When I was a student at Miami University 15 years ago (yikes!) I don't think I even owned a camera, let alone had the idea I would one day be a wedding photographer. It's a crazy road we all take to find our path. Graduation in Oxford Ohio -> Living on an old lady's basement while working as a Page at NBC in Los Angeles (See more about this below in "Fun facts") -> Starting completely over in Chicago and beginning a new business with my soon to be wife Christina -> All the way back home to Cincinnati in 2013 and shooting gorgeous Cincinnati weddings.
Although we're back home in Ohio, I've been blessed to have the opportunity to shoot weddings all over the country and beyond, experiencing a mix of cultures, sights, and sounds that inspire my every day love of capturing life through my lens. Through my time traveling and shooting, I've learned as a photographer that the human spirit never disappoints. It's so special to freeze the most important moments in your life. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope to work with you very soon!
My wife Christina is an amazing woman. She is the most selfless, caring and hard-working person I’ve ever met. When I decided to begin my photography business in 2009, I did not even own a camera! While many may have called that crazy (it kind of was), she provided me with nothing but faith and support from day one, and still does to this day. This faith and support meant an immense amount of hard work on her part while I figured out my direction and place in this industry. On top of all of that, being born in Los Angeles and living in Chicago, I somehow got her to move to Ohio! (no offense Ohioans). We’ve known each other over ten years now, and I couldn’t ask for a better travel partner, Mom to our fur-baby Millie, Christmas card designer, home-reno buddy, and life partner. This, all despite her love for horrible Lifetime movies. I’m beyond fortunate to have her in my life and to call her my wife.
My Amazing Wife
Mojave East in Cincinnati is the culmination of years of dreams, and two years of extremely hard work by Christina and myself. Located in Newtown, about 10 miles east of downtown Cincinnati, Mojave East is a new and unique event venue for your wedding, corporate party or any social gathering. Inspired by the airy tranquility of the California desert, west coast vibes, and a little Palm Springs glam, this 11,000 square foot industrial beauty has been transformed into a celebration destination. If you're still looking for that perfect venue for your celebration, consider a party in the desert! And if your wedding is at Mojave East, be sure to ask about the special pricing Ben Elsass Photography offers! If you're interested in more info about Mojave East, you can reach out here!
Yes, yes, I know, everyone thinks there dog is the best. But I’m sorry to tell you your all wrong, because our dog IS the best. Officially, she is ‘Lady Mildred of Mariemont’, but friends call her Millie. If I could write 6 ‘Interesting Facts’ all about Millie, I probably would (don’t tell Christina). I love our Millie so much - she truly is our family. Growing up with cats, Millie is the first dog I’ve ever owned, so I totally didn’t know what I was getting myself in for. Most especially with a German Shorthaired Pointer whose energy level appears to have no limits. Two 45 minute walks a day, hunting for birds in our backyard and playing with her soccer ball, and she still seems to have a full tank of gas at day’s end. Is she spoiled? Oh absolutely. But that’s because she’s our family!
Our dog Millie
This is kind of a no-brainer, but before I became a wedding photographer, I had never been to the Caribbean! Being a destination wedding photographer has given me the opportunity to travel to amazing places such as St. Maarten, Aruba, St.Lucia, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico among others. The last on that list is our absolute favorite. We’ve been to Puerto Rico several times since because we absolutely have fallen in love with it; most especially Rincon on it’s western coast. You feel as though you’re on a movie set with it’s beachside restaurants and bars, laid back people and absolutely perfect climate. Down the road we would love to make our home there (for part of the year), and hopefully shoot some weddings in Rincon as well!
I love the Caribbean
Sometimes I’m not sure where this one came from as it is a more recent development. Four years ago, I didn’t own a single vinyl record. Now I own (number undisclosed to avoid embarrassment). I’ve heard my Dad, who was in radio for over 30 years say how he ‘misses the good 'ol days of vinyl’, a countless number of times. Now, I don’t remember the ‘good ‘ol days’ because I was brought up on cassettes. A few years back though, I found myself in a local record store and fell in love. I love the raw sound of a record, the smell of a 40 year old used vinyl and the history behind it all. I love discovering old artists and singers that time has forgotten, but are new to me. Initially I told myself I would only buy used records, but that lasted about a minute. Being a huge Foo Fighters fan, that was never going to last.
My obsession with records
Christina and I married in 2011 in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park at the Della Terra Mountain Chateau. So why Estes Park? With myself being from Ohio, Christina from LA and the fact that we were living in Chicago at the time, we wanted to choose a location that was central to all of our family and friends. As well as share with them a place that is special to us! Estes Park was one of the first trips we ever took together as a couple. We have always had a love for the mountains and little towns with a unique charm like Estes, so it seemed like the perfect place to begin our new life together. With family all over Colorado, we find ourselves often going back to a state and place we love so much.
In a previous life, I had a job as an NBC Page for The Tonight Show (the Jay Leno years). If you’ve ever seen the show 30 Rock, then you are familiar with Kenneth the Page. On every show, Kenneth wore his blue polyester coat and tacky peacock tie, and I had the pleasure of wearing the same thing for almost a year! Not a bad first job out of college! In order to experience all this, I had to pick up from my cozy life in Ohio after graduating from Miami University (the one in Ohio!) & move to the other side of the earth…LOS ANGELES! It was scary, it was strange, and to be honest, weird (ask me about the old lady's laundry room I lived in for 3 months). But I loved it and it brought me to where I am today. I met Christina on my 3rd day in LA and have become someone who is unafraid to take chances and do what I love. Being an NBC Page in Los Angeles is a huge part of that.
I was once an NBC Page
Together, we'll create a photographic story of that moment, and of that day, that you can treasure forever.
In my experience, it is vital for us to get to know each other in the weeks and months leading up to our shoot. Building relationships with the couples I work with is one of my favorite parts of the wedding photography process. My goal is that by the time your big day arrives, you'll trust through the relationship that we've built, and know that I will be able to capture those unique and special moments, that mean the most to you. The resulting images, will represent you two at that moment, in your lives together.
When taking pictures, regardless of whether it's an engagement session or wedding day, my goal is always to capture a natural and true representation of you two, as the couple you are. Before snapping a single picture, I tell every couple: Be yourselves and show each other the love and affection that brought you to this point today, and I promise the images will turn out beautiful.” Some couples are very romantic and serious in front of the camera, while others are super goofy and light-hearted, because every couple is different.