Kiel Rucker Photography

California born, Santa Barbara based and globally inclined


Photo + Video Styles

Artistic, Modern

Photo Shoot Types

Bridal Portraits, Engagement

Starting Price Range


Wedding Activities

Getting Engaged, Rehearsals + Parties, Wedding

Wedding Categories

Destination Wedding Packages, Destination Weddings, Digital Files, Online Proofing, Photo, Printed Enlargements, Second Shooter Available, Wedding Albums, Photo + Video

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Contact Info

California born, Santa Barbara based and globally inclined (805) 770-7733

Reviewed on 2/26/2018 Addie R

Kiel is simply the best. Not only is he a wonderful human, his photos are unreal. Kiel made taking wedding photos SO fun & everyone felt so comfortable with him (which made the photos even better)! Kiel truly captured the essence of our wedding; every photo shows the joy and... Read More the laughter that was taking place that day. We were so blown away with our wedding photos! WE LOVE KIEL!!!

2018-02-27T10:21:35 Response from the vendor

YOU all are the best! It was my pleasure getting to spend the day with you and your families. Looking forward to seeing you both at some point in the future!

Reviewed on 1/08/2018 Erin J

Kiel was wonderful to work with and I would work with him again in a heartbeat! His optimistic and go-with-the-flow attitude helped to calm any jitters we had with the planning of our elopement. We really appreciated his willingness to accommodate any changes we needed to make... Read More due to the wild fires in Santa Barbara around the time of our wedding. But most of all, he is a very talented photographer. Our photos are beautiful and really capture the emotion of the day.

2018-01-09T09:06:33 Response from the vendor

Thank you! What beautiful day that was! Grateful to have met you both, and to have been able to create some beautiful images for you both. Looking forward to visiting in Iceland someday! Kiel

Reviewed on 12/27/2017 Adam C

Kiel was a wonderful addition to our elopement. He was organized and has a wonderful sense of humor. Our teaser images are amazing and we cant wait to see the rest. So happy we hired Kiel to shoot our wedding. We cant wait to work with him again in the future.

Reviewed on 12/09/2017 Vanessa C

My wedding pictures are stunning! If I could sum up my experience with Kiel in one word, it would be vibrant. He brings an artistic yet honest quality to every picture. Kiel is very open and has such a great personality which shows through his work. He made everyone feel... Read More comfortable and went above and beyond for us... he even climbed a wall! I'm not sure who was enjoying the photo session more.. us or him. I just remember there was a lot of laughter. I think it's amazing when you can tell that someone truly loves their job. There are a lot of photographers, but with Kiel you are also getting an experience. A vibrant experience.

2017-12-10T10:06:41 Response from the vendor

Thank you for sharing :) It really does go both ways! It was such a pleasure working with you and Andy. Ultimately it is a collaboration that I got to lead and direct, but your feedback and willingness to follow me, and trust me, throughout... Read Less Read More

Reviewed on 11/27/2017 Meghan R

Kiel was just the best possible photographer to share our wedding day with. He was patient, kind, and truly understood what we wanted. The photos are beautiful!

Reviewed on 10/28/2017 Chelsey P

My fiancé and I had a great experience with Kiel. We won our session from an online contest, but both of us felt he treated us as if we were regular paying customers. Had we not won the contest he would still be our number 1 choice. We took our photos in Santa Barbara, a town we... Read More were not very familiar with, but Kiel had very good suggestions for locations. Although engagement photos can be an awkward experience, Kiel did a great job of making it a fun experience. We are very happy with our photos and would recommend Kiel to anyone!

2017-10-30T13:21:28 Response from the vendor

Thank you, Chelsey! What a treat it was that we got to meet that way and spend an afternoon and sunset together in Santa Barbara :) Wishing you all the best on your wedding later this year!

