State College  Wedding Photographers Best Photographer 2018 - State College

b x d

Professional, experienced wedding photography for State College, Central Pennsylvania and beyond.

Voted "Best Local Photographer" in State College Magazine's 2018 survey!

You always own the rights to your photos and receive all of the full digital files at no extra charge, inlcuding raw files. You can print or share your photos with no restrictions and no watermarks. We can meet in my downtown studio, by phone or email, but serious inquiries only, please.

My most recent work can always be found on my Facebook Page.


About me

Professional Photographers of America

I am a working professional. I am member of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), I maintain a downtown studio, and I'm a Platinum Member of Canon Professional Services. I've worked in a wide variety of genres over the last twenty years, with ten years of wedding experience. This is important, because wedding photography combines a lot of different things, and it requires a lot of experience, because we don't get second chances. From landscape and architecture to portraits and photojournalism, I have the experience to get the shots. I can work in rain or snow, bad lighting or even when equipment fails. I come to your wedding prepared for anything, and I take my craft very seriously. My body of work reflects this, as you can see from the samples below. My current activities are posted to my Facebook Page.

It has been said that I'm the hardest working photographer in the area, and while I can't speak to that myself, I can tell you that I will do my absolute best on your wedding day, and I have the drive, equipment and knowledge to make it happen. I was voted "Best Local Photographer" in State College Magazine's 2018. I have state of the art equipment that is maintained to the highest standards, and I have more than two million photos in my portfolio. I have photographed more than a hundred weddings. My work has been featured in books, television, magazines, album liner notes, billboards, newsprint and more. My fine art prints adorn the walls of hundreds of homes and offices.

Nittany Lion Inn - State College wedding photography

About Style

Philosophically, I believe that the emotional content of a photograph is directly related to how real it is. That is, I think it's best when you are reminded of the moment, not the process. That's photojournalism. The emotion in your photos is genuine, not staged. In my opinion, photojournalism mixed with modern and traditional portraiture is the best method to capture your wedding, because it allows you to enjoy your day while capturing lots of amazing photos that take you back to it. Yes, I'll pose you, but it's natural and comfortable, not awkward or staged.

My photos come from you, and you can see this in my portfolio. Look at my photos and compare them to other photographers' work. You are the judge! A bride once asked me, "Do you take fun photos?" I replied, "Are you fun?" That sums it up. You'll see that I work in diferent styles for dfferent weddings. That's because I photograph your wedding, not some idea I had in my mind. Take a look at my various weddings—they don't all look the same. That's not true of most photographers, who are set in a particular style.

A picture is worth a thousand words! At the bottom of this page are a few samples from my portfolio, and you can always find my latest work on my Facebook page. If you need to see more, I have a really huge gallery online from a few dozen weddings here.

What's it like to work with me?

I'm a craftsman, and I take pride in my work, but different moments call for different techniques. In general, I'm high-energy for weddings. I move around a lot. I run. I don't take breaks. I have a sense of humor, but I'm working hard for you. That's the creative side. On the technical side, I want to get the best shot, and I'm very competitive. I won't agonize over compositions, wasting time, preferring to work as a true photojournalist. If something isn't working, I won't force it. We'll move on. You'll get a wide variety of images. There will be times when I'm your wedding sherpa, pinning boutenirs onto the groom or lighting sparklers. In brief, I will do my level best to get the most amazing photos of your wedding. I won't gush over things, sorry, but you're going to love the photos and you'll love your wedding day.

WOW Bill is a wicked cool dude! Such a awesome person and very professional.
Bill is the person who will make you laugh and send you positive vibes.
He was our photographer for our wedding in July 2017 and the pictures came out AMAZING!”

—Jasmine

During the ceremony, I am discrete. I will not intrude on intimate moments unless you specifically ask me to. I'll work hard not to miss anything, using two to three cameras at a time. If one fails, I'll use the backup that's already around my neck. I'll use telephotos to get close-ups from a good distance. You may not even notice that I'm there during the ceremony, but I'll get all the shots.

