About Aaronstadt / FAQs - Aaronstadt

About Stephen . . .

Click here to see some of his personal 'non-wedding' photography

Put a camera, a guitar or a banjo in my hands and I am content and lost for hours. Add a cup of bottomless coffee and I could be gone for days.

I remember once walking into my darkroom and just getting so into the creative process that when I walked back out I looked at the clock not realizing that it had been 24 hours +1 since I had first gone in.

My comfort level is the same at a black tie event, the local brew pub or Peet's Coffee shop down the street.

Sometimes I get misty eyed during the father daughter dance. I just did the whole FOB thing a few years ago (in a castle of all places) and then again the following year on the edge of a beautiful lake, . . . (not the same bride)

I  tend towards restlessness, . . .

I have been a working photographerfor 35 years, won an award or two, been nominated for a couple more and at various times thoughout my life have thought, 'should get a REAL job'. Went to school and received an advanced degree to teach special education, then after 8 years, . . . decided that I really didn't like other people's children. Went to Clown College, worked as a clown (actually supported myself) then, . . . (see the aforementioned problem with other people's children). I keep coming back to photography and music. It is fulfilling. It feeds my need for creativity and adventure and even gives my ego significant strokes when someone says, 'thanks, good job'.


About Patrice . . .

Click here to see some of her personal 'non-wedding' photography

Life is the journey not the destination and as long as I have chocolate and coffee, I’m on board.

Each day is an exercise in possibilities. I’m know I’m lucky to be a working artist where I can romanticize a falling leaf and call it a day.

My weaknesses include babies, B&B’s, Bosu, Edgu, coffee in bed, and hearing great wedding proposal stories.
As a child I saw art in everything and could be found staring at walls and seeing images no one else could see.

My earliest inspiration was Rembrandt. That man had a way with light. It’s all about the light after all.

I love my perfectionist artist husband. He handed me a camera and taught me to use it. Amazingly, he was also willing to learn from me so our work together has become a loving corroboration.

My Canon 5D Mark II is the boss and I love my new 15mm fisheye lens. 
 In a previous life I was known on rare occasions as the glass goddess and had the privilege to travel and speak to groups of innocent art glass lovers.Come to think of it, glass was also about the light. I think there may be a pattern here. 

I aspire to live in the moment and I just might get there if I remember to lighten up and someone brings me coffee.


What makes us different, . . .

We are a husband and wife team, we are still in love after 16 years and we kiss at least once during every wedding.

Patrice lives by the motto: “okay is not good enough”.

Stephen lives to please Patrice.

This works out well for you.

Between us we have nearly 35 years experience in documentary, fine-art and photojournalistic photography. During the last fourteen years we’ve shot over 600 weddings together. Your memories are safe with us.

We love a good party, we love romance, we love telling a good story with images and we are slightly outrageous, and unconventional.

Now for the answers you are REALLY looking for, . . .

Do you use digital or film? We photograph all of our weddings using high end professional Canon 'digital' equipment. Film, . . . haven't used it in years. Digital has long since achieved the state where it is dependable and creates incredible quality photographs. All major publications and news agencies use digital. A print made from a decent sized digital file is indistinguishable from one made from film.

What is your style? We come from a history of photojournalistic shooting which is not always completely appropriate for a wedding. We like to label our stlye 'Blended', that is, a combination of candid, photojournalistic, documentary and traditional wherever it is appropriate. Whenever possible we like to stay outatheway and unobstusive. We shoot with nice long lenses that capture the action. At times, we do 'suggest' and provide subtle coaching in order to 'get the shot' and document your day. I guess the REAL short answer is to describing our style: . . . 'playful, fun, candid.'

What do you wear to a wedding? Generally we can be found in colorful clown costumes, rainbow wigs and sporting big sponge rubber noses. Our cameras are specially made to squirt water at obnoxious guests and we have been know to throw a pie or two. In some cases though we wear black slacks and dress shirts to blend in with the shadows and stay out of the 'limelight.' Our goal is to not to draw attention to ourselves.

