Clane Gessel

Clane Gessel Studio Featured in Fortune Magazine

We’re honored to be featured in Fortune Magazine in an article by the talented Stephanie Cain that details how our discerning couples strive after art that captures the essence of their wedding in a photo.


Some highlights from the article “Couples spend thousands on a wedding photographer for that perfect shot”

Clane Gessel will book a fine art shoot, setting off to a cenote in Mexico or beaches of Kauai to capture the perfect shot.

“Wedding photography has always been the pinnacle of social photography, and it’s evolution parallels society’s evolution,” Gessel says. “Millennials and Generation Z see the value in traditions, but they are seeking curated pieces of art rather than just doing it because it’s what’s always been done.”

Part of that big shift in weddings is technology. Now that everyone has a camera in his or her pocket means that couples don’t want wedding images that a guest could take on an iPhone. If a couple is paying for a photographer, they want to see that value in the creativity, skill, and service. This hasn’t hurt photography, say photographers, who actually believe that social media has pushed them to think beyond the old school mentality. “Apps like Instagram and Pinterest have taught us what one great image at a wedding can be,” Gessel says, noting that as couples have learned to discern between a person with a camera and an artist, the demand for skilled wedding photography has skyrocketed.

One big request? His fine art shoots. Gessel, whose work has also graced the cover of National Geographic, began applying the same composition rules from his landscape photography to his wedding business. It’s so popular that couples carve out time in the itinerary to make a shoot happen, often with the help of drones. He shot a couple’s wedding in South Africa, only to meet them in Namibia the following week for a fine art shoot on their honeymoon.

The job isn’t easy. To start, carrying around two or three cameras for 12-plus hours at once is physically strenuous. Villa explains that while he may pull long hours, the real work starts after the last wedding guest leaves. He spends 60 hours, on average, editing photos for a two or three- day event. Sometimes there’s an additional 20 or 30 hours just for retouching. It’s a part of the job that clients don’t think about when they hear the price.

That’s also why it takes a few weeks for most couples to get the full wedding album. If a couple wants the images earlier, they can pay a premium as the photographer needs to hire additional editors to turn it around so quickly. Some top wedding photographers, like Connell and Gessel, have included this small perk: a teaser set of images they send to the couple within the first 24 hours.

“We can shoot portraits all day, but don’t,” Gessel says. “You’re not so much defining a moment in time as you are defining a relationship. There’s an insane amount of talent out there, and I’m pleased to see the demand grow as couples become more educated about what wedding photography can be.”


You can read the Fortune article here.

Clane Gessel

Clane Gessel featured in Fortune