Don Le of Bliss Imagery is a recent addition to SnapKnot. Bliss Imagery is a wedding studio out of Orange County that was founded on the principle of creating innovative, memorable images for their clients. We had a chance to ask Don a few questions about his background and his business, and hopefully you can learn a lot in our Q&A below – enjoy!
Hi Don, tell us a bit about yourself: Born in Houston, TX and raised predominantly in Orange County, I grew up sort of a free bird. My parents were pretty awesome b/c they were so cool about everything but I never really learned rules. So I grew up sort of a bad apple, hehe. It wasn’t until I moved to San Francisco with my Uncle and Aunt in my Freshman year of high school that I appreciated things like school and my elders and structure. I learned to become a better person… my own person. That’s where I seriously came into my own and started having an affection for all sorts of things.
Nowadays, I’m a photographer, producer, and business owner. I try to juggle all three things carefully and give them equal love and attention. I have my wedding & photography studios, production company, and co-owner of a drinks shop. That fire of doing so much comes from the spirit of my parents. Everything that they do, they give 110% and that part of me wholly derives from them.
Why did you choose to become a photographer?
I decided to take a class in high school b/c I loved the arts. At the time, I knew I wanted to be a director, but I knew that that would take a lot of work in prep and setup and I didn’t know if I was up for the task just yet. For me, photography seemed like I could get going with my art and not have to rely on anyone else or have to pressure anyone into helping me out. In photography, I found an outlet to communicate my vision. In high school, I wasn’t much of a charismatic socializer. In fact, my graduating class voted me as the “Weirdest Person.” Seriously, out of a 1000+ student body. Nowadays, I’m still weirder than ever, but it’s more acceptable since I’m a photographer. Haha.
How long have you been a photographer?
10+ years ever since I fell in love with the medium in the darkroom of my high school.
How would you classify your style of photography?
I always tell my client that if they’re looking for a “wedding” photographer, please look elsewhere. I’m not that guy. My company doesn’t employ associates like that either. Look elsewhere. The guy across the street and down the way is a wedding photographer–tried and true. It’s a pretty bold statement, but let me clarify. I didn’t go to school for wedding photography. I haven’t really read a bunch of wedding photography books. I don’t slave over the wedding blogs. I shoot weddings inspired by a number of other things: music, movies, videogames, TV shows, pop culture, LIFE. All of these things influence my work and make my work what it is.
Who or what are some of your influences on either a personal or professional level?
I love visually vibrant, out-there photographers like David LaChapelle, Dave Hill, and Michael Muller. You can never tell where they’re going to go next w/ their art and the subject matter always compels me in not just how they tell the story but also in the costuming and sex appeal of it all.
Do you have any good wedding stories?
My favorite wedding story belongs to a special little tyke named Jordan (the bride’s mini groomsman of honor). My bride, Shari, was walking down a flight of stairs with her 80 year old father when Jordan’s belt let loose. His pants fell down around his ankles and that was that. All the little kids around him started busting out laughing and no one was there to save him. The bride was tending to her father. For 20 seconds, he was looking around aloof, waiting for someone to pull up his pants, and I could’ve done something it but…. it was a Kodak moment, so no. ; )
LINK of the incident HERE
What’s your preferred type of camera equipment?
Canon 7D or 5D Mark II w/ my trusty ol’ 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, 50mm 1.4, and a Canon 580exII flash.
What would you recommend for a couple just starting their search for a wedding photographer?
Definitely check up the blog of that particular photographer/company that you dig. The main factor of importance is that you like their work to the fullest. Their shouldn’t be any and’s, if’s, or but’s about their work for you and your significant other. If you have any second guesses about their personality or work, walk away. Your big day is way too important to go down the drain with subpar photography. You don’t want to look back 30-50 years later and just be seriously bummed out the lack of great pictures on one of the biggest days of your life. Do your research and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your photographers’ work and work with them to recreate a vision of love that’s truly extraordinary.
Any fun personal facts we should know about you?
I love to do wild and crazy things, like mountain biking, surfing (or attempting to!), and doing stuff like P90x/Insanity. Those things keep me seriously at the peak of what I do and who I am.
Anything else you would like us to know?
Ultimately, I hope to continue to foster the vision of a wedding studio that’s always continuing to innovate, whether it be with engagement sessions, products, albums, and especially the wedding photography and video. There’s a lot of room for growth in this industry and I’m constantly learning from my brides and grooms. I hope to meet a lot of you lovebirds in the future and I hope to make your wedding dreams bristle with life, warmth, and a whole lotta bliss!
*Don’s Special Offer for brides* – 10% off any package if you mention you found Bliss Imagery through SnapKnot!
Also, be sure to watch this video from one of Don’s recent weddings – Sasha and Paul:no comments