As a graphic designer and a professional photographer myself, I am very picky when it comes to determining the quality of a photo. Themes, concepts, poses, contrasts and angles are some of the many aspects of photography that I take into consideration when viewing a photo. That is why I hired Apertura as my wedding photographer as I know that they produce high quality pictures.
During the wedding planning, my husband and I agreed that the wedding pictures are one of the most important areas that we should not be really skimping on, as they do last forever. I have heard many horror stories from my other friends where they tried to save a few bucks by going with a-whatever photographer and ended up regretting their decision. The photographer has no concept, took unnecessary/low quality pictures, and missed those special moments (and those moments are gone forever!).
With Ray, we did not have this problem. Ray is a very talented photographer, extremely creative and possesses unique concepts. He is very professional and detailed oriented. Ray has never taken any wedding pictures in the venue of our choice, but he quickly adapted to it and captured the most amazing pictures that I have ever seen in my life. I just knew that we would remember those touching moments that Ray took of us for the rest of our lives!
Ray is the best! my husband and i immediately fell in love with Ray's works when we saw Apertura's website!Ray is loving, funny, and off course, so talented!
we were happy that we had our engagement photos token by Ray, so that we got a chance to know him better. we were really stiff and shy at first, but Ray helped us loosen up with his sunny personality. and the photos turned out AMAZING!!
After the engagement shot experience, my husband and i got into the mood really soon on the wedding day. Ray and his team did a excellent job capturing the emotion of us and the beauty of our venue.
it brought back so mush memories when we saw the photos after the wedding. Ray definitely captured every detail of our special day. and off course, made us 10 time better looking!!
i have to say i'm a lucky bride that had Ray as my photographer. it was a pleasure working with him. he gave us a documentary of our wedding that will last forever.
Erwin was wonderful to work with. He is a true artist and has an eye for the most unique concepts of vision and lighting. The memories that he captured were so vivid you could almost reach out and touch the person. What we liked best about Erwin and his team is that they were fun, had great sense of humor, worked hard but they never interfered throughout our day. Erwin and his team were virtually undetectable. Erwin was able to capture the beautiful moments as well as the unscripted moments. We had so much fun that day and Erwin was able to capture so many memories that we would've missed out on.
We also had a day after shoot. We met up with Erwin and he was just as friendly and fun as he was the day of our wedding. Always up for anything!! Erwin just goes above and beyond to do his best and get the best quality shots. He will run, position himself on the ground, basically do whatever it takes to get the best shot.
On the day we viewed the gallery, our family was so impressed with the quality and the uniqueness of the images. Everyone commented on how "fresh" the images were and not just your standard wedding images.
We were so impressed by his professionalism and his dedication to his craft. A truly unique individual! We highly recommend Erwin!
Erwin captured our day and the uniqueness of our wedding in ways we never imagined!!! He was very responsive in regards to communication and detail oriented in regards to wanting to know what were the details/people that were important to us for him to capture. Throughout my whole interaction with Erwin, he maintained upmost professionalism, a pleasant sense of humor, and more importantly a sincere reverence. The day of the wedding Erwin was very present but never intrusive. And through that he captured honest, true, sometimes raw moments. My husband and I not only consider Erwin an amazing addition to our wedding day, but we consider him a great addition to our lives as a friend. Thank you Erwin for everything and allowing us to see ourselves, our loved ones, and our love in such an amazing light.
Erwin photographed my wedding in Portland, OR in July. He is excellent and I would highly recommend him, for a few reasons
First, he has a unique ability to capture the most touching and evocative moments that you both remember and missed. He's agile and knows where to be and when to capture his subjects in special moments that most photographers would miss. For example, he took a stunning shot of my dad's expression as he was giving me away. These are the images that make you appreciate how special your wedding day is and what it means to the people you love.
Second, Erwin has a distinctive and fresh creativity that is rare in most wedding photographers. He sees images that others don't -- eg the shadows that fell on the wall behind us during our toasts, from which he created a masterful image that captured the spirit of the day for us. He also experiments with his photography (eg by photographing my husband and me through grass). I love this about him. He takes something like wedding portraits, which he's shot probably thousands of times, and tries new ways to make the images fresh and new and unique. He takes risks, but is so talented that those risks (at least for us) turned out to be among the greatest and most unique photos he took.
Third, he genuinely cares about and goes to the effort of reflecting who you are as people and telling YOUR story. He worked with us to stage our portraits in settings that reflected us. When he told our story through our photo gallery and album, he made sure that the sentimental and personally-important parts of that story came through (e.g. the rehearsal dinner at my in-laws home, where my husband grew up).
I did A LOT of research on wedding photographers before I selected Erwin. I chose him for his distinctive creativity and ability to capture moments purely. I wasn't disappointed. We spent 1/4 of our wedding budget on him, and it was worth it.
My husband and I just happened upon Apertura's website when searching for wedding venues online. We both fell in love with their style and the unique way they captured the vibe and energy of the couples and their weddings. So we set up a meeting with Ray and my entire family. Each us quickly fell in love with his talent and passion for what he does. That is very evident in the quality of what he puts out. Once the big day came they handled everything with great professionalism. All I kept hearing from my family and friends the next was OMG your photographers were amazing. They were everywhere. On the floor, behind the chairs and in the middle of the crowd. And the results are fabulous. We have the most beautiful pictures that captured the amazing memories of our big day. We didn't interview any other photographers because we both new from the beginning that Apertura was it. And after meeting Ray there was no reason to even shop around for us. I would HIGHLY recommend them without a trace of a doubt. They're absolutely amazing at what they do.
We worked with Erwin from Apertura as he was also the lead photographer for my brother's wedding. Not only does he have an artistic eye (both with architectural landscapes and lighting), but he also places the couple at ease. He gets to know the personalities and selects poses and places that will highlight the couple's bond. I would highly recommend Apertura, and in particular, Erwin, as he did an amazing job on both our engagement and wedding shoots.
My husband and I were recently married in Newport Beach, CA and we were fortunate enough to have Ray from Apertura take our wedding photos.
We met Ray and Erwin when they shot a friend’s wedding in Italy (I’m sure you’ve all seen the photos!) in 2010 and we struck an immediate friendship with both of them, given their relaxed style and fun loving attitude.
