I don’t think it would come as a surprise to anyone if I told them what
a huge fan I am Jose Villa’s work. His images are truly magical and
consistently blown away by his work every time he posts a new wedding on his blog. I
always jump at the chance to feature his work on the site, so when he
offered to do a giveaway of a new book he was a part of on Once Wed –
it was an absolute no brainer. A little more about the book from Jose

PDN (photo district news) has come out with a book including some of
the best photographers in the US. The book examines the subjectsof
wedding photography today and the role of the photographer at
thewedding, then breaks down the day visually into Getting Ready,
theCeremony, Portraits, and Receptions.  This book was created for
inspiration for the new bride and groom and for all vendors to gain
information and inspiration. It’s the only one of it’s kind that share
so many types of readers.

Jose’s amazing images grace the front and back cover of this lovely book and he was kind
enough to send over a copy for one lucky reader. For a chance to win,
leave a comment below letting us know what qualities/charasteristics were most
important to you when picking your wedding photographer. If you haven’t
finalized your pick yet, what are you currently looking for? We’ll pick a random winner Monday night at announce it
Tuesday morning on the site. Best of luck and don’t forget to include
your email addres in the comment box, so I can get in touch with you if your the winner. Oh, and if you just can’t wait for us to announce a winner – you can also find the book on Amazon.Thanks, Jose!

In This Story:


Comments (51)

Sammy | Reply

I really want my wedding shot in all film, so I’ve really only been talking to photographers who are willing to do so. Digital is great, but I just can’t resist the look of film.

Priscilla | Reply

Great personality…hands down. I feel like if we’ve got chemistry with out photographers than the images will show it. Hope I win!

Kyle | Reply

It was important to us to capture the beauty of light and angles. So we sought out someone who demonstrated that technique in their work. For our final decision, we wanted to support a new, young married couple with a passion for photography. It was tempting to go for someone with a lot of experience, but in the end, it’s been really rewarding and even exciting to partner with them!

illiehughes | Reply

We are currently looking for some one with a good eye for quirky and unique shots. We can’t stand the old fashioned everyone line up and tilt your head to the right kind of photos. We want something that "looks like us" thanks oncewed <3

Jinnie N. | Reply

I absolutely love his photos. I think its here at OnceWed where I first saw his work. Excited to hear about the book! :)

pw | Reply

a good eye for composition and lighting with a fun personality to boot!

AnnieBelle | Reply

I think the most important part of wedding photography to me is someone who can naturally capture the love and emotion of the day. Also the use of light in the photos is so important!

Mandie Segura | Reply

I have been married for almost 3 years now, and I wish that I had known then what I know now about photography-that just because you use a Mac and have a big camera, you’re not a genius. My wedding photos are mediocre, and I almost wish that I had just invested in my own nice camera and learned/trained a friend with it instead of shelling out the money I did for a few good shots. Too late now, but i encourage people to really think about what they want and to not be afraid to let their photographer in on that!

Shelley G | Reply

I’d love to win this! The most important thing for us was finding a photographer with an artistic style vs. someone who just wanted to capture the day.

abigail | Reply

the book looks beautiful! my fiance and i looked for someone who has a fun personality that would be able to capture all the fun and quirky details of our wedding in June.

Natalee Lopez | Reply

By day I am an administrative secretary and by night I plan a few weddings. One of the first things I do if help a bride pick a photographer, because I believe it is a definate process. You need to study the work, pick photos you like and try and pin point what it is about the photo that you like? Also, you don’t need to be BFF with the photographer, but liking them doesn’t hurt!

I too am a huge fan of Jose’s Work as well as his wife’s!

Kate B | Reply

We wanted foremost to be comfortable with our photographer, and to find someone who communicated with us well (which a surprising number of vendors are terrible at). Because I am a graphic designer, the images were going to be important to me, so we looked for someone who had a good eye for finding new ways to take the photos and wasn’t just going to give us the canned list of shots you so often see. Our photographer was a photojournalist before he became a wedding photographer.

mindy L | Reply

i am in search of a photographer. i would love to have jose if i can! it’s important that all the "moments" are captured and that it all look natural. jose definately does that AND make its all look good and artistic and nastalgic at the same time!

