~ love letters ~

"Being a wedding designer with over 4,000 weddings and special events that I am credited for, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best photographers in the country. Douglas is in my top 5 of those photographers who have an artistic yet romantic and sentimental side that gets the emotion and the "real love story" of the couple, the family, the dear friends and those that make up the heart of a wedding. Douglas creates the most meaningful portraits that will live on not only through your lifetime but your children's children. If you are fortunate enough to know him as a person and have him celebrate your wedding as well, then you will have an experience you will never forget." 

- Colette Cucchia / California Wedding Planner

"Doug is incredible. An amazing talent and such a joy to work with. We did some engagement photos surfing in Pacifica, and Doug was up to his knees in the chilly Northern CA water getting some amazing shots! On our wedding weekend in Healdsburg, Doug was such a wonderful presence, capturing the intimate and personal moments while making us feel so comfortable. Many of our guests commented how they barely realized he was even there! Yet we loved having him as part of our wedding weekend. Kind, courteous, and heartfelt - we truly couldn't recommend anyone more highly." 

- Matt F / Pacifica and Healdsburg, California.

"Doug and Katherine, thank you so much for everything these past several months! From the engagement shoot, to our wedding day, we are beyond grateful not just for your incredible artistry and craft, but equally your kindness and creativity. Every step of the way we loved having you by our side. Anyone who has the pleasure to work with you is better for it, and we can't wait to have more of our life captured through your lens." 

- Libbie A / Redwood City and Sonoma, California

"I'm writing this review on our first anniversary. To say that Doug made our wedding dreams come true is an understatement. Let me preface this by saying I was 7 months pregnant, sick and stressed and my husband was working full-time and was a student. Planning a wedding was beyond our scope of capability and then my husband and I found Doug. Doug is, simply put, a wonderful human and artist. The first time we spoke with him I said, just please show my baby but not, you know, the fact that I am 7 months pregnant. Also, because we eloped and for our unborn son, we wanted those we love to feel like they were there. To this day countless people tell us we have the most beautiful wedding pictures they have ever seen. Doug was one of 2 guests at our wedding and it's a joy to think he was able to share and capture the day with us (he even signed our marriage certificate as a witness :)) Because of his vision and sensitivity the photos would make anyone feel like they shared the day with us. We would recommend Doug without hesitation and with the highest regard." 

- Tara B / Big Sur, California (and later for a session in San Francisco, California).

"Where to begin.... Doug beautifully captured the most incredible days of my life (engagement and celebration). It was like living my best imaginable dream, and I'm so grateful that he was there to capture it.
We will truly cherish our photos for the rest of our lives. Doug puts his heart into his work, and he was really gracious in getting teaser photos to us quickly- we had an incredible time sharing with family and friends. Doug is so talented and beyond that, also an incredible human. "

- Natalie A / Big Sur, California.

"Doug, thank you for these incredible photos! You truly captured all of our surprise, excitement, and love. I cannot wait to see the rest and will treasure these forever! As we mentioned, we typically feel quite awkward getting our photographs taken, but you made it so easy and fun and the results are amazing. We would love to work together in the future, so we will let you know as our plans for the future develop." 

- Claire B / Big Sur, California.

"We have now used Doug and Katherine for two of my children's weddings. There are not enough words to express how happy my husband and I have been with their service and professionalism. I appreciate the fact that they recognize that the wedding is a ceremony and not a media frenzy. I have been to weddings where I cannot see the bride and groom because the photographer is standing in front of the congregation. I dont know how they manage to get such amazing pictures without disturbing the sanctity of the event. When my daughter got married in New York and had receptions in NY and Hawaii they were there for both. When and if my other three children get married - I will be sure that it cannot take place without Doug & Katherine!" 

- Kathy G / proud Mom with events at West Point, New York and Oahu, Hawaii.

"Douglas and Katherine, 

Thank you! Our wedding photos are stunning! STUNNING! I am my own worst critic when it comes to photos--honestly, I like maybe one out of one hundred pictures of myself--so I was really nervous about how our photos would turn out. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was when I saw them! Everything about them is just amazing. You captured the perfect moments and conveyed the mood and emotion of the day beautifully. Everyone who's seen them has been completely WOWed!