So, when my now husband and I got engaged, the first thing we agreed on was that we wanted Apertura to shoot our special day. Bear in mind, our wedding had a certain ‘degree of difficulty’ in that we live in Australia, but were getting married in California…
All in all, working with Ray was extremely easy – he’s a consummate professional with a great eye for the creative, and more importantly, candid shot.
We could not recommend Ray (or Apertura) more highly. They have produced breath-taking photos of our wedding day that we will no doubt cherish for years to come.
Our experience with Apertura was first class. They are very thorough throughout the whole process. We can feel and see that they are very passionate and conscientious about the quality of the images that they produced. Our wedding was documented in a very honest and poignant fashion. We could not have been more satisfied with our experience.
My husband and I had our wedding in Indonesia in January. When we got back to California, we decided to do another photo shoot with Apertura here. We met with Ray and connected right away. Ray is very professional and responsive. When we came to see his portfolio, we were blown away even more than before when we were browsing the website :) We decided right away on the date of the shoot. The day of the photoshoot was a very pleasant and memorable experience. One month later, we were very excited to see the preview. Ray rushed the album per our request so we can show our parents while they are visiting. We got the album last weekend (a few weeks sooner) and of course, we were blown away as it was amazingly beautiful. It was worth every dollar spent. It is an investment...something we will treasure for decades to come :) Thank you so much, Ray for such an amazing work of art. We will definitely recommend you to friends and relatives. All the best, Apertura!
As a wedding photographer myself, wedding photography was the most important part of our wedding day. After following Ray's working for many years, I was glad that he was able to photograph my wedding. We could not have asked for anything better! We wanted a photographer who could capture every special moment that happened on the wedding day without being intrusive. Ray delivered above and beyond what we expected. Every photograph that we received was worth every penny that we spent. The investment was totally worth it. We couldn't be happier with our wedding photos! Thank you, Ray!
BOOK ERWIN! This is the third family wedding Erwin has done for us! We are so amazed at his work that we couldn't imagine leaving the job of capturing such an intimate and special event as a wedding to anyone but Erwin. He is wonderfully charming, making him very easy to work with - seriously, he's like family! You will not find the standard group posed pics (unless of course you ask for them specifically!). Rather, his incredibly keen eye for the silly, the unique, the beauty, and the emotion will assure that the pics you get will be like no other. I find it so easy to recall the details of the day when I look back at his shots. He captures the moments, the looks, and the details that most photogs would not likely think to capture. Erwin does not dictate the day or take over your wedding day! He is very much in the background and lets the events flow naturally - yet another measure of his professionalism. If you want unique pics of a day you never want to forget, BOOK ERWIN!
There are plenty of things to worry about on your wedding day, but how your photos turn out should never be one of them. This will never be the case if you book Apertura. Truly Erwin is an artist in his own right. Luckily we had the privilege and honor of having him be a part of an experience you only get once in a lifetime. He has a knack for capturing those special moments, those quiet moments when you take it all in, thinking no one is watching. In looking back at my pictures, I can’t help but to continuously feel thankful that his ever-watchful eye caught many moments that most photographers would have missed; a slow dance to no music when everyone else is busy eating, the look on my husband’s face when he saw me for the first time, a sly glance here and there, a fork hitting a glass, requesting the couple kiss—which we always happily obliged. If there is one thing you should never skimp on, it should be your photos. Flowers die, dresses fade from their original pristine white, and food is forgotten, but these photos will help us relive our moment for the rest of our lives. We will forever be thankful for Erwin’s graceful touch and wonderful eye. Give yourself one less thing to worry about and book him as soon as possible.
I met Erwin Darmali over 3 years ago at our good friend's Joy + Brandon's wedding. Erwin also shot their amazing engagement photos, so that's how we got introduced to Apertura. Prior to meeting him at the wedding, my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I scoured the internet to find every photo shot by Apertura in existence. Truth be told, we were quite obsessed. We made a quick introduction towards the end of their reception, and we told him we don't know when it is... but.... we want him to shoot our wedding. Without hesitation, his genuine smile appears, he takes a look at my red hair, and he says, "definitely." Fast forward 2 years, and here I am about to call Erwin... will he remember us? Not only did he remember us (and my red hair), he said he's been waiting to shoot our wedding. Him and I talked like old friends catching up. In 2 years, there was never a hesitation nor doubt that it was going to be Erwin shooting our wedding. It was always him. Over the months leading up to the wedding, there were countless emails/calls/texts with questions, plans, schedules, updates, and all were answered promptly. He couldn't have been more helpful and patient through the whole process.
Game day is finally here. Erwin and his second shooter arrives on time and immediately go to work. He had instant chemistry with everyone. I have 100% trust in him and just want him to do his thing. He stayed with me through out the whole day (which I loved), and he blended in so well. Our guests couldn't stop talking about how talented and dedicated he was through the whole night. He was extremely thorough. No detail went unpictured. Needless to say, after getting our photos back, his talent and hard work were definitely show cased. I felt incredibly lucky and so thankful that these pictures were my own.
Plain and simple, Erwin Darmali is an atrist. His ability to tell a story without words, and connect emotion with time is unparallel. His focus is unforgiving and his dedication to deliver is his motivation. His ever so flawless coordination, calculated lighting, and ability to see unconventional angles is always done to perfection. I am forever grateful to him because through his awesome images, I can re-live the best day of my life, anytime I want to.
We knew Apertura by accident from our friend’s blogs. We’ve searched photographers for our wedding for quite a long time. We didn’t get the feeling so we kept on searching until we found Apertura. The first impression when we looked at Ray’s photos was “wow.. these were so good”. We should hire him for our wedding. Then we started to contact Ray by e-mail. Our wedding was held in Jakarta, Indonesia so we had to check the availability of Ray. Surprisingly, Ray is such a nice person. We chatted for almost an hour. That’s the longest chat for me with someone I just knew. We’re so happy that Ray were willing to come to Jakarta to shoot our wedding on September 11,2011.
Time flew so fast. We received an e-mail from Ray saying that he would be coming on August 31. We’re really excited. So on September 1 we met Ray for the first time. We had a nice chat with Ray and some of our friends. Then come the big day. Ray was a well-prepared man. He kept us relax and made us laugh with his jokes. He’s a professional photographer. He’s so serious but still relax while working. How he got the angle for shooting was amazing. He had a great stamina. Shooting for almost 15 hours and still looked so excited. Really beyond our expectation.
