How long have you been shooting?

I've been shooting weddings professionally for over 20 years & have been happily using cameras for 22+ years. I'm one of those fortunate people who love my job. I've shot numerous different types of weddings over 20 years- in fact, there really isn't a type of wedding I haven't shot yet. They are all unique & beautiful events. I am a workhorse & I sit down with all my clients before the event & go over any cultural significance to any details they have put in. Capturing that in an artistic form is one of many priorities.

How long are you there for? All day. WHAT??

I do unlimited time. Over the years, I found it was easier for my clients to handle that I drink a Redbull midway through their event & stay all day than to come up to them before the Father-Daughter dance & say I'm ready to leave because your 8 hours is up. Imagine that- what downer that would be to come up to a bride & groom during their happiest day & say "your 8 hours is up- I'm leaving". No thanks. I go to Costco & buy a &12 case of Redbull & it solves everything. I am there to capture your entire wedding, so its important I am there. & with easy, simple planning (a solid time line), I can shoot the bride getting ready & then go over & shoot the guys getting ready & the day goes from there. Its pretty awesome & exciting. ***Be wary of a photographer who is only there for 6 to 8 hours. Even my smallest wedding (32 people) was still an 11 hour event. What time-limited photographers are trying to do is charge you $300 an hour for 5 more hours of photography. You can see how that would destroy your budget. What sounds better- 5 more hours at $300/hour or me drinking a $1.53 Redbull from Costco?

Why should we choose you?

The best way to experience what I have to offer is to think of a fun, personalized experience. If you're the type of bride who wants a wedding with zero interaction with her photographer & only interact with the wedding coordinator, wanting me to be distant and never talk to one another, I'm probably not the photographer for you. If you want someone who is fun, who has a ton of experience and who will work his butt off to get everything I need to get while making it a memorable, amazing day, then I'm for you. I really love to get to know my clients and make it a fun day for them. People love my personality and how I interact with everyone in a fun, energetic way. The photography becomes so amazing when you have an awesome connection with your clients. I love when past clients write in their amazing reviews "Darren was so easy going and it was like having a friend photograph our wedding." That's what I love to hear. That's what I aim for every wedding :)

Free engagement session

I do this for 2 main reasons- 1.) so you can have save-the-date photos & can make a canvas wrap of the shoot to hang at your event. 2.) The main reason I do it is so I can get to know both of you. I want to impress you from the engagement shoot so when I show up the day of your wedding, you're going to realize you're in good hands & trust me. Client relationships are HUGE for me- I'd rather show up as a friend the day of your wedding than a stranger. I am with you all day, pointing a camera at you & if you trust me, that smile & happiness is going to be genuine & that makes some amazing photos! I also encourage friend'ing me on Facebook, instagram, we know each other better. &, of course, I'm always there for questions you may have about our photoshoots & wedding questions/timelines/what to do's. I like to offer my personal experiences & advice to my clients. It really does help them quite a bit.

Do you have a 2nd shooter?

Yes & no. Let me explain what I mean by that. When I do Indian weddings, they are typically very large, big # of guest events, often 500 to 600 people in attendance. For those, I bring in 2 2nd shooters to handle the entire event. But these are pro-level 2nd shooters, which means they own their own wedding photography business & each have been shooting weddings professionally for over 10+ years. They run $50 to $75 an hour. Often times when a photographer promotes a 2nd shooter for your event, the 2nd shooter is an assistant making $8/hr. The quality of talent is not there for that 2nd shooter (otherwise, he would start up his own wedding photography business, trust me on this). But before you start worrying about this costing you more money, don't worry because it won't. Any wedding I shoot under 300 people would not require a 2nd shooter. Why? Because I am a workhorse & have 20 years of experience & can handle large weddings. Now you can always have a 2nd shooter- its entirely up to you, but it isn't needed. But if its for peace of mind, by all means, I can get one to be hired for the event- but just remember I don't use $8/hr assistants. I use pro-level 2nd photographers. Quality at your event is a big priority for me, as I'm sure it is for you as well.

A review from a recent bridal client. 310 people :)

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All images professionally photoshopped

Any photos you see in my online portfolio is my style. I believe in timeless, accurate colored photos of magazine quality. I don't like filters or heavily saturated colors (that's what instagram is for, not something a professional wedding photographer should do). Also, I give the high res & low res images to you. Other photographers only give you 600 images & you have to buy the rest back at hugely inflated prices. I think that's cheesy. I give them all to you once the blinkers & duplicates are taken out. In 20 years, nobody has ever said "Darren, you gave me too many photos!" LOL! Not once. But what sounds better- to have all the high res images from your wedding fully photoshopped, or you having to buy an 8 x 10 for $80. The second option gets crazy expensive because I guarantee, 600 photos is nothing for an all day event.

I can help out with your wedding!

I make about 5 to 7 timelines a month for my clients. Yep, even if they have a coordinator. There's lots of coordinators out there- from the very experienced to the not so experienced & I like to get involved with the timeline because I know how long things take. I have 20 years of experience kicking in to make sure your day goes smoothly. An amazing timeline makes an amazing day. That's always my goal. Sometimes, I'm thrown a curve ball & its my job to catch up on the timeline. That's where the experience kicks in. But I usually have a quick conference call with clients a few weeks before their wedding & create a timeline (or correct small issues to an already made one) to insure we have a great timeline. Nothing is better than having an amazing timeline.

