“He shoots weddings with the deft eye and casual air of a classic photojournalist…”
One of the top fine art wedding photojournalists in the world
“The first image that caught my eye was the child’s smile, headlining the crisp black suit, radiant red silk tie, and the soft, delicate boutonniere of orchid and wild grasses. Without the child’s eyes in the picture, my gaze drifted happily from the crisp sheen of the black suit to the subtle textures of the radiant tie, to that boutonniere. The orchid was so tantalizing – I thought of my own sons when they were just infants, and how soft and tender their ears were, just like that dusty orchid. I was entranced.
I moved from moment to moment, the groomsmen gathering, the birds’ nest ring basket, the nervous smile of the father of the bride, the rose petals on the grass. I forgot I was sitting in Denver, and wandered among the trees, the leaves, the grasses, the chairs, the guests. And then I saw the bridge shot, the white stone walk, the bride and groom and in the rear, the bridesmaid caught mid-stride, skipping. It was intoxicating.
I’ve shown Otto’s China wedding shoot to countless people, quietly drifting with them among the shots, watching them have the same reactions I had – delight and joy. I get as much joy seeing their first reactions as I reenter the moments Otto captured, and wander with him through the half-moments, the pauses between where play, delight, curiosity, wonder and bliss occur. It’s quiet when we do this. The color, the interplay of shadow and light, the moments caught all seem to emanate a cool jazz that fills the air with more meaningful music than any dialogue I might offer could.
“It makes me want to get married,” said one. I understand fully. For me, I see the images and want to get married again, and again, for the rapture of the moment to never end. I remember my own wedding, the joy, the anticipation, the electricity, and I want to go there again.
I talked to Otto about these shots, what they did inside of me, and he sat quietly and smiled a little. In his eyes I could see that I had travelled to the destination he had in mind. He said little, but I knew this is what he wanted. It was as if he could walk among the crowd, and slip between the moments, slow time down and take a deep breath. Then, when he was ready, and perfectly still, he could select that moment in time, the light, the movement, the exact thoughts of each person in his frame, and then he would press the shutter.
“What I do isn’t uncommon, Jay,” he countered. “No, it is,” I insisted. “Many understand framing, lighting, composition, but only in academic terms. You understand when. You slip between the seconds when everyone else squeezes the shutter, resisting the urge, and select that inner timing, where the rest of us actually experience it all.” He reflected on this momentarily, and became a little shy. “I guess so, yes.” He was doing it again, slipping into his trademark introspection.
As a younger man in my twenties I travelled to Paris and spent hours wandering through the diminutive Musée Rodin. Here was motion and emotion caught in white marble. Sensuality and pain, joy, delight and meditation. It was an edifice to an obsessive genius. I was working my way through a seminal piece for every young bohemian, Rainer Maria Rilke’s ‘Letter’s to a Young Poet’ (this was probably my tenth or twentieth read-through). Rilke had understudied Rodin for many years, and in these letters he writes to his correspondent, Kappus, that “Nobody can advise you and help you, nobody. There is only one way. Go into yourself.” And so Rodin had done, travelling intimately into the moments, and drawing from them that erotic moment, and laying it quietly into almost melting marble.
And so, too, had Otto done, this time with moments in between the other moments. It seemed as if he had spent hours waiting between the very seconds for the perfection of all his elements.
And then Hindu weddings. The rapture of celebration, the ecstasy of the revel, the holiness of the moments. And the Wyoming weddings. The vastness of an unending sky, hours that feel like they stretch into days, the ripple of the stream, the breezes brushing the grasses. And the street photography
I’ve challenged friends to open any book by Toni Morrison, to any page, to any line, and to read that line. Is it not one of the most musical, beautiful sentences you’ve ever read? Always, yes. It’s like reading from Neruda, when he slips into the rapturous spells of enchantment over his lover. The fearlessness, the ability that moves beyond technique into the swift artistry of the master in the moment. Otto sits there, quietly, meditatively, while the story spins around him, and then pounces on that moment with deadly precision. Try it yourself. Go to any of his galleries, open any of his pages. Scroll down and randomly come to rest at any of his moments.
Did you do it? It happened, didn’t it? You found yourself swept into the story, into your own memories, and transported into dream.
