I’ll start off with a little history on me. I’m a second generation photographer. My father started the business over 30 years ago and when I was 11 years old I started going to weddings and shooting with him. I guess you can say photography is literately in my blood. I began taking photography extremely serious at the age of 19 and never looked back. As I grew our business grew. Now ten years later at the age of 29 I’m still doing what I love. I’ve managed to keep our old photography business very young and fresh. My father who I refer to on my blog as “Big Joe” is still shooting weddings too. I don’t like to call myself a “wedding photographer” but rather a photographer who happens to photograph people in love. Maybe it sounds sappy or corny but that’s what I do.

One of my favorite things to shoot are engagement sessions. I enjoy these because as a photographer I get to know my clients. Sure by wedding day I’ve exchanged countless emails and phone conversations, however spending an hour to an hour and a half photographing my clients and having fun really breaks the ice. By the end of an engagement session I feel like we’re old friends.

This was down in the financial district in NYC this past July..

Here is a result of what I was capturing..

Picking a location for an engagement session is always fun. With my sessions I like to shoot in different locations rather then a typical downtown city look. Don’t get me wrong, I do those all the time too. However if I can make them different I’m all over that. Before we choose where we’re going to shoot, I need to know why. Is this location relevant to the couple? For example I’ve shot in Fenway Park but if they were Yankee fans that probably wouldn’t have worked. I’ve shot at The Historic Saratoga Race Course, a fair and on the Brooklyn Bridge. Choosing locations like this allows me to give my clients unique images that their other engaged friends probably won’t have.

This was one of my favorite engagement sessions of all time. Shooting in Fenway Park in Boston, MA was just awesome! The Red Sox were on the road and there was actually a PHISH concert going on that evening. The groom Alex, used to work for the Red Sox and had a connection and got us into the park for a couple hours. It was us and PHISH sound checking while we shot. It was pretty neat having live music to shoot to.

If you look closely you can see them actually playing on the monitor.

I’ll often share behind the scene shots like this on my blog. My viewers love this stuff.

The result.

One more of my favorites from this session.

This was shot at a local summer fair. I just love the color. I have a metallic print from Miller’s Lab that this color just screams off of!

In Saratoga Springs we have a 147 year old horse racing track. Saratoga Race Course was a blast to shoot at.

Last but not least, I shot an engagement session on the Brooklyn Bridge. I know maybe this is more of a common location however it was the most difficult location to shoot at. There were people coming at me in all directions and I had to be patient for it to pay off.

After love comes marriage right? Our wedding photography approach is fun and simple. I don’t like to jeopardize the day or make it about me what so ever. Our clients hire us for that reason. Aside from liking our style, reputation and reliability, they love our personality. I have a go-with-the-flow approach on wedding day. Although I guess I say that with caution because I’m not one of those photographers that doesn’t take charge or speak when needed. We know the shots we need to get and let the rest kinda happen. I think that’s why our images have a natural look.

At every wedding I have to get a token shot. I like to think of it as the couples icon from their wedding day. These are the images people hire us to get. My requirements for this token shot is bride and groom in the image, natural light only, unique and real. Here are a few favorites from the 2010 wedding season.

Something else I do at most of my weddings is the Elario Photo Booth. It’s not a “booth” per say… It’s simply a backdrop setup that allows for fun, loose and interesting party shots. I exclusively use drop it MODERN backdrops. Why? Well for starters they are totally unique and different. I could setup a white seamless but then my photo booth would look like everyone else’s. These backdrops allow me to have a different look that all my clients just love. I have created a behind the scene’s video showing how exactly I do this setup.

I’d like to thank Scott Kelby for this huge opportunity to be a guest blogger. I enjoy sharing information with the world. Most importantly I love what I do.

Peace,
JP

blog-site: joeelariophotography.com
twitter: @jpelario
facebook: facebook.com/elario
photo lab: millerslab.com
backdrops: blog.dropitmodern.com

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23 Comments

  1. JP, awesome, love the photo booth idea. I just saw you on the web somewhere else not long ago referencing the booth. Great blog!
    Ken

  2. Thanks for the guest post, JP. I’ve been following your blog for about a half a year and am always blown away by what you come away with and your style. It interesting to read about your background and approach to the day.

  3. Hey JP

    Absolutely love the shots above. The natural talent you inherit truly shows.

    Love how you use different locations which mean something to the couple instead of the standard locations or backdrops, really does make your shots unique to your clients.

    Keep up the great work.

  4. Nice post.
    Are all those shots of the weddings taken in natural light..that’s brilliant. The last shot is very nice.

    Good information and things to learn.

    Heading to your blog now :)

  5. Great stuff JE! Especially the Fenway Park photos!

    Bob
    Boston

  6. Being a life-long Red Sox fan, I love the Fenway photos. Certainly different from anything I have ever seen. Great to get access to Fenway for a photo shoot.

    Thanks for sharing!

    –John

  7. JP (and his pops) were our wedding photographer, and these guys are top notch! Not only is their work simply beautiful, they are just fun down to earth guys and a breeze to work with! Congrats on being featured on Scott’s blog!

  8. nice work and guest blog. your work is fantastic.

  9. Great post. It gives photographers an idea of who you are how you work with a bit of Technical info to keep the gear heads interested. That was way better than Jasmin’s post.

    Keep up the great work. I am adding your blog to my RSS right now.

  10. Great post. Wonderful shots of the essence of the wedding. I really liked the Photobooth idea. We had a wedding a couple of years ago with an actual photoboot – you can rent them. The composite of six pictures in black and white, three on each side, with the wedding details in the middle, was a great keepsake, but it has some great images of my wife and me.

    This backdrop idea is a simple set up, and a really great memento of the wedding. Better than a small give away that someone will throw out or lose. Also great to get the kids involved.

  11. Great stuff. It’s always interesting to see different settings that make the shots more interesting than your standard wedding photography. The Fenway shoot has to be one of those moments you will always remember.

  12. Nice blog son , for those going to WPPI / Vegas 2011 “JP” will be a platform speaker , w/Millers as sponsor.

  13. Thank you Scott for featuring JP! He is an incredible photographer who can do amazing things. I love his work!

  14. Outstanding.
    Is it okay, to say I’ve watched JP grow up with his dad in the photo/wedding business into the popular mega-success he has become, from New York to California, for brides, to Presidents, the name JP Elario is known.

  15. Huge fan of the Elario’s have been for a long time now probably about 10 – 11 years since before they shot my wedding, my first and only choice for photographers. I marvel at their talent and look forward to each new blog post. Congratulations to you both! (I am also a fan of Scott Kelby! thank you for sharing the Elarios with an even greater audience, they deserve the exposure!)

  16. Cool, nice job Joey. Congratulations. Scott, great choice for featured guest. See you in Vegas baby!

  17. awesome blog. Where did you get the music for those video’s. can you please share?

  18. Dude, Beautiful images! Great light, great compositions. Love the Dave Matthews Band song in the background

  19. Because I make it my business to comment on every one of JPs blogs, I have to show some love here. I <3 JP and his dad Big Joe. They do incredible work and are incredibly talented. I'm not just saying that because they did our wedding (and engagement shots), these guys are just tops. And amazing people to boot. JP always keeps his blogstalkers happy with plenty of new stuff, great couples, and great light. Congrats on the guest blog JP!

  20. Oh JP, How we love thee. Your work is simply beautiful.
    Much love!

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