Frequently Asked Questions

General

There are many wonderful photographers out there to choose from. When you hire me though, you are hiring much more than a photographer. Ben Elsass Photography is a custom boutique photography studio, which means we invest much more time then the typical studio throughout the entire photographic process. Beginning with getting to know our clients and customizing the shoot to your liking, the shoot day itself, as well as the post-processing of your images; all these steps receive much more personal attention then typical photography studios will offer. I will produce photos for you that reflect a harmonious combination of your desires and my vision. No two sessions ever look alike because together we will produce images unique and precious to each individual, family, or couple. These will be photos that you can be proud to share with family and friends, and cherish forever. 

Working in a digital world, I have the capability to shoot both. However, the processing techniques are very different for b&w and color photos, so I generally don’t provide two versions of the same photo. However, I always take your preferences into account while processing your images. For example, if you love black and white photography, then I will do my best to present you with more b&w photos. 

I shoot with only the finest Nikon equipment. Full disclosure: using the best equipment out there does not make one a great photographer; it just makes the job a little bit easier! :-)

For portrait sessions, the processing of images is generally complete in three to five weeks. Weddings generally take six to eight weeks. Much of this depends on the time of year, as some months are busier than others. I edit projects in the order in which they are shot with few exceptions. Rush editing is available for an extra cost. Once processing is complete, you will be contacted about scheduling your in-person sales session.

I offer a wide variety of products ranging from canvas gallery wraps, albums, prints and much more. I consider myself to be a wall art photographer first and foremost, so my favorite pieces are the float wraps, canvas gallery wraps and the canvas clusters. You can see sample pics of all my products in my investment gallery and you can see them in person at both your pre-shoot consultation as well as your in-person sales session.

You sure can! You get one edit before any album is printed. I will email you low resolution, watermarked versions of each album spread for you to review. You can at that point decide if there are any photos you would prefer to see in the album over my initial choices, and I will do my very best to accommodate those choices.

After the processing on your prints are complete, we will set up your in-person sales session that takes place at my office. This is where you will see your completed images for the first time! All purchases must be made at the sales session as no online orders are permitted. This allows me to make recommendations on how to display your favorite images based on your goals and allows us to fully customize your order. The sales session takes place during normal business hours and all decision makers must be present at the time of the session. On average appointments take 60 to 90 minutes. Full payment for your order is required at this time, and orders generally arrive in 2 to 4 weeks from the time of purchase.

Every client is unique and has different desires for what they would like to do with their final images. The session and retainer fee is $200 to lock in your time and place on the calendar. The session is 90 minutes to two hours long and includes unlimited wardrobe changes. After the session, the average client should be prepared to invest between $1000 and $2000 at your private viewing session, where all orders are taken. 

Most photographers do not grant a copyright release, and I follow this same guideline. The only reason you would need a copyright would be if you intended to sell any of your photos, which is a violation of the contract we will agree to before commencing work. You do however get a print release, which allows you to make your own prints and do whatever else you wish with the images.

It’s important to know that when you order your prints from me, they are printed through a professional print lab. If you purchase digital files and plan on making prints on your own, please make sure you do this only through a professional print house. If you are printing through a drugstore, grocery store, one hour photo, etc., then I cannot guarantee that the color quality will hold true. 

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Wedding

I have been photographing weddings since 2008. Please check out the Wedding galleries for some of my work!

Absolutely. In fact right now, I'm only shooting one wedding per weekend. When you hire Ben Elsass Photography to shoot your wedding, you get my full and undivided attention. I could not possibly give the attention that is necessary to completely and accurately capture everything your wedding weekend consists of, if I were shooting more than one wedding in the same day. Yes, some photographers actually do this.

I require that we meet for a "coffee consultation" (or a beer!) before you hire me to photograph your wedding. This allows me to better understand your hopes, dreams, and desires when it comes to your wedding photography. We will then see each other again to photograph your engagement session. When possible, we will meet a third time within one month of your wedding to discuss final details and logistics. For the third meeting, we can have a conference call if it is not possible to meet in person. I will also be at your rehearsal the day before the wedding, so we will be very familiar with each other by the time your big day rolls around!

Where we shoot your engagement session is completely up to you. If you can't think of any locations that are specifically meaningful to you two, I have lots of suggesitons. It’s important that you wear something that you are comfortable in. If you are uncomfortable in your outfit(s) of choice, it will show in the pictures. In your 90-minute to 2-hour session, you can change outfits as often as you like. I usually suggest coordinating outfits together, which doesn’t necessarily mean matching “I’m with her” and “I’m with him” t-shirts. If he is in a sport coat and tie, she should probably wear a nice cocktail dress. Or if he is dressed casually in shorts and sandals, she could wear a summery dress and sandals too. Solid and bright colors are also always good. Avoid loud, noisy patterns or stripes that take away from the real subject of the photo: yourselves! You can always look at my Engagement gallery for ideas for both locations and wardrobe!

