least us -- feel like we've known him for years.

Perhaps the best thing about John and his works is that nothing is the same. If you look throughout his portfolio, the couples never seem to be posed in the same way -- there's always something different about each picture and each couple. John has made each of his couples' sessions unique to each of them and allows for their characteristics to shine far beyond the picture itself. The pictures he takes aren't just of another bride and groom that can be interchanged, but of a specific couple caught in a specific moment that is true to them.
Services Used: Photography
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david & may
Wedding:
9/23/2012
5.0/5.0
I think most couples going into planning for their wedding will put much emphasis on whom they choose for photography... it is the essence in which all of your memories (engagement, pre-wedding, wedding and post-wedding) will be able to be re-lived and shared with friends, loved-ones and family.

Prior to meeting with John, we met with numerous other photographers and studios. Right off the bat, the connection that we had with John was very instantaneous and genuine and we really knew that if we had the opportunity to work with one another, we would not pass on it.

The most common fear for those of us that are not comfortable taking pictures or feel we are not exactly photogenic is to get in front of a camera. Let me just say that John eased all these fears and made us feel completely at ease! The professionalism that he exudes is beyond expectation and out of all the vendors that we used for our wedding, he was the most punctual and accessible.

It must be said that when you choose your vendors for a wedding, especially photography... you need to choose a studio that you can trust in the quality and attentiveness of the work performed. SimplyTwo Photography goes above and beyond all expectations and I would and have highly recommended their services to capture that special day and beyond.

Thank you Simplytwo for capturing all the special moments of our special day!

Sincerely,

May and David
Services Used: Photography
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Heather
Wedding:
9/22/2012
5.0/5.0
As with any diligent bride-to-be the first thing I look for is an extraordinary photographer to capture my special day. And that's exactly what John of SimplyTwo was to us. From our very first email exchange John already felt very personable unlike some of the more generic responds I got from other photographers. We really loved his vibrant colors, creative style and friendly personality so right after our first meeting we quickly booked him before anyone else does even though our wedding day then was an entire year away.

Our engagement session with John was by far the most casual and easy going photo session. He listened to what kind pictures we want and at the same time he comes up with these most creative and fun ideas. We even used one of his new R&D concepts for our party favor! 3-D photos! How cool is that! So by wedding day time we already knew what to expect from John, but I think my friends and wedding party was shocked at how easy going he was and had a blast during our creative session. John is also very quick in sending us (a lot of) teaser photos literally the day after the wedding. We thought our engagement pictures were great, but when we saw the wedding pictures we were blown away! I am so looking forward to seeing the rest of the pictures!

What I have learned from this entire process is that you want a photographer that takes exceptionally awesome pictures but also someone that you feel comfortable with, trust and can bring out the best in you and everyone else. That’s why I highly recommend John of SimplyTwo to anyone looking for a great photographer.
Services Used: Photography
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Ericka
Wedding:
9/22/2012
5.0/5.0
John was better than we could have ever hoped for! Our wedding and engagement pictures were a top priority for us when we were planning so we researched many photographers. He made us feel so comfortable and really caught the perfect moments from our day. The pictures we got back were all so beautiful that we had a hard time picking only a few for our save the date cards. The previews that we have seen so far look amazing and we can't wait to see more. We would highly recommend Simply Two to anyone who is looking for a photographer!
Services Used: Photography
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Alice
Wedding:
9/8/2012
5.0/5.0
John is awesome and I really recommend him! At first I was really hesitant about taking pictures being a girl and all. But John makes you feel really comfortable and natural in front of the camera. If I had to use one word to describe John "Ninja" would be it, majority of the time you don't realize your pictures are being taken. He is that fantastic! Saw our previews and highlight pictures and instantly fell in love with them. He really knows how to capture that special moment! Got tons of praise from family and friends! Thanks John again!
Services Used: Photography
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
A public photoshoot for hours on end with a groom who hates taking photos sounds like a bride's worst nightmare, right? But from the very moment we both met John in Pasadena for our engagement session, I knew it was going to be an awesome day! John has a way about him that makes you feel comfortable almost instantaneously. He gave us specific directions so we never stood around wondering what to do. If we felt awkward he would say something to make us both laugh. We had a really fun day together that ended with a delicious sushi dinner! Not only does John have a wicked sense of humor, his talent as a photographer is beyond us. When we got the pictures back a month later it took our breath away! We loved it and our friends and family loved it! On the day of our wedding, I never had to worry about him. He got along great with the wedding party and I received many compliments about how nice he was. There's photographers who can take some nice photos, but John is the full package. We are so grateful we found him and would recommend him to our nearest and dearest friends! From the both of us, thank you so much John!
Services Used: Photography
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VANESSA
Wedding:
8/25/2012
5.0/5.0
John is absolutely amazing to work with. There are so many positive things to say about him and my experience with his work. He is super friendly and so easy going! I instantly felt at ease at our first meeting. As for his work, he is extremely talented, passionate for photography, and very artistic. He has this gift of capturing the most amazing lighting and making his clients (that would be us, lol) look stunning! I was very nervous before our engagement session. John made me feel so comfortable throughout the session and I instantly felt like a pro. He was so much fun to work with. He was very patient, receptive to all my suggestions, and had great ideas to offer. I could not have been happier with our photos. Our images came out phenomenal!!! They more than exceeded our expectations! We have received endless compliments from our friends and family on our engagement pictures.

