Absolutely Only Wedding Photography
- Serving Oregon / Washington, OR 97214
- (503) 936-9469
|Rated 5.0 in 84 Reviews|
- Rated 5 stars by Shane and Tajia
Absolutely Only was over and above our expectations, a great experience from beginning to end. Shane and I looked for a year for our photographer. We wanted an experienced wedding photographer, but also an artist in their craft, with an honest and fun personality. We wanted champagne service, but on a soda pop budget, and that is impossible to find. In finding Mel, it WAS possible. We got everything we wanted and more at half the cost of other photographers.
- Rated 5 stars by Heidi
We looked and looked for our wedding photographer. They either too expensive, or inexperienced, we didn't have rights to our pictures, blah pictures in their portfolio. But we found our photographer FINALLY whose price was in our budget, was willing (and wanted to) to adapt to our needs (3 locations), lots of experience and creative and unique wedding images along with the traditional ones. Rather than be boring and just repeat everyone else's reviews -- which we agree with by the way -- I will just say THANK YOU Absolutely Only and Mel.
- Rated 5 stars by Jessie and Tara
Thank you for everything. You were fun to work with, great pictures, great price, creative.
- Rated 5 stars by Tricia & Ryan
Mel was a joy to work with and the pictures turned out awesome. If I ever have another occasion to hire him I will, now I just have to come up with something fun. Definitely no stress added with this photographer and the price was reasonable unlike some of the others I looked into. Thank you!
- Rated 5 stars by Sallie and Toby
Simply the best of everything. We wasted a lot of time until we found Absolutely Only. Either "photographers" without wedding experience (even though they claimed they had, but was doing a friend's wedding), or outrageous cost. We were impressed with Absolutely Only customer service before, during AND after our wedding in January. So many pictures we could hardly choose our favorites; we had so many wonderful and unique pictures. Thank you, you far exceeded our dream wedding photography with your personable and professionalism too.
- Rated 5 stars by Heidi and Don
All Don and I can say is, "Fabulous". Best prices with extras we did not expect. Great person to work with, professional yet fun. More final product than we expected and paid far less than one might have expected. Grade AAA+ His experience and customer service speaks loudly. Beautiful pictures.
- Rated 5 stars by Rog and Trac
We were married on Christmas eve, and thinking we could not get a photographer or they would "jam us" for a higher rate. We thought "customer service" was dead and that "customer-no service" was the new standard. Well, simply put, Absolutely Only Photography was #1 in customer service, great prices and wonderful photography. An definitely, we were not "jammed" on rates. Mel, the main photographer, actually convinced us to book fewer hours because he thought we were booking too long, and even agreed to gratis us the extra time, if we were off an hour (for free). Roger and I just want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH. Big hugs !
- Rated 5 stars by April and Geoff
Thank you for the gift pictures and collages. We were not expecting more than our contract, but you went far and above. You helped make our day very special with our memories. WONDERFUL!
- Rated 5 stars by Gab and Rach
OMG... our only disappointment is we only booked them for 5 hours. We got over 800 pictures (they promised at least 600) and got duplicates in black and white, then another 200 special effected pictures. We were very specific of only 50 pictures we really wanted; the usual family stuff, but some real "unusual poses" we wanted. They did all 50 plus duplicates with special effects. Many are gallery quality. Our extra slide show we had had a unique format and certainly isn't the typical wedding slide show with still pictures. We shared our pictured with everyone at the wedding because we not only had them sign the book, but also give us their email to the free on-line gallery where even Minnesota family can download full size pictures, or even order from a professional processor for amazing prices. We also got a DVD master set of pictures. I think we paid $2.40 for an 8x10 for example, but we got a total of 100 for now in different sizes and different pictures just by using the shopping cart on line. We could even get any size we wanted and crop our pictures how we wanted. Simply amazing everything. But one thing that was so important is they always called back right away, were on time, did everything AND more we asked without hesitation and with a smile; not to mention like a lot of the other reference, we saved money and got MORE.
- Rated 5 stars by Dannie
I wrote the review below "another photographer with whom we did like his snootiness", I meant " I DID NOT like [the other photographer] snootiness". Sorry Mell, not you. Oops... you were perfect. Cory caught my mistake and made me redo. I would have anyway.
- Rated 5 stars by Dannie and Cory
These guys gave us everything: great wedding pictures, great service and more than great extras, PLUS we saved a bundle over other photographers we looked at. We own all printing rights to our wedding pictures is the biggest saver. We went with the middle of the road package, and saved over $900 compared to another photographer with whom we did like his snootiness, oh his sample pictures were OK, but everything was extra (online, black and white pictures, special effects, ish.) But with Absolutely Only those were all no charged, 2 albums and prints. Mell was fun to work with and professional. Helped out a lot. We asked if he'd MC too (surprise no charge) because my brother was too nervous. We didn't know he was a professional MC until after, but you could tell. We got everything and more, 10x. We must have thanked him 10x plus. Best: nice and great guy who does great pictures, is more than fair with his prices (another surprise). If we ever do this again [not wedding, but maybe anniversary] HE is our guy. Cory was especially impressed because Mel honored his military service with another surprise image and several collages we were NOT expecting. Thank you 100 times.
- Rated 5 stars by Scott Bates
I was extremely pleased with the service here. Mel was right on schedule, and in fact he was ready to start shooting before the groomsmen and me were. He knew we had limited time to get all the shots we wanted, and he was very good at directing us and making the whole process more efficient. His prices are unbeatable, the quality of the photos was superb, and he had a great eye for creating elegant shots. You can tell he's been doing this for a long time and he takes a lot of pride in his work. He walked around for 5 hours with three different cameras hanging off him so there was never an issue of batteries needing to be changed and photo ops being missed. In fact, I didn't see him take a break once. The photos also came back in a little over a week... over 800. Plus he did a lot of fun things to them, like black and white with isolated colors, visual effects, etc. In all around 1600 photos to scan through! And there is still more to come, such as a slide show on CD. And one more thing I appreciated was his quick response to questions. Customer service is a big deal to me, and Mel never failed to deliver. 5 star rating all the way.
- Rated 5 stars by Lana and Chris
If 10 stars were possible, we'd give TEN ! We expected maybe 300 images. We received over 1,000 with many special effects and a black and white copy of every color picture. We were shocked. Best prices we found. No surprises. More than prices, we enjoyed our experience. They kept us on track in a professional and fun manner. We had no clue what to do, with them offering and acting as a "coordinator" for us from our first meeting, wedding and all the way through getting our DVDs, pictures, and albums. Even before getting our pictures, they were available on-line, so we could share with family and they could order their own pictures. We were surprised how inexpensive ordering on line, getting professional prints, low prices, could be. Immediate responses to calls and emails was important to us and we give them 10+ stars just for that too because a lot of photographers we called never called us back. Before I forget: we also have full print rights for our pictures which was real important to us too. We can't say enough good things. Thank you.
- Rated 5 stars by Jackson and Terri W
Absolutely Only Wedding Photography help to keep our wedding memories alive with their photography of our day. Mel worked WITH us in getting all the pictures we wanted, even the special ones we had thought of. He was fun but kept us on track and honored every request. He actually stepped in an help us coordinate the day because our coordinator was sick. He knows his art as a photographer and professional without being snooty like some other photographers we interviewed. His cost was lower, and we got much more than offered by other wedding photographers. Our 12x12 flush album was absolutely beautiful, thick pages and full page coverage and artistically made. Over 1,000 images to chose from, and another 300 pictures that were enhanced with special effects. On line proofs and downloading services are free so my family can order pictures themselves or just download pictures to their computers. Saved me lots of expense and time. We also have all of our pictures on DVDs and have full rights to print ourselves. Mel also offers pro quality prints at 90% less than other photographers and you can order on line too. Wonderful pictures, wonderful person, wonderful company and wonderful prices.
