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Close-up: Photographer Adam Sjoberg

Matt & Sarah (in Vera Wang) in The Park from Loose Luggage by Adam Sjoberg on Vimeo.

A lot goes into planning your wedding day. So you definitely want to have great photographs and video to look at afterward. We asked photographer/cinematographer Adam Sjoberg to give his tips on working with a photographer to get great photos of your day.

Choose the Photographer Who Feels Right for You
It’s important for people to pick a photographer or videographer who they feel comfortable working with. Keep in mind that the photographer will be with the couple all day – more than almost anyone else! I am one of the last people to walk off the dance floor at the end of the night. So look for that connection and comfort.

Spend Time Together
What happens before the wedding is actually important for establishing a connection. Brides and grooms tell me that working with the photographer during an engagement shoot beforehand makes them more comfortable once the wedding day arrives. For the engagement shoot, I treat it like a date and keep it simple.

Many people say they don’t like getting their pictures taken. The camera brings out insecurities. I try to really connect in advance and let them know I am not intrusive. I am a photojournalist and fashion photographer. My job is to capture moments.

What is the Biggest Misconception About Video and Photography at a Wedding?
Sometimes during a client meeting, the couple tells me they are afraid that the photographer will be in their face throughout the wedding and direct the entire day. Not so! The photographer does not have to run your day. Instead, he should be present and capture the moments. The couple is the center and all the vendors (wedding coordinator, photographer, etc.) work as a team together so the bride and groom can just “be.”

Four Must-Get Photos to Consider
- The groom’s reaction when he sees bride for first time! For the first reveal, it’s nice sometimes to pick a private location.

- Don’t forget that gorgeous single portrait of the bride with her bouquet. It’s usually the day of the wedding, but can sometimes be before. I try to find a great background at the venue for that.

- To capture the mood and the sense of romance and lightness of the day, I suggest the couple take walk at some point during the day. Those photos really capture that sense of being together.

- Another fun shot is to bring the bride and groom into the reception room for the first time alone just before the guests arrive. They can take a minute to really see the gorgeous reception details for the first time and take it all in. They can make their formal entrance to the reception at the appropriate time, but giving them a moment to see the beauty of the room (and maybe a quick twirl alone on the dance floor) before it is filled with guests is a nice moment.

What You Should Know About Lighting
The trend of using color/gels for the reception can be very beautiful but challenging to shoot in. If you are using a lot of colored gels to light the reception area, keep a white spot light on the dance floor for speeches, cake cutting, or other important events that will be photographed. Of course, the lighting depends on the couple’s vision for the day. So have the discussion with your photographer about lighting ahead of time. When you walk through your venue while planning, be sure to note the various lighting sources – natural light, time of day – if you can, and mention it to the photographer so they will be prepared.

What Are Some Interesting Details You’ve Seen at Some Recent Weddings?
-  I recently photographed a wedding at The Harvard Club. It was an Indian wedding where the bride wore a sari and the room was decorated in lots of reds. It was very moody and beautiful. But the day before, the couple had a Sikh ceremony in her family’s home. It was very intimate and less formal. The groom, who was not Sikh, wore traditional attire too. And the contrast was so interesting. I loved it. It made for great pictures.

-  A recent wedding at a castle setting in Long Island was very regal. But the bride and groom were very down to earth and casual. At the end of the night at the after-party, gloved waiters served White Castle hamburgers on silver platters. It was a fun detail that had a personal meaning since both the bride’s mom and the groom had bonded over White Castle!

-  Another wedding that I shot was decorated with a ton of flowers. But at the end of the night just before the event ended, all the flowers were gathered and bundled into bouquets for guests to take home as gifts. It was such a nice touch.

You can check out more of Adam Sjoberg’s work on his Web site here.

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