Hulse Photography is a husband and wife team of Julie and Justin Hulse. We have photographed hundreds of weddings together since 2000 and absolutely LOVE it. Even after 17 years they still inspire and fascinate us.
Julie and I have a lot of fun and laugh a lot while we work; we believe that positive energy is infectious at a wedding and it also breaks the ice for anyone who may feel a little nervous about being photographed.
The truth is that people give something very precious of themselves when they're photographed; we understand the trust you put in us and wholeheartedly strive to deliver images that you will be proud of.
We'll capture plenty of high-energy & fun photographs, but there will also be those moments when you connect intimately with your partner and bare your souls to the camera. These are the moments that we work hard for and give us the most satisfaction in our work.
We believe that, at any given moment on your wedding day, there is always something special to photograph. You won't see us very often with our cameras to our side; we shoot a LOT of photographs in just 6-8 hours.
The collection of images we give you will blend together the entire story of your wedding day... from the moments before the dress goes on all the way to the end of the reception when everyone’s had a few drinks and are doing crazy stuff on the dance floor.
One thing is guaranteed... the morning after your wedding you'll think back on your big day and it will be a BLUR. THAT is why you hire a good photographer. Because years from now, you and your family will re-live your wedding through your photographs. And when you hit bumps in your marriage (which we all do), your album will be a strong reminder of the commitments you made that day.
Julie and I did not follow our own advice. When we got married (21 years ago), we couldn’t justify spending the money on a professional photographer... so we trusted a family friend. And while he did a good job we do regret that decision; professional wedding photographers have a very unique skill-set that can be the difference between 'good enough' and something very special.
So, part of our mission is to deliver VERY SPECIAL photos that we wish we had for ourselves.
Weddings are truly life's best moments and we are honored that you would consider us to be part of your special day.
Hulse Photography is based in Southern California and proudly serves San Diego and Temecula's Wine-Country. Julie and I are honored to be on the Preferred Vendor Lists of some of the the absolute finest Resorts and Wineries in Southern California:
The Frequently Asked Questions below are the short version of a 60 minute consultation. Most of our wedding clients are from out-of-town and so we hope that this helps give you an idea of who we are and what you can expect when we photograph your wedding.
1. How far in advance should we book?
8-12 months in advance is normal. However, holidays and Saturdays in the Spring go first. May and October are, by far, our busiest months. Most of our year gets booked up before January 1st.
2. Do you photograph Destination Weddings?
Yes. If you're willing to go to the added expense to fly us to your location then we'll make it worth your while. We always research the city and scout locations before we take even one photograph. Coverage includes the Rehearsal Dinner, Couples Portrait, Bridal Portrait and (of course) Wedding Coverage. Nearly every waking hour in this 48 hour period is dedicated to you. All destination packages are customized. Please call for a quote.
3. Can we book you over the phone?
Yes. Most people do - 951.303.6507
4. How would you describe your Style of Photography?
We're inspired by Fashion, Photojournalism and Cinema and strive to infuse these influences into your wedding. 98% of our work is bold color and classic black and whites.
The techniques we use are our trademark and we are very consistent with our work. So if you like what you see in our portfolio then you can expect the same for yourself.
5. We want to do an engagement session but don't have any ideas for location.
Julie and I have our favorite places to photograph but thoroughly welcome those clients who want something original. Most of our clients choose to be photographed locally... beaches, parks and vineyards are popular. But consider what you and your fiancé like to do together and lets come up with some ideas on a shoot that will reflect your personalities. Call us and we'll work with you to style-out an experience that is completely original.
Please ask about our 'Wish List.'
6. When will we see our photos?
Most wedding galleries are ready in 10 days. Though, there are some times of the year that are very busy and it may take as long as three weeks. Each of our clients get a customized, password protected, web-gallery that you may share with your friends and family.
7. Will we get the photos on Disk?
You have a choice between disks or an online gallery. The online gallery is hosted for 10 years and you may download the entire gallery or a photo at a time.
You will also be given a 'Photo-Release' document that you will need to present to the photo lab; it gives you full rights to print your photographs wherever you'd like. We suggest that you have all your prints made at a professional lab rather than your local discount 'big box' store. Please let us know if you need help finding a lab in your area.
