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Meet Hilary Kao of Hilary Photo in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hilary Kao.

Hilary, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My photography business started two years ago and it has definitely evolved to become what it is today. Being a professional photographer doesn’t happen overnight and my first few sessions were truly a testament to that. Once I locked down my lighting and composition, post-editing became came naturally. I’m always striving to improve, and have learned that beautiful and memorable photos are grounded in passion, from one’s commitment to being able to bring something special and unique out of a shot. It’s been a fantastic journey so far, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
A lot of weddings postponed to next year due to Covid-19. I took this opportunity to work on a lot of back end tasks for my business such as creating new guides for clients, writing helpful blogs, and updating my website.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I’m Hilary Kao and I’m your new bonus bff, adventure guide, wedding day hype girl, and photographer all rolled into one. I’m always down for an adventure and I’m guessing you are too! The couples who come in front of my camera are ready for road trips and rock climbing, cuddles and cliff diving. They want to capture time exactly as it is right now. To look back on a photo and feel that unfiltered joy they experienced in the moment and want to hold onto that magic.

What does it mean for you to have a bonus bff and wedding day hype girl as your photographer? It means that I am there to cheer you on and make you feel confident, comfortable, and cool as heck in front of the camera. If you’re worried about being awkward in photos, I am there to make you feel amazing. If you’re nervous about being a model, I promise you that just being yourself will be perfect! I give my couples prompts instead of poses because no one wants stiff and uncomfortable photos! I let you run through a field together, dance on top of a mountain and splash around in the waves. You get to kiss, cuddle and laugh. I help you truly create and find joy in your session with me and throughout your entire wedding day.

Of course, I want to get to know you guys and I think it’s only fair you get to know me better too! I feel most myself in nature and love bringing that joy and love for the outdoors to my photography. Jesus is at the center of my business and life. I have two adorable dogs who like to wag their tails and eat treats. I have a slight addiction to HomeGoods, but really, who doesn’t? I started in photography because I was obsessed with taking photos, but even more so, I loved how I was able to stop time and make people feel their absolute best. That’s why I do what I do!

I specialize in elopements and weddings for adventurous couples. If you’re looking for someone to help capture your nontraditional wedding in the most natural and unique way possible, I am the girl for you. It’s my job to find out your quirks and what makes you guys YOU, and it’s the best job in the world. Are you ready to get started on this adventure together and have the hype girl you deserve by your side? Head to my contact page at to fill me in on your love story and vision for your wedding day!

What were you like growing up?
I have played golf growing up and that is part of the reason why I love being outdoors. It so refreshing and relaxing to see what mother nature offers.


  • Weddings starting at $4200
  • Elopements starting at $2500
  • Portraits starting at $600

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Hilary Photo

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