Raves & Recognition, Reviews & Client Testimonials

So, what’s it like to have a photo session with us?

Well… To give you the gist, here’s a little of what we often hear:

››  Many clients mention what a FUN, COMFORTABLE & PROFESSIONAL session they experienced…
››  You’ll experience overflowing pride & passion as we gently push everyone’s creative limits…
››  We’re extremely organized, process/results-focused & detail-oriented (some call us meticulous)…
››  It will be very clear that our primary goal is to continually exceed your expectations…

But perhaps our customers, various publications and fellow professionals say it best, so we’ll step aside for a moment…

Online Reviews & Public Ratings

To keep things objective, we invite you to read public ratings & reviews from past clients. Feel free to visit the profile links below to see what people are saying:

›› Google Local Page with Reviews  –  Scroll down to “Reviews”
›› Facebook Page Reviews  –  Direct link to the “Reviews” Tab.

Awards, Accomplishments & Published Works

We regularly feature blog posts showing published works, awards and other recognition we’ve earned along the journey.

Check out the “Published & Featured Work” category in our blog to see what’s been happening. Or visit the About Us Page for more info on our accomplishments & acclaim.

Additional Client Praise & Feedback

To provide you with a good sense of who we are and what we offer, we’ve compiled relevant testimonials from past clients. We’ve been in business for a while, so we’ve received quite a bit of feedback…

The Abbreviated Version:

Want the ESSENCE of what they’ve said? The graphic below was made using the handy Wordle tool, which bubbles up a “Word Cloud” displaying the most prominent words contained in the testimonials on this page. 

Wordle Graphic of Most Popular Testimonial Words

The Collection of Testimonials Submitted Directly:

Note: Some of these were copied from the public profile links provided above. Therefore, please pardon redundancies as we strive to conveniently present the best all in one place

I worked with ILLUMINATION on an important marketing photoshoot for one of our large, industry-leading national corporate clients. In addition to all the things you’d expect from a commercial photography studio – professionalism, technical prowess, a trained eye for the craft – Allen stood out not only for his unique grasp of the brand/creative strategy we’d established, but also for his ability to make additional recommendations beyond what we’d thought of – greatly projecting and expanding upon the possibilities. I don’t write canned recommendations, so you can take this one at face value….

Absolutely the best photographer I’ve ever seen after 20+ years in the wedding business. His thorough approach and attention to detail gets every shot needed without burdening his subjects with unnecessary waiting around. So refreshing to see high end studio quality results from a Wedding Photographer!

“I’ve had photos taken before…” was my first thought when I decided to use Allen Luke for Photography, then quickly realized as I entered the studio and looked around…”but NEVER like this before!” There are photographers, and there’s Allen Luke. Plain and simple. He knows exactly how to create, elude to, position, capture and bring about the very best in his clients and their photos. By the time I was done, which I never wanted to leave, I had so many excellent shots to choose from, with different angles, lighting, moods, and an overall feel (yes, photography with feeling!) it was difficult to decide. Allen is a professional, he knows exactly what he’s doing and anyone who uses him will be completely thrilled they did.

As a person who usually shuns being photographed, I found myself actually having a lot of fun during the shoot. What’s more, I loved the photos! great work, Allen!

Have you modeled before? Allen is all pro. Is this your first shoot? Allen will set you right at ease and bring out all your best. Do you have an event? Oh, please… Not only do you want him to preserve your memories, you also want him on the guest list. I can’t wait to work with him again!

Increible experiencia, finalmente alguien pudo captar lo que queriamos mostrar con nuestro arte. Super profesional y muy comoda sesión fotografica. Mil gracias de todo corazón, es un placer trabajar con Allen. (Translated) Amazing experience, finally somebody could capture what we want to show with our art. Super professional and such a comfortable photoshoot. Thanks a lot, it was such a nice job! and it was a pleasure to work with Allen. (Sorry for my English!! hehehe)

I am not a poser. Luckily with Allen one doesn’t have to be. He makes doing a photo shoot fun- you forget your insecurities & just let go! I recommend giving him a try :)

If you are looking for a typical photography experience, go somewhere else! I have had the pleasure of working with Allen and his team on multiple occasions and would recommend him to anyone. Allen sees the world through a unique perspective and has the ability to transform an ordinary scene into something spectacular. He has a great way of directing his clients, yet at the same time keeping them engaged in the shoot and encouraging mutual creativity. Allen is so aware of all the little details can make a standard photo into one that is captivating. He is, in my opinion, the best photographer in the Twin Cities!