I will always have an assistant with me when I shoot a wedding. The assistant however, is generally not a photographer. They are there more to help carry equipment, to make sure people are in the right places at the right time, etc. Most of my packages include a second photographer, and this is recommended. It is impossible for a photographer to be in two places at once, and many times it is necessary. A second photographer ensures that not a moment will be missed, so while it is not required, it is recommended, especially for larger weddings.

Well then you are just out of luck aren’t you? I’m kidding of course! To be honest, many people do not feel 100% comfortable in front of the camera. This of course, is our parents’ fault for holding us hostage with photos of us from when we were five years old and sitting naked on the toilet with a trashcan over our head—oh, just me? Well, I’m not your parents, and I’m not trying to take embarrassing photos of you. My goal is to create and capture the most beautiful images possible of your wedding. Once the women are finished with hair and makeup and the men are wearing their suits, you will all look amazing and feel fantastic. Plus, we will know each other very well come the day of your wedding from meeting several times and having shot your engagement session together. All of this will help relieve any “day-of” nerves you may have, and ten minutes into your wedding day you’ll forget I’m even there!

I know there are many traditionalists out there who are not fans of the bride and groom seeing each other prior to the wedding. I totally respect that, but having the opportunity to see each other in private before the ceremony can not only create an amazing image, it can also make for a very unique and private moment for the couple. It’s a singular moment that I’m able to capture to be yours to enjoy forever.

This can also allow us to do a lot of your photography prior to the wedding as well. The alternative is after the ceremony, which can lead to missing out on some or all of your cocktail hour, and who wants to miss that!? Unfortunately when the itinerary does not go completely according to plan, it is usually the photographer’s time that is cut down. This usually means not nearly as much time to capture creative and beautiful shots of you two around your venue. Although seeing each other before the wedding is not traditional, it can provide you with a very intimate moment and will open up the rest of your day to create more amazing experiences and memories for me to photograph.

This partly depends on the package you purchase. Some couples simply want the beginning of their wedding day through a couple hours of their reception photographed. While others would like their entire wedding day photographed, plus day before or day after activities including the rehearsal dinner. When I shoot a wedding I have a great time doing it, so regardless of the package, the last thing I’m doing is watching the clock. I’m available for as long as you may need me. Please see the package options for complete details.

I sure am! As I have mentioned, your wedding is the only wedding I will shoot that weekend, so if you would like me to document the day before activities such as your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, or for a session the day after, we can work it into the packages for your convenience. It’s your weekend, and Ben Elsass Photography is available for as long as you need us.

I love to travel and welcome the opportunity to do so for your wedding! I have photographed weddings all over the country and the Caribbean! See some of my destination wedding samples here! Understandably, destination wedding packages will differ some due to travel and accommodations. Email me for a quote and please be sure to include your date and location.

You sure can! You get one edit before any album is printed. I will email you low resolution, watermarked versions of each album spread for you to review. You can at that point decide if there are any photos you would prefer to see in the album over my initial choices, and I will do my very best to accommodate those choices.

To be honest, there are so many venue options out there that chances are I have never photographed a wedding at the church or location of your choice. Fear not! I do my very best to scout your ceremony and reception site as well as the location(s) you both will be getting ready at, all prior to your wedding weekend. When my schedule allows, I will also be at your rehearsal the day before, and I will be in touch with your venues to be sure I’m aware of their rules when it comes to photography.

A shot list for the posed family formals is a requirement. You must provide me with a specific list of names of the people whom you would like in the family formal photos (pictures immediately following the ceremony). The process goes much smoother with a list in hand. It’s a bit trickier as far as a wish list of photos for the rest of your day, as so much of it is candid and unpredictable. As a photographer once said, "If we spend all our time trying to recreate, we lose he ability to create." But we can certainly discuss anything that may be specifically important to you that we cannot miss. Your wedding day, and more specifically your album, is best viewed as a blank slate waiting to be filled with the special moments of the day as it unfolds.

I have never missed a wedding. In fact, I have never missed a shoot of any sort. Thankfully I have gotten to know many dependable and professional photographers all over the country, so in the worst case scenario, I would be replaced by another professional who shoots in a similar fashion to mine. Please don’t lose sleep over this at night though because the chances of this happening to me, or any photographer, are very slim! (knock on wood)

The wedding packages are the same price whether there are 30 guests or 300. This is because I put the same amount of professional preparation, photography, and post-processing into smaller weddings as I would very large weddings. I only shoot one wedding a weekend, and as soon as I have committed to shooting your wedding, I must begin turning down other opportunities on that same weekend. That said, I will do my very best to customize one of my packages to fit your budget and needs.

Yes! It’s a long day for us as well and it is important that we keep our energy level as high as we can. Our contract will require that you feed me, the second photographer and my assistant if there is one.

Our wedding packages begin at $2999. To reserve your wedding date, I will need a signed contract with $1000 of your final total as a down payment. I will need the remaining payment no less than two weeks before your wedding date. I will send you an email reminder four weeks from your wedding both about the payment as well as stating additional information I need from you prior to the wedding. 

I need you to take a deep breath, relax, enjoy yourself, and do your best to ignore me! Seriously, do your best to forget I’m there (unless I ask otherwise of course), and we will capture some amazing memories for you to cherish for years to come.