- Rated 5 stars by Brittany and Turner
OMG. Everything and more. We were impressed from first meeting to getting our pictures and albums, in less than 6 weeks we got the albums, and we chose our pictures too. Our pictures were ready in 2 weeks and we were amazed at all the special effects included with our originals. His collages are to die for, and were a free gift. We saved a whole lot of money too when we compared with other wedding photographers; and got a lot more. Thank you Mel.
- Rated 5 stars by Stefanie D.
We were married on July 2nd. And my husband sets up trade shows so he does not pay attention when he is working(all the shows are the same) but not this time, he Was doing his job and came across Mel's booth at the bridal show.he was very impressed by the photos he had taken of other weddings and had to talk to Mel. He then brought home some info and told me I needed to look at absolutely only wedding photography! Not only did he love the photos but he thought Mel was a great person. So I looked at Mel's web site saw his work and then i knew I had to meet him myself, Mel was just as my husband had said.wonderful photos and a wonderful man! Then we met his wife, she was just as nice as he was. We left that first meeting feeling like we had known them for years. He listened to what we wanted for our wedding and gave us some ideas we had never thought of for our photos.he did not push or try to sell us anything. It was all about what we wanted! We decided before we even got home that we had to use them for are wedding! Mel was are photographer and his wife Jane performed our ceremony. They kept in touch with us and made us feel like we were there only concern. Then our wedding day arrived and they were early even though it was Mel's birthday. We got every photo we asked for and more. He fit in like one of the family, and went out of his way to make our day the best day of our lives! We were so pleased at how everything went, the ceremony was beautiful and all are guests could say was how much fun they had and that it was the best wedding they had been too! In a few days all my photos were online for everyone to see and he even added some special photos for us. Then I selected the pics I wanted for my album and prints and Mel added a few more then I had asked for! He kept me informed about the delivery date for my order and when it got here he took the time to meet with us in person to show us the album he created. The prints were beautiful and the album was more then we could have asked for, he even added some special touches we were not expecting.if your getting married you can not find better people,quality or service then absolutely only and wedding services NW.
- Rated 5 stars by Tammy and Derik
We were married on June 26th. We received our pictures on disc and on-line within 2 weeks of our wedding. Absolutely Only Wedding Photography was "Absolutely Wonderful". We enjoyed him and his services. Best rates and quality we have seen. Did everything we asked of him, and more. Great person and we had no surprises like some friends we have had had their wedding pictures by other "professionals", finding out they really didn't have much experience. Thank you Mel for all you did. Thank you also for the special extra (you know). We are referring anybody and everybody who needs a photographer for their wedding.
- Rated 5 stars by Carolyn W and Jason W
Jason and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Mel and Absolutely Only Wedding Photography, and Wedding Services NW. He was pleasant from our first meeting to after receiving our wedding photos, prints and albums. His style at the wedding was cordial, personable and mostly very helpful. He was early and left late, always a smile and it seemed he would do anything to make my (our) day be the best ever... and it was in part to my new husband, my family and Mel. The photos are traditional and creative, some as he calls it "out of the boxes"; and very romantic and contemporary. We also wanted some retro looks, and that was done as well. We are so appreciative of this service. Not to mention saving us a bundle AND doing everything he said he would PLUS some extras we did not expect. All we can do is recommend Absolutely Only WITHOUT reservation, and since we cannot use him again for our wedding, we will tell everyone who is, and to not lose out on this fine company. We were married last month and already have our photos, just 3 weeks later, albums and prints.
- Rated 5 stars by Donovan and Sally
Donovan and I were married on May 20th, just 16 days ago. We just returned from our honeymoon and were surprised to see our wedding pictures in the mail already. We were promised in 3-4 weeks. What a surprise. The pictures are gorgeous and brought back the memories as though they were yesterday. We have NO complaints at all, everything was smooth from our first meeting, consults before the wedding, the wedding day and then this surprise, getting our pictures early. All of our pictures are on-line, and I just sent the family and my friends the code so they can download or order the prints they want. The DVDs we received have full size pictures. I thought for some reason the pictures would be watermarked or something, they are not. We own all rights. We are ordering our albums and prints included with our package today. We are still amazed at their rates (best) and their creativity. Thank you, I couldn't wait to leave a review. A+
- Rated 5 stars by Tyler and Meg
We are so impressed that we just had to write this comment immediately. Meg and I were married just 10 days ago, just got back from our honeymoon, and our pictures are already on line, we are able to share our wedding pictures with everyone, they and we can download them and order order the pictures they want if they want. Absolutely Only said these were just the 1st basic corrected pictures, and special effects will also be on line within a week, then we will get our DVD with all of our prints. But even these pictures are fantastic that we can't wait to see the rest. We ordered over 100 prints from his website just a little while ago and paid only $54, and again we have to say, "we got fantastic photography at a affordable cost." We were worried because of our situation, but Absolutely Only came through in so many way for us.. Thank you for everything so far. We have already told 2 couples getting married next year about you guys.
- Rated 5 stars by Sari
We had so many favorite pictures. All 700+ of them, but if I pick one favorite it has to be the photo of my groom, James, when he saw me for the 1st time in my wedding dress. Our photographers were more than helpful. They were a joy to work with from the 1st time we met, then booked, our day and even after.. We own all rights which was #1 for us. The rest was great, but that was most important. Free online services. DVD of full size pictures, slide shows, 5 albums (3 sets of parents, ours and my sister), over 30 prints. Lots of artistic special effects. Engagement pictures included, done 7 months before where great as well. We had 2 photographers for before, during and after ceremony, then 1 for the reception. Absolutely Only made us feel very comfortable during our wedding day. We didn't even know they were there except for the family and formal pictures. Our families thought they were nice and professional, making them comfortable too.
- Rated 5 stars by Alyse and Terry
Terri and I were in the wedding business and decided to get married ourselves in January. We had a bit of an advantage looking for the professional WE wanted to do our wedding. We chose Absolutely Only (Mel) because we knew of his work from many years ago when he had studios, but his digital work has surpassed his work in film because of the post-production that is possible now. We also knew his packages were the best then, and they remain today. For comparison we did check 3 other photographers and there was no comparison when you looked at your bottom line. We save about 30% and actually got 50% more than with the closest other photographer package when we compared (he also gave us something as a gift we did not expect); and frankly the other photographer's work wasn't as good and they were a bit snotty, and one was down right rude and arrogant. We enjoyed our entire time with Mel thru our meeting, wedding and picture selecting. Flexibility: He is a rubber man because we changed our times the day of the wedding at least 4 times, and they flexed with us. Responsive: Mel emailed us back anytime we emailed or called within a short period of time. He let us know the entire way where he was with our pictures, and was even early. Professionalism: He was not only professional, but friendly and engaging with us, family and guests. Value: We got 50% more for 30% less about (see above). Quality: We are thrilled GradeA1.
- Rated 5 stars by JJ and me
We used Absolutetly Only as our photographers. We are so happy with the pictures. Kudos for everything. The one they took with my dad without us knowing make me cry every time I see them and makes me remember when I was a little girl with my Dad... happy tears. We cannot thank them enough.
- Rated 5 stars by JustBecauseAtYahoo
We are very private people, but wanted to have a wedding only for our families. We were not even going to have a photographer, but our parents paid for it. I am so grateful they did... our photographs are so special. 100s of black and whites and color pictures. Nice to have great memories in great pictures. We were worried with all the horror stories we have heard with other wedding and photographers. We were forced into even meeting our photographers by our parents before booking (but we loved to talk and coffee), Mel was pleasant, most friendly and professional during our wedding (and very helpful to keep us on track). And best of all... our eyes popped when we saw the results. We didn't even know he was taking most of the pictures. And the ones we did know about he worked with us to make us at ease. Sam and I highly recommend Absolutely Only.