8. How many photos can we expect?
Between 800-1600 Full-Resolution, excellent quality images. Each photograph is Soft Edited by Justin and checked for sharpness. There are no watermarks.
9. What is 'Soft Editing' and how is it different from 'Artistic Editing?
Soft Editing is correcting any obvious problems with the RAW photograph. Justin will work on them in Photoshop until they are print-ready. Soft Editing includes color corrections, cropping, adjusting contrast, tone, saturation, highlights & shadows. What comes out of the camera is not impressive. EVERY image is Soft Edited!
'Cosmetic' or 'Artistic Editing' is a whole different beast and is something we do for Prints and Album photos. It is the remaining 10% of editing that takes a really good photo and makes it GREAT. Cosmetic editing includes softening of skin, nip & tuck, acne or scar removal, etc. Extensive Artistic Editing is much more time consuming and is highly recommended for large prints.
We're sometimes asked why we don't Artistically Edit every photo that's on the disk. The answer is that we're simply not paid enough to do that... We typically spend 10-15 minutes on each photo with our artistic edits. On 1600 photos that would take 340 hours. So, unfortunately, we need to be selective with where we invest our editing time.
I've read on some photographers websites that they cosmetically edit every photo. That's BS.
10. Do you offer albums?
Yes. We believe that the album is the end product of all the time and effort and money and passion that you put into your wedding. So, as you might expect, we think everyone should have one. Hulse Photography works closely with four of the top album manufacturers in the world. So whether your taste is classic leather, metal or acrylic... Thick pages or thin... Old School or modern... we have an option that you will be happy with.
11. We're not interested in an album. We're going to do our own through Costco or Shutterfly.
You own the full resolution disk so you are welcome to design your own album or get prints made where ever you'd like.
12. Who will photograph my wedding?
Hulse Photography is Justin & Julie. We don't send other photographers out in our place.
13. Do you shoot with an assistant or second photographer?
Julie and I photograph most weddings together but we'll occasionally shoot with other photographers. Mike & Conrad are our exceptionally talented 2nd shooters and have been with us for years.
Weddings with less than 60 guests are usually more casual and one photographer can do an excellent job. We always recommend two photographers but if you're working on a tight budget then one photographer may work for you.
For events with 250+ guests we suggest (sometimes require) a 3rd photographer.
14. What does your photographer wear?
We dress as if we are guests. We'll typically wear suit pants and a dark shirt during the day. Justin wears a suit coat in the evening (weather permitting). We promise not to wear tennis shoes, Hawaiian print or anything that is distracting. Of course, if it's a casual wedding or themed wedding then we'll dress accordingly. We've dressed in cowboy attire a few times.
15. How do the posed photos work on the wedding day?
We are given one hour (or less) to shoot Family Photos, Wedding Party Photos and photos of the Bride & Groom. As long as all family members are present, we can photograph family photos in about 15 minutes.
The goal is always to allow more time for creative portraits with the Wedding Party and Bride & Groom. They are fun and not what you might expect.
If there is one complaint we get, it's that there weren't enough posed photos. And understandably so. After the family photos and the wedding party photos are completed, the time that's left for the bride and groom is only 10-15 minutes.
If this concerns you then please speak with Julie about scheduling a formal portrait session on a day other than the wedding; you'll have 2+ hours of relaxed portraits and it usually means that you'll have time to enjoy part of your cocktail hour.
16. Do you need a shot list for the posed photos?
No. Our experience is that lists slow things down. However, it is helpful if you assign one person from each side of the family to help gather family members. If there are any uncomfortable family dynamics it is helpful to know this beforehand.
We really like to see your Pinterest favorites. Please share.
It's a very common practice in the wedding industry. And we believe that it is an enormous disservice to the Bride and Groom. It is not something that Hulse Photography practices. We do not give kickbacks nor do we accept them. If we refer a vendor then we wholehearted believe that they will do a great job for you.
18. We want our wedding featured in a magazine.
Hulse Photography has good relationships with several wedding publishers and are frequently featured in both print and websites. If you would like to be featured in a magazine then it's all about the details. Magazine Editors look for original and creative ideas with a strong theme. Pinterest is a great place to find ideas but try to avoid trends that are over-done. Do your own homework but also consider the input of a qualified wedding coordinator with design experience. Also, talk with your florist and other vendors about your hopes of being featured in a magazine and they will sometimes contribute additional effort and resources toward the cause.