Do you typically shy away from the camera or feel like you’re not photogenic? If so, you MUST have your photo taken by ILLUMINATION. Allen has an incredible eye for detail and knows how to bring out your best features. He creates a comfortable environment so you can leave your photo jitters at the door and really let your personality shine in the photos.

Allen is a fun and fantastic photographer who is able to capture the big moments and smaller ones with creativity and beautiful composition. He has photographed me for multiple purposes – band shots, engagement pics, and wedding pics – and each time, I see myself in a new way and always feel more beautiful because of it. The photos you get from him are absolutely invaluable, and I’m so glad I trusted him with photographing such important days in my life. I just can’t stop marveling at my engagement and wedding shots! He was very efficient at getting the photos back to us, too. I highly recommend you choose ILLUMINATION to capture your important days, too!

I was completely blown away with my experience. Allen made the shoot comfortable and fun, and the outcome surpassed all expectations. Pro? Check. Artist? Absolutely!

I have had the opportunity to see Allen work with multiple people at one time during what one could call a Shoot-a-thon, he got little in terms of breaks, yet still had such ambition, he was very patient with all being photographed, had so many ideas and put himself in danger getting the shot he envisioned. He is a very personable person and for my photos I absolutely loved them! I would highly recommend using him as your next photographer!

Allen is a true artist. He is extremely passionate about his work. Be assured you will get his full attention and that his goal is to surpass your expectations.

ILLUMINATION is much more than a photographer; artist would be a better fit. I had the opportunity to assist in a couple weddings with Allen Luke and he does not just take pictures, he creates spectacular images. Whether this is due to his knowledge of lighting, positioning of the wedding party, angle shots, or a combination of all, Allen takes what most would call a picture and transforms it to become almost 3 dimensional and things just pop! Allen also captures things that you would not ordinarily see in wedding photos, I was amazed at some of the pictures he wanted to capture and I thought to myself, why in the world would you take a picture of that? Well, once the reception started Allen threw out a few teasers, barely edited, and placed them as a slide show on his laptop for the guests to see, and WOW, I was floored at how these unique pictures turned out. Incredible Personally, if you have a date for your wedding, give ILLUMINATION a call and if you’re lucky enough and they’re free, book em!!

Once I saw ILLUMINATION in action, I knew I wanted Allen and his crew to be my wedding photographers. They did an excellent job, creatively capturing special moments on film that I’ll always treasure. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend ILLUMINATION. Allen is professional, energetic and very talented! Thank you!

My family and I have used ILLUMINATION for portrait sessions, head shots, architecture shots and a wedding. Nothing but professionalism from this group! I am having an unbelievable experience with ILLUMINATION! We have been working together professionally for over a year on all aspects branding, marketing, web design and photography. Having known Allen for 15 years, and having seen his previous work, I had no doubt about his talents. I always know every time Allen wants to sit down for another brainstorm or meeting that the evolution of my business is going to be amazing. I recommend him often. From a photo shoot to a complete branding/marketing strategy, Allen and ILLUMINATION is who you need!

Allen did a great job with our wedding pictures. I was surprised how much time and effort he put into each shot. He has a vision and goes for it. He was very easy to work with. My biggest concern was the cost, but seeing the end results (and how happy my wife is) makes them worth every penny. I highly recommend.

My wedding pictures are even more beautiful than I expected. Allen made us feel very comfortable (even when the poses weren’t!) and I’m amazed at the shots he got. He took our vision and expanded on it with an incredible attention to details. The pictures really capture “us.” The only problem is choosing favorites-they’re all so good. We were hesitant about the cost, but the result was worth every penny. Allen’s artistic eye is priceless!

We had a tight schedule to prepare for an upcoming trade show and even with multiple scheduling changes, Allen was willing to rearrange his calendar to handle our product photography. The product photos turned out incredible which was not a surprise after watching him work. During the photo shoot, he was constantly making minor changes with each product to get the perfect shot. All of us at RJS could not be happier with the results and will be using Allen for all of our commercial photography needs!