We’re so satisfied with our photos. Amazing. Awesome. Excellent. Superb. We can see the feeling from his photos. The angle and technique was so unique and excellent. What a warm and excellent work. We’re extremely satisfied with his work and we will absolutely recommend Ray and Apertura to our family and friends. Bringing Ray from CA to Jakarta was the best decision we made. For you who are still looking for photographers for your big day, we can say that Apertura is the best. It’s really worth every penny you spend. You won’t regret it at all.
I would like to start off by writing that I usually never write reviews because I always expect service to be what you pay for. That being said, I am writing Ray from Apertura this review because my expectations were far surpassed.
I did not know what I was looking for in a wedding photographer, so as suggested by a friend I looked at a bunch of recommended photographer's sites, and narrowed down a few to meet with based on my reactions to their photos. I knew I liked the photo journalistic style because I appreciate natural moments of the wedding day told in pictures. Ray from Apertura contacted me promptly after my inquiry and immediately sent me several examples of recent work. I loved his clean, elegant, and heart felt pictures and decided to meet with him when on my trip to Los Angeles the following week. After meeting Ray I decided to hire him because he had such a warm, but professional attitude and I immediately felt very comfortable with him. His work really did speak for itself but his level of dedication and passion was icing on the cake!
My husband and I were thrilled to have our engagement pictures shot by Ray as this gave us an opportunity to get to know him and feel comfortable with him. My husband is very stiff when taking pictures and Ray coaxed him and directed him very well during the shooting process. Our engagement pictures turned out FABULOUS and I ended up buying the album that Ray put together beautifully!
Day of the wedding Ray and his second shooter Maurice show up on time and are in great spirits, which was great to see because I was upset with a lot of last minute things that popped up the day of the wedding. Ray and Maurice blended in immediately and honestly I forgot that they were there taking pictures. Every guest at my wedding commented on how cool my photographers were because anytime there was an interesting or special moment that happened they were there to document it with a photo.
My slideshow and gallery came about 2 months after my wedding and my family and I were blown away with the memories. I saw my wedding day through the pictures and was thrilled because I saw a lot of pictures that caught moments that I missed. Once my husband and I saw the portraits we were amazed at how unique they looked and how Ray really scoped great locations at the venue the day before to make sure our portrait time was used efficiently. Ray took portraits of us in locations that I've never seen other photographers shoot before at my venue (Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay)and it made me feel special.
Communications with Ray are always prompt and cordial. I email him and always get a response back usually within a few hours. The quality of Ray's work is top notch and I am pleased to say that I was a very happy bride with lovely photos! :)
We had our wedding in LA on June 18th 2011 and Ray from Apertura was our photographer. Ray is an absolutely talented photographer and you could tell from his work without us further stressing the point. The very first time we found Apertura was from the recommendation of a wedding website. The first impression of seeing their portfolio was simply "wow". Looking into their work, we love not just their amazing skills of interesting composition, lighting and unique point of view, but most importantly, the quality that really stood out for us was how they beautifully told the story with their unique ways of capturing moment and documenting the big day. It was an amazing art work that carefully crafted upon your most important day. They are extremely creative. For example, we had macaron as one of our wedding favor, Ray improvised on the day by placing our rings on three different color macarons and created really fun memories. We were really pleased when we saw pictures like that afterwards and glad that we had him as our photographer. Of course you could tell how amazing their work is already by seeing their portfolio, but another very important factor is how Ray was very customer oriented. The very first impression of meeting Ray was that Ray was extremely friendly. He was very responsive the entire time. Since we were out of town, my husband and I had a phone conference with him to sort out details and met with him in LA before the wedding. His understanding and professionalism made us very comfortable and confident that we could let him document our big day. On the day of, Ray text'd me that he was very excited shooting our wedding before he arrived, that certainly made me feel very good. Following us running around for the 12-hour day, Ray was all very professional, cheerful and he directed you very well during wedding portrait and you won't feel uneasy at all. Another important thing is, Ray delivered our online gallery within 2 months of our wedding which reminded us of all those sweet memories just in time. At the end, we feel like we made a really good friend on top of having a great memory of our big day. Thank you Ray! We're looking forward to our album.
Erwin Darmali shot my sister's wedding in '09. Before then, I had no idea what potential existed for wedding photos. The shots he was able to get, both in the portrait session and during the ceremony/reception (on the fly, mind you) were amazing.
His work was so impressive that when I got engaged last fall, my (now) husband and I knew immediately we wanted to hire Erwin to shoot our wedding. Erwin made such an impression on my family that when I told my mom I was engaged, about the first thing out of her mouth was, "Are you going to hire Erwin?" This is also the woman who, upon seeing Erwin at my wedding, hugged him and said, "It's like you're family!" And it truly is. Erwin has a great disposition that allows him to fit right in. His enthusiasm for his job shows in his pictures. Half the time we didn't even realize we were being photographed. We have one shot from our reception where it looks as though Erwin told us to stand in the light just so. He didn't. His ability to capture moments as they happen is one of the things he does best.
Our pre-wedding portraits also exceeded our expectations as Erwin was able to take what we are pretty confident are the best pictures of us ever.
Understandably, wedding photography is not cheap, but Erwin is worth every penny. Over the years, I have heard horror stories of brides hating their wedding photos. But with Erwin, we knew what we were going to get back was going to be wonderful. So much so that I have friends who now, after seeing our photos and simmering with photo jealously have gone from happy for me, to jokingly less so.
Long before we got married or even engaged, I became enamored with Apertura's photos. The way they captured raw emotion in their photos set them apart from other wedding photographers I'd seen.
We booked Ray for both an engagement shoot in NYC and our wedding in Maui.
Ray happened to be flying out to NYC for another engagement shoot and was able to find time to squeeze us in as well (saved on travel expenses). It was a great way to get to know him and see his work with us prior to the actual wedding.
From the start, Ray was personable, made us feel at ease despite extreme weather conditions (sweltering summer heat in NYC for the engagement and torrential rain in Maui for the wedding)and was truly a pleasure to work with.
Vanessa was our second shooter. We're so grateful that she was there to capture the small details of our wedding day that we never would have even noticed without having those photos. She was also VERY instrumental in portrait photos, giving the right kind of direction to balance out the portraits.