I think we want this at a very primal level. We want rapture, dream, worship, memory, delight, meditation. We live in between those moments, we love, know and understand our lives in those moments.
Otto takes us there.”
” The most unobtrusive wedding photographer I have ever seen.”
peter k, rangefinder magazine
” Dramatic, dreamy, and distinctively gorgeous, the work of Otto Shulze speaks with a voice all it’s own. As a fine art photojournalist, Otto is an expert at unobtrusively capturing life through his lens and creating stand alone images of truly authentic moments and deeply felt emotions. His sincere passion for celebrating the essence of each couple and their family shines through in every aspect of his work, and his eye for beauty and gracious personality make him one of the most sought-after wedding photographers anywhere.”
” Artistic, elegant, creative, timeless…among the best in the world.”
erick danzer, best of wedding photography.com
“Wedding photography can really begin to all look the same after you’ve looked at over 30 photographers. You start to see the same posed shots over and over and see certain photography trends that could look dated in a few years. Just when I was starting to think we’d have to settle for someone who just took pretty photos, we found Otto and I immediately knew we’d found someone in a different league than most wedding photographers working today. Otto clearly works in a photojournalistic style, which was a must for us, but more than that, every single photo told a story that went so much deeper than the picture itself. I found myself staring at each photo, mesmerized by the moment Otto had captured, feeling like I was getting to share a little bit of the joy and love of the day. Otto’s photos were so very full of life and love that we couldn’t imagine finding a better person to capture our big day. When Otto made me tear up the very next day after our wedding with a photo of an incredibly intimate, touching, and short-lived moment that we didn’t even know had happened, we knew that Otto was the single best decision we had made for our wedding day. Otto was a professional through and through, and his quiet self confidence put us at ease throughout our planning and during the wedding day. He knew exactly when to be an invisible and silent fly on the wall, documenting our every move, and when to take charge, unapologetically giving us direction to make his vision come to life while making sure we got back to the party in time. His clear enthusiasm and love for his craft was infectious as we watched him grow giddy when the clouds parted and gave us magical light just in time for our portraits.
But more than any of these things that make him a skilled photographer, our lasting impression of Otto is that at the end of the wedding day, Otto felt more like a friend that had come to celebrate with us than a vendor we’d hired. Otto may be a documentarian, but he’s far from being a detached and uninterested observer. He takes a genuine interest in his subjects and seemed as invested in our happiness as our closest friends. It felt as though Otto and his team were laughing, crying and dancing the night away with us and just happened to have a camera attached to their eyes at all times. I think it’s this ability to connect emotionally with his subjects that gives Otto such an adept eye for catching those subtle, elusive moments that we all wish we could capture forever – it’s because he is as in the moment as his subjects are. They say that you spend more time with your photographer than with your spouse on your wedding day so you should choose wisely; we feel privileged to have worked with such talent and to have gotten to spend time with a great human being.”
“Otto is one of a kind. He captures moments and emotions in a way that is so unique, embracing the atmosphere and energy of the event perfectly. He’s a pro, too. He shows up early, brings extra staff, follows up right on time, and has an amazing way of making you feel like he’s not only there to capture the wedding, but he’s there to celebrate with you as a friend. He’s the best and we couldn’t be any happier.”
“Otto Schulze not only is a truly talented and genius wedding photographer, he does it with grace, ease and so much lovability that you will want him there as a guest as well. We still hear from friends from all over the world some who were able to attend and many who weren’t, say “those were the most incredible wedding photos they had ever seen”
“Otto is truly an artist. We noticed two main differences between his photographs and those of other photographers we researched. First, each and every one of Otto’s photos stands on its own. We had a hard time choosing which ones to frame in the end because each of them is unique in its own right – even the photos from the reception where everyone is just out on the dance floor show a careful eye. They’re not your typical party pictures. A lot of that has to do with his style – the second differentiators for us. Otto’s style is definitely that of a journalist. His strength is in capturing the feeling of a moment. He doesn’t like to pose you or force anything (if you are looking for that, you can certainly find that in a million other wedding photographers). If you’re looking for very specific shots, you can always let him know. In our opinion, Otto and A.D.’s best shots of our wedding were the “action shots”. The more you just enjoy yourself, the better the photos will turn out. We had an amazing time at our wedding, and the photos reflect that. We truly enjoyed working with Otto and A.D.”
