Interview with award winning wedding photographer, Ben Chrisman, from Chrisman Studios.
Tell us about yourself:
I’m a wedding photographer based in the San Francisco Bay. I co-own Chrisman Studios with my wife, Erin Chrisman. We have three incredible photographers that work with us, Dave Getzschman, Aaron Morris and Mauricio Arias.
Who has inspired you?Not just in photography.
I’m most inspired by a connection with people. I started my career as a newspaper photographer, and each wedding gives me the chance to learn something new and witness life from a different point of view, much like my journalism days. Real life is always more interesting and inspiring to me than anything else.
What is the hardest part about shooting a destination wedding?
The hardest part is just covering your bases to make sure you arrive safely, on time and that you’re prepared for whatever surprises might happen. The shooting is the easiest part.
How do you prep for a destination wedding?
Erin and I are extremely detail oriented when it comes to travel. We have our routines that we do every single time to make sure nothing gets left behind and if the unexpected happens, we can deal with it. You can’t get upset about travel plans going bad. A mentor of mine, Gary Knight, said you have to have an adventurous spirit if you want to be a traveling photographer, and that’s very, very true. If you are a creature of habit and don’t like things to suddenly change, then don’t make a career out of leaving the safety net of your hometown.
What kind of camera do you shoot with?
Erin and I both shoot with Nikon D4s. Our associates shoot with Canons. Both are great.
What do you do to past the time on a flight?
I am usually on the internet if it’s available, and Erin often reads her Kindle. Of course, if we’re on one of our normal 6 am flights, we both are sleeping with our eye masks and head pillows.
How would you describe your photography?
We’re trying to bring an artistic interpretation to documentary photography.
What obstacles should photographers expect on their first wedding shoot?
Just be prepared to look back in a few years on yourself, and your photos, and laugh. Be careful to make sure your photos are backed up on several hard drives. That’s the most important thing. You can’t fix a photo if it’s lost or deleted.
Any advice to people just getting into wedding photography?
Don’t look at other wedding photographer’s work. When you walk into a room, find the one thing that you are attracted to and focus on that. Your instincts will guide you to finding an image that you love.
What kind of music/artist have you been listening to lately?
Lately, we’ve been listening to our new Sonos speakers with the Songza app. I like going to the “explore” category and finding different moods and genres. You can hear a lot of different sounds in one day at our office, from jazz to the Grateful Dead to dance music. Our musical tastes are a little ADD.
Want to Learn More About Ben Chrisman and Chrisman Studios?
Website: Chrisman Studios
Blog: Chrisman Studios Blog
Facebook: Chrisman Studios Facebook Fan Page