By Appointment Only
San Mateo, California 94401
We'd love it if you would mention that you found Todd Rafalovich Photography on the Here Comes The Guide website.
San Francisco Bay Area
Wedding industry professionals work with LOTS of photographers and know which ones are truly great, so who do they call when they need someone to shoot their own wedding? Many of them turn to wedding photographer Todd Rafalovich, a seasoned pro who combines technical prowess with artistic talent. He can anticipate and capture fleeting moments with accuracy, and respond instantaneously to any issues that may arise. After more than two decades in business, Todd has over 1,500 weddings under his belt, from large, discreet celebrity weddings to the most intimate City Hall ceremonies.
Not only is he an expert behind the camera, he also has extensive experience in front of it! He used to model professionally with the Ford and Elite agencies, yet tells us, “You don’t have to be a model to photograph well—a great photographer can make anyone look stunning.” With a deep understanding of light, composition, and depth, Todd Rafalovich produces stylish and artistic wedding photos where the couple always looks their best.
Please inquire with Todd for pricing as he’s surprisingly open to working with all sorts of budgets—especially if your event is off-season or during the week. All packages include unlimited time, a second shooter and assistant/styler for the day. All images provided are high-resolution, edited, and retouched.
Questions and Answers
What 3 words best describe your work?
Fashionable, stylish, provocative.
Why should someone hire you?
Generally, I find that photographers can either do one of two things well: Capture artistic, creative, stylish photos or make people look their best—rarely a combination of the two. I pride myself on being able to do both extremely well—bringing out a person's best features while creating artistic images. When couples hire me, they don't just get one or two great shots. Every image is well composed, artistic, and they look their best.
What are the common misconceptions about your services?
You don't have to be a model to photograph well—a great photographer can make anyone look stunning. I find that all people photograph beautifully; even the ones that are camera shy, or think they don't photograph well. The comment I hear most often is "I had no idea I looked that good!"
While the ease of digital cameras has increased the number of photographers entering the market, it's becoming more challenging for couples to locate the true professionals.
What drew you to this field/how did you get started?
After graduating from Stanford, my identical twin brother and I were approached to model professionally. Studying economics and playing soccer, it was quite the change from where I thought my career was heading! For the next 10 years, I modeled for Ford and Elite agencies and lived (out of a suitcase!) between Hong Kong, Sydney, Athens, New York, Tokyo, and Los Angeles. Mostly hired for fashion and print, I was fortunate to work with well-known brands and designers and gain a wealth of experience in the industry.
As I worked with some amazingly renowned photographers and directors, I started to shift my attention more behind the camera. I always had a sense of lighting, composition, and expression, which had helped me with modeling, but now found that I could apply it behind the camera. I was naturally drawn to weddings, because they allow me to incorporate the elements of photography that I love—creating very personal images for people that highlight their own beauty and personal tastes. The advanced technologies today have brought amazing creative possibilities, yet the composition and lighting basics remain constant.
Tell us about a favorite, unusual or very interesting moment at a wedding:
At one recent wedding, the ceremony was in front of a fountain. During the first kiss, the officiant stepped backwards and went into the fountain—completely soaked from head to toe. The bride and groom were such great sports; they were laughing so hard, they had trouble getting back down the aisle!
What makes a wedding memorable for you?
For me, it's capturing the small, touching moments that happen naturally along the day.
What have weddings taught you?
Everything doesn't always go exactly as planned, but the surprises throughout the day are the best part. After many weddings, I've seen that as long as the bride and groom are having fun, everyone else is!
What is the best advice you give a couple when planning their wedding?
When hiring a photographer, be sure and ask to see images from an entire wedding—any photographer can get just 1–2 great images from the day...a great photographer should be able to show you 2000+ beautiful, perfect, usable images from an entire wedding. Also, give yourself more time than you think you’ll need for every part of the event throughout the day—from getting ready to making it to the next location.
What are 3 words that describe your personality?
Focused, calming, directive.
What's your favorite marriage advice?
Let your wife win the arguments. And don't carry all of your camera gear on vacation.
My wife and I are insatiable travelers with a passion for wildlife and exotic cultures. In the last year alone, we photographed on location in Tibet, Bhutan, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, and Botswana! From pandas, gorillas, tigers, and lions, to Buddhist monks and Tibetan nomads, the cameras have been busy!
If you weren't in your current profession, what would you do instead?
I’d be a photographer for National Geographic—both people and wildlife.
What’s your favorite way to wind down after a hard day?
Believe it or not, I love spending the evening reviewing images after a shoot...I find it incredibly relaxing and enjoyable.
Tell us about your pets, if you have any.
We have a funny Tibetan Terrier that is our little photo assistant! She always comes down to the studio to check out the couples and families and just to watch the shoot! She's been requested to be in more engagement photos than I can count.
What are some of your favorite places to eat—either everyday spots or special occasion splurges?
I love grabbing Vietnamese at a local spot, or great Italian over at Stella Alpina in Burlingame.
Todd Rafalovich Photography Covers These Areas:
- Featured - Home Page
- East Bay
- Lake Tahoe
- Monterey and Carmel
- Napa and Sonoma Wine Country
- North Bay / Marin
- North Coast / Mendocino
- Sacramento and Central Valley
- San Francisco
- Santa Cruz
- Solano County
- South Bay / San Jose
- Tri-Valley and Livermore Wine Country
- Yosemite / Gold Country / Sierra
- And other areas by special arrangement.
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