We are incredibly happy to have such a beautiful record of our wedding, and so many beautiful shots to treasure and to share. We appreciate so much your waiting on the road for hours while the storm debris was removed! And your being so calm and patient and gracious while I took more hours getting ready. I was frantic!! And miraculously, there is no sign of that in the pictures!"

- Nelia H / Big Sur, California.

"As a planner I am often asked for photographer recommendations and Doug is at the top of my list. Especially for clients looking for something just a little different. Very photo journalistic in style, Doug captures the soft looks between couples, those personal moments that bring back the warm emotions of a wedding celebration, and without being intrusive. He works both in digital and film, ask him about his "negative strip prints" they are an art work themselves. Negatives from each portion of the wedding are lined up and a large posted made that captures the journey of your wedding day. As a planner, Doug is easy going, gracious and comfortable to work with. Always good about checking in, making sure the client understands the details of his service and is adaptable when time lines shift or additional toasts are needed. Looking forward to working together this wedding season Doug!" 

- Sadie Waddington / California based Wedding and Event Planner

"Doug and Katherine at Helios Images were exactly what we were looking for our wedding.  Their pictures capture the ENERGY of the moment completely.  

I wanted to avoid only having "posey" pictures because I wanted our photos to show what we were truly feeling on the day.  I honestly can't say enough of how perfectly this came through in Doug and Katherine's photos.  It's as if you feel you're actually at our wedding just by glancing at one of their photos.  The first image they sent us from our wedding I exclaimed, "That is EXACTLY why I wanted these guys to be our photographers!!"  The shots go even beyond my expectations with the beautiful lighting and clarity in each photo.

Doug and Katherine were extremely professional from square one, yet wonderfully kind and easy going.  Every email was promptly responded back, every phone call was answered or returned super quick.  Their professionalism continued during our entire experience with them at the wedding and post-wedding with their sweet email a week later with our first photo.

I would 150% recommend them to anyone looking for amazing photographers.  I TRULY can't say enough of HOW HAPPY we are with our wedding being so beautifully documented.

I LOVE THESE GUYS!!  You would be ridiculous not to choose them...seriously."

- Kasia L / Nipomo, California

"Doug was our wedding photographer and easily the best decision we made for our big day. Along with providing us with beautiful photos, we have such fond memories of working with him! He is so kind, down-to-earth (so important on those hectic days!), and made us feel at ease in front of the camera. Wish we lived closer so we could hire Doug for all of our family milestones!" 

- Jerene A / Big Sur, California.

My husband and I debated for a long time about doing a family photo session. In our day-to-day lives, we never seem to get photos of the whole family, and I especially wanted to capture some of the kids with their grandparents. My advice is to definitely do it, and you can't go wrong with Helios Images!

I first met Doug and Katherine at 2 different weddings that they photographed for our friends. They were funny, easy going, and had this great artistic perspective that really captured the 2 couples' (different) personalities. When we finally decided we wanted to do a family photo session, I emailed Doug and was thrilled he could fit us in.

The entire morning was surprisingly fun and easy (all of us are rather photo shy). Even my very old school, Chinese in-laws--who were dreading the photo session--enjoyed the experience. Doug was warm and professional, and somehow unobtrusive throughout.

And I have to say, I teared up when I saw the results a few days later. Doug captured us as doing a lot of the things we normally do (playing in the sandbox, running around the house...), but also our joy, love, and humor as a family. Now, when I see our photos, I can't help but smile to myself and think "that's exactly the way I want to remember ourselves." Doug and Katherine are such kind, creative and thoughtful artists, and I think that's reflected in the photos they take--beautiful, priceless memories of yourselves and your loved ones.

- Bonnie T / Elk Grove, California

"Hiring Doug to photograph our wedding was one of the best decisions we made during our planning. Doug is nice, chill, and easy going. He even spent time out of his day to hang out for lunch to get to know us better. The more we got to know him, the more we knew he was a perfect fit for the wedding.

Doug's documentary style photography was able to capture those fleeting moments people seem to forget about. He was also very unobtrusive, most of the time I didn't know he was there taking pictures! Doug is also very flexible in what you need to be photographed. For instance we needed more traditional photographs with the family. So he was able to manage and direct groups of people together to take pictures.
Having Doug be our wedding photographer just seemed right and we are glad he could be a part of our wedding, he is a way chill dude to hang out with and also very professional. Hire this guy now! We plan to again."