John is also very professional. He responded to my emails the very same day and always made sure to touch base with me. John was very flexible and was quick in getting our engagement pictures out to us in time to do our save the date postcards. One thing that I really appreciate about John is that he sent us some teaser shots of our engagement session as well as of our wedding, the very next day. I didn’t have to wait for weeks in agony to see our pictures. I cannot wait to see our album. I will have the most beautiful memories of my wedding day thanks to John! It was truly a great pleasure to work with him. My husband and I could not have been any happier with our choice in photographer. John, you are awesome!
Services Used: Photography
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Vinh & Annie
Wedding:
8/20/2012
5.0/5.0
Oh where do we begin with our review on John... Well first of all, I have been following John for years prior to getting engaged. I fell in love with his photojournalism & how he is able to tell a story through his photos, the couple's story. After being proposed to, I had to convince the future hubby to hire John as our photographer. John was very quick to respond (& always has) & answered all of our silly questions. Fast forward to our engagement session, we felt so at ease when meeting John for the first time that it felt like we've known him for years. John has ninja skills, too. You don't even know he's taking photos of you both since you're so at ease. He can make anyone feel comfortable in front of the camera. Too bad our engagement session got cut short due to a huge wave killing most of John's gear *insert super sad face here* However, I think that made us come closer. Fast forward again to our wedding, John was helpful in helping me organize my thoughts come wedding day. I was getting slightly nervous, but he made our whole wedding party at ease. He was professional with our guests & especially to our family members. John was also very flexible with guests wanting to have bride/groom time & still getting the perfect shots in the absolute most perfect settings/lighting. I don't think we have laughed so much as when we are with John & that happiness from being married has definitely shown through in the previews that John has already sent us. We also had the pleasure of doing an encore session with John the next day & that was spontaneous & the most fun photoshoot ever! John definitely has a talent that not many possess & you definitely will not find a photographer with more personality & genuine passion in getting that perfect OMG shot for your special day. He goes above & beyond what you expect! Also, he takes photos like a boss! I'd write more but WeddingWire won't let me :P
Services Used: Photography
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Vienna Chon
Wedding:
8/11/2012
5.0/5.0
John has been an asset throughout my whole wedding process. He provided wonderful recommendations for most of my vendors and answered all of my questions promptly -- sometimes even instantaneously -- even if they weren't photography-related, which most of them weren't =P

I also have to commend John for being so patient with us, even though my husband and I have to be the most critical people in the world of ourselves. If I found a photo that I liked, my husband was sure to dislike it and vice versa. It was so hard to select photos for our guestbook! Though we were probably quite difficult, John was always a professional and always gracious.

The second our wedding photos (the teasers) went online, I have been receiving calls from friends and family to tell us how beautiful the photos are. I love them too, and can't wait to see the rest!
Services Used: Photography
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Eric
Wedding:
8/5/2012
5.0/5.0
Simplytwo Photography is world class. John goes up and beyond to meet his client's needs and service is unmatched. We hired John because i was a groomsman at a wedding where he did the photography. 7 years later, he still outranked any photographer in my mind and was at the top of the list when it came to choosing a photographer for our wedding. He is fun and makes you feel comfortable in front of the camera. We hired a photographer for our wedding but ended up with a new friend.
Services Used: Photography
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
John is AWESOME and great to work with. He takes great photos and is willing to do just about anything to get whatever shot you want.
Services Used: Photography
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Ray
Wedding:
7/14/2012
5.0/5.0
John Yao was a pleasure to work with. From the beginning, my wife and I were very pleased in how he presented himself. A quick little story with John... we met up with him for the first time and we noticed that he was carrying an old cookbook. Something that you would see in the early to mid 90's. As we were talking and gotten to the point of wanting to see his pictures, I had asked "Do you have your albums or laptop in the car?". Low and behold, he opened the "old cookbook" and it was a cover for his iPad. From there on, we knew that he was the one to shoot our pictures.
His calm and friendly personality made our engagment session easy. John was very creative and gave direction well. Mind you, we needed a lot! Plus, he just showed us the teaser pics for our wedding day and it was great. Everyone who have seen the pictures raves about how great they turned out. I would recommend John in shooting your wedding and engagement pictures. He's come out to be a friend in all of this and that in itself is a plus.
Services Used: Photography
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Eleanor
Wedding:
7/7/2012
5.0/5.0
John Yao is an excellent photographer and a lot of fun to work with. He is willing to change up his plans when necessary, he really listens to what the couple wants and needs, and he puts in a lot of effort to giv you fabulous photos. While he is a more expensive photographer, I really believe you get what you pay for!
Services Used: Photography
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Jenny
Wedding:
6/30/2012
5.0/5.0
We are so glad the John was our wedding photographer! Not only is he extremely talented, but he is also professional and puts 200% into his work, both during engagement photo session and on wedding day as well. Not only is he very professional with his work, but he also makes our photo sessions fun and comfortable - which makes a big difference in our facial expressions and such! John is also great at leading and directing the crowd during our hectic huge group photos during wedding. Every minute he was there, he put all of his heart into taking as many beautiful photos as possible. I saw some of our preview wedding photos and they look amazing! Not only is he a TALENTED photographer, but continues to work very hard and strives to be better. I have great respect for him and so lucky to have John as our wedding photographer! Highly recommended!
Services Used: Photography
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Don
Wedding:
6/23/2012
5.0/5.0
My wife followed John's blog for the year before we were engaged. During the wedding's planning phase, we spent hours looking at websites and pricing sheets but she tells me she always secretly hoped we could book John. We both thought that John would be way out of our price range based on the quality of his work. Still, my wife contacted him and we arranged a meeting.

Our initial conversation was over dinner. John shared his work and answered all prospective photographer screening questions satisfactorily. He was super funny whilst being professional and had (and still has) the most amazing portfolio. We had another photographer meeting the next day that I cancelled when I got home because the wife and I jointly decided that our search was over. She shrieked and texted him immediately when I told her we should book him.

In the months between our contract signing and the engagement session, we remained thrilled that he was able to be our photographer. The engagment session photos were nothing short of stunning and we got a ton of compliments on them. He knew where to go and was super patient and chill throughout the session. We're still really happy with them. Prior to the engagement session and also the wedding, he was responsive by email, text, and phone. We didn't have any communication problems whatsoever with John.

Prior to the wedding, he worked well with the groomsmen and bridesmaids during the pre-wedding shots. Everyone felt comfortable with him and we didn't have to do any awkward poses. We were married just two days ago but he already has sent us preview shots and they are amazing. John really has a gift.