- Rated 5 stars by Jeff and Dawn
Jeff and I received our photographs, slide shows and albums today, 3 weeks after our wedding, and the results were way beyond our wildest dreams. We are stunned. We are completely satisfied and give 5+ of 5. We also want to give a 5+ for creativity too. WOW. We expected 500 pictures, but received over 800 unique pictures, and all were done additionally in black and white... making our total pictures over 1,600, and many paired images were done with special effects. 2 weeks ago we had received a link for our images on line... my family back East really liked that... they even have the photographs they want already, and only 2 weeks after the wedding. We saved almost 40% from other photographers we checked with. The best is we own all rights to our images and on-line sharing... both were free. Hats off big time to Absolutely Only. At least check these guys out... you are silly if you don't.
- Rated 5 stars by Faith and Jim
I only wish I could give you 10 + stars. We were married on February 19th, and we rec'd our wedding photography package 2 weeks ago, the day after we got back from our honeymoon. BUT Absolutely Only Wedding Photography had also placed all our wedding pictures (over 1,000) on line and we were able to download all our pictures within 7 days of our wedding and had a few printed at our resort in Mexico... very cool service. And that was free too, along with other services they do. We asked them to do just basic corrections to get these done so fast, they even did some special work on some, and without even a blink they offered to do "the full meal deal" with our images too and we received them the day after our honeymoon. We did too... amazingly, and not expected, the day after we returned :O) We wanted everything in photo-documentary style black and white, but they also gave us everything in color (another bonus) and I am not sure why I wanted just black and white. Their special effects where also very nice, and again not asked for but included. The rates, packages and our total cost could not be matched by anybody... Mel was also very easy to work with from our first meeting to now... they live by customer service. We haven't received our photo albums yet, but them we just told them today what pictures we wanted in them. Great job and thank you, Mel. Jim and I give you 4 thumbs and 16 fingers UP, way up!
- Rated 5 stars by Sissy and Rod
I have been elected to write this review because my bride, Sissy, wanted to dictate and hates typing. So here we go: We were married on December 31st technically, but officially on January 1st. Absolutely Only didn't raise their rates for 12/31 or 1/1 as we noted most other photographers did. His regular rates were the best AND most fair that we found with anyone with any real experience. We didn't just want someone with a digital camera claiming to be a professional do our wedding. We were surprised how pervasive that is. Our advice is to be very careful. Mel of Absolutely showed us how to save almost $1000 when compared with 2 other services we were considering (he actually instead of up-selling, worked the other way to save us money); and showed us why not to go with another because when we really looked at his rates, in the end we would pay even more than the others. We own the rights to our images, and so many other free services. Print rates are amazing, and even more so if we do it thru his service. We paid a little over $1,000 for what some other photographers charged $2000-3000; and we didn't even like their pictures styles as much. We actually didn't believe this service "too good to be true" stuff... but after educating ourselves a bit more, went back to Mel... and THANK GOD he was still available. Pictures are fabulous, albums more than we could have dreamed. We are not the most attractive people some would say, but Mel did magic :O) He says it was only because we were comfortable with him. I think it was because he is good, creative and just good people. Get er done and book this guy... HIGHEST recommendation.
- Rated 5 stars by Nel and Phil
From meeting for the 1st time, during our wedding and viewing the final product (photos) we can only say Absolutely Only far exceeded our expectations. And that was our wedding about 1 and 1/2 years ago.We then had Mel do our 1st anniversary pictures, and same results. We didn't expect it, but Mel severely discounted our anniversary session. Our wedding remains magical because of his talent to tell the story of my wedding. He is a talent and we loved his work.
- Rated 5 stars by Diane and Tommy J
We booked Absolutely Only over a year ago. Our wedding was 2 weeks ago. We just received our pictures today and we are very pleased, and surprised at how fast we got our pictures. We had no idea of the number of pictures they took AND I cannot believe how many are good. I have seen other friend's wedding pictures, and there is no comparison with the quality and especially the creativity with mine. Tom and I recommend Absolutely Only. They didn't have the free on-line service when we booked, but they grand fathered us into FREE. Customer Service and Quality are A++++ Actually, what impressed us the most (except our pictures) is at booking we wanted to book 8 hours and Mel convinced us we only needed to book 6 hours, saving us about $300, maybe $350. We were very impressed with their integrity...
- Rated 5 stars by Starr and Isreal
All I can say is our experience is a lot like the other reviews... and you should at least talk to Absolutely Only. and If you don't you are not so bright and very foolish. They deliver and the price is right. Thank you Mel for recording our memories of our day...
- Rated 5 stars by Lyn and Gary
Our only regret is we wasted so much time looking at other photographers before choosing Absolutely... mostly because they are so low pressure. We should have signed the night we meet with them. We were treated with respect, professionally and that edge of friendliness that made us real comfortable with them... but it seemed almost too good to be true (our mistake, because they ARE as good as they say) and us having to check out so many more. My brother paid twice as much as I did with another photographer for his wedding and my package cost almost 50% less than he paid. I also got twice as much as he did. AND I like Absolutely Only's work better (relaxed, elegant, romantic and so just fun; but all great memories of the day). They are very flexible and did all the special pictures I wanted (except one because the river was flooding) and the gave us even more than the contract called for. I agree with all the other reviews. Mel is WONDERFUL to work with and the results are more than anyone would ever expect. When you meet with him he brags about his good coffee. It is too!
- Rated 5 stars by Jackie and Todd
We were married on December 24 and we were surprised to have received our wedding pictures already. We received over 800 photos and many special effects (as a gift) because we didn't contract for anything other than his basic plan. We were also surprised to get all of our color pictures in black and white as well (another extra). And our favorite pictures were the collages. We love our pictures on DVD and the on-line service I cannot say enough good stuff about (easy sharing for sure !) Best prices too !
- Rated 5 stars by Kim
We booked Absolutely Only Photography last year. My wedding isn't until July. But I wanted to review their service thus far because it has been more than outstanding. John and I were most concerned about our photography. We are a a fairly small limited budget of $3,000 for photography. And I have to admit, we wanted the world... well so far we got the world for half our budget with Absolutely Only. We must have seen 6 other photographers and their prices, previous photographs and packages didn't even compare. Our engagement photos were the best photos I have even had taken, we were relaxed and even had fun. I have to admit that some of the poses didn't make sense when we did them... but they had WOW. We can't wait until July. PS We didn't have to wait forever to get our pictures, only 1 week online and disc with full print rights too.
- Rated 5 stars by Elizebeth and Darren
We just booked Absolutely Only Wedding Photography for a family reunion in June of next year because of the wonderful work they did as our photographers for our wedding last November. If you JUST look at their work you can see the talent they have. I am not very pretty, but they made me look beautiful in the posing and special effects. Darren was handsome too. We don't like our pictures taken, but they worked with us to make us comfortable. Half the time we didn't even know our pictures were being taken. I just wanted to THANK Absolutely Only for not only being so good and patient with us, but for working WITH us to create the memories of our wedding day so special. They are special people.
- Rated 5 stars by Natalie and Jacob
It was "all good and more than excellent". I could say no more. We liked our photographer from the 1st. I expected our 1st meeting to be pressured: WE WERE NOT: through the wedding day I expected being pressured: WE WERE NOT; and after getting our pictures and albums we were amazed. My personal favorite is the internet sharing and easy ordering of the pictures we want without being gouged. Only negative is too many excellent pictures to choose from :O) TEN STARS ! PS These guys do what you want and are very flexible.