Reviewed on 10/18/2017 Rebecca r

We booked Kiel for our wedding in Santa Barbara this August and it was the best choice we could have made. We live in the UK so had to organise the wedding from more than 5000 miles away which meant initially all communications with Kiel had to be via email, this however did not... Read More prove to be an issue. Kiel responded to every email and question (photography related or not) promptly and professionally and even helped us source other things for the wedding that were clearly outside of his remit. He didn’t complain about the many and the dumb questions, in fact he was so friendly with us that we have missed him since the wedding. We loved Kiel before we even saw any of his photos. He set us both at ease immediately and felt more like one of our wedding guests than the photographer. He slotted right in with all of our friends and family and everyone thought he was great. We got a first look at a sample of our photos within a week of the wedding and they were beautiful! My Husband (still feels weird calling him that) and I are not always the most photogenic but Kiel has managed to capture us at our best and the colour and light in the photographs make the event look as special and magical as it felt for us on the day. We have just received the full download and again the images are great both formal and relaxed and will help us remember the detail of the day for years ahead. I guess you need to be really careful when choosing a photographer for your special day, however we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Kiel to anybody in terms of professionalism, quality and going that extra mile to ensure the results are as good as they can be…you won’t go wrong!

2017-10-18T12:56:14 Response from the vendor

Thank you for this! Yours is a wedding experience I'll not soon forget - it was the most "American" wedding I've ever been a part of, and it was pulled off from the other side of the world by a couple of wonderful Britts! I'm... Read Less Read More

Reviewed on 10/17/2017 Sharon L

I highly recommend using Kiel for all your wedding and pre-wedding needs! When I initially did research for Santa Barbara photographers (my husband and I live in Huntington Beach) for our engagement photos and courthouse elopement photos, Kiel's work immediately stuck out. You... Read More can easily tell that this man has attention to detail and style judging by his website. Seriously, check it out. Kiel was so kind enough to meet with us over a couple drinks the night before our engagement/elopement photoshoot to discuss all the logistics of when, where, how, etc. If you're type A like me, it was very reassuring to have a clear direction of how the day would go. The shoot was super fun too! He was our witness for our elopement, and we felt like he was just our (very professional and talented) friend who was along for the ride documenting our special day. You won't regret using Kiel. He's just an amazing person in general and the fact that he's talented, professional, organized, and fun helps :)

2017-10-17T13:36:12 Response from the vendor

Thank you for sharing! You two made it easy to have such a fun time, and to capture such fun, beautiful images from our "tour de Santa Barbara" elopement/engagement" session! All good things!

Reviewed on 10/11/2017 Karlee P

I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for Kiel and his unbelievable talents! My husband and I had the pleasure of working with Kiel this past weekend at our wedding in the greater Sacramento area. Upon meeting, we instantly felt comfortable and all of the normal day-of... Read More wedding nerves disappeared. He captured our special day in such an incredible way, and I am beyond obsessed with all of our photos! Kiel is truly one of a kind and I cannot say enough wonderful things about him as a person, and a photographer. Thank you are amazing!

2017-10-12T10:46:01 Response from the vendor

Thank you so much for sharing this :) It's the greatest compliment to acknowledged and appreciated for the things that you feel are the most valuable and the most important. I had such wonderful time and was able to capture so many beautiful images of... Read Less Read More

Reviewed on 10/02/2017 Sabrina M

Kiel is the most down to Earth, creative, and talented photographer who really strives to capture the natural elements of a relationship. We had the pleasure of working with Kiel for both our engagement photos and for the duration of our wedding. He also did our little guy's one... Read More year old birthday shots (what a versatile photographer!) When my husband and I showed up for the engagement photos we were feeling uncomfortable and awkward about how everything would pan out and Kiel simply did what he does to produce the most beautiful and natural images. When it came time for our wedding, Kiel was punctual and efficient and so easy to work with. He effortlessly put us where we needed to be to get all the best shots in a timely manner and made us laugh while doing it. Highly recommend Kiel for any and all your photo needs.