“Bill was the perfect choice for a photographer for our wedding—
kind, professional, and dedicated. He puts his clients first.
He was a perfect guide for our "Big Day".
I couldn't imagine shooting with any other Centre County photographer.”
—Morgan 2017

Unlike the rest of the day, the portrait session is where I need to be in charge. It's tough. Tempers flare, it's hot, it's cold, you're hungry. We have about 30 minutes to take six hours worth of photos, so I won't waste your time, and we'll move quickly. I'll tell jokes, bark like a dog...whatever it takes to get you to forget that there's a camera there. On the creative side, I'll suggest settings, backdrops and poses, taking cues from your style and personality. If you have ideas, we'll integrate those, too. This is where we have fun and make great photos.

“If there was a way to give more than five stars, I would. Bill was amazing and easy to work with, and the resulting photos are fantastic. He put us at our ease throughout all the posed photography, and his work reflects back all the joy and fun of the day!”
— Whitney 2018

During the reception, I bring my own lights, so you'll get great photos of the dance party and events. This is one of my strengths. Compare my reception photos to other photographers and see for yourself. I also stay long after other photogrpahers would have left. I don't stop working until there's nothing more I can accomplish. This usually means staying until the very end. I don't just take photos of your first dance and then bolt. If I feel that I can get good shots, I'm there until everybody leaves. I am often the first to show, last to go.

State College Wedding Photo

What is photojournalism?

Photojournalism is the art of telling stories through photos. A photojournalist documents the day and brings you back to it. The photos have genuine emotional content, because they aren't staged or fake. My photos are designed to trigger memories. That's what I do. Your photos will be authentic. This is not to say they are no creative. Again, my portfolio demonstrates this, so you don't need to take my word for it.

So what does photojournalism look like? Here's a gallery from an actual wedding at the Nittany Lion Inn.

What kinds of photos will I get?

Lots and lots of different photos! Literally, thousands of photos of all sorts. Close-ups, wide angles, fun, serious, architecture, landscape, details…you name it. I will focus on people as well as the entire scene. I'll capture everything I can. I also take requests.

Something I do a bit differently than most photographers is that I will give you every photo, in RAW format, with no restrictions. You own the copyright. You can even DIY the processing if you like. You don't just get a DVD or a thumb drive with just my personal favorites…you get an actual hard drive with about 200-300GB of data, usually 3000-6000 images, and that's a lot. If you need help whittling that down, I can certainly do that, but I consider the digital negatives to be your property. I also have a healthy ego, and I trust that you can tell the difference between the "keepers" and the rest of the images. Let's be honest, with that many photos, there are going to be some duds, but I don't always know which ones are important to you and which are not, so I give them all.

Toftrees wedding

I have literally taken millions of photos in dozens of different styles. I tend to like warm, saturated colors, but I'm perfectly comfortable with the faded "no yellow in this world" look which is popular right now. I can work in black and white, high-key, low-contrast or muted tones. It's up to you, and if you prefer a particular style, we can make those adjustments in the post-process. You're free to come by my studio and see different options, too. Rest assured, your photos will be consistent with my body of work as displayed in my portfolio.

For purposes of comparison, I shoot a mix of photojournalism and contemporary portraiture. Check my Facebook page for my most recent weddings and other activities, and here is a really big gallery of wedding photos from the past few years, broken down by categories. It's one thing to show you my "greatest hits" albums, but it's another to see what a whole day looks like, so here are samples from a Nittany Lion Inn wedding and a wedding on the family farm. If you want to see what an ENTIRE wedding looks like, I'm happy to show that to you when we meet. It's just too big to really display online, since there are thousands of photos. I have no problem showing you what 4000 images from a while day looks like, rain, snow, sun, whatever.