I don't upsell you to death!

Lots of photographers in the business want to grab you with a low price, say $1500 for photography and then when you meet with them, its like you're fending off a used car salesmen with their upsell every  30 seconds. That's gotta be the biggest turnoff ever. I don't believe in that approach. I believe in an easy, simple, transparent what-you-see-is-what-you-get approach to business. And clients love it. They often tell me how easy everything was and how great that I delivered what I said I was going to and that I didn't try to upsell them. That's why I do what I do!

Are you insured?

Yes. Many times a venue will require my insurance written under their name. I will have it to them months before the event. I am also insured to the highest amount possible.

How many cameras do you bring?

I always shoot weddings with 2 cameras. This allows me to shoot your wedding with different artistic perspectives being I'm also shooting with different lenses- I can get the bride coming down the aisle & turn & shoot with a zoom lens to get the groom with big baby tears as he sees his bride,  but it also serves as a backup in case I had an issue with 1 of the cameras (knock on wood, never had that happen before!). I even have a 3rd backup camera in my bag, so I am more than prepared for your event. If I eliminate any of the "might happens" by being more than prepared for your day, you are left with a flawless event.

So who shoots the wedding?

 I know a lot of companies out there want to be big & have their hands in everything & the person you meet with at a consultation ends up not being the person shooting your wedding. Huh? That's weird, isn't it? I don't believe in that style. I build a great relationship with my clients from the 1st time we drink coffee together at our consultation, we bond more & have a great time at our engagement session shoot, so when your wedding day comes, you already know me! So yes, I shoot your wedding- not some stranger. I always love reading rave reviews about how the bride & groom felt like I was a friend photographing their wedding. That's always my goal! When you feel comfortable with me, the photos become magic!

What are your turn times?

2 weeks. I am a full time wedding photographer, so if I'm not photographing a wedding, I'm at home editing images & chugging coffee. Coffee for the win!

Image delivery to clients

I offer USB drive delivery of your images. I also offer a cloud-based/password protected delivery of your images. Let me know what you prefer & we can go from there.

Online gallery for family & guests

After your event, EVVVVERRYYONE from family to guests want photos. This is a job brides & grooms don't realize- now they have to run down to print labs & fulfill orders, which is time consuming & a big pain in the butt. What I do is upload the entire wedding to my site, password protect your gallery & give you the URL to give to everyone. If family & friends want photos, they can purchase it & the company will print it out & mail it to them. It keeps you 100% out of the process. My clients always rave about this feature.

Do you offer wedding books?

Yes, I do. I offer top of the line wedding books in every leather color type, every size & every flush mount series. In fact, I offer so many different types & options, I usually save that discussion till when you are ready to discuss it, since it can be overwhelming. But ordering one is easy- I help my clients with design, let them choose the images so I can design around what they pick and go from there. Design-time takes about 8 days & once I get the final blessing from you, I then go to print. & don't worry- I don't charge thousands of dollars for wedding books. They are reasonably priced & look amazing without the $1200 price tag most photographers charge.

Do you do destination weddings?

Yes, yes, & yes. I love to travel & I have traveled through most of the United States, Europe, Japan & Thailand for destination weddings. They are very unique so please email any questions you have.

This sounds too good to be true. What's the catch?

There is no catch. I just happen to be one of the lucky ones out there who love my job. I realized long ago that if I take care of the customer, they will in turn take care of me. I've been a photographer for the better part of 20 years & since I love my job, I plan on being one for 20 more years. Meet with me for coffee & see if me shooting your wedding is a good fit- I assure you, it will be, because my strive for perfection is top notch, I am a workhorse at your wedding,  my customer service is one of the top in the industry & my artistic talent at capturing your wedding day will blow your socks off. I don't just shoot weddings. I sign clients for life. Know what an awesome feeling it is meeting with a client 5 years after I shot their wedding, laughing with them,  & going through their wedding albums & remembering all those great moments? Its an absolutely awesome feeling in life. I do it often with my clients.

The "Sunset Photo"  & CPR

I had a pretty amazing experience shooting a wedding in November 2016. As we were shooting family photos, the bride's grandmother starting choking on an appetizer. Everyone around her panicked & she quickly turned blue. People started screaming (it was about 40ft away) but luckily, the groom was a firefighter, so he ran over, performed an abdominal thrust on her & saved her. It was very emotional & everyone felt relief that grandma was ok. We soon went to go do the couple shots & this sunset appeared 45 minutes later. I have never photographed a sunset as beautiful as this one & I told the bride & groom that someone must be watching out from above to give such a stunning gift of a sunset. This is the sunset:

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This moment hit me hard over the next few days. Thank God the groom was a firefighter & he saved his grandma, but what if he wasn't there? If someone wasn't there to perform an abdominal thrust on her, she could have died. Well, I didn't like how vulnerable this made me feel, so I went out & got CPR certified for adult, child & infant a month later. I feel better knowing that if something happened, I could help out.

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Do you offer discounts?

I offer discounts to Veterans, Police, Fire & EMT'S.

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I'm interested! What's the next step?

I am a busy photographer & I am currently getting filled for 2023 bookings, so if you are interested, don't hesitate to call/email to check availability. We can meet anywhere locally as its important to understand the style of photography you desire & you can go through my stack of wedding albums & ask any questions you may have.  & I'll even buy the coffee!

Darren Wellhoefer


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