- Scott B / Alameda, California.

"Doug is the absolute best. We had decided somewhat last minute to elope to Big Sur and not only was Doug super responsive he was incredibly warm, helpful and excited about getting us the wedding pictures of our dreams. And those pictures are better than we could have imagined! It was a very intimate ceremony and Doug not only captured those beautiful moments in sweet and touching ways, but his presence was also so fun and enjoyable that we really felt like we were enjoying the moment with someone who really cared about us (not to mention laughing with us on our silly jokes, bad impressions and trying new places he'd never shot before).

I was drawn to Doug's photos based on his website and he not only delivered but exceeded our expectations. His enthusiasm, genuine kindness and knowledge of the area, made our day even more special because he was there. We couldn't recommend Doug more! "

- Elizabeth L / Big Sur, California.

"From the moment we contacted Doug, my husband and I fell in love with his warmth and easy-going nature. He was quick at responding to our request and we immediately set up a phone conversation because we were planning our wedding from a distance. The conversation was full of laughs and excitement. It was the perfect fit right from the beginning. Doug took the time to get to know us and understand our preferences for our wedding day. My husband and I are an easy going-couple, which worked well with Doug's approach. He is full of beautiful ideas, yet able to go with the flow.

The week before the wedding, we asked Dough to re-arrange the timing of the day and he was incredibly flexible and generous! We absolutely LOVED working with him and found ourselves just wanting to get some time to hang out with him throughout the day. His kindness and good energy really made our wedding day special.
We are in awe of our pictures. They are everything we hoped for and more! We highly, highly recommend Doug for your special event. He is the perfect addition to the day and captures the essence of the beautiful moments in his photographs. "

- Megan R / Big Sur, California.

"Doug is simply the best! He photographed our wedding this past August and we couldn't be happier with the photos he captured of our special day.

My husband and I first came across Helios Images through Yelp and fell in love with Doug's documentary style photography. When I contacted him, he responded right away and was excited to hear about our wedding plans. My husband and I met him in person a couple of weeks later and the three of us just clicked. We knew without a doubt he was the right person to photograph our wedding.

Doug's friendly demeanor was an asset on our big day, as he organized our many family members for group photos with ease. He quietly took shots throughout the evening and was able to capture some wonderful moments. I swear, the man is a ninja!

We can't thank Doug enough for his outstanding work. He captured memories that we will cherish forever, and we can't wait for him to be our family photographer in the near future. "

- Lisa B / Alameda, California.

"Choosing a photographer was probably the most nerve racking decision my wife and I had to make in planning our wedding. As much as we (and by we I mean mostly she) worked extremely hard to make sure every detail was just the way we (she) wanted it we both knew that after all was said and done only our photos and the memories they preserve would be with us forever.

Doug manages to do two things with his photos simultaneously that set him apart from any other photographer we came across; he produces stunning images of course but he also manages to capture the true spirit of every moment. His photos are light and elegant, candid and honest, classic and timeless; a true reflection of every emotion documented with pure artistry.

Doug was able to put us both at ease immediately which is why when we look at our photos we truly see ourselves. Not a single photo looks poised or forced. He somehow manages to be extremely focused and serious about his craft while making us laugh out loud numerous times throughout the day. His charming and personable demeanor allowed us to completely relax while he was working and at times forget he was there entirely (a hard feat when your photographer is one of only 18 guests).

In summary we have nothing but glowing things to say about Doug and his work and if you're lucky enough to snag him for your event we're confident you'll feel the same way. "

- David P / Big Sur, California.

We booked Doug again this past winter for a family photo shoot and convinced my sister's family to also book a session back to back. It was MAGICAL! Doug is so easy to work with and he is a master at capturing those sweet, intimate moments of a family. My favorite images were the ones he caught of my children just quietly cuddling their stuffed animals. This has become our family tradition, and the photos that Doug takes are some of our most treasured. My sister felt exactly the same and now we're already discussing next year's photo sessions! I honestly can't recommend him enough--thank you, Doug!!