- Rated 5 stars by Kendall and Joe
Joe was being deployed and we needed a photographer who was patient with how we had to pay for their services. We booked over 2 years before the wedding. Not only were their rates great and willing to work with our budget, they gave us a military discount and let me make payments so I could get the services I wanted. That alone is enough to give 5 stars, BUT we also loved our photos (over 1000) and albums. Their services and rates, plus experience are almost too good to be true... but it is true and everything was better than we could even dreamed. Joe is overseas again, but can also see all of the wedding pictures on line... another great thing. Thank you, you guys were more than perfect for Joe and me. We appreciate your integrity and not pressuring us in any way too. It was fun from booking to now...
- Rated 5 stars by Toni
I didn't get married, but had my portraits done by this company. So "ONLY WEDDING" is not all together accurate. My senior portraits were beautiful. My mom and girl friends love them too. I was relaxed and comfortable. Absolutely's selection of photography location was more than I could ask for.
- Rated 5 stars by Mary and Bob
We were married on Nov 15 2010 in Tacoma. We can't believe it but we received our photos today 12/2 (14 days WOW) on DVD. 5 days ago the pictures were available to us on-line. We recommend Absolutely Only because 1) BEST RATES we could find, 2) EVEN better quality than the other photographers we looked at, 3) more extras at NO COST, 4) no travel charge to Tacoma from Portland, 5) they took all the poses WE wanted, but frankly, we liked his posing and candids more, and 6) nice guy, friendly, professional and most important, made Bob and me comfortable in front of the camera. Check these guys out... I am very happy with their services... so is my purse.
- Rated 5 stars by TJ
100% more at 50% less There wasn't just one, but if I had to pick: on the hill looking back at the venue, looking very pretty... but Absolutely Only did so many straight and special effects there must be 50 favorites and over 1000 special ones. I can't say I disliked any. Except for the formals, cake cutting and bouquet/garter tosses we didn't really even know when he was there, he was efficient, quiet and unobtrusive. Absolutely Only also HELPED us at our request to help organize photography things during the day for which they were happy to do with no extra charge. Once in awhile he would whisper to me something to relieve the tension. Very patient, professional and nice man. I have over 500 candids too. He really told the story of my day from the early morning to the final exit. Didn't skip a beat... He did a multiple image sequence of the cake cutting, bouquet toss... still can't figure out how he got so many images in such a short period of time. Portraits galore, had printed a 24x36 for over our mantle that makes me look like a model (and I usually hate my pictures) with my handsome husband... He showed us where to get professional prints, like this one for less than $20 (plus shipping of course). We got so much... DVDs with full size pictures with full rights for us, slide shows; on-line viewing, sharing, full size downloading for anybody I want for forever, prints and some freebies we didn't expect... oh, 3 coffee table albums and we have the option to by a professional leather crafted flush or traditional album(s) AT COST plus 15% whenever, We were worried about hiring a photographer because we had seen many hostile ones at weddings before, however he said that we must like him, his style and trust him before he would even contract with us. That we should treat him as a long known family member and he would blend in. My family loved him, thought he was pleasant, warm, friendly and fun! He got smiles even out of my sometimes grumpy family members because of the general stress of planning this wedding. Absolutely Only Wedding should have 10 stars, not just five.
- Rated 5 stars by Tabitha P
1st - In our book Mel gets 6 out of 5 stars! 2nd - I'd been told by many friends that a photographer can make or break the entire event, Mel definitely made our wedding very special! 3rd - Photographers are expensive, yet Mel's prices are reasonable, not outrageous like most others. Could he really be that good? YES! Our Experience with Mel: When we sat down with Mel to discuss what he offers and what we wanted, we learned that he is a man with a passion for what he does. He gets to know his clients to learn who they are. Yes, he has a standard contract (to protect himself and you, the client) and forms for what photos you want but he puts the personal effort into learning about you. On the day of the wedding he was early, stayed late and did a job exceeding our expectations. He melded in with our family and friends so well he captured wonderful candids and some great posed shots. He captured shots on the list and not on the list, getting shots I hadn't been able to put on paper in words. Best of all, all these photos were ours, we didn't have to pick and choose to fit a package that we could afford, instead they all belong to us and, with his guidance of quality photo print sites, we are able to print the pictures we want, when we want them. Yes, Mel deserves 6 out of 5 stars!
- Rated 5 stars by Kaitlyn and Brett McPhee
The wedding photos of Brett and me in front of Haystack Rock blew us away. Just based on THAT photo, if we didn't know you, would hire you for any time we needed a photographer. We knew we would be pleased after we saw our engagement pictures and we were right. Thank you for everything.
- Rated 5 stars by Brenda and Joey
Loved our wedding photographers. The cost, the results and the photographers. Experience was wonderful. I am not one to leave reviews usually unless I am unhappy, but I had to say something about our wedding pictures because the exceeded our expectations and gave us 150%. My sister is always real critical and rarely likes any photographs of us ever gave me the "high sign" for our pictures. And that says it all.
- Rated 5 stars by Kristi D
Max and I had a very limited budget, but we also wanted probably more than we could afford. Isn't that always the case? High end services on that "beer budget" sort of thing. We could not afford any of the photographers we found for months of searching before. We then found Absolutely Only and we were surprised to find his rates were in our budget (right in the middle) AND we got everything we wanted AND more. He showed us how to cut costs and actually eliminate things we different want and get the things we really wanted. Then the gave us a great gift: all the things we eliminated and not on the contract! Pictures were absolutely great and his other included services were exceptional. Mel also showed us how to save money which helped us even more financially to make our day grander than we ever expected. Very honest and wonderful people, in addition to great photography.
- Rated 5 stars by Jo and Tyler
We happened to see Mel at his booth the Portland Bridal Show yesterday. My sister is getting married in August and it reminded me that perhaps we should leave a review. We were married 3 years ago and my family STILL talks about our wedding pictures... 2 babies later, it is nice to hear that I look as nice as back then from my family and husband. Mel's photography made me look lovely and his photography skills take a back seat to nobody. His rates are the best. I was surprised that his rates are the same too. And if you read this Mel, "thank you". I was surprised to see my picture on your wall at the bridal show. I was flattered. My sister will be calling you.
- Rated 5 stars by Paige and Parker
Just a BIG thank you to Mel of Absolutely Only. Our wedding and reception pictures are fab. I was worried that day and he made it better. He is warm, worked with us, friendly and made my family comfortable. We wanted lots of pictures and had a short time span to do that in. It was ALL good; before, during AND after. Almost to many pictures to choose from with is a good thing. I want to mention too that we wanted mostly "different" from the usual wedding pictures you see, he gave us both; many special effects with some. We loved the photo journalist ones too. Our albums were top quality and we got to pick the pictures. The on-line service is free and outstanding. I was worried about getting pictures to everyone, NO worries now; very easy. All I have to do is give who ever a link and they get from the site. They give you so much more, for so much less; I am not sure how they make money compared with other photographers we talked with. I could go on and on really.
- Rated 5 stars by Andi & Shane
Absolutely Only Wedding Photography (Mel) did our wedding photos and they were beautiful. Shane is in the Army and we received a military discount which helped. He even helped cut the cake because nobody knew how. He was fun and professional and did the types of photos I wanted; some traditional and some very different. Me worked with us all the way. We can't give him any better recommendation that A++++ and tell all our friends. Of all the wedding professionals we hired he was the best, gave us the most and was the best savings.
- Rated 5 stars by Toni and Jerr
10 stars ! We didn't expect many special effects and we got a bunch, he also did all our pictures in black and white and color. Some beautiful and some just down right fun to look at. Remember the waterfall picture? That is on our living room wall. Our albums are wonderful and shown all the time. Thank you very much for your gifts and service. We refer to you and will always. OK, you can start charging more now since our wedding is over. Just kidding, and sorry it has been so long (a year) to write this review for you. I was reminded when we saw you at Terri's wedding doing "your thing" last week.
