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Ken Mendoza

Duende Photo

San Francisco, California

Engagement, Wedding

24 Awards

International Award-Winning Wedding Photographer
Available worldwide

12 X WPPI Winner
Cosmos Awards Elite Member
Asia WPA Elite Member
WPE Europe Awards Top 25 Worldwide
Top 10 Worldwide 2017 Wedaward.com
Top 5 USA 2017 Wedaward.com

My goal is always to provide clients dramatic timeless images from an unforgettable shoot. You will laugh and maybe even cry! But you will leave with a glow from the peak experience of our time together. From the India to the top of Yosemite's Half Dome, I aim to always provide something new and fresh to every single client.

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I have been waiting for years to photograph a full wedding on top of Half Dome , in Yosemite National Park. The logistics, and sheer effort of two days backcountry travel with full gear, were formidable. After the ceremony, I posed the couple on the edge of the 5,000 ft face and captured this image , that I had envisioned all these years.

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I am always looking for a something different for my clients. Instead of just having the couple be photographed in typical celebration, as they leave the building (in this case San Francisco City Hall). I thought I would take a reverse approach and backlight them in semi-silhouette, but ensure there is light on their faces to reveal their obvious passion. Once I have a vision I keep at it. This is probably the 10th attempt at this shot and I finally achieved what I set out to do.

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This bride's flowing dress inspired me to develop a series of photos I call the 'Spin Collection'. This photo was taken just after the ceremony. After a number of tries , I found that having the bride face away, allowed her to focus on the movement of her dress, without worrying about expression. This allowed her to truly enjoy her wedding dress in an almost private way, while communicating her experience with beautiful body language to the camera.

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Understandably, so many outdoor wedding photos from California focus either on mountain or ocean scenes. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are a perfect place for idyllic scenes of oaks, rolling hills and stunning sunsets. In this photo, I tried to make the couple a part of their environment by placing them as a tree in on the rolling hills.

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This photo was taken at the beautiful Castillo de San Felipe del Morro in San Juan Puerto Rico. I waited until the sun set just enough behind the clouds, so that I could emphasize the subject's beautiful profile. When I had her drop her lens facing shoulder, down and back, her stunning profile matched the drama of her surroundings.

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San Francisco's iconic Fairmont hotel is full of surprises. This ceiling in the Penthouse Suite was a perfect place to photograph these newlyweds during their reception. Below, while well over 100 guests enjoyed their cocktails and appetizers, the couple enjoyed a moment to themselves, while their shadows danced with the Zodiac symbols.

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I am always looking for ways to evoke classical painting motifs in my work. This photo came together as an inspiration from subject's effortless motion and the beautiful light, almost falling from the window.

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Sometimes the best photographic opportunities are just pure serendipity. Between wedding prep and the church ceremony , I saw this idyllic scene and had the limo driver pull over and we raced to pose the couple in this beautiful grove of trees.

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I wanted the light in this photo to appear as window light, so I put off camera lighting in a position that was in perfect alignment with the subject. It goes without saying , that I was very pleased to see that she could do a Grand Jeté leap! At that point, the photo's composition was obvious and after about ten tries, we achieved this dramatic scene that appears both effortless and elegant and the same time.

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On the grounds of a beautiful winery in Sebastopol, California, we arranged a first look with the couple's beloved dog and the Groom's childhood muscle car, placed on a winding service road. The bride ran elegantly to the groom and this beautiful moment was the result.

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This grove of Redwood trees had flat central area that seemed to be a perfect location to place the couple in a dramatic pose , fitting the overall scene, filled with strong lines and radiant light.

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Mark Twain - "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco." True, but not if you go to the beautiful hills that ring the City. On a cloudy summer day, we took the couple to the highest ridge in the Marin Headlands North of the Golden Gate. I literally ran with he couple to make it to this ridge for this sunset photo. The moment was so beautiful, the couple cried.

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