2017-10-02T10:16:35 Response from the vendor

Thank you so much for this beautiful review! It was nothing but a pleasure getting to be the one to help create this experience for you, and to leave you with so many images from every step along the way. You're the best! Looking forward... Read Less Read More

Reviewed on 8/30/2017 Robyn G

SO HAPPY! Jim and I were absolutely amazed with the wedding pictures. Wow, we look good. Kiel was absolutely fantastic. Not only did our photographs turn out beautifully, he was such a pleasure to work with. He was responsive, patient and most important to me creative. Beyond... Read More the list of “must have” shots that we wanted at the wedding, Kiel as an ability to anticipate where he needs to be to capture the most authentic moments. When providing direction, Kiel is patient. I naturally move my right arm when he has asked me to move my left. Our wedding also included two unpredictable dogs and family members who liked to tap Kiel on the shoulder for a photo. To me, photos are the most important way to remember the wedding day and I am so happy we had Kiel. Lastly, I want to end the review by stating "Kiel is just an awesome guy".

2017-10-12T10:47:55 Response from the vendor

Thank you so much! It really was a pleasure getting to know you, your friends and your families on your wedding day. It always seems like its over so quick! I'm already looking forward to a mini tacos and tequila tour in Santa Barbara when... Read Less Read More

Reviewed on 8/10/2017 Leda B

Kiel is wonderful! I've followed his photography for a while and when my now husband and I set a date he was the first person I e-mailed- I knew I wanted him to photograph my wedding before I met my husband. Kiel shot our engagement photos in the snow on a day he had lost his... Read More voice - it was pretty hilarious to take direction from his arm waving and us falling in the snow - it ended with a lot of laughing, silly-ness, and beautiful photos. Our wedding photos are beautiful, they are everything I wanted, Kiel's use of light, and color are stunning. His ability to be in two places at once capture all the fun moments was impressive. He is also just a very kind and easy to get along with person, making the experience even better.

Reviewed on 7/14/2017 Christopher E

Kiel was great! It was a great experience all around and he was so helpful with the entire process. I actually had another photographer booked but that photographer cancelled about a week prior to when I was planning on proposing to my now fiancé. I found Kiel on Yelp and am so... Read More glad that I did. He was very prompt in getting back to me and getting the appointment set up and helping to work with my plan. The proposal was a surprise so Kiel was very discrete until after I popped the question and captured every moment. He then guided us in a short photo session after and was very supportive of the both of us. I cannot recommend Kiel enough. He was professional throughout and a great person to work with during such a special moment for the both of us! Check out his Instagram for the work he does and you'll get a real feel for his style. He genuinely loves the work that he does and was truly happy for the both of us. Great photographer and a great guy to work with!

Reviewed on 6/24/2017 Gavin G

Kiel is great! I spent several weeks reaching out to potential photographers to photograph our proposal. I initially learned that many wedding photographers had never photographed a proposal, so when I discovered Kiel I was happy to learn that he had already shot a handful. I... Read More was initially attracted to Kiel's style - as someone who works in film & TV, I've developed a visual style that I like and immediately recognized Kiel's work as fitting that style - sophisticated, intimate, and beautiful. When speaking with other potential photographers, I suffered a bit of sticker shock (and found some to not be immediately forthcoming in their offerings) - Kiel, however, clearly explained what he offered in his package, and to my surprise, even offered to scout potential locations with me. Between his portfolio, kindness on the phone, and great offer, I chose Kiel to photograph our proposal. Kiel worked with me to find a location that worked for us both; he met me at one of our potential locations the day before. Once we decided that we liked the location, Kiel helped choreograph the scene so we would get the best photos possible the next day. Kiel is extremely warm and easy to work with, he's flexible and has a great eye for lighting, framing, posing, performance, and location. On the day, Kiel headed out to the location almost an hour before we got there to make sure no one took our spot! My fiancé later told me that she only spotted Kiel as I was dropping to my knee, so he definitely helped keep the surprise intact to the last moment. Once the proposal was over, Kiel went above and beyond by working with us long after sunset to capture some amazing photos. We both loved working with Kiel and look forward to seeing him again soon!