- Rated 5 stars by Summer
Even though we were married over a year ago, Mel just sent Jim a "care package" so it reminded me of something I hadn't done before and should have. Sorry, Mel, I forgot. But here it is. I really can't add much to the other reviews, except we had the same experience. Jim was in the military and served in Iraq and was going to Afghanistan after our wedding. Absolutely Only Wedding Photography gave us a big military discount and their on-line service (free for us too) allow Jim to see our wedding pictures and even order prints. That was wonderful. We owe Mel more than his special rates for us. A million thanks.
- Rated 5 stars by Destiny and Clint
We searched for over 3 months for our wedding photographer because we didn't have a massive budget but didn't want to cut there either. Then we found Absolutely Only for about 40% of other photographers and more amenities, albums and prints, print rights, and more. Absolutely Only from start (booking them) thru the engagement pictures and then wedding to the end (getting our images with all rights to prints, DVDs, slide shows, and on-line service) was excellent. We booked them over a year ahead and most have asked them 1000s of questions (acting kind of like a wedding coordinator and idea guys) and never did I feel we could not call anytime. They made me feel like I was the only wedding they had and special always. Our engagement pictures at the grotto [romantic and fun], under a bridge [we wanted some industrial/grunge type images there] and the Portland Rose Gardens [traditional type, romantic] were exceptional and artsy, even with 3 clothes changes. Our wedding in Cannon Beach had so many "keepers" and so many special effects, it took us 2 months just to get our albums and print order to them. There were over 2000 total images of which at least 90% were "keepers" and the other were good as well. We had our set poses we wanted and they did all of them and then came up with unusual and different style posing as well. Sorry, I am going on and on but Absolutely Only deserves it because I had my dreams days photographs, essentially my memories of the day and they are such special photographers, seemingly loving their work and liking Clint and me. We were some comfortable with Mel we felt like friends throughout. I see a lot of people are saying the same thing, and it is true at least for us.
- Rated 5 stars by Kate D
Chad and I loved Absolutely Only's work. They were pleasant, professional and got more photographs than I could ever hope for, and the price was right. I reviewed all the previous reviews to make sure my wedding picture and service was different. Mel gives consistent quality it appears, in both his manner and work. We loved our total experience with them: BEFORE, DURING and even AFTER. All I can really say is add us to the the other reviews of simply loving to work with Mel and Absolutely Only Wedding Photography. One last thing: they are honest to a fault, even doing more than the contract stated.
- Rated 5 stars by Shirley and Andy
Andy and I loved our engagement and wedding pictures. Lots of free services (the best being his forever ON-LINE proofs and full size picture downloading... what a life saver for getting pictures to out of town family and guests) with our packages. We saved almost 30% and could al a carte what we wanted and NOT have to get what we didn't. Our engagement session was the most fun with Mel, the photographer, taking us to places we never knew about like Pennisula Rose Garden Park in North Portland, then to Crown Point and then to McCall park... many different styles of back drops and hundreds of photos. Our wedding pictures, odd to say maybe, were fun too especially after hearing from friends who had professional photographers do their weddings that were not flexible and were jerks. All I can say is if you want a PRO wedding photographer who is REASONABLE and FUN, and does wonderful work, you are not the brightest bulb in the pack if you don't check out Absolutely Only, or you won the lottery and don't care about wasting money. We saved over $1,000, but spent it on our honeymoon which was great ! Nice having an extra $1,000. Oh, our albums were top notch as well, plus again, hundreds of wedding pictures with some having special effects too. Our only issue was there are too many pictures to choose from :O) PS We didn't have a DJ, but they also played our ceremony music that they even burned for us for free on this Bose unit that sounded like an orchestra.
- Rated 5 stars by Mi and Ted
Mel had us get comfortable with the camera and we did some casual photos first, and OMG they were the absolute best. The one I like the best is (it is hard to describe) but I am leaning into Ted with my hands on his chest, he is holding me and I am looking into the camera. I never looked so sweet, but sexy. Amazing photo. But there are at least 100s more, but that was my favorite. Ted liked any picture of me (I think he loves me). How did the wedding photographer avoid disrupting the day? Great with candids? Action shots? Portraits? We wanted him to basically be our photo coordinator. We had at least 12 shots we REALLY wanted. Sunset pictures, my aunt and me, etc. A 40 member family portrait was the hardest, but Mel is funny in his direction and made everybody listen and laugh at the same time. He is able to get smiles out of people we have never seen smile much. Other than the formals and the special pictures I wanted, we hardly knew he and the 2nd photographer were there. We are still amazed at how they got over 1,000 pictures of our before the ceremony, ceremony and reception. I only really knew he was around when sometimes I saw a flash. It was really cool because I knew it was him because I had banned guest cameras from my wedding because of what I saw at other weddings}; EXCEPT for MY photographers I was paying for. They have a service where my family and guests (if I give them a web link) can get any of the pictures he took on line for no charge. That was and IS "way cool" and free. Portraits were fabulous, the best I had ever had. Over 700 candids of my day. But the ones I liked especially were us being weird. He seemed to be in the right place at the right moment. He captured pictures of stuff going on I didn't even know about. We received a special album for Ted and me. 3 parent albums. DVDs of all our pictures, we own all the rights to our pictures and even threw in all in color and and turned all into black and white as well (that was important to me) and over 400 pictures with special effects. THANK YOU, Mel. We had him for 8 hours and a 2nd photographer for the ceremony and formal pictures. He is a wonderful photographer AND person. My aunt asked me if he was married. That probably says it all. He has a sense of humor that put my family at ease. It also shows in the pictures. Everybody was having a good time. His second photographer got some unusual angles and also was like family. Great company and people to work with.
- Rated 5 stars by Abigail and Trey
We were absolutely pleased with Absolutely Only. This was a unique experience for us, and a little unusual trying to find the right photographers. We had seen Absolutely Only throughout the web and we liked his rates and eclectic styles. What was unusual is that we want his platinum service and compared it with other photographer rates. When we met (twice) I couldn't believe it, after discussing what we wanted THEY SUGGESTED a lower priced package, as they put it "to have more money for our honeymoon". The recommended package was about 40% less, from $3,000 to about $1,500. They were absolutely correct and we would have over spent for what we really wanted. It kind of floored us having a photographer actually recommend something that fit our budget and needs, AND they would make less money. WHAT? Then seeing his work at his studio. That hooked us. Seeing about 6 other photographers and talking to scores of others, NOT any other photographer worked with us that way. Every other photographer was trying to convince us we needed a more expensive package because "this is your special day". Some with no real experience. Well it was our special day, but Mel worked with us. Odd too is we got as much and better quality, and future services and more than the other photographers. We appreciated his skill, personality, flexibility and customer service. The end product was magnificent: several albums, full printing of our pictures (rights), several DVDs will all our pictures. Mel, we will be forever thank full. PS Our honeymoon was great. Hugs ! BTW, get a professional, all the pictures by friends and family we average to bad. Absolutely Only's were wonderful.
- Rated 5 stars by Mary S and Rich S
I really don't know where to start. Rich and I loved everything thing about Absolutely Only. The price, the service, the quality of photographs, the quantity, the variety and especially their flexibility. Our only regret is that we didn't follow his recommendation and not party the night before. Eben though I had a raging headache, Mel was patient and didn't push. In fact, except for the formals, we didn't even know he was there. One photographer charged 3 times more, and most where 2 times, but all were higher (at least 9 wedding photographers were looked at). It is funny, I didn't want to go "for the price" because my pictures were too important to me. More important than anything else except maybe my dress. But it just happened that the best photographer we found, happened to be the least expensive when we compared everything and the final cost. Mel seems to actually enjoy his work and you can see it in his creative pictures, along with the formal stuff. We are proud to recommend without hesitation, Mel of Absolutely Only Wedding Photography. One last thing: Our wedding albums was very cool and my mom cried when she saw hers. Rich's parent got one too, and we have the option to get as many as we want at cost. Owning the rights to our pictures is probably the best along with the on-line downloading and viewing for our family which is free as well. Mel, "thank you" so much.