We would love to work with Ray and Vanessa again :)
I found Ray from Apertura after seeing his work from a family friend's wedding. I simply fell in love his style - he was able to capture authentic and intimate moments while keeping the photos really interesting with his use of light/shadow, juxtaposition, and foreground/background contrast for his compositions. I was planning my San Francisco wedding from NYC, and he was fortunately in my area for another wedding shoot, so I was able to sit down with him and found him to be very warm, really interested in my and my fiance's story and truly dedicated to his work. We booked him for both our engagement session in NYC and wedding day in SF.
Ray was awesome to work with. He was laid back but incredibly prepared, scoping out areas ahead of time to get an idea of what and where to shoot. On the day of the wedding, he and his second Ari were practically invisible, but they had a way of capturing the moments beautifully - especially those private moments that you'd never think to capture. In portraits (both wedding and e-session), Ray could get you to pose in such a way that you'd think you were looking at a modeling ad (except its you!). I had been concerned about what to do during those sessions, but he provided a lot of direction until we felt comfortable - after learning what to do during the e-session, the wedding portraits were a breeze. During the days leading up to the wedding, I was incredibly stressed trying to tie up loose ends I'd been managing from across the country, and Ray stopped by the night before the wedding to let me know that everything was going to be fine - I was touched by his concern and felt better after talking to him, particularly since he'd seen so many weddings.
Ray was prompt to respond to my questions and in processing the photos & albums. Contrary to some other photographers, his blog-posted pictures are not the only best ones. He took a lot of gorgeous pictures, and the composition of the albums he created for us truly recorded the progression of our wedding day. I know of a lot of couples who never get their album (even though it's included in their package) given all the work required to sift through hundreds of photos and pick out the ones they want - I didn't have this problem at all. His albums are simply gorgeous - not only do they tell the story of our day, they are laid out simply and elegantly. I did not feel the need to change many things in our album and when I did, the well-edited series of pictures from our gallery made the decision making process more manageable.
Thinking back on my wedding, there are a number of things that I wish I could have changed, but not once did I ever think that about our photos. Ray was a real pleasure to work with, and I am completely 100% happy with the finished product he produced. I really feel as though I have tangible memories that will last me a lifetime. I'd definitely work with him again!!
We were so fortunate to have discovered Apertura. With thousands of wedding photographers out there, they stood out from the rest with their innovative approach to photography. Both Ray and Erwin are extremely talented, but we love Erwin's style and felt that it was more of a match to our style and booked him. Prior to booking him, we looked through all the images from their blog and the slideshows, and we felt like we were in attendance that those weddings even though they are complete strangers. That was how we knew that we wanted to book Erwin. He is able to capture the emotions and the important moments of that speical day through his images. We also appreciate the modern and unconventional way that he tells the story. His images are just beautiful and sweet wedding photos. They are very meaningful and creative. Erwin is not only a talented photographer, but a great person. He's very professional, easy to work with, punctual, reliable, and responsive. We also did an engagement shoot with him so we were able to get to know him prior to the wedding. We feel connected and very at ease with him so by the time the wedding came around, it was like we have a friend there with us to document our day, and that's a very important quality to have in your photographer. His job also does not end after the shoot. He invests his time into editing and compiling the images so that they have a beautiful story.
Erwin - you are simply one of a kind. Words cannot describe how wonderful you are as a photographer, but more importantly, as a person. We look forward to having you capturing more important moments in our lives in the future. Thank you!
I've been cyber stalking apertura for a long time and already made up my mind about photographer way before i got engaged. I couldn't afford both Ray and Erwin so we ended up with Ray. Ray's really great at what he does. His team is really awesome to work with and they know a good shot when they see it. i love working with apertura and their artistic/talent is worth every penny.
We LOVE Apertura! I wish I could book both Ray and Erwin, but our budget only allowed for 1 main photographer and a second shooter. Erwin is the coolest, awesomest, and talented photographer. He captured beautiful moments and took the best photographs. Words cannot describe how great he is.
When planning our destination wedding, one of the only things that we were absolutely sure of and set on was booking both Ray and Erwin to capture our week. We booked them for 3 days, rehearsal, wedding and a day after shoot and they were not only worth every penny but worth even more than that!
First of all, they are two of the nicest people we've ever come across. The entire wedding party of nearly 40 people who all stayed in one rental for a week, loved both Ray and Erwin. They fit right in.
Their work is phenomenal! (but you don't need anyone to tell you that...you can see for yourself in every image they shoot). Our friends and family are astonished at the beauty of their images. And well, my husband and I just feel very lucky to have had them there with us.
We have soooo many friends getting married right now, and those that didn't use Apertura wish to go back in time and those that haven't booked have all contacted them to schedule meetings.
Two things are definitely for certain, if you go with them, you'll have no regrets and the most beautiful memories forever. And the second, you'll have definitely made yourselves friends for life!
My (now) husband and I were very fortunate to have Erwin of Apertura photograph our engagement pictures and both our private church ceremony as well as our outdoor ceremony. I was referred to Apertura through friends who were recent brides. After stalking the Apertura website for some time, we were drawn to Erwin's artistic and photojournalistic eye. We greatly admired his ability to capture the many emotion-filled, precious moments through his unique juxtaposition of what is beautiful and what is sometimes regarded as "unattractive". We found his work to be captivating, edgy, emotional, unexpected and simply awe-inspiring. His work stood out with a definite "WoW" factor. Since wedding photography was the most important thing to me for our recent wedding, I knew that Erwin had to shoot our wedding!!!
Working with Erwin was truly a pleasure. He has a very fun and joking personality, and was really easy to get along with. It was almost like hanging out with a long-time friend! He made sure to make us feel at ease during our Engagement Shoot and gave us good direction, which was really key in making us feel more relaxed when he was shooting our wedding.
On the business side of things, Erwin is extremely professional about his work and was very patient in helping us put together wedding packages that worked within a budget. He responds thoroughly and promptly to all inquiries, always making sure to answer all questions and ease our concerns. I really appreciated him following up with us from time to time just to ask if we had any additional questions he could answer for us.
Erwin is a hard worker with great timing. He was able to send us our images so quickly. We were extremely pleased with the final Engagement Shoot, Church Wedding, and Outdoor Ceremony photos. He captured so many great moments and raw emotions. Looking at the photos and the awesome wedding slideshow he created for us felt like we were reliving our wedding. It truly brought a smile to my face.
Hands down, Erwin's work is truly amazing, of great quality, and worth the price. If wedding pictures are the most important thing to you, then you have already found your photographer.
