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about us


Who we are

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about us


Who we are

We are a husband-and-wife team who tell stories for a living. Steve is the lead photographer and has photographed weddings, news, travel, and commercial subjects across the world. His wife, Olga, is a former wedding planner and artist in her native Ukraine, and has developed into an excellent photographer as well. Together, we work with you to plan, photograph, and showcase your wedding in the most intimate, joyful, fun, and creative way possible. We have recently moved from South Florida to Madison to be closer to family. 

Steve Daubs

About Steve: I love stories. They make us, they explain the world to us, and they are the road we travel through in life. I've always loved telling them, whether it was short stories and poems I wrote in high school or photographs of people on the streets of Chicago. I studied journalism at Northwestern University and then told stories for newspapers for a few years, sometimes with words and sometimes with photographs. When I left journalism, I earned an MBA in finance at UW-Madison and spent a decade analyzing investment stories, researching them to see if the story a company was telling is likely to be true. During those years, I began to develop my own photographic documentary stories, roaming across the country with a brick of Tri-X and my trusty Leica at hand. 

But investment stories are all too similar to keep me occupied for life. So I quit the business, took a scholarship to the University of Arkansas, and earned my MFA in creative writing. I taught English and creative writing while setting up a commercial studio in Milwaukee and spent time in Eastern Europe trying to tell the story of post-Soviet life there. Along the way, I met my future wife, Olga, and my short stay in Ukraine turned into several years of exploration and love. Olga was the one who saw the obvious: Tell love stories, and make your passion your business. 

Olga Daubs

About Olga: I've always been an artist. As a child, I studied acrobatics and wanted to perform in the circus. I always loved to draw and sketch, and worked for several years drawing television cartoons. But it was the passion and grandeur of weddings that captured my heart. I owned a wedding and party planning business in Kharkiv, Ukraine, when Steve and I met, and I loved making sense of the chaos of the party. I loved making sure it looked beautiful, and a happy client was the greatest reward. 

Steve and I met over our shared passion for jazz music, but it was all art that brought us together. I hadn't seriously studied photography before meeting Steve six years ago, but I've come to marvel at the ability of my camera to tell an entire story of a person in a split second. When we moved to the United States four years ago, we knew we wanted to build our business together, and we knew that it started with weddings. 

About Karina: Hey, guys, I'm down here! Let's play with my stuffed rabbit. C'mon, I'm thirsty. Can I have some pizza crust? I want to go out! You two need to get off your computers and take me out! Bird! Where are my treats?

Our Approach

The amazing thing about weddings is how they bring out the humanity in people. It's what we love; Real people on a very important day sharing their lives with others. Our style is about capturing the moments much more than it is about creating them. But we also make sure you look your best, setting up beautiful locations, softly direct you to get the best possible version of you, your event, and your personality. We like to believe that the style of your images arises organically from your own personal style. The story shapes itself by exploring who you are and what you love. 

We aren't focused on photographing every wedding we can; we focus on finding couples who love our work and want to collaborate on making your day even more amazing and your memories of that day crystal clear. Our approach is personal, efficient, and easy going. We want you to have fun, and we make sure we do whatever you need to have great images of your day. 

I began my photographic career as an undergrad journalism student at Northwestern, but my first passion was street photography. I would wander the streets and the El in Chicago with rolls of film in my pocket, falling in love with the city and its people with each click of the shutter. Over the years, I have photographed news, fine art, architecture, and commercial subjects. Weddings have become my favorite subject because they are the perfect way to document the lives of two people, joining together with their families, on one of the most important day of their lives. 

We consider it a priceless gift when you share that day with us. Our passion is in telling your unique story so that years and generations from now, people will see our work and understand you a little bit better.

I am a member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association, the Professional Photographers of America, and I was vice president of the Professional Photo Guild of the Palm Beaches before moving to Madison. 

Call us at 561-445-5483, email us at info@stevedaubs.com, or click on the form below to find out more!

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reviews


Raves

reviews


Raves

Steve provided excellent service and high quality photographs. He worked all day to get a ton of shots under some pretty fluid circumstances but he was unflappable and just went with the flow.
— Beverly & Gary
If you have an opportunity to use this husband and wife team, do it! You won’t be disappointed!
— Teresa & Pablo
If I could rate Steve and Olya higher than perfect, I would. They were kind, non obtrusive, and most of all, extremely talented.
— Brenna & Matt
The pictures turned out AMAZING and the quality even better! They definitely know what they are doing when it comes to taking photographs and editing them. We could not be happier with the results!!!
— Jill & Adrian
I was most impressed with how they were able to capture the candid moments the unplanned gems that you can never reshoot. I would highly recommend them to anyone.
— Venessa & Eddie
Over and beyond on AMAZING pictures capturing every moment! I absolutely LOVED the photographers and I beyond LOVE all my pictures!!!!!!
— Krystal & Brad

Read our reviews on The Knot.

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What is your style?