- Rated 5 stars by Mrs T
Simply the best packages I could find after checking with about 10 wedding photographers. They sat with us for 2 hrs, served us coffee (great) and cared about what we wanted. During the day Absolutely Only (Mel) was was gracious, inconspicuous except during the traditional posing and seemed to be always be taking some picture or other, never skipping a beat. I wish I could say the same for our DJ and reception site (both disappointing). He had recommended some others, but we didn't listen. We wish we had. Our family back east and here are very pleased with the free downloading service and we are very happy with his photos, especially his unusual shots both candid and posed; stuff we had never thought of. Our albums are great and very modern and especially happy we can get our prints anywhere we want because we own them. Before I forget, we thought we could save a few cents getting our prints locally and was a big mistake; we then used their recommended processor and what a difference and only a couple cents more for much more. Their service before, during and after cannot be better. Thank you...
- Rated 5 stars by Margaret J
These guys were magnificent. We only had them for 5 hours and got over 1,200 images. 800+ originals and many black and whites and special effects. We looked and looked and had to find someone able to work with our budget but we also wanted print rights to the pictures. That is all we expected too maybe. Absolutely Only not only came in our budget but also included more than we expected. Albums, CDs of all our pictures, slide shows, free prints and on-line proofing and more. They even hand delivered our albums and prints, The service before, during the ceremony and reception, formal session and everything was professional, yet fun. Mel made me laugh so much my stomach hurt. He (Mel) made my day so relaxed, at least the picture taking part. We also saved almost 35% from the closest other photographer, and they didn't offer half as much. Mel also wrote me 4 times to remind me in the last 9 months that I needed to pick out my album pictures. I kept forgetting, and almost a year later, he still honored my choices and got me the albums. Most others I think would have said "too bad, so sad. The contract said "x"... They are good people.
- Rated 5 stars by Jefferson and Kalina
We were a little worried about our photos because we are African-American and everybody seems to not get our color right. Too dark pictures and hard to see our faces. Well Absolutely Only was fantastic. Best pictures ever. We have nothing but wonderful things to say about their experience, the quality was terrific and we should have had them for our engagement pictures. Their prices are the best we could find. We also own all the pictures and used his recommended processor also with great prices. My family liked him and same for their ON-LINE proof and down-loadable photos. FREE too.
- Rated 5 stars by Arizona Miss Alice T
We were married on July 3 and received our pictures and albums, and slide shows today. WOW WOW WOW ! We had already seen our photos earlier because they have on-line services were they are uploaded. We also ordered pictures on our own thru his site that we didn't get for our package, but we can get as many as we want from his on line or order by ourselves with the 2 DVD's with all of our pictures. We didn't expect so many special effects along with all the originals pictures. Absolutely's prices are also the best around. We came from Arizona and had a hard time finding a reasonably priced and PROFESSIONAL photographer, We are lucky we found Absolutely Only. Thank you. Everything is very nice and well beyond our wildest dreams.
- Rated 5 stars by Tiffany Connor
Mel is such a great person to work with. He is a photographer that will let you do your own thing and add your own ideas. He is not a person that goes for the poseable pictures. I really liked that. He also helped with other vendors. One of the things when planning a wedding we can all use help with. The pictures he got turned out incredible. I could not have asked for more. He remains up beat in every situation. Even when guests or the bride get in his way.
- Rated 5 stars by Letha J
Stu and I loved our photos. The price was the best. We got 10 times more too of everything. A lot for no extra cost. On-line proofs and big downloading, slide shows, 3 albums, all the legal rights to our pictures and a few things we didn't expect. Stu didn't really like the pictures with him smiling, BUT I DO ! Nice to see the soft side too. He did appreciate you did some TOUGH pictures too. I just won't print them. I recommend Mel and Jane, Absolutely Only Photography because you will get as good or better quality and packages than any body else, even the big names for a lot less money. Our only regret is we didn't book them for longer and a bigger package.
- Rated 5 stars by Cynthia S
Our photographer said no wedding went without a hitch, so just let it go by and enjoy the day. It rained and there was lightning, our caterer was late and a few other things went wrong, BUT Mel's advice was "right on". Planning an outdoor March wedding probably wasn't the best idea, but Sam was going overseas in the military. Absolutely Only on-line service is a great bonus for us because he HAS HIS ALBUM even over in Iraq. We only focused on the positives as he advised and had a blast anyway. Our photos reflected our day and a certain picture of the storm clouds as a back drop was beautiful. The group pictures were traditional, but we also had some unusual and "different" styles we liked. They are much more than great wedding photographers who work with your budget, but good people too. Thank you for sending Sam a "care package" overseas too. He really appreciated the sunscreen and lip balm, no to mention the gift picture of us.
- Rated 5 stars by Connie T
We just got our albums and prints, DVD slide shows, and DVDs with our pictures from our June wedding. We are so appreciative of having Absolutely Only do our wedding. They made it natural and comfortable plus the pictures are great. About 300 are magnificent, especially the special effects and the couple pictures, and the traditional poses are very good, but the different posing for some of those were terrific and very creative. At first we really didn't know what they would look like because the poses seemed king of weird, we are glad we did them. We also got over 600 candids (we wanted a lot) of everything going on during the day. We booked them for my mom and dad's 30th anniversary party and saying their vows again. Thank you Mel so very much. You were a bargain in so many ways. You need to charge a lot more, but not until my parents party. TEN+ stars and A+++
- Rated 5 stars by Angela and Ty
We got our DVDs, slide shows from our Wedding in Cannon Beach about 2 weeks ago and now have our prints and albums. WOW. Absolutely beautiful. Wished we had engaged them for more time because the beach pictures are the best but our budget was restricted but we had to have professional pictures but did get 8 hours (other photographers wanted twice as much)... some serious and some not traditional pictures. Our family is already downloading for free what they want from on line and are also WOWing... still can't believe we got as many pictures. Sure saved me a lot of time. We will recommend him to all our friends!
- Rated 5 stars by Jill and Bob
We just ran across Absolutely Only on WedPlan about 3 weeks ago. He had done my sister's wedding 3 years ago, and I was the best man, Jill was one of Susie's maids. We had forgotten his business name, but Susan reminded us and needed to say something here. We just booked Absolutely Only for next year, even though he was booked on one our our dates already we were thinking about, we wanted them, so we choose the other date he was available. We don't even have our reception site picked out yet. Why? We loved Susan's pictures and the creativity of his work so much, and even the pictures of me and Jill are great (we weren't even the focus of attention). His packages were and are the best. And if his work is HALF as good as Susan's we will be happen with them. The on-line is fairly new, and we are really excited about that... but even after 3 years, because they didn't have it then, he gave that to my sister as a gift last week. Thank you for that... Absolutely Only deserves more stars than I can give here.
- Rated 5 stars by Catherine J and Derrik
We hired Absolutely Only for our engagement pictures and thought we were going to have a small wedding so we didn't hire him for our wedding. The engagement photos of us were what we wanted, we were very happy with his creative rendering of our pictures and cost, and his other free services. A month went by... then we decided to hire them for our wedding and reception because our families was upset we weren't having a big celebration and all the frills. But Absolutely Only had already booked our date, and a 2nd option date, and we couldn't get Absolutely Only for our wedding. To make a long story short, we hired another wedding photographer, almost twice as expensive, and were very disappointed, charged us $45 for ONE 8x10, and $15 for 5x7 with no sense of anything but what he wanted to take pictures and poses, forget what we wanted... My suggestion... hire Absolutely Only Wedding Photography. Don't make the same mistake I did.