2017-10-12T10:53:25 Response from the vendor

Thank you so much for this thoughtful review! I don't often photograph proposals, but everything about this just seemed to align so perfectly - I'm glad that we connected! It truly was wonderful getting to meet you both, and get to play a role ins... Read Less Read More

Reviewed on 6/21/2017 Jo C

We had an amazing experience working with Kiel! We hired him to shoot our engagement session back in the beginning of June, in Santa Barbara. Kiel is a magician when it comes to finding spots and playing with light! We already had some favorite spots in mind, but Kiel worked... Read More with us adding a new spot (which was like a piece out of a fairy tale!) to make sure we got the best out of the two hours we spent together. Before our meeting we exchanged several emails, and already from our first talks one could see Kiel is a really kind and nice person. By the time we met in person it felt more like meeting an old friend, than a photographer. We had so much fun during the photo shooting! Then, just one week and a half afterwards, he already sent us quite a few pics for a preview. We were amazed about how he managed to capture our feeling into one snap! We can't wait to see the rest!! All in all, Kiel is simply awesome! Thank you so much, Kiel! :-)

2017-10-12T10:54:56 Response from the vendor

I'm so happy we got to spend that time together! I love getting to share my home with others, and to create beautiful images for them from our "excursions" ;) Wishing you all the best on your wedding day forever after!

Reviewed on 6/05/2017 Jibraun R

My wife and I hired Kiel for the elopement package. In short, he was terrific. After suggesting a few ideas of what we were looking for, Kiel proposed a bunch of great venues to take shots at. He was a joy to work with, and was very flexible for our wishes. Highly recommend!

2017-10-12T10:56:06 Response from the vendor

It was absolutely my pleasure :) Simple, fun, beautiful - perfect! The only thing I wish I could change is the amount of time we actually get to spend together, but short and sweet isn't so bad either ;) Congratulations again! Kiel

Reviewed on 3/22/2017 Katie Rose M

Kiel was our photographer for our civil ceremony at the Santa Barbara Courthouse. We initially didn't plan to hire a photographer and we are SO GLAD that we found Kiel. He was relaxed and great to work with and our photos are absolutely lovely. I highly recommend Kiel!!

Reviewed on 9/20/2016 Erin L

I cant say enough good things about Kiel. He immediately made us feel comfortable, like we were old friends just out having fun. No pressure. If there is one vendor you work with on a pretty intimate level during your wedding day it is hands down your photographer, so choose... Read More wisely. Kiel went above & beyond for us, he traveled all the way to a tiny town on the Olympic Peninsula tucked away in nearly the furthest corner of the Northernmost US. To say it is a challenge to get there is an understatement. He hung out with us all day the day before, came and scoped out the properties and even had a beer and watched the sunset from a bluff by our house with myself and some girlfriends. He was down for adventures, tromping through the forest, and listened and executed the style of photography we imagined for our day. We are thrilled with what we have seen so far and I would absolutely recommend him to anyone looking. So yeah...huge shout out and many thanks Kiel! #nailedit

2016-09-21T13:04:45 Response from the vendor

Thank you soooo much Erin!! It really was an amazing experience getting come spend the weekend in PNW and photography yours and Derek's wedding. . . definitely looking forward to heading back up there at some point!

Reviewed on 7/28/2016 Alyssa B

Kiel did both our engagement photo shoot and our wedding, and my husband and I couldn't be happier! The photos are absolutely gorgeous! Kiel does an amazing job of capturing the light in such a way that his photos absolutely glow! He has a definite eye and a beautifully natural... Read More style. He captures the natural beauty of both the couple and their surroundings, whether the wedding be inside or outside. Kiel is professional and is able to take gorgeous photos without needing constant direction. Throughout our entire planning process he got back to me quickly whenever I had questions and was always very accommodating. If you are ever searching for an amazing wedding photographer, look no farther because Kiel is definitely it!

2016-07-28T15:48:50 Response from the vendor

Thank you Alyssa, it means a lot to read this review :) It was an honor and a pleasure to be with you and Alberto on your wedding day!

