About Kurty Photography
Kurty first opened his photography studio in 1988, which has now grown into a team of several friendly and talented photographers and photo editors.
As one of the most reputable and versatile photography studios, Kurty's work has been featured in various publications such as the Chronicle, New York Times, Today's Bride and the Knot. Kurty has also been awarded three times as "Photographer of the Year: by PPGBA (Professional Photographers of the Greater Bay Area), as well as being picked for the Knot's "Best of Weddings".
Our studio is conveniently located with ample parking right off Highway 280 in the Dogpatch District of San Francisco. Driven by passion and powered by bringing out the beauty of people, our services include weddings, headshots, portraits, events, model portfolios and commercial photography. We also travel worldwide for designation weddings and events.
Our mission is simple: we capture smiles and are rewarded with smiles from happy clients.
The team of Kurty Photography
When Kurty was a child, he was often asked what he would do when he grew up. Without hestitation, he would always answer, "I want to become a great artist."
Years later, with unchanged childhood dreams and aspiration, he chose to major in art with an emphasis in graphic design. In the first semester, he took a beginning photography class at CCSF as a part of his art major. Under the dim amber darkroom light, he developed his very first image - a photogram. He was surprised and fascinated as he gazed at the image gradually appearing before his eyes. At that moment, he knew deeply in his heart that he wanted to become a photographer.
During college, Kurty would be one of the first students to work in the darkroom and the last one to leave. With enthusiasm and gifted creativity, he explored all aspect of photography from fine art to commercial. He was one of the very few students to complete all 25 photography classes offered since the 1960's. Upon graduation, he obtained a photography degree with a top grade, and was honored by the chairman with a special Award of Achievement.
Now it was time to prove himself in the world of reality. Kurty worked for a local newspaper as a photojournalist and covered major events such as the 1989 earthquake. He photographed for studios such as Expressly Portraits and Glamour Shots. He was often assigned to travel out of state to capture portraits for Austin Allen Studio. With a stylish vision, he shot models for modeling and talent agencies (some later appearing in ads and movies). He has collaborated with art directors and graphic designers on commercial shoots for companies such as Apple Computer and Next Generation magazine. He has photographed in-house for the City of San Francisco, and photographed three mayors from Art Agnos to Frank Jordan to Willie Brown. During his service to the city, Kurty was honored with a Certificate of Recognition for his excellent performance by State Senate of California and California Legislature Assembly in 1994, and received a Commendation from the S.F. Board of Supervisors.
In 1990, Kurty was asked by a friend to capture a wedding for his family. Soon, his distinctive style was in demand, and he was requested to capture more and more weddings. Knowing that he must gain more knowledge with portraits, weddings and the operation of a growing photography business, he joined organizations such as Professional Photographers of America, Professional Photographers of California, Professional Photographers of the Greater Bay Area, and Wedding Photographers International. Through these groups, he attended workshops and seminars given by well-known master photographers from all over the U.S. Kurty has earned many merits and awards through annual and monthly print competitions, including three continuous years of Gold Wedding Album awards, and two times "Photographer of the Year". His award winning images have been chosen by Kodak for the Pro-Event Image show, and is honored to be selected as "Best of Weddings" on The Knot.
To give back to the community for the many great things he has gained from these organizations, he has served as judge for print competitions, and has taught workshops. He has also mentored and trained photography students who are now themselves making a steady living in photography.
Today Kurty holds true to his passion for photography, and has come to fulfill his childhood dream. Throughout the year, Kurty's popular studio is kept busy booking weddings, portraits and head shots assignments. In addition, he shoots for commercial and corporate clients. Twice a year, Kurty finds time to travel out of the country shooting personal projects. And he will never forget his promise to himself - to become a great artist when he grows up.
Interviewed and written by Johanna Kaestner (Author of By Recommendation Only)
About Michael (photographer, co-founder)
Kurty's long time business associate, Michael and Kurty met at the photo lab back in the college days. Photography to Michael is not a job: it's his passion. His professionalism, patience and determination to please makes him a favorite photographer with his clients. Michael is an artist who lovingly instills the emotions of his subject into creative and imaginative images. Michael received formal photographic training in college. Ever since then, he has never strayed from his dream of professional photography.
When asked why he likes his job, Michael once replied, "Why not? I capture art all day and people smile at me naturally." Michael's easy-going personality make his clients comfortable around him, which in turn results in exceptional and memorable images.
Michael's experience includes weddings, portrait and events photography. For weddings, Michael blends photojournalism with artistic portrait creation and specializes in various cultural wedding styles. He also photographs a wide range of subjects including adventure, travel, nature and lifestyle photography.
Paul (photographer, videographer)
Terry's photographic experience includes a wide range of subject matter, from weddings and portraits, to product and architecture. He is comfortable shooting either in studio or on location. Besides photographing people, his greatest interests are architectural studies and landscape photography.
Terry's goal is always to approach the subject in a fresh, direct way. He likes working with the clients in collaboration and strives to make the process an enjoyable one. Whether weddings, portraits or commercial projects, Terry is ready to meet your needs.
Geoffrey (photo editor)
As the photo editor and wedding album designer for Kurty Photography, Geoffrey has a keen eye for graphic design and also does computer animation. Geoffrey is an important team member behind the scenes for post-production work. Photography jobs are not complete until every image is edited, giving them proper color and exposure correction. Geoffrey uses his artistic talents for enhancing clients' images and designing photo albums. During his downtime, Geoffrey enjoys animating, playing Nintendo and building Lego models, as well as doing digital illustrations for books. Geoffrey is truly the force that makes our jobs complete.
Kurty's Awards and Achievements:
Couples' Choice Award
Best of Weddings Picks:
(The Knot 2011, 2012, 2013)
Top Wedding Photographer of the Year
Album Maker of the Year
First Place Wedding Print Award
San Francisco Award in the Photographers category
(U.S. Local Business Association 2008)
Featured on Summer 2008 issue
Wedding Vow Magazine
Feature on the premier issue, 2008
First Place Wedding Album Award
Top ten finalist, Best of Weddings Contest
(Event Pix, humor category, 2008)
Award of Excellent
(WPPI print competition, Las Vegas, 2007)
Featured on Winter 2006 issue
Featured on January 2007 issue
By Recommendation Only
Chosen as one of the top ten wedding photography in San Francisco 2004 to present
Photography Chairman of PPGBA
Recognized as an outstanding member and official print competition judge. Held position as photography chairman.
Member of WPPI
(Wedding and Portrait Photographers International)
Studio Photographer of the Year Award (PPGBA,1999)
California State Exhibition (Portrait and wedding images awarded and selected for California State
Exhibition. PPC, 1998)
Gold Wedding Album Awards
(PPGBA, 1995, 1996, 1997)
Kodak's Pro-Event Image Show
(Eight portrait images selected by Kodak, 1996)
Commercial Photographer of the Year Award
Second and Third Place Annual Award,
Certificate of Merit, City and County of S.F.
(Mayor Frank Jordan, 1994)
Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Photography For San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Photography Department
(State Senate of California, 1994)
(California Legislature Assembly, State Senator, 1994)
(Commendation - S.F. Board of Supervisors, 1994)
A.S. Degree in Photography
Award of Achievement
City College of San Francisco, CA 1991