We were referred to Apertura through a friend that got recently married and did his wedding photographer research. I also came across Apertura’s work from Junebug Weddings – World’s Best Wedding Photographers.
After combing through their website and getting the feel of the type of work they do, we set up a meeting with Ray. Ray is organized and professional. He took the time to get to know us, our history and background, and the details of our San Francisco destination wedding. We had the opportunity to look through the albums they put together and through that found the value of their work. They really document your big day from beginning to end, telling the “story” of your wedding day.
Our wedding day was the first time we worked with Ray (since our friend did our engagement shots) so some poses were at first awkward and did not feel natural or were somewhat difficult to do (i.e. sun in my eyes) but after seeing our proofs we saw and understood the artistic style Ray was trying to get. And as far as the photo journalism of our day, I barely even noticed Ray shooting away – he was like stealth but somehow got all these shots - which is good because you already are paparazzied with cameras from your guests and Ray is like a fly on the wall.
Oh, and I must give credit to Vanessa, his second shooter. She is a sweetheart and also helped pose and take some fun, artsy shots.
After I accidently stumbled upon Apertura’s work 6 years ago, I have been a cyber stalker and a loyal follower of Erwin/Ray’s work. I’ve also looked at many other wedding photographers’ work (no less than 70 photographers) for the past 6 years, but I can honestly say that no other photographer’s work touches my heart as Erwin/Ray’s photos do. I believe each wedding is unique in itself, and the photos should capture each wedding’s own story. Therefore when I got engaged, I have no doubt in my mind who I want as my photographer to capture my special day. Since I couldn’t afford both Erwin and Ray (even though I really would like to); after some careful considerations we decided to go with Erwin.
I was super nervous when I met Erwin for our first consultation (after all, I have been “stalking” him for the past 6 years, who wouldn’t be nervous..). But Erwin was so easy to talk to, super nice, and it really truly felt like talking to a friend. He really puts me at ease and he was so patient to listen to the story of how my husband and I met (I couldn’t shut up..). He was also very professional, answering all my questions and concerns, and always replied to E-mails and calls in a timely manner.
A co-worker of mine came and asked me for Erwin’s information and website after my wedding. I asked my co-worker how come he was so sure the pictures would come out great, even before seeing the photos. My co-worker said he had been to so many weddings, but he had never seen anyone worked the way Erwin and his team did. He could tell from the way Erwin took the shots and prepared for the lighting, that Erwin was not just a wedding photographer but also an artist, and he could tell the photos would come out great.
And they were! When my husband and I got the photos, we couldn’t help but having big smiles on our faces. Erwin truly captured the raw emotions of our special day. Each photo tells its own story, and each photo is an art work by itself. It is timeless. He captured so many moments that lasted no more than a second. Also, my husband does not like to smile if there is a camera on him; however, Erwin was able to capture some of his best smiles, along with many other details.
In short, you can’t go wrong with Erwin. He is worth every penny. And if the wedding photos are your top priority, then you definitely want to have Erwin and his team on your wedding day.
Apertura was the first vendor we contacted and first vendor we booked. We did not take choosing a wedding photographer lightly because the images captured will be the only elements from the wedding that will live on. (Besides the ever-burning flame that exists between my husband and I.) All good photographers have a discernible style and Apertura's drama and storytelling are epic. Luckily, photography is something we know a little about and were able to choose a photographer to match our own sensibilities.
From the first meeting to the final presentation, everything was world class professional. Even their branding rocked. All this really helps you feel at ease since this is a significant investment.
We are not accustomed to being photographed but Ray made us feel comfortable and gave us the right amount of direction and encouragement. The portraits went by swiftly because he was so easy going and personable. And confident. That's something you really need to feel from your photographer. When it came time to document the day, he blended in amongst the revelers. Like a ninja, but in a good way. We did not feel any obtrusion, yet everything was expertly documented. I swear there was some dark arts going on because we didn't notice the photographers until we needed them. Even our bulldog, Flash, sat still for him - see, magic.
Apertura's work speaks for itself and if their style fits yours, there is absolutely no alternative. Aside from the talent, you also pay for their professionalism and service. They do not disappoint in that regard either. All issues are taken care of swiftly.
Awesomeness has it's cost and it does not come cheap. It's hard to put a price on memories and something so subjective can't be quantified. I'd absolutely recommend Apertura to anybody looking for photos to be envious of.
For the past few years, I've been a big fan of Apertura's work. When it was my turn to become engaged, I did my due diligence and researched other photographers along with Apertura, just to be sure my decision was an educated one, and not just on impulse. As I suspected, no other photographers matched their level of quality of work.
I can give you a million reasons why Apertura's/Erwin's work is incredible, but to give you a few examples.
1. As a Human Resources exec, I'm constantly evaluating service and talent. Erwin was truly exceptional: prompt, professional, meticulous, really A++ service. We really felt like he was family.
2. My husband and I are pretty camera shy. Erwin's quiet encouragement, direction and ability to make us feel at ease very quickly, were key to establishing amazing portraits.
3. My husband is a designer, so he has a very critical eye. We can't believe Erwin can see things the way he does- it's really ingenious. One of our engagement shoot locations was at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica, CA. We frequent this location often, and there wasn't one shot that Erwin took that we weren't amazed with. Erwin has the ability to take very ordinary locations (sometimes just plain concrete, in our case), and make them look extraordinary, geometrically and aesthetically pleasing. We love that his work is so artistic, and we are not always the focal point of every photo.
4. His clever use of light, reflections, shadow, and color only serve to enhance his already amazing photos. Genius!
5. Erwin has impeccible timing. He was able to catch shots at our wedding that truly were there for only an instant. These photos made all the difference in our wedding album.
6. Our wedding ceremony was in a strict Catholic Church that didn't allow flash or a lot of movement. Somehow, Erwin was able to covertly document our ceremony and capture really artistic shots of the Church and ceremony.
Erwin’s photojournalistic style is really key. Each photo is a cohesive artistic piece that anyone can enjoy, regardless of the subject or subject matter.
From first contact to end result, Erwin exceeded all of our expectations.
Bottom line, Erwin's work speaks for itself. Trust him and his team to run free creatively, and the end result will be amazing - guaranteed.
Loved working with Erwin and his team! We put a high priority on hiring the BEST photographer for our special day and don't regret making cuts elsewhere to make that happen :)
Professional and do amazing high quality work!
