After a long search for our wedding photographer we have found Charles who shot our wedding on May 11, 2013 at Pebble Beach.
Firstly, Charles was so friendly and accommodating to any request and time frame we picked. We planned our wedding from out of state, which was quite challenging (especially since we were so busy traveling and working). Charles made it so easy for us to though!
1. He was prompt with email and call responses.
2. He listened and understood our wishes and respected our time.
3. Gave us lots of tips prior taking the pictures (have clean nails, etc :)
4.) Made us so comfortable while taking photos and was fast (so we didn't have to stand for family pictures for hours at one spot).
5.) He did a research about the event venue and had knowledge of the area (which made it easier to capture the desired effects).
6. We have received all of our photos within a few days after our wedding.
We selected Charles based on 1.) his artistic photos we reviewed on his website and on 2.) compatible prices.
Charles is a true professional with passion and a deep knowledge of photography. He was literally "invisible" while taking our photos during the ceremony and reception ... almost as if he wasn't there, but he was in fact EVERYWHERE! He captured so many precious moments and yet was not even seen.
In short, he is a very gifted photographer with an amazing eye for detail and moments.
All of our wedding photos are absolutely beautiful and the colors so vibrant - they look amazing in frames and albums! Truly a high end magazine style.
We highly recommend Charles to anyone seeking a professional and friendly photographer for any event!
We will definitely use his services again! :) - Katerina G.
Charles of Charles Le Photography was the photographer for my wedding on August 6, 2011 and my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding on September 1, 2013. We plan to use Charles for all our special occasions from here on! In addition to creating wonderful results, Charles is extremely easy to work with and we now consider him to be one of our dear friends.
Charles has a gift for capturing special moments, particularly with his candid shots and his eye for details. My own wedding – a garden wedding in our backyard, with our 8 grown children and 2 grandbabies in our wedding party – was captured in beautiful detail. One of the shots from the evening of our wedding is now displayed over our mantel in our formal living room, and many family photos captured the day before the wedding now decorate a two-story wall in our home (our family is quite large!). We love Charles’ artistry and his playfulness. We also appreciate how easy Charles was to work with during our special day.
Charles’ work for my daughter and son-in-law’s (Melissa and Justin’s) wedding included gorgeous “engagement” photos in outdoor settings that perfectly suit Melissa and Justin. They are gorgeous photographs that we will treasure. The wedding photographs are also amazing. Melissa and Justin had a “wedding weekend” that involved a family camp, with a campfire, games and other festivities prior to the wedding itself – at a location in the redwoods. Charles captured the excitement and playfulness of this special weekend with his use of candid and traditional shots of the day and weekend. The wedding was both rustic and elegant – and Charles’ artistry helps us to preserve these beautiful memories. So many of his shots will be perfect to enlarge on canvases - they are beautiful works of art.
I highly recommend Charles to anyone in need of a professional photographer – and in particular for anyone planning a wedding and looking for a true artist to capture the special moments. - Deborah L.
First of all, congratulations Charles Le on being selected to receive the Bride's Choice 2012 Award by WeddingWire, the nation's leading wedding Marketplace. Did his selection for an award surprise the lady or I? No, not at all. He is well deserving of it and in fact, the reason I waited to write this review as my "milestone" 300th review on Yelp.
Charles was amazing to work with from the start. From chatting with him on the phone and Skype to discuss what we hoped to achieve on the wedding, he displayed true professionalism in the friendliest manner possible. I can safely say that in comparison to the others that we chatted with before deciding to go with him, Charles was also the one that made us most confident that he had an amazing eye, a really responsive index finger, and an equally amazing personality - something that you'd want in a photographer when the wedding stress really gets going.
Having browsed through his previous portfolios as well as discussing his way of taking pictures, we were confident that he'd do an amazing job at our wedding and he DEFINITELY came through!
He was on-time.
He catered to the bride's endless wishes.
He captured really priceless moments throughout the prep, the wedding, the reveal, and the reception.
He even bravely followed us through an "eerie" section of Monterey where we wanted to take photos, lol. (His assistant was somewhat freaking out.)
Thanks again Charles for doing an amazing job at our wedding. Once again, congratulations on winning that sweet award! You absolutely deserve it! - Jereh H.
