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Principle Photographers

Principle Photographers

About Michael Anthony

I have been photographing weddings for 12 years. I am a speaker, educator, and writer in our industry. Some of my photography accolades include:

  • Named #1 Photographer in the USA 2019, 2021
  • Named Master of Photography by Professional Photographers of America
  • Earned over 200 awards in an international print competition
  • Best of Nations Winner – Photographic World Cup (2020)
  • Gold Medalist – Team USA – Photographic World Cup (2020, 2022)
  • Finalist – Team USA – Photographic World Cup (2020,2022)
  • Featured in Brides Magazine, Grace Ormonde, Huffington Post, Junebug Weddings, Shutter Magazine, Rangefinder Magazine, Professional Photographer Magazine, and more
  • Photographed Pro Athletes, Celebrities, CEOs, Politicians & Influencers
  • Speaker at international conventions since 2015, including WPPI, Wedding MBA, Shutterfest, Imaging USA, PhotoPlus, and more
  • Featured in advertisements by Canon USA, Profoto USA, Magmod, Imagen-AI, Sigma USA, Panasonic, and many more

While we have a talented team of associate photographers, I still photograph a limited number of weddings yearly. I typically book out around 9-12 months before our associate team fills out our calendar for the year.

To give my clients the best service, I limit the number of weddings I photograph yearly. However, we have a talented associate photography team, one of the only teams in California with a formal training program, which allows our clients to save money and get excellent quality.

About our Principle Photography Team

Our principal photographers are hand-selected and go through extensive training.

In 2014, I noticed that as our business was growing, I needed to be able to teach my photography style to others so that I could serve our clients better and offer more availability. As a photography educator for many years, I am well-versed in the most up-to-date training techniques to make sure that we offer the best talent available to our clients.

Our principal wedding photographers are some of the best in Los Angeles. They undergo a structured months-long training program, which isn't expected for most owner/operator studios, who learn photography mostly from YouTube or 1-hour conference seminars. Furthermore, because we have a team of trained photographers, you never have to worry about your photographer not showing up because they are sick or injured before your wedding day.

Our certified principal photographers have worked with our studio for several years and have 5+ years of professional experience.

Here is what it takes to be a certified principal photographer with our studio.

Selection Process

Our selection process is stringent. While we have an application available for photographers, less than 1% of our applicants have ever been selected and certified as principal photographers. Unlike large national studios that contract whichever photographer responded to a "help wanted" ad the week before your wedding. This talent that enters our training program is typically discovered at the workshops I teach or during scouting pushes a few times a year.

As a photography writer, speaker, & educator, I often meet new photographers who share my vision but require training in our processes to refine their skill set. These are the ideal candidates for becoming principal photographers.

When a prospective photographer is selected, they will fill out our application and, if they have the necessary qualifications, will be interviewed by our training coordinator.

Photographers who are considered as principles have to meet the following criteria before being admitted to our training program:

  • An Understanding of Light and Posing
  • An Amazing Personality
  • Solid Organizational Skills
  • Experience with at least 20 Weddings as a Lead Photographer
  • Passage of background check
  • Evaluation and knowledge of basic photographic principles

Certification Process

Every lead photographer that enters our system first begins with an evaluation shoot. This will help us gauge their starting level of expertise and help us understand their training progress and how they progress through each stage.

Candidates are initially evaluated in the following areas:

  • Composition
  • Lighting
  • Posing
  • Communication
  • Time Management
  • Creativity

Candidates are scored on their initial evaluation shoot, and if they pass the requirements, they move on to our digital training.

Digital Training

Candidates receiving our digital training must complete all our course materials. This consists of training on composition, lighting, posing, communication, time management, creativity, and processes. The length of this course can vary from student to student. However, candidates cannot proceed to the next certification phase until this process is complete. Once the digital training is complete, candidates move on to the Field Training Photographer (FTP) program.

Field Training

Candidates in this stage will receive extensive training by working with Michael directly, as well as other members of our team. This allows them to see shoots in real-time and our work's pace. This stage can last 3-6 months before moving on to their certification evaluation.

After each job or training session, candidates will receive a verbal critique of their performance in this phase, highlighting the areas that need improvement. Critiques are ongoing, even after a photographer passes certification. Once a photographer is certified after their final evaluation, we provide regular, ongoing video critiques of their work, dramatically impacting improvement over the years.

Final Evaluation

After completing all the above steps within a specified period, candidates will be invited to take their final evaluation shoot. This exam requires a passing score for the candidate to be certified as a principal photographer. Principle photographers must pass a probationary period working with the studio before being contracted for jobs.


We constantly evaluate our principal photographers' portfolios to ensure their work stays consistent with our look and feel. Photographers get regular training updates to ensure their creativity is current and fresh.

In-person training

We hold multiple in-person training events annually and require our team to attend to demonstrate new techniques we are working on, ensure that we are utilizing the latest technology to its total capacity, and update processes.

Editing and Post-production

One of the ways that we ensure consistency throughout our portfolio is to keep our post-production consistent no matter who on our team is photographing an event. By doing this, we can use the same color, toning, and composition techniques to keep your images looking their best. For more information about our editing processes, see here.

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