A word about "second shooters": There's a myth out there that you absolultely must have two photographers. I disagree. If you do want two photographers, we can certainly do that, but in my opinion, my body of work is a testament that it is unecessary. If that's what you want, though, I'm happy to accomodate your request. If money is no object, I'll team up with a second photographer. Your choice!

After the Wedding - Post-Processing

So far I've talked a lot about being "real" and photojournalism, but that doesn't mean there isn't processing. Far from it! Cameras do lie, no matter what you've heard. The first thing I do is try to make the photos match my memory of the day. After that, enlarged portraits benefit from retouching. It's not that the camera isn't accurate, it's that a brain processes images differently than a camera does. The perception of a face is something scientists continue to study, and that's why a portrait isn't just a moment captured. It's more than that, and that's where retouching and processing come into play. Your photos will look like I see you and your family sees you, not how a camera sees you.

With that in mind, I always shoot using "RAW" format, which allows a wider latitude in post-processing. It gives freedom for different styles, black and white, etc., but more important, it helps to "rescue" images where the exposure might be off. I will adjust the photos you select for proper exposure, contrast and color, and I process all of the photos you select from the proofs, personally. I don't outsource that unless you're in a real hurry, in which case, I'll send them out for processing at my expense. For more information about how I process your photos, follow this link.

Rates

The typical rate for a complete wedding starts at $1900, depending on your needs. Rates are negotiable for off-season and other special circumstances, within reason. If you have a budget in mind, we can work from that for a rate that works for both of us.

All of the images and digital negatives are yours to keep—you own the copyright. There are no hidden fees, no printing fees, no up-charge for prints or albums.

Regarding prints, you can buy them from me, or you can print your photos yourself, or you can work with one of my partners for museum-quality mounting, matting and framing. It's your choice how and where you get your prints, if any. If you do purchase prints from one of my partners, it's at my own wholesale cost--no markup--for example, an 8x10 is less than $3.00. I'm a photographer, not a print-maker.

A typical day will include photos of preparations, details, the ceremony, a formal portrait session and candid photography at your reception. Your requests are also important to me, so I try to accomodate any reasonable request. If those requests are in conflict, I will follow the bride's instructions unless we agree to something else in writing.

Suggested Packages

Below are some packages for comparison, but no two weddings are alike, so you are always free to customize my services to your needs. I will note that the rate is not based upon the number of hours, since I can only photograph one wedding per day. Pricing is not intuitive, so please let's talk about the rate if you have concerns. There are ways to economize and there are ways to go all out. I can help you decide which method fits your needs and budget best.

Please note: I always give you every picture I take. I will sort out truly unsuitable images, such as those that fired by accident, but I will give you all of the photos in RAW format as well as JPEG.

My work isn't over when the reception ends, and what separates some of the packages below is the number of fully retouched photos and processed photos. For the difference between the two, check this page.

Need help with timelines, locations or anything else? I'm happy to share my experience and help you plan.

Serious inquiries only, please.

And now without further ado…

$1900 - The Basics

  • a good choice for "single venue" weddings, when the ceremony and reception are at the same location
  • coverage of your ceremony and reception, starting with "the dress", but not including hair and makeup
  • formal portraits at a location of your choice
  • all digital files on a portable hard disk in RAW format, usually several thousand
  • no watermarks!
  • about 200 photos processed for color, contrast and exposure. I will select these for you, but if you have a wish list, I'll take that into consideration.
  • you own the copyright

$2350 - Standard

  • up to 10 hours or so of coverage
  • bridal party photos at one or two locations, for example, a church and a park for portraits
  • all digital files on a portable hard disk in RAW format, usually four-six thousand
  • no watermarks - print anywhere you like!
  • you choose about 200 photos to process for color, contrast and exposure
  • up to 12 fully retouched photos, suitable for enlargement
  • you own the copyright
  • complimentary engagement session