What makes you an 'Eco Friendly' wanna be 'Green' company? Historically the photographic industry has been very eco-nasty with film, chemicals and a very noxious process for getting to the end product, so in 2001, when 'pro' quality digital came along we embraced it wholeheartedly. Since then we have become more diligent in recognizing areas of our work where we can be more eco-concious. We are moving towards creating a totally paperless workflow and sales process (aside of course from the final photos), we purchase used, recycled or refurbished computer equipment, we monitor our travel to combine many locations into one. We use a lab that produces photographic prints through a laser / photo emulsion interactive process that further reduces the impact of chemicals on the environment. We have several fellow vendors involved in outdoor natural events and have resources available for decorations, invitations and natural and/or recyled products that are wedding related. Going 'natural' and 'green' at your wedding does not me sacrificing anything. It actually creates an event that is more 'in-tune' and resonant with the world and makes it more beautiful.

Can my Friends or Family take pictures? Absolutely, we wouldn't dream of telling people they couldn't take pictures at your wedding! We do however ask to be the ONLY PHOTOGRAPHER SHOOTING during the Family Formals and when we are shooting your fun romantic 'Bride and Groom together' portraiture. We do this to insure the quality of the imagery you are going to get. When we have you alone we don't want a crowd to make you self-conscious and when we are shooting family groups, well, we want to make sure that the 'group' being photographed is looking at the right camera. It is really unfortunate when we get the images back to the studio and find out that one person out of the group was looking at Uncle Bob's camera indstead of ours.

How many photographers will be at my wedding? Two, Patrice and Stephen, always. ( also note the section below on 'back-up equipment' ). If you book with us, you get us, not a substitute, it doesn't matter if you choose to go with the most basic service we offer. It's a lot more fun to shoot with a partner, we get better coverage and you get more images.

Do you offer engagement sessions? We do! We have a lot of fun doing those shoots. If you have someplace that is special to you or want to pick our brains about locations we have used. We live on the beautiful Oregon Coast which gives us quick access to lots of beautiful locations AND, we have a RV, so,  if you would like to stay for a night it's your's.  It is also a great time to get to know us better and see how really fun shooting with us can be. We spend 45 minutes to an hour with you shooting in your choice of location(s). After the shoot we post the images to a private preview website for your review. Included as part of the session  is a DVD with all of the images shot during your session.  If you would like to use it for a guest sign in photo book, a portrait of any other  favors you are welcome to do so. As an option to the 'sign-in book' that you see at most weddings, some of our couples have chosen to have us create a sign-in 'Album' using images from the engagement session. This is a great alternative to the 'book' that gets stuffed in a drawer after the wedding and never seen again. If you are interested give us a call for more information and cost options.

What is a Trash the Dress Shoot, can I do that? can I decide later? Trash the Dress shoots are a lot of fun. We have done several and created some spectacular images. The dress does not necessarily have to be 'trashed' and in most cases have cleaned up very well. A TTD shoot is one in which you place the bride (with or without the groom) in situations where you would not normally see a Bride in a beautiful dress, i.e. a pool, the ocean, , a fountain, a junkyard, train roundhouse. The possibilities are endless. The idea behind it is; you are not going to use that dress for what is is intended for ever again, why not create some edgey art with it? Your daughter is (most likely) not going to want to use THAT dress, so, . . . store it util it gets donated or used as a costume, or, . . .put it on and go out to play. Most bride's (and their moms) can't imagine doing this and usually get inspired after the wedding, sometimes several months after. So, yes you can decide 'later.'

Do you travel to shoot destination weddings? Absolutely, travel rates and regulations differ from country to country but in most cases, short answer - yes.  In most cases the  travel fee is included in your package but you can ask to make sure.

Are you a 'professional' photographer? Well, . . . yeah. In our profession there is a sad lack of regulation when it comes to education and training, talent, licensing and liability. Stephen has been a photojournalist for 34 years receiving his initial training compliments of the U.S. Government. He has worked for two national wire service news agencies, three major metro area west coast newspapers and been published in a variety of magazines. Last year he shot his 700th wedding!. Patrice joined the studio ten years ago and has photographed over 500 weddings. This is what we do, it is not just a weekend job or a hobby.

What advice would you give me, if I came to you, with questions about choosing a photographer? choose us! choose us! But seriously (choose us) find a photographer whose work moves you, who you develop a quick rapport with (afterall you will be spending the day with them). Ask to see their business license, their proof of liability insurance. Ask to review a 'complete' wedding that they have photographed not just the 'highlights'. Ask lots of questions - a good knowledgeable shooter that has the experience under his/her belt should be able to give you lots of good advice. You want to make sure you are getting a 'photographer', not a part-time hobbyist, to create these important images. Think about other important decisions; 'who's going to prepare my small business taxes, . . . hmmm, the neighbors kid is good at math, . . . I need a tooth pulled, hmmm, . . . uncle bob, good with a pair of pliers, . . . Would you choose a med student for your brain surgery cause they were cheaper? You get what you pay for.

