Okay APW, here’s the thing about Dustin Cantrell that you really need to know: his work is ridiculously good (like “OMG HOW DOES HE EVEN I DID NOT REALIZE HE WAS EVEN THERE” good), and his rates are ridiculously affordable. And by affordable, I mean a jumping off wedding rate of $2,800 in the Bay Area that’ll get you six hours of coverage (aka enough time to get all the good stuff). In other words, this is the photographer you should have hired yesterday, because this is the photographer who will give you wedding photos that are jam-packed with joy, love, and so much soul.
How does he do it, you ask? Dustin is also something of a world traveler, seeing as much of the world as he can. Having backpacked the globe, he has a keen sense of space and nature. His style is perfect for the adventure-seeking couple looking to capture the pure joy of living in the moment, whether you’re getting married in your backyard or on a volcano in Iceland. Dustin Cantrell doesn’t just give you a few great shots; he wants all five hundred-plus images to be “the one.” Luckily for you, all five hundred-plus images actually are that good.
Not one to pass up an adventure, Dustin Cantrell and his wife actually eloped in Las Vegas, and his only regret was not having a photographer. That experience is what motivates Dustin to ensure you have intimate, joyful, gorgeous photos of your day that you’ll love forever.
He also has a natural ability to put you at ease from the start, which is how he brings out the best from his subjects. He knows how much time and effort go into planning a wedding, and he’s streamlined his part of the process to ensure a smooth ride for his couples. Before you’ve even booked, Dustin is there to help answer your questions, to customize travel packages for weddings outside San Francisco, and to figure out how to maximize the light and space at your venue. Dustin shared this with us about his passion:
I absolutely love shooting weddings. I have the best job in the world. Being part of a couples’ celebration is an awesome way to make a living. The challenge and expectations of capturing a wedding day are what I love most about shooting weddings. Every wedding is different and unique. I love knowing I can make a camera-shy and uncomfortable couple look their best on an engagement and wedding day.
And I want to help make the planning process very easy. I’m fast at responding to emails and delivering the finished product. I never want someone to say, “Well we are just waiting to hear back from our photographer.” I’m also always looking for ways to streamline the planning process for the photography. This year I started sending planning emails to help with the process so that everything will be set and expectations will be known before the day. I don’t want to bug my couples with anything on the day of. My information form and planning emails ensure it’s an easy process and that my clients always get the photos they want (including those they don’t even know they want).
That’s exactly how he’s able to capture stunning images like these:
As a destination wedding guru, Dustin knows that time and light are of the essence. He scopes out prime locations beforehand so every single shot is great. Here’s what a recent client said about working with Dustin Cantrell:
He did an amazing job capturing all aspects of our Yosemite wedding. Everything was outdoors in the forest, which can make for some challenging lighting conditions. He has a gift of really capturing the emotion and experience while also producing high quality photographs.
This guy will go above and beyond for you and is always prepared. Dustin had already driven to all the places and picked out the spots. He really does his research and produced easily the best Yosemite wedding photos I’ve ever seen. We were blessed with great lighting and he made such a huge effort to give us stunning photos.
All his travels have taught him the essential skill of being organized above all else and working hard to ensure you feel good. According to another client:
Dustin did an absolutely wonderful job capturing our wedding in the Santa Cruz Mountains. We were planning our wedding from across the country, and Dustin made the planning process easy and relaxed. We met him via Skype, and he was supportive and confident. I warned him that Robby and I are awkward in front of a camera, and he said, “Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you look beautiful, and you’ll be so caught up in the moment, that you won’t feel awkward.” He was right. The photos turned out more beautiful than we could have imagined, and we felt a hundred percent comfortable while he was taking them.
Many of our guests asked how we found a photographer that could magically be in multiple places at once. He functions with such an enthusiasm for his work that his energy seems endless. We never felt like he was orchestrating moments or photographs—everything felt natural and easy—but he does have a meticulous attention to detail that you will appreciate when you see the final results. He captures the candid moments on film that you’ll cherish forever, and he also captures the beauty of the landscape. Don’t worry, he’ll still capture the formal wedding party shots, but you won’t have to spend too many precious moments away from your celebration to do so, since he is very quick and efficient. Dustin was very professional and was still easy and fun to work with, making it a comfortable experience for everyone. You will be so thrilled if you choose him to be part of your event! Do it!
With six hours of weekend coverage starting at $2,800, you get a USB drive and an online gallery bursting with images you won’t believe are yours—and you might have money leftover to spring for the really good champagne. Dustin even shoots in Polaroid alongside his digital work, because, fact: Polaroid always makes everything better. Get to know more about Dustin Cantrell, his love of sandwiches, and his Yorkipoo here, check out more of his work, and contact him here while you’re at it—2017 dates are filling up fast.