I have to start out by saying that Charles is simply the best. He takes amazing photographs. There is a subtle beauty in all of the pictures; he has a great eye for what makes a good photograph. And he's super friendly! My husband and I are so happy with all our engagement session and wedding photographs. Also, all of my friends and family are so impressed by his work.
Like every bride, I wanted to be captured in the most flattering way possible on my wedding day. I always felt that I never photographed well but Charles was able to take *so* many beautiful pictures. I'm so glad that he was our photographer. He captured so many happy, lively, touching, powerful, and lovely moments of everybody on our wedding day.
We found Charles last year when we were searching for a wedding photographer. We had met with several other photographers, but found that we liked Charles the best. His talent, professionalism, friendliness, responsiveness, flexibility (some photographers refuse to take a certain kind of photograph), cost, and thoughtfulness were all winners for us.
He first shot our Engagement Session photographs at the Japanese Tea Garden and was amazing. He was excellent at coaching us through the shots, picking the location, joking around with us to get us to look casual/relax for the pictures, and overall was really fun to work with. We thought we would be nervous for some reason, but my husband and I actually enjoyed taking the pictures!
On our wedding day, Charles continued to work his magic. Punctual, friendly, lively, I remember him cracking jokes to help me to relax (hey, the wedding day can be stressful), directing poses to get the shots he wanted, taking awesome candid shots, blending well with the family and friends, and just taking beautiful photographs. He works alone but like a ninja he has an amazing skill at being where the action is and is able to get the desired picture. His candid shots of live action are so gorgeous and touching. His posed shots are beautiful and perfect. His body of work is so impressive. We just couldn't be happier with our photographs.
Also, our wedding album is gorgeous. I love love love it. We got the magazine style and the quality of the album, the layouts, the pictures, and everything about it is awesome.
Anyways, what was most important for me in a photographer was the ability to trust their work and with Charles I trusted his talent and skills 100%. When it comes to Charles Le, I just cannot recommend him enough. - Amara H.
Charles is amazing. He shot my wedding last August and I've been meaning to do a review ever since.
When I was looking for a photographer I knew that making sure my husband and myself both got along well with the person was important. I also knew that the photos were a top priority for us, there are many little details that will be forgotten over the years but the photos last. I looked at a ton of different photographer websites and the minute I saw Charles I was drawn in, the pictures were awesome, candid, and everyone looked so comfortable. I set up a meeting and was so happy when we all got along, we booked right away.
At our engagement shoot we were both nervous being in front of the camera and we worried they would look corny but within minutes Charles had us feeling at ease and laughing. The photos turned out great and made us even more excited to see what he could do at the wedding.
When the wedding day came he was on time and ready to go. I love the amount of time he gives, he was able to be there to catch all the getting ready and all the way to the last dance, which was impressive because we had an extra long day (ceremony at 2:30, cocktails, dinner, and dancing till 10pm). He was able to quickly make the wedding party comfortable allowing to get some great silly shots of us getting ready, really catching everyones personality.
The ceremony was great, he got wonderful photos and was never a distraction to us or our guests. The "posed" shots went pretty quickly, he didn't do any overdone or super corny posses (you know the ones you've seen in every wedding album with the really fake smiles because everyone is thinking what are we doing). Then to the party and those pics are awesome, he caught everything, I really do wonder how he does it because he got things I swear happened at the same time on separate sides of the room.
I have since been in a friends wedding and while working with that photographer I found myself thinking over and over how thankful I was I found Charles. I love my wedding pictures, every time I look at them it makes me smile. It was such a perfect day and Charles was able to truly catch it all. - Beth R.
I could not have asked for a better photographer than Charles Le. My photos from my wedding are so beautiful! I have honestly never seen such beautiful photos. Aside from getting amazing photos, this is why you should hire Charles for your wedding photographer:
1. Charles met with my husband and me a few months before the wedding in order to get to know us and see what we are like. I think this is important so that we are on the same page about what we are hoping to get.
2. Charles was great at communicating with us. We changed times a lot and would need to let Charles know the new game plan and he always called us back and was very flexible with all are changes.
3. Charles is so nice! You want a photographer that is pleasant to be around. I had met with some other photographers that were so pretentious and/or cranky and I knew that they would be annoying to have at the wedding. Charles was really friendly to everyone and I think this made people really relaxed around him, which of course made better pictures.