- Bonnie T / Elk Grove, California

"Doug was amazing! We had a small, immediate-family-only wedding a couple weeks ago in Big Sur, and we chose Doug as our photographer based on his portfolio. His images really seem to capture the emotion of the experience, and that takes talent. He put me at ease from the first conversation - this was a destination wedding for us, so handling everything remotely was a bit scary. But not with Doug; he's very calm and personable and seems genuinely interested in his photography subjects. We wanted pictures on both Pfeiffer Beach and in the redwoods, so he was very accommodating and even found the ideal redwood spot for our photos. He made us and our families feel comfortable in front of the camera (which can be hard!), and was very helpful and professional with the whole process. I couldn't be happier with our decision to choose Doug as our wedding photographer!"

- Julie C / Big Sur, California.

"We had a small intimate wedding with just our parents and my little brother in Big Sur. We're from Miami and being all the way on the other side of the country, I was really worried about EVERYTHING. When I first spoke to Doug, those worries (at least about our photos) were put at ease. I felt like I was speaking to a friend who was just as interested and excited about shooting our wedding as we were. Whenever I had a question I'd email him and get a response right away. If you've ever been in Big Sur you know that cell phones are useless because it's almost impossible to get a signal and I was a bit worried that I couldn't speak to him the day of the ceremony but he was there on time. I can't express enough how incredibly happy I am with the way the photos came out. They are beyond what I expected. He is incredible at what he does and knows exactly how to get jaw dropping shots. If you plan to get married in the Big Sur/San Fransisco area I highly recommend him."

- Cristal M / Big Sur, California.

"Doug was absolutely fantastic. He has a calm to his persona which seems to seep into his photographs- you can tell he is constantly seeking beauty, in whatever form. His photos reveal a kind of underlying truth and authenticity that cannot be replicated. My wife and I are very happy we decided to invest in his careful attention. He's also incredibly respectful and easy to work with. I feel like I made a friend in addition to hiring a wedding photographer."

- Kennedy H / Pacifica, California and Western Pennsylvannia.

"Doug photographed our intimate Big Sur ceremony and I couldn't be happier. Our photos are simply amazing and he managed to capture these little heart warming moments that I wasn't aware of. I can't even describe how special these images are to me. In the words of a friend, "Good lawd. These photos are out of control. I've never seen wedding photos that can even compare with these."

I actually chose Doug as a photographer over another I had been considering based on his responsiveness. It was a destination ceremony and we had never visited the area before. Doug was incredibly helpful responding to questions and giving advice via email. The day of - he made everyone feel comfortable and was very accommodating. Wonderful, from first contact to image delivery. "

- Katrina F / Big Sur, California.

"Since Doug photographed our wedding four years ago, we have become a family of three and he is now our family photographer! He photographed our son when he was a month old and also captured our 2019 holiday photos. We're planning to have our 2020 holiday photoshoot with him next month.

Doug has such an artistic eye. He manages to capture the sweetest moments, and they're always beautifully composed in a way that is uniquely his. He's also incredibly personable and easy going, so it feels more a like a good friend is taking our photos.

In the wake of the pandemic, he also started a new service called Family Photo Editor. Every week we send him up to twelve of our own family photos for him to edit, and when he sends them back to us it's like he photographed them himself. Of course nothing can quite replace Doug, but having him edit our family photos is the next best thing. He recently decided to put Family Photo Editor on hold through the rest of the year, but we look forward to when he starts up the service again.

Doug is a talent that you don't come across very often. We feel so fortunate to have him as our family photographer, and can't recommend him highly enough."

- Lisa B / Alameda, California

"Doug was absolutely wonderful!! We really couldn't have asked for a better wedding photographer. The wedding day is such a stressful day, and Doug kept both my husband and I calm and relaxed (which is quite a task, haha). He made everything so easy and laid back, and kept our guests happy, engaged, and having fun. Doug's photography is spectacular, but his personality and positive energy is truly noteworthy. We feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to work with him and for him to be a part of our big day!"

- Nicole M / Paso Robles, California.