Reviewed on 7/26/2016

If you're unsure of which photographer to pick in the Santa Barbara area, look no further! Kiel was absolutely the most friendly and easy person to work with. He was helpful when it came to picking out a place for engagement photos for my husband and me, and answered quickly to... Read More emails I sent with questions and comments regarding the shoot. His eye for photography and overall talent, made for stunning photos that my husband and I will cherish forever. Kiel was extremely easy-going (and for those who feel slightly uncomfortable around a camera, he made us feel relaxed and we were able to just have fun and be ourselves). I highly recommend Kiel Rucker if you are in search of a gifted photographer, who is easy to work with!

2016-07-27T10:35:31 Response from the vendor

I was so glad that our paths crossed - your was truly a one of a kind session and I am sooo pleased with the photos we capture that day. Thank you!

Reviewed on 7/20/2016 Alison D

Kiel is a wonderful photographer. He is not just an ordinary wedding photographer, but he will make your event pop. He is a ton of fun to work with and really made me feel comfortable. His photos are beautiful and he has such a great eye for shooting. He is extremely... Read More professional and gets the photos to you when he says they will be there. I love the way he uses the light and really makes the photos pop. We also used Kiel for our engagement shoot and that was a great warm up for the wedding. We have so many amazing photos from our engagement shoot. I recommend using Kiel for your wedding photographer ! I cannot say enough great things about him and his work. He is amazing and I love all his photos! Kiel is the best!

2016-07-27T10:32:56 Response from the vendor

Thank you so much, it makes me so happy that you had such a great experience with me - because I had the same experience with you :)

Reviewed on 6/30/2016 Rachelle B

After viewing Kiel's website, we knew he was the photographer for us. His romantic expression combined with his ability to capture natural elements drew us in. During our initial meeting, we hit it off with him right away. Kiel was extremely attentive to our needs and made us... Read More feel very comfortable. He was very friendly and easy to work with, which is very important since you spend so much time with your photographer on your wedding day. I love our wedding photos! Kiel is an amazing photographer who knows how to capture those special, candid moments. Through his photos he was able to focus on specific details while portraying the over all feel of our big day. We were so blessed to not only have him shoot our wedding, but also to take part in our day among our friends and family. My husband and I highly recommend him!

2016-06-30T17:15:57 Response from the vendor

It was such a beautiful day, and a wonderful experience getting to spend such a special time with you, Phillip and your friends and family - absolutely my pleasure.

Reviewed on 6/26/2016

We couldn't have asked for a better wedding photographer than Kiel! He was very responsive and helpful as we tried to plan our Santa Barbara wedding remotely from Tennessee. His warm nature and easy going approach put us immediately at ease the moment we met for the first time.... Read More His photographic style was exactly what we were looking for.....and he captured the spirit of our special day perfectly! I highly recommend Kiel Rucker photography if you want a personal experience with beautiful photos!

2016-06-28T20:36:54 Response from the vendor

I'm so glad our paths crossed! I had such a wonderful time meeting you both and photographing your day. I would love to see you two if you make it out to Santa Barbara again!

Reviewed on 6/26/2016

5 stars is not enough for this talented photographer and now friend of ours. We strongly recommend Kiel and his team. Were drawn to his eye for grabbing candid and natural shots. So often when you see other photographer's galleries, you find "staged" photos. Kiel is able to pull... Read More off natural photos in a manner that brings the out the best in people and in a comfortable manner. We spent several hours with him during our engagement shoot in different locations and instead of it being a process it was a truly fun and memorable experience. He listened to our wedding vison was, but as a creative professional, he applied his style, elevated our ideas and captured many wonderful moments we now have. Kiel and his team showed their uber organization abilities by herding a group of 250 wedding guests in a matter of minutes for one large group shot. He had great follow thru in getting us our photos relatively quickly and was always responsive on e-mail and open to ideas and will work with you on your budget. Call or e-mail him!!!

2016-06-28T20:39:36 Response from the vendor

I was so grateful to have been with you two, and to photograph for you, on your wedding day...It makes me warm just thinking about it :) Looking forward to seeing you again soon hopefully!

Reviewed on 4/18/2016 Van V

We enjoyed meeting Kiel and have our engagement photographs taken by Kiel. He was great! and a professional, sincere photographer. We highly recommend him.

2016-06-28T20:37:42 Response from the vendor

Thank you! The pleasure was mine :)