- Rated 5 stars by Sara D
We went with their GOLD package and added 2 extra hours, and when compared with anybody elses, there was no comparison. Price better and more features, and free extras. Great pictures on DVD over 800 color, and many more special effects. Then surprised us with all of them in black and white, or antiques too... we also got 2 albums which we were able to chose our pictures... I have never thought I was pretty because I am real "curvy", their pictures made me gorgeous and beautiful bride. And makes me feel different in a good way, about myself now. I am pretty. I was worried about a certain body feature, and he respected that. We can get our prints anywhere because we own them. We didn't take their advise and got more pictures that what they gave us with the package at another processor here, and BOY, the difference in quality of print was very different... They told us we would be disappointed doing local prints... his was less expensive and coated, I also think thicker. Take their advise. Honest and friendly photographers that made our day as fun as possible. We really like the on-line proofs, and private link to send to family and friends so we don't have to be bothered getting pictures. They can get the ones they want, any size. If you need a wonderful photographer, we whole heartedly recommend Mel of Absolutely Only.
- Rated 5 stars by Jackie and Tim
We saw Absolutely Only Photography at the bridal show in 2008 in Vancouver, but our wedding date was 16 months later in March 2010. They were open and excited to WHAT WE WANTED for our wedding. We were surprised with their rates because they were about 30% less on the front end, and with all the no extra cost services offered that other charged for they were about 40-50% less... And from what I could see and have seen with our final DVDs and prints perhaps even better than those who charged twice or 3 times as much. Our photos were fantastic and with the rights to our pictures we opted for the on-line services they recommended and again saved some money with a great product. They promised us 40 pictures per hour minimum, but we got over 1,200 in 6 hrs. You do the math. Plus slide shows and several collages as an added gift. We were a little concerned because half our guests were Chinese, and they didn't speak Chinese, but everybody seemed to understand each other fine. We were after after, during and before... some of my family was from Hong Kong and they could easily get their pictures they wanted from his on-line download site. We recommend this company big time.
- Rated 5 stars by DeLorean Meg
Well, we went with his Platium because we need 2 photographers, 3 hrs each one day and 2 photographers for 5 hrs on our wedding day. They also did our bridesmaid's "party", and engagement pictures and wedding day. Everything promised was wonderfully done. We especially liked the ring in bouquet and rings on my shoes pictures. Hank (Henry) loved the groomsmen jumping sequence. I loved my ceremony pictures, so real unusual,some traditional. BIG hugs to Mel and his 2nd photographer. So many memories ! Absolutely gorgeous albums..fun slide shows and OMG prints... Check them out, for sure, if you want GREAT wedding photographers and memories of your day.
- Rated 5 stars by Yaz and Karen
All good and better. The wedding was our 2nd experience with this photographer. He also did my sister's graduation photos... made her look like a teen movie star. Our wedding was a bit strange with our theme and were concerned with him not looking the part in our theme... he actually came dressed as we asked to blend in. We hardly knew he was there and took great wedding and reception pictures, actually too many to chose from. It took us FOREVER to pick the pictures for our wedding album. Absolutely Only Photography gives you 1000%. We read the other reviews and all the same with us. You are wasting your money with someone else... you get everything including creative pictures (we really like the "Abby Road, barefoot, walking across the street" and "on the the railroad tracks" artsy ones. The formals are that formals, but we REALLY liked the requested and not requested different than usual pictures. We have recommended these guys already. You can't beat them and what they do. Our wedding was on the coast, not even a travel charge. Check out the on-line piece of the package (FREE too) terrific.
- Rated 5 stars by Mike and Katie
We searched and searched for the right photographer that we could afford and that we liked. They have fun with their art and made it fun for us too. We went to 4 different locations for our engagement photos (The falls, the grotto, Pennsula Park and Tom McCoy Park). Very creative pictures. For our wedding we received wonderful memories and that Absolutely Only for a relaxed comfortable session during our wedding. The 1,000 pictures, DVD and the rights to them, our albums etc. "The price was more than right". "They were personable and friendly, not pushy. Photography was fantastic.
- Rated 5 stars by Mary
WOW, nice reviews. I can't add much more except DITTO to the service, we even received some "gifts" extra without contacting for it. My one regret is we should have upgraded our package for more time even though Mel and Jane got all the pictures (shots) we wanted and more. Just we thought of more after they left... Bob will shot me for this but I wish I could say "Next time I will know !" I wanted to say that I was most impressed with making me look 10 years younger (I am an "older" bride, ok 41", and 1st and last marriage) and the special effects making some pictures make it seem like a "dream". We were on too tight a budget, but the internet downloading and rites to our pictures is fantastic. Thank you Absolutely Only !
- Rated 5 stars by Melony J
On year years night we had our wedding. 1st Absolutely Only did not gouge us on price because it was New Years, he charged his regular rates. We appreciated that. And his regular rates beat everyone else's regular rates by a big margin. 2nd We have so many pictures, it is hard to chose the ones we liked the best. He was there early and left late. We really wanted getting ready pictures and he did both "the girls" and "the boys", doing a nice job. 3rd Our wedding pictures, before, during and the 1/2 hour after for our personal pictures (just me and Tony) were very good. We even have a 20x36 made for our living room it was so nice. everybody say "wow" when they see it. I really liked his packages especially owning our pictures AND being able to give family a link to be able to get pictures from the internet... 4th We really wanted the traditional pictures BUT really wanted "something different" too... they did that for us too. We wanted that for our "memory book" of the day. I have recommended them to two others already, and can think of nobody else I would recommend. The whole experience was wonderful. I never saw my mom giggle so much during the event especially when having her pictures done.
- Rated 5 stars by Amazing Special effects and Intimate Portraits PLUS
We have limited professional wedding photographers here in Olympia, and they were pricey. We contacted Absolutely Only in Portland and their rates were the best (and no travel cost either); but we also liked his work. We wanted mostly photo-journalist style at first, but they offered all styles. We were happy we did. Their special effects are amazing, and we got all the originals too. So many candids, we were shocked. They also converted all the originals to black and white, so we ended up with 600+ regular color, all of them in black and white/sepia tone too... plus about 300 special effects... Over 1500 pictures in 6 hours... We couldn't have asked for more... We also own all the rights to our pictures on DVD, got DVD slide shows, several albums. Because we don't know computers very well, they also gave all of them in email size too. Also got a FREE on-line site so my family can download any picture they want, or even order it. 10 stars.
- Rated 5 stars by Tammie A
We had our engagement pictures and wedding/reception by Absolutely Only Wedding photography in May. Everything and more ! All the special pictures were more than we had dreamed. All I can say is A+, reasonable rates and more than fair when compared with other wedding photographers.
- Rated 5 stars by Jim and Jennie
Everything and more was satisfied on our contract. We loved over 900 pictures of the 1100, and liked the rest. We especially liked the ceremony pictures and the different styles done for our traditional pictures, not "just" the standard ones you see, but we got those too. The best part is we own all the rights to our images and their on-line proof and downloading is amazing; saving us a lot of money. He said we would get more for less money... He should say "much more" for a lot less money". He worked with our budget and we were able to get everything and more. DVDs will all our pictures, full rights for printing, many albums, slide shows. We also appreciated his easy going manner, but keeping us on track. The time just flies by. We checked out over 10 other photographers before hiring Absolutely Only... nobody came close to cost, and after we got our pictures, the quality too. Not liking stars, we would rather give 2 thumbs up, WAY UP. I could have saved a lot time seeing them 1st...