John was so into his work that my mom says he didn't even eat. We're super thankful for him and hope he blows up even more. His being our photographer was a huge grace/blessing from the Lord. I have encouraged all my engaged friends to book him. We had absolutely no issues, doubts, or qualms with him, his work, or personality - five stars are all well deserved. Thanks John!!!
Services Used: Photography
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Hoi
Wedding:
6/2/2012
5.0/5.0
The most helpful review we can give to future brides and grooms is that SimplyTwo Photography (John Yao) was the best choice we made for our wedding. To borrow the response from the Dwight in the sitcom "The Office", if someone were to ask me what is the best quality of SimplyTwo, I would say, "SimplyTwo has seven best qualities":

1 - Professional - John Yao of SimplyTwo Photography was recommended to us by a friend and although we only had a few email conversations, we chose him because of his great portfolio and professionalism in our communication. His contract was easy to read and his questionnaire was very detailed yet flexible.
2 - Responsive - In the weeks/days leading up to the big day, we had some last minute questions and John was quick to respond to our questions and address any issues we had.
3 - Hands-off - Once John arrived on-site, he immediately started working. Although he was officially "off the clock" he did a lot of exploring and research about the hotel so he would know the property well and time his shots just right.
4 - Artistic vision - John has a great artistic eye for using the environment and lighting (including time of day) to give his photos that extra something. We learned very quickly to trust his artistic direction and locations throughout the day.
5 - Charismatic personality - He flew in the day before just so he could meet and spend some time with our bridal party/groomsmen, family and friends to get to know everyone and their personalities. This was one of the key components to why everyone looked and felt so comfortable and natural.
6 - Works well with others (vendors) - We had a separate videographer following us around and although they were complete strangers, they worked together like they had been best of friends. Aside from that, our hotel's event manager had a great time working with him stating that we had the funniest photographer. Our two emcees and John also meshed well by communicating and planning out when to start/stop between events so everyone was prepared for photos.
7 - Goes above and beyond - Our dinner reception lasted way past the official allotted hours, but John was still there snapping photos to capture all the festivities (especially when we were all able to let loose!).

A few days after the wedding, John had already released some "teaser" photos to us and we were instantly able to see why he is such a sought-after photographer! His shots were beautiful and captured just the right mood at just the right moments. In an age where everyone and their kid brother has a SLR camera and dabbles in the art of photography, you can easily see how and why SimplyTwo and John Yao are incomparable and true professionals.

-Nick and Hoi
Services Used: Photography
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Chelscey
Wedding:
5/19/2012
4.7/5.0
John is amazing!! He wasn't intrusive at all during the wedding, I hardly noticed he was there during the important parts where I was focusing on just my husband. He made us both feel relaxed and comfortable, not one shot, pose or smile was forced. Quiet honestly I don't know what else to say about John, he was a fabulous photographer and everyone loves the photos I've shown them so far. He is pricey but his quality is definitely worth it! He loves what he does and it clearly shows in the fantastic work he produces.

Thanks, John! You make me, almost, want to get married all over again!
Services Used: Photography
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David
Wedding:
5/6/2012
5.0/5.0
It was soo much fun working with John Yao. Not only was he a pleasure to work with but his work is AMAZINNG! He not only made us look great in our engagement and wedding photos but we were so happy he truly understand and captured our personalities! And don't let his laid back attitude fool you. He was super professional during our wedding day. Our coordinator (25+ years in the wedding business) even commented on how great he was. Definitely recommend going with John @ Simply Two.
Services Used: Photography
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Lily
Wedding:
3/16/2012
5.0/5.0
Ever get that gut feeling or intuition that someone is just so right for you? Well that was how I felt when I selected John Yao to be my photographer on my special wedding day. John is one of those photographers who has a deep seated passion for the art of photography itself, but also manages to balance expertise with a very REAL knack for listening to what the client wants! His pictures are high-class, sophisticated, yet brings out the natural beauty in everyone (www.simplytwo.com).

At the end of the day though, it's also all about the experience you have with your photographer. I had a spectacular time with John. I wanted to share a couple of highlights:

-My wedding took place in California while I actually live in Boston, so it was already hard enough to plan an event from afar. When I was in town 3 months before the wedding, John agreed to come visit my wedding venue with me. He really didn't have to, but he did, and we had a blast. It mentally prepared us for the shots we would take on the big day, and more importantly, his willingness to spend time with me and my fiancee proved to me that he was truly passionate about capturing the best pictures possible, and he genuinely wanted to get to know the bride and groom.

-I am the first person to get married out of all my bridesmaids, so you can imagine that on my wedding day, there was naturally some confusion among us about what to do. John was such a good sport -- he was pleasant, skillful and flexible, and very calm and collected. He calmly reminded us when it was time to leave, strategized about when to do what and even helped me hold my dress, our dozen coats as we migrated from one photo spot to the next outside in the chilly 50ish degree weather (abnormal for Cali!)

My groomsmen, bridesmaids, and both parents LOVED john as well, and when the people close to you give you their mark of approval, you know you've picked the right person! Thanks John and SimplyTwo for such a wonderful experience. Future brides-to-be, if you pick John you can't go wrong! :)
Services Used: Photography
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Kenny
Wedding:
12/31/2011
5.0/5.0
During the wedding planning process, my fiancée and I placed photography high on priority list. After the music turns off, the guests go home, and the flowers wilt, you will still have your photos for a lifetime.

My wife (then fiancée) and I searched far and wide for a photographer who met expectations and budget. After scouring over a hundred websites and speaking to several photographers, we chose Mr. John Yao. It was one of the best wedding decisions we made.

John's style is clean and fresh. His photos are less posed and more natural, capturing the emotion of the day, the moment. Judging from his blog, even when shooting at the same location, each couple's session is unique. He is an expert in finding beauty in the mundane.

But his best quality is his ability to make us feel comfortable in front of the camera. After months of planning, we were so nervous for our engagement shoot. But within in the first ten minutes of the shoot we were at ease, focusing on each other rather than then the camera or all the distractions around us. When the engagement photos arrived a few months later, we received tons of compliments; but more than that, each time we get a chance to revisit the photos, they take our breaths away.

Needless to say, by the time our wedding came, we knew we were in good hands. And this peace of mind on your wedding day is priceless. We are eagerly awaiting our wedding photos.
Services Used: Photography
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joho35mm
Wedding:
12/17/2011
5.0/5.0
The logistical things first - John was very personal and professional in his step-by-step preparation for the wedding photos, providing us in advance with a clear contract and personal communications in the time leading up to the rehearsal and ceremony.