"Doug is the best!!! His calm and friendly demeanor helped everyone relax and enjoy the day, especially this camera-shy bride. He was able to be everywhere at once and never in the way. He listened to our wishes and had great suggestions. He so perfectly captured the joy of the day that I can hardly look at the photos without crying. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect photography experience on our big day. Thank you so much!" 

- Erica K / Big Sur, California.

"Needed photos for: engagement photo shoot, head shot for work website, and wedding photos.
Result: pure amazingness.

I cannot say enough good things about Doug and Helios Images. We first hired Doug to take engagement photographs in Berkeley - he made my (now) husband and I feel completely at ease, which was challenging because neither of us are naturally photogenic or comfortable being photographed, so we were really intimidated by the idea of doing an engagement photo shoot. We left the shoot with full confidence in the quality of Doug's photos, and knowing we were going to hire him for our wedding even before we saw the final results. Needless to say, those photographs turned out to be beautiful, as expected.

Doug and Katherine just photographed our wedding. While we haven't seen all of those photos yet, we have all the confidence in the world that they will be wonderful, and we were so impressed with how Doug and Katherine really integrated themselves in to the wedding, and made everyone feel comfortable. They weren't obtrusive, yet they made sure they got great shots; they weren't rude to guests, but they kindly and politely asked guests to refrain from taking photos as they were trying to photograph us - it really was the perfect balance between friendliness and professionalism. Every single relative and friend who has talked to us about the wedding has also raved about Doug and Katherine and how fun yet professional they both were. We had a minor power outage at the wedding, rendering our photobooth inoperable for a few minutes, so Doug valiantly (without me even asking) stepped inside the booth and started taking photos of guests for us!

I have absolutely no hesitation about recommending Helios images to anyone for any occasion!"

- Jennifer M / Tiburon and Berkeley, California

"Wow!!! I LOVE the pics!!! So happy we found you. You were so much fun to work with and really made us feel comfortable being in front of a camera all day.  Next time we are in Cali we will have to meet up with you and your girlfriend!  We will use you in the future for sure, once we figure out the family wedding we will let you know. If you are ever in Florida, you and your girlfriend are always welcome to stay with us."

- Leslie A / Big Sur, California

"Our experience with Doug was 100% positive. Doug photographed our intimate wedding on the coast in Carmel, CA. Since it was just our officiant, my husband, me, and Doug, it was especially important that we have a good rapport with our photographer, since he was also serving as the only witness! Doug was great to work with, very easy-going, and it was a pleasure to spend time with him. We were very happy with our shots and even when contacted very late in the process (over a year and a half after our wedding), Doug was quickly able to coordinate ordering an album and prints. We would recommend Doug without hesitation!" 

- Naomi S / Carmel, California.

"I'm so grateful for Doug's patience, artistry and expertise. It had been almost 30 years since my last professional shoot and I was nervous. Doug created a calm engaging session and produced brilliant, authentic shots for my upcoming book. Click above, you have found your photographer, no need to look elsewhere! Thanks Doug!"

- Alison H / Alameda, California

"Doug has such vision and perspective. He can take something that seems mundane to the average eye and create true art. Plus if there is such a term as "Interventional Photography" Doug would be the founder. He is part of your event, not just there to document it. He has cleaver suggestions and is willing to extend himself to help make the most magical shots ever. Doug had done a friends wedding so I was already familiar with Helios work but my husband (then fioncee) was sceptical. He had such fun in the process of photo taking and then when he saw the results was just blown away. If you want to artistry for your event, Helios is your best choice!" 

- Margo V / Oahu, Hawaii.

"Doug and Katherine were amazing...beyond amazing. They went so far beyond my expectations, it left us speechless. Somehow they managed to both calm our nerves during our big day AND take incredible photos. They had a way of being almost invisible during the ceremony and reception but somehow being able to capture the best photos. One of my guests even commented- "I don't remember even seeing your photographers" after complimenting how Doug managed to get a picture of me sharing a private laugh with my almost husband during the ceremony. I loved looking through all of the images- it let us relive every part of that great day. And my guests may have loved the images more b/c Doug and Katherine managed to capture my guest's fun/unique/sentimental moments within our special day- they all found pictures they will treasure. Doug and Katherine have such an amazing ability combined with their genuine personalities I felt I was inviting close friends to my wedding as well as the best photographers out there. Incredible people and incredible photos." 