- Rated 5 stars by Jackie T
Absolutely Only not only gave us all our original images; I think about 800, and rights to them, the also did many special effects in addition to the special effects, with several collages. Honestly we liked many and loved some, but not some others AT FIRST. Mel had said this we we consulted that "I do a lot of new things with special effects and traditional special effects" and "if you don't like them, you have them but don't print them. And you may like or even come to love them, later on." He was absolutely right: after a month, we actually liked several that were very "out of the box" as he called it. We have since used them for another event, again FANTASTIC PICTURES. His cost is the best, and you get the best. Other people mention gifts, we got some too... Mel and Jane gave us 150+ %, yes 6 + stars.
- Rated 5 stars by Gloria Garcia
We picked Absolutely Only because of his packages AND that we would get all the rights to our pictures, and be able to print ourselves with whoever, saving us a ton of money. We went with their Gold Package because of the time and wanted the albums, and slide shows, and prints. He offered us websites where we could get professional prints at the regular cost. We were impressed with him and his wife, nice social and "not in your face" type of photographers, not pushy... but did keep us on track because we wanted several special pictures that required timing of the sunset. We received over 600 pictures on DVD, slide shows, several flush mount albums, and pictures in black and white AND many special effects, and several prints at no extra cost. We also liked his choice of processors... great price and only 7 day turn around. He also gave us 2 surprise gifts we did not expect.
- Rated 5 stars by Ilene Wallace
We had so many great pictures that it is impossible to choose a favorite! I love the picture he took during the ceremony of our kiss. He was able to capture several shots at different angles and they turned out beautifully! Also when we were having our first dance, he took some very romantic shots as well. Mel was not disruptive at all! Most of the time at weddings, you can see the photographer getting in front of people or stepping up very close to the bride and groom, but we didn't have to deal with anything like that at all. Mel was very good at getting close ups without being right in our faces or in people's way. He had some great creative ideas for some fantastic shots and just did a fabulous job all around. When people look at our wedding album, they always compliment us on how gorgeous our photos are! We could not be happier! We received all of our pictures, including the rights to them! This was a VERY valuable deal for us, since we wanted to print so many of them for our families. He also made us hardcover books that have many beautiful shots in them. We were given several copies of a slide show that HE put together for us that included music from our wedding! He made us feel comfortable by not bossing us around like some other photographers do. He would make suggestions and really LISTEN to what we wanted. My husband and I LOVE our pictures and we will treasure them always! Thank you, Mel for doing such a great job!
- Rated 5 stars by Terry Jonas
When Mel met with us he told us we must be comfortable with rate, like his style and personality and trust them to get the best. We wanted 2 photographers for 10 hrs, but after a discussion it was decided 4 for one and 3 for the other would be MORE than enough which actually cost us less... and they were right. The day was comfortable shooting everything we wanted. We received more than we could have ever expected (plus stuff not even on the contract). The best is every package we owned all the rights to our pictures and could use a print processor we wanted. We went with his recommendations because they were less expensive and better quality that local printers... another plus. We paid about 20% less than the next least expensive photographer and over 60% from the most expensive. He is an artist giving us many special effects we've never seen before, and we still got all of our originals and extras on DVD too. His passworded on-line (free too) services are fantastic and saved us money because friends and family can download pictures they want and print them without an upcharge. How he got my husband to smile so much is a mystery to me...
- Rated 5 stars by Lynne Perry
We've hired Mel twice: first as mother of the bride(Tabitha) and then 3y later to do family portraits and candid shots. Mel is very personable and open, never directive or annoyingly intrusive. We liked his work so much that we had him do family portraits this Father's Day to include my 91y mother. I am looking forward to printing many of these and they absolutely wonderful both the candids and the formal shots. He captures the important moments beautifully.Mel did a very creative modification to a shot of our daughter and new husband that he converted to black and white with a hazy effect and the wedding candle lit. when I think of that lovely day this shot in particular comes to mind, It was ethereal and romantic.Mel was present but never intrusive. He took shots we requested and offered some really fun suggestions, ie one of the guys in the wedding party's hands. They had all gotten manicures along with the ladies. He made getting pictures taken fun and not a chore.Since most of us are very comfortable with digital photos, Mel's method of doing the digital work with creativity and tons of shots that he provided both on-line and in DVD format was ideal for us. He does not do prints but did steer us towards services that did. He was immensely affordable but remarkably talented.
- Rated 5 stars by Scott Sichley
My part for the wedding of my daughter on August 26th was to find a photographer. A friend has a wedding venue and gave me the website of Mel O'Brien ( Absolutelyonly ). I wanted a total professional so that my daughters special day would be captured through photos with high quality for a lasting memory of this day. Also because "Dad" was paying for the photographer! From my first phone conversation with Mel, I knew that I had found the perfect photographer for my baby daughters wedding. They were polite to all family and friends and you will be amazed at the quality of your photos! I had on particular photo blown up to poster size to give to my daughter and her husband, there was no quality loss even after having a poster made! It was difficult at times to get some of our wedding party gathered to take some of the shots but Mel managed to somehow make it all happen throughout the wedding. I now fully understand that choosing a professional photographer is not just having someone that can press the shutter button. Absolutely Only Wedding Photography are truly good people and will capture your wedding day with a capitol "P" on Professional! Thank you so much Mel ! I will be calling you for a few more duplicates soon!
- Rated 5 stars by Denise Lancaster
Mel is wonderful, he was amazing at our wedding. He got every shot we wanted and then some. He even got shots of our middle daughter smiling which hasn't happened since she was two. His prices were the best out there, and you own your own shots. I can't say enough good things about him. He is the only photographer we will ever use.
- Rated 5 stars by Carina M.
Mel did such an amazing job with the effects and it's a stunning b/w with my bouquet in color! So many of our family members are hard to get good pictures of. Mel was such an amazing photographer that we now have at least one amazing "haha we got your picture and you didn't know it" shot of each member in the family. He simply blended in as "Uncle Mel" and was like one of the family. Everyone really enjoyed meeting him and we truly felt he was our guest rather than a vendor. As for action shots, we didn't stop moving very much that day but there are so many wonderful shots of my husband and I dancing and everyone mingling and having a wonderful time. I could not believe the AMAZING deal we got for the price we paid! Most photographers are stingy and WAY over priced. Not only was the price far cheaper than any other wedding photographer and was custom made to our budget, we got more than we could've imagined: Rehearsal Photo Shoot; several hours of photography; HUNDREDS of shots; copies of all the proofs; NO COPY RIGHT, we own all the rights to our pictures. !; DVD Slide Show; CD of all images in full, web, and email size formats; photo books; and so much more... ,not to mention the priceless gift of going from the stress of trying to plan and survive my wedding to finding a photographer that was in my budget price wise and was such a joy to work with that everyone (including my husband and myself) felt was a great family friend! I could never say enough how much we enjoyed working with Mel and Absolutely Only. My family still to this day comments on how much fun the photo shoots were, how amazing the pictures turned out, and how we couldn't have found a better photographer to capture and share the biggest day of my life!
- Rated 5 stars by Tabitha P.
1st - In our book Mel gets 6 out of 5 stars! 2nd - I'd been told by many friends that a photographer can make or break the entire event, Mel definitely made our wedding very special! 3rd - Photographers are expensive, yet Mel's prices are reasonable, not outrageous like most others. Could he really be that good? YES! Our Experience with Mel: When we sat down with Mel to discuss what he offers and what we wanted, we learned that he is a man with a passion for what he does. He gets to know his clients, he learns who they are. Yes, he has a standard contract (to protect himself and you, the client) and forms for what photos you want but he puts the personal effort into learning about you. On the day of the wedding he was early, stayed late and did a job exceeding our expectations. He melded in with our family and friends so well he captured wonderful candids and some great posed shots. He captured shots on the list and not on the list, getting shots I hadn't been able to put on paper in words. Best of all, all these photos are ours, we didn't have to pick and choose to fit a package that we could afford, instead they all belong to us and, with his guidance of quality photo print sites, we are able to print the pictures we want, when we want them. Yes, Mel deserves 6 out of 5 stars!