19. We don't want to be featured in a magazine or have our photos published in any way.
Julie and I respect the privacy of our clients. This is a common request from many of our affluent and public figure clients. Hulse Photography will refrain from using your images on our our own websites or sharing them with vendor partners.
20. What type of equipment do you use?
We shoot with the Nikon D5, two D4, D3 and a D3s. All of our cameras have dual memory-card slots (records a back-up copy on the 2nd card), Quite-Mode (essential for the Ceremony), EXTREME light sensitivity and video. They are, by far, the best cameras that exist for wedding photography.
You will find that 90% of wedding photographers choose inexpensive cameras (ie. Canon 5D Mark III and Nikon D700 or D800 / D810). While all of us enjoy saving money, the advantages of using flagship equipment always translate to better quality images and fewer missed moments.
We use Profoto & Quantum Lighting.
All of our lenses are from Nikon (Nikkor).
21. Do you have any advice for a Bride & Groom as they shop for a photographer?
Don't use a family friend.
Think twice before you consider a 'Natural Light' photographer; in the world of wedding photography, this is often code for 'Novice.' Photography without the use of flash is usually soft (less sharp). Natural is appealing for most of us (myself included) when the moment calls for it. However, mastery of artificial light is very important for portraits + once it gets dark. Reception photos are the 2nd half of your wedding experience and your photographs are going to be super boring if your photographer only uses on-camera flash!!!
Do your homework and invest time learning your options. A great place to start is your venue's vendor list. Styles vary greatly from one photographer to another.
Look past the sales pitch. It's easy to get wrapped up in the personality and enthusiasm of the photographer; it can distract from what matters most... and that is Quality of Work. Ask to see the last wedding the photographer shot; it's a very good indication of how your wedding photographs will look. Also, be sure to ask how many photographs you can expect. If it's under 1000 then look elsewhere.
Beware of fads!!! A lot trends may look attractive now but they won't be cool in 10 years. Clean & Bright Color photographs and Black and Whites will always stand the test of time.
The best photographers are all FULL-TIME so make sure you ask that in the interview!
22. Do you think I need a Wedding Coordinator?
The majority of the weddings we photograph in Temecula do not involve an independent coordinator and they all turn out just fine. However, the weddings that do use a qualified wedding coordinator tend to be a bit more polished. It shifts the stress and responsibility onto the coordinator and allows you (and your Mother) to enjoy yourselves.
You should understand that even though most venues will provide you with a coordinator, their efforts are limited to the interests of the venue. Independent coordinators always bring a much more personalized experience to your wedding and will be more attentive to your needs. There are 'Full-Service' Coordinators and 'Day-Of' and prices vary accordingly. Referrals available.
We recommend that you use a wedding coordinator if you have a complicated schedule or if you are getting married at a non-traditional property.
23. What happens if you or Justin gets sick or breaks your leg before my wedding?
We will find a qualified replacement that you agree with or we'll give your money back. (for the record, we have never backed out of a wedding).
24. Another photographer quoted me a lower price. Will you match it?
25. My DJ is trying to sell me Uplighting. What do you think?
We love uplighting. It adds a definite WOW factor and people always seem to dance more when the room is colorful.
26. Tell me more about your Photo Booth.
Cost is $600. The Photo Booth we offer is a professional 9' seamless paper backdrop with two portrait lights and an actual photographer who takes the photograph. It's exactly the same approach we use when we photograph fashion or models. So to call it a 'Photo Booth' hardly gives it justice. We can comfortably accommodate as many as 8 people in a photograph (and uncomfortably accomodate up to 15). Props are available at no additional charge.
We typically will have the booth set up toward the end of dinner service (when dancing starts) and operate for around 2 hours. Click HERE for sample photos.
What it doesn't include is prints. Full Resolution files are included in your gallery and are available for download. Many of our clients print at their own lab and include in 'Thank You' cards.
27. What do you think of videographers?
We like them. Julie and I regret not hiring a good one for our own wedding.
