Yosemite Wedding Photographers
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About Ken Mendoza Photographer

About KenM

Our warmest congratulations on your upcoming wedding in Yosemite National Park!

I was married here in 2007, and I absolutely understand why you have to !

Accolades - Wedding Photography Known Internationally

Ken Mendoza is an International Award Winning Wedding and Landscape photographer with over 100 recent International Awards in top competitions such as Wedding Portrait photographers International (WPPI), Cosmos Awards, Wedding Portrait Photographers Europe (WPE) and Asia Wedding & Portrait Photographers (AsiaWPA).

Ken has two Photography Master Degrees:

Master of Wedding Photography - Professional Photographers of America

Master of Icon - (The World's Most Prestigious Wedding and Portrait Photographer Print Competition )

Ken started his photography as an amateur landscape photographer, which led him to work on weddings in Yosemite National Park. Ken adapted classic landscape photography techniques to weddings and created a dramatic style that equally emphasizes the environment and the subjects, making him a sought-after Yosemite wedding photographer. Serious study of off camera flash techniques and posing resulted in balanced style where the images show the subjects connection to nature as opposed to simply, “a landscape with a couple” .

In addition to his outdoor wedding style, Ken has developed a dynamic indoor style where brides “spin” their dresses, showing the raw joy of a bride and her dress on her wedding day. Ken also uses landscape techniques to make indoor spaces look dramatic and impactful.

PPA Magazine 2023 Closeup on Ken MendozaKen Mendoza Featured in Professional Photographers of America Magazine - Dec 2023
Leading Industry Trade Magazine for American Professional Photograpers

Roots In Yosemite

Ken started his Yosemite journey while attending the Yosemite Institute (Now Nature Bridge ), learning about Yosemite's Natural History. Ken attended Yosemite Institute all four years of High School, learning about the Park from Rangers and, yes, photography too!. Since those early days Ken has Backpacked every corner of Yosemite when not photographing weddings. Ken's son Kevin attended UC Merced and changed his career plans after a 13-year-old climbed Mt Lyell with his Dad. Kevin ended up studying the Lyell Glacier as an Undergrad. Now, Kevin is a Ph.D. Candidate in Geophysics in 2024.

Throughout their childhoods, Ken's 3 sons spent their summers in Yosemite. Frequently KenM's clients have a deep family connection to Yosemite, often choosing him as their Yosemite elopement photographer for his unique ability to capture the essence of their special day. One of our clients was a Curry, as in "Curry Village." Our family first visited Yosemite in the Summers 75 years ago. It is our home , our soul.

Awards, yes, but what about emotion, candids?

In High School, KenM was a photojournalist as his first gig as a photographer. I will always be a photojournalist and look at the story in everything, with a keen eye for the unique moments that make each wedding or elopement unforgettable. It is in my DNA to look at your story and tell it from all perspectives, including the unseen and overlooked angles. I believe that every person, every event, and every moment has a story to tell, and I must capture and share those stories through my lens. Ken won a National and Western States Award in photojournalism for his work on the school paper.

From the chaotic hallways to the quiet corners, from celebratory events to mundane everyday activities, I am constantly observing, framing, and capturing the essence of the moment. Whether it's a fleeting expression of joy, a powerful protest, or a simple act of kindness, I am there to freeze time and preserve the narrative.
As a photojournalist, I am aware of the responsibility that comes with my role. I understand that my images have the power to shape opinions, influence perspectives, and shed light on important issues, especially in capturing the essence of an adventure elopement. With this in mind, I approach each assignment with an open mind, eager to explore and uncover the truth.

Story Telling

I am not just a photographer; I am a storyteller, capturing breathtaking moments. I believe in the power of visual storytelling to bridge gaps, challenge assumptions, and ignite conversations. Through my photographs, I aim to capture the raw emotions, the untold stories, and the intricate details that often go unnoticed.
I am fueled by my passion for capturing moments that matter, documenting history as it unfolds, and giving a voice to the voiceless. I am driven by the belief that everyone's story deserves to be heard and seen, especially on their special day. It is my purpose, my calling, to tell those stories through the lens of my camera as an elopement photographer.
Whether it is through a single image or a series of photographs, I strive to spark empathy, evoke emotions, and inspire action. I aim to go beyond the surface, to delve deeper into the layers of human experience, and to bring those stories to light.
Being a photojournalist is not just a profession for me; it is who I am. It is ingrained in my DNA to observe, document, and share stories with the world, especially those of adventure elopements that defy tradition. Every photograph I take is a reflection of my commitment to storytelling and my unwavering belief in the power of visual communication.
So, allow me to capture your story, to tell it from all perspectives, and to craft an authentic narrative that will resonate with others, making your special day one to cherish forever. Let me be your photojournalist, your visual storyteller, and let us together create a lasting impact through the power of images from your elopement.

Only real. Real Couples on their wedding day

All of Ken’s wedding work and awards are with real couples, mostly on their wedding day, with no use of models. Ken uses photographic competition as a way to push his work to the next level so that his clients can benefit from actual competition rather than create showy pieces that are not possible within the constraints of a wedding day. Ken continues to pursue his love for landscape photography exploring the Sierra Nevada every summer on multi-day backpacking trips with his trusty Sony A7RIV, 16-35GM, and 100-400 GM lenses.