We are documentary photographers, focusing most of our attention to capturing the story of your day in honest moments of connection between you and your families. We also take time to carefully create stunning portraits that showcase you and your surroundings in a unique way. Your wedding is beautiful, a recognition of commitment and love between two people. It represents your style, your perspective, and your relationship. So you don’t need dreamy vintage special effects or windswept vistas to document it. You need the honest story of your day, carefully and artfully captured. That’s what we do. 

We notice the details you labored over, the moments of levity and joy, the times of serious reflection, and I capture them in the clearest and cleanest way possible. We call this documentary photography rather than photojournalism because my time in the news business tended to focus on the ugly sides of life, while we look for the revelatory, pristine, and stunning grace that exists in every person, every day—but never more so than on your wedding day. 

If we do our job well, you’ll hardly notice me and my team. But when you look at the photographs over the next days and years, it will remind both of you of the exact emotion and circumstance of the moments of this special day. We want these images to be a strong and timeless when you show them to your grandchildren as when you review them online during your honeymoon. 

What happens with photography on your wedding day?

Our day typically begins when yours does. We prefer to tell the story of your wedding day in a complete manner, from the bride and groom preparing themselves to the ceremony to the celebration that follows. Our packages start at eight hours, which is very often enough time to cover everything from the final preparations to the important details of the reception. 

We understand the historical importance of formal portraits, but we don’t want to spend hours on this important day with endless groupings of everyone involved in the wedding. And we don’t think you’ll want to spend that time, either. Instead, we dedicate about 30 minutes for all the key formal group portraits and most of our time capturing the unscripted events and emotions of your day. We don’t work from a shot list; we simply let the day come and do our best to capture what happens. 

We'll always be there to capture any spontaneous groups, the dancing, the fun, and the love.

What happens with the photography after your wedding?

Even though we strive to create timeless images, we understand the necessity of speed and convenience when it comes to delivering your images. That’s why we provide a sneak peek of our favorite images of your wedding, delivered in an online album sharable to friends and family within a few days of the  wedding. This online gallery will showcase 10-20 images that we think capture the essence of your wedding day.

Within 4-6 weeks, we will deliver a complete online gallery of high resolution, edited images from which you can make prints, create albums, or just share online with friends and family. Typically, you can expect our process to result in 50 images per hour, so a typical 8-hour wedding will result in about 400 images. 

We believe the best avenue for telling your wedding story is the wedding album, a chronological embodiment of the ebb and flow of your wedding day. For those who select an album, we will work with you to create a truly unique and compelling photo essay that is converted into an heirloom-quality book which tells the story of your day. 

Are you Insured?

Of course. We are fully insured for liability in case anything goes wrong.

What equipment do you use?

We use top-of-the-line Canon digital cameras and lenses for the best possible images regardless of the situation, and we use professional lighting and accessories to make every venue work to your advantage. And we have backups of everything because we understand that no matter what happens to our equipment, our job to make your wedding look great will remain. 

Who will photograph our wedding?

Every wedding we book will be shot by Steve and assisted by Olga. For large weddings with multiple locations, we can include a second full-time shooter as well. 

What about engagement photos?

Our approach to engagement sessions mirrors our approach to the wedding itself. We offer 1-2 hour sessions that showcase you and your fiancé interacting honestly doing what you enjoy. Maybe that means horseback riding or a night of fine dining. Maybe it means an afternoon at the park or an evening at the bowling alley. We document you doing what you love together.

Planning Considerations

If photography is important to you, then there are a few things you can do in planning your wedding to make for better photographs:

  • Look for venues with nice natural light. Great photography has two components: Beautiful light and interesting subjects. In a wedding, the subjects—you and your spouse—are inherently compelling. But many churches and reception venues have limited natural light, dark decor, or challenging logistics. We can and do augment the natural light through a variety of techniques, but big windows create a beautiful light that makes everyone look amazing.
  • Pay attention to time of day. Some couples don’t realize that the time of day greatly affects the quality of available light. You don’t want to perform a beachside ceremony at noon--the overhead sunlight makes everyone look like raccoons because of the shadows. Early morning and late afternoon typically create the most pleasing light for photographing people. We have extensive experience shooting in every possible lighting situation, but for the best photos, keep this in mind.
  • If you want amazing sunset photos, there's a 15-minute window to get them done, and carving out time during the reception for it makes all the difference!
  • Great photography takes time. Creative portrait sessions allow you, the bride and groom, to slow down for an hour or two on your wedding day and remember the intimate connection that brought you to this day. We love capturing that connection, and we love it even more when we have the time necessary to do it well. 
  • A wedding doesn't have to be a hectic dash to the altar, the reception hall, and then off to the honeymoon. We offer extended coverage of the day so that you can spend some time with your family or your bridal party during the day in a relaxed manner, maybe sitting down after you're all dressed to the nines and enjoying a glass of champagne as you recount the joys and struggles that  got you to this important day.