Beyoncé and Jay-Z, step back. We've got a real power couple coming through, and their names are Evonne and Darren Wong, wedding photographers and creative directors at U Me Us Studios. Their dreamy, fantastical aesthetic has us fawning over their Instagram feed (@umeusstudios), and their recent anniversary has just saying congratulations! We couldn't wait to share our conversation our favorite dynamic duo.
So to start off, take turns describing one another in less than 10 words!
Evonne describing Darren: Patient, kind-hearted, funny, loyal, smart, supportive, honest, loving, generous, hardworking
Darren describing Evonne: Detail-oriented, passionate, assertive/go-getter, social, smart, confident, calm, creative, has good taste, independent
How did you guys meet?
We metat a business school luncheon in San Francisco. I just applied to the MBA program and Darren was already a first year student there. He was running late and the luncheon had started. It happened that there was an empty seat right next to me, so he sat down and the rest is history! :)
How did you fall into the niche of wedding photography?
I (Evonne) started out as a wedding/event designer when we lived in Hawaii, and I had to take photos of my wedding setup for my wedding blog. Darren also assisted me with the photos, and slowly other wedding photographers on the island noticed our work and started asking us to 2nd shoot for them. Soon after that, we decided to photograph weddings together as a husband-and-wife team. I eventually transitioned from wedding planning to wedding photography in 2010/2011.
We love the name U Me Us Studios. What were some of the other names you considered, and how’d you choose this one?
We started out as Evonne & Darren Photography in Hawaii, butwe weren’t sure if we’d want to take on any associates down the road, so we made the switch to U Me Us Studios in 2012 when we moved back home to the San Francisco Bay Area.
What’s the best assignment you’ve been on?
Every wedding that we have photographed has been really special to us, but in terms of personal photography, our favorite one has to be the African Safari trip that we went on last year for our 10th wedding anniversary!
Any crazy wedding stories?
Luckily all of our clients’ weddings have gone very smoothly, thanks totheir wedding planners who kept everything together!
Have you had to attend any destination weddings?
Yes, we still fly back to Hawaii to photograph destination weddings, and a few years back we photographed one in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and also in Bali, Indonesia. Last year we photographed one in Barbados and it was featured in the Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine!
What was it like traveling to Bali for an assignment?
Traveling to Bali for a destination wedding is no different than any other destinations in the world. We make sure that our gear is with us at all times during the trip (all carry-on). Since we sometimes shoot analog film, we have to be careful with the films being checked and scanned through the x-ray machines. We always arrive at our destination at least 2 days prior to the wedding day, just in case if there are any flight or weather delays. And yes, we always scout out the wedding venue before the wedding as well. We have been to Bali before, so we have seen quite a bit of the island on our first trip there. We don’t usually have time to sight-see while on destination weddings. We pretty much “fly in and fly out” because we want to make sure that our clients’ wedding images are secured (although we always bring a laptop and an external drive with us to back up the files right away).
Tell us more about your beautiful, dreamy aesthetic. Do customers choose you specifically for that style?
It took us many years to finally dial in to the style that we like and want because we started shooting in analog film again last year. You can’t beat film when it comes to color and texture of the photos. It has such a dynamic range and it captures a lot of the details that digital cameras can’t, although digitals are great for low light situation. So we are “hybrid wedding photographers” where we shoot in both film and digital. All of our clients who hire us definitely love our bright, airy and romantic aesthetics.
When on assignment, how do you guys divide and conquer tasks?
As a former bride, I love all the little wedding details and I know how much time, effort and thought our clients have put into those details, so I especially love photographing those. Darren usually gives directions to the clients which allows me the freedom to roam around and take some of the more candid approach.
Other than weddings, what do you most enjoy shooting?
Other than weddings, we also love personal/travel photography since we love to travel and see the world.
What’s your best piece of advice for life partners who are also business partners?
It’s not easy to have the balance especially when we have a live/work studio where we live upstairs and we work in our studio downstairs of our unit. At the beginning of our business, we were spending every single waking minute talking about the business and working all the time. Now we set specific daily goals and also business hours, so once dinner is over, it’s our “us” time. The best piece of advice we have is to set boundaries and keep both the business life and personal life separate, also… don’t forget to have fun!
Advice for having an awesome instagram feed?
Be consistent and curate the photos, so that the entire feed/grid has a cohesive look. Image quality, colors and editing are key in terms of having consistency.
Who are your top 5 favorite Instagrammers to follow?
That’s a tough question considering we follow over 3,100+ Instagrammers from the wedding/food/travel industries (all of our favorite things). Our favorites are definitely @natgeotravel, @cntraveler, @andbeyondsafari, @maisonladuree, and @emilyquinton:)
Which is your favorite UNUM tool?
Our favorite UNUM tool (and the only one that we use) is the Drag & Drop feature. It makes it so much easier to rearrange images while we are planning our feed!
What inspires you to keep going?
Our daily inspiration is doing what we love and loving what we do! :)
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