4. Charles is VERY creative. His shots are interesting while still being timeless.
5. Charles' assistants are awesome. KP and Sarah came to our wedding and they were so nice as well. If I had a question or needed anything, they were always there to help out.
6. Charles is not too expensive. Your photos are what last from your wedding and every penny I spent was Charles was worth it. I think he could charge more since his work is so fantastic.
Thank you Charles for doing such an amazing job! - Emily M.
Charles Le was great, and we shared similar positive experiences as other yelpers! Having dealt with a pushy engagement studio (Loveliness) for our engagement photos, we truly appreciate our experience with Charles Le. (1) He arrived early, even before the bride's family who is always 30 minutes early! (2) He is very professional and focused on his work. Nothing will stop Charles from getting the best shot ... and he will not get in the way of your guests, only pulling you away at appropriate times. We heard horror stories from other friends where the photographer hogged the bride & groom, Charles doesn't do that, but works to capture your interactions with your guest without you even knowing it. (3) He's perfect for an Asian family wedding, as he has no problem telling people off in the "nicest manner" to stop taking photos with their cellphone and iPhones. As the bride & groom, we can vouch for how overwhelmed we felt with our demanding family ... but Charles can handle them all! As a result, you'll get really good pictures with everyone looking at your photos instead of somewhere else! (3) He's so hardworking, he even passed up the lunch plate we ordered for him! (4) His ability to take shots that capture the right moments are amazing. For example, he got shots of us during quiet moments ... he caught our flowergirl doing silly things like playing with the bride's veil during the bride's toast ... he catches all sorts of details with your guests during moments such as a slow dance or reflective faces during toasts ... good stuff! (5) he's agile photographer, he's just bopping around on benches, high angles, all in his pursuit for the best shot! (6) he is very honest in his pricing, as he accommodated our need for a shorter wedding photography session as we only needed 4 hours, and adjust our package accordingly. (7) he's a down-to-earth ... we met up with him after our wedding, and we really just enjoyed talking to him about his work and he didn't push us to buy anything. We definitely would recommend Charles Le, and he's worth every penny, as you'll get the best shots and won't have to worry as you're in good experienced hands. My family and friends were all in awe of his photos. - Lisa H.
Charles Le is a true gem and we feel so blessed to have had him photograph our April 25th wedding! Not only is he incredibly talented, professional, committed and passionate about his work, he is also a truly wonderful person and a joy to work with.
It was the middle of the week and I had just arrived at the car dealership to get an oil change. I got online and continued browsing wedding photography websites (as all you brides know, the work never stops once you start :) I had looked at dozens of websites and even received referrals for wedding photographers, but I still didn't feel settled. When I came upon Charles' website I immediately felt something different. I decided to give him a call and he picked up the phone immediately (I came to know quickly that he is quite responsive and an excellent communicator). I told him I had seen his website and was interested in setting up a time to meet. He asked me what I was doing and offered to meet right away. "I can come pick you up and you can use the time to meet with me at my office instead of sitting at the dealership to wait for your car." he said. Charles was so gentle and respectful that I had no hesitation. Within 15 minutes he showed up at the car dealership to pick me up and drive me over to his studio! We clicked immediately and I knew I wanted to work with him right away. My initial feeling was affirmed once I saw more of his extraordinary work at his studio. It took us a while to settle on our wedding date but once we finally did, the details fell into place quickly and easily (despite the fact that he was already booked for the year in January!).
Though it was Charles' first time photographing a traditional Persian ceremony (with a twist since my husband is Italian), he truly captured all the moments, decorations and traditions that make it so unique. We had time between our ceremony and reception to do some portraits and they also turned out amazing! His energy and enthusiasm are incredible and he made the process so relaxing and fun, even for my husband who does not like to be photographed. We laughed, cried, ate and danced non-stop at our reception and Charles got it all! Because of Charles I am able to literally re-live the magic of our wedding and even see things I missed from being in the flurry of the day. I don't know how he manages to be in so many different places to catch everyone and everything but he really does it--and you will hardly even know he's there!
Many photographers can capture moments but Charles Le captures the feeling of each moment, and that is a gift. Thank you Charles for your enthusiasm, generosity, support and for illuminating the beauty of our very special day! We are forever grateful to you and your extraordinary talent. - Satareh M.
