Best Wedding Photographer in Santa Barbara


Expertise looked at 270 wedding photographers in Santa Barbara and picked the Top 18. I’m honored to be one of them. Thank you all the brides, grooms, wedding planners, etc who made this possible. I have loved working with you and look forward to working with many more happy couples.

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Best of Santa Barbara, Wedding Industry Experts Honor Roll and Merit Award


My mother told me to share about my awards, hence this post. I was pleasantly surprised Santa Barbara Magazine included me in the Best of Santa Barbara 2014 issue, as Best Wedding Photographer, right in between wedding photography greats Elizabeth Messina and José Villa. I’m deeply honored to be in such great company, recognized on the pages of one of the most beautiful magazines still being published today.

wedding-industry-honor-rollIsaac Hernández Photography was also included in the Wedding Industry Experts 2014 Honor Roll. They emailed me this lovely note: “After months of reviewing email referrals from across the globe, we have put together our first international Honour Roll, and I’m happy to let you know that you’re included. You were selected because some of your work inspired either others in your area, or members of our team. Being on the Honour Roll is not an endorsement of your service or products, it’s just a way to say thank you –  you did some awesome work in 2013 that inspired others and we want to recognize you.”


SBCC Annual Student Show. Photo: Atkinson Gallery

Finally, I had a drawing and a sculpture accepted into Santa Barbara City College’s Annual Student Show, juried by Elyse Gonzalez, Curator of Exhibitions at the UCSB Art, Design and Architecture Museum. The giant styrofoam peanut head, Immortal, won a Merit Award in Intermediate Sculpture. Immortal was also featured in the Santa Barbara Channels and reviewed by Josef Woodard in the Santa Barbara News Press: “Materials, often ‘found’ and left-of-normal-art-supplies variety, bend and reinvent themselves in new ways, as certainly seen in Mr. Solis’ aforementioned denim sculpture and in another immediate eye-grabber in this show, Isaac Hernandez’s Immortal. Here, a huge and slightly sinister older man’s face peers down on us as if in judgement of chastisement, like some Orwellian renegade deity, made of the ‘immortal’ stuff of Styrofoam ‘peanuts.'”

Thank you, Woodard, for a beautifully crafted review, and everybody else for showing your appreciation. I’m feeling the love, and I send it right back to you all, to my community of amazing people.

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Dream Ojai Wedding

Kendall and Hagen Dream Wedding from Isaac Hernandez on Vimeo.

I had the pleasure to again work alongside the magnificent team assembled by Merryl Brown Events for this romantic wedding in the intimate Ojai Valley Inn Herb Garden, complete with the couple’s baby in her antique, flower-draped pram. After the cutting of the cake, the guests were surprised with a patisserie and a charcuterie to die for. The patisserie was anybody’s childhood fantasy come true.

I loved shooting and editing this video, but I love even more to hear the reaction of the groom and the bride:

Dear Isaac,

I got home from work at 9pm and have watched your video 5 times with my wife (she’s watched it about 10 times).

We are in shock, it is a glimpse into a moment in time, a captured memory. Something we can share in our life and our children can share in the future.

What a gift.

It is an amazing short film and a true piece of art and Americana, so very well done.

With all our thanks for the art, sincerely,

Hagen and Kendall

Later I received a letter from the father of the bride:


Forgive me for the length of time it has taken me to write to you .

I cannot fully express to you how touching I found the video you shot and edited for my daughter’s wedding in Ojai. It is simply amazing and so masterfully put together that the more I’ve watched it, the more brilliant I find it.

I watched how hard you worked throughout her wedding day and how diligently you attempted to capture every important moment. How you condensed so much into a video that both captures the spirit and beauty of the whole ceremony and reception is beyond me.

My daughter, Kendall, loves this work of art and watches it regularly as do I. One of my dear friends who saw it and was not at the wedding, commented that this is a gift my family will have forever.

There is a clip in the video that I find illustrates who my daughter is at her core. She is holding her daughter above her head with a look of pure joy and peace on her face as she looks into her baby’s eyes. Her face reflects the love she possesses and the essence of who she is. The happiness she feels is so apparent that I’m taken by it. Thank you for this.

You are a true artist. My daughter and her husband and our family were blessed to have your genius touch all of us. You gave us a gift for a lifetime.

Thank you…..

Warm Regards,


It feels good to be appreciated, but even better to make people happy. I look forward to filming and photographing more weddings in Santa Barbara, Ojai and beyond.

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Winner of “Best California Photographer” and “Best Santa Barbara Photographer”



I’m happy to announce that Photography by Isaac has been awarded three different Best of prizes by Wedding Industry Experts: Best California Photographer, Best Santa Barbara Photographer and Best San Francisco Photographer. Thank you to all the brides, grooms, MOBs, MOGs, event organizers, caterers… for your support and your votes. How lucky I am to get paid for photographing love!

