About Jaime and Dennis
Dennis grew up in Newport, Rhode Island surfing in cold water and enjoying everything New England has to offer including sailing, clam bakes and four seasons in one day. Meanwhile, over 5000 miles away, Jaime was on the Big Island of Hawaii learning algebra and how to ride horses. Their paths crossed in the summer of 2000 in San Diego where they both moved to pursue their dreams, Dennis attending USD and DJing the underground club scene and Jaime living her best life dancing at them.
Years later the two realized their love for travel and they both moved to New Zealand to pursue Jaime’s dream of earning a Genetics degree while Dennis was living his best life DJing around New Zealand and expanding his knowledge of photography. Their love for each other grew deeper with each adventure they were on and through supporting each other’s dreams, and they decided to tie the knot in Chiang Mai Thailand in 2005.
In 2006, while pregnant with their son, Dennis convinced Jaime that, while using her Genetics degree would be great, working together would be even better. She agreed and Viera Photographics was born (Alex came along 6 months later).
They now live in Sonoma, CA and travel worldwide shooting weddings and having fun adventures.
Jaime and Dennis approach the wedding day different yet complementary, and throughout the years they’ve continued to rub off on each other; Dennis picking up more of Jaime’s subtle perceptiveness and Jaime picking up Dennis’ technical geekiness. They share a love of photojournalism and the diversity gained through their other photography work provides a compelling set of wedding images for their clients. They have shot over 400 weddings of every shape and size and continue to have passion for their work. While notoriety is not important to them, they are proud to have won many wedding photojournalism awards, been published in countless magazines and blogs, been hired for celebrity weddings, and have flown all over the world telling wedding stories. They approach each an every wedding uniquely and have an uncanny ability to make their clients relaxed and comfortable to allow them to capture a couple’s natural love for each other.
What do you feel is the most challenging thing about photographing weddings?
Being at the mercy of the ambient light during a part of the day when you have to be discreet and can’t use lighting, or, letting go of the fact that you can’t be everywhere at once.
What is your inspiration?
We are inspired by a lot of things: food, architecture, landscapes, beautiful light. But I think the thing that we love the most about weddings is all the emotion that comes with it. The love between the couple, the family and the friends. We feel pretty lucky to be able to capture all the raw emotion throughout the day for our couples to cherish for the rest of their lives.
If not a photographer, what would you have been? I
Dennis might have been a chef but he doesn't have the quickest knife skills. Now he just cooks for Jaime everyday. Jaime could have been anything, with a degree in Genetics... maybe a Veterinarian as she loves animals and science.
If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
Although we seldom shoot this lens if we have a prime alternative, the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 covers most of the ranges we love to shoot and is tough to beat. Very close second, the Nikon 24mm f/1.4 for overall speed, contrast, and versatility as we tend to shoot a lot of things wider than normal.
What was the best day of your life?
A toss up between the day Alex was born and the day we got married.
How do you approach using artificial lighting?
We have a bunch of radio controlled speedlights (for off camera usage) and assorted modifiers that we bring to every shoot unless a more low-key approach is required.
Where would be your dream destination wedding?
Portugal of course! But also we would also love to go to Italy, Turks and Caicos, France, or Greece.
How do you make the couple, bridal party etc… feel relaxed in front of your camera?
People tell us that they are very comfortable around us. I think it is a combination of being approachable, funny, helpful when needed but knowing when to take a step back and allow the couple to participate in their day fully. I think a recent client said it best
"We had the absolute pleasure of working with both Jaime and Dennis on our wedding day. We walked away from our first phone conversation with Dennis and felt such a genuine and strong connection that we instantly knew we wanted him and Jaime to be a part of our wedding. They made the whole process over the months leading up to our wedding very seamless and organized. We always felt like we were in good hands. They took the time getting to know us up front and put in the effort to ensure they had the exact information they needed to execute flawlessly on our wedding day, and they did not disappoint! Jaime had such a calming and helpful presence, so much so that I felt like she was a part of my bridal party. She knew when to take a step back and shoot seemingly unnoticed and exactly when to step in and provide assistance or reassuring words."
Have you ever had anything go wrong at a wedding and if so, how did you handle it?
Stuff always goes wrong and you just have to work it out. One wedding our sensor sucked in a piece of lint right before the formal photos and we had to perform a quick sensor clean. The hasty cleaning actually made the sensor much worse so we had to configure and use a different camera and a slightly different approach, all at a time when we were supposed to be shooting. Luckily, we are master distractors and Jaime was able to distract the group for the 90 seconds it took to shift to plan B. Photos were all a success!
What were you like in high school?
We were both dorks.
"You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?"
Um.... ride on it?