Let me start by saying I'm a pretty serious hobby photographer, meaning I spend way too much money on cameras and too much time taking pictures. When looking for a wedding photographer, I checked out most of the websites of the higher rated photographers on Yelp, and Charles was the only on that I looked through every picture of each wedding. Why? Because each of his pictures stands up as a good photo, but the whole set says something more - it tells a story, captures a mood, it tells me who these people are, what it might have been like to be around them, to be at their wedding, to be at their reception. It's one thing to get one or two good shots at an event, or even a couple dozen -- which Charles does -- but when you see the body of his work, you feel the experience.
And honestly, I wasn't that excited about even having a wedding photographer, because, well, I take pictures, but I don't have a single album.
Charles delivered in spades. When we interviewed him, he was pretty low keyed - too low keyed, a little stiff and formal. At the wedding, he was appropriately low keyed - out of the way except when he needed to be, then he could step up and get the shot without disturbing the flow. He handled our group portraits with style, giving us both classic shots and fun ones. He captured our personalities, not just the bride and groom, but the mothers, fathers, brothers, in-laws, nephews and nieces. And that was the group work. At the church, he handled the cavernous church with aplomb (unlike some of the other photogs I've seen working there), and showed both the scale of the place, and the intimacy of our wedding, without making it look like a small wedding in big church (which, admittedly, it was). The walk from the church to the reception was fun, even my self-conscious bride was kept busy enough not to be embarrassed walking through downtown Los Gatos in full regalia with a photographer, make-up artist and hair stylist in tow.
By the time we got to the reception, we had more than enough good shots to fill an album, but Charles really stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. No embarrassing pictures of anyone, he either declined to take the "mouth full of food" shot, or tastefully edited it out. We have great pictures of everyone there, each shot a little masterpiece, and all of them combined into a tapestry. A lot of photographers will tell you they work photojournalistically, out of the way and only observing what happens, not causing a shot, just taking it. While that's good much of the time, Charles would sometimes ask us to hold it for a moment, or encourage a shot. Frankly, I would have enjoyed having Charles at our wedding even if he wasn't the photographer - by the end of the day, he was a friend.
Perhaps I'm being excessive, I'm sure not everyone will have such a great experience as we did, because frankly, I can't imagine how it could go better, but I can imagine how it could go worse. Someday, someone won't love Charles and his work. They're out there, people like that. But, as far as I'm concerned, I'd hire him again in a minute. I've recommended him in person several times, and will continue to do so. - Mike N.
Charles did a great job with our wedding photos. My wife and I were so happy with the images. He was great working with too. I'm not very comfortable taking pictures of myself, but Charles put me at ease. He also did a great job wrangling our families at the wedding and capturing genuine feelings in the images. We are a same-sex couple Charles was great. Finally, the engagement photos are GORGEOUS. We took them at Sutro Baths and they are like beautiful landscape photos that we happen to be in the middle of. Thanks Charles! - Jane N.
Charles has the professionalism and talent to blow any photography company out of the water, but offers a host of intangible extras that make his services unique and well worth every penny. One aspect of his services that differentiates him is his willingness to give you his time. He'll travel to where you are (and if you're reasonably close, his travel will be included in your original package price- no add-ons) and he'll stay until he gets the job done. He doesn't charge by hour at the wedding itself, rather he stays to make sure he gets every shot. Charles gets to know each couple as individuals and caters to each unique need. We, for example, needed our engagement pictures taken in San Francisco and our wedding was in Carmel. Not a problem for Charles. On the wedding day, he kept me (bride) as calm as can be. Even carrying my lipgloss and helping to make sure that my veil was straight. Although he works alone, he was everywhere at once without being intrusive. After the wedding, his high-quality shots were available for viewing within days! His work is an excellent mixture of the posed and the candid, and he worked with us to insure that our posed portraits were quick and painless- and didn't interfere with our ability to enjoy the party. After seeing his work at my best friend's wedding and mine, I'm thrilled to recommend him! - Jenni D.
You'll hear over and over again how stressful preparing for a wedding can be, and fortunately, you wont believe most of the naysayers, especially when there's months and months until the Big Day. It's not until you hear the first "We're booked" or "That will take six months" do you realize you are already behind schedule.