I was impressed and satisfied with ILLUMINATION. Allen surpassed every expectation of how wonderful our wedding photos could be. Allen is an artist and there are no words to describe what it is like to see our “special day” as another one of his masterpieces. Allen and the second photographer were non-intrusive which made the photos look very natural. By the end of the wedding we felt like they were just some of the other guests and I was sad to say goodbye. Allen has an eye for photos that really helped encapsulate all the little details of the day. For the most important day of our lives, I’m so grateful that we had ILLUMINATION capture our memories.

I loved working with Allen! Allen is not only THE most talented photographer in the Twin Cities but he is extremely professional and kind! My favorite part about my shoot was that it was done during a video shoot and we had only a few moments to snap some shots. As a professional he caught some amazing photos and his editing kept me looking like myself! Some photographers can edit you too much so that you look strange, Allen of course did not! Thank you again Allen you are outstanding!

This was a second wedding for both of us and although we were putting a lot of effort into the venue, catering and ceremony, photography started to be an afterthought. We knew of Allen Luke’s excellent work and that you pay a little more for his eye and artistry. After weighing the options, we chose Allen. The day was perfect and we are so glad we went the extra distance to get Allen as our photographer. 10 minutes into the pre wedding outdoor shoot, we couldn’t stop saying wow! Allen positioned us in the most incredible settings that he had scouted out. The final images were not only keepsakes of a wonderful memory, but many are works of art that we are enlarging for our home. As we’ve shared images with friends and family, we keep hearing words like “incredible”, “speechless”. Allen, thank you for the heirlooms you’ve created for us in preserving a very special day.

Allen can get any shot, in any location, under any circumstance. During my photo shoot, it began to rain, which turned into the best luck ever as the shots looked amazing with the raindrops coming down. He didn’t only get one good shot; every photo he took was incredible. The hardest part of the process is deciding which ones you like the best! I highly recommend ILLUMINATION to anyone and everyone, for whatever moment in life you want to capture.

Since the day you started tying your hair into pig tails you have been dreaming of your wedding day. A lifetime of planning can only be trusted to be captured by ILLUMINATION. Your special day flies past you in such a flurry, photographer Allen Luke is literally a God send. He secures every memory on film for you to later recall. Snuggling with your new husband, glass of wine in hand your special day unfolds from the pages of the album he personalized just for you. Every shot is a work of art, he really does capture your fairytale coming true….At least that is what he did for us…Thanks Allen, you are a gifted artist.

My daughter and I chose ILLUMINATION to shoot her Senior Portraits after spending several weeks researching other photographers. We spoke at length with Allen Luke regarding the type of shots she wanted done. She did not want the average pictures that most seniors receive, she wanted pictures that would show her in the best light possible. She also wanted someone who had the ability to be extraordinarily creative, who could think outside of the traditional, conventional ideas; who would take her ideas and expand them exponentially. Allen took the time to get to know her; they had several conversations regarding the types of photos she was most interested in, showing her examples of locations that might be of interest to her. He has the ability to see the parts and pieces of one’s personality that lie just beneath the surface, ones that are not always visible to casual acquaintances. He chose locations that brought out her true spirit and beauty; they were everything we sought and more. Allen Luke has talent and ability that are unlike any I’ve seen in the industry, completely unparalleled. I don’t believe you would find someone who possesses the degree of innovation and creativity that he has. His passion for the unique goes above and beyond any I’ve seen and as evidenced by her photographs, the end results are exquisite. Hiring ILLUMINATION for any of your photography needs will prove only to be one of the best decisions you will ever make. The end results are truly one of a kind, once in a lifetime photographs, to be treasured for many years to come.

ILLUMINATION employs the MOST talented personnel on the planet. The creative juices that flow from their bountiful orchard are too tremendous to calculate! Any potential customer interested in employing ILLUMINATION's talent will NOT be left disappointed!

Disfrute mucho de la sesión de fotos, por fin después de varios años tengo fotos profesionales, y estuvo muy interesante posar con el fuego, no es nada fácil fotografiar al fuego, pero Allen supo como hacerlo. Muchísimas gracias!

I believe that a person who loves his work projects his enthusiasm and passion she has for this. Allen and his team are not only professional photographers but photographic artists, was a pleasure working with you hope will happen again. Thanks for everything. (Translated from submission in Spanish)

Allen is great to work with. We have never done an actual shoot, just at a few events and when we were all out on the town and he brought his camera with. He makes you feel and look so fabulous. He actually took the pic that I have posted as my first pic on my page. He makes you feel comfortable and at ease, a no pressure guy!