DSLR Cameras can produce some especially impressive video quality. But you should know that most DSLR videographers use wide-angle lenses throughout most of your wedding. This means that they need to get very close to you to get a good shot and will be in many of your photographs. It is a common, and understandable, complaint that brides don't fully understand until AFTER the wedding. Some videographers are better than others at being non-intrusive. Please choose wisely.
28. Do you offer videography services?
No. Video is completely different from photography. While we could make a lot more money by offering both services we choose not to because we feel that it would pull time away from what we do best. You know the saying 'Jack of all trades, master of none.' It's true. All we do here is Photography.
29. Do you photograph anything other than weddings?
Yes. While we only advertise wedding services, we also photograph Corporate Events, Headshots, Groupshots, Product Photography, Family Portraits and more.
30. Do you have insurance?
Yes. Most venues require it. Insurance will cover me (and you) in case we cause an accident at your wedding or other mishap. Knock on wood... we've never had to use it.
31. Do you shoot RAW? Yes. 100%
32. Do you shoot Boudoir?
No. We really like Boudoir Divas (San Diego). They have an all female staff and are very good at creating a welcoming and comfortable environment. They have pricing to fit pretty much any budget.
33. We want our wedding to be EPIC. Do you have any recommendations?
Well, there are the aesthetics of the wedding then there is the emotion. Both are equally important. Unfortunately, the fact is that the more you spend on your venue and the decor the more impressive your photographs will be. Big flower arrangements, uplighting, and other details serve as the backdrop for the day. It also creates a tone that your guests will enjoy. The majority of our business is Temecula Winery Weddings, which tend to be more scaled back (not a bad thing). However, we do photograph many of the bigger events in the area and are good at capturing the grander of the big money productions.
The other half of the equation is EMOTION. We encourage our clients to embrace every moment of the day. The nerves you're going to feel before you walk down the aisle are a good thing; embrace them and be present in the moment. Hug and kiss and cry with your friends and family that are there to support you and celebrate with you. The worst thing you could do is take Xanax, Valium or smoke a joint one to dull your senses. A couple of glasses of champagne won't hurt a thing but moderation is good. We've seen some really sad situations in our 14 years in business and would love to never experience them again.
35. We are both artistic people and want creative / artistic photos from our engagement session.
Art takes time and thought; it is a collaboration between the client and the artist.
Most of our clients simply trust us to do what we do and choose to be photographed locally. And we can produce great photographs with a typical budget. Or, we can do exceptional things if you allow for it in your budget. We've photographed many elaborate shoots that require special wardrobe, props, complicated lighting, hair and makeup artists, location scouting etc. If you have some interesting ideas then lets talk.
34. Hulse Photography will photograph our wedding but we have a friend who wants to shoot our engagement photos.
The more time you spend in front of the camera before your wedding the better!!! However, there are major benefits to being photographed by the person who will be shooting your wedding. We'd advise you to allow us to photograph your engagement session, mostly because it is an opportunity to get comfortable with each other before your big day. We'll also practice the poses that we typically do the day of your wedding. The idea is that if we're running short on time and are only left with 10 minutes for couple photos then you are already familiar with how we work and we can make the most of our limited time. Our engagement sessions are inexpensive. So if your friend wants to photograph you then do it. But also schedule a time to shoot with us too :)
35. We have a good friend who is an aspiring photographer who's attending the wedding the wedding and they'd like to take photos. Do you have a problem with that?
We think that the more photos you have of your wedding the better. We have no problem with other people taking photos. The only time we might have a problem is if they are in our way or interfere with the day. We'll politely ask them to step aside; it's always a shame when someone steps into the scene and ruins a perfect moment.
36. What sets you apart from other photographers?
MOST IMPORTANTLY, every person sees the world differently; my idea of what is beautiful or worthy of being photographed may be different from another’s. I've said this many times before... assign 10 photographers to shoot the same exact wedding and you will get 10 COMPLETELY different collections of images.
Experience - Julie and I have been photographing weddings since 2000. In this industry, where the average wedding photographer only lasts 2.5 years in the business, experience counts!