- Beth G / West Point, New York and Oahu, Hawaii (then later for portrait session on Sebago Lake in Maine).

"My wedding day was perfect! Doug was able to capture all the wonderful moments on camera. My husband and I got married in Big Sur with just our parents as guests. Our wedding was meant to be on the beach but when we arrived, there was a terrible windstorm which we had been warned might happen. Doug helped my husband search for a spot that might shelter us from the wind while I hid in the car out of the grooms view. My husband suggested to the group that we head back to our cabin and hold the ceremony at the creek. Brilliant! Doug was extremely flexible and hopped back in his car following us 10minutes down the road to our secluded, peaceful little paradise in the woods. The photos he captured were amazing. It was definitely more than I expected. And the best part was how natural they all were. We weren't posed into the typical wedding pictures, but rather he followed our lead and took picture after picture of our beautiful memories. At the end of the day it was clear that we had chosen the right photographer. He had the same vision we did. Thank you Doug for catching all the magic on film!" 

- Katheryn S / Big Sur, California.

"Doug and Katherine are the most wonderful people and photographers. We found them by chance while planning our elopement. We fell in love with his attention to detail and journalistic approach to photography while viewing his portfolio. Katherine volunteered to do my makeup and hair when I could not find anyone in Big Sur. They both drove out of their way to get photos of McWay falls when the rain kept us from having our ceremony there. We were honored to have them as our witnesses to our elopement and to have spent our big day hanging with us." 

- Laura G / Big Sur, California.

"Task: family portrait

Family: 4 adults + 1 dog

The results were absolutely amazing! My parents were absolutely stoked with how the shots came out. Now we have the daunting task of selecting 3 or 4 to print and mount. Definitely will be tough considering all the choices.
Doug suggested a lovely location- the Cliff House during sunset. The backdrop could not be more perfect with Sutro Heights, beach, and the baths. He was even able to make a curious noise to get our puppy to look at the camera! Katherine was a great help getting everyone to relax and pose naturally. These photographs will be treasured for generations to come."

- Tiffany L / San Francisco, California

"These guys are absolutely the best. Doug's kindness, humor, fun, and focus was such a pleasure to be around on our wedding day, taking photos was a joyful part of the experience. I think, people underestimate the role that the photographer will play on your wedding, they are with you all day, and Doug was really fun to be with! He is comfortable and engaging, and relaxed with the families, which was fantastic. And the photos are works of art. He has an incredible eye creating beautiful scenes, capturing the perfect lighting, and we just happened to be in these amazing scenes looking all dressed up. I've never seen wedding photographs as artfully made as his, we are so thankful that he was with us on our wedding. They're very special!" 

- Eleanor K / Lynn, Massachusetts (then later for portrait sessions in Boston, Massachusetts).

"Helios Images has heart. From first meeting to last-minute in time for Christmas present special editing magic, Helios cared for us, and about our wedding and the meaning of that event in our family. We decided on Douglas Despres because after looking over stacks of websites, his were the images that made us feel that if we had just ONE image of the caliber in his portfolio, we'd have something worth the cost of wedding photography. I am happy to say that we have way more than just one. I feel lucky that we found Helios Images, and grateful that we have pictures that capture not just the appearance but also the moments and emotions of a wonderful day.
After the photos were taken, Doug was as kind and professional as he had been prior to the date. He went above and beyond to help us as we ordered prints and shared the images online. We just hope Doug will agree to be there to photograph many more moments in our life!" 

- Melanie A / Cayucos, California (then later for portrait sessions in San Francisco and North Hollywood, California).

"The minister who performed our wedding in Cambria had recommended Douglas, and we couldn't have been more happy with his photography, his professionalism, and his presence on our special day. He was creative and engaging, and made the process an absolute joy for both of us. His unique style perfectly captured the tone of our wedding, and I can't imagine the event without him--mostly because the day was a blur, and without him, we would have missed much of what was going on around us during the ceremony. We can't recommend Douglas enough." 

- David P / Cambria, California

"Where to start...*deep breath*

I'm nervous that i won't be able to describe in words the AMAZING experience I had with the photographers of Helios Images- Doug+Katherine.