Apertura took wedding photos for my friend's wedding a couple of years ago, which is when I fell in love with wedding photography. I didn't know that wedding photos could evoke so much emotion, but their work certainly did. Since then, I always knew that I wanted to have an amazing photographer at my wedding. Luckily, Erwin was available for our wedding and he did an awesome job.
If you love the photojournalistic style, Apertura is definitely the way to go. Erwin was able to capture some really touching moments from our wedding and we're so pleased with the results.
I met Erwin when I was a bridesmaid for my cousin's wedding. When I got engaged, I knew instantly that I wanted to meet with Erwin and book him for our wedding. Our initial meeting was lax and comfortable. Erwin was easy to talk to as if we've all been friends for years. He showed us images of previous weddings he had done and we were amazed and impressed. We booked him right away.
On our wedding day, Erwin and his team were very professional. He made us feel at ease and comfortable. He definitely used our wedding venue (Walt Disney Concert Hall) to his advantage. He found every place to capture amazing backgrounds, composition and lighting. You can tell he loves what he does and he's passionate about it.
We were just so impressed at how well he captured our wedding. The details, the angles, the vibrancy, the color, the emotions. We were so happy with how everything turned out and it was worth the money.
Ray did an amazing job capturing our wedding in Napa in June. I spent countless hours researching photographers, and it is clear from the work on Apertura's website that their work is in a different league than most wedding photographers out there. Ray is a true artist behind the camera and does a great job capturing emotions and composing images in a unique way. If you like their aesthetic approach, which really appealed to us when we came across their blog, you should definitely contact them before your date gets booked.
One thing that I really liked about Apertura's work was that we received so many "wow" images from our day. Most photographers will only have a few great images from the day and will showcase these on their blogs. Not with Apertura. We had 700+ photos, and most were worthy of getting blog status. I had looked at complete albums from other photographers, and no one came close to having such high quality throughout the album.
I think the best way to summarize Ray from Apertura is that he's a photographer's photographer. In addition to the requisite of being technically sound, his work is very artistic and creative. He is a true professional and makes you feel confident that he knows exactly what he is doing when composing shots. Most importantly, he really loves his work (he was a former engineer and changed careers after he fell in love with photography). He attended our rehearsal (which wasn't required) to scope out our venue and to research how the light throughout the day/evening would affect our photos. It's clear when you work with him that he is always trying to push the envelope of his craft. Apertura certainly isn't the cheapest option out there. But if you place a high value on capturing great images from your big day and like their photo-journalistic approach, hiring Ray from Apertura will be one of the best decisions you make.
Planning for a wedding is always a hectic-stressful-exciting-emotional, all mixed into one surreal process. Hubby & I agreed upon investing on a solid professional photographer. After all, your wedding photos are the ones you'll proudly parade on the walls of your (potentially plus your parents' plus grandparents') home. We wanted photos that will last through time - 5,10,30,60+ years from now. Apertura provided just that, and oh if not more! Browsing through Apertura's blog kept us wanting to see more images. One phone call with Ray, and we knew we've found our photographer. He was very professional, friendly, and best of all - upfront.
I met Ray for the first time during our engagement photo shoot - and I was not only l-a-t-e, we brought our beloved dog who hates looking at the camera. Ray was totally forgiving and we hit it off like we've known one another for years. Fast forward to our wedding in Bali. We were very impressed at how quick, personable and flexible Ray was. He came prepared with all the locations he wanted to shoot, under what lighting, was up for challenging family members (mostly mine)... Oh, and he did all that under the hottest, most humid day imaginable (we had to bring extra towels - honest to god).
Looking at our engagement and wedding photos, I'm always amazed at how Ray was able to capture some of the dearest moments of us, without my recollection of it. That's what we love of his work. We received our wedding album the week of Valentine's day, and we went through it at least 3x that day. The way Ray had set up the images pages after pages, it all came together perfectly.
We are so blessed to have found Ray, not only as our wedding photographer, but now as a dear friend as well.
Ray shot our wedding in Houston, and as the other reviews say, he is incredible. He is truly passionate about what he does, and it shows. His #1 priority is to get the best shot he can, and he is a complete professional, and a true artist. Other vendors I dealt with kind of phoned it in, or gave me the sense that they didn't love dealing with brides -but not Ray. He understands that for most of us out there, the most important thing is the pictures. He was worth every penny. If you want the peace of mind that you will get the best possible photographs at your wedding, then you should hire Ray or Erwin. It is as simple as that. Skimp other places if you must, but not on the photography. These guys are the best, and I am so glad I went with them.
My husband will tell you that if there is any fault to be found in something that I will find it. So rarely do I find a place/vendor that I am truly satisfied with, but Apetura is one of the few. Below is what I experienced with Apertura/Ray Soemarsono...
1. We expect the same professionalism from the people we deal with that we have in our jobs. Ray fell nothing short of our expectations, he was courteous, prompt in responding, kept to his time commits, was trustworthy, and has proper attention to detail. Some of the things that I liked in Ray:
a. He scoped the places out ahead of time (we live in the Bay Area and he’s from LA)
b. He didn’t stop the 6 hour shoot to grab a bite of food or go to the bathroom (though I would be understanding of this one!) – I secretly think he intentionally doesn’t drink before a shoot for this very reason.
c. Though he is a smoker, he didn’t once have a cigarette break and when we found out that he was a smoker we said to go ahead, but he still didn’t. By the way, the ONLY way we could tell was that it came up in conversation otherwise it was unnoticeable.
2. Because the day was just the two of us, we stressed quite a bit on how imposing Ray would be - Julian had only spoken to him on the phone and via email prior to the day of. I am not exaggerating in saying that within the first hour I truly felt like Ray was family. He really is that genuine of a person. How he managed to balance giving Julian and I privacy when appropriate and yet somehow be participatory in the day still boggles my mind. It may not seem like a big deal at first glance, but it could have easily have turned out to be that he was a third wheel or too intrusive.
3. We had a few sentimental places that we wanted photos at, one was a 20 minute hike to the ocean and Ray laden with 3 cameras, crazy big lenses, and smokers' lungs, traipsed the whole way without complaint and managed to somehow stay fully focused such that amazing images were captured the whole way.