$2850 - Campus Tour

  • best choice for Penn State themes
  • up to 10 hours or so of coverage
  • bridal party photos at the Lion Shrine, Old Main, Alumni Gardens, Landmark Sign (Beaver Stadium) or your choice as time permits. For Arboretum photos, contact me.
  • all digital files on a portable hard disk - everything I shoot, usually more than 4000 in RAW format
  • 600 or more photos processed for color, contrast
  • up to 24 fully retouched photos, suitable for enlargement
  • you own the copyright

$3250 - All Inclusive

  • no time limits
  • engagement session included
  • coverage of rehearsal, getting ready, ceremony and reception
  • no limit on portrait locations, time permitting
  • all digital files on a portable hard disk - that's everything I shoot, usually more than 5000 in RAW format
  • time lapse video of select areas, when possible
  • no watermarks - print anywhere you like!
  • more than 1000 photos processed for color, contrast and exposure/li>
  • up to 24 fully-retouched photos, suitable for enlargement
  • you own the copyright

$5000 - Beaver Stadium Wedding

  • no time limits
  • second photographer
  • complimentary engagement session
  • campus tour for portraits, no limit on locations time permitting
  • coverage of rehearsal, getting ready, ceremony and reception
  • all digital files on a portable hard disk - that's everything I shoot, usually more than 5000 in RAW format
  • time lapse video of select areas, when possible
  • no watermarks - print anywhere you like!
  • all photos processed for color, contrast and exposure
  • up to 24 fully-retouched photos, suitable for enlargement
  • you own the copyright
  • Beaver Stadium is a special venue, and due to its sheer size, I recommend two photographers and an assistant to get the scope and scale in photos. If you would like a more intimate approach, the Standard Plus package will work with one photographer (me!). We can talk about the differences

Name your own price - starting at $1000

  • Off-season or last minute? feel free to negotiate
  • Limited coverage or a whole day, it's up to you
  • All digital files on a portable hard disk
  • No watermarks - print anywhere you like!
  • Custom processing or DIY
  • Custom craft a package based on your budget

Add-ons

  • Full-Service Photo Booth - photo booth, props, a knowledgable assistant and full processing, about $900-$1100
  • Budget booth - Advice on creating your own DIY photo booth, with photo equipment available
  • Second professional photographer—Rates vary, typically about $500-$1000.
  • Time-lapse video
  • Aerial photography or video with quadcopter (rates and availability vary)
  • Video slideshows, albums, prints and more…don't see it? Just ask!
  • Albums, prints, whatever you need
  • Referrals for videographers, pending availability


Compare Packages - click to open table

 
Price
Engagement
Session
Portrait
Locaions
Full Copyright
Release
All RAW Photos
on Hard Disk
# Processed
Photos
# Retouched
Photos
Basics
$1900
$200
1
Yes
Yes
200 - I select
not included
Standard
$2250
Included
1-2
Yes
Yes
200 - you select
12
Campus Tour
$2850 
Included
About 5
Yes
Yes
about 600
24
All Inclusive
$3250
Included
Unlimited, time permitting 
Yes
Yes
1000 or more
24
Beaver Stadium
$5000
Included
Unlimited, time permitting 
Yes
Yes
Everything 
24

Other services

Do you have old family photos that you'd like to restore and display? Photo restoration will make those old photos look like new! Likewise, if you have cell phone pictures or other "less than perfect" shots that you would like to optimize, I can make sure they look their best.

Do you need guidance in making photo displays for "save the date" cards, engagement sessions, slideshows or centerpieces? I can help. If you need printing of any kind, I can help you with wholesale pricing on posters, cards, table tents and other media.

Samples

Below are just a few samples from my portfolio. Don't see what you're looking for? Just ask! I have thousands more, including some additional links at the bottom of the page.

What can you realistically expect over the whole wedding? Here's a bunch from a typical Penn State wedding.

Portfolio Galleries

Broken down by category

Getting Ready

Ceremonies

Details

Candids

Portraits

Vignettes

Rings

Bouquets and Flowers

The Dress

Just for Fun

The Reception

Architecture and Venues

Looking for photos from a particular venue?