On the day of the ceremony, John's interaction with our wedding party, family, and friends showed great consideration, creativity, and patience - his excellent planning and execution carried throughout the wedding, even during the more stressful times for photographs (e.g. large group photos). John was mobile and flexible - never intrusive or impatient - and handled all parts of the ceremony, reception, and formal photography with great skill and warm enthusiasm. His communication with us during the after-ceremony group sessions with the wedding party and us as a couple helped everyone relax and be completely at ease with the photo taking. This comfort with the camera - for both John and everyone in front of it - shows in the beautiful images that resulted.

John's photos are, in a word, classy. But that doesn't begin to describe how great they are in composition, technical detail, personal interaction, and timing (this is the groom writing, from one photographer to another). The photographs John captured on our wedding day are of the highest quality, and they're all personal, creative, and artistic images that we'll cherish for a lifetime. Looking at the photos one month following our special day, we don't get a sense that these were simply "pictures of the wedding," but images that captured the event and emotions so well that it was like reliving the moments again.

We highly recommend John to any bride and groom who wants excellence in photography, great attention to detail and care, and a truly wonderful person to work with in preserving the best memories of their wedding.
Services Used: Photography
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CLin
Wedding:
11/5/2011
5.0/5.0
John is the owner, founder, and sole photographer. He is incredibly personable, down to earth, and easy to work with. He stands out among the top photographers in the country because he constantly strives to be innovative with his style and technique. He was able to win over my wedding party within the first 20 minutes of meeting them, allowing everyone to feel completely at ease during our photo sessions. While he is full of humor and flexibility, he is also extremely professional in his dealings with clients and other wedding vendors. Our wedding photos are more amazing than I could ever imagine wedding photos could be. If I were allowed to have a second wedding, I would no doubt hire John again as my photographer.
Services Used: Photography
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Sally
Wedding:
10/1/2011
5.0/5.0
John is exceptionally friendly, patient and creative. My husband and I couldn't be happier with how our photos from both our engagement session and wedding turned out. John made us feel comfortable the entire time and had some really high-tech cameras to ensure we got the best photos possible. He also did a great job at being efficient at our wedding banquet as we hustled from table to table to take photos with everyone. The photos with our bridal party were extremely fun and unique as well. We hired him as a photographer, but he soon became our friend and still keeps in touch with us! Thanks John!
Services Used: Photography
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pykl812
Wedding:
9/24/2011
4.8/5.0
John is an awesome photographer in terms of both his work product as well as his professionalism. The most important attribute for us when we were looking for a photographer was the quality of pictures. Other studios offered us a ton of products (e.g., print-outs, albums, canvas photos, and thank you cards). However, if we didn't like the photos themselves, we figured that wouldn't enjoy all of the additional products. After meeting with John in person and seeing his portfolio, we were sold immediately. His shots always provide a fresh look and feel. He can make ordinary people and settings look amazing. He is also very friendly and personable. Although we had never been photographed by a professional before our engagement session, John made us feel comfortable from the first shot. Our biggest concern was the pricing, which tends to be higher than the lower end studios mentioned above but lower than the truly high end boutiques. At the end of the day, we decided that the price-to-value ratio made sense. We figured that we were getting a rising star at a bargain price. We would definitely recommend John and SimplyTwo for your wedding!
Services Used: Photography
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Mr&MrsPerez
Wedding:
9/18/2011
5.0/5.0
We HIGHLY recommend John @SimplyTwo!!!! My husband and I were In search for that perfect wedding photographer. We met with/talked on the phone with some photographers and we didnt feel any kind of connection. We were referred to John by a friend who spoke very highly of him and I must say, as soon as I saw his work I was hooked!! He knew how to catch the PERFECT shot and he definitely uses creativity with his pics. I am still in amazment as to how beautiful our pictures came out! Not only is johns work absolutely beautiful, but his personality can brighten up any moment. His kind, warm, relaxed, and funny personality is so pleasant to have around on such a big day!! SimplyTwo Photography will forever have our hearts :).
Services Used: Photography
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Mimi
Wedding:
9/10/2011
5.0/5.0
Simplytwo Photography went above and beyond what we expected in a photographer. My husband and I first met John when we were scoping out our wedding venue. We were instantly impressed that John wanted to meet us all the way in Long Beach. I have to admit, when I first met John, I asked myself “who is this guy in jeans, polo shirt, and Rainbow flip flops and why is he carrying a Betty Crocker cookbook”. After 5 minutes of talking, we felt like we knew John forever! He showed us his portfolio on his ipad, which was cleverly hidden in the Betty Crocker cookbook, and we were hooked.

John is very receptive of your ideas and expectations. His ability to capture the right light, angles, and his knack for the little details are superb. John definitely knows how to make you feel like a natural and look like a superstar. We had so much fun with John and were so impressed with the photos that we ended up taking 2 engagement sessions, wedding day, and post-wedding photos.

Not only is John a great photographer, he is a great wedding planner and “bride whisperer”. John helped with planning our wedding day itinerary and on the big day, he knew the right things to say to ease my stress and anxiety. Also, he was great with the wedding party and definitely made them feel comfortable as well. My husband and I could not be any happier with our engagement and wedding photos and we can’t wait to have John capture our future memories. Thanks for everything John!
Services Used: Photography
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chevylevee
Wedding:
9/4/2011
4.9/5.0
John is the best! He is professional, friendly, and takes awesome pictures. The pictures are so natural, just the way we love them! Thank you John! You definitely captured the wonderful moment of our lives.
Services Used: Photography
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mer177
Wedding:
9/4/2011
5.0/5.0
We were referred to John by a photographer we had randomly found online - we are so incredibly grateful for the referral. We did not have a professional photographer at our wedding but regretted not hiring someone after the fact. One week post-wedding, John agreed to go back to our wedding venue with us and take some special shots! From our very first conversation on the phone, John made me feel incredibly confident and at ease about what we were asking for and wanted to achieve - a handful of a few great shots of my new husband and I dressed up again in our wedding garb that I could actually frame. He was incredibly easy to talk to and really seemed to understand my situation and what I was looking for.
On the day of the almost two hour shoot he made the two of us feel so comfortable - I'm generally not at east in front of a camera! Everything was really natural and John was great at picking the right locations at the venue to shoot at depending on the available light. We had so much fun!
And about a month later we received TONS of amazing photos! We are so pleased with the results and John's friendly nature and professionalism. I would recommend Simplytwo Photography to anyone looking for an extraordinary wedding photographer!
Services Used: Photography
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anna.vaughn
Wedding:
7/31/2011
5.0/5.0
John did a great job on our engagement pictures and wedding. He was organized and made sure we got all the photos we wanted. Very easy to work with and willing to work with you.
Services Used: Photography
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Dodger Bride
Wedding:
7/16/2011
5.0/5.0
John Yao of SimplyTwo Photography is Simply AWESOME!

