How did you get into weddings?
Ben and Erin both began photographing weddings full-time eight years ago after spending a few years working for newspapers in New Mexico (Ben) and South Carolina (Erin). Erin loved the fast-paced nature of the newspaper, while Ben had plans to be a war photographer. But after leaving their newsrooms to become independent photographers, they each discovered wedding photography and never looked back.
Dave was also a newspaper photographer, and started shooting weddings when his good friend and roommate Ben Chrisman needed a second shooter. Eventually he began taking weddings as the lead photographer and has developed his own following among brides who love his elegant yet off-beat view of modern weddings.
Aaron began his photography career by shooting motocross events. One day, his then-girlfriend-now-wife Sheela (who is a big photography buff) saw online that Chrisman Studios was looking for an intern, so she urged Aaron to apply. Aaron started his wedding photography career by first interning at our studio and very quickly transitioned into shooting weddings on his own.
Mauricio also got into weddings as our intern and post-production manager. He and Aaron followed the same path and started shooting their own weddings around the same time, often shooting together before both their calendars began filling up.
What’s your style?
Our style is most often described as “creative documentary.” We come from documentary backgrounds, meaning we photograph your day as it unfolds naturally without interference from us. However, we also put a ton of energy and time into your “creative portraits,” which are the photos of just the two of you. We look for interesting light, angles and backgrounds, and often use unusual, experimental techniques to turn these portraits into works of art that you will want to hang on your walls.
We wish we could meet with you, but we don’t live in the Bay Area. Is there an alternative?
The majority of our couples actually hire us without an in-person meeting. We are very quick, and very thorough, with emails and are able to answer most questions that way. However, we are happy to talk with you on the phone or schedule a Skype video meeting. A lot of of our out-of-town clients have done this, and we love it! We recently Skyped with one couple who lived in Hong Kong – they were just waking up and recovering from partying the night before, and we were getting ready to go to bed. We can always find a time and method that works!
How do we arrange your travel?
We will book our own airfare and rental car (if needed) after you have approved the price. We always look for the least expensive option that is also convenient for both you and us. For hotel, we ask that you reserve a room for us in the host hotel where all the other guests are staying. All travel expenses are reimbursed after the wedding.
Will you travel for engagement sessions as well?
We are happy to come to your town or meet you at a fabulous destination of your choice. Please contact us for specific information.
Do you photograph details and family group photos?
Yes! A wedding photography collection would not be complete without good details and family photos, and we take all the photographs you would expect out of any wedding photographer. But our goal is to also go past those expectations and give you photographs that you never even imagined.
My fiancé is uncomfortable having his picture taken. How can you help him on the wedding day?
We are all very calm, mellow people who tend to blend into the scene rather than bring attention to ourselves and our cameras. That, combined with our documentary style, will have you both used to us within the first half hour of your getting-ready time. Most couples tell us it felt like we were just one of the gang, hanging out with everyone. The only time you’ll really be aware of the cameras is during the family group shots and the creative portraits, and during this time we will guide you through everything. You can just be yourselves, and we will take care of the rest.
What do you do if we have an outdoor venue and it rains on our wedding day?
Most venues will offer you a rain plan with a backup indoor location. We easily adapt to any situation. Our favorite wedding photos have a lot more to do with your personalities and your chemistry as a couple, than what kind of background you’re standing in front of. If you are happy and in love, that will show in your photos. But if you’re curious how we handle rainy wedding days, check out our Rainy Wedding gallery under Settings. We see rain as a fun, adventurous twist that usually brings laughter and spontaneity.
Should I give you a shot list?
When you contact us about shooting your wedding, we will send you a full gallery of a real wedding to look through. You will see that we are very thorough with our coverage, including shots of your dress, jewelry, shoes, flowers, food and reception décor. There is no need to give us a shot list. The only list we will ask for is your list of family group shots.
How many photographers will be at my wedding?
Ben and Erin always shoot as a team. They switch off on who shoots the bride getting ready, and who shoots the groom. For our associates Dave, Aaron and Mauricio, a second photographer is required for weddings with more than 50 guests. The second photographer is chosen from a short list of very talented people we are used to working with. The second photographer is responsible for shooting the groom getting ready, all details, providing a second angle on the ceremony and reception, and assisting the lead photographer with off-camera lighting for creative portraits.
When will we see our photographs?
Because we take such care in making sure all your edited photographs will look great for years to come, it usually takes about 12 weeks to get them completed. At that time, your online gallery will be made available for you and all your friends and family to see.
How do we hire you?
Use the contact tab at the top of each page to reach us with questions about pricing, products and availability. Once we have talked about your wedding, we’ll send you a password-protected site where you can sign your contract and pay the retainer. Everything can be done online. It takes five minutes, and after that, you can count on us to be there with our cameras for the most anticipated day of your life.