The Insider Scoop

“I’m Client-Obsessed”: Stephen Mayo Photography Tells the Story of Your Wedding with a Boutique-level Experience

Stephen Mayo Photography emphasizes meaningful connection and creates timeless imagery – from your engagement session until the last dance of the night.

Image courtesy of Stephen Mayo Photography

It’s vital for any wedding vendor to possess the skills, talent, and professionalism to bring your ideas and inspiration to life. But when choosing a photographer, you’ll want to find that something extra – a passionate artist with whom you share a connection, someone who goes the distance in order to fully honor your unique love story.

That’s always the aim for Stephen Mayo, owner of Stephen Mayo Photography (a BOLI preferred vendor). Combining effortless ability with a deep appreciation for his role in your day, he strives to provide every couple with an experience beyond what they ever envisioned. “I like to say that I’m more than client-focused,” Stephen said in a recent interview with BOLI, “I’m client-obsessed.”

“I like telling the story of the couple and of the day.” – Stephen Mayo Photography

Stephen’s professional photography career began in a slightly different arena. “I started with family photography, but it was always my goal to learn as much as I could about lighting,” he remembered. “As my skills developed, I realized that I had the ability to be a wedding photographer, which is something that I’d always aspired to be.”

What ultimately motivated Stephen’s transition? “I like telling the story of the couple and of the day,” he explained. “With a wedding, you get to tell a complete story. When the day is over, my images are the only tangible things that a couple has to remember their wedding. So that storytelling element – that’s what led me here.” 

Image courtesy of Stephen Mayo Photography

“I want people to be present in their moment.” – Stephen Mayo Photography

Stephen describes his style of photography as both contemporary and quintessential. “I try to create a modern, timeless look. There are parts of the day that are photojournalistic, but there are also parts that are, I like to say, ‘guided’. No one likes to feel posed, so I try to make it fun.”

Feeling natural and comfortable in front of the camera is often what separates a good picture from a great one, and Stephen understands this thoroughly. It’s one of the many reasons that engagement photos are always a part of his offerings. “I spend a lot of time with the couples I work with,” he said. “Engagement sessions give me a chance to build trust. As I spend time with a couple, I understand what’s important to them, and that helps in my approach when photographing their wedding. ”

Stephen emphasizes that this trust is one of the most essential aspects of his services. “It’s important to create timeless, classic imagery, but what’s most important to me is that couples don’t think about the photography,” he explained. “I want them to know that from the engagement session, through the hours of time leading up to the wedding, that I’ve got this and that they can just enjoy their day. I want people to be present in their moment – the moment planned for, for a long time.”

Image courtesy of Stephen Mayo Photography

“The connection with a couple is what makes it memorable.” Stephen Mayo Photography

For Stephen, some of the most rewarding career moments come from being fully immersed in a couple’s journey. “I was hired for a surprise wedding proposal, and I got to be a part of their story from the moment he got on his knee, all the way through the end.”. 

“The connection with a couple is what makes it memorable,” Stephen observed. “I really enjoyed learning about them, learning about their whole family. The clients became friends. The day of the wedding, I was with the bride from the start of makeup all the way through one in the morning. I really felt like a part of the experience.” 

Image courtesy of Stephen Mayo Photography

“I like to talk to couples and understand their needs.” – Stephen Mayo Photography

When it comes to packages, Stephen approaches each client individually. “My goal with every couple is to provide a unique experience based on what they dream up.”

While Stephen Mayo Photography’s package offerings begin at 6 hours, Brides of Long Island premium members are entitled to two extra hours – at no additional cost. “I offer a base package and then I build from there,” explained Stephen. “I like to talk to couples and understand their needs, what’s important to them, and what I think they may need. Then I make suggestions from there.”   

Image courtesy of Stephen Mayo Photography

“Your wedding should be done your way.” – Stephen Mayo Photography

You’re bound to hear a lot of opinions when planning your wedding, but Stephen advises Brides of Long Island to always follow their own instincts. “Your wedding should be done your way,” he said. “The only right way to plan a wedding is the way you want. You should always do what’s most important to you.”

He also suggests stepping back and letting everything soak in. “Just take two minutes every hour to hold hands, check in with your partner, and look at your wedding from a distance for a minute. It’s a touchstone moment, so that you can have something to remember.” 

Image courtesy of Stephen Mayo Photography