When dealing with a professional like Allen Luke, patience pays off. This is because he is a perfectionist. I have worked with him, and seen him on other shoots. He is by far the best I have seen. When dealing with any photography, there is no question who you should call. Thanks Mr. Luke for all of your hard work.

I have used ILLUMINATION in both business and personal instances…I have been extremely satisfied with the results and would recommend them to everyone!

I have nothing but great things to say about ILLUMINATION. Allen is very professional and knows his stuff. Stunning, professional photography! ILLUMINATION consistently delivers outstanding, beautifully composed photos. From composition, to lighting, to posing, he will give you the perfect photo every time. I have had the pleasure of working with Allen both in front of the camera as well as behind the scenes on other shoots. I couldn’t have been happier with the way my own photos looked, and I was impressed with the level of professionalism he displayed at a wedding I assisted with. The photos look like something out of a magazine. Allen is fast, incredibly easy going, fun, and always on point. Be sure to browse through albums here on Facebook for a few examples of what ILLUMINATION can do for you. You won’t be disappointed!

I have worked with Allen on many different occasions. He is a professional and does top notch work. I would and have recommended ILLUMINATION to many friends and family members. Not only is his work impeccable, but his work ethic and drive for perfection is unmatched!

Allen’s eye for the “right shot” is impeccable. His creativity excels beyond many other photographers, very professional, he knows what needs to be accomplished to satisfy your needs and furthermost he is a really cool dude to work with! Thanks Al!

Allen totally puts you at ease and brings out the best in you. The pictures he has done of us are some of the best we have ever had taken. Allen, we love your work and cannot wait to work with you again.

Allen has always done an amazing job on every shoot we’ve done. Most recently my wedding and engagement photos turned out perfectly. He’s professional but clearly enjoys his work. The smiles in our photos were because we were all truly having fun. He even figured out how to make a minor wedding mishap into a wonderfully photo-documented moment we all laugh at now. Hire this man!

I like Allen’s perspective and he makes you feel at ease behind the lens.

We used ILLUMINATION for Senior portraits, headshots (commercial & acting), and several photo shoots to build a model portfolio (vintage, fashion, editorial). Throughout it all, Allen Luke was reliable, meticulously focused, and highly professional. He innately knows how to manipulate environment or subject to achieve superb results while going above & beyond every step of the way!

Allen not only does excellent work, he made the studio time fun and relaxed. Such a creative eye! I’m looking forward to bringing my son in next year for some awesome senior pictures!

Allen was great to work with. I felt totally comfortable, and it was fun seeing him get excited about the interesting shots he was seeing from different angles. They turned out great!

ILLUMINATION did an amazing job taking our engagement pictures, it was truly an amazing experience! Thanks again Allen!

Allen was Amazing with my wedding pictures! He even came out to our house to show us the wonderful pictures that he took and let us choose and edit the pictures! It was the personal touch that really made a difference. Allen knows what he is doing and does it well! Thank you so Much for the wonderful pictures that will let us catch the memory of our wedding day. Thank you ILLUMINATION!

Allen is respectful, talented and an expert photographer. He takes amazing pictures for any occasion with a touch of class.

When my friend and collaborator approached me about getting some publicity shots for our musical ensemble, I immediately thought of hiring Allen Luke. I’d worked with ILLUMINATION before when Allen took pictures for the Music St. Croix chamber music ensemble and I remembered how comfortable it was. Right away, upon his arrival at our site, I knew we’d made the right decision in contacting him. Allen immediately put us at ease, asking questions about who we were as a duo and how we wanted to present ourselves. As he set up and we began to take pictures, he kept the mood light and made us feel comfortable all the way through – even when we decided to climb a tree! We agree that we highly recommend Allen and ILLUMINATION for any kind of photographic needs. We are extremely pleased with the results of our photo shoot!

I absolutely LOVE your work, it is very creative, artistic with taste and class!!! Every picture you take is amazing, you know how to capture a moment!!! Thank you for allowing me in front of your camera!!!

