Today we’re featuring Karl Ko, a wedding photographer based in San Francisco. We had the pleasure of meeting Karl in Las Vegas this March during WPPI 2010. Karl’s a great guy who is serious about his profession and produces high quality work for his clients.
1) Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a low-key kind of person. I worked for a decade in digital signal processing, wireless communications, and embedded development. To the consternation of my wife and parents, I am now a starving artist. I will work for food (no, not really, see #8). A stable job and income are nice, but what I’m doing now is so much more fun!
2) Why did you choose to become a photographer?
I started by using photography as a way to take in California’s incredible landscapes. Today, I love the challenge of capturing the romance and emotion of the engagement and wedding. I love seeing all the creative little details. I enjoy planning the shoot. I am hooked on the rush I feel knowing everything is momentary and fleeting, there is only one chance to get it and do so with a little artistry.
3) How long have you been a photographer?
First wedding shot in 2002. Full time since 2005.
4) How would you classify your style of photography?
Fashion and romance-inspired lifestyle photography.
5) Who or what are some of your influences on either a personal or professional level?
Avedon, Ritts, Demarchelier, and Leibovitz are famous photographic heroes of mine.
6) Do you have any good wedding stories?
Yes, but some people may not want them shared. You know who you are. I’ve personally seen an expensive Picasso sketch displayed in a bathroom. Yes, I’m sure it was real; yes, I was impressed; yes, I believe the owner meant for it to be tongue-in-cheek.
7) What’s your preferred type of camera equipment?
Canon 35mm digital SLR’s, but I still own film bodies. Definitely prefer prime lenses but use zooms because that’s what my How-To-Be-A-Professional-Wedding-Photographer book tells me to do.
8) What would you recommend for a couple just starting their search for a wedding photographer?
Obtain referrals. Figure out what kind of images you want. Find out what makes the person tick and select someone you like, respect, and trust. Buy as much artistry and experience as you can afford. Quality and service aren’t free so don’t expect crazy discounts. Be honest about your budget because they might be able to work with you. Don’t be shocked if someone will not give you full resolution files. You will probably pay more than you thought you would. The more time you give someone to work, the better the results; buy an extra hour – you won’t regret it. If ever there was a time to be uncompromising and live with no regrets, this is pretty much it.
9) Any fun personal facts we should know about you?
I am a proud Wolverine – that will never change. As a grad student in Los Angeles I averaged a trip a month to Las Vegas and made the drive in about 3 hours once. I am a child of “first wave” music, enjoy PVD, Oakenfold, and Tiesto, and like “Party in the USA” for some reason. Oh, and I’m a little sarcastic and cynical at times… No, really.
Anything else to add about yourself, the wedding industry, photography, brides, grooms, etc?
My peers suggest I’m a closet romantic. I didn’t give it much thought at the time but they were very accurate on that point.
Karl’s Special Offer: If couples say they found me on SnapKnot when hiring me, they will receive a sign-in mat set of eight 11×14 mats displaying retouched 5×7 photographs from their engagement session. It comes with an aluminum case and is valued at $550.
Karl is available for engagement & wedding photography in Northern California and Hawaii, as well as other destinations.
Contact Karl Today!