Treating people the way he’d would want to be treated is a philosophy James lives by and one to which he attributes the success he enjoys with his clients. James’ passion for creative photography, his range of styles, his sense of humor and overall enjoyment of life add up to make him a top choice of brides who seek a memorable wedding day and cherished images. James believes in capturing the moments as they unfold while remaining unobtrusive. He will make it his personal goal to photograph your wedding with style, uniqueness, and creativity. He promotes a relaxed atmosphere, which creates a fun and comfortable experience.
Q. Why choose James Leonardo and what separates his images from other photographer’s?
A. James caters to the contemporary bride who values style and romance. His images are candid, natural and fun. They capture and spark emotion. His respect for your wedding day is evident in his business ethics and his sensitivity is evident in his photographs. Whether vivid color or dramatic black and white, his photojournalistic style will document moments others might not notice. He wants you to remember how your wedding day was different than anyone else’s. He only shoots one wedding per day. His images, personality and value keep him very busy all year round. So remember — we book quickly! We are easy to contact and will keep you updated until your storybook album is completed. Our images capture what your wedding day is about – romance, fun and love. All the emotions of your wedding day are recorded, not just posed portraits. We do our very best within the limits of circumstance, schedule, and environment to provide a complete representation of the day’s events.
Our style is comfortable, simple, and artistic. We also cater to the camera-shy groom!
Q. Are you the only photographer and what type of equipment do you use?
A. In some cases. For some weddings James and an associate photographer may share, divide, or split photographing the day’s events. James may also decide to bring a non-shooting assistant. And this is at no cost to you. All images online are photographed by James Leonardo. Also you may have piece of mind in knowing that at least 2 backup photographers knows where James is working in the case of extreme emergencies. We use Professional Canon Digital and Film camera bodies, lenses, filters and accessories. As award winning artist, we will use whatever camera and media is most appropriate for what is being photographed. And don’t worry, we have plenty of back-up equipment. We shoot in the photojournalistic style of Dennis Reggie. This requires smaller 35mm/digital equipment, as it allows me to quickly move about and capture candid moments without being intrusive. There are no medium format cameras, large tripods, and big lights to haul around and distract your guests. As far as print quality is concerned, 35mm and digital produce beautiful prints rivaling medium format. Also our state-of-the-art digital technology allows us to offer you more convenient proofing methods. This means you don’t have to worry about lugging around or shipping heavy proof books to family and friends.
Q. Do you shoot color or black and white and how many pictures will I get?
A. Both. Digital allows us to shoot at any ratio of Black and White to Color. We also offer a beautiful sepia tone. One must remember- each wedding is different with it’s own personality. The number of pictures will vary based on the size of your wedding, type of event, and the hourly package that you choose. Usually between100-350 images will be given. We’ll shoot an unlimited amount of exposures to assure proper coverage of your wedding. We do not use photography lists (must-take photos). They impede the efficient work flow of our thorough coverage. We use a technique that starts with all extended family members and conveniently peels away to smaller groups ending with bride and groom and parents. I have the right to edit
Q. I saw you take a picture but it wasn’t in my gallery and when can I expect my photographs?
A. That picture may not have been taken. Also, due to the candid nature of wedding photography, some images simply were not produced. And remember, due to it’s intrusive nature, we do not do table shoots of all the guests. We retain the right to edit what is presented. Understand that certain images may fall below our standards of presentation, i.e. unflattering pictures of the bride, awkward looks, closed eyes, duplicates, or technical difficulties. Your web gallery will contain the final selection of all images. No other images will be available. Your wedding images will be ready to view online in only two weeks.You can select your favorite images and order high-quality reprints at the same time. Then you have up to 4 full weeks to choose the images you’d like in the album and as reprints . If that’s not enough time, we’ll help with the selection process in our wonderful storytelling style that captures the event’s highlights. Once the selections have been made, your library bound digital album will be ready in 10-12 weeks*. At that time, a full set of 4×6 proofs, negatives and/or Hi Resolution CD are delivered and yours to keep. You can also easily share the memories with your family and friends by directing them to the web location where they can choose their favorite reprints conveniently online. Great for out-of-town friends and family members!