I can honestly say there was a time in my life when I didn't know I was going to marry my husband (bc we hadn't met yet) but I knew I wanted John to be my wedding photographer. I have been following him and his work for years now. He was the official wedding photographer of at least 3 of my very close friends and he consistently did an amazing job. When it was time for us to sign the venue contract, I made sure John was available before we set the date.

John is super talented, experienced and knowledgeable. I liked how he was open to our suggestions of engagement session locations or specific poses. But if we weren't sure what we wanted, John would get inspired by the location's angles, light, etc. Some of our best engagement session pics were taken in an alley on our way from one place to another. We got so many compliments... if only people knew we were literally staring at cars in a parking garage.

I'm glad John was on hand to capture every moment of our big day. He walks the fine line of being relaxed and making us feel comfortable, but also professional and in charge of a big group. John is great at making our bridal party and guests at ease in front of the camera.

I especially dig his preview links that he sends us. It's great to forward over to our friends and family.

John's work is EVEN better than I expected. We love every picture he took!

Check out his website and contact him now if you need a wedding or engagement shot photographer. I would give him more stars if I could.
Services Used: Photography
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Grace
Wedding:
7/10/2011
5.0/5.0
John is by far one of the most professional and creative photographers I have ever met. He is wonderful to work with and does his best to make sure not only that he gets all the pictures that you want from a wedding but that you get even more than what you expected. You will never for a second doubt that you are his top priority. He is constantly thinking of shots that will take your breath away and he is always conscious of time without ever making you feel rushed or stressed. Working with John was easy to say the least but more than that, it was extremely fun and enjoyable! He did our engagement photos which turned out amazing and I cannot wait to see the wedding photos!
Services Used: Photography
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Jjs124
Wedding:
7/3/2011
5.0/5.0
John at SimplyTwo Photography is an amazing photographer, who is very personable and original
In his creativity with your wedding photos. We had tons of fun with John shooting our engagement, wedding and trash the dress session. John makes each session adventurous, organized with a smooth schedule, which makes any couple at ease and stress free on the day of the wedding. We are so happy to get priceless shots from all the sessions with John as it truly reflects
The Care and attention every couple would want from their photographer. Thanks for building wonderful memories with us, John!
Services Used: Photography
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Regina
Wedding:
7/1/2011
5.0/5.0
John is incredibly talented at what he does and even my husband admitted that John's worth every penny we spent. (that really means something as he tends to think everything is a waste of money :P) I've gotten countless compliments on our engagement session and I honestly can't wait to see our wedding pictures! I have no doubt that those turned out great as well.

John also is so easy to work with and makes having your picture taken fun. As you all know, taking pictures can sometimes be awkward with all the funky poses photographers like to place you in. But it's different with John - he tends to capture you in your most natural state of being in love with each other :) He'll also watch out for the little details like if your hair is out of place, if your 2nd chin is saying hello to the world, etc. I mean, WHO DOES THAT?? Answer - John does! And I'm so glad he did that for our wedding day, because who wants pictures of their hair being anything other than perfect on their big day? He keeps an eye out for details that your own bridesmaids seem to miss.

I've told him this several times, but honestly, from day 1 - John was my most important vendor. He is good at what he does and captures the most amazing moments on his camera(s). Not to mention he's so much fun to be around! (my bridesmaids loved him!) And he's always been there to give me his sage advice on all things wedding related. He's not only an amazing photographer, but an amazing friend as well and I can't wait to work with him again in the future! (perhaps when we have kids?) ;)
Services Used: Photography
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HappyJuneBride
Wedding:
6/18/2011
5.0/5.0
John Yao is amazing! He maintains professionalism while putting you and your bridal party totally at ease. His work is stunning and he can make any conditions look amazing. You do not need to worry about bad weather ruining your pictures if you hire John Yao. He produces incredible images every time. He will be attentive and helpful throughout the whole process!
Services Used: Photography
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Nancy
Wedding:
6/4/2011
5.0/5.0
John Yao is everything we can ask for in a photographer! He is an extremely talented and professional photographer with a fun personality, endless creativity and an eye for details. Not to mention he is flexible to accommodate our schedule changes, quick to answer our many questions/emails and kind enough to find us vendors for different needs. He has a love for weddings and the couples he works with, and it truly shows in his work. Bonus: he also speaks Mandarin...so he was able to communicate with our family members on the wedding day! We haven't seen all the pictures from the wedding yet, but based on the preview pictures and the comments we've gotten so far from our family and friends, we have full confidence that they will turn out beautiful!
Services Used: Photography
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Mrs. Haines
Wedding:
5/7/2011
4.8/5.0
We loved working with John! Yes, his images are amazing. His photos timeless and very creative. AND he will do whatever is needed to get the photos he wants. We are no experts in photography, all we know is we loved them all and we loved how he captured not only images of our wedding....but how people SAW our wedding. Everytime we look over our photos, its as if we are reliving it all over again. Capturing not only every detail, but every emotion as well. Which was THE MOST important to me...as with every wedding. It goes by like a blur. Now, we can treasure every moment over and over again with John's photos.