Update: we also won Best Santa Barbara Wedding Photographer in 2013.

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State of the Unions

As I listened to President Barack Obama give the State of the Union Address, I thought about the state of all the unions I’ve been hired to photograph through the years. I’m happy to report that all of them are still blissfully married… Well, one of them actually ended their marriage amiably, but the groom hired me again for his next wedding, and is now happily married and madly in love after over a decade.

How important are the photos in keeping matrimonial bliss? I’d like to think that the couples working together and recommitting daily is what makes a marriage work, but having great memories and photos from the wedding day may help a little. What do you think?

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Thank you, Brides!

Weddings, Wedding Venues
2012 Bride's Choice Awards | Best Wedding Photographers, Wedding Dresses, Wedding Cakes, Wedding Florists, Wedding Planners

I’m very grateful to the brides and grooms that gave me their trust to photograph their wedding, and then honored me with this award, given to the top 5% of wedding photographers in the US. This is really our award, thank you! I will continue doing my part. I’m grateful to have been given the talent and the education that can make so many people happy.

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Michelle and David: Summer Ojai Destination Wedding

The beauty of photographing weddings is that I get to relive them every time I sit down to edit photos, whether for an online slideshow or a wedding photography coffee table book. The wedding of Michelle and David in Ojai, California, is one of those weddings worth remembering for the rest of your life. Everybody was so happy and in love. Below’s a selection of some of my favorites, although there are many more photos. You can see a larger selection of photographs from this wedding in the slideshow section.

It all started with a wedding yoga session at the Lavender Inn, led by one of the guests, a professional yoga instructor from Los Angeles. The party continued with a hair and make-up session in which any of the wedding guests was welcome to be pampered.

The rest of the day would be spent in great joy at Twin Peaks Ranch, under the careful coordination of Donna Romani.

The ceremony was as sweet as they come, with plenty of audience participation, and a couple of friends singing George Harrison’s Here Comes the Sun, accompanied by flute and guitar. The rings were passed around the attendees so each of them could add a blessing for the couple.

The elders lit candles for each of the family members who had passed away, bringing their presence to the ceremony.

I love weddings with bubbles!

The cocktail tables were decorated with beautiful flowers by Kate Holt, of Flower Wild, plus pictures from previous weddings of family members and guests.

A touch of humor atop the wedding cake by Diaz’s Bakery. The bride and groom decided they didn’t want to do a cake cutting ceremony.

Every single dish was a work of art by Sidney and Jessica of SBB Gourmet Catering.

I honestly have never seen so many people dance all night long as with this party, to the rhythm of THC Electra of Exxxplosivo DJ’s. You can see for yourself in this video from the wedding reception. You can even download music sets from Exxxplosivo’s website.

Thank you Michelle and David for counting on me to be your wedding photographer, and for your sweet review. Congratulations!

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Santa Barbara Summer Wedding: Karstyn and Jesse

Please enjoy this selection of photos that may serve as inspiration for your Santa Barbara wedding. Thank you, Karstyn and Jesse, for inviting me to be your wedding photographer. It’s an honor that I don’t take lightly.

Summertime and the winning is easy. While Santa Barbara was resting after the amazing Solstice Parade, Karstyn was getting ready at the Canary Hotel.

Isa did the make up and Lucy did the hair for the Karstyn, the bride, Meghan, bride’s maid and sister of the bride, and Karen, mother of the bride, while the girls ran around and got their hair done.

A limo was waiting downstairs to take the wedding party over to the Chapel at El Presidio, just a few blocks away on Canon Perdido Street. The ceremony started without delay (once the bride arrived).

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Happy Anniversary Ceci and Steve; It’s been five years already!

Every wedding is special. Often I go back and look at photos of a wedding just to cheer myself up. I thought that I would reminisce about the wedding of Ceci and Steve at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History five years ago! Happy anniversary! Since the wedding was so loooong ago, I thought it would be fun to age the photos. Here’s a playful selection from that very special day, officiated by Rich Tobin, with music by Spencer the Gardener, and a special performance by the groom himself, Steve Fort. Cheers!

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Wedding Dance Video with Exxxplosivo DJ’s

Wedding Dance Medley, featuring Exxxplosivo DJ’s from Isaac Hernandez on Vimeo.

I’m working on a new post with photos from Michelle and David’s wedding in Ojai, at Twin Peaks Ranch, catered by SBB Gourmet Catering, coordinated by Donna Romani Events, and DJ’d by DJ THC Electra from Exxxplosivo DJ’s. But there are so many great photos that’s taking me a while to make a tight selection. In the meantime, enjoy this video. I’ve never seen the dance floor so busy at a wedding. DJ THC Electra’s great. Thank you Michelle for counting on me to do your wedding photography!

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