*Please note, if you take more than 6 months to submit your selections, it will delay album completion and an additional charge will apply.
Q. What type of payment do you accept?
A. Personal checks, Cash, Money Order, Mastercard and Visa (some rules apply) are accepted. A $1200 deposit is due at time of booking to hold your date. And the balance is conveniently due on the morning of the wedding.
Q. What is a “Bridal Session” and an “Engagement Session”?
A. This is a photo session focusing only on the Bride. Think of it as a fashion shoot for the bride. Usually scheduled before or preferably after* the wedding, they produce beautiful art-like portraits. The purpose of this session is to provide 1- 8×10. Please visit our featured Bridal Session page to see sample images.
* more creative freedom after the wedding
This is a complimentary**and casual photo session at our pre-designated park locations**. The purpose of this session is to provide an 8×10, normally a cute head and shoulders or 3/4 shot with minimal background. Within 1 week you’ll be able to view your images online. Many couples use the 8×10 enlargement at the reception for guests to sign. Couples should dress comfortably, neat and casually, avoiding loud patterns, colors, and white tops. Earth-tones usually work best. And for goodness sake…don’t match.
*Fees and restrictions apply to re-shoots, beaches, and other non-designated locations.
**No refunds, exchanges, or credits will be given for engagement sessions.
Q. How far will you travel?
A. We’ve worked at hundreds of locations around Southern California and abroad-
We service most of California- From Santa Barbara to San Diego. No travel fee applies to any location within an approximate 30 mile radius of Palos Verdes Peninsula. For instance,
to the south Newport Beach/Irvine,
to the west Pacific Palisades/Chatsworth,
to the north Santa Clarita/Newhall,
to the east Diamond Bar/Placientia.
A $100 Travel Fee applies beyond these areas (within So. Cal.)
Is your New Location to us?? That’s O.K., we’ll scout your locations days before your wedding.
Q. I’m interested, what do I do now?
A. First, see if our images reflect the type of memories you want to cherish. Make sure we share your vision. Next, Email us with your wedding date. Remember, it’s important to have your location booked first. We’ll then set a consultation via phone or in person to discuss your concerns, the details of your ceremony, choice of packages, and booking details.
Here’s an example of a typical schedule, some tips and suggestions that will assist you in planning a stress-free and enjoyable experience on your wedding day
1:15-1:45- Bridal prep photos -30min
1:45-2:15- Bride and bridesmaids portraits-30min
2:15-2:30- Groom and groomsmen -15min
2:30-3:00- Bride and groom relax before ceremony-30min
3:30-4:00- Family/Wedding Party portraits-30min
4:00-4:30- Bride and Groom portraits-30min
4:45-7:15- Introductions, toasts, first dance
Dinner, dancing, cake-cutting,
bouquet/garter toss, & open dancing
2 hour 30 min
Paying the balance due at the beginning of the day helps to avoid inconvenient interruptions during festive moments later in the day.
Emails are preferred until the week of the wedding. This helps to document changes and details to ensure effective communication.
Photography lists, must-take photos, and well-meaning relatives’ directions only impede the efficient workflow of our thorough coverage. For this reason, we do not use photo lists. We use a technique that starts with all extended family members and conveniently peels away to smaller groups ending with bride and groom and parents.
Every wedding is different and therefore they should be approached on an individual basis.
Images should not be expected to look like images seen elsewhere.
I like kids meals. 🙂 ………Mmmmm FRIES!!
Getting really fun pics depends on many factors including; time, attire, willingness and location. We do our best.
Remember that there is a strong possibility (99% of the time) that things will run late- schedule accordingly! When things go late, photography time is the first to shorten. Be aware of this. Your schedule on paper MAY need a reality adjustment.
We do not do table shots or shoot every guest. Most guests prefer to enjoy their dinner and conversation without being interrupted. Our reception coverage captures wonderful candid moments throughout the evening.
You’ve spent most of the year planning your wedding. Be sure to let go of the burdens and responsibilities as the day draws near.
Remember if things get overwhelming, that you are ‘just’ having a celebration with all your friends and family.
Enjoy preparing for this joyous occasion. Don’t allow the stress of planning the wedding turn you into.