“Otto Schulze channels Cartier-Bresson to capture the decisive moment in both his wedding work and on the streets.”
“Otto took a photo of me that I truly believe only an artist like him could have captured. With my head slightly lowered, I was wiping away a tear and smiling as my lovely sisters were toasting Anthony and me. A moment like that is very subtle, a bride tearing up at her sisters’ touching words. Otto noticed and caught it on camera. He is more than a photographer; he is a storyteller. His ability to document beautiful and meaningful images throughout a wedding day will take your breath away. Anthony and I knew from the moment we met him that he was special, and we are thankful for his wonderful work.”
“Otto’s ability is unmatched and his documentary approach captured the energy, humor, style and elegance of our wedding through his exceptionally well composed photography and his artistic eye. His unobtrusive style and personality made it a joy to work with him. The entire process, from our initial introduction to his involvement on our wedding day, was as calm and relaxed as we could have imagined. It was as though he wasn’t even there, but he somehow managed to capture every spontaneous moment of joy and happiness. Our pictures are phenomenal!”
“Otto’s work is amazing! His photographs so perfectly captured the emotions of our wedding day. Just by looking at the pictures you can feel the love and fun that made the day so special. Otto was wonderful to work with, taking care to get to know us and working closely with us to go above and beyond to meet our needs. We would without a doubt recommend Otto and his work!”
jessie and brian
Otto’s photos are truly amazing, stunning, creative, and everything that one could ever want when capturing their wedding day. His talent really is incredible. On top of that, he is incredibly easy to work with. Several guest commented that they did not even notice him being there, yet he seemed to capture every important moment. He was early to EVERY shoot, which is astounding, since we were always late. Otto documented our large engagement party at a hotel, and our smaller wedding on a farm property. Both events were captured with great care and all of our guests and friends keep asking who our photographer is, and where we found him. I would recommend him to anybody, and we would pick him again if we had to do it over! All you need to do is look at his portfolio!
dr. mathieu and lenka glassman
“… a rare gem. His perspective on weddings, love, marriage and life is the real deal.”
lara casey, editor in chief – southern weddings magazine
“Otto was an absolute pleasure to work with. Besides being a wonderful person, he has an incredible eye and talent for taking beautiful and artistic photos. His work reminds me of the great photographer, Henri Cartier Bresson, and since we wanted more of a documentary style and approach to our wedding photos Otto was the natural choice. I know we’ll be seeing a lot more from Otto in the future as his work is too good to not be noticed.”
“Over a year ago I met Otto in Aspen when I was working a wedding as a hairstylist/makeup artist and he was the photographer. Instantly I knew that he was going to be great. Not only a pleasure to be around but a very professional man to work with. We exchanged cards that night and talked about working together. Right about that time, I got engaged and starting planning my own wedding. Although I never thought I would spend much money on pictures, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I knew Otto could capture on the most special day of my life. I knew that he had a very talented eye for finding the most special candids. I was blown away when I got the sneak preview of my wedding day pictures. The light, the color, and the details that I totally forgot about were all there in the most beautiful form. My family even mentioned that they don’t even remember seeing Otto that much that night at the wedding. That is a talent, to take all of these great pictures while being invisible and letting families and friends not be disturbed. His eye for capturing moments is unbelievable and the product that you end up with is some of the best I have ever seen. Colorado is lucky to have this man working here! Thankyou Otto for helping me have some of the most beautiful memories of my life!!”
“Otto’s work shines. His treatments are beautiful, he uses light and focus like a fine artist.”
“We just received it and we’re blown away by the album. I have never seen anything like it. We opened it in the lobby of our apartment and had a crowd of people gather around to admire it. We had to escape to see it ourselves for the first time. It is beautiful and displays the talent you have for capturing the magic of the moment. I love way you used the natural light in the church to create an artistic effect that displays in print what we felt in our hearts that day. The reception images are so much fun. We are both perfectionists and you exceeded our expectations in every area!
Thank you so much! I will try to share your work here on Maui and maybe you and your wife and (soon to come) new baby will have an excuse to visit this beautiful island.
We can’t wait to show our families!
