Jose Villa: Redefining Success with Fine Art Wedding Photography

Initially, Jose’s parents were nervous about him becoming a photographer. As recent US immigrants, they didn’t think his dreams of making money in portrait photography would come to fruition and wanted to see him take on a more traditional career path. 

But Jose knew he was onto something when he started taking photos in high school, and his friends started paying him for senior portrait sessions.

 He loved portraits, he loved film, and he never looked back.

Since then, Jose has been shooting film professionally for all of his clients. He’s been photographing weddings for about 16 years and finds them to be completely immersive, personal, and life-changing for everyone involved. 

In this episode, Jose sits down to share his perspective and tips on what it’s like to be a professional wedding photographer who has an eye for fine art, and how his niche in film photography plays out in the digital age.

About Jose

Jose Villa is a fine art wedding photographer known for crafting vibrant, energetic, fine art images that are as unique as the people in the photographs. Jose has been published in many magazines around the world, including Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, Elegant Bride, Instyle Weddings, Inside Weddings, Brides Magazine, Modern Bride, Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, Pacific Weddings, Southern Weddings, and many more. 

He has been named a top wedding photographer in Martha Stewart Weddings, Harper’s Bazaar, Style Me Pretty, and Vogue, and was recently listed in the Top 10 Wedding Photographers in the World by American Photo Magazine.

Jose is the author of Fine Art Wedding Photography.

Jose was born in Mexico and grew up in Solvang, California. 

He attended Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.

Show Highlights:

  • Jose open up about his parents’ initial reaction to him wanting to be a photographer
  • What motivated Jose originally to take photography classes in high school
  • The one person who helped boost Jose’s confidence as a young photographer
  • How Jose got his first gig as a wedding photographer
  • Jose defines what fine art photography is when it comes to weddings
  • Why Jose continues to shoot in film even after the rise of digital photography
  • The things Jose worries about when waiting for developed film to come back
  • Why candid photos mean so much especially to friends and family
  • The way a photographer’s presence at a wedding impacts the event as a whole as well as the bride and groom’s wedding day experience.
  • What to do if guests pull out cameras or cell phones during the ceremony
  • Jose shares his go-to gear for shooting weddings in film

Links Mentioned in the Show:

Jose Villa – Fine Art Wedding Photography

Jose Villa on Instagram – @josevilla

Jose’s book – Fine Art Wedding Photography

The Man Who Listens To Horses by Monty Roberts