I could not have been more impressed and satisfied with ILLUMINATION. The pictures of your wedding day are everlasting memories and that’s why the photography was one of the largest portions of our budget. Allen surpassed our expectations of how wonderful are photos could be. He is an artist and there are no words to describe what it is like to see our “special day” as another one of his masterpieces. Allen and the second photographer were non-intrusive which made the photos look very natural. By the end of the wedding we felt like they were just some of the other guests and I was sad to say goodbye. Allen worked with us to ensure we got what we wanted and he was so patient with us while we were planning a wedding from 5 states away. At the wedding he and the second photographer were nothing less than professional. Allen has an eye for photos that really helped encapsulate all the little details of the day. For the most important day of our lives, I’m so grateful that we had ILLUMINATION capture our memories.

If you’re looking for a relaxed fun environment and want to see a little magic, go see Allen. He does fantastic work and the results are outstanding!

Always so much fun working with Allen, Just bring yourself at the set, He will do the magic!

I have hired ILLUMINATION numerous times through the years for both personal and professional use. I hired them to shoot a 1940’s high profile event on behalf of my clients. They were able to capture amazing photos of the guests, food, decorations, and venue in difficult lighting. In addition to capturing the shots the client wanted, they were able to take beautiful pictures of the facility that I was able to use for my own marketing pieces! On another occasion, I hired ILLUMINATION to do an impromptu engagement photo session for my brother; the session was so impromptu that the bride didn’t even have a chance to put on makeup! Allen positioned them well, took pictures from flattering angles, and worked miracles in the editing room…in the final proofs you couldn’t even tell she wasn’t wearing any make up! My biggest challenge for ILLUMINATION was when I hired them for my cousins wedding. The couple is very unique and typical wedding photographer just wouldn’t do. They wanted artistic and vintage photos that would tell the story of their love for years to come. On top of that, they had a large (and slightly difficult) wedding party, a short time frame, and a “check signer” that didn’t value high quality photography. ILLUMINATION was able to exceed my challenge and produced award winning photos. The fore mentioned check signer called me immediately after seeing the proofs and apologized for doubting me. The bride and groom were ecstatic and haven’t stopped showing the pictures off since! The highest compliment that an Event Planner can give is to say that they would use that vendor for their own wedding…the only photographer I will be calling is ILLUMINATION.

Some of my best pictures were taken by Allen and I can’t wait for another shoot! I would recommend ILLUMINATION to anyone looking for a professional photographer with a ton of experience.

Had an absolute blast doing my first shoot. Was very excited going into the studio, and even more excited to see the photos. Photos turned out beyond my expectations, loved the different lighting angles the most! The hardest part was choosing which ones to keep!! I loved them All!! I recommend ILLUMINATION for ANY type of photography! Cant wait for my next session!

Working with Allen is great, he is amazing at what he does! He makes you feel so comfortable and is easy to work with! I would recommend him to anyone!

Working with ILLUMINATION was amazing! He made me feel totally at ease. I look forward to working with him in the future.

If ILLUMINATION can make me look good, that is truly saying something!

ILLUMINATION…a fantastic experience. Bring Allen any idea and he will grow it into something amazing!

For anyone looking for a photographer, look no further! Allen has a talent that few photographers have mastered. He will not only make you feel relaxed, but will for sure put a smile on your face with the way he contorts himself just to make sure he gets that perfect angle! Keep up the good work!

My fiancee and I have had the pleasure of being shot by Allen. His ability to bring out the best look possible is unsurpassed. I look forward to another session!

For my senior pictures I wanted something creative and different. Allen did exactly that, I loved the pictures and the experience. Thank you ILLUMINATION!

We have had a few photo sessions with Allen. We have always been very happy with the outcome. He is very professional yet fun. He has a lot of great ideas. Thanks Allen!

I had a great experience doing a shoot with Allen! This guy really gets into it and it’s fun to watch!

I have been a part of several photo shoots with ILLUMINATION. Allen is extremely talented, captures many beautiful moments and is very easy to work with. The direction he gives you is also easy to follow and outcome is amazing. I have dealt with many professional photographers and he is top notch! Keep up the fabulous work!

ILLUMINATION does fantastic and creative work. Our project turned out better than our wildest expectations. Every aspect of working with Allen was a treat. Thanks Allen!

…And… We’ll Prove It!

In case these kind words aren’t enough to convince you to work with us, feel free to choose ANY photo you see on our site and we will send you that client’s contact information so you can request a candid review yourself!

Ready to Get Creative?

Contact us to start the discussion!