Beaver Stadium wedding photos

Brookemere Winery wedding photos

Toftrees wedding photos

General Potter Farm wedding photos

Fern Hill Weddings photos

The Barn at Madison wedding photos

Penn State wedding photos

Nittany Lion Inn wedding photos

Days Inn Penn State wedding photos

Centre Hills Country Club wedding photos

Atherton Hotel wedding photos

Carnegie Inn and Spa wedding photos

Nittany Lion wedding photo
Nittany Lion Shrine wedding portrait

Penn State wedding portrait at Alumni Garden
Penn State Alumni Garden bridal portrait

penn-state-campus-wedding.jpg

Penn State wedding photo
Classic pose at the Nittany Lion

General Potter Farm wedding photo
General Potter Farm wedding portrait

Toftrees wedding photo
My Hero Zero, Toftrees Ballroom - "Call Me Baby"

State College Bride
State College Bride, with bouquet at Toftrees

Days Inn Penn State wedding reception
Wedding Reception at Days Inn, Penn State

Sunset wedding photo - State College, PA
Sunset Wedding Portrait

General Potter Farm wedding
Wedding at General Potter's Farm

General Potter Farm wedding reception
Wedding Reception at General Potter's Farm

Wedding at C. Barton McCann Shool of Art
Wedding at C. Barton McCann Shool of Art

Nittany Lion wedding photo
Nittany Lion Wedding Photo

Click the photo above for more samples from this wedding

Nittany Lion Inn wedding
Nittany Lion Inn

lacing wedding dress

Lily Manor wedding photo
Lily Manor


"The Barn", Greensburg, PA

Bridesmaids Candid - State College, PA
Bridesmaids at "The Barn", Greensburg, PA

Groom Candid at
Groom Candid at "The Barn", Greensburg, PA

Wedding dress hanging in window
Brookmere Winery

Nittany Lion Wedding portrait
Nittany Lion Shrine, Penn State

Wedding Reception at The Penn Stater
The Penn Stater

Wedding Reception at The Nittany Lion Inn

Lily Manor wedding photos
Lily Manor

State College Days Inn Wedding reception
Days Inn, Penn State

Toftrees wedding photo State College
Toftrees Hotel and Resort

Penn State wedding portrait
Penn State, Eisenhower Chapel

Altoona Wedding reception photo
Bavarian Aid Society, Altoona

Beaver Stadium wedding photos
Beaver Stadium, Penn State

C Barton McCann School of Art wedding photo
C. Barton McCann School of Art

State College bridal portrait Penn State wedding photo
Bridal portrait on staircase State College Presbyterian Church wedding with bubbles
Farm bride Penn State elms wedding photo
Penn State Wedding photo at Old Main Columns
Penn State Arboretum Bridal Portrait
wedding details - shoes
Winter Wedding Portrait in Snow
General Potter farm wedding photos Penn State Eisenhower Chapel wedding photo
Penn State Alumni Garden wedding photo
portraits
wedding portrait, State College Penn State campus wedding
general potter farm wedding reception photo
Penn State candid wedding photo
Bridesmaids jumping in air
Wedding candid - ring closeup
Toftrees Wedding photoWedding Portrait at Toftrees


For more photos, check out my check my Facebook page, Wedding Gallery, full of samples from dozens of weddings.

If you're planning a Penn State wedding, here are some samples from some Penn State wedding portrait sessions, a few Penn State arboretum weddings, and a Nittany Lion Inn wedding ...and if you're a really big Penn State fan? Here is a gallery of Beaver Stadium wedding photos.




Equipment

I use state of the art digital cameras with some of the best lenses money can buy. Click here for details on my equipment.

Contact me

William Ames
PO Box 845
State College, PA 16804
info@amesphotos.com

Please note

Prices and availability subject to change. Standard contract required.

Looking for the stripe out poster? It's here!