In the end, there are very few things you can do to help with the ensuing stress, except to depend on your significant other and try to prioritize what's important to you. For me, there were very few things that were really critical: I wanted my future wife to enjoy herself on her special day, I wanted my parents to feel like they were a big part of what was happening, and I wanted some of the memories to be saved in some special way. That's where Charles stepped in; I told him the first time we met that I don't care about albums, prints, coffee table pieces or any of the other paraphernalia that so many others will offer you. I just want four or five pictures I can look back on in five or ten years and feel, (not remember), what it was like on that day. I remember seeing some of his pictures and feeling confident that of the 7 or 8 hundred pictures he takes on that day, he'll get me those four or five I will treasure. And he did.
My wife and I are very grateful; so grateful, in fact, that I now have four or five 'paraphernalia' items hanging on my walls. ;) Picking a photographer is a very personal choice, and you should probably interview a few to get a good feel for the different styles different people offer. In the end though, I knew Charles was right for us after the first four or five pictures I looked through. If you have the same feeling, do yourself a favor and go with what your gut is telling you. That way you can go on and deal with the 100 other things that are still left to do.
Good luck with all your preparations and please try to remember to live in the moment on your own special day. - J.S.
Charles is an exceptional photographer!!! He was the photographer for our wedding - and he really did a fantastic job of capturing candid moments!!! I met him at my friend's wedding, where he was also the photographer. After I saw her pictures, I had to ask him to be our wedding photographer. I am so happy with the pictures he took - they still bring tears to my eyes and we have received many compliments on our wedding photos.
He is very professional and helps you throughout the day. He is really responsive with emails, arrived early on the wedding day and was very prompt in uploading our "teaser" photos! By the time we had gotten back from our honeymoon, we had some pictures to share with our families that couldn't make it to the wedding. This meant a lot to me because both of my grandmothers, who live in Japan, could not make it to the wedding and I wanted to share our wedding day with them right away.
With his experience from doing other weddings, he was really able to guide me through the day and relieved some of the stress - without being overbearing. He really took care of everything - down to the blush that fell off during the ceremony. I really didn't know what to do with it - but Charles to the rescue! He discreetly picked it up for me! Also, I don't know how he remembered, but at the end of the night, he was reminding us that there were a few pictures with our family members that we still needed to take.
He kept us laughing and relaxed - some of our best pictured turned out to be the ones where we are laughing from what he said. Overall, I definitely recommend Charles as a photographer. - Yumi K.
Charles just photographed my wedding in August. Because I live out-of-state, I had to rely on the internet and photographer's websites to pick a photographer. I loved his website and his attention to detail - plus his price was very competitive, especially for the Bay Area. I liked that he didn't have a time limit - that was my first clue that he was dedicated to my wedding! On the day of the wedding, he was on time, and professional yet personable. He essentially faded into the background and just took pictures. At most times I forgot he was there! I had several guests tell me that they have never seen a photographer as "all over the place" as Charles. He stayed to the very end of our reception - I think he took a 20-minute break for dinner but otherwise, he was actively shooting pictures the entire 9 hours he was with us! We got home from our honeymoon and to our surprise (and delight), he had a website with all 1200 of our pictures ready for us to preview already done! I have loved working with him, he does GREAT work and is a really really nice guy. There is a downside to working with only one photographer, as there are bound to be moments that he or she will miss, but Charles worked as hard as he could to try and make up for that! - Lauren K.