John's laid back personality, calming voice, and overall friendliness made us feel comfortable the day of and prior to our wedding. He was like a bridesmaid disguised as a photographer. He helped calm me (the bride) down a couple times over other vendors' mishaps. He carried a magic bag with little helpful things for the wedding that we overlooked. John was a pleasure to work with and we have never met a photographer more passionate about his work than him.
Services Used: Photography
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Charissa
Wedding:
4/22/2011
5.0/5.0
John is the best photographer for several reasons. He is fun, flexible, and professional! He captures shots of details, people, and the occasion in a creative, unique way. He is extremely down to earth and relaxed in a huge task of helping capture all the bride and groom's requested pictures. His work speaks for itself! Go check out his pictures!!!
Services Used: Photography
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czhang
Wedding:
4/16/2011
5.0/5.0
John was absolutely amazing to work with! When we first met John he gave both of us big hugs and my husband awkwardly patted his back (he is not a hugger), but by the end of the wedding day they had a great big genuine hug and I knew John's job was done. John had initially done a friend's wedding and when I saw the pictures he took I knew I wanted him as my wedding photographer even before I was engaged. My husband and I both wanted natural, spontaneous pictures that just captured the moment and John's style fit our laid back personalities perfectly. Working with him was extremely easy and smooth. He even flew out of state for our engagement shoot and was really flexible in working with our busy schedules. On our wedding day he hung out with our wedding party and they all agreed that if he had gone to school with us we would of all been friends from the get go. Throughout the day he was furiously taking pictures and we were amazed at his energy level. He had great, creative ideas during our group shots and we just all had a lot of fun. The day after the wedding all I wanted to see was pictures and he actually sent us a little preview, it was like he had read my mind. We're still getting wedding pictures but so far are really pleased with the wonderful pictures we've seen so far and would highly recommend him to anyone:P. John was really professional, easy to work with and most importantly took amazing photographs that make us want to do the wedding day all over again.
Services Used: Photography
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Nancy
Wedding:
11/20/2010
5.0/5.0
John is awesome. I met him while attending two of my friends weddings where he was their photographer. I loved the bold colors and how creative his pictures were when studying his blog. John is VERY VERY personable. He gives 110% the entire time he is your photographer. For our engagement shoot, he spent over 6 hours with us taking pictures of us and making us feel so comfortable. He made the mood super fun and allowed us to be who we were and that definitely showed in the pictures. He is ALWAYS aware of the lighting in a picture. He is able to capture the best light in any situation. He got the proofs back to us within a month. He was always available through email, phone and text. The day before our wedding, he came to our rehearsal to meet our wedding party so they would be familiar with who he was. On our wedding day, he was amazing! He was at my house way before the time on his contract. He captured moments with ease and everyone in my wedding party told me how comfortable they felt around him. John was so personable they all loved him! You won't be disappointed with John.
Services Used: Photography
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calvintma
Wedding:
11/13/2010
5.0/5.0
We chose John over other photographers because he's very creative, very experienced with taking advantage of natural lightings to get the best shot, and best of all has 'good eyes' for getting creative shots. Check out some of his works on his website at www.simplytwo.com and compare with others. You will see his photos are very creative, fun, and elegant.
Services Used: Photography
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Linna
Wedding:
9/5/2010
5.0/5.0
We really enjoyed working with John! He's talented, very experienced, professional, has an amazing eye, and kept us and our large family on track!!!
Services Used: Photography
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Christine
Wedding:
8/14/2010
5.0/5.0
We LOVED working with John. We chose John/SimplyTwo as our wedding photographer based on (1) his photography style (crisp images, bright colors, clean editing, very classic feel) and (2) his work style/personality. From the moment I saw John's work I was interested. From the moment I spoke to John I was hooked. He is seriously every organized bride's dream. I had a MILLION questions, a very specific idea of what I was looking for in our wedding images, and a significant amount of apprehension since they say photography is the one tangible thing you're able to keep from your wedding day. John never ceased to amaze me with his quick and thoughtful responses to questions, flexibility with schedule changes, and overall chillness. We didn't meet John before the day of our rehearsal but when he walked in the room we felt like we were greeting an old friend more than one of our wedding vendors. And that made the experience all the more enjoyable.

Day of the wedding John also impressed. Throughout the creative session he was constantly showing us images, which encouraged us to get excited about the images he was creating and allowed us to see what we looked like so we could adjust as necessary and put our best feet forward. He worked brilliantly with our videographer and wedding party, took control when the situation called for it, and made sure we all had a grand time.

That of course just speaks to what it's like to work with John. In regard to his product... well, we just got our wedding highlights back and we could not be more pleased with the images. My husband is already dreaming up different events we where we might be able to hire John/SimplyTwo to shoot the images for. We would love to work with him again. YAY for SimplyTwo Photography.
Services Used: Photography
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Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
5.0/5.0
Five stars!!

If anyone knows me, they’ll tell you I’m the most annoying person in the world to have as a client/customer. I admit I’m anal, meticulous to a fault, a perfectionist, and a control freak with a Type A personality that you don’t want to mess with. My photographer knows me well, knew all that and still agreed to be my photographer. I warned him, I would be upset beyond imaginable if I didn’t have the perfect wedding day photos. I pretty much viewed his whole portfolio before booking him ladies! Fortunately for him, I love my wedding photos. We love, love, love, love, love our wedding photos as well as both our e-session photos.

John has passion for his work and I saw that in his dedication during both our e-session shoots and the day of. He is constantly on the move, searching out the best lighting, best location and best frames for his next shot. He is a joy to work with. Being in front of the camera doesn’t come naturally for a lot of people and it certainly doesn’t for us. We’re not used to standing there, posing and smiling for hours but he put us completely at ease and that in turn created beautiful photos. We’ve been showered with compliments at how wonderful all our photos turned out. The detail shots of our wedding were absolutely amazing as well. He captured just about everything an obsessive bride would expect! He didn’t leave a single square inch unphotographed, which is just what I wanted!

John also goes above and beyond what is expected of him. His turnaround time is pretty quick, too. We were able to view the e-sessions a couple days after each session as well as the wedding photos! And this is while he’s had an engagement session and/or wedding every weekend and teaching photography at UCLA! He’s quick to respond to emails, texts, phone calls, Facebook, etc.

Value for money is excellent! John is definitely not the cheapest photographer (but not the most expensive either) you can find but I truly believe you get what you pay for. Honestly, I think he charges too little for what you get. He doesn’t charge for extra hours…he doesn’t rush through the e-sessions or gets annoyed with my constant emails and phone calls. He doesn’t charge for extra photos or extra DVDs.

