My Style and Approach
I live in a beautiful loft in downtown Rochester with a temperamental tabby cat named Indy, who I’ve been patiently training how to ride a unicycle, just kitten! I love that I can walk a few blocks from my front door and immerse myself in the city’s rich culture and annual music & arts events such as Rochester’s annual Jazz Fest and First Fridays at RoCo and The Hungerford. As a food and lifestyle photographer, I’ve had the opportunity to photograph many popular area eateries and enjoy exploring our city’s culinary arts and cuisine scene. I’m a huge fan of Thai, Indian, Ethiopian, sushi and anything covered in batter or doused in hot sauce. I also enjoy cheesecake and a nice smoky scotch or a frosty root-beer float. When I’m not shooting or editing photos, I often head out to Durand Eastman to walk along Ontario beach, hike trails, and document my mini adventures on my iPhone—which is one of my absolute favorite things to do. (If you’re interested, follow along with me on Instagram @pvanhoy.)
To put it in formal terms, my style blends the authenticity of photojournalism, the alluring mystique of fine art, and the eye-catching elegance of editorial photography. But there’s something that I think makes my work even more special: my desire and ability to connect with my subjects on a personal level.
My couples appreciate that I possess a genuine interest in them and their lives, and making that real, personal connection certainly helps put them at ease before the camera. I’m not the kind of photographer who stands discretely at the edge of the room and shoots from afar. I’m 6’5” and carry a large camera, so inconspicuousness has never been an option for me. I like to interact with my clients and my subjects. I prefer to mix and mingle with everyone and dive right into the celebration that’s brought us together in celebration. This helps everyone relax—and that means I can capture more interesting, authentic and story-telling images.
In my view, we are all family on that day—and when I give hugs and say my goodbyes at the end of the night, I want everyone to know me as Paul, rather than “the wedding photographer.”
Education and Acclaim
I have a masters degree in photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology and have been documenting weddings professionally for well over a decade. In 2007, I was named Photographer of the Year by both Microsoft and Creative Quarterly Magazine. In 2015, I was recognized as one of the top 25 professionals in the wedding industry. My work has also earned awards and been featured on The Knot (2017 Pick, Best of Weddings), Wedding Wire (2017 Couples’ Choice Awards), Martha Stewart Weddings, Little Black Book, Style Me Pretty Living, Maharani Weddings, Borrowed & Blue, DIY Wedding, and Ultimate Wedding (US). I published a book on wedding photography (Wedding Photojournalism: The Business of Aesthetics) and have been featured in several other books.
I am based in Rochester, NY, but my wedding photography coverage extends to Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, New York City, Toronto, and beyond. Past commissions have taken me to destination weddings in Aruba, Jamaica, Italy, and Chile.