"However, the Napa Valley is just a much better place for weddings than Maui," according to one of the best known wedding photographers in both places. Bill Stockwell left a thriving wedding photography business in Napa 10 years ago. His goal was to have a year-round business, and Stockwell says that he certainly met that goal. "On Maui, destination weddings happen every day of the week and every month. There is not much of a season at all.
"On the other hand," Stockwell points out," that means there is no break. We would commonly shoot several weddings per week, week after week." The pace was an issue, but there were other issues that made Napa seem like the better paradise. "The sun is so intense, and the wind is always a factor. And like any beach area, vog and haze is great for the photographer, but not what the bride flew thousands of miles to have as a background for her wedding day.”
Brides and their families aren't terribly interested in the difficulties faced by the photographer. "No matter what the issues are with exposure, blown out hair, or veils that won't stay in place, the bride rightly wants perfect pictures. It was a real test. We learned quickly how to deal with these distractions, and had over 1000 chances to continuously improve our methods. Then it was time to come home to Napa."
Stockwell notes that there was one aspect of photographing weddings in Maui that added a once in a lifetime photo to his portfolio. "Trash the dress was just coming into its own when we arrived. And there is no place better to shoot these than at the beach. Out of one of those weddings one shot became our Maui signature (see on this page). We're thinking we need something like that during the crush."
While in Maui, Stockwell was contacted by the producers of the Wedding Day, and he was asked to be the featured photographer for the Maui episode. "We really had a great time shooting and being shot simultaneously during the taping." And says Stockwell, "The show aired on the TNT network and gave us a bit more than our allotted 15 minutes of fame."
Bill Stockwell has opened his doors under the name of Bill Stockwell Photography. He is excited to be back shooting weddings in all the major Northern California wedding locations from San Francisco to Napa and points beyond. "Don't tell anyone, but we are giving some discounts right now to help re-establish our business, and we have excellent availability right now." The number to call is
Bill concludes this way, "Amid the laughter, chaos, hugs, tears and romance, I stand ready with my camera to photograph these emotions so that she will be able to relive these moments for a lifetime."