the challenge. Joel had been and still does
some Super 8 filming, but now does mostly
stills, so it’s kind of an interesting thing: clients
see on social media that he does a lot of
second shooting for me
and they’ll ask for him,
like they want both of us
at the wedding, which
is great because we’re
able to work together
but it’s hard, too. We
make it a goal to see
our families twice a
week. The other thing
that helps is when we
do these destination
weddings—it’s still work,
but—we’ll extend our
stay an extra four or five days and we’ll just
disconnect. What we need to do is a vacation
where we don’t take any cameras.
7 What’s your photo industry pet peeve? I could have said this two years ago,
but I’m really tired of shoots that are over-
styled. I’m super over those. It just kind of
trashes the whole thing. Keeping it simple
and not overdoing things with tons of crap
in the picture is better.
8 How have you been affected by
over the years?
One of the main things
I wanted to teach
photographers is that
you’re worth it and
not to give everything
away. About 250
come to my workshop
and I can say that 20 of
them are some of the
leading photographers in the industry now,
and they’ve collectively helped all of us raise
our rates. We went from a film photographer
charging $2,500 to charging $8,000.
9 What childhood memory still makes you laugh?
Fighting with the neighboring kids with my
two brothers. One day after summer school,
after the bus dropped us off and we were
walking home, the kids started fighting with
us. I’m not a fighter, so I decided to find
something around me that I could throw at
them to distract them…not to hurt them, but
to shoo them away.
Well, I found a lizard had been run over by
a car right before us. The tail was still moving,
so I picked it up and tossed it at them, not
thinking it would ever make it close to their
faces. It landed in one of the kids’ mouths.
She started to throw up and we ran like mad.
I know this is sort of a sick story, but it always
makes me smile. We laughed about it as we
became teenagers and into adulthood.
10 What food do you never get sick of? I love, love Thai food. I could eat that
every single day. Especially rice.
Jose Villa is a fine-art wedding photographer
based in Solvang, CA. He has been featured in
Martha Stewart Weddings, Grace Ormonde,
The Knot, BRIDES and countless others.
“I really like Vivian
Maier. I‘m inspired by
her perspective of not
necessarily doing this
for a living but just
being a person with
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