Ryan Woodward | Reply

What a talent Villa has. Thank you for sharing,

ringo | Reply

I was looking for someone who’s able to capture the emotion of the day. The photographer we chose had wonderful photos of the groom’s face when the bride is walking down the aisle and of teary-eyed mothers.

Adrienne | Reply

I was extremely picky in choosing my photographer! I wanted a lot out of them. I wanted someone who would truly capture the feelings and emotions of the day, not just us going through the motions. I wanted someone creative and someone who could react quickly to given situations. I wanted someone I liked personally that I thought we would get along well with. I wanted someone who would listen to my ideas of what I wanted (and boy are there a ton of them) and take that into consideration, while also adding their own spin on it. I wanted someone who would spend the entire day with us and capture every single second. I wanted a photographer that I trusted to do their job to the best of their ability, and after looking through TONS of their photographs I knew just what those abilities were. I believe I have found someone who meets all of those requirements and I absolutely cannot wait to see the results after our August wedding!!

Amber | Reply

I would want a photographer with their own style but who hears who the people really are and mixes style with individuality, just like a marriage is a mix. I don’t like cookie cutter photos, unless they are fun. And no diva photographers please! I am bot sure who will marry first of my daughters, or maybe me if I get blessed and meet an amazing man. Nice giveaway, thanks.

christina | Reply

It was a bit harder for us planning from out of town. Photography was our #1 priority. It was important to have FAB photos but we also wanted to make sure that we had a true connection with our photographer. Although Hy was a couple years in the industry, the work that he showed us was absolutely jaw-dropping and we could tell that he had a real passion for creating beauty. He also took an interest in us…instead of telling us all about him. Over a year and half later…he is still the vendor I miss chatting to all the time. We plan to have him shoot our baby photos one day!

Jennifer | Reply

I just love the out of the box wedding photography. Jose certainly has a talent for capturing those special moments and portraying a wedding as a living breathing thing instead of a pose.

Jourdan | Reply

I’m still looking for my photographer, but I’m trying to find someone whose pictures are timeless, but with a touch of vintage whimsy. It’s harder than it looks!

Ariana | Reply

To us, it was imperative that our photographer capture the emotion of the day in a subdued, natural way. Nothing too posed…just the beauty of our day and our surroundings…

Ann | Reply

We chose two photographers, one specializes in formal portraits and the other in photojournalism. For the candid shots, it was important to us that the photographer had an eye for subtle mood and lighting.

Heather | Reply

To me it’s really important that our personalities mesh well. Also, communication must be effective so that he/she understand what I want. And, of course, the pictures need to be amazing. :)

Sara | Reply

I’m currently looking for a photographer for our wedding. I definitely don’t want pictures that looked staged. I’ve heard Jose Villa’s interviews and that he uses a lot of direction in his photography, but still he is able to capture truly natural pictures. I think that is so important especially for those who don’t spend a lot of time in front of a camera. A little direction is good. But of course a balance of those truly candid shots is necessary. I would also like a photographer who is willing to hear some suggestions from me on pictures I would like. Lets make it a creative collaboration!

Lynn | Reply

Since my finacé was a photography major in college, and I’m a graphic designer, we were really picky about finding just the right photographer. We knew they’d have to have a photojournalistic approach and be laid back, and after dragging my dude along to a handful of meetings, we went with the first one I was attracted to when I started looking! I was instantly drawn to their unique framing and vintage quality their editing lends.

Amanda | Reply

I’m still not sure who my photographer will be but I’m definitely looking for something natural. I want the photographer to capture pictures so that I don’t even notice. Just get the feel of the wedding. My cousin does photography and has gotten very good at getting an emotional, vintage feel to his picture, so I probably will choose him. Not only that but it feels really good to have someone your comfortable with and know well to take your pictures. Then it doesn’t feel so awkward. :)

Liz B. | Reply

We were looking for someone to capture our wedding with timeless elegance and grace. We were also looking for flexibility to work within our budget. Luckily we found it all AND she made us look gorgeous to boot!