Honesty - We're honest with ourselves and we're honest with you. Weddings are very emotional and many brides get caught up with slick salesmenship and marketing materials. That's not us; we tend to ignore what other wedding photographers are doing and find most of our inspiration from within. We share a lot of photographs on this website + Facebook with hopes that you connect with our work and you have an appreciation for quality.
Julie is your main contact. Chances are if you call our studio it'll be Julie that picks up the phone. She's very straight forward and honest in answering your questions. We do our best to publish as much information as possible so you know what to expect before we even meet.
TIME - we have actually been criticized by our peers for the amount of time we take editing weddings. Some brag that it only takes them 5 hours to 'slam through' a wedding. Others say 8 hours is the most you should spend editing. Julie and I must be freaks because it takes us closer to 30 hours in front of the computer before we'll release photographs. Our philosophy is that there is ALWAYS something more that can be done to improve a photograph; many times the photograph requires cropping or adding a little more contrast or saturation. Every photograph is different and needs some love before it's ready to be seen. We know how excited you'll be to share your wedding photographs with your friends and family and want you to be proud.
This is our only job - Since we are a small studio we have to limit the number of weddings we photograph per year. This allows us to give each of our clients the extra special care and attention you deserve. It also means that we can work till 4am, which we frequently do. And since we eat think and sleep photography, it means that you'll get your photos, prints and albums much sooner than many other studios. With Hulse Photography your wedding gallery will go live within about 10 days. The industry standard is 5 weeks.
We're Directors - We give LOTS of direction with posed photos and create an atmosphere that will allow you to be yourself and HAVE FUN. You're in good hands; we've photographed hundreds of weddings and have learned some techniques along the way that will help you look your best. Of course, once the posed photos are finished we'll step back and photograph the natural / candid moments for the rest of the day.
Technical Expertise - Photographing in low light is really challenging, especially for those that call themselves 'natural light photographers.' This is particularally true during the Reception. That is why you won't see many reception photos on most photographer's websites. Julie and I are super proud of ours and think they are very important; after the ceremony, you and most of your guests will have let your guard down and allow yourselves to have a good time. There's a lot of passion and personality that comes out during the reception and (although you may be too hammered to remember) it's nice to have photos of how great a time you and your friends had at your wedding.
Studio - We have a real Studio with lots of expensive lights and a big stereo. This is where we do our very popular Bridal Portraits. Justin was fortunate enough to learn New York Fashion and 'Playboy' Style lighting from Lou Freeman, Lindsay Adler, Lyle Okihara and many others. We tend to use a more complicated lighting set-ups, similar to what you'd see in fashion magazines but very rarely seen among wedding photographers.
Art Background - Before discovering photography Justin enjoyed drawing and took three years of private oil painting lessons. What he learned in his classes translated to photography and helped develop his eye. Julie has almost 20 years experience in Graphic Arts.
Investment - We invest in the VERY BEST CAMERAS AND EQUIPMENT. We buy the best partly because we are nerdy. But more importantly, it means that your photos will be better! We never want to be in a position where we have to appologize for something that breaks or doesn't look as good as it could.
Editing - time behind the camera is only half the product. The other half is created in Photoshop.
37. Do you have any beauty recommendations?
You've heard it all before... Drink lots of water. Go light on the salt. Light on the alcohol. Use sunscreen if you're going to be out in the sun. Getting really tan before your wedding usually works against you. If you have bikini strap marks on your shoulders then work on getting rid of them. And dudes who wear sunglasses a lot... lose those too; sunglass marks on the face are lame.
We also recommend whitening your teeth. Going through the dentist is best but Crest White Strips work great too.
We'll always suggest using a professional Make-Up Artist but some of our clients like the way they do their own make-up. In this case, you need to understand that the camera can be cruel. It's best to use a little more makeup than what you're used to... Especially foundation and powder. AVOID mineral-based makeups (comes across very shiny/sweaty in photographs). Many Make-Up Artists use MAC.
Touchups throughout the day are important. Giving your maid-of-honor this responsibility is a good idea.
And might I also add how important that grooms focus on the details. Brides are lucky because your hair and make-up artists will take care of the loose-ends. However, Men frequently overlook the little things like nose hairs, ear wax, acne, trimmed eyebrows, etc. Guys, you need to understand that the camera sees it all and you don't want your lax grooming habits to be noticed by your generations to come. There is no shame in going into a beauty salon and asking for 'the works.'