I proposed to my wife (Annie) in late May 2010 and we decided to have an early November wedding. This means we had roughly six months to plan a wedding and within a week of our engagement we were online, frantically searching for a photographer that would meet our needs. As with most engaged couples, we realized the utter importance of booking a good photographer. Not only does your wedding day happen once, but, the day inevitably, fly’s by in what seems like a few short moments (spectacular moments I might add). That being said, photos are an incredible & intimate way to relive your wedding and capture those instances you and your spouse missed in all of the excitement. We contacted seven reputable photographers in the central valley and set up meetings to discuss our wedding and our expectations. Mr. Charles Lee was in fact the first photographer we contacted and met with because we were absolutely blown away by his work. Upon meeting Charles, we like him immediately. Charles is a true artist, who is truly passionate about what he does and it reflects in how he treats his customers. Charles spent the most time with us than did any other photographer during our initial meeting and he made it a point to get to know us as individuals and as a couple. Let me tell you that establishing a good relationship with your photographer is key, because having a person who feels like a stranger take photo’s of you can feel awkward and poses the risk of adding to an unnatural feel to your photos. Charles did an outstanding job of making us feel comfortable and ensuring that by the wedding day, we had established a great rapport with one another. We walked away after meeting with Charles, knowing that he was definitely in the running; but we wanted to be sure he was our guy, so we met with the other six photographers. After meeting with all the photographers there was no questions that Charles would be taking the photos for our wedding. It’s not that the other photographers weren’t talented, but Charles was the whole package… brilliant photographer, personable, passionate, encouraging and the list could go on. We booked Charles and it wasn’t one of those deals where we didn’t hear from him until a week before the wedding. Charles kept in contact with us, helped answer questions and many times, called/texts just to make sure the plans were running smoothly. Charles met with us to discuss the wedding a couple days before the big date and made sure he had every detail down! Annie and I were already pleased with our decision to book Charles before the wedding, but during and after the wedding, we were even more ecstatic with our decision. During the wedding, Charles not only took pictures, but he helped with wedding organization, making sure people were where they needed to be and most importantly, he made sure my bride was taken care of. Charles was all over the place during the wedding ceremony and reception; he didn’t miss a beat. Charles thrives on taking in-the-moment pictures and he does an incredible job; if you don’t believe me, check out his website. Annie and I got our pictures back and were not disappointed, they were every bit of what we anticipated and more!! Charles was able to capture some incredible moments; he has such a knack for seeing things before they happen. Annie and I now have some amazing wedding photos that we look at often and it has been a treat to share them with our family. We will undoubtedly cherish our wedding photos for many years to come.
Thank you Charles!
- Doug & Annie
Charles was the photographer for a wedding that I was a bridesmaid in 3 years ago. His pictures were so incredible that I knew when I got married I wanted to use him. Charles was one of the first people I called after I got engaged because I wanted to make sure he was available, otherwise I would have changed the date of the wedding so he could be my photographer. He is so open & easy to work with; very patient & he NEVER causes stress - which I have seen many a photographer do!
His style is classic, yet original and unique - all at the same time. His pictures truly captured the spirit of the most special day of my life. I typically don't like myself in photos, but I can honestly say that I loved my pictures and the way I looked. I CAN NOT more highly recommend Charles to a future bride-to-be. If you want to contact me for further information - please do so! - Jill
We've used Charles ever since we got engaged, and originally hired him to do our engagement photos four years ago. We loved his work so much, we continued to use him for other personal events like christmas cards and a special photo shoot with the bridesmaids. When we eventually chose a date for our wedding, we didn't even consider any other photographers; Charles was the one we wanted. Despite having a destination wedding (Las Vegas), it was important that we were able to arrange to have Charles travel with us and be there at our special occasion. We simply didn't trust any other photographer and knew that, with Charles, we would get exactly the type of wedding photos we wanted.
As evident from his portfolio, Charles' eye for photography is artistic but sophisticated at the same time. His style of photojournalism makes for unique photos that tell a great story, as well as show the beauty of the wedding and brides.
We will continue to use Charles for future events and would not hesitate to recommend him to others. - Tanya & Paul
My husband is a photographer, so having top-quality photos of our wedding was a priority. We reviewed lots of portfolios online, and Charles's photos stood out for their beauty, both in black and white and color, and for their content. His ability to repeatedly capture intimate moments is truly remarkable, and his photojournalistic style was a good fit for us, since we wanted photographs that looked natural, not orchestrated.
We started out with an engagement photo session, and Charles was fun to work with, extremely professional, and gave great direction. We had thought we'd be embarrased kissing and snuggling in public while someone took pictures of us, but Charles made us feel very comfortable. Also, due to some travel issues we'd been up all night before our session, and it showed. Despite our showing up looking haggard, Charles managed to get some wonderful pictures of us.
At our wedding, Charles was completely in stealth mode... I truly had no awareness of him taking any photos at all. He posted teaser photos for us online only a few days after the wedding, and they're incredible. Our friends and family have all been raving to us about the photos, and many people also commented after the wedding about how nice Charles was.
We haven't seen the rest of our photos yet (it's only been two weeks), but if they're half as good as the ones we have seen then we'll be thrilled. - Megan