4. Julian and I hate having our picture taken. I think we have maybe 20 pictures total of each other – we are both ridiculously camera shy. Yet Ray somehow managed to help navigate us through our fears, cast it aside even. We both look back on that day and are amazed how comfortable Ray made us feel. The reason why we know it was due to Ray is that we are both back to being mortified of being photographed.
5. In all the people that we researched, his work, hands down, stands far above any that I’ve seen. We can’t begin to express our feelings about how the photos turned out, we just won’t do it justice. What we can say is that they are EXACTLY as we want the day to be remembered. Here is a sampling of what he did for us http://www.aperturaphoto.com/blog/2010/03/katherine-julian-san-francisco/
6. I was impressed by his consistency. He was just as dedicated and patient with the ordering of the album as he was in initial contract discussions. So many people nowadays let their service slide once orders have been placed. Not once did he fail in this respect and I’m sure I tried his patience! We had 20+ emails going back and forth for a special album that I wanted to surprise my husband with and he didn’t once complain, he took the time to discuss each and every idea that I had.
7. Though we had a few places we wanted pictures at, we tried not to put any other bounds on him. He has an amazing eye, I would suggest that you let Ray have artistic freedom with the photos and the album. You won’t be disappointed.
Ray really did help to make that day more special for us.
We can’t recommend him highly enough.
Stop searching. If you're reading this, I'm happy to assure you - you've found the best.
When my wife and I started our wedding photographer search, we knew we didn't want photo after photo of pre-planned soft focus poses, the type you see with many genera photogs. We wanted real. We wanted US, and someone to visually weave the tale of our big day. Lo and behold, we found Erwin - a master storyteller. He covered every inch of our wedding, collecting moments big and small, and subsequently assembled the images in a way that had us reveling in reliving - tears for my wife and all.
Professional, courteous, kindhearted, and extremely talented, everything about Erwin and Apertura is first rate. Start to finish, an absolute A+ experience.
They are very reasonably priced, but if you're the slightest hesitant, take a second look at your budget and make it work. Treat yourself to the best. You won't regret a red cent, I promise.
Ray is so talented. He beautifully documented all of the special little moments that made our wedding day unique to us. We feel lucky that the happy and magical energy of the day was captured on film so perfectly. The photos will provide us with memories for the rest of our lives and we couldn't be happier with them. We get compliments all the time on the book he made us and how classic it is. He was confident and kind. He shared in our emotional moments and made us feel that our day was important. He seemed whole- heartedly committed to producing work he is proud of and it shows. We were blown away.
Photography was something very important to our wedding and we couldn't imagine trusting anyone else who can do what Ray & Erwin did for us. That is why we flew Apertura across the country to attend our wedding. From the beginning to end, they delivered and exceeded my expectations. The pictures were beyond amazing and it was worth our whole budget to invest in these memories that will last forever.
As a bride who is budget conscious, I have no regrets in the investment to have Ray & Erwin at our wedding. I can not be more pleased with their service and could not have asked for more. I don't want to sound crazy but I wish to have Ray & Erwin around everyday to document my life. :)
the usual compliments (incredible, amazing, spectacular, etc) doesn't start to describe Ray as a photographer nor as a person. his work speaks for itself and, simply put, his photos are artpieces. we are so honored to have met and worked with Ray from our engagement session thru our wedding day. from the day we met, Ray made us felt completely at ease with his laidback-ness and great sense of humor. as other brides have mentioned, he truly catches the essence of who we are as individuals and as a couple. he not only wanted us to be our goofy selves, his best work was capturing us during our most natural and unrehearsed exchanges.
Ray's work is more than deserving of Apertura's Top 10 Photographer in the Country honors, but having Ray at our wedding was like having a good friend present - he only added to the excitement and fun we had. Ray, however, was the most hard-working "guest" at our wedding. i had no idea how close he was to us and all of the action for the entire day until i saw pics from our friends and there was proof that Ray was next to us the whole time! Ray is omnipresent yet stealthy so you don't even notice that he's right there fiercely clicking away. =)
as i've said to Ray, he was Rockstar Ray at our wedding. i'll definitely continue to follow Ray's (and Erwin's) work and am an Apertura groupie for life! for those brides who are still looking for a photographer with immense creativity/talent/passion/skills, you owe it to yourselves to check out and contact Apertura...you will not regret it!!
The 'A' in Apertura stands for Awesome! They're the best photographers in the world. I don't even know how they get the magical shots they get. All the pictures we got from them were great, exciting, and artistic. It told a story of our wedding day and made us look like super stars. Apertura is not only your photographer, they are also your friends. My husband and I enjoyed our wedding day even more because of Apertura. They made us feel so relaxed and like we were hanging out and laughing with them all day. We got great pictures from them even though we were on a strict schedule and they were flexible enough to work through it with us. If you want to document the day you invest so much in, invest in Apertura. You will never regret it and it will be the best decision you ever made in your life. :)
Ray from Apertura was pretty much the photographer of my dreams! He is beyond brilliant with light schemes, positioning, angles, frames....you name it!! Not only was he super easy to work with but he was able to catch the essence of who my husband and I were as a couple and as individuals and what our wedding day was all about.
I wanted my wedding pictures to tell the story of that day and that is exactly what we got. I could not be happier with them and I am so proud to show them off to my family and friends. Everyone who sees them sing such high praises and tell me what a great job I did in selecting Apertura. My response: "I know right?!"
I highly recommend Apertura to EVERYONE and they are so deserving of being named Top 10 Wedding Photographers in the country. :)
Apertura Photography is the ABSOLUTE BEST!!! Ray & Erwin captured priceless moments of our wedding day. They have a way of making you feel at ease and when you meet them, you will see the passion they have for photography. Through the course of our wedding planning, both Ray & Erwin were encouraging and supportive...and in the end of it all...became like family to us.
My husband and I were privileged to have Ray from Apertura photography shoot our destination wedding last September. Words really don’t do this man justice - as another reviewer said, he really is amazing to work with.
The thing that drew me to Ray + Erwin initially beyond the obvious quality of their photographs, was the uniqueness of every shoot. Their shots were poignant, emotional, innovative, and no two were alike. They seem to go into every wedding with fresh eyes, working to tailor make their shoot around the unique personalities of the bride and groom and the mood of the wedding event. If you look through their work you won’t see one formula used for every wedding. I liked the fact they didn’t go all cookie-cuter with weddings. Yet their photographs weren’t cheesy, or odd… they just organically captured all every element of the wedding from the serving staff cutting meat to the little girl peering through a throng of people dancing. Each photograph is taken to capture the mood and feelings of the wedding. The bride and groom are the centerpieces, but the story of the wedding would not be complete without all the backdrop and all the little events happening on the sidelines.
