Paul D. Van Hoy II
Recognized in 2015 as one of the top 25 professionals in the wedding photography industry Paul D. Van Hoy II is no stranger to accolades and acclaim. In 2007 he earned recognition as Microsoft's "Photographer of the Year" - and later that year was awarded the same distinction by Creative Quarterly Magazine. In 2011 Van Hoy also published his first book on wedding photography Wedding Photojournalism | The Business of Aesthetics.
Van Hoy's wedding photography has earned awards and been featured on popular wedding web sites such as The Knot (2017 Pick, Best of Weddings), Wedding Wire (2017 Couples’ Choice Awards), and popular wedding publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, Bridal, InStyle Weddings, Little Black Book, Style Me Pretty Living, Maharani Weddings, Borrowed & Blue, DIY Wedding, and Ultimate Wedding (US).
Van Hoy, who holds his Masters of Fine Art Photography from the prestigious Rochester Institute of Technology, has been documenting weddings for over a decade. As a Rochester wedding photographer his coverage begins in Rochester NY and extends to Buffalo, NY, Finger Lakes, Syracuse, Saratoga, Albany, NYC and beyond. As one of the most sought after destination wedding photographers Van Hoy's commissions have taken him as far as Aruba, Jamaica, Italy, and Chile.
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 @paulyv585.
My Style and Approach
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. 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.”
How would you describe your style/approach?
I create images that capture true emotions and authentic relationships in a way that will take you right back to that moment whenever you see them. I capture people's essences rather than just mere presences.
What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
Photography isn’t just my hobby or part-time job; it’s my full-time career, lifetime passion, and trained profession. I have devoted my life to mastering the technical skills and creative artisitc vision required to produce images of the absolute highest quality—along with a level of personalized, professional service that surpasses all others.
What equipment do you use?
I shoot with professional Nikon DSLR camera bodies, which allow me to work quickly and accurately even in low lighting or bustling environments. Having the right tools to meet these challenges is imperative for capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments! For additional off-camera lighting, we use Profoto equipment.
Are you insured?
Yes, I carry general liability insurance along with insurance on all my equipment.
Do you work with a second shooter?
I employ a select group of experienced associate photographers who have been hand-picked for their ability to create images in harmony with my own. No one can be in two places at one time, so having a second shooter ensures that you will receive comprehensive coverage of the groom’s preparations, wedding setup and decor, and other moments that may unfold while I’m focusing on the bride, couple portraits, or ceremony.
How did you get into photography? Did you go to school for it?
I’ve always been fascinated by photography. While my friends were preoccupied reading comic books and playing video games, I was always busy thumbing through Time, Life, and National Geographic magazines and clipping my favorite photos. I went on to receive my BFA in photography from the University of Southern Indiana and my MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology, one of the country’s top graduate programs for fine art photography.
How long have you been shooting weddings?
I’ve been shooting weddings professionally since I was sixteen. I spent nearly an entire year interning, assisting, and second-shooting for local photographers in my hometown of Evansville, Indiana. After working with them on nearly fifty weddings, I booked my first paid wedding client just two months after I turned sixteen.
What’s your favorite part of the wedding day?
The bride-and-groom photo session is always one of my favorite parts of the wedding day. Let’s be real—weddings are crazy! This session is often the only time when the bride and groom can truly focus on one another and take a quiet moment to reflect. Getting to photograph that is really a treat for me as a photographer.
We would love to have some family photos. Do you do that?
Although I pride myself on unrivaled photojournalism, I also happy to create posed family photos at your event. I strive for a style that is classic yet relaxed and will help you plan properly so we don’t keep anyone away from the celebration for too long!
What packages do you offer?
I offer three different packages, each with 12 hours of photography coverage. I’ll be happy to discuss your budget and needs to find the perfect one for you. Pricing begins at $3500.
How many wedding photos will we get? What is the turnaround time?
Depending on the duration and the size of the wedding, I will capture roughly 3000 to 5000 images during the course of a wedding day. Within a week, I will select 10 to 12 of my favorites to share with you and your social media followers—since I know you will all be anxious to relive the beauty and love of the day. Your final wedding galleries will be delivered 4 to 6 weeks after the event and typically contain 600 to 1000 individually edited portfolio-quality images. I will provide you with all of the hi-resolution original and edited photos, fully released for reproduction and with no watermarks.
Will you edit my photographs?
I have extensive education and training in digital workflow and editing, processing and retouching techniques. I will individually edit each selected image based on its specific needs. I never use presets or batch processing (“one size fits all” editing), so each photo will be individually edited for a beautifully bold, frame-worthy look.
Do you offer albums?
Yes! I am proud to partner with Graphi Studio Wedding Book, based in Milan, Italy. They use archival materials to make sure your heirloom album lasts for generations—and they offer a vast array of style/cover options so we can customize a book that is uniquely “you.”
We think your photography style fits us perfectly. How can we book you?
First of all, I’m truly flattered to have captivated your eye and your interest! If you’re ready to lock down your date, let’s schedule a casual meeting or phone call so we can further discuss the details. I want to learn all about you, your relationship, and your wedding plans—so we can start building that meaningful connection that will make your photos more special. Once we’ve learned a little more about one another, the booking process is simple and seamless.
What are the payment terms?
For your selected services, 1/3 is due at booking The balance is due on the day of the event.
Any more advice?
I’ve been working in the industry (and in the area) for many years, so I am happy to share my experiences and insights, to make referrals, and even to review your wedding day timeline so you can have your ideal event while meeting everyone’s schedules and expectations.