Wedding Professional Wednesday: Stephen Yanni (Yanman Photography)

As you are beginning your search for your wedding vendors, photography will more than likely be at the top of your list. Selecting your photographer is an important decision, as this individual and his/her team will capture the all important details that you've planned during your engagement period. Today on our Wedding Professional Wednesday Series, we are talking to local Photographer, Stephen Yanni of Yanman Photographers. Stephen took a moment to tell us a bit about him and his photography services.

Name: Stephen Yanni

Name of your Company: Yanman Photography

Location: Orlando, Fl

Number of Years in Business: 6 Years


Blog Address:

Twitter and/or facebook fan page: Twitter - @yanmandotcom , facebook -

Tell us a little about your business and the services you offer: The name Yanman started as a fun play on my last name, yet in just a short time Yanman Photography has grown to mean quality workmanship and photographic excellence. We offer a full array of Wedding and event photography, from a half day to week long coverage, we can handle it all. In addition to photography we offer albums, professional prints, canvases, save the dates, thank you cards, and much more.

How did you get started in the Wedding Industry? I starting taking pictures many years ago, more years ago then I will admit because that would give away my age, and I’ve always felt from the time I was born that I was a photographer. After many years of just taking pictures for fun and to please only myself, friends and family suggested that I try my hand at professional photography. For a few years that involved models, travel and sports, but it wasn’t until I shot my first wedding that I found my true calling. Weddings are every-changing, non-stop, adrenaline filled, once-in-life time events. Anyone that really knows me knows that I’m always on the go, and can barely sleep. So from the first wedding I shot, I knew that I would never stop, six years later I still love every one that I go to.

What professional/industry organizations are you a member of? We are members of WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) and the Local Pictage Users group.

Furthest place and/or interesting place you’ve traveled to while working on a wedding assignment? While working on a project for a west coast hotel for their high end wedding marketing, I went to Newport Beach California. We got to work with engaged couples, married couples and even a famous TV model. (Ladies please …)

The craziest thing you’ve ever done to get “THE SHOT”? My team and I go to great lengths to “Get the shot”. I’ve gotten into fountains with pants rolled up and climbed up a ladder to get shots of a bride and groom that wanted to do their formals on horseback. But my favorite story involves one of my associates; jokingly I said “this would be a much better shot from the top of that tree”, five minutes later and from 15 feet up, he had the best view of the couple and a great shot.

What is your signature shot? The shot we are currently using on our trade show marketing, the one where the groomsmen wrote “Help Me” on the groom's shoes it is the one everyone recognizes right now.

What are a few suggestions you would make to couples as they are selecting a photographer/photojournalist for their wedding? Ask to see an entire wedding day story, either in a completed album or on-line. While everyone likes to see best of shots, it is important to see a completed product before deciding if a photographer shares your style.

Your thoughts on ‘first look’ photos or bride and groom photos prior to the ceremony? I love when couples take time out for themselves on their big day, the pictures taken when a couple chooses to break tradition and see each other prior to the wedding are often the best of the day. This may be the only time they get alone on their wedding day, and the joy of the moment really shows in these type of pictures.

Your thoughts on the importance of a coordinator in the vendor team dynamic?
It is so important it is to have a day of wedding coordinator. A coordinator makes every other vendor's job easier on the big day. They help keep everything running smoothly, stress free and on-time. Less stress equals more smiles and better pictures.

Something you would like to see couples do more of with their wedding photography? Simply put “use them”. All too often I hear of couples that “only want the files on a CD”. There is nothing wrong with getting the digital files from your wedding, but what are your plans for them? All of our packages include professional prints, and we highly recommend getting an album. Other options we offer include, canvases, pre-loaded digital picture frames, pre-loaded iPods and iPhones, and much more. The reason you have professional pictures is to display them, not leave them in a drawer to gather dust. (Kerline's side commentary: I would have never thought of a photographer offering the preloaded iPhones and iPods - it makes sense to take that option).

What are a few trends and innovations you have seen in the industry? The biggest trend in wedding photography right now involve additional portrait sessions. Whether it is an engagement session, bridal portraits, bridal boudoir, or trash the dress these portrait sessions offer the opportunity to add a unique set of images to your images.

If you weren't a working in this industry, what field would you be in instead? Why? I love finding a different way to look at things, and capturing them on film. I think if I could magically have any job I wanted, I would want to be a major motion picture, Hollywood director. There is no telling what I could do with a two hundred million dollar budget.

What would we be surprised to learn about you? I was born legally blind in one eye. My family thinks that looking at the world with one eye is why I have an “eye” for photography, since I view life as if it was though a single lens everyday.

Any hobbies or pastimes? It might be a bit cliché, but am fortunate enough to have turned my hobby and my passion into a career. When I have a free moment, instead of taking pictures of happy couples, I am chasing our two-year-old to capture every moment of her life.

Describe yourself or your services in four (4 words or less): Intelligent artist loves weddings.

I love this photo! I'm certain this was a nice surprise when the families looked at the photo gallery from this wedding:

Visit Stephen's website and blog to see more of his work. As you are starting to plan your wedding take the time to meet and interview your local photographers. Happy Planning!

Until next time,

© 2005 - 2009 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved. All photos used with permission.


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