Every once in a while someone comes along to revolutionize an art form; for wedding photography, that someone Is Gary Fong. After 17 years in the business, he has acquired a legion of overjoyed customers and quite an impressive resume. Celebrities ask him to photograph their weddings, and he was chosen to shoot the cover art for Ronald Reagan's Memoirs. As a leader in the field, Gary has shared his techniques with other professionals via several photography books and an international seminar tour. And on the United Artists' telecast "Weddings 2000" which profiled the top ten wedding photographers in the world, Gary Fong was featured. A true innovator, he designed Lightsphere, a lighting system specifically for wedding photographers, and the Montage design software for wedding albums that has become an industry standard. Rangefinder Magazine credits Gary Fong as "the source of inspiration to a whole generation of wedding photographers."
So how did this pre-med major end up running one of Southern California's elite wedding photography studios? The switch came when legendary wedding photographer Rocky Gunn asked Gary to assist him one summer. Gary knew instantly that this was how he wanted to spend his life, "encapsulating people's happiest moments." To his parents' initial dismay, he ignored his 4.0 GPA, ditched his med school plans and threw himself into photography with the same dedication that had earned him academic honors. "I read everything I could get my hands on," Gary remembers. I studied day and night; I practiced, observed, theorized." Gary even devised drills for himself to hone his skills. "I rehearsed a sort of quick-draw focus, competing with myself to increase my speed and efficiency."
Meanwhile, Gary was also developing his innate artistry, approaching photography with the creative eye of a fine filmmaker. Influenced by cinema verite and documentaries, he realized that wedding albums could tell a story, too. So why not storyboard an album the way producers do commercials or television shows? Taking his concept to the computer, he created the innovative software, "Montage," which is powerfully demonstrated on his website, wwwstorybookweddings.com. Here you can see the artful way he's organized the photos from several weddings. Gary believes that album layout requires expertise, and should be done by the photographer, He always shoots with the final presentation an mind, envisioning how every detail will work together in order to dynamically portray the story of a wedding day.
The name Storybook Weddings came from Gary's storytelling approach to wedding photography, but it might just as well represent the "storybook" experience clients have. One photographer who gives the studio a 5-star rating, says, "They are tremendous professionals-easy-going, but so talented. They consistently capture the gorgeous moments. I know that they cost more than some photographers, but they're worth it. Brides are always really thrilled with their images."