38. What are your qualifications and how did you get into photography?
Hulse Photography started as Justin's baby. Growing up I always was that 'photo nerd.' While I loved the craft, I didn't want to be a starving artist. So when it came time to go to college I chose the safe route and got a business degree. I took photography classes along the way but it was more for fun. Well after graduation and a series of sucky jobs I did some soul-searching and tried to figure out what I was good at and what made me happy. It always seemed to come back to Photography. And so with some serious convincing, I got Julie to jump on board with me and I bought my first professional camera (the Nikon F100).
We took things slow and learned the craft before quitting our full-time jobs. I (Justin) assisted with some of the very best photographers in Orange County. I also joined Professional Photographers of America's Orange County chapter and became very involved with the organization. I served on the Board of Directors for two years and was voted by my photographer peers to serve as president in 2004. I attended and organized many MANY workshops through that organization and learned a bit of information from each one to create a style that is now my own. I also attend educational conferences such as WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) and Pro Photo Expo.
At first Julie only assisted at weddings but as time passed her images began to look more and more like mine with a more feminine twist. Today, Julie shoots her own weddings.
Our educational experience has been a long and enjoyable journey and we're proud of who we have become. We feel that it's given us an edge that's made us successful.
We're still active in networking and educational groups as well as mentors to other photographers. We offer private 'One-on-One' workshops to photographers of every level.
We are currently on the board of directors of Temecula Valley Wedding Professionals and have served in this position since 2008.
Justin and Julie are very involved with Temecula's winery community and were invited to be members of the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association; they are the only photographers with this prestigious honor.
39. What inspires you?
Not wedding photography. I feel like most wedding photography looks the same and so I try to avoid the trends that come and go so quickly. My inspiration comes from the fashion industry, movies, magazines etc. European photographers are also very inspirational too.
40. Do you have any advice for other photographers?
Every photographer needs to discover their own style. It took us about 5 years to develop a look that stood apart. We embrace it and seek out clients that identify with it. That's part of what has made us successful.
Most wedding photographers fail within 3 years. It can be both emotionally and financially devastating to the photographer but also a major inconvenience to the clients that trusted you with their wedding.
Some people do the math and think that photographing weddings will make them rich! Unfortunately, running a successful studio has more to do with business than taking excellent photos. Excellent photography is expected. You HAVE to develop a business plan and charge enough to cover your expenses. Remember... Uncle Sam will take his 1/3. Overhead costs are another 25%. You also need to plan for the 4-6 months of off-season when there is little to no income. What's left over needs to be enough to live. Most people don't realize that they're losing money until about 3 years into it and give up.
If you are going to be successful you must take your time and create a solid technical and artistic foundation before you introduce yourself to the world. There are MANY excellent photographers who shoot weddings and you will get your spirit crushed if you don't develop your skills and take it slow. First impressions are lasting; you will NOT get a second chance to make an impression on a wedding coordinator, venue or other wedding vendor.
I'd suggest that you start by attending the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) conference in Las Vegas. It's 5 days of solid education geared toward the beginner. I'd also join your local PPA (Professional Photographers of America) group and attend monthly meeting + participate in print critiques. PUG (Pictage Users Group) meetings are also helpful for networking. Establish relationships with fellow photographers that you admire and offer to assist at no charge.
Don't forget about Photoshop and Lightroom! These programs (Photoshop in particular) take YEARS to become good at. I'd take at least two semesters at your local college to get your feet wet.
Every wedding photographer starts by juggling a full-time job and shooting weddings on the side. It is a horrible way to live and relationships with family and friends will suffer (I've been there).
The obvious goal is to walk away from your full-time job and dedicate all of your time and efforts to doing an excellent job for your clients. It is a 70 hour per week job and you will end up making around 10 dollars per hour. But if you are in this for the right reasons it will be worth it.
I've been photographing weddings for 14 years and I'm still learning and evolving. I wish someone would have shared the above information with me early on in my career. Hopefully it has been helpful to you. If you follow my work and have any questions then I would love to hear from you. Good luck!