But here I go....

A little background info, it's a couple run operation. If you like more info, definately check out their website/blog because they are far better at introducing themselves than me. :)

Ok, so I reached out to the couple because I needed headshots for a job resume. And, they went beyond expectations. We went on a drive northbound from central California to San Fran along the Big Sur. I felt like a model/movie star on my own photo shoot!!! Of course I am not used to taking pictures and kind of camera shy sooo...they just talked to me in a normal manner...just normal conversation...and Doug would be taking pictures then Katherine...tag team. They utilized the natural lighting, perfectly and syncing the times of the positions of the sun, where the shadows were, etc. (I'm not sure of the technical terminology, hehe) They had it down to a T!  The photos came out great! I felt great! And, I looked great! In just a professional headshot for my resume, they captured not just a ordinary photo of myself but it portrayed-essence of me, confident me. It was for a job abroad so it really helped to show the most of me before interviewing face to face.

*exellent quality photos
*makes you feel comfortable
*super nice duo
*make you beautiful using your real face instead of photoshop like whoa and people ask "is that really you"
*communicates/coordinates well with you to get the exact photo(s) you want
*loves what they do/passionate
*makes you smile+laugh
*captures the best of you
*answered ALL of my questions

None- seriously.


- Sinae B / Big Sur, California (then later for destination wedding in Austin, Texas)

"Doug is simply an awesome guy and an amazing photographer! My wife and I are so glad he was available for our wedding and we're so happy with the work he did capturing our day. He even traveled from CA to Boston to be there for us. Fortunately, I was able know Doug and see his work because he and his partner Katherine photographed 2 of my friend's weddings, and i was a groomsman in one. Choosing a photographer would have been such a difficult process otherwise. He's such a laid-back guy and all-around genuine person, yet has a quick eye for artistic detail and capturing the right moments. I'm an amateur photographer myself, so it was fun talking technical details with him, and i really respect his talent." 

- Kyle O / Boston, Massachusetts.

"Doug and Katherine are amazing photographers and people! We knew we wanted Doug to photograph our wedding after seeing his wedding photos of an acquaintance. We are so fortunate that he was willing to work with us! He and Katherine are so kind, easy going and professional. And the photos are gorgeous! They traveled to the East Coast for our wedding, worked through a rainy day, and still captured every moment possible- as if they were in 10 places at one time. Thank you!" 

- Alyson H / Jaffrey, New Hampshire.

"I cannot say enough good things about Doug and his photography. My husband and I are artists at heart and after seeing the samples Doug had (over a lovely dinner, no less) we fell in love. He has an eye for beauty that I can't even explain in words. I was seriously thinking I was going to look silly in all the pictures, I was ridiculously happy during the entire wedding, and felt like I had a goofy grin the entire time. Somehow he captured me and the entire wedding in these gorgeous, sincere moments that we didn't even have time to think about during that crazy day. When you book Doug Despres you are booking a true artist, you will have museum quality photos to commemorate your special day. If I booked one thing perfectly right that day,it was my photographer (not to down play how amazing our reverend was)!" 

- Sarah R / Rindge, New Hampshire.

"Doug & Katherine were amazing to work with! From the time we contacted Doug, through the wedding, ordering pictures, and getting all of our items, Doug was incredibly friendly and responsive. They take amazing pictures! If you're looking for a wedding photographer who is beyond the status quo-then look no further! We were SO pleased with our pictures!" 

- Carisa M / Cambria, California.

"When planning our wedding, I assumed all photographers were pretty much the same: point, click, print, charge. All portfolios showed happy couples, smiling family members, and events from the wedding. It all seemed really expensive for what they did. Not Doug (Helios Images). He was trained in journalism and has a keen eye to get the event through and through. He not only captures events but captures emotions, scenery, and the vibe of a wedding. He does it all with class and professionalism. I have seen some wedding photo albums of the "people smiling at the camera variety" they are not interesting to look at, and often end up on the shelf. Doug's photos show so much more than just the wedding itself, they capture the heart and essence of the event, I look back at the pictures and remember moments, statements, feelings. Do yourself a favor and hire Doug! As a cheap, skeptical groom, I can tell you he was well worth it (and much cheaper than many photographers)!" 