He is the consummate professional . He is patient, pays attention to what we want ,is creative, energetic, passionate, and produces excellent work. You can’t go wrong with him!! I guarantee you will love your wedding day photos. Photos are what you’ll be sharing with people so you need to make sure you choose the right photographer that will give you the end results you want. I can’t wait to see the photo album he’s designing for us. That’s another detail about his work that I love – each photo album he creates is different and unique. He doesn’t just crop and drop wedding photos into a template. Each couple, each wedding, each book he creates is unique and special. I would not want a cookie cutter wedding album! If you’re considering SimplyTwo, my recommendation is to book him ASAP. His schedule fills up quickly!
Services Used: Photography
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Jen
Wedding:
7/10/2010
5.0/5.0
John is an absolutely talented and amazing photographer. We saw his photography work online and since I’ve known John from a mission trip years ago, Aaron and I thought we should give him a ring. Surprisingly, he was available and told us he will be done with his mission work by the time July comes around when Aaron and I will tie the knot.

John is able to capture so many special moments in the most perfect lighting. The quality of his work is lovely and each time we look at the photos he took of us, we are in awe and have uncontrollable smiles on our faces. When we took our engagement photos in December, we both feared all our photos would be gloomy, yet John captured many beautiful and unique images of us. Though we were nervous in the beginning, John always gave us reassurance and made us feel comfortable even when we were taking some intimate shots. He also taught us a few things about photography as we had conversations with each other. By the end of our engagement session we knew we could trust John on our wedding day.

During our wedding day John was flexible and patient. He made everyone feel comfortable with his friendly smile and enthusiasm for photography. John always had his camera in his hand and was clicking away all day long.

He is professional and answered emails and calls in a timely manner. John is knowledgeable and is a well experienced photographer. He has a great personality, easy to work with and is cool because he was wearing our wedding colors. =)
John is creative and can see things we didn’t know he can possibly see behind the lens. We have wonderful memories of our wedding, but more so we know we will have photos we will always treasure. Thanks to John Yao and his mad photography skills. We loved working with him and look forward to working with him again in the future. We highly recommend John and you will not be disappointed with what he has to offer. In the end of the craziness of wedding planning leading up to that special wedding day, you will be glad you picked John to be your photographer.
Services Used: Photography
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patfactorx
Wedding:
6/19/2010
5.0/5.0
John did an amazing job of not just photographing our wedding but also being a vital part of our wedding day. Perhaps one of his best qualities is his ability to work well with everyone, with individuals and with large groups. He knows how to put everyone at ease and bring out their best for the camera, all while maintaining a superior level of professionalism. This was especially important to us because we wanted to have great pictures of not just us but also our families and friends. And that's what we got!

John's passion and attention to detail come through in all that he does. It truly makes a difference that he sees photography as art and not just a job. We are so pleased with the beautiful way he captured our wedding day on camera. We are even more pleased that we decided to have SimplyTwo be a part of our special day because with SimplyTwo we got more than beautiful photos. We also got great service, great memories, and a great photographer friend.
Services Used: Photography
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raybarela
Wedding:
6/7/2010
5.0/5.0
this guy is absolutely amazing! he's creative! he made us feel comfortable! he loves what he does! and his work is absolutely stunning! we love you john your not just a great photographer but you got a heart of gold
Services Used: Photography
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Bryan
Wedding:
5/29/2010
5.0/5.0
My fiance and I did our engagement photoshoot (aka E-Session) with John Yao (simplytwo.com). We found John through a referral from mutual friends, and were impressed by his photography online. We also really loved his missions work (projectresonate.com) and the vision he has through it.

For our E-Session, we were looking for something urban and a little edgy, so we all met up in downtown Los Angeles with a few specific places to hit up. When we met up with John, we were pretty nervous about posing in front of a camera in public. Both my fiance and I are camera shy and have zero experience posing in public...or in private! :P But pretty much once we started shooting, because John was very assuring and engaging, we didn't feel awkward and out of place anymore. And truthfully, I don't think people really cared either that we were taking photos. We would have a few glances and occasionally some rude "LA'ers" would walk by and make a comment, but you get used to it pretty fast.

John was very professional, yet at the same time friendly and personable. When we weren't shooting, we chatted together as friends, and he has a way of making you feel relaxed. We both really appreciated the direction and reassurance he gave before, during, and after each "scene", especially since we didn't really know what we were doing. He would give us the opportunity to pose on our own and make requests/input (and he would really take everything we said into account), but he would also rearrange the position of our bodies so that we looked good! What was also helpful was that he would show us pictures he took along the way so we could see what he was up to and also be aware of how we were posing (and make adjustments if we wanted). I'm a little into photography myself (just a noob though), so I really appreciated that he explained the gear he brought, how he planned on shooting us, and what he was doing at the moment (like changing the lens, trying to incorporate certain elements, waiting for certain lighting, etc.).

Aside from making our session comfortable and fun, John's photography skills are amazing. He is able to think like the camera and see things in the perspective of each lens that he uses. It's incredible how creative and imaginative he is, and how he is able to draw out vibrant colors, soft lighting, and unique textures from seemingly dark and ordinary backgrounds.

Both my fiance and I really feel that finding a good photographer is much more than just his/her ability to take good photos. The connection and relationship that you have with the photographer, his responsiveness, confidence, and shooting philosophy are just as important. We're really glad that we found John, because we feel like we work well with him and that as a result of that, we have great photos!

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Update! My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon, and now that we have a chance to reflect back on our wedding day, we're just all smiles. As any married couple would testify, there is so much potential for worry on that big day, but it was such a great pleasure to work with John because we knew that that aspect of our wedding was in perfect hands. Truthfully, there wasn't much to really remember about the photography, and that's a good thing...because a good photographer shouldn't be all in your face or stealing any of the spotlight. John was really professional, stuck by us throughout the entire day, and was present, but also invisible (if you know what I mean). When I think REALLY hard, I realize that we did manage to squeeze in quite a bit of photo sessions throughout the busy day, and that John was snapping away almost non-stop. But he was never in our faces and we LOVE that he avoids flash like the plague!

