Photographer JP Elario '01

[JP Elario 01]To say that Capital District wedding photographer JP Elario is sought-after is an understatement. His services are in such demand that he is booked for the coming year and already turning down brides-to-be for 2012. 

The Sage alumnus started photographing weddings with his equally talented father at age 11. He was already an experienced photographer when he graduated from high school in 1999, and entered the then-Sage Junior College of Albany to further study the art. He graduated with an associate degree, and had there been a four year program in place at the time, he said he would have continued his education at Sage, where professors like Linda Morrell worked with him to hone his talent.

“I chose Sage because of the location and quality program,” said Elario. “There aren’t many options locally, and Sage was home. I really enjoyed Terry Tiernan’s classes. He taught 3-D and 2-D and was head of the art department. We really clicked.”

Elario recalls Sage outings to New York City museums and toyed with the idea of moving there after graduation, but instead attended Savannah College of Art and Design before returning to Albany to go into business with his dad.

Since then, Elario has mastered the art of self-promotion via social media alongside the art of photography. He has thousands of Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and fans of his blog at Joeelariophotography.com, on which he chronicles every photo shoot. His marketing style developed organically and it’s working. Elario has never spent money on advertising.

In addition to being in-demand for weddings, he is a popular speaker at professional conventions, like this month’s massive Wedding & Portrait Photographers International trade show (WPPI) in Las Vegas, at which Elario will deliver a Platform Class about marketing, using his own success as case-study.

When he returns from Las Vegas, Elario and his camera of choice – the Canon Mark IV – immediately head back to work.  “I turned away more than twenty for 9/10/11 this year,” he said. “We’re booked for every possible Saturday. I’ve had to let down some brides hard.”