Beyond being an artist of stellar caliber, Ray is also such an amazing person. He fit right into our crazy wedding party, feeling more like an old friend, than a vendor. As a person, Ray is genuinely kind, calm, humble, professional, hard working, and utterly focused. He’s someone it’s impossible not to like.
I’ve never seen someone work as hard as he did the day of our wedding. It was like 100+ degrees, with 100% humidity, and he was all over the place, constantly but subtlety taking pictures. Most of the time, we had no idea we were being photographed. And for the posed pictures we did, Ray put my camera shy husband and I at ease with gentle encouragement and support. With Ray behind the camera, I felt invincible and fearless. He just makes you feel like a million dollars, and capable of anything.
The result? Amazing, breath taking pictures that look like they belong in some magazine article about someone else’s wedding!! : ) I was awed at how Ray was able to capture the moments that seemed to flash by so quickly with such perfect and unique composition. If you were to review the pictures you’d think every picture was posed, the people in it were paid models. Ray seems to look at a scene, and see everything, from what’s going on in the foreground to what’s happening in the background. He then frames his picture, and captures that moment perfectly. And all in the blink of an eye! I really don’t know how he does it.
If you are looking for a wedding photographer that can organically capture the real story of your wedding with grace and natural elegance, you cannot go wrong with Ray and Erwin. They are artists, and just plain great people. I really can’t recommend them highly enough.
Ray and Erwin are absolutely amazing to work with. We couldn’t be happier with our wedding pictures. They are everything and more than we could have ever dreamed of. What makes their work stand out from others is they are able to capture the true essence of each couple with their photos. When we first met them and looked through their body of work, what we quickly noticed is that no two weddings they shot were the same. This was the kind of uniqueness that we were searching for and what we got when we hired Apertura.
Not only is their work amazing, but Ray and Erwin are amazing individuals. They are two of the nicest guys you will ever meet. They make you feel so at ease in front of the camera. They are not intrusive when shooting you, yet they are able to capture all of the special moments on your wedding day. All of our guests commented on how hard they worked and how nice they were.
Ray and Erwin were always very easy to get in contact with and always followed up on everything quickly. Overall, we are so thankful, grateful and honored to have had he opportunity to work with these two talented individuals. No one can beat their work.
The first thing we booked while preparing for our big day was our photographers, Apertura Photography, and once confirmed, we set the date! Their work is unbeatable. They have captured every moment of our wedding day in a beautiful way and we couldn't be happier with their work. We felt so at ease and enjoyed every moment of working with them.
What can I say...I tried to book Ray even before I was engaged (minor detail!) But that just went to show how much I respected his work. I had been online blog stalking for a few years and knew we wanted Apertura to shoot our wedding. The hubby was more than convinced that Ray was the way to go. Ray made the E-shoot very easy and fun (even for us nervous folks who had to sneak a few shots to loosen up prior to the e-session lol).
For the wedding, he came a day early to scope out the locations (which is very RARE and much appreciated) The day of, he was definitely "on" watching for every moment. His work speaks for itself - emotional, intense, and of course great lighting. We loved every minute of working with Ray (and Maurice!) Thanks guys!
Everyone raves and rants about Apertura, and I can see why. However, I still just can't justify the exorbitant cost I paid. For a similar cost, I could have received the same feel and quality of photos. The duo was professional, fun to work with, and VERY responsive. They made everything very easy while planning the wedding. Only things I was unhappy with were (again) cost (I should have shopped around more), they didn't get any pics of my husband and I looking into the camera (they are great at capturing the moment..their specialty, but I wish I had more posed shots of our faces), and we didn't get any pics with the bridal party (aside from the church..but not outside doing casual stuff. With all their experience, I wish they could have reminded us to do this), AND if you order the "cheaper" photo album, that's what you get (poor paper quality and pixilated photos). Everything "extra" you get they charge an arm and a leg for (slideshow, extra spreads, nice album)
My husband and I couldn't have ask for better team than them! They are professional, easy to work with, most important of all, they are super talented. Given the fact that both of us are designers, we KNOW what good photography is. Composition, ability to capture emotions and great execution are all the qualities that we look for, and they nailed it each time. All our friends were asking me about them after they see the photos. Erwin and Ray rock!
Ray & Erwin from Apertura blew us away with their professionalism, talent, patience, and warmth. Photography was a high priority for our wedding. We shopped around and found quite a few talented photographers who shot beautiful pictures. What really caught our eye about Apertura is their ability to capture an emotion. Their photos were so different from the others we've seen. Their work is so captivating that you can't help but look at the image over & over again, just to take it all in.
During the day of, they ran with the punches when things didn't go as planned with the timeline and really didn't miss a beat. They helped keep us calm and really captured the mood of our entire wedding. We are truly touched to be able to relive each special moment through our wedding photos.
We love keeping up with their blog, as their work just keeps getting better & better. http://www.aperturaphoto.com/blog/
Ray & Erwin from Apertura blew us away with their professionalism, talent, patience, and warmth. Photography was a high priority for our wedding. We shopped around and found quite a few talented photographers who shot beautiful pictures. What really caught our eye about Apertura is their ability to capture an emotion. Their photos were so different from the others we've seen. Their work is so captivating that you can't help but look at the image over & over again, just to take it all in. During the day of, they ran with the punches when things didn't go as planned with the timeline and really didn't miss a beat. They helped keep us calm and really captured the mood of our entire wedding. We are truly touched to be able to relive each special moment through our wedding photos.
Ray and Erwin are wonderful to work when we work on events together, they are a very creative and talented duo that capture beautiful photographs on your special day. They product top qualiy work in a professional manner. I highly recommend them for photographers for your wedding day!
Ray and Erwin are some of the best wedding photographers in the US. I have had the privilege to work with them many time this year and will continue to work and learn from them for many years to come.
Simply one of the top photography companies in the world. The guys at Apertura inspire me with their depth of talent, professionalism, and dedication to producing some of the most artful photos I've seen! Love these guys!
They are wedding photojournalists with unique visions, focusing on real emotion and unstaged moments.