LVBranan | Reply

My fiance and I haven’t picked a wedding photographer yet- we’re several months away from our simple-but-elegant, party-like-hell-but-classy, comfortable-but-stylish, held-in-the-backyard-but feels-like-the-Biltmore wedding. Our budget is small with the biggest chunk on hold for the perfect team of artists with cameras- important to us is that they capture the mood of not only us, our love, the day but also that of our guests… I want to be able to look back on our photos and get feel inspired by love, obsessed with the details and feel like dancing the night away all over again…

ps- love jose villa! ekk!

LVBranan | Reply

My fiance and I haven’t picked a wedding photographer yet- we’re several months away from our simple-but-elegant, party-like-hell-but-classy, comfortable-but-stylish, held-in-the-backyard-but feels-like-the-Biltmore wedding. Our budget is small with the biggest chunk on hold for the perfect team of artists with cameras- important to us is that they capture the mood of not only us, our love, the day but also that of our guests… I want to be able to look back on our photos and get feel inspired by love, obsessed with the details and feel like dancing the night away all over again…

ps- love jose villa! ekk!

Amy | Reply

I’m still looking for a photographer, but I’m hoping to find one that captures the intimate moments and expressions of all the people close to us, as opposed to just the typical wedding moments. Someone who thinks a little outside the box. I also want someone who does a little post-production work- I love me some vintage-esque photography!

Andreza | Reply

The perfect photographer would capture all love and passion of my day in a way that you can almost touch with your hands when you see the wedding photos. I also want him/her to capture all smiles that will inspire my husband and me in the bad moments that certainly will appear.
Of Course Jose would fit my dreams perfectly =)

Gabby O. | Reply

When picking the photographer for our wedding, we wanted someone that goes above and beyond the call of a photographer. When my sister in law got married, her photographer was amazing! He bustled her dress, helped in boutinears, re-shot a photo if your hair was in your eyes/out of place, and just had a great attitude all around.

3 years later, we booked him and his wife for our wedding and I am SO happy we did! He was great! And when my 7 year old cousin caught the bouquet and a 27 year old caught the garter, he turned a sticky situation into the most hilarious part of our wedding reception: making the girl put the garter on the guy!

Jorina | Reply

I got married 10 years ago, before digital camaras hit the market, in a small town with only two professional photographers- so I chose the seasoned old lady, but in hindsight I should have gone with the quiet shy guy :) How lucky the couples are who get married these days!
I am into photography myself, and this book looks like a great one to have!

chandra | Reply

the "eye". when you see it, you know it. and good chemistry.

Robin | Reply

For my wedding I am going to hire Melanie Gillis who is a brilliant photographer. She captures the moment in a beautiful and soulful way and it is playful without being cheesy. I adore that she’s a local artist as well.

Her work can be seen here:http://www.melaniegillis.com/weddings.htm

joyce | Reply

I would llike a photographer to capture the spirit of love between my friends and family, also gets shots from afar of the landscape, and knows the good angles to capture! :)

Angelica09 | Reply

We haven’t found a photographer for our wedding. My fiance is a photographer and he had kid around that he would do our photos. But how crazy would that be, that would mean he won’t come out on the photos. He is talented and I do trust him but I would prefer for one day for him to put his camera down and have someone else do it.

Linda | Reply

It was important to me that we found a photographer who was adventurous as we are, who was willing to go completely out of the box with our engagement shoot and who also appreciated history and architecture (a couple of aspects we wanted to incorporate into our photographs). Personality counted as well, of course. We somehow stumbled across our perfect photographer and were brilliantly happy in the end.

Tyffanie | Reply

When we were choosing a wedding photographer we looked for the following: color in photographs (many just do a ton of b&ws nowadays), angles of photos, moments captured (the little ones no one sees vs. a posed image), whether we would receive a disc of high res images for reprinting and if we felt we meshed well with the photographer. I’m happy to report we’ve found our photographer and I can’t wait to see the shots she gets at our wedding.

