Member Spotlight: Jonathon Dakarai of Apollo Fotografie

We’re so excited to share with you our interview with the incredible Jonathon Dakarai of Apollo Fotografie! Jonathon is a candid storyteller who thrives in diversity and uses journalistic techniques and natural lights to help you remember the happiest day of your life. Apollo Fotografie offers wedding photography, wedding videography, photo booth rentals, and elopement packages a la carte.

What inspired you to enter the wedding industry?

My background is in photography and filmmaking going on 10+ years. I have a passion for helping people remember the happiest days of their lives. I do that through the use of natural light fine art photography that has an homage to classic journalism and an adoration of storytelling techniques borrowed from filmmakers.

Why did you start Apollo Fotografie? 

It happened by chance…. Or maybe it was fate? Out of college I really wanted to go into filmmaking and was working at HBO in the casting department and a fellow employee asked me to photograph her friend’s wedding. They loved their photos and I fell in love with the process and how good it made me feel to help couples document the most special day of their lives!

If you could change one thing about the weddings and special events industry, what would it be?

Only ONE thing?! This is a task! I would want to change the constant need for couples to impress their friends and family by merely copying something that happened at their friends wedding or something they saw on Pinterest. When I talk to my couples, I try to encourage them to think outside the box and also find details that are meaningful to the two of them. Even though I’m not a planner by any means, I always appreciate those intimate moments and details from a storytelling perspective. It makes every event so beautiful to capture!

How does using Aisle Planner help you deliver the client experience you want to?

I recommend Aisle Planner to all of my couples! It’s the most streamlined planning platform I have found in my 10+ years in the business. I love that it has a planner platform, and also a platform for couples as well. I’m even in the process of using it for my own wedding next September! Because planning a wedding can be so tedious to someone planning an event for the first time, it’s so helpful to let my couples know that it can be easier! When my couples are less stressed about logistics, creativity flourishes!

Photo courtesy Apollo Fotografie

What is your favorite Aisle Planner feature?

The Timeline in conjunction with the ability to invite others to collaborate are by far the top features I always rave about to my couples. All of my most requested questions are always about the timeline of the wedding day, so anything that streamlines that is a godsend!

Anything you are particularly excited about working on this year?

I went to China to photograph a wedding last week. I could not be more stoked to have an opportunity to travel to this beautiful national park outside of Shanghai. After the wedding, I also went to Tokyo for a little trip on my own. It was AWESOME!

What’s the hardest part about being a wedding photographer?

Just like any entrepreneur or self starter, there is ALWAYS something to do and a new skill to learn. It can feel like a never ending pile of to-do’s so it’s really important to maintain a good work-life balance.

What’s your personal philosophy on becoming a great wedding photographer?

Be prepared to fail over and over again. Be open to acknowledging your faults and where you can grow…ALWAYS.

Photo courtesy Apollo Fotografie

Just for fun

Three things you wouldn’t board a plane without?

Eye mask, a bag of skittles, and a loaded iPhone with lots of podcasts downloaded!

I’m dying to take a trip to…

All of the UNESCO heritage sites of the world!

Dogs or cats?

100 percent dogs.

If you owned a restaurant, what food would it serve?

High-end Vegan food.

What skill would you like to master?

My next adventure is in photoshop manipulations and animations.

What song do you know every word to?

Very proud to say I know every word to Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

Favorite book of all time?

Am I too old to say Harry Potter?!

Non-work related hobbies?

Acrobatics & Dance

On my days off you can find me…

Trying to do backflips at Lake Merritt and learning hip hop choreography!

If you catch me out and about I’m always wearing…

Something visually appealing…unless you caught me at the gym.

Apollo Fotografie is an award-winning San Francisco wedding photographer & cinematographer collective dedicated to modern lovers. Learn more about Jonathon and the Apollo Fotografie team on their website!

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