You have to meet John to really appreciate his working style, his personality, and his skills. You won't regret it! =)
Services Used: Photography
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CKJT
Wedding:
5/22/2010
4.9/5.0
John is very meticulous and professional. He is an expert at capturing the moments and bringing out the life in every still shot he takes. One aspect that our guests appreciated was his ability to capture wonderful pictures while not getting in the way of our guests. John makes the bridal party extremely comfortable and is able to adjust based on our differing personalities. We extremely appreciate John's dedication and passion to his work, often going beyond what is asked of him. We highly recommend John to any bride and groom that is looking for a stress-free and fun-filled wedding. Thank you so much for being our photographer John.
Services Used: Photography
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Amy
Wedding:
5/19/2010
5.0/5.0
John is just the best photographer you can imagine. My boyfriend and I followed and loved his work for long time before booking a creative session with him, which wowed everybody and quickly turned into a second session. Artistically, he has vision, creativity, and he never seems to become stagnant in his style or ideas. It's so much fun to be able to trust our photographer and not having to worry about the result. On a personal basis, he always made us feel extremely comfortable, giving just the right amount of instructions. He can even make multiple people with different levels of comfort all relax in the same shot. John is the guy to call if you want to enjoy your day without worry and then get pictures that are even prettier than you remember the day being.
Services Used: Photography
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Annie
Wedding:
5/1/2010
5.0/5.0
The two people you will spend the most time with on your wedding day are: 1) your new wife/husband 2) your photographer. With that said, I can't stress how important it is to choose a photographer whom you trust and feel comfortable with; John is this type of professional.

During the engagement photo session, John was an absolute pleasure to work with. For two people who usually don't feel comfortable showing PDA, John made us feel like we were the only two people who mattered at the time. Not knowing how to "pose," we thought we would feel terribly awkward; however, John's down-to-earth nature helped us relax and just enjoy doing what became to feel natural. He helped us loosen up and in no time we were "nuzzling" and gazing deep into each others' eyes. =) It was amazing to see John's creative genius at work; he has a real passion for what he does and it clearly translates in his photos. He gains inspiration from all settings and will go through great lengths to get that "O-M-G" shot.

During the wedding day, John couldn't have been more supportive, helping us along each transition of the busy day. He made us feel confident and comfortable in front of the lens. Not only is John an expert at what he does, he will take the extra time to get to know your family, wedding party, and other vendors. He's very easy to work with and most of all, he's someone you can trust, personally and professionally.
Services Used: Photography
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dordor
Wedding:
9/12/2009
5.0/5.0
John IS TRULY PHENOMENAL! There are many photographers that are "cheaper" out there...but that's exactly what you get: cheap. You really get what you pay for when it comes to photography, and with John, you get AMAAAAZZZINGGG!!! He really goes above and beyond the call of a photographer and gives you his all on your special day. He comes a little earlier and hangs around a little later just to make sure everything is perfect. I was really nervous the morning before my wedding, but he made me really comfortable and laugh during my entire photo shoot. John is always paying attention to little details to make sure you look as beautiful as you possibly can as the bride. He is also really creative and flexible. No matter what happens or where your wedding is located, he'll think of someway to take marvelous pictures. Every time he checks his camera and grins...you know he's snapped a totally awesome photo....and when he shows you the little screen on the camera, the picture will blow you away. John is so good at adjusting all the settings on his camera and working with the lighting that the pictures already look fabulous ....even before he processes them on his computer. Looking back at my wedding, I feel that photography was one of the most important parts because I will be looking at my photos for years to come. If you want the happiest day of your life to be captured in beautiful photos, I highly recommend John and SimplyTwo Photography.
Services Used: Photography
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Meggbert
Wedding:
9/5/2009
4.7/5.0
John Yao has a rare talent for letting you feel comfortable being yourself and for capturing moments and expressions that are completely genuine. He somehow manages to have you forget that he's even there most of the time so that you really feel like you're on an awesome date with your special someone and not posing for pictures! His uncanny ability to be in 2 or 3 places at once means you don't even need a 2nd photographer to get different angles of the same event. Perhaps his best ability, however, is that everyone and everywhere in his photos looks more stunning than in real life!
Services Used: Photography
SimplyTwo Photography responded with the following comments:

You are very right, my communication/response time could really use some fine tuning and I know that simply being busy or buried under processing n shoots, etc is never an excuse.

Thanks for thoughts Megan! =)
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timmyrl
Wedding:
2/7/2009
5.0/5.0
My wife and I got married on 2/7/09 and we had an absolutely fantastic experience with SimplyTwo.

Everything was perfect and we loved the images we received. Many of our friends commented that we looked like we were in some sort of magazine ad!

We would definitely recommend SimplyTwo for anybody who is looking for a photographer.
Services Used: Photography
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Meta
Wedding:
9/13/2008
5.0/5.0
It's been two years since my wedding day, and I still look at my wedding photos practically every day... on the walls of my house, on my computer, or in my albums. John is an AMAZING photographer and to say that I "love" my wedding photos is a huge understatement! He gave me photos that truly captured my wedding day with beautiful color and detail. I've seen him as a photographer not only in my wedding but also two of my friend's weddings (while I was a bridesmaid) and he is great with everyone he works with. John makes you feel relaxed in front of the camera and doesn't force any poses or shots. Most of the time we didn't even know he was shooting us and I have amazing photos to look at afterwards! He was very professional but also very friendly. I can't wait for my anniversary or my first kids to have John do more photoshoots for us!
Services Used: Photography
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Effie
Wedding:
8/29/1020
4.8/5.0
SimplyTwo Photography captured the heart and soul of our wedding, and provided us great memories we can cherish for the rest of our lives.

They have a great eye for the dramatic and the touching. John staged terrific shots for us with our wedding party and honored guests, and he and Melissa captured a wealth of perfect tender moments.

While we had them scheduled to begin at 11am, SimplyTwo showed up at 10 to start snapping and getting us all ready; they also stayed late.

They are not inexpensive, but you absolutely get what you pay for and more, we loved working with SimplyTwo and recommend them without any reservations.
Services Used: Photography

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