“When you think of your wedding day, you want to be able to remember every moment and every detail for the rest of your life. that is what otto did for us. his work is so unique and so beautiful every shot brings a tear to your eye. he captured moments in our wedding that we thought we could never re-live again. the best part of all is you never even knew he was there! although, when you did know he is there, his kindness and professionalism cant help but make you feel comfortable. thank you otto for giving us the most beautiful memories that we can treasure forever!”
“Breath-taking and beautiful, we look at our photos and say, “is that really us?” Otto’s ability to capture the Colorado Mountains that were the backdrop to our ceremony, as well as many candid moments that occurred throughout the day was exceptional. The thing that mattered most to John and I was having a great photographer, we also didn’t want your standard wedding photos that look like your aunt could have taken. When we found Otto we knew that he was just what we were looking for. His great eye for light and all his time he puts into the editing was very apparent looking at his photos. The photos look like magazine photos, not just your average wedding photos. Otto was very professional, non-obtrusive and a joy to work with! We highly recommend him to anyone looking for a photographer that goes that extra mile and provides one of a kind images.”
“As a wedding coordinator for Table 6 Productions, I have worked with photographers from all across the country and yet upon working with Otto Schulze, it was evident that his work was in a league of its own!
Otto first began working with a client of ours in March of 2009 and from the initial consultation, he demonstrated a commitment to personally know and understand their style, personalities, and vision prior to shooting their wedding. In addition to meeting and understanding our clients’ needs, he visited the venue, (despite the fact that it was not close by) so that he was well prepared on their wedding day. In the days leading up to the wedding, he was immediately available for any questions or concerns that I or my client had. On the wedding day, he arrived earlier than schedule so that he was sure to capture every detail of the Bride and Groom getting ready. During their Ceremony and Reception he was completely unobtrusive, allowing the client and guests to enjoy every second of the celebration and yet captured every element of their day.
I believe Otto is the vital element to any wedding day. He preserves a couple’s memory by capturing every moment, personality, detail, and emotion on their wedding day. His beautiful and chic imagery, paired with an unobtrusive and lighthearted approach, creates wedding photography that is as refreshing as it is unforgettable! Otto’s ability to capture raw beauty in a photojournalistic fashion brings a new twist to wedding photography which is why I believe he is one of the best photographers that I have ever worked with. I just hope everyone gets an opportunity to work with him, because it will be the best decision one would ever make.”
ashley smmers, TABLE 6 PRODUCTIONS
“Otto was an exceptional photographer. He captured incredible shots, but was not intrusive when attempting to capture those moments. Plus, he has such a lovely demeanor and was liked by all who attended our event. I would highly recommend him. You will not be disappointed. His style and artistic eye is bar none! ”
“You are the best!!! We are so happy with your work. It was such a magical day for me and your artist style captures just that. ”
“Absolutely gorgeous! The pictures are phenomenal! ”
“Otto was more of a phantom than anything else. He would appear at a spot one moment and was gone the next. Yet he did not miss a beat in capturing wonderfull images”
peter kotsinadelis, RANGEFINDER MAGAZINE
“Otto was a fabulous photographer to work with – absolutely the easiest and most professional of our vendors. He was very patient and open, and really listened to our ideas about what we envisioned for our pictures. His work not only captured the events of the evening, but also the unique expressions and emotions of our guests, which is something we feel so lucky to have documented. We’ve shown his pictures to our friends and family, and everyone is simply blown away at the unique beauty and creativity of his work. These aren’t your standard ‘straight’ shots that you’d get with most photographers. With Otto you get much more; all the magic and wonder of your wedding day, preserved to enjoy forever. Thank you so much Otto!”
” Otto truly captured the joy and energy of our wedding. He has a real artist’s eye, even for moments which pass quickly, and produced truly oustanding work. He is positive, easy to work with, and his work is one of a kind.”
“Otto was a joy to work with. His professionalism & easy going attitude helped the day go off beautifully. His camera finds the little moments and captures them with truth and humor. Otto’s sense of aesthetics marries nicely with his sense of real people and real moments. I’m so grateful he helped make the day what it was…”
“You are brilliant! you are such a pleasure to work with and your photos are every bit as beautiful (and then some!!) as we remember our day! we adore them!”