j. ellis


I shot my first wedding on June 11th, 2011 and on that next Monday, gave my 2 weeks notice at a studio doing documentary film. RASH! Right?! But, 8 years later, I'm a Virginia wedding photographer serving the east coast and destinations anywhere else in the world.

My passion is capturing love stories & helping others learn to do the same. But, when I'm not "weddinging" working in my studio, traveling or chasing around my Maine Coon cat I'm spending time with my amazing friends and and wonderful family.

In 2011, I walked away from a production company that was directed by my mentor and father, it was one of the hardest decisions I'd ever had to make. The first year felt nearly impossible, but, J. Ellis Photography was alive and I was incredibly hopeful. So, with the motivation of my family and friends I was able to learn, grind, network and in 2014 I opened my studio on Court Square in downtown Harrisonburg, Virginia.

I've been described as a "calm extrovert". I'm in my element around a whole bunch of happy, celebrating people so I'll be laughing and tearing up with you on your wedding day. Then, if you get nervous or downright crazy, the calmness is there to remind you of why we are all there in the first place. 

As hard as it was to leave documentary film, I LOVE my job. You may think one would grow tired of wedding photography after 8 years. But, with every new couple, new venue, new idea and new year, my love for what I do grows, AND, my Dad now 2nd shoots for me sometimes! I am so grateful for the almost 200 weddings I have been trusted to capture and cannot wait for the next 200!

I am an editorial wedding photographer, creating joyful, artistic images that will stand the test of time and be proudly displayed on the walls and coffee tables of your home, your children's homes & your grandchildren's homes for years to come. My history in documentary film led to a photojournalistic style that is candid yet captivating. I tell your story with the raw emotion and details of your wedding day. I strive to capture those natural moments as they unfold, without inserting myself. However, when the moment calls for it, I will direct you into natural poses to utilize the best angles & best light for the best images possible.

the j. ellis


John limits the amount of weddings he shoots each year in order to give each couple the best experience possible. Because of this, it is important to find those perfect J. Ellis couples. 
This is a couple that understands the importance of documenting their wedding day and that hiring the right person can make all the difference. J. Ellis Couples typically put extensive time and effort into the details and into making everything perfect. But, most importantly, they are focused on a joyful wedding day and marrying their best friend. 

the j. ellis



It all starts with an introduction. Usually online, just getting to know each other. If it's a match made in heaven we'll meet up in person or via Skype/phone call to go over package options & to just hear about all that you have envisioned for your wedding day. Once you've chosen your package we'll start planning out your engagement session :) We'll be in touch every step of the way whether it's about vendor referrals or just chatting about your vision. Then, about a month before the wedding we'll start to finalize a timeline so that we are all on the same page throughout the wedding day & I have plenty of time to capture every special moment & little detail you have come up with!

the j. ellis