KYLIE | Reply

I am getting married in nature. Under a tree to be exact. We are hanging fairy lights and fabric from the branches. My photographer has to be comfortable in nature. He (or she!) must be able to climb trees and walk through fields with us and be adventurous. We want our photos to be genuine and fun – not staged. I want my photographer to capture my fiance and I having fun on the happiest day of our lives – Just two best friends laughing and holding hands and kissing and smiling and being kids together.

Brittany | Reply

I am a wedding photographer, not looking for one so I don’t know if that discludes me, but I have to say that this book would mean the world to me for inspiration as I find Jose Villa’s work fresh and breathtaking. Because I am starting up my own wedding photography business I could use a book like this for a little inspiration and guidance =).

Jen | Reply

We really wanted a photographer who could capture the very romantic moments along with the fun ones. What we found was a photographer who’s a little bit vintage and a little modern all in one!

Julia | Reply

After our parents, our third phone call was to our photographer when we got engaged! My fiance is a photojournalist and so we knew exactly what we wanted: someone who wasn’t going to stand back and wait for the traditional ‘wedding shots" to happen, but would be among our families and friends all day, capturing all the moments of our day. We knew we wouldn’t do video, so the day would all be in stills- like memories are.

Kenzie | Reply

We were looking for someone who had a great personality as well as a fabulous eye for light and composition. We found her, and have shared her with 2 friends, who love her as well!

Abby | Reply

I’m looking for a photography with an eye for unexpected beauty and a great sense of humor. (And the tough part — someone with a price tag I can afford!)

yvonne | Reply

We were looking for a photographer that would not be obtrusive yet creative. We didn’t want anything too traditional so we wanted someone who would respect that and to use their own creativity.

Jaime | Reply

My fiance, Ben, and I have been to quite a few bridal expos even before we got engaged and while there are plenty of wedding photographers out there, no one impressed us as much as the artist we found, mainly for his unique approach in photojournalism. Being a design graduate and having Photoshop as my best friend, I didn’t want to simply be presented with well focused wedding shots, colour corrected, facial touch-ups, brightness and contrast fixed, yet lacking to capture the emotional and memorable moments that can never be recreated by any software aside from the talent and professionalism from that camera click belonging to your chosen wedding photographer. It is also important to us that our photographer understands, respects and is experienced with traditional and cultural celebrations mixed with the Western theme and this what was we found in Rodney, our photographer come September.

Mindy | Reply

I feel non-traditional when I say I haven’t got a clue who is going to shoot my wedding. But at the same time, I also want to BE non-traditional when I find someone that will! I do want the beautiful portraits and perfect lighting, etc, but I want someone that will capture the odd moments, the unique moments. I want everyone who looks at my pictures in the future to have NO question that it was my (and his!) wedding.

ESE | Reply

I only talked to one photographer because I admit I’m a blog stalker (yes I have a problem! ha!) her work just spoke to me and she totally captured the love and raw emotion that I was totally looking for for our wedding so I can remember those feelings 80 years from now when I have flipped through our wedding album for about the thousandth time!

bibi &#9829;?s | Reply

I’m not quite ready to get married yet but when I do, I would definitely want a photographer who not only takes beautiful pictures but also transfers the feels and charisteristics of my wedding into pictures. I want the photographer to capture moments that we might have missed during our wedding. It would be a nice reminder every time we look at our wedding pictures. Thanks for having this giveaway!

redbettie | Reply

We knew from the beginning that we would not get videographer. We decided and luckily for us we know someone who is photographer and offered to take our photos. Plus as a bonus he offered us no cost to his service. (Its his gift to us ) We trust him to take photos of our special day and we enjoy his creative art and he has the eye for it.
However, those who are still looking, before you can contract a photographer, you must feel comfortable and love their work. Remember photos are memories and we will always cherish the memories . We will always look back on photos.
BTW if I were to be selected for this giveaway, I will give this book to our dear friend to add to his collection and a HUGE THANK YOU..