- Brent M / Cambria, California.

"I couldn't say enough positive things about our experience with Doug and Katherine. They were so much fun to work with. They made sure that we had our in put and they were able to get our dream shots (even when we didn't provide them with the best description). We had a great combination of posed shots and many more "candid" shots that captured us and all of our guests having such a great time. We were beyond blessed to have their great talents on our wedding day!" 

- Allison H / Cambria, California.

"Excellent, professional, artistic, warm, and personable. We have most amazing photos from the wedding and also the most wonderful wedding day because of Doug and Katherine. My fiancee and I feel like we've gained a wonderful couple friends and are very grateful for that. I would suggest that you especially take a look at Doug's film photography. It's simply amazing. You can't get that through most other photographers. Recommend with two thumbs up from the bottom of our hearts." 

- Jenny and Erik T / Boston, Massachusetts.

"Doug D photographed our wedding in beautiful Big Sur, California in May 2011. Simply put- he was awesome. He is a fabulous photograher and a really nice person. He is the type of person you would just want to hang out with and have a few beers. We were both nervous on our wedding day but he put us at ease and caught a couple hilarious photos of us being our goofy selves. In fact, he took one photo of us in a victory stance, which looks more like a photo at the end of a finish line than a wedding! That is the one we have framed on our wall. In that one image, he captured not only our wedding day, but who we are as a couple and all the love and fun that we share on a daily basis...

It has been over a year since my wedding and when I look back at his photos, I am brought back to all of the wonderful anticipation, love and magic of that day. He captured both the wedding and our personalities so well. He has a gift. I would recommend him to anyone."

- Nelia H / Big Sur, California.

"Doug and Katherine are absolutely amazing to work with! They are not only very professional and creative but also friendly and enthusiastic. I always felt like I was their number one special client (even though I knew they were working with many other clients) because they take a genuine interest in what you want for your wedding. From my first conversation with them to all the subsequent discussions leading up to the big day, they always exuded excitement and were very generous with their time (including arriving early to scope out good locations at the venue site). I also really appreciate that they were open-minded to our various ideas and always very responsive/patient with my various questions, including the use of various types of film which I highly recommend because they add an extra romantic quality to the shots. They were able to turn our often times amorphous ideas into reality and surprise us by taking everything to the next level with their beautiful use of light and creative use of angles/perspectives. They have a special talent for capturing not just the events of the day but the natural emotions so that the pictures tell a wonderful tale of the day. On the wedding day, I was impressed with how effortlessly they interacted with our various friends and family and how seamlessly they glided around to capture various moments. Some pictures make me think there were four of them instead of two because I didn't know how they could capture the different perspectives during certain given moments. I feel so lucky to have met such wonderful photojournalists and will continue to stalk their blog/website to see what artwork they create next!"

- Kat H / Rindge, New Hampshire.

"I don't think it's possible to pick better photographers than Doug and Katherine. They're just about the nicest people you'll ever get to work with, and it's very apparent that they love their work and what they do. They were extremely accommodating and flexible in terms of asking us what we wanted and making it happen. They were also very nice and responsive to all of our questions and concerns throughout the planning process leading up to the event.

We have only received about a half dozen sample images so far of what they shot that day, and we already so happy with them and can't wait to see more. We are definitely looking forward to putting together the albums.
Overall, we loved working with Doug and Katherine immensely. They're so easy to get along with and are so comfortable to be around. With photography especially, it's so important to be able to be comfortable with the people you're working with, and there's nobody we would recommend more than Doug and Katherine."

- Matt S / Boston, Massachusetts.

"Doug and Katherine,

We LOVE these shots. I cannot wait to see more!!!!! Thank you for capturing these moments for us--the lighting, and all of it, is gorgeous!!!! "


"I couldn't possibly agree more! Doug and Katherine, thank you so much for these golden photos! What a stellar, *stellar* first look! We're just over the moon for these and your other work--holy smokes the photos are so richly detailed and colorful that the textures of the objects are almost palpable!

We'll keep checking back for the rest of the photos (no rush, though--honest!), and we, too, would really enjoy hanging with you guys next time we're in the bay area!"

- Caroline H. and Austin S. / Big Sur, California

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