Do you carry back-up equipment? Yes; cameras, lenses, flashes, flashcards, strobes and brownies. We used to carry an addition inflatable photographer for those events where people didn't think that there were enough of us already but obnoxious guests kept poking it with a fork. It took too much of our time to patch the holes. Now inflatable brides, grooms and bridal party members and guests are available but only by special request, and must be reserved one year in advance.

How do I reserve your services? We would like to meet, figuratively most likely since we live on the Oregon Coast. So. you tell us your stuff. We tell you our stuff. We show you our stuff. You fall in love with our stuff. We sign a contract. You give us a deposit of, generally 50%, of whatever the fee happens to be for the service we provide. Sometimes less, sometimes more. We are pretty easy to get along with. What better excuse for a drive to the coast than meeting your wedding photogrgaphers. HOWEVER, . . if you want to do it all over the phone, we've done that too.

Do you shoot in RAW or .jpeg and what difference does it make? We shoot in RAW format in order to provide you with the very best quality and to give ourselves the most latitude when shooting in challenging conditions. We pride ourselves on giving you the very best images that are possible. Shooting in RAW gives us more of an edge when we begin the process of optimizing each and every image we shoot. That's one of those questions you should ask: 'how/why does shooting RAW give you an edge?'

Will I receive the files? Are they 'RAW' or '.jpeg?' Yes you will receive reproduction quality image files (the exact same files that we print from) with every package. You will receive high resolution .jpeg files on a data DVD that are copyright free. You can print them at your convenience.

How long does it take to see our pictures and get our abum? Within a week following you wedding we will post a blog about you.  This blog will have 34 or so images, a summary of the day, just to keep you excited about it. Then , within the next two weeks you well get a 'newsie' email from Stephen letting you know that a 'Private Preview Gallery' has been hosted for you and your community of family and friends to enjoy. It is password protected. Images can be ordered from the gallery. Depending upon your choice of photography packages, the album can be completed with 10 - 12 weeks.

Will our Friends and Family be able to view the images from our Wedding online? Yes! well to qualify that - it's up to you. We will activate your preview gallery and provide you with a password to access the gallery. It is up to you to determine who gets the password. .

Do we get to choose / design our own album? Yes, we have a system designed to help out, but essentially you may have as much or as little creative control over the process as you feel comfortable with.

Should we do group pictures (Family Formals) before or after the ceremony? This is a question we get asked a lot. More information is located on the main menu under resources > advice. We 'suggest' doing it prior to the ceremony but, . . . it's your day.

Do you back-up / store our images? When we return to the studio after the wedding all images are downloaded from the cameras to the computer. The images are then backed up on a second external harddrive, then again on a data DVD. We store the images until all images / albums / orders are complete. We encourage you to make backups of these files as soon as you get them.

Where are you located? We are on the central Oregon Coast, a stones throw from beautiful beaches and a lighthouse or two. Since we work out of our home we don't give out the street address unless we have an appointment scheduled.

Who owns Aaronstadt Studios? me, us, Stephen & Patrice, to see our bright shining faces, look to the right. For an alternative view go to the 'contact' page. If you want more, email me, I'll see if I can scare up one of my old pictures from when I was a clown working the streets of San Fransisco.

Neither one of your names are 'Aaronstadt', where did that name come from? We get asked this question a lot. In the midst of the .dot com 'gold rush' a lot of attention was paid to web traffic and how to reroute traffic from one site to another through legal but less-than-scrupulous methods. A few years back we had enjoyed phenomenal traffic to our 'Stephen Jones Photography' website. Then, the second that the domain name expired, someone bought the name. They rerouted all the traffic to some financial planning site. We were scrambling for a new name/domain and placement that would compensate. I have a son named Aaron, I'm his 'dad', this gave birth to the name "Aaron's Dad's" further morphed into 'Aaronstadt' Studios.

I am Engaged!, I want to: contact Patrice and Stephen, check and see if my date is available.

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